From the Colorado Springs Gazette...
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun spent his 30-minute press conference fending off questions .
Well, he didn’t spend all 30 minutes deflecting – he also dedicated a 4-minute stretch once again to bears.
The same reporter broached the bears topic again this week, setting off an off-the-wall 4 minutes that included Calhoun floating the idea of pushing spring practice back so the bears would be out of hibernation and ready to again contribute.
It grew more and more surreal, with Calhoun talking about the strengths of bears as athletes; how they struggle in man-to-man coverage but are great on the blitz.
“I think you’ve always got to be looking at what your resources are,” Calhoun said.
While Calhoun was happy to talk about bears, he said nothing regarding the significance of last week’s upset victory over Boise State or anything about the motivation of playing for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
The Falcons moved their CIC Trophy case into the locker room during the offseason, even though the case is empty.
Here's Calhoun's response when asked by The Gazette's Brent Briggeman about the thinking behind putting an empty trophy case in the locker room.
BB: What was the decision-making process in bringing that trophy case into the locker room?
TC: As far as?
BB: How did that come about? Did a player bring that idea to you through the leadership council?
TC: Just, we know here what you have to do is practice. You have to prepare well.
But putting that trophy in there, there’s obviously a motivational reason behind that to put an empty case in your locker room.
Where should it go?
Where was it before?
You’d have to go find out. Ask the equipment guy.
So there’s no motivational tactic behind putting an empty trophy case in a locker room?
I think the motivational, what’s motivational and what’s the tactic is you have to practice well and you have to prepare well. I don’t think anything in this world that you do, that if it has some relevancy that you don’t practice or you don’t train. I don’t think you say all of the sudden that I’ve got a column and I don’t work at it and hack at it and maybe rearrange it and rewrite it and spell check it, make sure grammatically it’s right again – when it should be “are” instead of “is.” That’s why work, you’ve got to work.
You also play in a conference and you practice and prepare for those games, but there’s not a trophy case for the conference sitting there, while there is for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. Is there nothing there that you want to elaborate on at all?
I’m itching to, can’t you tell. You’ve got to work. Each week is its own entity and this one is a unique one too. It certainly is.
Calhoun grew more cooperative later, answering specific questions about defenders Nick Fitzgerald and Jordan Pierce, and he went into detail in praising the work of new defensive coaches Tim Cross and Ron Vanderlinden.
On Navy, he said: “You’re playing a team that, when you look, they run the ball at will. And still, I don’t think you ever see a team that has more guys wide open on passes than what you see on film, too.”
Asked about sophomore D.J. Johnson’s move atop the depth chart at fullback, Calhoun said only that senior Broam Hart would “play a ton.”
But for the most part Calhoun remained combative, though smiling, when dealing with questions. A television reporter asked if preparation for Navy is a bit easier because of the teams’ offensive similarities and later asked if preparing for Navy is difficult because the team plays so hard and is fundamentally sound. Calhoun answered neither question, but called out the fact that the reporter had suggested Navy be both easy and difficult to prepare to play.
When asked about the status of cornerback Justin DeCoud, who played very little against Boise State with a hamstring injury, Calhoun and The Gazette again enjoyed something of a verbal tussle:
BB: Do you anticipate DeCoud fully returning this week?
BB: Not necessarily starting, I don’t care who starts.
TC: I want to quote that, “I don’t care about the starters.” I’m going to write that in my blog.
BB: Some positions you roll more than others, that being one. You have alternated those two on a lot of series. I’m not taking count of who’s out there on every series, but I’m wondering if he’s recovering or where he is with the injury?
TC: You’ve got to be full speed to play. Everybody thinks that’s a coach’s decision or a trainer giving you a thumbs-up. I find out real quickly if you’re full tilt that it doesn’t have to be a verbal declaration.