Navy 2013 Football Review: Secondary

Navy football spring practice begins on March 17. Before spring drills kick off will review the 2013 team, unit by unit. In this segment we look at the defensive backs.

Navy's defensive backfield had an uneven season but they played their best football at the end of the season. Their play in the first half hurt this grade. On the year the bend but don't break scheme allowed 68.8 percent of their opponents passes to be completed for 23 touchdowns. While those numbers aren't pretty the Mids allowed just 219 passing yards a game which is respectable and they intercepted 13 passes. The Midshipmen did a great job of keeping the play in front of them. They were the only team in the country not to allow a pass play over 50 yards to be completed against them.

The secondary's best player was junior Parrish Gaines (65 tackles, 3 INTs) who started every game. Gaines opened the season at right cornerback but was moved to free safety after the safeties tackling meltdown against Toledo. He started the final seven games at free safety. His biggest play was in the overtime victory over San Jose State when he read David Fales perfectly and picked off a pass in the end zone in overtime. Gaines move to free safety stabilized a defense that allowed 14 points or less in three of its final four games. Gaines was named to the FBS All independent team.

Freshman Brandon Clements started the first three games of the season at left cornerback in place of an injured Kwazel Bertrand. After Bertrand return against Air Force he was in a reserve role till Parrish Gaines was moved to free safety. Clements started the final seven games at right cornerback. Clements played in every game and made 49 tackles while picking off three passes and forcing two fumbles. He had a few freshman mistakes but I was very impressed with his improvement over his previous season at NAPS. Brandon had impressed me with his coverage skills but last year he did a much better job of making plays on the ball (3 INTs, 4 PD) and he was a lot more physical than he was at NAPS. He earned honorable mention on the FBS Independent team and first team All-East honors for his play.

Sophomore Kwazel Bertrand had to fight through an injury plagued season that limited him to nine games and seven starts at left cornerback. This year he had 43 tackles and two passes broken up. He suffered a concussion against Hawaii that knocked him out of the game and caused him to miss the following week. Bertrand is a tall cornerback who can cover. Kwazel is a very smart and heady player both on and off the field. When Bertrand was hurt sophomore Myer Krah (21 tackles, 2 PD, FF, FR) started three of the twelve games he played in his place. Krah had a rough game against San Jose State's high powered offensive attack but played well overall. He has really worked hard in the weight room and filled out his frame since I first saw him at NAPS in 2011. He's not the fastest cornerback but does a nice job playing the ball in coverage.

Senior Wave Ryder (58 tackles, INT) had an uneven season. He started the first six games at Rover but lost his job due to some poor tackling. Ryder was literally run over a few times early in the year. He returned to the lineup two games later when Chris Ferguson (32 tackles) suffered a career ending Top Stories