My story in tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette deals with sophomore free safety Jon Davis. But in doing interviews for the story, I was reminded of one of coach Troy Calhoun’s philosophies.
The philosophy explains why Davis is playing defense and not offense (Calhoun said Davis would be a “perfect” X receiver), why Anthony Wright Jr. is playing cornerback and not Z receiver and why Justin Moore is playing inside linebacker and not fullback. It also helps explain why I think this 2009 Air Force defense might be really good:
Calhoun puts his most talented players on defense.
“I think it’s easy to get enamored with a guy’s play-making skills only on offense because you think that’s where they touch the ball the most,” Calhoun said. “And yet, there are also times they can have even more of an impact on defense.
“Fifteen years ago, I don’t think it mattered. I don’t want to say it didn’t matter, because you still had to be good on defense. But I think when we were in the (Western Athletic Conference), literally, if there was air in the footballs you were going to score 35 points in eight games (each season). And you were going to a bowl game. Where in (the Mountain West Conference) I think it’s completely different, and I think you’ll get exposed instantly if you aren’t making sure you can move on defense.”
More on the Air Force defense later this week.
Practice Impression No. 1: Air Force appeared to be a more healthy football team on Monday than it did on Saturday. Since it’s during the week, I can’t tell you exactly who participated in practice and who didn’t. But if I were an Air Force fan, I’d feel better about the health of the team. Even many of the guys still in red jerseys seem like they should be back fairly soon.
Practice Impression No. 2: I feel like we’re getting close to a decision on the quarterbacks. As I’ve written before, Calhoun has said he wants his best 11 offensive players on the field at once. I think that means Asher Clark is playing tailback and Tim Jefferson is playing quarterback.
-Air Force began Monday’s practice outside, moved inside because of weather and then went back outside when lightning was out of the area.
-Something I just learned today: Patrick Hennessey spent one period of his summer at Hill AFB in Utah. He shadowed a maintenance officer there. Guy by the name of Chad Hall.