Postgame Quotes - Army vs. Navy

Dec. 8, 2012

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Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: whether he thought Army would win)

“We expected to win. We expected to win from the beginning to the end.”

(Ref.: putting Trent Steelman’s career into perspective)
“We’ve talked about Trent’s career a lot. He’s done all kinds of great stuff. This is unfortunate because this doesn’t correlate with what he’s accomplished here. He’s a great competitor and an accomplished player. He deserves to feel better on the last day, but when it all gets into perspective it’ll be okay.”

(Ref.: the fumble with 1:04 to play in the fourth quarter)
“It was a mesh fumble. It was a quarterback-fullback mesh; it’s fundamental.”

(Ref.: Navy’s 49-yard pass play from Keenan Reynolds to Brandon Turner late in the fourth quarter)
“We were in coverage, but they did a nice job of throwing and catching. You’re defending the option, and it’s a lot of one-on-one coverage back there. The good news is that we had guys there fighting for the ball. Give them credit; they did a nice job of throwing and catching. That wasn’t the difference. The difference is the kicking game and turnovers. Those are the things that correlate with success; those are the things that are fundamental to the game. The scoreboard will reflect those things. It will reflect the kicking game; it’ll reflect turnovers. We would have liked to have made a play on the ball on that pass, but we were in coverage.”

Senior QB Trent Steelman
(Ref.: the fumble with 1:04 left)
"It was routine triple option for us. Honestly, I don't really know what happened. It was a quarterback-fullback mesh but I'm running out of here so I'm going to put that one on me; there's no way I could put something like that on Larry.

"It's just unfortunate, I don't know how else to put it. I feel like we deserved that game in every way possible but it just didn't happen. We were wearing them down and there was nothing that was going to stop us, but that's life; things don't go your way sometimes. You've just got to be able to turn around."

(Ref.: did the staff emphasize protecting the ball at halftime)
"That's an emphasis in every game, especially with the type of offense we run."

(Ref.: the drive that resulted in a field goal, not a touchdown)
"I think we did the right thing in that situation. At the same time, field goals aren't going to win you games and you can't put that on our kicker. Touchdowns are going to win games."

(Ref.: what Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said to him after the game)
"To be honest, I don't really remember much, I was pretty torn up. I think he said that I was one of the toughest players he's ever seen and just a great player, and I respect him for that - he's a great coach."

Junior RB Raymond Maples
(Ref.: the final drive)
"We were moving the ball down the field; they were tired and we knew it. Our offense prepares for moments like that, but life doesn't always go your way."

(Ref.: playing in his hometown of Philadelphia)
"It's great. I would have liked to pull out a win, but just to play here is awesome."

Senior DB Josh Jackson
(Ref.: what this loss feels like)
"It hurts, I'll tell you that; it hurts. Things are supposed to happen for a reason. As a team, and especially as seniors, we have to take this as a learning experience and mentor the young guys. We're not done just because we're not putting the pads on anymore."

(Ref.: finishing out the game)
"I think that's always the case, the game is always in our grasp. We felt good, we felt great at times, we felt bad at times, but we always bounced back. It just didn't go our way."

Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo
(Ref.: opening statement)

"What an unbelievable football game. You've got two teams battling back and forth. Neither team would quit. I tip my hat to Coach Ellerson and Army. Those guys played tough. I'm very happy and proud of our young men. They stayed resilient. To me that game is indicative of the season. Things didn't start off so good in Dublin. Things didn't go too good in Happy Valley either. And our guys just continued to fight. They fought the whole time and that game, the way we came back … with Brandon Turner - a kid that we had to suspend to start the season – he stayed the course. He's come back and made some great plays for us. He's a wonderful kid. Keenan made a ton of plays. He's a true freshman playing in an Army-Navy game. I thought our defense played very well. They moved the ball on us but we were able to keep them out of the endzone for the most part so it gave us a chance. It was a great football game. Unfortunately one team had to lose but I'm proud of our guys and we made enough plays to win."

(Ref.: the play of Keenan Reynolds)
"If he can come into the Air Force game down by eight in the fourth quarter with eight minutes left at their place and have clear eyes and not miss a beat and not seem nervous … I don't know if he can be in a tougher situation. I allowed Coach Jasper to coach him. I didn't really say much to him. He knows what he's doing. The kid is a very good football player. He listens, he's well coachable. His legacy will be whether he stays hungry and stays humble. If he does those two things that kid has the chance to go down as one of the best quarterbacks we've ever had here. The kid made some huge throws and some guys had some big catches across the middle and put it right on the money. That throw to Brandon was a huge throw. He made some big throws early on that we had a chance to catch. With the defense that they have, they are a high pressuer, man-to-man team. We were going to pick our spots and take some shots. We knew they would muddy things up in the middle. We were hoping we could made some plays on the outside and Brandon made that huge play to give us a chance to win."

(Ref.: Keenan Reynolds' game-winning touchdown)
"It was just a quarterback follow. It's not really designed to go there but he bounced it out and there was a guy unblocked there but he made him miss. He mad some huge scrambles there at the end when things broke down. He kept his composure, got the sticks. He does things well beyond his years. We don't work on those situations, that's just him making plays."

(Ref.: what he said to Army's Trent Steelman after the game)
"Just to hang in there. He's a tough kid. We should be all proud as Americans that that guy is going to go protect our country. They don't get any tougher than Trent Steelman. Four years starting at West Point, a military service academy. I know everyone in our locker room has nothing but respect for that young man."

(Ref.: getting the Commander-In-Chief's trophy back)
"It means everything. To get your number one goal to start the season. To know that all the hard work, all the running that these guys did in the summer, all the lifting and the stretching, trying to eat right and do right, practice hard. I'm just so happy for these guys. These guys work hard."

(Ref.: starting to prepare for to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl)
"Normally I tell these guys to get ready and come back Monday, we're going to run and get your treatment. But I'm going to let these guys enjoy this one. These guys worked so hard. It's probably one of the first times I've said that, but we are going to enjoy this one. It was a hard game to win and I'm happy for these guys."

Freshman QB Keenan Reynolds
(Ref.: the game-winning drive)
"Before the drive started, I told the guys, 'this is the one. We have to go down and score.' They all looked at me and were like, 'Let's go.' I couldn't have done it without the other guys on this squad. Brandon had a huge catch. He'd been hungry for the ball the whole game. I could just see it in his eyes that he wanted it. I knew that when he got his opportunity he was going to make it count. Noah also ran the ball extremely well this game. He ran hard and held on to the football. I'm so proud of my teammates, without them I wouldn't have been able to do anything."

(Ref.: what it means to him to come through for his team)
"I would say, the feeling for me is minimal. I feel more for these guys around me. Like we've been repeating over and over again this year, 'I.M.A.N. – It's Not About Me.' It's not about making myself feel good … if we're not winning. If the score isn't us with more points than the other team than I'm upset. I feel for these guys. I feel for the seniors that work so hard to get here. I play for them, I play for the love of my brothers … I just tried to play as hard as I could and do my job to the best of my abilities."

 Senior WR Brandon Turner
(Ref.: the making a big play on the game-winning drive)
"I was being patient for most of the time because good things will come … I was a little frustrated because we weren't doing so hot and I wasn't making plays … I told coach, come on throw me the ball, I can beat this guy and Coach Jasper threw me a bone."

(Ref.: today's win and earning the CIC Trophy)
"A lot of people don't see what goes into Army-Navy Game … It's just about not letting your brothers down. Just having that opportunity to bring the CIC back was just awesome. This is the best I've ever felt after winning a football game. I wish I could put it into words and describe it to you. It's phenomenal."

Senior LB Keegan Wetzel
(Ref.: the defense making crucial stops)

"It was pretty tough. They were doing a lot of good things to get down the field on us. It was crucial for our defense to just win the next one after a long play by them. Just keep moving on. That's kind of the character of our team. We just kind of bend but don't break. I was really proud of the other 10 guys out there with me, fighting and scrapping on every play. You don't know where the ball is going to bounce and Coach Green preaches for us to run to the ball and that helped us out a lot today and proved to get the victory for us."

(Ref.: going 4-0 against Army in his career)
"It's amazing because we have the utmost respect for those guys. I tell them when I pick them up, 'I love you brother,' and I don't even know them. You can see it in their eyes that they go through the same things that we do. They are from the same backgrounds, the same families and they fight and claw the same way that we do. To beat those guys is a privilege and an honor. Nobody out there is going to give anybody an inch. You're never going to take anyone lightly no matter what your record is or what the predicted score is before the game. To fight on every play and to come out on top all four years that I've been here, from when I watched this game in the stands as a freshman to now when I didn't leave the field, it feels great. It's a credit to the coaching staff and the guys around me and how hard everyone works. To accomplish it four years in a row means a lot."

(Ref.: the Keenan Reynolds blossoming)
"I met Keenan when he was a recruit. No one could have predicted that he was going to come in and play this year. He's probably the only one that would have told you he knew that was going to happen. Which is great. You could tell he had the mindset as a recruit. He is one of the strongest competitors I'd ever met without seeing him step on a football field and that was as a recruit. I'm proud of the kid, he's got a really bright future here."

Knight Vision


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