Rest: too much of a good thing?

After opening loss, Mids draw extra practice time

Navy notebook

College Football

September 06, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

There was no rest for the dreary after Navy launched its football season with a convincing loss to Temple on Saturday night.

After the 17-6 defeat, the staff gave the team a talking-to, reminding the players that "we're going to play 10 other teams as good or better than Temple," according to coach Charlie Weatherbie.

Then, Monday, normally a light day, Navy pulled on the pads and underwent a full-scale practice in an effort to find some answers for its dismal opening-game performance.

"It was really disappointing," Weatherbie said. "I felt like weren't emotionally ready to play football. We believed we would just show up and win the game. We can't do that against anybody. After they [the team] saw the video, they were ashamed and embarrassed with the way they played."

Navy's players had two days off before the game, as the coaches sought to have them well-rested. They had done that in a previous season, and the Midshipmen had responded with an inspired effort. This time, it backfired.

"We won't do that again," the coach said.

Corrections must begin in the sputtering offense, which netted fewer than 100 yards other than the 50 quarterback Brian Broadwater covered on a late-game touchdown run. Navy has an all-senior offensive line that was supposed to be the cornerstone of the attack, but it surrendered six sacks and left Broadwater fighting for air most of the night.

"I think we've got the right people in the right places," Weatherbie said of the line. "But they've got to perform. We just went through the motions."

Weatherbie stopped short of announcing any personnel changes after one game. The depth chart for the next game is unaltered.

"If we're not getting the production we want out of them, we'll just have to say, `Next,' " Weatherbie said. "You can only motivate people to a certain extent. The only way to correct the problem is to decide they want to be successful.

"I think you'll see a team fight their tails off when they come back out. I think they've got something to prove."

Next up: bye week

Navy receives a week off before visiting Georgia Tech, so it will have plenty of time to make necessary adjustments. But "bye" isn't really on the schedule at the right time.

"You'd like to have the open week after a win," Weatherbie said. "But it is a good time to go back and re-gather your thoughts and fundamentals."

The Midshipmen will catch Georgia Tech - a 21-17 victor over Central Florida in its opener - coming off a big date with No. 2-ranked Florida State, so that could be a plus.

Kicking news

One question was answered positively Saturday.

New punter Brian Williams, a starting wide receiver, responded well as the replacement for graduated Trey Calisch. He was busy, punting nine times for a 39-yard average.

"I did it in high school, and it's something that would get me on the field more," said Williams, who is one of only two players in the nation to punt and start at another position (the other is Steve Mullins, a Utah State wide receiver).

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