September 15, 2010

Army's Mr. Dependable: Patrick Mealy

During his tenure at Army, senior running back Patrick Mealy has been a constant within the Black Knights' offense. Each year Mr. Mealy seems to add another dimension to his game and coming into 2010, it appears that he has added another gear to his weaponry.

On two occasions in 2009, after breaking through the first and second wave of defenders, the Hyattsville (Md.) native found himself being caught from behind. So the 5-foot-8, 205 pound slotback took it upon himself to put in the work over the winter and clearly he has benefited from Coach Gerch's S&C program.

Many observers have stated that you look faster, stronger, quicker. What is your assessment of where you are now compared to last year? "All of the above," states Mealy.

"I'm stronger right now, definitely faster and quicker. I feel that I'm on the edge as a player. Everything that I worked on in the off-season is coming to flight now."

As Mealy expressed, he is all of the above, but even so the Army staff does not want to burn out Mealy, who is the elder statesman and leader of a backfield that consist four sophomores. The trio of starters are quarterback Trent Steelman, fullback Jared Hassin, slotback Malcolm Brown and Brown's back-up, Brian Cobbs.

However, with Mealy's back-up Raymond Maples.
going down with an ankle injury, #5 may have to carry more of the load, along with taking the time to embellish the spirit of his young running back partner.

"I just have been telling him (Maples) to get back whenever you can," he declares. "The thing about injuries is that you don't want to rush and be put out a lot longer. He's a positive kid … he's been working hard, rehabbing, trying to get himself better and with his work ethic, I'm sure he will be back in no time."

With Hawaii now in the team's rear view mirror, the focus is now on North Texas. "After the game it was a bitter taste in my mouth," says Mealy as he reflects on the last second lost to Hawaii … but only momentarily. "As a team, collectively we are hungry. Our breakdown is beat the Mean Green … immediately after that game (Hawaii) we are already looking forward to the next competition and this week it's North Texas. So we are ready to play now, but we will be practicing hard this week, ready to go and get a win this weekend."

And this is the attitude that Mealy has had individually and as a teammate, from the day he stepped foot on the West Point campus and he has changed or look back since.

"I can just say that we just play together well, we know each other and it's a brotherhood. We have the mentality in knowing how to win."

"Personally since I been as a freshman here … I'm a competitor, so I have the mentality that when I go out there, I'm going to win. I have never had the hope win can win mentality and If you are a real competitor you don't."

When Army fans see #5 with the ball, one thing they can count on is that he will give them 100% if not more … that's just Pat Mealy.

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