You take adversity and you capitalize on it. What a tremendous statement it will make when we take the field in that bowl game, when we show up in force in San Diego as a program that is unified, a program that is focused, a program that is dedicated to winning while properly representing the Naval Academy and the fleet. The coach didn’t beat Pittsburgh, the coach didn’t beat Air Force, the coach didn’t beat Notre Dame, the coach didn’t beat Army. The players in that locker room are the true victors. If they can sustain their mental toughness as they have exhibited on a number of occasions through this period, it will be nothing but full speed ahead.
I refuse to look at this situation as the bitter end of a five year run. Yes, such an outcome is possible, perhaps even likely with the leaving of Paul Johnson, but I still refuse to speculate on the fall of this very much rebuilt program. And as naive and idealistic as that may sound, It's what Coach Johnson would want us to know. It wasn't but a week ago that Coach Johnson affirmed this notion, saying "I didn't carry the ball once" in reference to what he's accomplished in his run at Navy. Chalk it up to coach speak, fine, but I have to admit that I've always had a problem with the fans who attributed everything to Johnson and never give the players their just do. You have to have faith in these guys and faith in the assistants who will stay. You have to have faith that Coach Johnson imparted to them the virtues of success, and that, even if only for a short time, such success can carry on even after his departure. If you can't have faith in that, I don't even know why you would take the trouble to call yourself a fan.