Army West Point football head coach Jeff Monken met virtually with members of the local media on Tuesday afternoon for his weekly press conference inside Nowak Auditorium.
Army West Point Football Head Coach Jeff Monken
(Ref.: Opening statement)
“Good afternoon. It's sure not as fun to come in here after a loss. We are disappointed that we weren't able to play well enough to put ourselves in a position to win the game this Saturday. I thought Cincinnati had a really physical football team and they are obviously well coached. Their kids were prepared and they did a really nice job. I was very pleased with our defense for most of the day. We got the turnover on the opening drive and then got the turnover shortly thereafter which put us in position to take the lead right off the bat. It was a great start to the day, we just weren't able to capitalize on it. Offensively, we had some opportunities where we got the ball in decent field position a couple of times. We just weren't able to finish drives. We got the ball down close and had the one field goal, which I thought was a great kick by Salyers. It was a tough snap and kind of got into the chest of Brooks Hosea who is the holder – he got it down and the kicker stayed with it, really a clutch field goal to bring us within a score. As poor production as we were having on offense, we were still in the game. We had a couple of big plays that we missed and that probably could've made a difference to set up an opportunity for scoring position. Our guys played their butts off, they played really hard, but we just didn't sustain blocks on offense and ultimately a couple of big plays on busted assignments and busted coverages which cost us. They had the one big play that set them up in the first half, which was a broken coverage unfortunately and then the second half they had two play drive they leaked the back out of the backfield. It's just something we've got to cover more with our team and be ready for those situations. I thought our guys battled, we lost to a really good football team [that doesn't make it feel any better] but I am encouraged that we're going to work our very best this week to try and improve and play the best game that we've played so far.”
(Ref.: On the biggest things the team can learn from Saturday)
“There's lessons in a loss. I heard Coach Sean Saturnio yesterday that you can make the L a loss or a lesson and we've just got to make it a lesson. And those lessons are to make sure that we don't have lapses in areas that we completely control which starts with our assignments. There are things on both sides of the ball, and in special teams, where we just had mix ups on assignments or didn't block/cover the right guy, whatever it might be. Against a really good football team like Cincinnati, we can't do those things and those are hard lessons to learn. We've got to do a good job coaching our guys and our players have to work really hard to learn their signs. I have heard it said, and I believe it to be true, if a guy misses an assignment, we're either not coaching it well enough, we're making it too complicated or that guy either isn't giving an effort or is incapable of learning. I think our guys are working hard and trying hard and they're all capable of learning. We've got to work hard to make sure it's not too complicated and we do a great job of coaching it, and ultimately that's my responsibility. We're all responsible, that's not to take anything off of anybody or put anything extra on anybody, it's just what we've got to do. There are things we can control that we've got to focus in on more than maybe we have in the past. Block and sustain blocks and getting off blocks and tackling – that's the name of the game and we've got to do those things better.” Read more.