Bulldogs have reliable legs in Webb
Big Shoes to fill
By Jovan Bland
It's a great time for Bowie State football, as the Bulldogs have given the students and many loyal fans something to celebrate for the first time in a few years. Bowie State holds a strong 4-2 record; and with a 3-0 record in the CIAA, there is reason to believe that a championship of some sort is quite a possibility.
Much of the success, though in previous years was credited solely to a relentless defense, is due to the effectiveness of the running game. And after the departure of star running back Isaac Redman to the NFL, it was clear that the team would have to work to maintain the firepower brought by Redman in previous years.
Well, the 2009 season has progressed in a steady flow, with the defense as strong as ever and the offense barely missing a beat. The Bulldogs rushing attack has been responsible for 1000+ of the yards gained by the offense this season. Over 600 of those yards belong to junior ball carrier Rodney Webb. Webb serves as the leading rusher for the Bowie team, already being recognized as National Player of the Week and top back in the CIAA conference.
Webb sat down with The Spectrum to discuss the status of the Bulldog season, thus far. Webb feels positive about the remainder of the 2009 season. And with committed teammates, seasoned coaches, and hard work, Bulldog fans are in for an interesting ride on the road to a championship. Fret not, the Bowie Bulldogs mean business.
Spectrum: Well Rodney, First off, how does it feel to have been voted National Player of the week?
Webb: It feels great honestly. I guess hard work really does pay off.
Spectrum: You're the leading carrier in a strong stable of running backs (All of which who average over 5.0 ypc). What do you think makes you guys so hard to defend against?
Webb: I gotta give credit to our offensive line. The O-Line works non-stop and they make it really hard to stop us. Their work ethic makes our [backs] job so much easier.
Spectrum: Do you feel it's a responsibility of yours to fill the void in the running game left by Redman?
Webb: Well, Ike did a lot for this team during his time here so of course he would have huge shoes to fill. I try my hardest to get better every day. So, in a way, yes, I do feel it's my responsibility to fill the void.
Spectrum: What goals have you set for yourself and the rest of the backs on this team?
Webb: To be the BEST. Period! I feel we have the best running back core in all of Division II Football. I expect greatness from all of our backs just as they would expect nothing less from me.
Spectrum: Well it seems the running game is doing its fair share of the work on offense. What do you think has to be done in order for the Bulldogs passing scheme to be successful?
Webb: Well, it's all about timing. We have a young quarterback who has a lot of potential. He is still coming into his own but he is hard to stop once he really gets going with a few short passes and turns it up. We will be fine.
Spectrum: We are midway through the 2009 season - the record at 3-2. With some tough opponents headed our way, do you feel it's a mission for other teams to beat the Bulldogs?
Webb: It is a mission for these teams. Record aside; we are one of the best teams across the board from coaches to players. They better try to beat us [laughs].
Spectrum: There's no doubt we are on our way to a championship contention. Despite the good news of being ranked as one of the tougher teams in the CIAA conference, some people still believe Bowie State is overrated - maybe not even deserving to be ranked as high as we are. Any comment?
Webb: Well, I feel like we were never given a fair deal. Like everyone was against us - counting us out. I mean we lost about seven role players, but we brought back a good portion of our offense as well as our defense so a lot of teams see our projected ranking and think we are overrated.
Spectrum: So what do you, on behalf of the entire team, have to say to the teams and people who have the odds against BSU?
Webb: Our goal is a championship man. We have great coaches and great young players with a lot of potential. Honestly, we haven't really shown how good we really are yet - that's the scary part. My coach [Wilson] always says that we are afraid to be great so we definitely have something to prove. All I can say to those who are against us is that we are working. See you all at the CIAA Championship...