Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Calhoun press conference recap

My apologies that this comes a day late. Here is a recap of Tuesday’s press conference …

-Most interesting note from the presser: Air Force coach Troy Calhoun was asked how he would evaluate Chad Hall’s transition from running back to receiver so far. Calhoun said he thought it was “real solid, and yet you’re talking about a versatile kid.”

Calhoun noted Hall has good quickness and good balance, and he also took time to describe Hall’s superlative hand-eye coordination. Calhoun said the one reservation he had about moving Hall to receiver was he didn’t know how well Hall could catch the ball. Those fears have been eased.

Before Monday’s practice, Calhoun asked his kick returners to try a new drill. They would stand with a ball in one arm as another ball was punted toward them. Then they were asked to toss the ball they were holding into the air, catch the punted ball and then catch the ball that they threw.

“If you can hit six out of 10 on that, you have very good hand-eye coordination,” Calhoun said. “(Hall) hits his first seven. And that’s a little bit indicative of the ball skills the kid has. I’d love to coach him for a few more years too.”

Other stuff from the press conference:

-Calhoun’s opening remarks: “To wrap up last week, really a quality victory against a very fine team. You’ve heard me say it before, at least some of you have, I was also very impressed with Utah. I just think the resiliency of their players and their coaches, to lose your starting quarterback, your starting tailback and your most dynamic receiver, to still be able to respond the way they did is a real tribute character-wise to their football team.”

“This week we’ve got TCU. It’s been a short week, and yet still one where there’s still time to prep. Because of it, the only thing we have, again, are reasons why we should play well on Thursday night. Now, because of who we’re playing, we’ll have to play hands-down the best football game we’ve played certainly this season and probably in a while here at the academy.”

-Calhoun was asked how he prepares for a player like TCU defensive end Tommy Blake: “You try to make yourself go to sleep for a little bit, because he’s one of those guys that will keep you up. He’s an extraordinary football player. He’s quick, he’s long, he’s got pass-rush skill, plays with good effort. Just talent-wise, he’s one of the best I’ve ever gone against at the college level.”

-Calhoun’s thoughts on TCU redshirt freshman quarterback Andy Dalton: “The kid’s very impressive with his poise. I think he’s got great pocket presence, I think he has good mobility. You watch him, this guy’s going to be a dynamite player. And this is a guy, you look at this kid’s background, he’s a winner.”

-Calhoun was asked if Thursday night’s game provides a great opportunity to see where his program stands: “I think absolutely it is. You’re playing against one of the most talented teams in all of college football. … And so if we’re going to make some strides in this conference, we’ve at least got to try to go where we close some of the gap between us and TCU.”

Final note: BlogDog will make his TCU-Air Force prediction later tonight.


Ben said...

I think we can win. I know we are going to win. We are going to win!
Both campuses will wake up Friday morning in shock - AFA in a good shock and TCU in a bad shock. If we can beat TCU, BYU, and Navy, I think we're a lock for the Top 25. We're already #57 according to, and if we can beat at least two of them, I think we'll be ranked by the end of the month.

What do you think, Jake?

P.S. - good luck, BlogDog!

jake.schaller said...


First, thanks for the note.

Second, you might want to re-think your P.S. The BlogDog, as you'll see next time you check out the blog, has cast his vote with TCU.

Third, if Air Force beats TCU, BYU and Navy, the Falcons won't just be in the top 25, they'll be featured in a centerpiece article in USA Today. It would be an incredible accomplishment, especially considering the Falcons finished last year 1-6.

Now, I think it's within the realm of possibility that Air Force takes out TCU, even though the Horned Frogs (as coaches and players will attest) have more talent. As you'll read in Thursday's edition of The Gazette, Air Force has beaten teams with more talent plenty of times. And coming off the big victory over Utah, I think the Falcons really are believing in themselves. I can't stress this enough: During the last three seasons, Air Force went 4-11 in games decided by a touchdown or less. If the Falcons had pulled out some close ones, maybe they would've been to a bowl since 2002. Now that they got a close one (and on the road), maybe this group has finally learned how to win the tight ones.

All that said, it's been my contention from the start of the season that the Falcons got such a touch slate in September (arguably their four toughest games of the year in a row), that if they went 3-2, they'd be in good shape for a bowl. That means Air Force just needs to win one of the next three games.

I'll leave you with the all-time sports cliche: One game at a time.


Anonymous said...

Utah would have been one of the toughest games of the year. But they were so beat up, it might turn out to be one of the easiest.

Hall is averaging fewer combined receiving and rushing yards than last year (70 to 75) I hope Coach Calhoun will get him more involved in the O with a few more passes.

Carney's yards per carry are really booming. Up from 3.7 career to 6.4.