The Washington Times - August 12, 2009, 11:56AM

If there was one significant snippet from Navy’s formal press conference last week that is worth delving into, it is the extended take on quarterback Ricky Dobbs‘ passing.

You can read the full transcript here, but this extended block quote from coach Ken Niumatalolo and Dobbs pretty much covers things:

SEE RELATED:


Niumatalolo: We are going to continue to do what we do.  Ricky has a skill set that is a little different than some of our past quarterbacks and that will help us in the passing game, although we aren’t going to turn into Texas Tech or anybody.  We will probably throw the ball a little bit more, but we know for us to be successful we have to run the ball and there is a whole plan behind it and why we do what we do and what we are trying to get accomplished. Our offense isn’t filled with bells and whistles and it isn’t real fancy, but we just want to win games. 
 
Dobbs: As much as I would love to pass the ball on every down, I know the school that I came to features the option.  We worked really hard on our own this summer getting the option down so we can continue the tradition of winning the rushing title.

I’ve been meaning to take a closer look at the Ricky Dobbs Phenomenon for a while – or at least the history leading into a season in which Navy will trot out a truly credible passer.

And let’s face it; when the Mids have a quarterback who is both willing to admit he “would love to pass the ball on every down” and would have at least a shot to be effective in a major-college scheme that permitted him to do so, that’s interesting.

Anyway, I thought I’d look back over Navy’s last 10 seasons, picking out guys who started multiple games in a year (or played extensively enough for inclusion) and figuring out who of the bunch was the most pass-oriented based on their individual passing and rushing attempts.

In the triple option (which was installed upon Paul Johnson’s arrival in 2002), that’s like attempting to find the tallest man in Lilliput. But here’s what was uncovered:

Year

QB

Run 

Pass 

Pass Pct.

1999

Broadwater

154

107

41.0

 

Madden

180

59

24.7

2000

Broadwater

129

137

52.1

 

Malinowski

104

70

40.2

2001

Candeto

30

33

52.4

 

Madden

217

145

40.1

2002

Candeto

177

103

36.8

 

Polanco

74

47

38.8

2003

Candeto

271

131

32.6

2004

Polanco

246

114

31.7

2005

Owens

213

122

36.4

2006

Hampton

150

47

23.9

 

Kaheaku-Enhada

131

48

26.8

2007

Kaheaku-Enhada

180

98

35.3

2008

Bryant

139

37

21.0

 

Kaheaku-Enhada

63

35

35.7

Johnson’s arrival exactly coincides with a barrier for the last time Navy had a quarterback run less than 1.5 times as much as he threw.

So, is it possible Dobbs could change that?

First, his numbers from last year (106 rushes, 16 pass attempts) suggest the exact opposite of a more pass-oriented quarterback. But remember, Dobbs was the guy Niumatalolo inserted late in the EagleBank Bowl when the Mids faced a 10-point deficit in the final minutes.

There is no questioning Dobbs has a superb arm, and even if he averages a dozen pass attempts in the regular season, he’ll have thrown more often in a year than all but one guy in the last decade (Brian Madden in 2001).

In short, it will be fascinating to see the Ricky Dobbs Phenomenon in action. More importantly, it won’t take a very big sampling of the RDP for things to be dramatically different from the recent past.

Patrick Stevens