Tuesday Takeaways (Army-Navy week)

The Tuesday before the Army-Navy game started with news that Jeff Monken was one of eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.

Monken kidded at his weekly press conference that the votes by the Football Writers Association of America were miscounted. The four-year Army coach’s competition is Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley; Scott Frost (former Central Florida coach), Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin,  Alabama-Birmingham’s Bill Clark and Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford

Monken has led Army to back-to-back eight-win seasons, the most total victories over a two-year span since 1984 (8-3-1) and 1985 (9-3). Read Monken’s thoughts on honor here.

During the Army-Navy media luncheon last week, Monken was asked where the Commander in Chief’s trophy would go if the Black Knights were able to defeat the Midshipmen Saturday. Monken mentioned the trophy would be put in Washington Hall, West Point’s mess hall. There’s a case waiting with a photo of the CIC trophy.

“When Navy’s had it, it’s been in Bancroft Hall,” said Monken, a former Navy assistant. “There’s some steps that go up and it says “Don’t Give Up The Ship” way in the back and just to the right, there’s a trophy case there and that’s where it’s housed and during recruiting it gets brought over some recruits can get pictures taken with it but it’s there for all of the Brigade of Midshipmen just as it should be displayed at this academy, if we win it, I hope we will, when that day comes we’ll display where the Corps of Cadets can enjoy it. It’s there trophy.”

Monken on what makes the Army-Navy game, “so much fun”: “When the ball gets snapped, it’s just a fist fight for five or six seconds. They blew the whistle and then we come back and do it again and do it all afternoon. The competitive spirit of every guy out there no matter what color jersey he is wearing, is pretty incredible.”

Senior safety Rhyan England on what defeating Navy and winning the Commander in Chief’s trophy would mean: “It’s huge for our senior class but it’s also huge for this program and every class below us. Obviously, you want to leave a legacy. We know that it doesn’t dictate this team but at the same time it really will show people what this team was about and leadership that we had.”

Monken didn’t have any input on Army’s specialized “Climb to Glory” game jersey, inspired by the 10th Mountain Division but said, “I really think they are great uniforms. I know our kids are excited about wearing them. The players get excited when there’s an alternate uniform. That kind of a big deal in today’s college football. What’s fantastic to me is the way Nike, our research team, Steph Menio, Ty Seidule from our history department. They just did a great job and to be able to find a way to build a uniform that really honors a particular unit is pretty special. That to me is what is great about the uniforms. Not the way they look. I think they look great. It’s what they represent.”

Monken said there was no word if sophomore safety Jaylon McClinton will be able to play Saturday. McClinton has missed the last three games due to an academy matter.

VIDEO: Sophomore slotback Kell Walker provides an update on his ankle injury suffered at North Texas on Nov. 18 and talks about three weeks of preparation and the “Black Flag” mentality needed to beat Navy.

VIDEO: Senior wide receiver Jeff Ejekam on the anticipation for the Army-Navy game with only a few practices left

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Click here for Facebook page, devoted solely to Army coverage.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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