Jeff Monken Press Conference Quotes: San Jose St.
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army West Point football head coach Jeff Monken met with members of the local media on Tuesday afternoon for his weekly press conference inside Nowak Auditorium. The Black Knights after ending their three-game road swing with a visit to Levi's Stadium for a 3:30 p.m. Eastern kickoff against San Jose State. (Ref.: Opening statement) "We are coming off our bye week. I thought it was a productive week for us, I thought our guys practiced really hard. We were able to do some things that we had not done since camp. That happens as you start to get into game preparation and you focus on the team you're getting ready to play. Certainly we did a lot of San Jose stuff in terms of our defense on their offensive schemes and special teams, but we were able to go back and hit on some things that in preseason camp we cover, scenarios that may come up during the season, but you kind of push them to the back burner. It may just be a special teams situation, for us on offense, certainly [facing] some different fronts that oftentimes pop up and you're not expecting. We got some good work in running the ball and protecting the passer versus those looks and then defensively, to again go back and hit some of the option game that we don't get a chance to defend as we're preparing from week to week. We took some periods each day and did some of that. Our guys the last time out against Buffalo played hard and it was great to get the victory. We needed that coming off the disappointing loss to Oklahoma, to beat a really good Buffalo team. We go into this week against San Jose and what an interesting team. They've got a bunch of athletes we're really impressed with as we watch them. We can talk about them individually, but the things that stand out to me aren't always the things that everybody talks about. They've got a great passer, the Love kid. He's thrown a bunch of long passes. I think they've had almost 10 passes of 40 plus yards and five of those, 50 plus yards, so a big play offense with a lot of athletes. Defensively, they're very active. What was really impressive was to watch them play Oregon. As much respect that we have for Oregon running the ball, it was 14-6 at halftime and they were giving them fits. They're a well coached football team. Obviously things haven't gone their way in terms of the wins and losses like I know they'd like to, but I really see their team much like I see ours. We're a team that's gotta fight and scrap and claw. Just a couple years ago, we were in some of those games that didn't go our way. It really doesn't take a whole lot to flip it from one result to the next. They've got enough athletes to do that. They got a great kick returner. I was as impressed with him returning kicks as I have been with anyone. He's fearless and has had some really big returns. On special teams they got a kid number 48 that runs down on kickoffs like his life depends on it. He's five, six yards in front of everyone else and it's really impressive. Real challenge for us, but a great opportunity to play in an NFL stadium and I think our guys are looking forward to it." (Ref.: On area you want to see most improved this week) "I just want to see us improve overall. We track certain fundamentals each week, the first being effort. It doesn't take any ability to play as hard as you can on every snap. We haven't played a game here yet, and I've never coached a football game, where we didn't have one effort. I'd like for us to play with zero efforts and have everybody playing as fast and as hard as they possibly can. If you fall down, you get up and chase the ball. You're fighting on every play. "We've also missed some blocks, and the guys we were trying to block are making the tackle. So I'd like to see us sustain blocks. We also need to get off blocks and not miss any tackles. We haven't gone a game without missing a tackle yet. I'd like to see us do that. It's the fundamental things that I think make the biggest difference." (Ref.: on what it means to play in different states and professional facilities) "I think anytime we can travel outside of our region here is beneficial. We have a lot of guys who are from California and the West Coast on our team and they are excited about going home to have their families come watch them play. We've traveled to Texas and the Midwest and all over the country - that is one of the positives of playing here and being part of this program." (Ref.: on the development of Kelvin Hopkins) "He has been in our program for three years and has taken a lot of snaps in practice. He took some key snaps in the Temple game a year ago and to step into that situation where we had to get a score to win and to have him lead us down the field like he did certainly helped his process of maturing and his confidence. That is so much a part of being a leader on the team and being the quarterback. He is a talented guy and has a good job taking care of the ball, giving it to the right people and leading our team. I think our guys believe in him."