From the Annapolis Capitol
Navy looked more like pass-happy Texas Tech than a triple-option team during yesterday's initial intra-squad scrimmage. Starting quarterback Ricky Dobbs went to the air early and often and combined with three other quarterbacks to attempt a whopping 39 passes during the two-hour session in front of more than 4,000 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
So, when Navy squares off against SMU and the most pass-happy June Jones, can we expect a four and five wide air show that will dwarf the excitement of a Blue Angels demonstration flight? No. Probably not:
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo said the offensive coaching staff planned to focus on the passing attack during the scrimmage. The Midshipmen want to take advantage of Dobbs' strong, accurate arm, but the unique rushing offense will remain the program's signature.
"Everybody knows we're going to run the ball, but we need to improve our overall passing game," Niumatalolo said. "We're just trying to improve on every aspect of that phase - throwing, receiving and pass protection."
Darn. But the seeds of doubt have been planted for all 2010 opponents. Navy will not be a one dimensional foe. Good psy-ops on the part of the coaching staff.
Niumatalolo admitted there was an ulterior motive for passing so much. Since the scrimmage was open to the public, season-opening opponent Maryland might have planted spies in the stands. Navy's next three scrimmages are closed and you can bet the ball won't be in the air as much as it was yesterday.
Keep 'em guessing coach Kenny.