- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 22, 2001

Brian Madden's wait is finally over.
Navy's senior quarterback will be under center today for the first time since 1999 when the Midshipmen play host to Boston College (1-1) at noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Madden has not played in a regular-season game since being named MVP of the 100th Army-Navy clash, in which he rushed for a career-high 177 yards on Dec. 4, 1999.
Since then the Oklahoma native has endured a devastating right knee injury that sidelined him last season and undergone four operations. He also served a two-game suspension this season for his involvement in the theft of a parking meter in Baltimore.
"Mentally, you think you're ready," Madden said. "You don't know until you take that first hit. My knee is doing well, and I'm ready to go. That first hit, I better hold the ball with two hands. It will be good to [take a hit] to get it out of my system and move on… . I'm prepared like I'm going to start."
Coach Charlie Weatherbie will not name a starting quarterback until game time, but Madden has received the most reps with the first team in practice this week.
He was the projected starter last season before going down with a knee injury on the final play of the 2000 Blue-Gold spring game and was atop the depth chart this season before violating academy rules. He clearly gives the Mids their best chance to win, which Navy (0-2) has not done with great frequency in recent years. Since the 1999 season, Navy is 3-2 when Madden starts and 3-17 when he doesn't.
Sophomore Craig Candeto started Navy's first two games at quarterback and senior Ed Malinowski, who took over the team's offensive captaincy after Madden voluntarily relinquished the role, also has seen time in the flexbone scheme. Neither has the inside running ability of Madden, who prides himself in his toughness. Despite starting just the last five games of the 1999 season, Madden still led the nation's quarterbacks in rushing with 897 yards.
"As far as the quarterback situation, all three of us right now are thinking we are going to play," Malinowski said. "Right now we've been using two quarterbacks, and I think we probably won't get away from [playing multiple quarterbacks]."
Madden believes he can be the sparkplug and playmaker that the Mids are sorely missing. Two weeks ago, he watched from the stands as Georgia Tech pounded Navy 70-7. In that game, and an opening 45-26 loss at Temple, Navy could not consistently string together first downs and generate big plays when needed.
"It was really tough [watching the Tech game]," Madden said. "To go from where we were two years ago … '99 going into 2000, I thought we had a great team. This year we've had a tough start… . I'm excited. I want to get things jump started. We have to have the mentality we're going to win.
"We have to have an attitude. That's one of the problems. We can't get it going, and the freshmen get used to losing. We have to get beyond that… . I hope I can be the guy to make a big play and get people up."
Madden claims his right knee it was reconstructed once and scoped three times is 100 percent. As a junior, Madden almost returned for the finale against Army in Baltimore but did not feel he was mentally ready, although he said he could have played physically.
"There was no sense in taking a chance," Madden said.
Madden believes he can be better than he was as a sophomore, and he wants the opportunity to prove it.
"There's no doubt in my mind I can keep getting better and add upon what I did," Madden said. "When BC comes to our home field we have to put it on them. We can't settle for a close game or getting our butts kicked."

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