Tuesday’s takeaways/notebook: Gavin King newest member of Black Knights

Army’s newest teammate broke down the huddle at the end of Tuesday’s practice.

Gavin King, 10, of Ossining, signed his pledge of commitment to the Black Knights Tuesday. Army adopted King through Team Impact, a non-profit organization that connects children with serious or chronic illnesses with college teams.

“Our guys are really excited just to be able to share this brotherhood with somebody like that, that we hope will have a great experience being around these guys and learning from them,” Monken said. “We just talked our players again about the opportunity to serve others and to be a mentor, friend. I think it will be really special for our team and hopefully that young man and his family.”

When asked his thoughts about Army’s 21 pass attempts in 34-14 season-opening loss at Duke, Monken said, “Any time we had to do that, we have lost. That’s a clear indication there when you throw it that many times at Army running this offense and what we hang on our heads on is running the ball, if you got to throw it that many times, it’s usually not good. The other night, a lot of that is the result of us having to throw the ball. We had to do that to try and get some quick strikes and get back in the game. We hit some of them but we didn’t hit all of them. If we are going to be successful, we have to run the ball. We didn’t run the ball successfully enough on Friday night for an Army team to feel like we played well offensively.”

Did review of the Duke game film result in any immediate personnel changes for Army in its home opener against Liberty? “ I don’t think there are major personnel changes that need to be made. There are guys that maybe didn’t start or play as many snaps as they anticipated or we thought they would get, maybe we will try to work into the rotation a little bit more. There’s some positions where there is some healthy competition going on and that’s really good for our team and it’s good for the guys at those position.

“Nothing major. We played a good bunch of athletes at Duke. A good team and a very well-coached football team. A veteran team. If you go up and down their roster, they have a lot of guys coming back from last year. It wasn’t like we smoked them last year. It took everything that we could to just win the game. The guys that they got are pretty good players and they executed pretty well. That makes it difficult to beat a team. Our guys, I thought played hard, gave effort. It wasn’t a matter of trying hard. We just got beat in some one-on-one battles that were key in the football game and it cost us.”

Sophomore running back Fred Cooper could miss his second straight game with turf toe. “He’s done just drill work,” Monken said. “Nothing against an opponent whether it be scouts or skelly. I don’t anticipate this week.”

Monken said safety James Gibson’s move to beat Duke’s tackle for a strip sack Friday was taken from a pass-rushing circuit in practice. Army sacked Duke quarterback Daniel Jones only once in the opener.

“It’s great to see the drill transition onto the field,” Monken said. “That was positive. There just wasn’t enough of it.”

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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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