WEST POINT — Army was again without it’s top offensive threat in Saturday morning’s practice, but no one, including Trent Steelman, seemed too worried.
Senior QB Chip Bowden split snaps with junior Max Jenkins as Army ran through a bevy of scenarios and scripted plays under the watchful eye of head coach Rich Ellerson and his staff. Newcomers Cody Jackson, Matt Luetjen and Chase Cresto, all freshmen, also saw time behind center.
“We have a guy in Max who really knows his way around the offense,” Ellerson said. “His claim to fame is that he really doesn’t need a lot of practice. He is able to internalize things especially well. He took advantage of the fact that Trent has a minor injury going on. This far before the opening game we were able to rest that and give Max a chance to validate in our minds, his mind and in his teammates mind how effective and efficient he can be with the offense.”
Here’s a quick video I made using my camera, select the 720p HD setting and, if anything, has some cool audio:
Steelman is dealing with a “minor” knee injury, although he did briefly take the field after a spectacular sideline catch was ruled incomplete — Steelman wore a red no-contact jersey, although he jokingly ripped it off and threw it on the ground in faux-disgust after the ref’s call. An Army coach then tossed it out onto the field to mimic a red flag challenge. The Bowling Green, Ky., native jogged out, smiling, to grab it before play resumed. He joked with director of athletics Kevin Anderson afterward and looked relaxed.
“Every day you have to come out and work, and as a backup you have to prepare like you’re one play away from having to be in there running the offense,” Jenkins said after the workout. “With Trent resting up this week, I was able to take advantage and get some reps with the ones. I just need to keep working hard. Chip has been doing really well, and I think we’re pretty deep at the quarterback position.”
Jenkins said the group of QB’s have stuck together this summer.
“We hang out on the weekends,” said Jenkins. “We always work together. It’s one team, one fight. We just want to win so we’re working to do whatever puts the team in the best position to do that.”
Andrew Rodriguez returned from his injury and played a few downs, as did Kingsley Ehie and Steve Erzinger, although I did not really notice Josh McNary or Stephen Anderson in the mix much. Mike Gann also played early, as did Jason Johnson and Marcus Hilton.
“I’ve been rehabbing hard and trying to get ready for the season,” Johnson said. “The work paid off today. I can’t wait to get out there against Eastern Michigan. It’s going to be a great day.”
Here’s a set of photos from the practice. Below are a few from the day:
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