Paul Johnson talks with GoMids.com, Part II

Navy coach Paul Johnson spoke to GoMids.com last week about a variety of topics. Here's Part II of his interview. Johnson talks about everything from East Carolina to his success at Navy:

GoMids.com: Your thoughts on your season-opening opponent, East Carolina?

Paul Johnson: We've watched a lot of tape on them. They are big and athletic. They have some new players, some from JUCO schools that we haven't been able to see. I'm sure they are going to be formidable. They will be a lot bigger and are athletic. We will have to execute.

GM: You and East Carolina Skip Holtz battled on the Division I-AA level. How does it feel to meet him again?
PJ: I hope we have the same result as we did the last time we played (Johnson's Georgia Southern team beat Holtz and Connecticut 52-30 in the 1998 Division I-AA playoffs). Skip is a great coach. He has done a great job down there.

GM: What do you think about Navy's 2006 schedule?
PJ: I think it's pretty similar to what we've had in the past. It's hard to tell at the beginning of the season. A lot of teams that are supposed to be bad end up being good. Some teams that aren't supposed to be good make bowl games. So it's hard to tell. For us, anybody is going to be tough.

GM: You think Navy can break the (42-game) losing streak against Notre Dame this year?
PJ: I doubt we will be favored.

GM: Is Notre Dame, who could compete for the national championship, be your toughest opponent in 2006?
PJ: I haven't thought much about Notre Dame. We will think about them when the time comes.

GM: So Navy over Air Force by three points again this year?
PJ: I hope it's not that close. But if it is, I hope we have three more points than they do.

GM: How much better do you think Army will be this year?
PJ: I think they will be better. They were better last year than the year before. I think they are recruiting better.

GM: For the sake of the rivalry, would you like to see a closer Army-Navy game this season?
PJ: No. I'm fine with just the way it is.

GM: How does it feel to be the reigning dean of service academy coaching?
PJ: I don't know about that. Both (Bobby Ross and Fisher DeBerry) are old enough to be my father. I'm always excited to play them and hopefully have as many wins as them someday.

GM: But you have to be proud of all you have accomplished?
PJ: I don't even think about it. Maybe someday when I'm finished I will. If I'm still here and I hadn't gotten fired (laughs).

GM: Thanks for your time coach. One last thing: How excited are you with the season approaching.
PJ: It's always exciting when you play games. Nobody's won or lost a game. It's all new. That's always exciting.


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