Ryan Moody interned this summer with the Federal Home Loan
"I'm not a number-crunching guy," he said.
Here are some more numbers
Last season, only one Tribe receiver, converted quarterback D.J. Mangas, caught a touchdown pass. Moreover, Mangas was the lone William and Mary receiver to catch more than 14 passes and produce more than 200 yards.
Not coincidentally, the Tribe ranked 106th nationally among 120 teams in scoring (18.4 points per game) and struggled to a 5-6 season in defense of its
"That fueled the fire this offseason," Moody said Monday as William and Mary opened practice for its Sept. 1 opener at Maryland. "Five-and-six doesn't sit well."
Certainly not after consecutive seasons of 7-4, 11-3 and 8-4, the latter two of which included Championship Subdivision playoff berths. Certainly not for a program renowned for coach
With seven starters back from a solid defense, a seasoned offensive line and a committee of capable running backs, Moody and his fellow receivers realize that the Tribe's improvement hinges, in large measure, on them.
Not to excuse the quarterbacks. Either Brent Caprio, Michael Graham or Raphael Ortiz needs to emerge as a reliable triggerman. But their burdens become much lighter if they have playmakers on the perimeter.
"The defense is going to be a strong point again," said sophomore Tre McBride, the projected starter opposite Moody. "We've got both our captains (linebacker Jabrel Mines and safety Brian Thompson) on that side for a reason. …
"I'm going to go ahead and say it: If the offense shows up this year, playoffs easily and CAA good chance for a championship. … And with (running back Jonathan) Grimes gone, the quarterback receiver connection is going to have to be as (good) as it's ever been."
McBride last season became the first true freshman receiver since D.J. McAulay in 2005 to see game action for William and Mary. He caught 14 passes for 146 yards, three for 50 against Old Dominion.
Not bad for a former wing-T running back in high school, but not good enough.
"He has a lot of ability, but it wasn't something that was smooth right off the bat," said Kepa, who also coaches the receivers. "He knew his plays, knew what he was doing, not a lot of mental errors. I think there were a lot more physical errors … learning how to play at a speed that's faster than high school. He didn't have the quarterback who could bring him along quickly because we were rolling so many guys in there.
"He's got to come along. He's got to help us."
Graham, Caprio and the departed Mike Paulus started multiple games at quarterback in 2011. Graham was the only one to throw more touchdown passes (five) than interceptions (three).
The only Tribe receiver to catch a touchdown pass in college is Moody, a fifth-year senior. He was second-team All-CAA in 2010 with 47 receptions for 731 yards and two scores, but a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee limited his junior season to six games and 10 catches.
"I'm as close to 100 percent as anybody could feel," Moody said. "I've been working hard in the offseason trying to get that power and explosiveness back, trying to become the player I was two years ago."
If he's not, William and Mary could really struggle. Projected backups Joey Brady and C.J. Thomas, both seniors, have two career catches between them.
"He's got no excuses now, this is his last go-around," Kepa said of Moody. "If not, next guy in, and he knows that. He's going to have to be much more productive than he was in the spring and be a leader for us on the field as well."
Laycock wasn't pleased with the spring, either, and like most others inside the program sees the passing attack as the primary hurdle to a quality season.
What does Laycock, a former Tribe quarterback, expect from his receivers?
"Be where they're supposed to be and catch the daggum ball," he said. "It's really not that complicated. … I think they all understand what they need to do."