Midshipmen football fans are well aware of the
"No, when I first thought about it, I thought of it more as a nightmare, not a dream. I thought that was not something I was comfortable with committing to," said Gladchuk.
Although he was not interested at first, Gladchuk did some research and spoke to his colleagues and even players to see if there would be support for such an ambitious undertaking.
"Over a period of time [after getting] the buy-in from the staff; and the buy-in from the athletes; and the home-and-home commitment; the television that comes with that game both home and away; [as well as] the finances that worked in our favor…it just made sense in the final analysis."
It's been reported that Navy will receive $1.4 million to travel to
"It's the type of situation that early in the year…it can work…you can be competitive. You've seen it this past season. There have been a lot of David and Goliath type games [that Goliath has not won]...and it's something to shoot for…it's something to be enthused about," said Gladchuk.
"I think you find more often than not that [in] early season games you [can] see some competitive match-ups with these types of situations. And I'd be extremely surprised if we didn't go in there with a positive mindset and a sense of confidence…and a feeling that we are Navy and we are there to play hard and to get the job done," continued Gladchuk.
Another integral part of the deal was
"That's a game that is going to be highly desirable in this area. We've already been thinking about it, and we have already met with a couple of venues. We've met with the FED-EX people and we have met with the Ravens. Both of those venues are extremely interested in that game and it's probably something that we could lockdown in the shorter term."
When contacted regarding the possibility of
Regardless of where the game takes place, Gladchuk is convinced that it will be "a great experience for everyone."
And while fans are starting to get onboard with the idea of playing
There is some speculation that
Talking to Gladchuk about
"It's frustrating for [Defensive Coordinator] Buddy [Green]…it's frustrating for [Head Coach] Kenny Niumatalolo…it's frustrating for the athletic director…it's frustrating for the fans. But this is not a game of anything other than [a]bottom line. And we have got to figure it out and get it done upstairs, and I can tell you right now that they are working on it diligently today. And I would expect come next Saturday that we would see some corrections," said Gladchuk.
Even though Navy gave up 36 points a game last season, Gladchuk moved quickly to retain Green as the Mids' defensive coordinator after Paul Johnson took the Georgia Tech job. Injuries to several key players undoubtedly contributed to the defense's struggles last season; but against
"Last year we were young and now we have grown up and they got to figure it out. That's all there is to it. You know, whatever it takes," said Gladchuk.
But while Gladchuk said it's "a little discouraging at this point that we are not a little bit stronger on defense," he still has faith in Green.
"Buddy is a very good football coach. And he proved that he was a very good football coach over the years. And if you go back to two or three years ago…we had as good of a defense at Navy in as long as I have been here," Gladchuk remarked.
"You know, the most important thing is everyone we have on that staff is an outstanding football coach. There are no rookies. They are all seasoned veterans and they all understand exactly what it takes. They come from winning backgrounds and we have a proven track record here of success. No one is anything but optimistic that come Saturday it will be a better case scenario. So we will see how it goes."
Even though Navy failed to beat a very good
"That first year was tough. I remember it vividly. We won our first game against SMU and then it was pretty painful for quite some time until we finished the year with a victory. There are growing pains that come with that. It's not like you flip the switch and all of a sudden it works."
According to Gladchuk, recruiting the right players for the system is critical.
"You've seen what has happened here at Navy. I remember vividly that you can set it up, and you can run the perfect play, but if you haven't got the speed to make the corners or you haven't got the guy on the inside to break a couple of tackles – best laid plans fall short. So, they are just going to need some time to put it all together. There's no such thing as being half-in or half-out of that offense."
Gladchuk admits that although the
"It is in our best interest and everyone's best interest…Army, Navy and Air Force, when the academies are succeeding. To see Army back on track would be a huge plus for all of us."
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