For better or worse, Maryland’s going with Randy Edsall

November 30, 2011 | Drew Forrester

For better or worse, Maryland’s going with Randy Edsall

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in Raleigh proved, they simply weren’t good enough nor self-demanding enough to overcome the tension that was created by Edsall’s no-holds-barred style.

Losing wrecks people.

And it definitely shattered the Maryland football program this season.

Was Randy Edsall the wrong hire down there?

It’s still too early to say that, for certain.

Has he created a firestorm in College Park?

Absolutely.

Did Kevin Anderson suspect this might happen when he hired Edsall?

Most likely, no.

But Anderson knew what he was getting when he brought Edsall on-board.  This, in fact, was the style Anderson wanted from his coach, which is yet another reason why the Terps didn’t bring in former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.  Anderson’s background at Army lends itself to a disciplined coach, a coach that makes young men out of teen-age boys, and someone that will respect the process of taking student-athletes and rounding them into positive contributors to the community with the Maryland diploma proudly displayed on their office wall.

Mike Leach would have come to Maryland and cared ONLY about winning football games.

Randy Edsall showed up at Maryland hell bent on changing the program and having the players on his team be winners on the field and in the classroom.

And that’s the way Kevin Anderson wanted it.

So Anderson and the folks at Maryland certainly can’t lose faith in Edsall after one season, no matter how out-of-this-world bad the losses were and regardless of how many kids follow D.J. Adams and pack up their stuff and head off for another school.

Randy Edsall is Maryland’s football coach.

It doesn’t really matter if I agree with it, or you disagree with it, or my pal John Feinstein of the Washington Post doesn’t agree with it.

The only thing that matters is what Maryland thinks and you can rest assured, barring something completely unforseen like Edsall taking another job sometime this month, Kevin Anderson is eager to get the program back on track for his own reasons since it was Anderson who ran so hard for Edsall last January when the search committee would have preferred the job be offered to Leach.  Anderson and Edsall are to Maryland what Boller was to Billick in Baltimore.  Joined at the hip, for better or worse.

So you get where I’m coming from, right?  They can’t fire Randy Edsall after one season.  It might be the right thing to do, mind you, but it just can’t be done right now.  You have to be 100% sure you’re making the right move and at the one-year point, there’s no way to know you’re 100% on the money if you let Edsall go.  This is the guy you hired and this is the guy who either gets the program back on track — or doesn’t.

One season and 12 games worth of football isn’t enough to say, without any doubt at all, that Randy Edsall is the wrong guy at Maryland.  Terminating him now would merely be a response to losing, which almost always stands to be a mistake if you’re making that decision on the heels of disappointment.  If you were searching for a reason to put Edsall on the proverbial hot-seat, it would have more to do with his attitude towards mostly everyone he deals with and not as much about the losing.  It’s one thing to come on board and pioneer the dawning of a new day in Maryland football and lose some games at the outset of your tenure. It’s something entirely different when you’ve irritated folks at virtually every level of the college sports scene – players, staff, university officials and media – from the day you arrived on campus.  And, your team went 2-10.

I’m not sure Edsall can fix the mess he helped create, but sending him out the door less than a year into his tenure just wouldn’t be the reasonable thing to do.  I haven’t once mentioned money here.  I haven’t once said “Maryland can’t just write Edsall a $5 million going-away-present and tell him to get lost.”  I haven’t brought up the finances (see next page, please)

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Edsall’s problems have more to do with leadership than x’s and o’s and wins and losses. I didn’t have any great expectations for him in his first year, given how Fridgen’s firing was handled and the fact that many players left the program. But…..when you blame others rather than take responsibility and when you openly criticize fans and alumni, it says alot about leadership or, in Edsall’s case, lack thereof! In the final analysis, when players consistently fail to perform on the field or, worse, “bail” on their coach, that’s as much a reflection of the coach as his players. As for firing him with 5 years and $10 million remaining on his contract, that’s a last resort unless you’re convinced that the hiring was a mistake and there is someone better qualified waiting in the wings………

  2. Marty Mossa Says:

    They really should give the guy another year to allow his system into place. I didn’t like the way they treated Ralph, I don’t like the clown uniforms they wear, and most of all I don’t like the way Kevin Plank is running the show. Let’s face it Kevin Anderson is just a puppet. They should be called the Under Armor Terps. But it’s all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

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