October 8, 2009

Black Knights looking to fix mistakes


Army currently holds a 2-3 record and have let a couple of opportunities slip to their fingertips already this season could easily be 4-1, but then again, they aren't.. Considering the strength of their schedule going forward, whatever ills that currently exist, especially their 2nd half performances in almost every game this season, they are at the top of the coaches "To Do Lists".

Each week, as was the case with the Tulane game, players explain that most of these costly errors are the product of mental mistakes, and that if they can just cut down on these mental mistakes then everything will be just fine.

We want to keep doing what we are doing, but at the same time the last two weeks have been hard for us, because we are coming off two loses …. especially this past weekend's heartbreaker," shares an optimistic Jason Johnson.

"There's a lot of good things and bad things that came out of the game. On Sunday we came in and watch the film, and were able to analyze what we did wrong and how we can improve this week. We learned a lot from the game against Tulane, and we looking into Vanderbilt, we are looking to play as hard we can as always, have a good time and try to get the "W".

On the other side of the ball, defensive tackle Mike Gann echoed similar thoughts as his defensive teammate when it comes to looking in the mirror and preparing for Vanderbilt.

"I took a look at the film on Sunday, took notes, know what I have to do as player and do the best I can this week at practice," Gann stated earlier. "I also want to set an example for other players to follow to make sure that I am doing my part. This is a defense and offense as I said before that is about precision and there's definitely things that I could do better and if may if other players see that, they will start replicating that.

"We talked about it as team without the coaches on Sunday and we talked about what we needed to do to go further in the season. I'm excited … coming off a game that we were expected to win, but I'm assuming we are going to be underdogs this game, but I like games like this. Because it will tell you how good you really are and I'm going to be going up against some pretty good talent in the Vanderbilt players coming out of the SEC…. I enjoy competing in games like this."

The Black Knights must show drastic improvement on Saturday against SEC opponent, Vanderbilt, where they execute on both defense and offense, minimize blown plays, missed tackles, and untimely penalties. Basically, they will have to play a game that is a close to mistake free football as possible. This team has the potential this Saturday to take a big step and get back on track.

"We are constantly telling ourselves that this is Division I football, look where we are, we are having a great time, there's no place else we would like to be and we are always constantly telling ourselves that," Johnson says. "We are all fired up, but the past couple of weeks it hasn't been clicking. But that football … we are going to keep plugging away at it, doing our techniques, run our plays and one of them is going to break and we will be successful."

For Johnson and his teammates upfront, they will have some much needed assistance, as left guard Fritz Bentler returns to the lineup against Vandy. "Fritz has been working real hard on this recovery and I pretty impressed with how fast that he has recovered," declares Johnson. "He's a fantastic player, great athlete, hard work and if he starts, he starts, but if not … it's great depth for our team and he be playing though."

For Gann and his teammates, they realize that it is just a matter of time before their efforts and hard work will being to reap dividends, but they will have to continue to progress in every phase of their game in order to start turning the corner.

"We all played pretty hard and I pride myself in playing hard," says the 275 pound Gann. "But there's some technique things I could do better. I might be graded out on 70% where I need to be, but it's that other 30% that could matter and you don't know which play it's going to be. There is definitely some plays out there if I might have been in the right spot, I might have been able to have effected the outcome of the game … I don't want to have any question marks, I want to be there."

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