A recent conversation with Navy special teams coordinator Steve Johns, who has a new primary placekicker, a vacancy at punter and both of last year’s return men back in the fold.
Q: It’s an interesting spot with a kicker who could also be the punter —- possibly. What’s your take on how Jon Teague is holding up so far and whether or not it’s an ideal situation to have?
Johns: He’ll be fine if we have to do that. I think we won’t have to do that, especially since we have a really good freshman who I think can punt. Then we’ve got another kid who can be the backup. Teague can be an emergency guy. We’re not going in with him in the rotation, but he’s going to keep fresh doing it. But if he has to, he can do it. He’s a really good punter.
Q: What do you make of Pablo Beltran, a guy who seems like he could be the guy this year?
Johns: He’s a really good punter. He can one-step it and two-step it. His two-steps, he gets it off over 40 every time. His one-steps, he’s down right around two seconds on his one-step releases. He kicks the ball almost as far as he does when he two-steps it. He’s an outstanding punter. Great potential. We just have to see him do it in a game.
Q: What was your reaction when Justin [Haan] was out of here a month or so ago?
Johns: It was a surprise, because I don’t think anybody had any idea that it was even on the table. He let me know right in the last week of July, so it was kind of a surprise. But, our kids are resilient and our team is resilient. Guys will step in. We’ll find another guy. Justin did a great job as our holder and backup punter. We’ll find guys to punt. I think we have some talented guys who can punt, and we’ll find a holder. We have several good candidates. Pablo actually can hold.
Q: With Teague, just with his kicking duties, how far advanced do you feel he is from this time last year? I know he did a little bit of placekicking.
Johns: Yeah, he filled in —- I think it was the East Carolina game he filled in and was perfect on extra points. He’s a good kicker. He would have kicked in the past, but we always had pretty good guys. I thought Joe Buckley did a good job the last two years. He just didn’t get his opportunity, not because he wasn’t good enough, but because of the guy that was there. So he’ll be fine. He’s getting his times down, he has a very strong leg. He’ll do a great job.
His kickoffs have improved. He had a great offseason working out. He’s gotten stronger and improved his leg speed. I look for big things out of him.
Q: It’s very early so this an overview sort of things, but with the return guys, how do you feel about those guys?
Johns: That’s going to be pretty wide open. I know we’re trying several guys there and that is kind of yet to be determined. We’ve got some talented guys doing that, too, so it will be exciting. It’s early, too. We’ve got a month to figure it out.
—- Patrick Stevens