Under The Helmet with Norwich University Quarterback Matt Dunn

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Matt Dunn has been spotted under center this fall for the Norwich University football team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Norwich University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

In the words of Norwich University sophomore quarterback Matt Dunn, the Cadets current season has been a “decent” one so far.

Dunn has helped the Cadets enjoy a “decent” campaign by leading the Maroon and Gold on seven touchdown drives, including four two weeks ago during his team’s epic back and forth affair with Coast Guard Academy.

Against Coast Guard, Dunn tossed a career-high four touchdown passes, while completing 23 of 35 passes for 274 yards. His 23 completions and 274 passing yards were also career-bests, too.

Unfortunately, the Cadets fell to the Bears, 38-35, on a late touchdown drive that helped Coast Guard erase a four-point deficit with nine seconds remaining. But despite the setback, Dunn and his teammates seem to be thinking optimistically about their remaining games by keeping the focus on improving every day.

“Coach (Brian) Hayes, Coach (Greg) Vreeland, Coach (Sam) Chaves, and Coach (Kyle) Smesko are excellent coaches that put us in the best possible position to do well,” Dunn explained.

“All we need to do is execute on what they say (going forward), which I believe we have done for the past couple weeks. (We also) need to continue to do (what we are being taught in practice) for the remainder of the season, too.”

Prior to this past weekend’s conference clash with Springfield College, we caught-up with Dunn to discuss his second season with the Cadets.


Who has helped you improve as a quarterback this season? Do you feel you’re a better quarterback than you were last season? 

There have been a lot of people that have helped me improve as a quarterback, starting with Coach Hayes. He always helps us with our craft and makes sure we are doing the little things right correctly. Coach Hayes knows the game and the position, and when you do what he says you can really see the results.

Also, I credit my fellow quarterbacks Jeff Baldassari, Matt Chaffee, Hunter Powers, and Grant Willard, who are great teammates to lean on. We all help each other out every day with the focus on getting better and correcting mistakes. We are a tight group that loves to compete and we certainly make each other better.

I also owe a lot to my father for helping me improve, not only as a quarterback, but also as a player and teammate, too. I talk to him every day about football, school, military, other sports and life, and he always has the best advice for me. He keeps me centered after every game telling me what he saw and what I can improve on. He has always been a huge part of my success and I can’t thank him enough for that.

Everyone I mentioned (above) has and will continue to play a big roll in making me a better quarterback.

Have you always played quarterback? If not, what other positions have you played over the years before focusing on quarterback? 

Last season I played wide receiver after switching from playing quarterback for my entire life. I love being a part of every play on the offense, whether it is throwing the ball, running the ball or handing it off. I just like being involved. I give props to my linemen on offense and defense, who are constantly battling in the trenches on every play. I also give credit to the running backs and linebackers that go up against each other every day, too. And of course, I can’t forget my receivers and defensive backs that are the most athletic players on the field.

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Matt Dunn (6) is spotted under center during his team’s third contest of the season against Castleton University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Norwich University Athletics)

Being from Massachusetts, is it fair to say Tom Brady is your all-time favorite quarterback? If not, who is and why? 

I would be lying if I didn’t say I love watching Tom Brady play for the New England Patriots. He is absolutely my favorite quarterback but there are many others who I love to watch play the position, as well. I enjoy watching Drew Brees, Baker Mayfield, Tate Martell and Russell Wilson. They are all great quarterbacks that are considered “smaller” than the average quarterback like myself, but they still go out there and get the job done. They have prove that size doesn’t matter as long as you have the drive to be great, along with the work ethic, too.

What interested you in attending Norwich University? 

There were many things that interested me in attending Norwich University. First was the military – it has always been a dream of mine to serve my country.  My older brother Chris served in the Marines and told me about the officer career, which sounded right up my ally. Additionally, I was interested in continuing my athletic career with the Cadets’ football team, which was a huge part of coming to Norwich.

Additionally, what interested you in pursuing a major in Criminal Justice? What do you hope to do with your major following graduation? 

Criminal Justice interested me because of what I have seen others do with the degree. You can be a cop, work for the three letter agency or even do something with a security department for major companies. I hope to commission into the military upon graduation and once my service is complete to transition into either a police officer in Massachusetts at the state or local level or become a Boston firefighter. I believe the people who are police officers or firefighters have to greatest job in the world. They keep everyone safe and put their own lives on the line to do it. I certainly have a lot of respect for these brave men and women.

Finally, do you have a game day ritual? If so, what is it and how long have you followed it? 

Oh yeah, I’m a huge ritual guy. My main ritual is putting my equipment on the right side first before the left. I always put on my right sock, cleat or pant leg on before doing it on the left side. I have done that for as long as I can remember. It started when I played hockey and I have done it ever sense.

Noonan: On Sunday, The Patriots Will ‘Ignore The Noise’ Against Seattle

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (left) and quarter Tom Brady (right) will look to capture their fourth Super Bowl on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (left) and quarter Tom Brady (right) will look to capture their fourth Super Bowl on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Bleacher Report)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s finally Sunday.

One more game remains on the 2014 NFL Schedule: Super Bowl XLIX.

New England versus Seattle, clam chowder and great seafood versus Starbucks and the artists. Bill Belichick against Pete ‘How ‘Bout Our Defense’ Carroll, Tom Brady versus Russell Wilson, and East Coast versus West Coast.

The list goes on and on, but this Super Bowl has a different meaning. Instead of two teams competing for the ultimate prize – the Vince Lombardi Trophy (Yes, I used Lombardi’s first name) – this game is about the Patriots against the World.

Everyone wants to see the Patriots crumble, especially against a defense – The Legion of Boom – that is prepared to burst through the line of scrimmage on each snap. Fans want to see New England – a team that has been under scrutiny for the past two weeks because of “Deflate Gate” – lose.

Enough, people!

This is the NFL, the most popular sport in the North America, and instead of getting excited about two great teams competing for a championship, we’ve been wrapped up in Deflate Gate, as well as pondering the question: Is Tom Brady a cheater?

Belichick’s mantra has always been to ignore the noise, and you can bet New England did that this week while preparing for their final test. Say what you want – go ahead, are they cheaters? – but the Patriots first faced adversity when they finished the month of September with an excruciating loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tom Brady and the Patriots were "done" after ending September with a 41-14 setback. (Photo Credit: The Big Lead/USA Today Sports).

Tom Brady and the Patriots were “done” after ending September with a 41-14 setback. (Photo Credit: The Big Lead/USA Today Sports)

Against Kansas City, Brady completed 14 of 23 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Brandon LaFell hauled in six catches for 119 yards, including one touchdown reception, while the defense allowed 26 first downs 443 yards.

Yep, the Patriots were done after this game. At 2-2, the “experts” said it was time for Brady to take a seat and make way for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Yet, as I stated above, the Patriots ignored the noise, turned their attention to their week five opponent: Cincinnati Bengals. And in a span of six days, the Patriots went from non-contenders to contenders, blowing out their opponent by a score of 43-17.

Following their win, New England rattled off seven straight wins, including victories against Denver, Indianapolis and San Diego. They finished atop the AFC East again – surprise, surprise! – and claimed home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Still think the Patriots should have folded following their 2-2 start?

In the postseason, they earned impressive wins against Baltimore (35-31) and Indianapolis (45-7). Their win against the Ravens featured a formation that continues to baffle John Harbaugh – Baltimore’s head coach – but again, did that faze these Pats?

The answer: nope!

Say all you want about Belichick, who was punished for SpyGate in 2007, but the man knows the game of football. He knows how to coach a team, which is ready and prepared to compete against the Seahawks, who humiliated Peyton Manning and the Broncos literally one year ago.

So, while you may think that Deflate Gate or SpyGate or any sort-of-gate is going to bring down these Patriots, think again.

Tonight, we could see history play out in Arizona as Brady and Belichick look to capture their fourth Super Bowl crown since the 2001 season. Sure, it is the same playing field that saw these Patriots conclude their almost perfect season to the New York Giants, but this team is clearly different from the 18-1 squad.

My prediction: I like the Patriots against the Seahawks. It will be close, but New England will squeak past Seattle, claiming their fourth Lombardi trophy, setting up an interesting handshake between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell.

Again, say what you want – call them cheaters or benders-of-the-rules, but these Patriots will ignore the noise and figure out a way to conclude a controversial season with some hardware.

Daily Noontime – June 28, 2011

It's a sad day in Los Angles, as Frank McCourt filed the Dodgers for bankruptcy!

It’s Tuesday and yes, we’re getting somewhat closer to July 4th, so hang on tight, OK? Here’s the day’s headlines and news, so enjoy! 

Headlines: 

* Apparently, one source has it correct, which is… Frank McCourt has nothing and the Los Angles Dodgers have it all.

* While ball clubs should be focused on winning, the Dodgers are forced to worry about payments and economics.

* It’s not certain, but the NFL could “implement” a Thursday Night schedule beginning in 2012, but is that a good or bad idea?

* Once again, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is favoring a Plaxico Burress return instead of Tiki Barber. We saw this coming, right?

* According to reports, Terrell Owens had knee surgery to repair his ACL, but some are wondering, will he return this season?

* It’s a done deal, Russell Wilson is no longer a member of North Carolina State, but instead the Wisconsin Badgers football team.

Games to Watch: 

* San Francisco at Chicago Cubs (MLB) – 2:20pm eastern 

* Milwaukee at New York Yankees (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern

* Boston at Philadelphia (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern

Video of the Day: 

Remember when T.O. cried during a press conference? Well, this particular video brings back memories, right?