Paul Johnson Monday comments

Navy head coach Paul Johnson spoke with the media on Monday about Saturday's victory over East Carolina and about the upcoming game against UMass.

Q. Any injuries coming off the game?

A. None serious.

Q. So everybody will be available?

A. As far as I know.

Q. Barnes didn't get in the game as a wide receiver, correct?

A. Yes he did.

Q. One series?

A. He played 10 plays.

Q. How come Kaipo didn't really play as a receiver? I thought he might get in.

A. We didn't use him. He hasn't practiced there as much as he needs to. We just didn't use him.

Q. Anything interesting out of the film that you came away with as far as things you feel were good, bad or indifferent?

A. I think we have a lot of stuff to get better at all around the board. For the first game the effort wasn't bad. We have to get better, but it wasn't bad. The good news is that most of the stuff is correctable.

Q. Are there some things that aren't correctable?

A. There is always a thing or two that might not be correctable, but most of it is.

Q. One of the things I noticed was that some of the pitches were a little off. Obviously there was the pitch that was batted down, would you say that was a great defensive play or should have Brian not pitched that?

A. There was a couple of things wrong with the one that got batted. One, the tail motion was too shallow and two he let the guy get between them and made a mistake pitching it. Other than that I didn't think it was bad.

Q. There was the pitch to Shun White.

A. That was a toss. That wasn't an option pitch.

Q. It just seemed like even the ones that were completed were shaky. Is that something that needs to be worked on?

A. We work on it every day. That's stuff we work on every day.

Q. Obviously there were several I-AA teams that beat I-A teams this past weekend, the most noticeable was Richmond beat Duke. Colorado lost to Montana State.

A. There is no more I-A and I-AA.

Q. What is it called now?

A. The Bowl Championship Series and something else, I don't know.

Q. The point you have made to us a lot in the past is that the upper level I-AA teams or whatever they are called now are pretty good.

A. Yeah, there's not that much difference. Maybe between the Top 10-15 teams in the country there's a big difference, but among most there's not a difference.

Q. I was just talking to Don Brown (UMass head coach) a few minutes ago and I made that point that you had said the Top 20 I-AA teams can beat the mid to lower level I-A teams and he said the only problem with that is that Navy is a Top 25 team.

A. Not in any polls that I've seen.

Q. He said you were on the cusp of it.

A. What does that mean? I don't know what that means. I know that if we don't play well they can beat us. I guarantee you that.

Q. How is their talent level?

A. They have some very talented guys. Their tailback we know well. He was committed to us at Georgia Southern when I took the job here. He's one of only three or four backs in the history of the NCAA to have a chance to rush for over 1,000 yards four straight years. He's pretty good.

Q. Are they a team that takes I-A transfers?

A. They have 13 or 14 of them.

Q. What can you say about Don Brown?

A. He has a great reputation and he's done a good job wherever he's coached. We played them in '98 in the National Championship game and he was the defensive coordinator and they beat us and that was one of the better teams I had.

Q. And did you feel his scheme that day and the following year when you beat them was pretty decent against the option?

A. Yeah, I think they did a good job. In '98 we turned it over seven times which probably helped. They always do a good job.

Q. One thing that he said when evaluating the film was that his experience playing against you at Georgia Southern probably wasn't applicable that much because he feels like you have fine-tuned and tweaked some things.

A. What he didn't say was that we probably don't run as fast. That's what he meant.

Q. He said you adjust to your personnel. He said the option attack that he will see against Navy may not be the exact same that he saw when he played Georgia Southern. Would you agree with that?

A. No, it's pretty similar. There might be a different emphasis, but it's pretty similar. It's the same thing.

Q. And what about the fact that he said playing Rhode Island on an annual basis may help them.

A. I'm sure it will help them.

Q. Is Rhode Island similar to you?

A. Yeah, they are very similar. I'm sure it will help them a bunch.

Q. Refresh my memory. Where did the Rhode Island coach come from?

A. He used to be the head coach at Georgia Southern. He was there for six or seven years.

Q. So is he running the exact same thing?

A. They run their version of it. It's not exactly the same, but it's similar.

Q. So it should help them.

A. I'm sure it will help them.

Q. And now you have to convince these guys that UMass can beat them.

A. I don't have to convince these guys. They aren't dumb. They know. They can watch the film and see. If I'm not mistaken their defense last year gave up one touchdown the first seven games.

Q. It didn't look like they gave up a lot of yards in the first game.

A. They are pretty good. They fly to the ball and they play hard. It's impressive to watch them. They really play hard.

Q. I think you said last year that after the game film was reviewed that you picked an MVP for the offense, defense and special teams. Are you still doing that?

A. Yes

Q. Can you tell us who was selected this week?

A. David Mahoney on defense, Adam Ballard on offense and Byron McCoy on special teams.

Q. That's interesting because there were a couple of people in the press box surprised when they announced on the scoreboard that the player of the game was Ballard and Hampton ran for about 55 more yards. Why wouldn't Hampton be the offensive player for you guys?

A. I don't know. You watched the game.

Q. He missed three receivers, but he ran pretty well.

A. He had a fumble. Certainly he helped us win the game. The good thing about Brian is that I think Brian can play better and he would be the first to tell you that. Don't doubt for a minute that he didn't help us win the game. He had a huge part in us winning the game. He controlled the ball for the last five minutes. It never came out of his hand. He did some good things. There are some things he can improve on just like everybody else, but he did some good things. Like I said the good thing about his mistakes are that most of them are correctable.

Q. Why didn't you give the ball to Ballard one more time so he could go over 100 yards? He was the first Navy player to rush for over 100 yards in his first three career starts and you prevented him from making it four.

A. Because our Sports Information Director is sorry and he didn't tell us. If he would have called down and told me that I would have given him the ball.

Q. He was down on the field by then so he could have told you.

SS. I didn't dare say anything to you.

A. If he would have told me we would have forgot about winning the game and we would have just tried to make sure Ballard got the ball so he could have gotten his 100 yards. That would have been our No. 1 priority.

SS. I did that with Reggie at the Poinsettia Bowl when he got to five touchdowns and he told me I screwed up his play calling trying to get Reggie his sixth touchdown so I will never do that again.

A. I don't think Adam worried about that. I wasn't worried about it.


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