Friday, December 07, 2007

Where We Go From Here: The Players

There are a lot of people out there who have been very cynical in regards to what Navy can do without Coach Johnson. This may be true, it may not be true, but I saw a quote from Athletic Dirtector Chet Gladchuck that I want to leave you with for the next week.

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.



USNA Ancient said...

Ever onward, ever upward. It had to probably happen sometime. I for one would like to thank Coach Johnson for what he has done for the Academy -although in all honesty the only people happy about this are Georgia Tech, Army and Air Force ... in some respects I will wager Coach Johnson has mixed emotions ... as he said, "it is the right time"-

All I can add to that is THANK YOU, COACH, FOR A HELL OF A RUN. SMOOTH SAILING ... oh, and if your ever unhappy with this choice, PLEASE COME BACK !

nonnobis1 said...

Ryan Hamilton gave the guys a good pep talk after the coaches left, and echoed many of Chet's sentiments...along with an admonition for those discouraged fellows who might be headed straight for their computers to look for playing opportunities elsewhere. Ryan is an excellent mentor, and speaks from an interesting perspective, having played for four different LB coaches during his Navy days.

Gary said...

Now more than ever we need to stay positive (well at least strong as Navy fans).
To me this is what we have Chet around for and I am sure that he has been working on a plan and will be ensuring this does not mean the end of our success.
We must remember that the success we have enjoyed went hand in hand with PJ and also Chet (never underestimate the power that CG has).
Now if the admin (supe) is any reason for the departure then we will really need to hope that changes.
I only hope the players can gear up for Utah as a show of their support and thanks as opposed to the disappointment of losing PJ.

Good luck & Godspeed Coach and BTW @ GA Tech you can still BEAT (KILL) Army for a few years till they drop from your schedule.

UMass74 said...

Condolences from the Minutemen nation about losing your coach.

As long as Navy keeps the option and recruits some athletes to run it, Navy football should be OK.

jholla said...