Paul Johnson Monday Comments

Navy head coach Paul Johnson addressed the media on Monday about the upcoming game with Army.

In Attendance: Bill Wagner (Annapolis Capital), Gary Lambrecht (Baltimore Sun), Christian Swezey (Washington Post), Bob Socci (Navy Radio), Comcast SportsNet, WJZ-TV (Baltimore)

The TV portion was not recorded

Lambrecht: Is everybody refreshed?

Johnson: I think so. We finished up last week pretty good. We practiced on Thursday and Friday morning. I thought everybody bounced around pretty good out here today. The enthusiasm was pretty good, but you would hope it would be on the Monday of Army week.

Wagner: It's the biggest game of the year and you are relatively healthy, minus Brian Hampton of course.

Johnson: We've lost a lot of guys through the course of the year. We've lost Brian, we've lost DuJuan Price, we've lost Josh Meek, we've lost several starters, but that's football. We have some other guys that are banged up, but you would probably have to tie some of these guys down to keep them from playing this week.

Wagner: How about Ballard?

Johnson: He practiced today. He will be fine.

Lambrecht: Has Army been two different teams this year in the sense that there is the team that was 3-3 and was moving the ball and making plays and then there is the other team that just can't hold on to the ball.

Johnson: They have had some misfortune and they have had some really bad breaks. The Air Force game was an anomaly and it was hard to bounce back from that, especially when you have to bounce back in South Bend. When they don't turn the ball over they've been very competitive with everybody and I fully expect to get their best shot. We are preparing for their very best. I can promise you that.

Wager: Do you have any thoughts on why you guys have been so dominant against them during your tenure? You've outscored them by an unbelievable margin.

Johnson: We've probably just been fortunate and lucky. We've gotten some breaks. We've just made plays. The kids have made some plays.

Wagner: Can you talk about your record against them? A lot of what a head coach at a Service Academy is judged on is how he does in these games.

Johnson: We are 0-0 against Army this year. We haven't played them yet. We still have to play the game. I have the utmost respect for Coach Ross and their staff and I know they are going to be ready to play. We have to be ready.

Wagner: Do you think you have a psychological advantage over them? Do you think they will be thinking about the past?

Johnson: I don't have any idea what they are thinking. I know what we are thinking. We are thinking that we are going to be in for a 60-minute game against a team that is going to play as hard as they can play. We are trying to get ourselves ready to play as hard a 60-minutes as we can play.

Wagner: Does it make you feel good that you have a high number of seniors and they have a low number? I think Coach Ross told me he has only 14 or 15 seniors that are playing much.

Johnson: I guess, but last year we only had 15 and it didn't seem to slow us down any so I don't know if that matters. This senior class has accomplished a lot. They have a chance to go down in the annals of Navy football. They can become the first class to go undefeated against the other two Academies. I would hope that we will be highly motivated. I'm sure that Army will be.

Wagner: In terms of personnel is there anybody on Army's team that impresses you on offense or defense?

Johnson: Yeah, they have a lot of good players. They are young, but they are talented. Offensively, their offensive line has a couple of guys that have played a lot of football. Defensively, their defensive front has been pretty good. It seems like those two defensive ends have been playing since I've been here. The linebackers are the same as last year and they are good players. They have a couple of new guys in the secondary, but for the most part their defensive front is the same guys we've played the last couple of years.

Wagner: Do you just throw on the Texas A&M tape and show that to the team as proof that they can beat you?

Johnson: We know who we are. We know that we just can't show up. We know. We can put on any tape and see they can beat us. We can put on the Baylor tape. They beat them. Don't be mislead by that Air Force score, now. Air Force got some breaks. They scored 30 points and gained about 60 yards. It wasn't like they were just beating them into submission. Early in the game Army drove the ball right down Air Force's throat. All we have to do is look at the tape from last year's game. They were ahead of us for the most part of the first half.

Lambrecht: How is Kaipo? Any difference now that you are heading into the big part of your season with Army and the bowl game?

Johnson: He's the same. He's the same every week. He doesn't change.

Swezey: Any thoughts on how Army will line-up defensively against you?

Johnson: They will be multiple. They have been every year. They will play two or three different fronts. The good thing about what we do is we practice against everything every week anyway. The last two or three years they have played about every front against us. Nothing would surprise me.


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