Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Week Four Position Grades

Quarterback: A-

Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada was perfect throwing the football until late in the second quarter, when he threw a very, very bad pass that was picked off before the half. Other than that the guy played a great game, and made some nifty runs that put Navy in manageable third down situations. Jarod Bryant was lights out in relief, leading the offense to a fourth quarter comeback by catching a touchdown pass, running for a two point conversation, and making an incredible run to put Navy in field goal range for Bullen's game-winner. Despite whatever controversy that may or may not exist on the Internet, this is the biggest strength of the team right now.

Fullbacks: B

Duke did a good job on the interior line getting to the fullback and tackling at the point of contact, but even with Vince Oghobaase and the other big bodies up front Ballard and Kettani were still able to combine for nearly 100 yards down the pipe.

Slotbacks: B

We didn't see a whole lot from the slotbacks on Saturday, with Reggie Campbell leading the bunch with 47 yards on only four carries. Shun White went out early with an ankle injury, while Zerb Singleton did it all including hauling in three passes for 48 yards. Bobby Doyle did a good job coming in late and threw a absolutely perfect ball to Jarod Bryant for the game tying touchdown. Blocking was a little sketchy at times.

Wide Receivers: A-

OJ Washington, Greg Sudderth, and Tyree Barnes all got into the action on Saturday, with Washington catching a touchdown pass as well as catching a two-point conversation. Sudderth did an excellent job hauling in his touchdown, while Barnes had a nice catch coming back to the ball and nearly taking it to the endzone. If nothing else, these guys proved that they have athletic ability and sure hands, and that they're more than capable of making plays in the offense.

Offensive Line: B+

I thought the offensive line struggled early in the run game, although played well in pass protection and helped give Kaipo all kinds of time in the first half. As the defensive line started to wear down the offensive line came alive, and did a good job getting guys to the ground at the point of attack and on the second level.

Defensive Line: C-

Containment is still a hug issue, as is tackling, in particular around the goal line. Nate Frazier was the lone bright spot on this unit during the game, recording six tackles including a key sack in which he showed great quickness on a stunt. The defensive ends need to show better presence and "feel" for where the quarterback is and cannot lose outside containment on third and long situations.

Linebackers: C+

We've seen a lot more effort out of the linebackers over the past two weeks, and were starting to see senior leaders Irv Spencer and Matt Wimsatt step up. This unit still doesn't have the big play ability that last year's group did, and isn't as instinctive against the run. It will be interesting to see how they match up against Air Force, which doesn't have the personnel advantage that most of Navy's opponent's have.

Secondary: D+

Yikes. Ok, let me start with the positives. Ketric Buffin continues to play very well, intercepting his fourth pass of the year on Saturday which tied him for second in the nation in picks. Blake Carter, who had been conspicuously absent from the past three games, made some good plays in space and proved to be a good tackler. The bad news however is that we gave up 428 yards through the air to Duke, which, if your keeping track, is 133 more yards than we gave up to Brady Quinn and Notre Dame last season. What's really scary is that 235 of those yards came to Eron Riley, who neither Darius Terry nor Greg Thrasher could really control. I give Peter Vaas credit for calling a good game and Riley credit for making some great catches, but you have to be concerned with our ability to contain the long pass play, especially with a freshmen free safety who seemed out of position at times against Duke.

Special Teams: A+

Joey freaking Bullen. Need I say more?


Huck Finn said...

Adam, thanks for the great writing! I'm able to keep up with Navy football and feel like I know the team without even having an opportunity to watch them play this season. I'm living my 2007 Navy Football season vicariously through your posts.

How 'bout Joey Freakin' Bullen!!

football dad dan said...

So how can you give out grades for the game, ... when you admitted that you weren't even there to watch the final 20+ minutes of the contest??? At least you could have "qualified" them?
That being said ... Special teams gets an "A+" when we miss a chip-shot FG (in the 1st half when Navy couldn't afford to NOT match Duke "score-4-score") ... and we give up a long kickoff return to set up a short TD scoring drive in that crucial juncture of the 2nd quarter??? How 'bout WTF???
Navy spent almost the first 3 quarters in "3rd and long" situations because we couldn't get the Duke nose tackle effectively blocked to establish the FB dive, ... and Kaipo just wasn't clicking on the triple option ... plus he takes a couple of bad sacks, ... and the QB's (that you saw anyway) get an "A" ... and the O-Line a "B+"???
The pathetic tackling alone should warrant that everyone on the Navy Defense get nothing better than a grade of "D" for the game. The improved effort in the 4th quarter (where Duke only possessed the ball a total of 5 minutes bye the way) keeps this grade from being an "F".
This veteren Navy Fan's opinion.


Adam said...

Actually, I did watch the entire game thanks to the CSTV archive, including the fourth quarter. As for the grades, think of it as curving. I'm judging the team within the perspective of this season and what I think the team is capable of. Obviously the defense would not receive a passing grade in any other year, but wasn't it you yourself who said the defense would hold us back from 7+ wins?

Special teams is a shout out to Joey Bullen, nothing more, nothing less. Like the entire team, they need to get better.

Appreciate the comments guys.

football dad dan said...

The only thing I saw in print from you was calling yourself an "idiot" for walking out on the game in the third quarter ... nothing about rewatching it on a recorded CSTV broadcast ... so I'll retract my initial diatrab.

Sorry, ... but not buying the "grade on a curve" stuff (akin to a previous fan not buying the credibility of your ranking AFA in the "top 25") ---> It's certainly your opinion, ... but it leaves the door wide open for critical comments. "A+" equates to perfection, ... and the special teams play was far from that ---> If you want to give a "shout out" to Bullen, ... then assign a realistic grade to the unit, ... and give the appropriate kudos to whomever. The credibilty of "Pitch Right" is based on honest/objective/knowledgable info and commentary being put forth by you ... otherwise we would have to deal with that garbage those ESPN/SI "experts" put forth. I've been a huge fan of Navy football long before you were born even, ... so don't need the "rah rah inflation" of facts to maintain an interest.
Pretty sure I said (long before)that because of the overall inexperiance/uncertainty of play of the defense, ... we should look @ winning enough to get to the Bowl Game as a measure of success for the season. Now how that is anyway related to your response on what grade I honestly believed the defense earned vs Duke, ... is confusing to me.

Adam said...

My point was to say that I've developed these grades on expectations. Obviously the defensive expectations I had coming into the season were unrealistic, while the ones you had were much more accurate. If we don't expect the defense to be lights out, shouldn't the grades match up accordingly? I believe so, so that’s why the grades are as they appear.

Anyways, that's just how I look at it. You’ve obviously seen a great deal more of football over the course of your lifetime than I have so I can more than respect, if not accept, your input. That’s why I really appreciate all the comments and feedback that I’ve been getting.

Also, it's not my intention to throw individual players under the bus. I'm not trying to "sugar coat" things but I'm not here to trash anyone either. It's my opinion that fans are naturally critical of their teams, so I try to keep a positive but realistic attitude around here. That's just the lens at which I view things through.

football dad dan said...

"Roger All" ... I can understand your logic, ... and I certainly do appreciate you making the time & effort of putting this Navy website (and commentary) out on the airways. Keep up the good work, ... and keep "slugging it out" with we opinionated fans. Nirvana will be achieved for Navy Football when we can finally overcome the "Gods", the refs, ... and "Touchdown Jesus" to get that long overdue "W" over the Irish!

BEAT Air Force!!! ---> Positive thinking ... It's gotta be there.

Gary said...

Regardless of what all is said and debated about the team-its grades-the QB`s etc..........
I and we should all be grateful that Adam has this great voicebox where we all can agree to disagree.
So for me?
QB Situation? Open for debate.
Grades?Always open for debate.
AP Rankings?Important "To Me"-Thats just me.
PJ`s coaching?open for debates but never lost is the fact that he is our savior along with Chet G!
The Defense? ughhhhhhhh dont ask.


So despite our rights to agree-disagree I still share the true belief and that is for Navy to JUST WIN!
Regardless of what we write and debate-
Besides if we all agreed on every point-how boring would that be?