2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

More from the Air Force cornerback situation

Published: March 6, 2014, 10:43 pm, by Brent Briggeman

 If you missed it, check out the story in Friday’s edition of The Gazette about how injuries have impacted Air Force at the cornerback position.

The interviews for the story went a bit more in-depth than could squeeze into that space, so I thought I’d share a bit of the extras here:


JUSTIN DeCOUD, junior cornerback

DeCoudOn last year’s scheme, in which teams took advantage of Air Force’s corners playing 5-10 yards off the ball at the snap:

“Last year was a little different, we had to play off and things like that. I’m definitely looking forward to the way we’re going to play this year and a lot of teams will be surprised.”

Was it frustrating?

“It was for me, personally. That’s a tough questions.”

I get it, you don’t want to throw anyone under the bus.

“I don’t want to do that, that’s not my thing. I was a little frustrated, yes, because I felt we couldn’t really impact the game because our leverage was so far off. That happened in the past. It’s a new Air Force football and like I said before, I’m looking forward to playing the new defense.”

I assume the defense was devised like that to prevent the deep ball. It’s no secret that Air Force doesn’t always match up athletically at the skill positions, so my assumption is that in playing off you could at least keep that threat at a minimum. Is that how you saw it?

“I’m not really worried about the deep balls. We have safeties to help over the top. I’m not saying I’m going to leave it up to the safeties, though. If they want to throw it deep, that’s fine, I’ve just got to get better at throwing deep balls. If I need to adapt to a certain team, I’ll just have to adapt. That’s how football is, that’s how all sports are.”


STEVE RUSS, defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach

RussOn conducting spring ball with both projected starting cornerbacks, DeCoud and returning starter Gavin McHenry, out with injuries:

“It’s a good chance to build depth. The bottom line is in football you’ve got to have a next-man-up mentality. Those guys are out there competing for spots and at the end of the day it’s going to be a wide-open competition. That’s how we’re treating everything. These guys are obviously getting great reps and the other guys, by not being out there, are starting to fall behind. We’ve just got to get them out there as soon as possible so they can compete. And I know they want to be.”


JORDAN MAYS, junior cornerback, who was converted from safety last month

Mays“It’s still their position until I prove myself and earn my spot. If I do that, then that’s the way it goes. There’s going to be more copetition in the fall, but we’re all on the same page with that.”