- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 30, 2001

Navy quarterback Ed Malinowski was so inspired to begin the 2001 football season, he showed up a couple of days early for fall practice junior varsity practice, that is.
After the Midshipmen's 1-10 campaign a year ago, who could blame the senior?
"I was ready to get going. I went out to plebe practice [two days before varsity two-a-days], I was so excited," said Malinowski, named team captain just weeks before camp began in August after senior quarterback Brian Madden, who was arrested for stealing a parking meter, voluntarily relinquished the role.
Malinowski will open as the No. 2 quarterback when the Mids' season begins tonight against Temple at Franklin Field in Philadelphia at 7 p.m. Sophomore Craig Candeto will start under center in the Mids' new flexbone offense. Malinowski will split time with him before Madden, the top rushing quarterback in the nation in 1999, returns from a two-game suspension on Sept. 15 at Northwestern.
The flexbone isn't the only new wrinkle in Navy's offense. After starting last season with 10 straight losses before winning the finale against Army, Navy altered its staff and schemes in the offseason, bringing two new coordinators to Annapolis.
Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie is entering his seventh season by the Severn, but with just two winning seasons to his credit (1996 and '97), he is feeling added pressure to win this year. Weatherbie called last season his "most unusual" ever, with three suspensions to starters and 22 surgical injuries. The extenuating circumstances probably saved Weatherbie's job.
Weatherbie, whose Mids have endured three straight losing seasons, probably needs his program to show some signs of improvement and life to continue past this season. Athletic director Jack Lengyel, perhaps Weatherbie's strongest proponent, will step down on Oct. 1, and there's no telling the next athletic director's course of action for the football team if the Mids continue to struggle.
With Weatherbie retaining his job after last season, the blame for the Mids' paltry performances fell on defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter and offensive coordinator Mike Vaught. Vaught, who in 1999 coordinated the top rushing offense in the nation (292 yards per game), was let go and DeRuyter was demoted to secondary coach.
First-year coordinators Rick Lantz and Mark Hudspeth have brought in their own schemes, and Navy's conventional playbook has been overhauled. After the Mids' worst season in a decade, the wishbone is out and the flexbone is in an attempt to counter the Mids' predictable play calling.
It is unlikely that new offensive coordinator Hudspeth, previously offensive coordinator at Delta State (Miss.) the 2000 Division II champions will run the triple option on third-and-10, an all-too-common call by Navy the past few seasons.
"Mark Hudspeth brings a different flair to our offensive team," Weatherbie said. "You'll see some option plays, but you'll see some shotgun, nobody in the backfield, motion … It really opens up things up for some key players in our system."
Candeto, too, is happy with the changes.
"[Opponents are] not going to be able to predict what we're going to do," said Candeto, who also plays baseball for the Mids. "We have a lot of surprises and deception in this offense."
The defense is also a shell of its former self after allowing more than 35 points a game a year ago. Lantz, the defensive coordinator at Virginia the past 10 seasons, will oversee the unit. He brought in his multiple 4-3 scheme and scrapped Navy's 3-4 set, the defense it used the past two years.
"I'm excited for this season to get under way, try and get last season out of the memory, and start fresh and new this season and get it rolling," Candeto said. "We're trying to put [last season] behind us, pretty much. It's a totally new team, totally new offense and staff."


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