In a sport which bigger, stronger, and faster, was made for the Midshipmen have always been behind…
2012 Navy Report Card: Offensive Line
Navy's offensive line struggled early in the season when its rebuilt line played the toughest teams on its schedule. The Mids' offensive line had difficulties in pass protection as they allowed 24 sacks. On average, Navy's offensive line permitted a sack every seven pass attempts.
The one player that head coach Ken Niumatalolo did not have to worry about was left guard Josh Cabral who he referred to as "Mr. Steady". The senior offensive guard ended his career starting 38 consecutive games. Cabral was easily the Mids best lineman and a great technician. Cabral earned All-East honors and will be missed next season.
Senior Ryan Paulson was converted from defensive end last spring practice. Paulson was a lifesaver for the offensive line. He started all 13 games at left tackle. Paulson, despite having been a back-up defensive end for three years, earned All-East offensive line honors in his own year playing offensive tackle.
The new right guard this year was sophomore Jake Zuzek. Zuzek was the Naval Academy Prep School's 2010 Offensive MVP. Zuzek is a strong mauler who helped the Mids rank sixth in the nation in rushing. He started all 13 games and his play improved as he gained experience. Zuzek scored the game winning touchdown in overtime against Air Force when he alertly recovered quarterback Keenan Reynolds fumble in the end zone.
The center position was unsettled early in the year before the staff settled on sophomore Tanner Fleming. Fleming played in 13 games and started eleven at center. Tanner is an athletic, technically proficient center. He is a big effort player who just needs to be more consistent. Junior Graham Vickers was moved from left tackle to center this season where he started the opener. The next game he was moved to right tackle for the rest of the year. Vickers played in every game last season. He started every game except against East Carolina when he didn't start due to an injury. Vickers is athletic, strong and runs well for a lineman.
Sophomore Bradlyn Heap was moved from center to right tackle this year. Heap opened the season as starting right tackle and didn't play well. He lost his job but did start later in the year against East Carolina. Heap is a mobile lineman who moves well. He can get to the second level but he needs to play with more consistency. Junior Tom Stone appeared in every game and earned his first start against VMI. Stone offers decent size. The offensive line needs to develop some depth. The play of the backup offensive linemen during the spring game was horrid.
ScoutPennPreps.com Recommended Stories
Peyton Manning Breaks All-Time TD Record
Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…Read More
LenDale White escorted out of the Coliseum
Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.Read More
Video Tip: The 1-Minute Golf Swing
Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…Read More
Dr. Roto Video: Week 7 Recap
Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…Read More
Windy Weather Whitetails
As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.Read More