Transcript of Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo's comments
Oct. 6, 2009
Bill Wagner (Annapolis Capital): First and foremost, what is the status of Alexander Teich?
Niumatalolo: He has a sprained ankle and he’s day-to-day. He didn’t look very good today. He is still in a boot and I would say he is doubtful for this week.
Wagner: Who does that elevate to number two behind Vince Murray? Campbell or Eddington?
Wagner: What has happened to Campbell? He was number two at one point in the spring.
Niumatalolo: Murray and Eddington have done a few more things. We aren’t afraid to play Kevin and he could be in there on Saturday. We feel like Jordan has some potential and we will see what he can do this week.
Camille Powell (Washington Post): Why did you move Jordan to fullback in the first place?
Niumatalolo: His size and speed. We were in pretty good shape at linebacker so we thought he might be able to come over to offense and help us. I wish we had made the move earlier.
Wagner: He’s always questionable isn’t he?
Niumatalolo: He’s in a boot as well and he didn’t look very good today either. We will have to see how it goes, but some other guys are going to have to step up if he can’t go. We are banged up right now. The first four games were physical games and the game Saturday was very physical. We are banged up, but so are a lot of other people in the country. At this point in the season nobody is going to be 100 percent health wise. We just have to find a way to fight through it.
Wagner: What can you tell us about Rice? Last year they won nine games and won the Texas Bowl and suddenly this year they are winless and they have had some lopsided losses.
Niumatalolo: They have played some good teams. You look at them and they have a lot of the same guys playing. They have good players. We know the kids they are playing with, because we tried to recruit those same kids. They are good football players with good grades. We tried to recruit a lot of their players, but we couldn’t get them. We know they have good players.
Mike Fratto (Washington Times): Do you have to make sure your guys move on off the high of beating Air Force?
Niumatalolo: That game is over with. As great as that game was, we have to move on. That’s our biggest concern right now. We have to get ready for Rice. This is a huge game for us. Every game is huge. When you lose you don’t want to dwell on it and when you win you don’t want to dwell on it.
Kevin Dunleavy (Washington Examiner): Have you guys undergone an identity change and if so are you comfortable with that?
Niumatalolo: Identity change?
Dunleavy: As far as being more a defensive team and having to be a little more conservative on offense.
Niumatalolo: That was a pretty good defense we played on Saturday. We are who we are. We aren’t changing. We are pretty good on defense. I wouldn’t call it an identity change. We are still running the same stuff.
Dunleavy: But the rushing game is just not there like it has been in the past.
Niumatalolo: We have a long season still to go. I’m not worried about it (the offense). We will be OK.
Wagner: Usually about this time of the year, about five games in, you guys start to click a little bit. It still seems to be a struggle at times.
Niumatalolo: We will be fine. I’m not worried about it. We have played some really good people like Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Louisiana Tech and Air Force. Air Force was really good on defense. For people to say that stuff is a discredit to Air Force and how good they are on defense. We will be fine on offense.
Wagner: I’m guessing that Buckley was the MVP for the special teams?
Wagner: How about offense and defense?
Niumatalolo: Defensively we had three guys because we played phenomenal on defense. When you play that well it is more than one guy. Pospisil, Jabaree and Wyatt Middleton were all named defensive MVP and special mention went to Nechak and Haberer. Greg Jones was the offensive MVP and we did not have any special mentions on offense. Special mention for the special teams was Kyle Delahooke, Greg Zingler, Brian Ackerman, Mason Graham and Wyatt Middleton. I felt like we dominated the game in two phases (defense and special teams). We were phenomenal on defense and special teams.
Wagner: After reviewing then film do you think Haberer should have been called for a late hit?
Niumatalolo: I didn’t need to watch it on film. I saw it live. They let so much other stuff go during the game and it kind of got out of hand.
Wagner: So after reviewing the film you saw some other late hits?
Niumatalolo: Oh yeah. There were late hits all over the place. It’s over with. Fortunately we won and that call didn’t come back to get us. It was a great testament to our defense to overcome the call. I think they could have given them the ball at the one-yard line and the defense was not going to let them score.