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2011 Navy Preview – Offense
Navy FB Alexander Teich
CollegeFootballNews.com 2011 Preview - Navy Midshipmen Offense
Preview 2011 - Offense
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What You Need To Know: Could this be the year the running game gets back to being the best in America? After leading the nation for a record-setting four straight seasons, the Midshipmen finished fourth in 2009 and sixth in 2010. That could change with even more of an emphasis on the ground game than usual with Kriss Proctor taking over at quarterback for Ricky Dobbs. The line returns four starters and the running backs are solid, led by fullback Alexander Teich, and Proctor is a veteran who knows what he’s doing. The key to the attack, again, will be hitting on the deep ball on a regular basis. Proctor isn’t Dobbs throwing the ball, and it’s asking a lot for Navy to finish ninth in the nation in passing efficiency.
Star of the offense: Senior FB Alexander Teich
Passing: Kriss Proctor
2-5, 33 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Alexander Teich
147 carries, 863 yds, 5 TD
Receiving: Gee Gee Greene
16 catches, 286 yds, 0 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior WR Brandon Turner
Unsung star on the rise: Senior QB Kriss Proctor
Best pro prospect: Teich
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Teich, 2) Proctor, 3) RB Gee Gee Greene
Strength of the offense: Running, Line
Weakness of the offense: Passing, Line Depth
State of the Unit: Ricky Dobbs didn’t have the Heisman-caliber statistical season he was expected to after a record-setting junior season, but he was still the man who made the machine go with a team-leading 967 rushing yards and 14 scores, while throwing 13 scoring passes. Now he’s gone, but the Midshipmen have more option wizards waiting in the wings. There might not be an all-around player like Dobbs, but there’s a good mix of talents.
Senior Kriss Proctor has been waiting his turn, and now he should be a threat to run for 1,000 yards and he should be tremendous at leading the attack and making the right pitch. He filled in for an injured Dobbs against Central Michigan and ran 20 times for 201 yards, and he finished the year with 304 yards and four scores, averaging 9.5 yards per dash. At 6-1 and 200 pounds, he has decent size and he’s extremely quick, but the problem is his mediocre passing ability. He’s not Dobbs when it comes to throwing the ball, but he’ll still get his chances to push the ball deep from time to time.
6-0, 191-pound sophomore Trey Miller fits the Navy mold of quarterback. He’s strong, extremely quick, and a great leader, taking his Georgia high school basketball team to the state title as a point guard. He’s not going to be much of a passer, but he’s very strong, very tough option who should be the main man next year.
Pushing for the No. 2 job will be sophomore Jarvis Cummings , a 5-11, 210-pound flier who brings more raw speed to the equation. Extremely strong and a standout sprinter, he has the raw tools to be a dangerous factor in some way. If he doesn’t end up at quarterback, he could be a whale of a slotback in the Navy system.
Watch Out For … Proctor to run wild. He has been terrific every time he has gotten his chances, and now he gets to run option and be the main man. It’ll be a shock if he’s not the leading rusher, and if he’s healthy, it’ll be a shock if he doesn’t get 1,000 yards without a problem.
Strength: Running … of course. Dobbs was a touchdown machine over the last few years, and Proctor should be able to hit double-digit rushing scores. It doesn’t matter who’s under center; the production will come in this offense.
Weakness: Passing. Dobbs was one of the better passers in the Navy system over the last several years, and he still only threw for 1,527 yards. Navy was 117tth in the nation in passing yards, but it was ninth in efficiency. The passing game might still only average around 120 yards per game, at most, but it probably won’t be as efficient.
Outlook: Proctor won’t be asked to do everything, and he’s not expected to be Dobbs, but he should be phenomenal in engineering the offense and making the right reads and the right pitch. Miller and Cummings need work, but they’re going to be good when they get their chances.
Unit Rating: 7
State of the Unit: As always, the running backs are there to be home run hitters on the outside and with a fullback to pound away to make defenses worry about the interior. The Midshipmen have tremendous speed coming back for the slotback positions and have a star of a physical fullback who should be the steady runner to work the offense around.
Senior Alexander Teich isn’t all that big at 6-0 and 217 pounds, but he’s a fast fullback who hits the hole hard and with power. He stepped into the starting role halfway through the season and finished second on the team with 863 yards and five scores, averaging 5.9 yards per game, and caught seven passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. He destroyed Notre Dame with 210 yards on 26 carries, and caught a 31-yard touchdown pass, and he ran for 157 yards and a score. When he’s the main focus of the attack, Navy doesn’t lose.
Junior Gee Gee Greene will be the lead slot back after finishing third on the team with 492 yards and five touchdowns. While he doesn’t get all that much work, running it just 72 times, he makes things happen when he has the ball in his hands averaging 6.8 yards per carry, and he finished second on the team with 18 catches for 286 yards. While he’s not all that big at 5-8 and 180 pounds, he can fly.
5-8, 167-pound sophomore Aaron Santiago is another flier who cranks out big runs whenever he gets his chance. Hurt early on, he only got 27 carries, but he averaged 7.4 yards per carry and caught 13 passes for 251 yards and three scores averaging 19.3 yards per pop. Even though he doesn’t have the size, he’s a tremendous blocker, very fast, and he’s extremely smart; he doesn’t make any mistakes.
Junior Bo Snelson is yet another smallish Navy slot back at just 5-7 and 180 pounds, but he’s a terrific all-around player who’s great when he gets his chances. Now he has to get his chances. He only ran 11 times for 91 yards and a score, and he caught a pass for seven yards, but he’s a top special teamer and he’s way too quick not to get more time. He’ll be the first man off the bench for the outside, while 5-8, 180-pound junior John Howell is yet another good option who mostly saw mop-up time last year running 15 times for 102 yards and two scores, and both of his catches went for scores rolling for a 25-yarder against Louisiana tech and making a 77-yard play against Army.
Watch Out For … Greene. QB Kriss Proctor will be option one running the ball, and Teich could be No. 2, but Greene could be used a bit more. Proctor is good at making the pitch, and Greene should get plenty of chances to make things happen on the move. He should crank out well over 500 yards.
Strength: Speedy quick backs. Navy loads up on a specific type of running back, and it’s loaded with several experienced, smart runners who can block well, considering their size, and can hit the home run. The slot backs are six yards waiting to happen.
Weakness: Backup fullback. Senior Delvin Diggs got a little bit of work in last year, running for 17 yards, but there’s a big drop-off after Teich. The offense has got to establish the fullback early on, and the pressure will be on Diggs to start to do more to keep Teich fresh.
Outlook: It’s business as usual. The Midshipmen are experienced, fast on the outside, tough on the inside, and there’s speed and quickness to burn all across the board. Everyone will crank out big runs, it’ll be musical chairs when it comes to handling the workload, and Navy should have the backs in place to finish in the top five in production. The rating is based on expected production more than talent.
Unit Rating: 8
State of the Unit: The Navy receivers have to block, take advantage of the few opportunities to make big plays, and block some more. The team’s top receiver from last year, Greg Jones, is gone after leading the team with 33 catches and five scores averaging 20.1 yards per grab, but there are some decent players ready to step up and pick up the slack. The No. 1 Navy receiver doesn’t have to e dominant; he simply has to come up with a home run every once in a while.
Junior Brandon Turner is a big 6-4, 200-pound target who can catch the ball and is a good hitter, but he hasn’t done too much for the passing game catching just four passes for 113 yards and a score despite starting in ten games. He caught a 32-yard touchdown pass against Army and came up with a 63-yard play against Louisiana Tech, and now he has to prove he can be a reliable playmaker for at least two big grabs per game. If he can average over 17 yards per catch and can finish with over 25 grabs, he’ll have done his job.
6-3, 201-pound Doug Furman caught three passes for 21 yards, and he has the size and just enough wheels to do far more. He has had problems with an ankle injury and wasn’t a big part of the passing game last year, he’s a great blocker and has the potential to be the No. 1 target with a few more opportunities. He’ll battle with 6-1, 205-pound junior Jonathan Gazelle and 6-2, 200-pound sophomore Casey Bolena for one spot, with Bolena the speedster and Gazelle the more physical option. On the other side, 6-0, 190-pound Matt Aiken will be in the hunt for time working behind Furman, but he could move to safety if needed.
Watch Out For … Turner. With his size and his excellent hands, he has the potential to be the main man to go to on deep plays, and to have him muscle his way for tough catches on key downs. He has the frame and the look, but now he has to produce.
Strength: Yards per catch. Call it the silver lining in how Navy uses its passing game, and while there were only 84 completions last year, the Midshipmen averaged 18.6 yards per play with 13 scores. But …
Weakness: Kriss Proctor. He’s not going to need to be Andrew Luck throwing the ball, but he has to be able hit on the deep pass on a regular basis. The problem is that Proctor isn’t Ricky Dobbs and isn’t likely to be as consistent or as accurate.
Outlook: You know exactly what the Navy passing game is going to do, but it could be even less effective and less productive this year. Not only is the quarterback situation different, but the top returning wideout caught just four passes. Last year, three running backs finished among the top four receivers.
Unit Rating: 3.5
State of the Unit: The line was phenomenal last year paving the way for the nation’s sixth-ranked rushing attack, and while it wasn’t a total rock in pass protection, considering Navy threw the ball just 157 times, finishing seventh in the nation in sacks allowed is still solid. Four starters return, and while there’s a hole on the left side, this should be one of the team’s biggest strengths.
Senior David Sumrall has to step in and take over at left tackle for veteran Jeff Battpaglia, and while he’s only 6-5 and 267 pounds, he’s bigger than the man he’s replacing. Mostly a special teamer so far, now the spotlight will be on to see if he can handle the work on as regular basis, but he has been around long enough to know what he’s doing. He’s not big, but he can move.
Anchoring the veteran line will once again be Brady DeMell , one of the team’s most versatile linemen. The 6-3, 310-pound senior is the biggest starter by far, and while he can work as a big, tough guard, he’s a center who started every game last year and is fantastic for paving the way for the fullback and the power game up the gut.
Both guards are back with 6-3, 270-pound junior Josh Cabral at left guard and 6-4, 260-pound senior John Dowd on the right side. Each one started every game last year, and each came up with strong seasons with Cabral the more physical of the two and Dowd, an Academic All-American, versatile enough to work at tackle.
6-5, 270-pound senior Ryan Basford started two of the first four games, and then he took over for Matt Malloy and held down the right tackle job. Big and tough, the former defensive end wasn’t always a rock in pass protection, but he’s a great hitter and he’s excellent on the move. Rocky at first, he great into his own and should be a top all-around blocker now that he knows what he’s doing.
The Midshipmen don’t have much in the way of developed depth, and senior Eric Douglass will have to play a big role. The 6-2, 280-pound veteran started out his career as a nose guard before moving to the offensive side, and while he’ll start out at center, he can play either guard spot. Ridiculously strong, he’s a plowing run blocker.
On the left side, sophomores Collin Watkins and Travis Bridges will need a little time to be ready to step into starting jobs next year. The 6-0, 300-pound Bridges is a short, stocky blocker who’s built to play quarter, while the 6-3, 255-pound Watkins fits the Navy left tackle mold.
Watch Out For … Sumrall. He’s the one new piece to the starting mix, and at left tackle, he could be the key. Left tackle doesn’t mean the same to Navy as it does for other teams, but he’ll still need to prove early on that he can fit in and handle the job.
Strength: Experience. Timing is everything to the Navy line, and four starters return from a group that was a machine by the end of the year. Everything is in place to come up with another great year as long as everyone stays healthy because …
Weakness: Developed depth. Douglass can step in and produce at any interior spot, but there’s nothing to count on right away if either tackle goes down. Developing a rotation early on will be a must.
Outlook: The line was very good last year and it should be great this season as long as everyone can stay healthy. There’s enough experience on the interior to plow away for a huge season from the fullbacks, while the tackles will be rock solid. As long as the backups aren’t needed right away, everything should be fine as the line paves the way to close to 300 yards per game.
Unit Rating: 6.5
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