Usually the off-season does not bring a lot of chatter between bitter rivals, Army and Navy. After all, the players at both schools have plenty of other distractions, including an abundance of military commitments, to keep them focused.
It's safe to say this has not been your typical off-season.
First there was the back-and-forth between
Of course everybody knows how that turned out, and for a few weeks there was relative calm once again between the two historically civil rivals. Perhaps Army defensive coordinator John Mumford was looking to stir things up once again between the two service academy football teams when he said the following this week to the Times Herald-Record: "Collin Mooney is probably better than any Navy fullback we've ever faced. Not to compliment Navy but that's a compliment to Collin."
Considering former Navy fullbacks Kyle Eckel and Adam Ballard rushed for over 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns in their careers, it was a bold statement for Mumford to make about Mooney, who has only carried the ball six times for the Cadets. So what did Army's second-year head coach Stan Brock make of his defensive coordinator's assessment?
"I think that Coach Mumford has been around here long enough and he's seen enough things as the defensive coordinator. If that's the way he feels, I'm ok with it," said Brock. "I wouldn't be able to say it only because I haven't studied those fullbacks like he has. Remember I was the offensive line coach…I really didn't study them. I just watched them play the game and I know that they are both very, very good fullbacks."
As for whether or not Mumford's comments were meant to be disrespectful to the Navy players, Brock didn't see it that way.
"I think that's very complimentary to Collin Mooney because I think everybody knows how great those fullbacks have been at the
"I don't think there is any disrespect to anybody," continued Brock. "I think that if you want to paint it that picture, you can paint it anyway you want. I think that he was stating that Navy has had some great fullbacks in the past and that Collin Mooney would be in the same category as those guys – I think that it is very complimentary."
Former Navy fullback Adam Ballard recently responded to Mumford's comments, saying to the Times Herald-Record that he does not think Army's defensive coordinator "should have dragged [Mooney] into this. It kind of sets him up for failure…This puts [Mooney] in a tough spot."
Did Brock agree with Ballard? Could Mumford's comments put more pressure on the first-year starter for Army?
"No, pressure – if you've never played this game – the only pressure anybody has is to play to the best of their ability. That's the only pressure anybody has," said Brock.
Although sources have confirmed to GoMids.com that Mumford's comments have made the rounds in
"I've played a long time and those locker room things last for about two seconds. You still have to go out and put your hand in the dirt and play football."
GoMids.com's David Ausiello also spoke to Army head coach Stan Brock about his depth chart, the choice to not hire a prototypical option coach, naming a starting quarterback, and perhaps, most importantly, his recovery from prostate cancer. Look for David's article in the coming days. In the meantime, if you have a comment for David, send him an email.