Getting late. So, I’ll summarize coach Jeff Monken’s post-game press conference. May post excerpts later.
Coach Monken said in his opening statement, “I’m glad we don’t have to play this week. I don’t think we are prepared yet in terms of the things we have in schematically. There’s a lot more that we want to install. I don’t think we are where we need to be in terms of fundamentals and execution. But, we’ve come a long way. I think our guys put in a great effort during the spring and worked hard.”
Monken said he’s, “not ready to anoint anybody or any part of our team that I feel like we have a strength or that’s something we can count on. We need improvements in every area including coaching.” Monken blamed himself for poor special teams play in Saturday’s spring game. He oversees the unit, which he said, “had countless mistakes, misalignments and blocking the wrong guy,” Saturday.
Monken sees sophomore A.J. Schurr and junior Angel Santiago battling to be starting quarterback in the fall. When asked about an incoming freshman challenging Schurr and Angel Santiago, Monken said, “I don’t know enough about the freshmen to say and it would be pure speculation. We’ll see when they get here. That’s always the big question on all of the freshmen, who is going to play. Who is going to be the best players in the class? And, I don’t know. I’m hoping that one of the freshmen quarterbacks will at least be able to be a travel guy and maybe be a guy, who can take some snaps if something happened with the other two.”
Not sure where freshman quarterback Matt Kaufmann, who completed 13 of 17 passes for 206 yards in the Black & Gold game Saturday, stands. Monken said, “Matt had a really good game Saturday. There are just some things that the other two (Schurr and Santiago) are a lot better at and stand out. He’s a smart kid and he plays with a lot of effort, understands the offense. He’s a coach’s kid and I really like having guys like him around. He’s a good team player and we’ll see how it all shakes out in the fall.”
Monken mentioned fullbacks Larry Dixon and Matt Giachinta, running back Tony Giovannelli, quarterbacks A.J. Schurr and Angel Santiago, quarterback-turned wide receiver Kelvin White, wide receiver Xavier Moss, center Matt Hugenberg, tackle Justin Gilbert, defensive ends Joe Drummond and Mike Ugenyi, nose guard Richard Glover, cornerbacks Josh Jenkins and Chris Carnegie, safeties Geoff Bacon and Hayden Pierce as players who impressed.
Monken said he was disappointed that injured players Terry Baggett (running back), Raymond Maples (running back) and center Lofi Tamasese didn’t get a chance to practice this spring and that linebacker Dalton Mendenhall and cornerback Chris Carnegie received limited reps due to injury.
Monken said junior linebacker Julian Holloway, who didn’t participate in spring practice, is still rehabbing an injury (not sure if it’s the leg injury suffered last season) and there’s a possibility that he might need surgery.
Monken said sophomore tackle Drew Hennessy, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, has gained 13 pounds since he and his staff have arrived at Army in January. He told me after the press conference, he’d like his offensive tackles to be 275-280 pounds come fall and that’s still undersized.
Monken said he and offensive coordinator Brent Davis were impressed with the way junior center Todd McDonald jumped into action after missing a good portion of spring injured. “He was able to step right in there and he knew all of the calls and all of the assignments,” Monken said.
When Monken was asked about Matt Hugenberg’s move to center, a question about the sophomore’s listed weight of 285 pounds drew this response, “He must have been carrying some sand bags on him when they weighed him because I don’t know if we have anyone who weighs 285.”
Monken said a leadership council was voted on by the team and it will represent players from every class level. He didn’t want to released names of the council members yet. I’ve heard the council will consist of four seniors including captains Geoff Bacon and Larry Dixon, three juniors, three sophomores, two freshmen and a wild card selection.
Monken said he was awaiting the results on MRIs for junior RB Stephen Fraser and freshman WR Xavier Moss, both who injured in the spring game Saturday. Fraser suffered a right leg injury. Moss appeared to have hit his arm when he was hit returning a kickoff. But, the injury could be to his shoulder.