Holley, Broadwater ready to steer Navy QBs have strong showings in bid to replace McCoy

August 23, 1998|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

Navy isn't even halfway through preseason practice, and rTC already the Midshipmen appear to have the answer to the No. 1 question facing the team this fall -- namely, who runs the show now that Chris McCoy is no longer at quarterback.

Steve Holley for one and Brian Broadwater for two (or 1A) is the quick answer.

The junior from Texas and the sophomore from Pennsylvania looked like veteran operatives of Navy's spread/option offense yesterday as the squad scrimmaged for a couple of hours at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Holley, who came out of spring practice as the top gun, has since solidified his position. It's kind of hard to argue with a showing in which Holley ran 13 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns and hit eight of 20 passes for 122 yards and two scores.

Still, Broadwater, up from the junior varsity and after missing spring drills with a broken leg, is already a force. Midway through the action, he had charged off 70 yards in 13 carries and, if anything, might be a little better runner than his competition. His passing is expected to show up down the road.

"I broke a bone above my ankle trying to make a cut on the AstroTurf field early in the spring, and that put me quite a bit behind," Broadwater said. "But I was back at school after cruise going to summer school and working out and I continued to work hard while on vacation. I got my chance earlier in the week when Steve and [backup senior] Jon Limbert got injured and I was taking reps with the first unit."

It's not as though Broadwater shows up from out of the blue. Coach Charlie Weatherbie recalls that Broadwater had some terrific days running the scout squad against the varsity last fall.

Holley's problem during midweek was a sprained joint in his big toe. He ran with a slight limp yesterday but, after watching Broadwater perform during the week, he decided he could stand a little discomfort.

Meanwhile, Weatherbie is satisfied to sit back and let the duel play out. Right now with the offense, it's the line he's worried about. Brian Brown, expected to play right guard, left school after his sophomore year to begin preparations for the ministry. Blaine Kindler, slated at tackle, has been switched to guard.

"Moving Blaine from tackle to guard and having Hoot Stahl and Doug Howard battle it out for the open spot puts us in a position where we feel we'll be getting our five best out there," Weatherbie said. "I think they're good enough to win with, and they'll get better."

"Today was the best protection I've had since I've been here," said Holley, who did not see much action behind McCoy last season.

Weatherbie is less confident about his defense. The Mids lost 10 of 11 starters on defense, but Weatherbie said that last year's backups were nearly as good as the team's starters.

Pub Date: 8/23/98

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