The clock for Army’s 2024 football season may have started ticking during Jeff Monken’s postgame press conference following a win over Navy almost a month ago.
Monken was asked about Army’s transition from the under-center flexbone to a shotgun option this past season. The results (a 6-6 season) and scoring weren’t what Monken wanted and hoped in the new scheme. Monken indicated then that “there’s probably a need to have some of (under-center) elements in our offense.”
It appears Army will be making that move. Monken told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that Army is “switching to an offense that incorporates both traditional under-center option and some shotgun.” He also confirmed an earlier report by Matt Zenitz of 247 Sports of quarterback coach and run game coordinator Cody Worley’s promotion to offensive coordinator.
Worley was masterful in play-calling when Army switched to an under-center offense for one game against Coastal Carolina, a 28-21 win in November.
Drew Thatcher, Army’s offensive coordinator in his first season at West Point, is still on staff. There is likely to be some shuffling of position assignments among the coaching staff with the use of fullbacks and potentially slotbacks with more under-center option plays.
Both Rittenberg and Zenitz reported that running backs coach Darren Paige will not return after one season.
The decision to bring back more under-center option isn’t shocking. Army scored two offensive touchdowns or less in seven of its nine 2023 games against FBS teams when operating the gun option. The Black Knights went 159 minutes without scoring a point in the middle of the season.
And with the success of the under-center option and a season-high 365 rushing yards) in Coastal Carolina win, it seems logical to go back. Worley has the most experienced on Army’s offensive coaching staff in the under-center option.
Much of Army’s roster was recruited to play in the offense. Quarterback Bryson Daily didn’t miss a beat running the scheme against Coastal Carolina. Kanye Udoh, Hayden Reed, Markel Johnson and Jake Rendina can certainly fill the fullback (B-back) role. Tyrell Robinson and Miles Stewart should be equally as effective or more effective as slotbacks.
Have to wait and see what impact the offense move has on recruiting. Army has commitments from some accomplished throwing quarterbacks.