Tag Archive | "Don Brown"

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OC Locksley expects Don Brown defense to be “headache” for Terps Saturday

Posted on 12 September 2012 by WNST Staff

Quotes from Maryland Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley and Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On Don Brown’s Connecticut defense:

“It’s definitely a headache. They play great, solid defense, statistically and on film you can see why they’re ranked where they are defensively. He outnumbers the box, he disguises well. It’s been a trying week for us offensively just to come up with a scheme for ourselves to have some success. As we get through the week we’re feeling better and better about playing, and we feel we can go out and execute.”

On if he’s talked to the veteran defensive players about Don Brown’s former schemes:

“You know some of the guys like Kenny Tate and Joe [Vellano] have come in and given their two cents as to the background of the defense and what it entails. But you can watch the tape and what you see is pretty consistent with what we’ve heard when you do your research on it. We did a preliminary game plan in the summer so we’ve had some time to evaluate it. As we get into it this week after we’ve seen the two games they’ve played really well.”

On the importance of last week’s tempo for Perry Hills:

“It’s good to see he made the strides that you like to see all of our guys making from week one to week two. I thought Perry improved, and that’s the goal for us. He’s still a guy that got off the yellow school bus last year, and our goal is for each week to give him a plan that he can go out and be comfortable with. It’s not what we want to do, it’s what he can get accomplished and what he’s comfortable with. I think he took some steps, but we have to consistently do it.”

On Hills’ ability to throw the deep ball:

“I thought all camp long he did some nice things, and that’s how he earned the right to be the guy when we had the injuries. So, when you recruit a guy you recruit him to have the skill-set to do what you want to do on offense. I’m very pleased with his skill set and how it fits in to what we do.”

On Tyler Cierski’s injury status and how the depth at tight end allowed that to not be a major limitation:

“Well any time you don’t have Tyler it’s a blow to us offensively. He brings toughness, and his ability to get us to run downhill. As you said, the luxury of having four tight ends going into the season would give us strength at that position. Having that personnel grouping allowed us to have some flexibility to continue to be able to get under center and run some of our downhill, power pro-style run plays. A guy like Devonte Campbell coming in, or a guy like Matt Furstenburg being able to fill those roles.”

On ball security and Wes Brown bouncing back this week:

“Well I think when you look at the turnovers that’s the one thorn in my side from an offensive standpoint. You can’t turn the ball over and be a good team. That’s the one thing we’ve stressed from day one, is not beating ourselves. We’ve been very fortunate here the past couple of weeks to come away with wins when you turn the ball over seven times as an offense. I think the young guys understand the importance of it. We’ve done some things to try and reemphasize ball security. I have no doubt in my mind that a guy like Wes will bounce back, those guys understand he’s been playing that position a long time. He understands the importance of it and I expect him to bounce back and as an offense the goal is to come out of this thing without turning it over and beating ourselves.”

On if he’d be satisfied with a 3-0 start:

“There’s no satisfaction because we have a long season and we’re playing a bunch of young players. It’s been my experience having done this quite a bit in my career that you like to see the consistency out of a young team where you’re able to do it. But every week is a new week with a young ball club and young players. For us, there will be some satisfaction if we can find a way to come away with the win. But it all starts back up on Sunday, when we go out and practice it’s a brand new week.”

On Kevin Dorsey and his status as a mentor to the younger receivers:

“Well I’ve seen the unselfishness, and I know our receivers would love to see the ball a little bit more. With a young quarterback I think they realize and understand it’s more about what our quarterback can execute. I think each week you’ll see us continue to be able to add or improve on what we take in based on how fast Perry [Hills] continues to develop. I’ve been really pleased with Kevin [Dorsey] and Kerry Boykins as senior receivers who’ve sacrificed for the sake of getting wins and helping the development of a young quarterback and offense. Those guys have been just tremendous from a leadership standpoint.”

On if the selflessness is something he pressed upon them or they brought on their own:

“I think communication is the key, and those guys understood when C.J. [Brown] went down, there were maybe going to be some things that would take some time with a young quarterback like Perry. It’s not anything that we had to go and talk about, but I think they understood being around the game as fifth year seniors what it takes.”

On what Brandon Ross brings to the table:

“I think because of his skill set he’s a homerun threat. I’ve been pleased with the running backs in general, minus the turnovers obviously. It gives you another weapon in your arsenal, and gives you a guy that has the ability to make some things happen. Maybe at the second level he can make a guy miss, and take it the distance. He has those types of abilities.”

On Albert Reid’s role:

“That’s the thing we talk about, roles are something that change daily based on performance and situations. Going into last week, the competition at that position has been pretty good. I like that; it’s something I wish we had at every position. Depth wise, we just don’t have it at the offensive line position, even somewhat at the receiver position. The depth isn’t there to have that type of competition, but those roles will be determined by how they practice during the week. We thought Wes practiced well last week, Albert [Reid] didn’t do anything wrong per se, but his role will be determined by how we finish up this week. This is the second day of our two really tough practices, Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll see what his role will be when we get closer to game time.”

On percent of his job is spent recruiting vs. coaching:

“It’s 50-50, you’re doing both. I’m a big believer that to be a complete coach you have to be a guy that can go out and get the groceries and come home and cook dinner. That’s just been my philosophy, I never wanted to be pegged just as a recruiter or pegged as a guy that just knows X’s and O’s. To the young coaches that I’ve often time spoke with about the business, I think you develop leverage with the ability to do both really well. Right now I have some work to do as a coach.”

On Notre Dame joining the ACC:

“I just heard that maybe an hour ago… Any time you can bring in a product like Notre Dame to our conference it helps. For right now, all my energy and thoughts are on getting ready for UConn and trying to put an offensive plan together.”

On the feelings as a recruiter when someone signs with you:

“Well you move on to the next recruit. You don’t have a lot of time to celebrate small victories, whether it’s recruiting or a game on Saturday. It’s unfortunate, we just talked about it a little as an offensive staff. There’s very little time to enjoy the process because as soon as you get a Stefon Diggs come in, then you’re on to the next guy whether it be for next year or next week. So it’s a short-lived excitement, but I think in the end it’s what you do as a coach.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On the return of defensive backs Isaac Goins and Matt Robinson:

“It’s pretty exciting. It was unfortunate that Matt [Robinson] got hurt so early in training camp, but the experience he brings and the leadership he brings back there is pretty good. He’s tried to be a leader but it’s hard when you’re not on the field. Now with him getting the chance to be on the field and help out the young guys has been awesome. Isaac [Goins] had a great spring for us. We’re excited just to get him on the field to do some things with him.”

On if he thinks the secondary has been an issue:

“Obviously we’re a work in progress. I’d like to play better on the back end, you don’t like to give up touchdown passes or pass interferences. I think they’re getting better. As a group we play a lot of young guys, as we start to stabilize guys on the field the better we’ll get.”

On Sean Davis coming in and playing in his first year:

“I think he’s holding up ok. I think you guys had a chance to talk to him earlier in the week, and you see he’s a very personable kid. He’s going to do the best he can, and it’s just hard because things are a little different and faster than when you’re in high school. It’s a learning process for him, and I think it was a good process. I’d rather him get a chance to learn in a backup role rather than a starter role, but nonetheless it was a good learning process.”

On if he has seen Sean Davis grow rapidly over the past month:

“I think he did a great job. When you’re young as a whole, there’s not a lot of football experience you can go back on especially with the speed of the game at the college level. Those young guys just have to keep seeing it. The more playing time they get, the more motions they see, and the more things that happen to them the better they get.”

On what the offense can expect to see from Don Brown and how familiar he is with Brown:

“You know what, we have some guys like Keith Dudzinski who was on the staff with [Don Brown] for quite a while. He’s talked about his thought process and what he thinks Don does and likes to do. I pretty much focus on our guys and how I’m going to attack [Connecticut]. It should be fun, it sounds like there’s going to be two pretty aggressive, pressure defenses going on. It should be fun.”

On if there’s any frustration that the media is calling this game the “Randy Bowl”:

“This is the first time I’ve heard it called the “Randy Bowl”. The great thing about Coach Edsall is that we do everything the same. We practice the same, do meetings the same, recruit the same, so I haven’t noticed anything different. I just know that we have another football game against the University of Connecticut and we’re going to do everything we can to win that game.”

On why this unit has been able to come together and rank so highly in defensive statistics:

“I’m not a big numbers guy. I’m more about looking at what we need to do to win. I just think the basic foundation of our defense is if we can stop them running the ball, focus on third down, get them off the field, and not let them score, then we have an opportunity to win every game. Those are the things I focus and drive into our guys. I just really want to play our defense and get better at our defense. Winning each down one game at a time, down by down, that’s the main focus. That’s exactly what I want the players to think.”

On how Alex Twine has held up this season:

“I think Twine has played and done everything we’ve asked him to do with that position. A lot of times the coaches don’t get credit. I have to credit Lyndon Johnson, Keith Dudzinski, as well as Greg Gattuso with just coaching their guys and making sure they know the intricacies of each position.  They make sure when a guy is called to play, he can play and I can call a total menu of plays. When Twine got thrown in, he knew everything, not to mention he had the opportunity in the spring to be the starter. That helped tremendously. I think Twine, Sean Davis, and all those guys benefit from the way the coaches have taught and making sure everyone knows our scheme defensively.”

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The 15-7-0 > The BCS

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The 15-7-0 > The BCS

Posted on 05 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. Oklahoma State looked REALLY good Saturday night. It’s a shame it didn’t really matter at all.

I tried explaining to everyone it wouldn’t matter if the Cowboys blew out Oklahoma Saturday night in Stillwater. Every time someone asked a question like “what if the Pokes win by a score of 50-0?” I responded with a simple “it won’t matter.”

I was right. Louisiana State will face Alabama again in the BCS Championship Game and OSU will get to watch after playing Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.

It’s a shame, as Oklahoma State certainly looked like a team capable of making things interesting in New Orleans on Saturday night. The shame is that their Bedlam rivalry win was marred by 13 fans being injured when they rushed the Boone Pickens Stadium field. It’s also a shame the Big 12 Champs aren’t Bayou bound because we’d all like to see more of Mike Gundy dancing…

2. With that in mind, does anyone think LSU is losing in the BCS title game?

It’s not that I don’t think highly of Oklahoma State (or Alabama), it’s just that the Tigers have been pretty dominant. See Badger, Honey.

It appears as though Tyrann Mathieu’s punt return TD shouldn’t have counted, and he actually had another return later in the game that didn’t result in a TD that was more impressive. But this was still a lot of fun to watch him run all over the Georgia Dome field in the SEC Championship Game.

It’s awfully early, but I’ll go ahead and call a Tigers win over the Crimson Tide in the title game. Just going out on a limb without having to at all. All balls, that Glenn Clark. At least that’s what my 4th grade teacher always said.

3. Tim Tebow is in first place. Since he won’t say it, I will. “Suck it, haters.

I picked the Denver Broncos to beat the Minnesota Vikings on “The Friday Football Frenzy” this week; but I gave myself an out. “If Von Miller doesn’t play the Broncos lose” I said.

What I didn’t know is that the great Tim Tebow had the “throw a 41 yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas while running out of bounds” in his repertoire…

Tim Tebow is better than you. And thanks to an Oakland Raiders loss we’ll get back to later in the game, he’s in first place in the AFC West.

Some Tim Tebow haters won’t give it up, including Merrill Hoge. He told the New York Post that Tim Tebow hasn’t proven anything because he hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Yep. That’s solid analysis. Well done sir.

Since we’re here, here’s this humorous picture of Matt Willis and Willis McGahee.

And also, this is apparently a photo of a fetus (or unborn child if you will) Tebowing. If you don’t want to look at it, don’t. I have no idea what I’m looking at myself.

4. Through one week, everyone who said “TJ Yates will be fine because he has Arian Foster” is right.

Of course, I was not in that camp so I feel like a bit of a silly goose.

The Atlanta Falcons had a great chance to make a move in the NFC Wild Card race, but they couldn’t contain Arian Foster in a loss to the Houston Texans.

I don’t have any (legitimate) highlights of the Texans’ win, but I DO have a video of Tommy Lasorda dropping a TON of F-Bombs in an old interview. Does that interest you???

5. I believe the pythagorean theorem somehow helped deliver West Virginia to the Orange Bowl. Clemson got there the old fashioned way.

The Mountaineers barely held on to beat South Florida Thursday night in Tampa Bay, claiming part of the Big East title-apparently the part that gets you to Miami.

Clemson on the other hand finished a season sweep of Virginia Tech (we’ll get back to them) in the ACC Championship Game. They totally earned their spot in the BCS. It’s a neat change of pace.

The Tigers and ‘Eers will get together in an Orange Bowl showdown that absolutely no one will be interested in. Except maybe this girl…

But I don’t really think of her as much of a sports expert when you think about it.

Oh-and apparently the appropriate way to celebrate a Clemson ACC title is to “fromble.” I had a lot of beers when I was in college. I didn’t know a damn thing about this…

6. Perhaps Chris Johnson really was worth a ton of money after all?

CJ2K has gone over 100 yards three times in his last four games, a feat he accomplished just once in in his first eight games.

That would be better if you were confused while playing along at home.

It was 153 yards and two TD’s Sunday as the Tennessee Titans topped the Buffalo Bills, a team I SWEAR had been good at some point during their existence…

Things get a BIT more difficult for the Titans next week, as they battle the Saints in Nashville. They find themselves still alive in the AFC South race but also still in the AFC Wild Card mix. AND they’re in the mix for the Cotton Bowl. Or something like that.

7. I don’t think much of the New York Jets, but I enjoy watching anyone beat the Washington Redskins.

The Jets scored 3 TD’s in the final five minutes of Sunday’s game at FedEx Field and got big plays from Aaron Maybin to avoid the upset.

A few things to giggle about here.

One-If the Skins manage to win two of their last four games this season, Mike Shanahan will manage to tie the great Jim Zorn’s record through the first two seasons! Big stuff!

Two-Washington’s Fred Davis and Trent Williams are suspended for the next four games for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. I don’t think the substance has been officially announced, but I think I have a guess…

(Continued on Page 2)

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Friday 3-Pointer

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Friday 3-Pointer

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Friday 3-Pointer

 

Three points to consider, for Friday’s show, and/or general water cooler debate.

 

The departure of Terps defensive coordinator Don Brown last week seemed to come and go without a lot of fanfare. In this case it would seem that Terps fans have conceded the fact that turnabout is fair play.

Given the unceremonious, if not completely out of the blue exit by Terps new head football coach Randy Edsall from his previous post at the University of Connecticut shortly after their loss in the Fiesta Bowl at the hands of Oklahoma and considering the abrupt and unpopular ouster of Edsall’s predecessor Ralph Friedgen, the willingness of Brown to apparently stick around may have been considered surprising to some in the first place. More surprising however would have to be the quick turnabout he made on that decision to instead take the same post at the aforementioned University of Connecticut.

 

From Brown’s perspective, it may make sense to relocate back to New England and closer to his family, an opportunity that’s becoming more and more popular these days, evidenced also by Greg Mattison’s decision to leave his defensive coordinator post with the Ravens and accept the same position at the University of Michigan.

 

More than anything, it feels like a jab at Edsall and Terps’ athletic director Kevin Anderson by the school that both recently left high and dry in the estimation of some. That he at least waited until after National Signing Day to announce his decision may speak to a desire to cause as little disruption on his way out the door as possible, or a calculated attempt at leaving a number of recent signees disgruntled and feeling deceived. As if Anderson needed to provide any more fodder for the fans and press anxious to take him to task, some are advocating giving defensive recruits the chance to opt out of letters of intent if they feel slighted by Brown’s departure.

 

My guess is that whether he is being used as a pawn in this high stakes game of one-upmanship or not, Don Brown will likely have a fair share of success and therefore enjoyment during his time at Connecticut. Maybe it’s a case of right guy, wrong reason for UConn. Hopefully the Terps will find their right guy in Randy Shannon or someone else soon too.

 

 

Someone’s 0 Has Got to Go

 

In the fight game, when you hear that someone’s 0 has to go, it usually means the makings of an exciting fight, even though Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander did their best to disprove that notion last Saturday. And before I go any further, I should mention that it’s a great weekend on tap for fight fans too. Friday Night Fights is on ESPN and ShoBox on Showtime on Friday night, and then the first 2 fights in the Strikeforce Heavyweight MMA Tournament on Showtime on Saturday.

 

As for someone’s 0 having to go however, for that we’ll look to Sunday evening in the NBA. That’s because unless the Cleveland Cavaliers somehow manage to beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, they’ll be hosting the Washington Wizards while riding an NBA record 27-game losing streak. The Wizards will bring to Cleveland with them a 25-game road-losing streak to begin the season and are closing in on that dubious all-time record themselves, currently 29 by the 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks. Thus, someone’s 0 has got to go. I’m betting it’ll be the Cavs who win it. They will after all be resting up at home, as the Wizards host San Antonio on Saturday before venturing to Cleveland the following day.

 

Maybe Wizards coach Flip Saunders will weigh his priorities, pick his battles, and rest his starters as much as possible against the Spurs on Saturday, as there’s little chance of beating them anyway. You might safely guess that both teams have been looking forward to this game for a while and have the date circled on their respective calendars. It may not be pageantry, but it should make for a spectacle worth watching anyway.

 

 

NBA’s Labor Fight Beginning to Take Shape Too

 

As the NFL and its fans prepare themselves for an extended lesson in labor law, it has seemingly been easy from the outside looking in to see that the league has been doing a more than credible job of building fodder this season with which they can attempt to drive negotiations and distract attention from the real monetary issues at the heart of the matter. For their part the players haven’t been doing themselves a lot of favors either, from the Albert Haynesworth saga in Washington to the Antonio Cromartie proclamations at season’s end, the players seem to have their fair share of issues to overcome, not the least of which is that they’re poised to do battle with possibly the best PR and marketing machine in America in the NFL and it’s owners.

 

On the NBA side of things, we might not be as prone to believe that the owners are nearly as savvy or capable in the spin and marketing departments as in the NFL, but again in this case, it seems that the players aren’t doing themselves any favors.

 

NFL players are getting the worst financial deal in all of the major American professional sports, yet still seem to garner little sympathy from the public as they are about to see those benefits even further lessened. For those who have grown weary of the outlandish salary climate in sports in general, look no further than the NBA, where matching up cap numbers drives every trade, trades are routinely pulled off only to see players bought out of their contracts by the acquiring team that didn’t want them in the first place and only included them in the deal to make the financials work, after which the players often go back and get more money by signing with the team that traded them in the first place. Look no further than the league where terrible players with outlandish salaries are seen as commodities only because those outlandish contracts are set to expire and the league where luxury taxes, salary exceptions and trade coupons are as much a part of the game as picks and rolls to flame your disdain for the excesses of professional sports.

 

Jerry Sloan’s surprising mid-season resignation due to his apparent inability to get along with or tolerate the tendencies of the team’s star player and one of the league’s premier point guards in Deron Williams, is just the latest in a chain of events that give clear indication to fans that the inmates are running the asylum in the NBA. From last summer’s “The Decision” and formation of the “Riley’s Angels” triumvirate in Miami, to the season long Carmelo-drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets, to rumors of another Big 3 in New York that may or may not include Chris Paul, all signs point to the fact that NBA owners have lost control of their game. Here’s betting that all of the aforementioned weighs heavily in driving public sentiment toward those owners as the NBA goes to collective bargaining. Add to that, the fact that they’ll likely have successful model to follow in watching how NFL owners get their deal done, and it’s tough to see the NBA’s owners losing this time around.

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Despite recent coaching departures-including most recently Don Brown-Terps football coach Edsall pleased with first Signing Day

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Despite recent coaching departures-including most recently Don Brown-Terps football coach Edsall pleased with first Signing Day

Posted on 08 February 2011 by Ryan Chell

Last week, high school Signing Day for the most part was pushed under the rug because of all the hype leading up to Super Bowl XLV.

But one person hard at work in the few short weeks he has been at the helm of the Terps has been new football coach Randy Edsall.

Edsall’s recruiting class was also pushed under the rug due to the fact that the “experts” didn’t give the first-year Terps coach much credit for what he brought to College Park.

Edsall-hired as the new football coach of Maryland in the coming days before coaches were allowed to hit the recruiting trail back in January-had a shorter time to work with than most coaches implementing his own recruiting plan following the firing of  Ralph Friedgen.

Edsall joined Thyrl Nelson of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss his results from last week’s Signing Day, and with the National Letters of Intent still finding his way to his desk as of Monday, he is pleased with the results and likes the way the team will be shaping up for the 2011 season.

And despite the recent departures of some of Friedgen’s former assistants-guys like James Franklin(who left to become the head football coach at Vanderbilt)-and defensive coordinator Don Brown-who just this past week announced that he will take the same position at Edsall’s old stomping grounds at UConn-the recruits still saw College Park as the place to be.

“It’s been a situation where we were able to maintain most of the guys who were committed here previous to my arrival,” Edsall told Nelson. “And we were able to get three or four guys where we had spots that needed to get done.”

Ralph Friedgen in his decade-long run at Maryland was always good at recruiting the best of athletes to become Terps-guys like Vernon Davis, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Shawne Merriman, and Torrey Smith-and Edsall said that his first recruiting class at Maryland hasn’t missed that beat either.

“You know, being able to maintain the speed and athleticism that we had on the defensive side and I thought we got three quality receivers so overall I was pleased with the work and the final tally of these twenty-one recruits.”

The recruit that has jumped off the charts-or at least highlights the receivers Edsall signed-is Parkwood High School (North Carolina) wide receiver Marcus Leak, the 44th ranked wide receiver prospect in the country.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlAAdkXwRnU[/youtube]

Leak is along the same lines of a Torrey Smith, and has shown on the prep level to have adequate speed and impressive size and bulk.

He is also expected to be a force in the return game when he suits up for Edsall on the field.

Receivers coach Lee Hull was one of a handful Friedgen assistants to remain on Edsall’s staff, and Hull will no doubt have an impact on the grooming of Leak to help him hit the field quicker and perform better when he does hit Byrd Stadium.

Another prospect catching attention and praise from Edsall and others is Hoschtown, Georgia native Tyler Cierski, a protypical fullback at 6’1, 240 pounds.

Tyler Cierski

Cierski was rated as the #2 fullback in the nation according to ESPN.com, and his signing could be attention to the fact that Edsall is going to commit his teams to running the football effectively and not relying entirely on the shoulders of his ACC Rookie of the Year QB Danny O’Brien.

Cierski could eventually be blocking for the recruit who signed late as of Monday- #26th ranked running back Justus Pickett out Ardrey Kell High School in North Carolina.

Justus Pickett

Pickett had several other schools on his list, including West Virginia, Arkansas, Duke, Wake Forest, and Ball State.

The 5’10, 166-pound running back is said to have 4.3-4.6 speed and has drawn some comparisons to Mountaineers running back Noel Devine.

On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Don Brown was expected to remain with Edsall and run that side of the ball, but he recently announced that he was taking his services up to UConn to run new coach Paul Pasqualoni’s defense.

Brown said the move was based on being closer to his family in the New England area, and the former UMass head coach will be going home apparently.

That leaves Edsall with a hole in his coaching lineup at defensive coordinator, but whoever picks up the headset there will have some toys to play with in the coming years.

Quinton Jefferson

Three-star defensive end recruit Quinton Jefferson (Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh)-who had received offers from Iowa, Cincinnati, WVU, Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin-could either be that dominant pass rusher in the next few years for the Terps on the line or if Edsall remains confident in the 3-4 as his defense, Jefferson might be the next Shawne Merriman.

Cole Farrand-a three-star linebacker/tight end out of Sparta, NJ/Pope John-could see himself at either position for Edsall in the coming years.

ESPN has him ranked as the #25th ranked OLB in the prep nation.

You can also add to the mix at the linebacking corps Maryland’s own Alex Twine-out of Quince Orchard High School.

Twine may make an immediate impact on special teams and has already has impressed the coaching staff with his sure tackling ability.

The wild card in the defensive recruits Edsall mentioned may be defensive tackle Keith Bowers out of Dwyer High School in Palm Springs, Florida.

Bowers already weighs in at 6’1, 250 pounds, and he could be that force in the middle for Edsall’s defense.

But while that remains to be seen-as well as the rest of this recruiting class-just as it is in the transition from college to the NFL, some of these guys may not pan out.

“You never know how someone will turn out until you’re four or five years down the road,” Edsall noted. “I just worry about what we do as an evaluation as coaches.”

Maryland’s recruiting class was rated ninth out of the 12 ACC schools, with only Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and N.C. State trailing the Terps according to ESPN.com.

Edall however doesn’t believe in all that rankings and star-systems when it comes to recruiting college athletes. He just wants guys who he knows can play the game of football and do it well enough to his standards.

“I don’t put any credence in the star system,” he said. “What we’re looking for is how they’re going to fit into the schemes we play and do they fit in academically…socially…with their work ethic, and character wise. Those are the decisions we have to make…all those other things are just there to make money for fans to buy into.”

But what Edsall does know that these 21 guys are committed to the University of Maryland 100%, and they’ve already taken that first step in proving so by signing their letters of intent and getting to work.

“It’s so refreshing,” Edsall said,” because you’re teaching these kids about commitment and what commitment means.”

WNST has you covered talking Baltimore sports!

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New Maryland coach Randy Edsall: “What we’re doing is we’re not building a team. We’re building a program”

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New Maryland coach Randy Edsall: “What we’re doing is we’re not building a team. We’re building a program”

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Ryan Chell

Randy Edsall had a plan in place when he came to the University of Conneticut being named the head football coach of the Huskies in 1998.

He helped build a struggling, 1-AA program with no fan or school support under it from the ground up to a Big East contender that made four straight bowl appearances, including this year’s BCS Fiesta Bowl.

Randy Edsall

The University of Maryland recently hired Edsall-a two-time Big East co-champ and 2010 Big East Coach of the Year- to work that same magic on their program, and he joined Thyrl Nelson of the “Mobtown Sports Beat” Wednesday to introduce not only himself to the Terps faithful but to also indiciate his plans for the Maryland football program.

“It’s all about the plan we have in place,” Edsall said. “We just stuck to it and did what we felt was necessary.”

Edsall was hired by AD Kevin Anderson and Maryland President Dr. Wallace Loh to re-energize a displaced Terps fanbase and get the program back to national prominence, and he sees a similar approach on how to fix this situation placed in his hands based on what he did in the Big East with UConn.

“Just like coming here, I have a plan in place on what I want to accomplish, and how we’re going to go about doing that,” Edsall said. “What we’re going to do is build around teammwork.”

Edsall took the job on Janurary 2nd, 2011 to replace Maryland alum Ralph Friedgen as the next football coach of the Maryland Terrapins following Friedgen’s dismissal before the school’s 51-20 victory over ECU in the Military Bowl.

He was hired at that date to get he and his staff in place ready for recruiting and to prepare for the 2011 college football season. So far, his job has been as hectic as can be, and he has fit right into the grind of making the Terps important again the same way he made UConn football relevant for the first time.

“It’s been very hectic,” Edsall told Nelson. “There’s not enough hours in the day, but you just prioritize yourself on the things you need to do…and right now, it’s the recruiting and the finalization of the coaching staff.”

The biggest news so far with the coaching staff has been Edsall retaining Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown and today reports indicated that LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton will be leaving the Tigers to become Edsall’s OC.

“We want to be aggressive in everything we do,” Edsall commented. “We especially want to be aggressive on defense and I’ve retained Don Brown and so the defense is really going to be the same. And offensively what we want to do is attack the field vertically and horizontally.”

Edsall in his twelve years coaching at the UConn compiled a 74-70 overall record, and that might have Terps fans scratching their heads. Why hire a coach with that record as opposed to Mike Leach, who was 84-43 in ten seasons at Texas Tech?

Edsall may have fit more into what the school’s administration was looking for when it came to getting a program known more for its other athletic teams on everybody’s radar.

“It was a vision that I had to have,” Edsall replied, “because of the fact that no one had a Division-1 mentality when it came to the University of Connecticut.”

Edsall’s Huskies were the first squad to make the successful transition from FCS to FBS. And while they struggled at first going 15-30 over his first four seasons on the UConn sideline, since 2003 his teams have 59-40 and appeared in five bowl games.

“Then in each year, you keep ramping it up. What we did was build a porgram that would stand the test of time and I think that’s important in anything that you do.”

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said many times in various statements and press conferences that they wanted a guy who was enthusiastic about the job and fully committed to the University of Maryland.

And Anderson said that while Leach may have the better football resume, Edsall showed more passion in his interview than Mike Leach, and you can trace that devotion all the way back to Edsall’s childhood.

“I’m originally 70 miles from here above the border in Pennslyvania off Interstate 83,” Edsall said, a native of Glen Rock. “I came to my first football game here and went to camp here and really this is home to me.”

And the other thing that may have won the job for Edsall?

He says he’s here to stay as long as Maryland will have him, unlike Leach who was widely expected to just use Maryland as a stepping stone to another school in a bigger football conference.

“At my 52 years, I want this to be my last stop of the train,” Edsall said.

But the critics out there will say that UConn was supposed to be his last stop on the train as well. Edsall explained to Nelson that he understands why the Huskies faithful may dissaprove of his decision to leave and how he did it, but he said that he did his best to wish those in Connecticut for giving him his break and standing behind what he was trying to do.

“You know anytime you leave someplace, it might not be the best timing or what transpires,” Edsall said. “You do what you think is best, and there really wasn’t an opportunity for me to address the whole team.”

Edsall said everything happened so fast after Oklahoma’s victory over his team in the Fiesta Bowl, and everything was a blur to him.

“I didn’t know anything when we were in Arizona. I didn’t find out until Sunday night. I wasn’t offered anything until Sunday night. Only half the team left on the charter, while the other half dispersed from Phoenix on their own going home, so there was never going to be a time where you could do it”

“I thought I did the best thing I thought I could do, so I got on a conference call, and got them on there to try and explain to them my feelings, and explain why I took the job. That was the only way I could do it. I don’t apologize for it because I did what I felt was the best thing for the circumstances that took place…and when certain things happen you do what you think you can do best, and that’s what I tried to do.”

And right now, Edsall is really looking forward to getting to know his new group of young men that he’s going to work with to rebuild the football program at College Park.

“This is an eager group,” Edsall said. “The young men I’ve already talked to are ready to go, and like I said once we get recruiting finished, I look forward to really spending as much time as NCAA rules allow us to with our team.”

And Edsall sees even more out of the Maryland fan base being just as hungry to watch them play. And he guarantees that the plan he has in place is going to bring College Park not just a good team, but a program that will stand for the many decades he hopes to be tracking the sidelines for the Terps.

“As long as you lay that foundation and you nurture that foundation, you can build it and it’s got to be strong as it goes up. What we’re doing is we’re not building a team . We’re building a program. A team is year-to-year. A program goes in decades. It goes a lot longer, and that’s really what you want to do.”

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Friedgen leaves on high note as Terps demolish ECU

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Friedgen leaves on high note as Terps demolish ECU

Posted on 29 December 2010 by Luke Jones

WASHINGTON — With the backdrop of Maryland’s dominating 51-20 victory over East Carolina in the Military Bowl serving as a final act, it was obvious who the day was really about.

For just a few hours on Wednesday afternoon in front of 38,062 at RFK Stadium, Ralph Friedgen was able to put aside the sleepless nights and disappointment and do what he loves one more time: coach his Maryland Terrapins to victory.

There were no mentions of Mike Leach and his potential arrival in College Park.

The day wasn’t about athletic director Kevin Anderson who so clearly exercised his clout over the last two weeks.

Declining season-ticket sales and unsold luxury suites were afterthoughts as the Terps rushed for 297 yards against a porous Pirates defense.

And even his assistant coaches were able to go out and do their jobs despite not knowing where their future lies — in College Park or anywhere else for that matter.

For the last time as head coach of the Terrapins, Friedgen coached his team to victory in convincing fashion, finishing a 9-4 season and a seven-win improvement from the disastrous 2-10 record of a year ago. The Powerade coolers received plenty of use as Friedgen and several assistants — defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Dave Sollazzo and defensive coordinator Don Brown among them — were doused by jubilant players wanting to send off the coaching staff as winners.

However, reality set in as the final seconds ticked away, and there was only one thing left to say to the man who leaves the Maryland football program in better shape than he found it 10 years ago:

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Surprisingly, the emotional head coach was composed through most of his post-game press conference despite all but two questions focusing on his departure as the game took a backseat to the real story of the day.

“It really kind of got to the point where I just wanted to get this game over with and try to get on with the rest of my life,” said Friedgen, who was overwhelmed by the amount of support he received over the last two weeks.

“I had some really special memories here. The biggest thing is I’m not going to be able to be around these kids. I really cherish being around them. Being there when we were 2-10 [in 2009] and now we’re 9-4 and hopefully we’re in the top 25. When you go through something like that, with pretty much the same individuals, you get pretty close. I really think they have a chance to be special. That’s what I’m going to miss.”

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Putting aside the disappointment of being invited to the ACC’s eighth-place bowl and traveling only a few miles to Washington, D.C., the Terps made the most of their opportunity against an inferior opponent, containing one of the most prolific offenses in the nation while also accumulating 478 total yards of offense.

As convincing as the performance was and the optimism that exists for next season with so many key offensive players returning, even the seniors realized this game was about their head coach and sending him out on a high note.

“We just wanted to make a statement,” said senior running back Da’Rel Scott, who rushed for 200 yards on 13 carries and was named the game’s MVP. “It was good to play at home — we could have gotten a better bowl — but it is what it is. We just tried to go out with a bang and make sure coach Friedgen went out as a winner. I think that was the team’s main focus.”

Despite the win, the hurt feelings remain apparent in such a tenuous situation. Rarely do coaches have the opportunity to knowingly coach their final game at a school — other than retirement situations. The reality is even tougher to swallow when that coach is finishing a 9-4 turnaround season.

That pain will linger for a long time, as Friedgen said he gave his best for 10 seasons only to find out he wasn’t wanted anymore.

“Everybody has their own opinion,” Friedgen said. “Obviously, the powers that be didn’t feel like I was good enough to go to the next level. Only time will tell whether that was accurate or not.”

Time is running short as Maryland has set January 4 as the deadline to have its new coach in place. The fate of the assistant coaches — including Brown who masterfully frustrated the East Carolina offense all afternoon — remains in limbo.

Whether the new man is Leach or one of the other names thrown around by various media outlets, the bar will be high as Anderson’s “good-to-great” proclamation will bring pressure and obstacles that Friedgen never faced when he arrived on campus 10 years ago.

“I can tell you this, it’s not an easy job,” Friedgen said. “There’s a lot of things that really have to change to help [the football program] reach its potential. To be honest with you, I don’t know if the university is willing to do that. You kind of have to know that going in, and I did. I think that was a benefit to me.”

After coaching at his alma mater, Friedgen must now face the uncertainty that goes with being an unemployed 63-year-old football coach, a reality that even he has labeled as surreal.

“Everybody thinks that I can’t live without football,” said Frieden, who received a call from former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer assuring him there is, indeed, life after football. “I don’t know. This is what I’ve done for 43 years, going to be 44. It’s probably what I do. We’ll have to see.”

It had to be sobering coaching his final game in the unspectacular Military Bowl — with memories of the 2001 season, an ACC championship, and a trip to the Orange Bowl in the back of his mind — but closing his career with a win for the players he’s repeatedly called his favorite group to coach should count for something.

“If you have to go out, this is the best way to do it. I am happy to watch this team and I wish them the very best. I am with them in spirit every step of the way.”

NOTES: D.J. Adams ran for four touchdowns, a career high as well as a season high for Maryland. … Scott’s 91-yard touchdown run was the longest by a Maryland running back since an 80-yard scamper by Bruce Perry in 2003. … Scott’s 200 yards was a personal best and season best for the Terps.  It was the best running performance by a Terp since Perry ran for 237 at Wake Forest in 2003.

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In Capping Successful Season, Friedgen’s Terps Find Dawn After Darkness

Posted on 27 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Don’t call it a “pleasant surprise.”

Don’t call it a “respectable turnaround.”

Don’t dare call it a “nice story.”

After beating the 23rd-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack 38-31 in their regular-season finale Saturday at Byrd Stadium, the Maryland Terrapins (8-4, 5-3 ACC) put the final touch on a season that can only be described as a “success.”

It might not be the type of success that will make fans in Baltimore and DC rush to purchase season tickets (Saturday’s attendance was only an announced 35,370), as it won’t end with an ACC Championship Game appearance and could possibly result in only a trip to the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium.

But by picking up win no. 8 against an NC State (8-4, 5-3) squad that would have clinched a berth in next week’s title game at Bank of America Stadium, the Terps bridged the gap between “good story” and “successful season.”

Then, athletic director Debbie Yow (who departed College Park for Raleigh in July) announced last December that she would retain head coach Ralph Friedgen. In an interview with Drew Forrester shortly thereafter on AM1570 WNST, she made it clear that her expectation for Friedgen’s 2010 Terps was at least a 7-5 finish.

Despite Yow being replaced in the AD post by Kevin Anderson this fall, it remained fair for those around the Maryland program to have an expectation for the Terps to finish the season 7-5. If Friedgen’s team really was moving in the right direction, their 2010 schedule was not so daunting that it couldn’t result in at least seven victories.

Seven wins would have been a feel-good story.

The eighth victory makes it a real success.

“I’m really happy for our players” said Friedgen. “(They’ll) finally hopefully start getting some respect. Even when we’re doing well, we never beat anybody. Well, we beat somebody tonight.”

The way Maryland came about victory no. 8 makes it even more impressive. After a November 20th loss to Florida State eliminated Maryland from having any chance of reaching Charlotte, it would not have been stunning to see the Terps roll over against the ‘Pack. Quarterback Russell Wilson and NCSU were still very much alive in the ACC title game picture, with legitimate dreams of an Orange Bowl berth.

It appeared as though that possibility would come to fruition early on Saturday, as the Terps fell behind 14-0 after two offensive possessions for each team. But freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien rallied the Terps, connecting with receiver Torrey Smith four times for touchdowns (a school record for the receiver), and the Terrapins wouldn’t allow another NC State touchdown until the fourth quarter, after they had already built a 21-point advantage.

There was particular emotion evident from Maryland players and coaches (including an exuberant leap from defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo following a fourth quarter sack by DL Drew Gloster) throughout the game. It was a stark contrast to what happened two seasons ago, when Maryland was eliminated from the ACC title picture in a blowout loss to the Seminoles, then finished the season with another loss at Boston College.

Friedgen said he was concerned about the possibility of a letdown.

“It was hard. I was concerned about it going into today’s game. I kinda talked to them last night. I said ‘things in life that you really want, you don’t always get. But sometimes it’s darkest before the dawn. And if you keep persevering and you keep working, sometimes all of a sudden good things happen.’ I said, ‘I know how down you are, but there’s nothing we can do about that but go back to work.’”

Friedgen’s words rang true with Maryland players.

“We were upset we weren’t playing for an ACC title because we felt like we were good enough to play in a game like that,” said O’Brien. “But like coach said, we still had a lot to play for. I think we got up to play where a lot of teams might not have.”

“He just told us we still had a lot to play for,” said senior linebacker Alex Wujciak. “Going to a good bowl game, finishing right on Senior Night, beating a ranked team, there’s still a lot of things that this game meant for us.”

Finishing a regular season with eight wins does not solve all of the problems surrounding the Maryland football program (as Saturday’s attendance made clear), but it absolutely offers a statement of hope for 2011 no matter what happens in Maryland’s bowl appearance.

The Terrapins clearly have a quarterback who they can expect big things from in O’Brien. Just 10 of the 44 players on their 2-deep roster (offense and defense) participated in Saturday’s Senior Day even — meaning the team will bring back plenty of talent (Smith could also be tempted to throw his name into the NFL Draft).

But 2010 was not just a season about building expectations for the future. It was a regular season that gave fans both thrills and memories. The final stop against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium, the debut of O’Brien against Florida International, the emotional win at BC after Pete DeSouza’s scooter accident and the offensive shows against Morgan State, Virginia and NC State will not be forgotten by the fans that had the pleasure of watching and following.

The 2010 Terrapins were not a team that made a good run or simply took advantage of a soft schedule. The 2010 Terrapins were a good team.

A good team whose on-field performance is deserving of being remembered as a success.

After a 2-10 season in 2009 and last week’s heartbreak of being eliminated in the ACC title race, the win most certainly capped the emergence of a Maryland team from darkness.

-G

Hear from Friedgen, O’Brien, Smith, Wujciak, Gloster, OC James Franklin and DC Don Brown following Maryland’s win NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

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Terps end Charlottesville horrors in 42-23 win over Virginia

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Terps end Charlottesville horrors in 42-23 win over Virginia

Posted on 13 November 2010 by Luke Jones

Ralph Friedgen and the Terps weren’t taking their latest trip to Charlottesville for granted, and how could they?

With their Atlantic Division title hopes still in their own hands and having lost eight of their last nine at Scott Stadium, Maryland used a 21-point fourth quarter to take care of business in a convincing 42-23 win over the Cavaliers Saturday night.

Freshman running back D.J. Adams scored three touchdowns and freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien tossed two scores and ran for one, as the Terps improved to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the ACC, setting up a primetime battle against Florida State in College Park next week.

We’ve doubted the Terrapins all season, because of a soft schedule and the fresh memory of a 2-10 record in 2009, but it’s time to start giving credit where it’s due. Issues remain for the Maryland football program that won’t be resolved overnight — the future of the coaching staff at the top of the list — but Friedgen has this group playing efficient, opportunistic football.

Recent history made it easy to envision the Terps falling flat against the Cavaliers after a heartbreaking 26-20 loss at Miami last week, a game in which the freshman O’Brien played the worst game of his young career and the defense struggled throughout the afternoon and folded on the final drive.

Instead, O’Brien threw for 289 yards against a formidable Virginia pass defense, including fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Torrey Smith (7 catches for 157 yards) and Da’Rel Scott that transformed a two-point deficit through three quarters into a comfortable 19-point win. The Terps went 6-for-6 inside the red zone to account for their 42 points.

Don Brown’s defense struggled to pressure Virginia quarterback Marc Verica and surrendered 20 first-half points, but held the Cavaliers to just a field goal after intermission and picked off Verica twice in a stout second-half effort.

As they have throughout the season, the Terps limited their mistakes (no turnovers) unlike the Cavaliers who committed 16 penalties for 145 yards and two second-half turnovers.

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In many ways, Saturday’s win was a microcosm of how improbable this season has been. Who would have guessed Adams — who totaled just two carries all season against teams not named Morgan State and Wake Forest — would cure Maryland’s struggles inside the red zone with three touchdown runs from inside the 10?

And who would have predicted this team would snap a three-game losing streak against Virginia and win for only the second time in Maryland’s last 10 trips to Charlottesville, a place of horrors for over a decade? As we saw two years ago when the Terps went there as a two-touchdown favorite and were lambasted 31-0, a win over the Cavaliers can never be taken for granted, even with Virginia’s 4-6 record in 2010.

Whether you’re a believer in Friedgen and the current staff, or one of the many shouting for drastic change to a program that’s fallen on difficult times over the last several years, it’s time to acknowledge this is a pretty good football team — at least how it relates to a soft ACC — and credit a group of players determined to put a disastrous 2009 season behind them.

Maryland will undoubtedly be a home underdog next Saturday when the Seminoles invade Byrd Stadium with the Atlantic Division up for grabs (N.C. State is also very much in the picture), but this Florida State team isn’t one of the unbeatable squads coached by Bobby Bowden in the mid-90s. If the Terps play mistake-free football as they have so often this year, it’s not impossible envisioning a victory at Byrd Stadium, which will hopefully be packed to support an unlikely success story.

Regardless of what happens in their final two games against Florida State and N.C. State, Friedgen and the Terps are playing with house money after reaching the seven-win plateau and assuring themselves of a bowl game in a season in which they were picked to finish last in the Atlantic Division.

Friedgen spoke two weeks ago about his team reaching its “minimum” goal of bowl eligibility after picking up its sixth win of the season against Wake Forest. With Saturday’s win at Virginia, the Terps kept themselves in position for their maximum goal of an ACC Championship.

While it still seems unlikely, it’s becoming more conceivable every week.

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Maryland lets one slip through fingers in 26-20 loss to Miami

Posted on 06 November 2010 by Luke Jones

Opportunistic is a word we’ve used often to describe this year’s Terps, largely because we’re still trying to figure out just how good they really are after nine games.

And there Maryland was again, only seconds away from an unlikely 20-18 victory at Sun Life Stadium over a Miami team that had thoroughly dominated the Terrapins in nearly every statistical category. It was setting up to be the biggest win in two years for a program trying to erase the memory of a 2-10 season a year ago. A defensive score, some favorable officiating, and two botched extra points by the Hurricanes appeared to be just enough for the Terps to steal a victory they really didn’t deserve.

Unlike their win against Navy on Labor Day, however, the Terps defense couldn’t make a play to seal it as Miami quarterback Stephen Morris threw a 35-yard touchdown strike to Leonard Hankerson with 37 seconds left, giving Miami a 26-20 victory and leaving the Terps (6-3, 3-2 ACC) wondering what had hit them.

While the loss does little to hurt Maryland’s goal of winning the Atlantic Division and playing in the ACC Championship game in Jacksonville (the Terps still control their own destiny, unlikely as it might be), you have to wonder about the effect it will have on the psyche of a team building momentum after a road victory at Boston College and a 62-14 drubbing of Wake Forest on Homecoming last week.

Saturday’s loss looked an awful lot like the excruciating losses from last season in which the Terps did just enough to lose, regardless of the competition. Don Brown’s defense was gashed for 504 yards despite two Alex Wujciak interceptions — one returned for a 60-yard interception. The Hurricanes (6-3, 4-2 ACC) beat them to the edge countless times on running plays, and when Terps defenders did manage to get to the spot, they couldn’t tackle the ball carrier anyway.

On the final Miami drive, defensive lineman Joe Vellano drew a roughing-the-passer penalty, giving the Hurricanes the ball at the 50-yard line and making the job of the freshman quarterback much easier. Four plays later, Hankerson slipped behind Dexter McDougle and Kenny Tate for the game-winning touchdown catch.

It was an ugly relapse for a group that had been allowing just 19.8 points per game, 26th in the nation.

The Terps offense did few favors for an exhausted defense, managing to hold the ball for only 22:41 as quarterback Danny O’Brien played his worst game of the season. The redshirt freshman was just 9 of 27 for 134 yards, throwing a touchdown against one interception. Arguably the biggest reason for the team’s turnaround, O’Brien uncharacteristically looked the part of a freshman Saturday as he was outplayed by the inexperienced — but highly-touted — Morris (a true freshman), who was playing for the injured Jacory Harris.

Maryland had a golden opportunity following Wujciak’s second interception that set up the offense inside the red zone late in the third quarter. Two plays later, O’Brien badly underthrew LaQuan Williams at the goal line as the pass was picked off by Miami’s Ray-Ray Armstrong.

On the Terps’ next drive after they had moved the ball to the Miami 6, O’Brien misfired on two attempts, forcing the offense to settle for a field goal to take a two-point lead.

It even looked for a moment like the Maryland offense would be the group to make the fatal mistake as the Terps were trying to retake the lead in the fourth quarter. O’Brien fumbled after being leveled by linebacker Ramon Buchanan. It was returned for an apparent touchdown by Marcus Robinson before a mysterious facemask penalty was called on the Hurricanes, negating the score and giving Maryland a first down and the go-ahead field goal in the fourth.

Truthfully, both teams did plenty to lose on Saturday — Miami committed 10 penalties for 100 yards — but the Terps simply didn’t make enough plays in a very winnable game over a banged-up, vulnerable Hurricanes team.

Ralph Friedgen spoke last week about his team only reaching the minimum when the Terps became bowl-eligible last week after earning their sixth victory. Time will reveal where Maryland ends up in terms of their bowl destination, but Saturday’s loss hurts with an always-interesting trip to Charlottesville looming next week, followed by home meetings with Florida State and North Carolina State to close out the regular season.

Neither Maryland nor Miami looked very deserving of a win, but the Terps let one slip through their fingers. Instead of being opportunistic as they had been for much of the year, their performance was more wasteful than anything.

Where they go from here will tell how much they’ve really grown as a team.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because it’s about time for another “Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” With Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s new disc “We Walk This Road” hitting iTunes yesterday; I’m going to pick “Traveling Shoes”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVHNgOb1Je4[/youtube]

If you don’t love Robert Randolph; you and I might not be capable of being friends.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP/STATS’ Anthony Giornalista previews Orioles-Marlins series opening tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

With no offense to baseball fans anywhere in Miami or elsewhere in Florida, there’s nothing imposing about the Marlins. Other than Josh Johnson that is-and he doesn’t pitch in this series. Well, the Dan Uggla-Hanley Ramirez combo is pretty good. And Jorge Cantu, Ronny Paulino, Cody Ross and Chris Coghlan have been solid. And Mike Stanton looks like he’ll be pretty good in the future.

Okay, fine. The Fish are actually a half decent team, despite the fact that they are currently 3 games under .500. They just don’t SEEM that imposing at first blush. However, when you’re the worst team in Major League Baseball (and the Orioles are by a LONGSHOT), all opponents are fairly imposing.

They kick the series off tonight at OPACY, with Jeremy Guthrie facing Anibal Sanchez. First pitch is on MASN2 at 7:05pm. I’ll say Orioles win. Not because I really have a good feeling about whether or not the Orioles will win, but more because I’d just really rather not having to talk about a 19-51 team. Or a 19-52 team. Or a 19-55 team. Or a 19-90 team. You get the point.

2. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Birds trying to avoid historic failure of 1962 New York Mets

What was the New York Mets’ record through 69 games in 1962?

19-50.

Unless this team plays really good baseball for some stretch of time this season (which I GUESS is possible?), we’re going to be discussing this right up until win number 41. If we get past that, we’ll be talking about it until (if?) they surpass the 54 wins posted by the 1988 Baltimore Orioles-the worst team in franchise history.

Yep, it’s an exciting time! Head on down to Birdland tonight and welcome home the Orioles! You never know what might happen! For example, the Orioles could be the first time to strike out 4 times in 1 inning in one game! If it happens and you’re not that, you’re really going to beat yourself up!

3. ESPN.com’s Tristan Cockroft names Matt Wieters to ‘All-2014 Team’

Well….I hope so….

With no offense to Matt Wieters (or our friends at MattWietersFacts.com), ummm….this is still a bit of a leap of faith. I still think Matt Wieters is going to turn out to be a good player, but maybe the immediate comparisons to Joe Mauer were a bit unfair.

It’s not that I’m clamoring for Wieters to be sent back down to Norfolk or anything like that. I’m NOT. He’s been very good defensively and poor offensively. He’s on a poor offensive team. I’m just trying to keep my expectations a bit more realistic. Like, instead of thinking Matt Wieters is going to be the next CJ Gibson (Thanks Busted Coverage/Next Round!)…

cjgibson

…I’m now just hoping he’ll be the next Luisa Corna. (Thanks AGAIN Busted Coverage and Plunder Guide!)…

luisacorna

…You see the difference, right? Right?

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bergesen solid, Felix Pie struggled for O’s on farm Monday night

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things.

-With Felix Pie now rehabbing, there has been some conjecture about what the Orioles will do roster-wise to make room for him. I can’t honestly believe anyone thinks there is another option (I’ve read a few comments about Corey Patterson) than Lou Montanez, but I guess some folks down don’t think it’s such a slam dunk. Montanez HAS to be the guy. I’m sure Andy MacPhail will give Juan Samuel (or whoever is managing the team at the time) the edict that Pie HAS to play everyday-which will make a lot of people not named Glenn Clark pleased. Glenn Clark will remain in the Dave Trembley camp of “I think you should play….just as soon as you stop routinely screwing up.”

-As far as Edwin Encarnacion is concerned, put him on the Jake Fox list of “whatever.” If the team gets rid of Garrett Atkins, someone has to play first base. Neither of these guys are any good. But the Orioles are full of players like that. In fact, they have so many that one of them (Ty Wigginton) has managed to confuse some folks into thinking he IS a good player. If the Orioles add Edwin Encarnacion to the roster, “whatever.”

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I don’t know who Noah Rosenstein is or what his role is with MLB.com, but with headlines like “Talent overflowing at Double A Bowie” and “Few hurdles left for (Zach) Britton before joining O’s”, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Gee, Yankees.com doesn’t have any Double A stories posted today…”

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens agreed to 3 year deal with 5th round pick (Syracuse) DT Arthur Jones

While Arthur Jones is probably breathing a BIT easier today, he still has to go up to Westminster and make sure he actually makes the team. The roster is chocked full of D-Linemen (Trevor Pryce, Cory Redding, Kelly Gregg, Terrence Cody, Haloti Ngata, Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney, Paul Kruger, Lamar Divens, Jones and Albert McClellan), and he’s going to have to make sure he locks down a spot during Training Camp.

As I said when I mocked the roster a few weeks back, I truly believe Arthur Jones WILL make the roster. I know that he has a big fan in John Harbaugh, and I know that he “looks like a Raven” the way Talavou and McKinney did a season ago. That will help him, but he has to do the rest at McDaniel College.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens reached 3 year deal with 4th round pick (BYU) TE Dennis Pitta

Dennis Pitta likely feels much more comfortable than Arthur Jones today, but 4th round picks have been left off NFL rosters before. He appears to have a clear path to make the roster behind Todd Heap (and probably behind 3rd round pick Ed Dickson), but 2nd year TE Davon Drew is in the mix as well.

It’s safe to assume he’ll be the team’s #3 Tight End (with a chance to be the #2 guy). Pitta absolutely reminds you of Todd Heap OFF the field, and has some similarities on the field as well. The biggest thing Cam Cameron hopes he and Dickson will bring is the chance to allow Heap to rest a bit more next season; as the team believes Heap may have played upwards of 1,000 snaps.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a reminder that new Ravens safety Ken Hamlin joined Rex Snider Monday afternoon on the “Rex and Ray” show. If you missed it, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out today.

7. The Sun’s Mike Preston says former Ravens LS Joe Maese now working as firefighter in Howard County

This is a REALLY cool story that’s worth checking out. Joe Maese was a popular guy in Owings Mills, and it is VERY cool to see that he’s doing good work for the folks at the Long Reach station.

I don’t really have any other “analysis” to offer here about Joe. It’s just a really cool story that’s worth the read today. You know what else is a really cool story? Lily Cole on the cover of Arena Magazine (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

lilycole

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins LB Alex Wujciak named to Watch List for Bronco Nagurski Award

There’s no hiding the fact that Wujciak is probably the Terps’ best player, and will have high expectations on a defense that will need to play well again this season for Ralph Friedgen’s team to have any success in the ACC. Don Brown knows what to expect from his LB’s, which is good-because there aren’t a whole heck of a lot of other positions on the team that the coaches are feeling quite so comfortable with.

If you’re Jonesing for some Maryland football talk, Patrick (follow him on Twitter @D1scourse) and I posted the second edition of the “D1scast” yesterday. Head back over to the Audio Vault to check it out. We preview Maryland’s special teams unit, recap the lack of movement in conference realignment, discuss the departure of Javarie Johnson at Maryland and Mike Hermann at Towson, and even bring up the great “Batman Returns.” There’s also a look at the college lacrosse coaching carousel. Speaking of which…

9. Washington Post’s Christian Swezey says Ryan Moran, Kevin Warne expected to join John Tillman’s lacrosse staff in College Park

I would first like to take the time to welcome both coaches to College Park, and wish them the best of success in their Maryland tenure.

I would then like to just ask…was there no room for Maxim Italy cover girl Melissa Satta on the staff??? (Thanks Guyism!)…

italy

10. Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins says former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez worked out with Magic Monday

I know I’m not the first person to say this, but this would be an unacceptable destination for the senior from Venezuela to end up in the NBA Draft. Orlando is where JJ Redick plays. I don’t much care for JJ Redick. I don’t much care for anything related to Duke. In fact-as I said on Twitter (follow us @WNST) after seeing photos of the RimRock Auto Arena in Montana destroyed by a tornado…

rimrock

…the only thing I could think to myself was “Dear God, why this place instead of Cameron Indoor Stadium?”

Eric Hayes recently worked out with the Chicago Bulls, he joined Drew today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed it, head on over to the Audio Vault and check it out. Other guests this morning included…

-IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard, who gave us all of the details for next year’s “Baltimore Grand Prix” downtown.
-Fox Sports Florida Pre-Game host Craig Minervini, who previewed the Orioles-Marlins series
-Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick, who went around the World Cup

It’s all in the Audio Vault, make sure you check it out!

And finally, I leave you with this.

After his big plug during ABC’s NBA Finals postgame show from the floor of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, I’m sure everyone was waiting for the debut of LA Lakers star Ron Artest’s new single “Champions.” No? Screw you guys, I don’t have anything else prepared. (Thanks Deadspin!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRrN4pmEuQA[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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