Paul Johnson's Comments after Tuesday's Practice

Paul Johnson's Navy Midshipmen (2-0) visit Tulsa on Saturday. Coach Johnson had these comments after Tuesday's practice session.

Q. Was that Amir that was hurt today?

A. Yeah, he's just a little bit sore.

Q. Will he play on Saturday?

A. I guess. I don't know.

Q. You have to feel pretty fortunate. You guys have really done well with no serious injuries.

A. I don't know we've played the first two games without one of our best offensive lineman and played the first game without one of our best wide receivers, but we haven't lost anybody for the season so that's been good. Knock on wood.

Q. I think last year you had six or seven guys banged up for a period of time.

A. I can't remember. I'm sure we might have. I can't remember yesterday.

Q. Who would you compare Tulsa to that you've played since you've been here?

A. Gosh, I don't know. It's hard to say. I think they have a good football team. It's hard to compare teams. I don't think you can do that.

Q. Are they as physical as Texas Tech was?

A. They're probably in that ballpark I would think. They're different than Texas Tech, but in their own right they're on that level.

Q. Are they as athletic as any team that you've faced in your tenure?

A. I can't remember. They have good players, they run well on defense, they have an athletic quarterback and they have a good scheme on offense. They do some things. I know they've struggled offensively, but they started to play better in the second game.

Q. You used the term "Circle the Wagons" game for them. Obviously they've suffered two losses to two very good teams and now they're coming home to play Navy and I'm sure their fans out there certainly don't expect them to lose at home to Navy. Is that kind of what you're thinking?

A. I just want our guys to understand what they're walking in too. It's Tulsa's first home game and they haven't won and they're coming off a great year and a bowl game so I'm sure they had their goals and it hasn't gone the way they wanted. When you get home it's probably time to circle the wagons and we're going to get their best shot so we need to be ready to give them our best shot and if we're not we'll be sorry.

Q. If Polanco does get hurt is Lamar still going to be your guy?

A. Yeah, I guess so. Right now he's the number two guy.

Q. Eric Roberts. How much has he progressed in the last couple years on the intangibles and in becoming a complete player at his position?

A. There's no question that he's grown. I think he's matured in every facet from school to personally to football to everything and guys tend to do that when they get older, but there's no question that he's grown up a lot.

Q. When you see guys like Divis have productive runs how much of a part was Eric?

A. Eric's probably a big part of it. When you see the slot backs make a long run normally the wide receivers and the other slot back have a pretty good block to spring them and when you see them get tackled for no gain normally the other slot back and the wide receiver didn't get a block.

Q. Do you expect over the course of time as things evolve and play out that he's going to make big plays?

A. He's going to make plays. He has since we've been here. We haven't really gotten into our option game like we need to in either game for whatever reason. Up front, perimeter, whatever, but we're going to get into it. We're going to this week. Good, bad or ugly.

Q. So the alignment that Northeastern shifted to in that game, it was a 3-4 stack or a triple stack?

A. Triple stack, 3-3-5, 3-whatever. Teams have been doing it for 100 years. Air Force has played it. Wake Forest played it against us two years ago. They are about the only ones that have played it since I've been here at least played it for long. Usually we run the other team out of it.

Q. So why do you feel like the offensive line didn't adjust very well?

A. It wasn't just the offensive line, we had a lot of missed assignments from everyone, but they had a large part of it. I don't know. I don't know why. Clearly we didn't do a good job coaching them. They didn't understand I guess.

Q. Going back one step and talking about the slot backs not springing people. Is anyone in particular guilty of missing blocks when they've been in there?

A. I don't know if you can single out anybody. We've had some runs. Like I said, we've rushed for over 300 yards in both games so it's not like we've just gotten stoned and couldn't get back to the line. What happens when you see so many one yard plays or no gain or two yards most of the time, like anything else, when you look rather than someone just getting physically beat, which happens some times, but usually it's because we didn't block the right guy or missed the read or something like that. That's usually what happens, but that's football. There are going to be times that you don't block them. If you block them every time you go out there you would score on every play.

Q. You said you wanted to look at the tape before you talked about Akingbemi. What did you think?

A. He's hot and cold. I think when he wants too he's very productive and makes a lot of plays. He made some very good plays in the game, but like everyone else he can be more consistent.

Q. How much of a factor is he in Lane Jackson and Bobby McClarin's success?

A. I think everybody up there is a factor. It's a team game. If you're drawing double teams and canceling gaps you're hopefully keeping guys off the linebackers. Lane and Bobby had a rough time in the game on Saturday, because we were getting reached a lot. I wouldn't have wanted to be playing where they were.

Q. Is Tulsa a speedier team than the two teams you've played so far?

A. It's hard to tell on film, but you would think so. Normally the teams from that part of the country are faster. I would think they would be. Their running back is very fast and on defense they really run. They are the fastest defense we've played and it's not even close.

Q. How about Wendolowski? After moving over from defense in the middle of camp he's risen up to number two at offensive tackle. Can you talk about the job he's done? Does he look like he fits over there?

A. Yeah, I think he's going to be a good player over there. He's still learning. We're talking about guys screwing up that have been there for three years and he's been there for three weeks so he's learning. He's making progress every day. I think he's got a chance to be a good player there eventually.

Q. Would you use him in a game?

A. He's second team. If we lost guys we would have too. Right now he's probably our fourth tackle with Casey back.

Q. Have you decided on a punter yet?

A. We'll see tomorrow. They both kicked the fool out of it today. They kicked well.

Q. Does either one of them have a stronger leg than the other? I've been told that Shuey had a strong leg, but he's inconsistent.

A. In regular punting he's kicked the ball well. I'm going to give them one more day to battle. There's probably not that much difference in them really.

Q. I think they were punting in the normal traditional style. If those two punt is that how they will punt?

A. Could be. I don't know. It will be a game time decision.


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