On Thursday members of the Army coaching staff and select players met with the media for the annual media day held at West Point. Veteran players also participated in photo shoots for stadium introductions and CBS Sports Network. Here are a few key points gleaned from interviews with coaches and players.
No Clear-Cut Favorite at QB: The position battle between sophomore Chris Carter and junior Ahmad Bradshaw is less of a battle and more of fitting the right signal-caller in the right situations. Carter, who played in Army's last two games in 2015 threw for over almost 150 yards and one touchdown against Rutgers, not to mention his 111 rushing yards and yet another touchdown on the ground. This summer he is focused on recovering from a hamstring injury. Ahmad Bradshaw, who was named the opening day starter last season, has seen an increase in reps along with freshman Malik McGue. Carter is familiar with the triple option as he ran the same play in high school.
"[Ahmad's] helped me improve my fundamentals from throwing to reading the right man," Carter said. "I've learned a lot from him."
"The [Black Knights] are a brotherhood," Bradshaw replied when asked about the quarterback competition. "It's about what's best for the team."
"I think both [Ahmad] and [Chris] are capable of leading this team," Coach Jeff Monken said about his trust in his quarterbacks. "I think [Army] will be a better team this season, more improved than last [season]."
Quinten Parker Succeeds Graduated Kelvin White at TE: The loss of tight end, Kelvin White, was a blow for the Black Knights. White, a versatile 6'3' 258-pound tight end, appeared in every game last season. He was even the play caller in wildcat formations. White, a second lieutenant, even helped coach the tight ends. His backup, sophomore Quinten Parker, saw some action last season, but will trust with a larger workload this season.
"[Quinten] is ahead of everybody," Army offensive coordinator Brent Davis said of Parker. "[Parker's] the only one to play in a game."
The Black Knights do have some depth at this position. Joe Corless Jr., a freshman who played at the Army Prep school (USMAPS), has shown promise, according to Coach Davis. "[Joe's] progressing. He could line up outside and be a quality special teams player for [Army]."
Running Backs (Slotbacks and Tailbacks) Depth- Army uses a slotback and a tailback in the triple option. The tailback is a hybrid, the position that can play both in the backfield, and lineup, depending on the formation. For a wide formation, John Trainor, a junior back, and Tyler Campbell, a sophomore, would carry the load for the Black Knights. Trainor recorded 176 receiving yards last season. He also rushed for over 250 yards, making him a solid fit for the hybrid position. Campbell rushed for 118 yards in 8 games last season, and also caught 3 passes for 57 yards.
Army could have a third hybrid tailback, as the Black Knights have depth at the position. Joe Walker, a senior running back who rushed for 203 yards and 1 TD last season, is in the mix for a potential opening in specific spread formations. Also in the mix is senior Elijah St. Hilaire who played in 5 games in 2015 while battling injuries.
"[Army] feels good about [a third slotback]," Offensive coordinator Brent Davis described a potential scenario involving two players in the backfield and one lined up in the slot. "That gives the [Black Knights] the chance to have [their] best 11 guys on the field."
Army opens its 2016 campaign in Philadelphia, against Temple, on September 2.