Coach Steve Johns talks Navy linebackers

That Navy Midshipmen have been hard at work preparing for the 2013 football. One of the keys tasks of the team will be training up several new linebackers. Navy inside linebackers coach Steve Johns spoke about the team's progress with several new players at the position.

On new players:

We moved three guys in there. We moved William Anthony, Jimmy Britton and Maika Polamalu so they're all brand new. Our young guys haven't really played either so the only guy that's really played is Cody [Peterson] so everyone else is pretty much new. We are starting from scratch pretty much.

On Maika Polamalu's linebacker experience:

In high school I believe he played in a one back offense but I believe he played a lot of defense too.

On Jimmy Britton's experience in high school:

As far as I know he's always been a safety but he's making a nice transition, he's doing a good job.

On William Anthony's experience:

At his high school he kinda played everything so he played linebacker too.

What are the key elements to teach about the inside linebacker position:

Like any position on defense it's all about getting off blocks, tackling. The first thing you've got to do is line up right and then do the fundamentals from there. Teach them where to line up, how to adjust to formations, then once the play happens the fundamentals of how to play it but we are starting with everything, no one really knows how to line up, so it's all starting from brand new.

One Jimmy Britton's defensive experience:

I would say that he has a little natural feel because he's played the nickel back which to the feel there and now he's just moving in one position to the SAM.

On Anthony and Polamalu's potential as inside linebackers:

They're all getting a little better everyday and they all got a chance to play. I'm very encouraged by all the new guys and I'm encouraged by the guys that are young coming up too. There's going to be a lot of competition to see who the final group is that gets to play, it's going to be very competitive which is good.

On Cody Peterson's new leadership role:

He's great; he does a great job, players look up to him. He's fairly new to the position too. It's good. There's a lot of mutual teaching-learning going on and guys are helping each other and I'm encouraged by it.

On Cody's progress since a strong 2012 season:

He works hard every day. He's just trying to get better, he's a tough kid; he doesn't take days off, it's not his style.

On Cody's actual position:

He's playing the SAM. He can play both. We've got a bunch of guys rotating in there.

On other Navy linebackers positions:

We've got William Anthony, Maika is playing both, Vinnie Mauro is playing over there, Jimmy Britton is playing more of the SAM spot, Anthony is playing both. Everybody's is getting to play a bunch and we are just letting it sort itself out by who plays the best.

On Vinnie and his last shot to make an impact:

This is his last shot but he has got to compete like everybody else. He's not going to given anything and the new guys over there are going to push him. It'll be good, we'll see how it all works out. It's all up in the air, it's highly competitive and we are just trying to get everybody reps so we can evaluate see who can try to emerge with an advantage.

On Vinny's experience factor despite not playing in games:

He has a better feel of the calls and where to go than a guy who has just been there a couple weeks but that gaps closes quickly so it's just a matter of who plays the best. Returning guys always have an initial advantage but that's not going to last you the whole time so he's going to have to pick it up because he's going to be pushed.

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