• Thursday Morning Links

    Thu, July 29, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Some more news from the Mountain West Conference Media Days in Las Vegas …

    I wrote about commissioner Craig Thompson’s State of the Conference address, which touched on Utah leaving and Boise State joining the league, the quest for automatic-qualifying BCS status and television.

    Frank wrote about how senior cornerback Reggie Rembert’s goal for the Falcons is a league title.

    And David Ramsey wrote a great column about former Falcon great Chad Hall, who is trying to earn a spot with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Finally, make sure you start following Frank on Twitter (twitter.com/gazetteairforce). He talked to the representatives of bowls with MWC ties out here in Vegas and recently did some tweets about possible destinations for Air Force and how the Independence Bowl likes the Falcons.

  • After Carney’s injury, Calhoun nearly used Chad Hall as QB in 2007 bowl

    Thu, July 29, 2010 by David Ramsey with no comments

    For details:

    http://daveramseysez.freedomblogging.com/

  • Rembert keeps his eyes on NFL dream

    Wed, July 28, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Air Force cornerback Reggie Rembert is looking forward to a big season, and hopefully catching the eye of a National Football League team next year.

    Rembert, a first-team All-Mountain West pick, said he has dreams of making it in the pros, but first he needs to play well for the Falcons as a senior.

    “I want a lot more interceptions, I want to be an All-American – those are a couple of my goals – and I’d like to play in the (National Football) League so that means I’d have to have a good season this year,” Rembert said.

    The path to the NFL is difficult for any service academy player, because of the two-year commitment after graduation. And at 5-8 and 185 pounds Rembert is not ideal size for a NFL cornerback. Rembert admitted that it would be tough, and perhaps if he went to another school his NFL chances would be better. But former teammate Ben Garland gives him someone to emulate.

    Garland, a defensive lineman, was signed by the Broncos this offseason, and plans to practice with the Broncos during the next two offseasons and training camps while fulfilling his commitment. The Broncos will retain his rights during that time. After his commitment, Garland can go into his third offseason with the Broncos with some valuable practice experience and a shot at making the roster.

    “I’m watching what he’s doing to see how that’s going to work out for me next year if I get the opportunity,” Rembert said. “I just need to have a really good season this year, pray about it and let the rest play out.”

  • Morning Links from Vegas

    Wed, July 28, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Good morning from Las Vegas. New day, new hope. Not that we need hope because we took a beating in craps last night or anything.

    Wait, was that out loud?

    Anyway, we’ll be providing more coverage from the Mountain West Conference Media Days in Las Vegas. Frank will be tweeting (@GazetteAirForce) and we’ll both be blogging. MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson will be giving his annual State of the Conference address shortly. And student-athletes from all nine league schools will be available for interviews.

    I wrote yesterday about how Air Force coach Troy Calhoun believes the league will be better than ever, in part because of all the talented, experienced quarterbacks returning.

    Frank wrote a notebook about several subjects, including some news about the Falcons’ linebackers, Air Force’s spot in the media poll and the three players who made the preseason all-conference squad.

  • Utah not focusing on Pac-10 but not ignoring it

    Tue, July 27, 2010 by admin with no comments

    Representatives of the Utah football program are making what will be their last appearance at the Mountain West Conference football media days.

    Next year, Utah will leave the league and join the Pac-10. It was an obvious topic of discussion Tuesday at the league’s media days at Red Rock Resort. Coach Kyle Whittingham said the Utes couldn’t dwell on the conference switch but couldn’t ignore it either.

    “Our focus right now is right here,” he said. “But it’s looming and you’ve got to prepare for it, starting with recruiting. This class we’re signing right now, we’re getting commitments from right now, is the class that’s going to be competing in that league. So you’ve got to address it. You can’t just completely shut it out.”

  • Hoke wants to honor Coryell

    Tue, July 27, 2010 by admin with no comments

    San Diego State coach Brady Hoke mentioned the July 1 death of legendary coach Don Coryell during his remarks on Tuesday.

    The man whose “Air Coryell” offenses were instrumental in the development of the modern passing game coached at San Diego State from 1961 to 1972, going 104-19-2 in that time.

    “The legacy that coach Coryell had at San Diego State – and still has, obviously – is something that as a football program we’re going to be very, very accountable to,” Hoke said. “It was a big loss for the Aztec community.”

  • TCU’s Dalton is older, wiser still

    Tue, July 27, 2010 by admin with no comments

    TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, the 2009 Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, was selected by the media as the 2010 Preseason MWC Offensive Player of the Year.

    To which some Air Force fans might say, “That guy’s still at TCU?”

    Yep. When Air Force plays TCU this fall, the Falcons will face Dalton for the fourth time.

    And he’s a far different player than he was in his first clash with Air Force in 2007 – when he threw a critical interception late. Dalton said all his experience has made him better and more mature.

    “I’ve played in a lot of games – I’ve seen it all, basically,” Dalton said. “I’ve played in big games, I’ve played in front of big crowds.

    Dalton said he’s taken on more of a leadership role as he’s gotten older.

    “It’s hard to come in as a freshman and play early and be in the huddle with guys that have played for three or four years and get their respect,” Dalton said. “I definitely tried at that point, but now that I’ll be a four-year starter, I’m more demanding things than telling them.”

  • Aztecs’ Brown ready to roll

    Tue, July 27, 2010 by admin with no comments

    San Diego State senior receiver Vincent Brown said Tuesday he has no lingering effects from the thumb injury that sidelined him for the second half of last season.

    “I’m back, 100 percent, ready to go,” Brown said.

    Brown, who was named to the preseason All-Mountain West Conference team, grabbed 45 passes for 778 yards and six touchdowns in the first half of last season.

    A healthy Brown should be part of one of the league’s top passing units. He’ll be joined by receiver DeMarco Sampson (who caught 62 passes for 851 yards and eight touchdowns last season), tight end Alston Umuolo (also a preseason All-MWC selection) and quarterback Ryan Lindley (3,054 passing yards, 23 touchdown passes last season).

    Brown had to sit and watch the Aztecs collapse late last season. They split their first eight games and, at 4-4, were in position to reach a bowl game. Instead, they lost their last four games of the season.

    “The way we finished last year was unacceptable,” San Diego State coach Brady Hoke said.

  • TCU’s Gary Patterson thinks Air Force is intriguing this season

    Tue, July 27, 2010 by admin with 1 comment

    TCU is getting most of the attention at the Mountain West’s media days – that happens when a team gets all 31 preseason first-place votes – but Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson is interested in Air Force.

    More specifically, Patterson wants to see if Air Force can beat BYU on Sept. 11 and possibly break TCU, BYU and Utah’s stranglehold on the top three spots in the conference.

    “One of the games you have to watch closely, because it’s early in the year and BYU has a young quarterback, is the BYU game against Air Force – and it’s at Air Force,” Patterson said. “You’ve got an experienced Air Force team, BYU is on the road and it’s a tough place to play anyway. See how that game turns out. If Air Force can win that ballgame, that gives them an unbelievable confidence level going into the rest of their season. I’m glad we’re playing them at home.”

    Air Force’s game against BYU is the Falcons’ second game of the season. BYU could start true freshman quarterback Jake Heaps, and while he’s talented, it might benefit the Falcons to catch him early in the season. BYU is rebuilding a bit, with only two first-team All-MWC preseason selections. Air Force has its own holes to fill early in the season, so the timing of the BYU game is interesting.

    “Both teams will have some guys that haven’t played significantly,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. “It does make for a different dynamic than if you did play in Week 10 or Week 11.”

    Patterson thought there were some teams other than TCU, BYU and Utah that could break into the top three of the Mountain West and thought Air Force was a prime candidate. Even more than his team’s close win at Air Force last year, it was the Falcons’ win over Houston in their bowl game that opened Patterson’s eyes.

    “I thought Houston was a good football team,” Patterson said. “To do what they did to Houston was very interesting.”

  • Rembert will get more responsibility … just not offense

    Tue, July 27, 2010 by admin with 6 comments

    As I wrote on Twitter a little while ago, cornerback Reggie Rembert’s dreams of playing offense will probably remain just a dream.

    “Not initially,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said about the possibility of Rembert playing some offense this season. “His priority is to play very well for us at corner.”

    Rembert joked earlier in the day at Mountain West media days that he wanted to play some offense (Calhoun said the offensive assistants have lobbied him for that too), as he did in 2008. Calhoun didn’t completely rule out Rembert playing some offense late in the year, but he didn’t sound like that was in his plans. Calhoun wants Rembert to concentrate not just on cornerback and becoming a better returner, but is also going to add more to Rembert’s plate as a slot cornerback in the nickel defense.

    The Falcons played a lot of nickel in 2009, with five defensive backs, but usually with an extra safety. With a lot of depth at cornerback, Air Force will use a third cornerback more often this season. With that, Rembert will often move inside and use his quickness to cover inside receivers.

    Calhoun said Rembert could also move around the field if the Falcons decide that he matches up with a certain receiver (or if fellow All-MWC preseason first-team cornerback Anthony Wright Jr. matches up with a big receiver from the opponent), and that will be new to Rembert, so he should be busy even without offensive snaps.

    “If he’s going to be in the slot and learn that position he’s got to understand run fits and zone coverages too,” Calhoun said.