Aug. 6, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Sunny skies again greeted the Army football team as it continued preparations for the 2014 football season with its third workout of fall camp, Wednesday afternoon.
For the first time in preseason camp, Army wore shoulder pads in addition to helmets. The intensity of practice increased as did the physical contact during a two-and-a-half-hour workout at Howze Field and Michie Stadium.
First-year head coach Jeff Monken continues to install more and more of the offensive and defensive packages with the season-opener against Buffalo at Michie Stadium on the horizon for Sept. 6.
Army opened the session with special teams work, broke into position-focused workouts and competed 11-on-11. A heavy emphasis was placed on ball control with all of the skill position players during the heavy fundamental practice.
The Black Knights will have one more practice in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and will don full pads for the first time this fall Friday at 2:30 p.m. Saturday is the first double-session of camp with a 9:30 a.m. full pad practice and a 4:30 p.m. work scheduled in shorts and helmets.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
Alex Tardieu and Tim Garner handled the bulk of the punting duties during that portion of practice ... Josh Jenkins, Tony Giovannelli, Xavier Moss, Chris Carnegie, Elijah St. Hilaire, Jared Rogers received the majority of the kickoffs during kick return drills ... Quarterbacks Angel Santiago, Blake Goddard, Kado Brown, Seth Gonzalez and Ahmad Bradshaw got plenty of work, focusing on footwork, ball control and pitching the ball. A.J. Schurr did not practice for the third day due to an injury ... Malcolm Hudson made a nice play to tackle Santiago in the backfield during team drills ... Brown connected with tight end Kelvin White on a long pass play ... Joy Giovannelli picked off an errant pass and returned it for a touchdown ... Brown found Jermaine Adams for a big play ... Bradshaw connected with running back Trenton Turrentine over the middle ... Santiago connected with Moss along the sidelines ... Carnegie made a good break to record a pass breakup ... running back Joe Walker made a nice catch on a sideline pass.
Head Coach Jeff Monken
(Ref.: life in the Hudson Valley)
"We're doing great. We are really enjoying our time here. This is a tremendous institution and a great community. I am excited to be here and proud to be here and be part of this football program. Hopefully we can get things going the way we want them to. "
(Ref.: coaching at an Academy)
"I was an assistant coach at another academy for six years and I think that experience gave me an opportunity to learn to understand what coaching academy football is all about and how you accomplish a successful football program and still keep at the very forefront what we are here for, which is to build leaders of character."
Senior LB Stephen Ricciardi
(Ref.: this year's camp compared to the last few)
"It's definitely been a lot quicker and a lot more conditioning. Right now everywhere we go we are running and our helmets are strapped up. Last year felt a little more lackadaisical and everyone was just going through the motions. It's already day three and people just want to play already. I know we have a long way to go, but people just want to hit someone right now. "
(Ref.: difference in attitude)
"Every year we've always felt positive about ourselves, we've never looked at a season like we were going to lose. Right now our focus is Buffalo and getting ready for Buffalo."
(Ref.: moving to outside linebacker)
"It's a lot different; I've never played this position before. In high school I didn't do anything like this. Coming here I was never really an outside linebacker, I was always a defensive back. I put on a bit of size this offseason and was able to work my way up to outside linebacker. I like it a lot, you get to get down in the middle and hit someone but also can drop back in coverage, which I am used to doing."
Junior LB Kyle Ricciardi
(Ref.: Academy life)
"It's definitely a culture change, just being at the Academy in general. Playing football is a full-time job for us, we are working out 12 months a year on top of all the academics and military commitments we have to do. As you get older you get better at it, you get better at managing your time and it helps to have 150 guys who always have your back and are always pushing you to get better.
(Ref.: change in culture within the program)
"It's been another culture shock with a whole new coaching staff, but it's for the better. We've had a great summer, and I think our strength coaches said as a team we put on 1,400 pounds, so that is pretty impressive and shows the hard work these guys are putting in every day."
(Ref.: biggest difference with coaching staff this year)
"The biggest difference is Coach Monken, he's done some great things. We are five days into camp and we have bonded unbelievably well compared to years past. Accepting the freshmen into the team the first day, we are all out here working hard. He always makes the points that toughness, humility and effort are the three things we need to win games as a football team. We have a lot more work to do, but there have definitely been some signs of us coming together as a team."
Tickets for the 2014 can be purchased by clicking here, by calling the Army Ticket Office at 1-877-TIX-ARMY or in person at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.
Single game tickets are available for just $32 for the Buffalo contest. The Rice game is priced at $35, while Ball State and Fordham tickets are $49. Air Force tickets start at $50. Tickets for the game at Yankee Stadium start at $30.
Season tickets are also available with prices beginning at $116 for the spirit zone. Sideline, end zone and upper level seats are available for just $187.
Three-game mini plans are also offered with prices ranging from $91-$113 depending on which games fans select.
Fans will also have the option to purchase parking in advance for $15. Parking is $20 on gameday.