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Edsall says Prince commitment largely based on Locksley’s relationship work

Posted on 05 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Head Coach Randy Edsall

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening Statement:

“It’s a good day for our program. We had 16 young men in the fold. We found out just like all of you about Damian [Prince] when he made the announcement. We didn’t know anything before that. We thought that we were in good shape and we had done everything we could possibly do. That was great news for our staff and for our program. When he announced, it kind of capped the morning off with 17 outstanding young men who have decided to come here and play their college football and get a great education here at the University of Maryland.

“We really had it zeroed in how many we really wanted to get at each position and really got the guys that we wanted at those positions. What it’s been able to do is add depth, more competition to our roster and now we’ve kind of got the numbers in place at the positions in terms of what we like offensively, defensively and on special teams. Again, we only really wanted to go after one quarterback and we got the guy we wanted. We only wanted one receiver and we got the guy we wanted there. We knew we needed to address the line situation on both sides of the ball and we were able to do that with quality people. So we feel good from that because your team is built from the inside out. I thought we got very athletic at the linebacker position with two outside guys and an inside guy. And then we got length, speed and range in the secondary. At tight end, we only wanted to take one and we got a guy we really like who’s athletic, moves well and is a good blocker. We didn’t get a running back this year. We have seven guys there between fullbacks and running backs, and that’s really the number we like. We felt we had a need at the snapping position, which is so vital in terms of special teams. To be able to get Nate Adams to come in and fill that role was very important to us. Nate is one of those guys that’s just not a snapper. He played at all different positions in high school. That was something that we targeted and made a priority.”

 

On the reaction to landing Damian Prince:

“We were all sitting in a room watching TV. We didn’t know. Talking to him the last few days, he’d get back to us, and then all of a sudden last night I was putting calls in to him and Mike [Locksley] was putting calls in to him and I said, ‘Did you talk to him last?’ He said no, ‘Did you talk to him last night?’ I said no. I think he just wanted to have some space. With all the offensive linemen, I mean, you add Brendan Moore and Sean Christie. Those are guys we feel have the size, athletic ability and mentality that we want in our offensive line. When you’re watching, they move well, they’re athletic, they’re tough and they can bend. That was something we wanted to address and I thought we addressed it in a big way with those five guys.”

 

On how the move to the Big Ten affected the process:

“We told them we thought it was going to be a very positive move for us to go to the Big Ten. Those guys were excited about it. We’ve got our schedules for the next five years to be able to show them who they’re playing. It was a very positive experience for those kids and they wanted to be a part of it. We used it and we used it quite often.”

 

On the personality of the recruits:

“It’s a really great group to be around. A lot of these guys have personality. When you guys get a chance to sit down and talk to them you’re going to be very impressed because the personalities and the way they can handle a conversation and they’re confident. It’s a good group. The 17 guys are great.”

 

On recruiting Damian Prince:

“Recruiting is a relationship game and it’s the relationships that you develop. I’ve had a relationship with Damian for over three years. I told him and I think he alluded to it today, I remember the day he was out at our big-man camp and he walked out there and I thought, who is that. This was at the end of his freshman year. We saw him out there and we ended up offering him. He continued to come to campus, come to games, and come to basketball games. We just really worked the relationship. When Mike [Locksley] came on board, he took over Bishop McNamara and continued to develop a really good relationship with Damian. That’s what it was. Also, Damian is a young man whose family is very important to him. We wanted his family to see him play in his collegiate career. We were upfront and honest with him the whole time and he’s been around us long enough to know who we are. He’s seen us in good times and when things haven’t been so good. We just stayed consistent and persevered and kept recruiting him. His value system was something that fit into what we’ve all about.”

 

On Jessie Aniebonam:

“Jessie’s one of those guys who will play at the WILL position. We’ll have him rushing and have him dropping. He’s a really good athlete and comes from a good family. He wants to do well in everything that he does and he’s a neat kid to be around. Comes from a really good program at Good Counsel. We targeted Jessie very early. He’s a young man who we had in our camp at a young age and had him around here and he’s been around us quite a bit. He’s a young man that has a great future ahead of him. I like his size, speed and athletic ability.”

 

On recruiting locally: 

“It’s very important to us. Again, I think the one thing that everybody has to understand is that we want to recruit the best possible players here locally. Not everybody is going to fit the profile that we have. We’re not going to keep them all at home. But the ones that we identify that we want to keep at home that fit the particular needs for that year and fit the profile that we have, we’re going to aggressively pursue them. I really believe that if we can keep the nucleus of the guys from this area here at Maryland then that’s going to make us a better program.”

 

On how the new position coaches were involved in the process:

“We got Chad [Wilt] involved as soon as he got here. He went up and saw Brett [Kulka] in Erie and saw David [Shaw], two guys that he would be coaching. Keenan [McCardell] went up to visit with Juwann [Winfree] and that was very positive. We got Greg [Studrawa] in to see all the guys that he would be coaching. That was something we wanted to get done and we worked very diligently. We got three outstanding coaches and people that have a great track record that can relate and recruit. They played a big part down the stretch.”

 

On landing lesser known prospects:

“There’s a lot of fun when you find players that nobody else knows about and that the media doesn’t know about. When you take the time and effort to evaluate the kids the way you want to and then you know they’re good players and they develop and end up going onto the next level; it’s crazy because of the way the process is. That’s our job. Our job is to go out and evaluate everybody in our area. That goes back to the relationships and knowing coaches and knowing the good programs and I think we’ve got guys like that. It’s not about the stars or anything like that. It’s about what’s inside a person and the makeup. Each of these young men has a story and they all fit the profile of what we want in a Maryland football player.”

– Maryland –

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Terps DC Stewart says BC RB Williams gets stronger as game goes on

Posted on 20 November 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On quarterback C.J. Brown’s health and the offense:

“Obviously, what we do on offense and what we ask of our quarterback, especially C.J., we try to build it around the skill set. Early on, he showed his ability to make plays both with his arms and his legs. There’s no doubt he’s been banged up since the West Virginia game and there’s no doubt that I agree with him that he’s as healthy as I saw him last week. Coming out of the bye week, he was just a little rusty, not having played a lot. But we put the challenge on him that he needed to go out and make big plays and he stepped up for us.”

 

On quarterback C.J. Brown’s chemistry with the wide receivers:

“It’s coming along. He’s thrown to all those guys through the course of the season and in practice. So that part of the chemistry is there, it’s just more of him being healthy and being able to get the reps.”

 

On if he had ever coached a 2,000-yard running back like Boston College’s Andre Williams:

“I was pretty close with LaMont Jordan in [1999], but that kid is a good running back, one of the better running backs in the nation.“

 

On facing former defensive coordinator Don Brown:

“I would say that we have a bunch of guys that have been here throughout the course of Don being here. Luckily, we faced them last year at UConn, so we’re pretty familiar with him. He does a great job defensively, and has been one of the top coordinators; I know he’s well respected in this building so, we’ll have our work cut out for us but we’re up to the challenge.”

 

On Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown’s style:

“Well, he doesn’t have a conscience when he brings it, where he brings it, and how he brings it. For him, it’s very organized in his mind, but for an offense with new parts all over the place it’s a matter of trying to figure out where it’s coming from and getting it picked up in a running game and a passing game.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On Boston College running back Andre Williams:

“He a big back; runs hard. Runs hard late in the game. He is very impressive. You don’t run for 1,010 yards and not be good. We just have to get all 11 guys, all 11 hats to the ball.”

 

On what he has seen on film from Boston College running back Andre Williams:

“He wears you out. If you look at tape, you see that the same guys tackling him early are the same guys missing and getting ran over late. He just gets stronger as the game goes on and you get tired hitting a big body.”

 

On the confidence amongst the players following the win at Virginia Tech:

“Any time you get a big win, especially when you get a big win against a team that you know some of the guys on the other team, you get excited. I still think that we still have to play and stay excited for the next game and that’s what they are; they are excited to have the opportunity to play against Boston College.”

 

On if he enjoyed the trip back to College Park following Saturday’s win:

“I was pretty excited. It was about time we get a good plane ride back. I was excited, as soon as I got comfortable in my seat I started thinking about Boston College. I looked up the score and tried to see what Williams did; he had a great day, one of his best days.”

 

On Boston College’s offense:

“I think Alex Amidon is a good receiver. He’s solid coming in and out of breaks, attacking the ball in the air. He’s getting wide open now because everybody is in the box trying to stop the run. Chase Rettig, I always thought that Chase was a good quarterback. We’re looking at a guy that had a different coordinator every year. So, that poor guy can’t get a system down, he’s doing a great job of adjusting to whoever is telling him what plays to run. I think he’s a great talent, has a good arm, does a good job escaping and he must be a smart kid because he’s gone through three coordinators and he’s still the starter.”

– Maryland –

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Terps OC Locksley takes responsibility for struggles against Syracuse

Posted on 13 November 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On how offensive lineman Moise Larose fared in his first start:

“For a freshman, I thought he did okay. Obviously, we had some penalties there, from a referee standpoint he had a couple of calls of not having enough men on the line of scrimmage. For a guy that was thrown out to wolves in his first start, I thought he didn’t do too badly. With any freshmen you hope to see them improve every day and we feel like that’s what we’re getting from all of our freshmen including Moise.”

 

On quarterback C.J. Brown:

“C.J. is a competitor, we all are. From an offensive standpoint, we didn’t do a great job and it starts with me as the offensive coordinator and as well as the quarterback coach. We turned the ball over as a position, the two interceptions, and the fumble on the ground. You’re not going to beat anyone if you turn the ball over like we did last week. I have to do a better job of making sure we get that done. I expect him to bounce back, there’s no quitting with C.J. He is the guy that still has the ability, I thought he looked as healthy as he has been, and with the time off we have been able to knock some of the rust off and I’m expecting him to a big week this week. He’s had a pretty good week at practice thus far and we need to finish it off.”

 

On playing Virginia Tech in Blacksburg:

“Obviously the atmosphere, I’ve never been, this is one of the few ACC venues that I haven’t coached in. I have seen a ton of games that they have played, with them being a Thursday night team a lot, at the other places I have been I’ve had a chance to see the environment and what a great venue for our guys. In terms of them as a defense, they can get at you with just a four-man front. They’re going to load the box and make you throw the football or make you find ways to run against loaded boxes. We have to do a good job and I have to do a good job of having a scheme that is going to give us a chance to move the ball, sustain drives, and most importantly score points. We feel pretty good thus far we still have two days of our workweek and then Friday we’ll execute some things at walkthrough. But they are by far one of the top defenses we’ll face this year.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart 

On evaluating linebacker Shawn Petty’s first start:

“He’s learning. It’s a work in progress trying to put everything together. The game is fast and he is a true redshirt freshman because he played quarterback last year, and he is on the team as a linebacker but didn’t get reps at linebacker, it is like he was redshirted.”

 

On potentially having linebacker Cole Farrand back on Saturday:

“His leadership is one of the things we really missed. Having him back will really help, as far as his leadership and direction and making the calls on the field. We are anticipating him coming back, but right now we are going forward with the guys who are healthy. Any time you have all your starters in, you are going to fit the run the best. When you don’t, there is going to be some second-guessing. That’s just how it is, whether it is blocking for the offense or tackling for the defense.”

 

On defensive back William Likely:

“I mentioned last week that I thought the break helped him a little bit, and it has tremendously. He is an avid studier of a film, and he comes in and looks at the sheets and knows what he is supposed to do. He does a good job, and I am happy for him that he had a chance to make a play on the ball and that’s a sign of many things to come.”

 

On Virginia Tech:

“Last time I was down there was 2001, and we beat them. That was the last time I have been down there, but I am sure it is going to be exciting. They are playing well, they are a physical team, and they can both run and throw the ball. They have young offensive linemen that are doing an excellent job. Offensively, they have a good quarterback. Logan [Thomas] is a big kid, and there are a lot of quarterback runs that he is pretty good in, and he can toss the ball. He can hang in there because he is so big, and he can wait for guys to clear so he can throw the ball.”

 

– Maryland –

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Terps OC Locksley says Larose ready to step in for Madaras at LT

Posted on 06 November 2013 by WNST Staff

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On battling injuries:

“In this sport, injuries are going to be a part of the game, it is a contact sport. Whether you lose a guy to an injury or whatever the reason is, the amount of games we have left our options are to get the guys prepared and ready to play that we have available. That has been the approach and that hasn’t change much. It’s a matter of spending our time and our energy on trying to get the guys ready to play that we have available; that’s something that we’re very well versed at and that we will continue to do the things that move us forward.”

 

On left tackle Moise Larose:

“Well, obviously for us to recruit him, he meets what we’re looking for from a skill set standpoint. He’s a guy that played as a freshman even prior to these injuries; he’s a guy that we’ve held in high regard in terms of his ability. I think he’ll do well, he’s shown the ability thus far in practice to pick up things. He’s the guy that we decided to bring along as the season went on and was able to take some meaningful reps earlier in the year for us and we’ll support him and do things to protect him as much as we can as well.”

 

On maintaining continuity with Moise Larose at left tackle:

“That’s something we’ve discussed from a personnel standpoint all the time and it’s probably Randy [Edsall]’s biggest strong point. He has pretty good gauge and temperature on the personnel moves and decisions that are made. Obviously, him being the head coach, those decisions come through him and he takes our opinions on things, but I think he spends time studying our roster, knowing and anticipating having to do certain things. For us, the continuity is always great to have, but we’ve always done things to prepare for worse case scenarios and that’s just how Randy sets up our practice schedule and that’s how he sets our reps. As I said before, it starts with him in terms of our ability to move past whatever adversity we face as a team. The next man up mentality is something that we have embraced.”

 

On Moise Larose’s preparation this season:

“He was part of our second team and the way our schedule sets up our second team guys get about 40 percent of the reps. The way our schedule sets up in practice, the one’s take about 60 percent of the reps and the two’s get about 40 percent and he’s been a two since the start of the season. So it’s not like taking a guy like Shawn Petty, who was play linebacker/outside linebacker and moving him to quarterback where there weren’t any reps whatsoever. So he has been involved in the game planning for the past eight or nine weeks, so there’s some retention there. For us, it wasn’t as much as a big deal as some may think because he’s been taking those reps in practice, maybe not a lot of game reps, but enough in practice if he was needed he’d be able to step in.”

 

On running back Brandon Ross’ status for Saturday:

“He’s been practicing. We talk personnel on Thursday, so we’ll see how he does today and tomorrow and have a feel for him.”

 

On the status of quarterback C.J. Brown:

“Same thing, he’s been practicing. He’s been doing well. He looks as healthy as I’ve seen him. I don’t see any difference in him. I know prior to a couple weeks ago when he was a little banged up, but he’s practiced well and he’s the guy and we’re moving forward, getting him ready to go have a good game on Saturday.”

 

On Syracuse’s defense:

“The big thing with them on defense is that they’re a pressure team. We’ve watched six, seven game breakdowns of them and 60, 70 percent of their snaps have some form of pressure whether it’s zone or man. They want to be a pressure team. They want to get after you, create confusion and bring blitzers from different places. Luckily, for us we face that in practice and faced that in quite a few weeks. We’ve had some work at it, but obviously we haven’t executed it the way we need to execute to get W’s like we want.

“They are a hard-nose tough team and we know we’re going to get their best when they come in here on Saturday and for us it always starts with going back to taking care of the things that we can control on offense. I thought we did some decent things in our last game, but we didn’t do enough of them. One of the things that jumps out at me on offense is the ability to sustain drives; we’re either a big play or bust in my opinion. When you want to win games and beat good teams you have got to be consistent and not just rely on big plays and that’s something we’ve talked about. Some things that we’ve tried to lock in and focus on during our bye weeks is getting back to being fundamentally and technically sound so that we can execute the assignments.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On getting some players back from injury this week:

“We’re just practicing and seeing how everyone is going to fit in to what we’re going to do this week. You let everybody go through the week and see how they look and then on Thursday we sit down and as a staff we sit down and talk about how everyone has progressed through the week.”

 

On the status of defensive back Jeremiah Johnson:

“He’s pushing through. I think that he’s a kid that really wants to be out there, but we have just let the injury take its course, and when it’s time he’ll be out there. But he’s doing a good job keeping he’s spirit up.”

 

On moving defensive lineman Andre Monroe to defensive end:

“I just think as we progressed through the week and looking at things during the bye week, we are just still trying to move people and parts around that put the best product on the field.”

 

On defensive lineman Zeke Riser:

We’re doing what Zeke knows. The thing about Zeke being here is helping the guys understand the language we speak, that’s where I think he helps the most. It’s hard when you get to a new place and you’re injured and you’re trying to watch, but you’re trying to get rehab, all those things take a toll on you and then you have to catch up. I think he’s had an opportunity to catch up.”

 

On the game against Clemson:

“The truth of the matter is, there’s no such thing as moral victories. You go into every game and you want to have energy and have a stop them whenever you can every time you can attitude, and we just have to come out of this bye week with the fined tuned things that we talked about; being good on third down, stopping people from scoring in the red-zone and win sudden change.”

 

On the vibe amongst the unit after a sudden possession change:

“I took this from coach Wade Phillips, as soon as there is sudden change, coach [Greg] Gattuso and I get them together before they run on the field, we assess the situation, I tell them what we expect them to do whatever the case may be, tell them what defense we’re going to be in and send them on the field so that it’s a common force and not just them running on the field from all over the place.”

 

On Syracuse’s offense:

“I think they have a very athletic quarterback. Not that we haven’t seen any athletic quarterbacks, every game presents its own challenges. They’re a good run team, I think their center does a good job in communicating the run blocking as well as the protection, and the quarterback gets the ball out of his hands and if he can’t, he runs.”

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Terps OC Locksley noncommittal about QB status for Clemson Saturday

Posted on 23 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On preparation at the quarterback position:

“As I told the quarterbacks, we need to be better than how we played on Saturday. Those guys all prepare as if they are going to be starters and I think that’s the mentality that you have to have especially at the quarterback position because you never know. We have lived that life before so they all have to prepare. Whether it’s Caleb Rowe, whether it’s Ricardo Young, whether it’s Perry Hills, any of those guys are what we call ‘green lighted to play’ will always have to prepare as if they are one or two plays away from being in the ball game.”
On quarterback Caleb Rowe’s performance on Saturday:

“I think he did okay. Obviously, when you don’t win it’s hard to say anyone did well. I’m sure he’ll be the first to tell you we made a lot of mistakes at the quarterback position. We left some plays on the field and had opportunities to score points; we came up short especially in the red-zone area. There were three or four different opportunities that if you go back and watch the tape there are guys that are open that we need to get the ball to. So as a coach, I want to get those things cleaned up and give us a chance.”

On Clemson’s defense:

“They are talented on defense. They are really high in the nation in a lot of areas that we aren’t really good at right now. Third down defense, they are one of the top teams. They lead the nation in sacks, tackles for loss, they are up there and all those different categories. So for us, we have got to find a way to get going on offense. We have opportunities where we move the ball and then the turnover bug has really kicked in for us offensively, which for me is very disappointing. We need to pride ourselves on not beating ourselves. That’s why for me from the quarterback standpoint we aren’t as sharp as we need to be, and that’s all of us, starting with me down. We need to find a way to right that ship first, with taking care of the football, not beating ourselves and obviously our execution needs to be better.”

 

On if there is an added emphasis on ball control this week to counteract Clemson’s offense:

“We are going to do whatever it takes to win a ball game, so for us it starts with execution. People throw around the words ball control, for us that means executing, sustaining some drives and that means we have to better on third downs. That means you have to execute well on first and second to get some manageable situations. So we are going to focus on taking care of the football, not turning it over, and not putting our defense in bad field position situations like we did last week.”
On wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo:

“Being a young guy, obviously he has great length. We like to have a guy 6-foot-3 out there on the edge and he’s on the backside playing “X”. He’s on the backside of the 3-by-1 sets that we get into and because of his length and size, and he’s a guy that has above average speed, he can quietly get up on you with his speed. He catches everything and he’s a physical blocker at the point of attack.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On slowing down Clemson’s offense:

“Get off the field on third downs and be good on the early downs. That’s what’s been hurting us recently, we just have to be better on third downs.”
On the defense’s lack of production on third downs recently:

“Right now we’re just snake bitten in some areas. They pick up the pressure; we don’t cover the guy here. It’s just a lot of different reasons.”
On the decrease in turnovers in recent weeks:

“I think it’s everything. For one, some of the teams that we’re playing are pretty dynamic offensively. Two, we aren’t putting any pressure on them as far as third downs, getting off the field and that’s where we got a lot of the pressure as well as our interceptions. So I think we just need to get better on third down and force them to throw the ball deep a little more and do some things, and then attack the ball in the air and get closer to the quarterback.”
On getting back on the practice field following a loss from a coaching standpoint:

“When you don’t get off the field on third downs and you aren’t as good on the run or some element of the game that you want to be, you can’t wait to get on the practice field to get those corrections done and then get onto the opponent and then look at those things corrected.”

On defensive back Zach Dancel:

“He wants to be good. And when players want to be good they do the little things. They look at extra tape try to look at themselves and then when they see some little idiosyncrasies they are man enough to ask the coach, ‘Hey, I see that I do this, how can I stop doing something like that?’ And that’s what he does. He is very conscientious about things like that, especially watching himself on tape, and now the preparation period, when watching the other teams on tape he is conscientious with that, he’s right in there with the other guys. He just brings a very mature approach to the game.”
On linebacker Abner Logan:

“When you redshirt and you don’t actually get in the game, you don’t know the speed. There are a lot of things you don’t know until you get out there and I just think that’s he’s done a good job. I think Coach Dudzinski has done a good job with him in just the way he goes through the teaching progression so he can pick things up easy and understand what we’re doing. Between Coach Dudzinski tutoring as well as him maturing he’s just done a good job getting to the point he is now.”

 

– Maryland –

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Terps OC Locksley says Brown return brings “calmness and normalcy”

Posted on 16 October 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On quarterback C.J. Brown’s return and the impact on the offense:

“He’s definitely eager. When you get a starter back into the system it’s good. We’re very grateful Caleb Rowe was able to come in and manage a way to get us a win, but C.J. is the leader of our offense and having him back brings a sense of calmness and normalcy back. So we’re excited to have him back and he’s definitely excited to have the opportunity to get back out there and try to get us back on track offensively.”

 

On the identity of the offense:

“I’ve said before our offense is very flexible. You can identify it as very multiple, so we can shape it to fit whoever is back there. So it’s not necessarily the ‘it factor,’ but I think for us having him back is consistency. Obviously, we need to be more efficient to sustain more drives, which we didn’t do last week even though we were able to get back on track and get a few big plays in there, but for us to be the offense we want to be we need to be more consistent.”

 

On utilizing the athletic ability of the team’s wide receivers in one-on-one situations:

“That’s something we’ve talked about in practice and try to get accomplished. When you have guys like Stefon Diggs, Deon Long, and even Nigel King and Levern Jacobs out on the perimeter, when you get one-on-one opportunities to go up and make plays in the air, we’ve missed some big throws where I don’t think the quarterbacks necessarily gave us the greatest opportunity to go up and make a play when we’ve had man coverage. I thought last week we were able to make a few of those plays and obviously anytime we get one-on-one coverage with the skill set that we have on the outside if you put the ball in a place where they can go up and make a play those guys have tendency to come down with the ball.”

 

On the quarterbacks gaining confidence to challenge defenses in one-on-one situations with the wide receivers:

“I don’t think that it necessarily gives them confidence because I think they definitely have had confidence in those guys. I think for us it’s a matter of putting the right kind of ball up in the air, and understanding that because of what they’ve done and the speed that they have that throwing it down the field you’ll see a lot more of what we call over the top coverage and for that they’ve got to adjust what kind of ball to throw. Instead of throwing it down the field they need to throw it behind the receiver so that they can come back to where he has an advantage. I think what we’ve been doing is putting too much air under the ball and throwing and leading the receiver down the field that the off coverage is running on top of it. I thought that we made a few underthrows last week. Stefon Diggs’ catch was an underthrow. Deon Long’s catch on the sideline was an underthrow and I think they are starting to understand that the leverage of the defender dictates what kind of ball that they have to throw.”

 

On the challenges Wake Forest presents:

“I think number one, they are a better squad [compared to last season]. When you look across the board, you see all the redshirt seniors, redshirt juniors, and guys that have 30 starts, 28 starts. They’re a very veteran squad. And it just seems like when Wake has veteran guys they play smart, they play hard and they very rarely make mistakes. So we have to be consistent offensively and execute at a higher level, at a way higher level. As I showed the offense this past week, we still are leaving so many plays on the field because we aren’t executing, not being in the right place, not reading the gaps correctly, misreading pass routes. Everybody is playing a role, so when you play veteran teams and smart teams like Wake they are not going to make a lot of mistakes where guys are just going to be wide open. We’re going to have to make our own chances, and you do that by executing at a high level.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On the injury to linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil:

“Any time you have a guy who has been very productive, and has been a good, solid player for you, when he goes down there’s always going to be the question of who is going to be the next one up. I think the guys behind him, as well as Coach [Lyndon] Johnson, have done a good job just keeping everybody prepared during practice, doing what they are supposed to be doing, so when they have to go in the game they are able to go in the game and contribute. That way we won’t have the same player, but we should still have the same production.”

 

On the younger players stepping up: 

“All of them have to step up now. You’ve got Cavon Walker. You’ve got Yannick Ngakoue, and both of those guys came in with a good football IQ and now we are putting that football IQ to the test. They came in prepared and they were well coached at Friendship [Collegiate] and it showed, so now it is about seeing that stuff on tape, for us.”

 

On what he saw from linebackers Cavon Walker and Yannick Ngakoue in the Virginia game:

“I saw great effort. I saw guys feeling their way and get getting better each play.”

 

On creating more turnovers:

“That’s a big attitude thing. You go to practice every day and try to tell the defensive backs and the linebackers to try to attack the ball in the air as well as the ball carrier, and tell the defensive line to try to strip the ball. It comes in spurts. Sometimes you get a lot of sacks and a lot of interceptions. The score of the game is also a big dictator of that. If you get a team that is one-dimensional and they have to throw the ball because they are behind, now you have a chance for everybody to chase the quarterback and that’s where you get the sacks and the fumbles and the interceptions. We are still doing the same thing we have been doing, but just the past few weeks we haven’t been in a position where the score dictates a situation where that can happen.”

 

On fixing mistakes from the Virginia game:

“All of those things are fixable. We have not played the way we want to play for the past two weeks. That’s obvious. The main thing we are doing now is making sure we are better on third downs, better against the run, and I think everything else will take care of itself after we do those things. I think we did a tremendous job being able to hold people to field goals on the 13-yard line, which is a great testament to those kids.”

 

On Wake Forest wide receiver Mike Campanaro:

“That is there go-to guy, and we know they are going to go to him. We have somebody at practice who is mimicking him and we have to make sure we know where he is and understand what he is going to do out of different formations and then play football. He is one of their best players, as well as their quarterback Tanner Price. Both of those guys are playing well, so we have to make sure we do what we can to make sure we can match what they are doing with what we are doing.”

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Terps OC Locksley says Virginia game will show Terps’ character

Posted on 09 October 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

 

On Virginia:

“As we say here each week, our challenges start with ourselves. The last couple of weeks on offense, our execution has been down. You look back at last week and we were 14 percent efficient running the ball and 20 percent efficient throwing the ball. That keeps you in a lot of third and long situations, and then we’re 2-for-15 in those, you don’t sustain drives. For us, it’s not as much about Virginia defensively, it’s about us executing the things we want on offense.”

 

On the running game against Florida State:

“We didn’t get a lot of movement at the point of attack. I thought we missed a few reads. Our running game is predicated on our quarterback and the zone-read game. Once C.J. [Brown] went down, some things changed in what we were able to get executed. We’ve got to block people better and we’ve got to maintain blocks. When you’re in the zone-read scheme, you’ve got to make sure you read it correctly. When we get the ball to the edge, we’ve got to take care of blocking the perimeter. We’ve got to get all those things accomplished running the football and we haven’t been very good at it.”

 

On if the scheme changes when certain players are injured:

“Hopefully you don’t adjust on the fly. We prepare for worst case scenarios as always. We know what the strengths and weaknesses are of the offensive players in our scheme. A lot of that stuff is done before the game even starts, so it’s not an on the fly adjustment. There may be a few things you tweak when it happens and we’ve got to do a better job of handling that when it takes place, whether it’s receivers, quarterbacks or running backs. Out mentality is the next man up. The next guy has to step up and do the job.”

 

On quarterback Caleb Rowe’s performance:

“As I told him after the game, I thought Caleb came in and executed a lot better than what I would have expected.  Coming into that type of situation, his first play was a 3rd-and-12 and he bangs the seven route for a first down. Then he comes back and gets into a little rhythm and gets the ball to Stef (Stefon Diggs). Then we get a holding penalty. When you play really good teams like Florida State in that type of environment, you’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity you’re given and I thought Caleb played OK.”

 

On correcting the offensive mistakes heading into Saturday:

“All those things are correctable, whether it’s through a change of personnel or guys getting better at the techniques and reworking some of the technical things that it takes. We self-scout ourselves every Monday and we look to say, who are we? Your personnel dictates who you are first and foremost and then what you can get accomplished or get executed is the second most important thing so we look at that each week and at the plan we’re putting together and we’ve got to get it cleaned up more today and tomorrow.”

 

On running back Jacquille Veii:

“Jacquille’s a talented player. We’ve got Brandon [Ross] and Albert [Reid], both those guys are talented players. Jacquille does bring a different element. Like anything, we continue to look and find ways to get our best players the ball and I thought he came in and did some good things at the end. I thought the game dictated some of that. We were trying to get out of the game and Florida State was trying to finish up the game themselves.”

 

On responding from the loss:

“It’’s our jobs as coaches to get us through it and that’s where I think the system of how we approach each week dictates it because there’s not a lot of time to dwell on what happened Saturday. We addressed it Sunday and one of the things we said on offense is we wouldn’t allow what happened Saturday to a really good Florida State team to have any meaning on what happens this upcoming week against Virginia. We buried it on Sunday and went out and practiced and prepared on Sunday. The way our schedule goes, it doesn’t allow it to linger because once we get out of the team meeting and the film review, we’re out on the practice field showing Virginia looks. We haven’t done much talking about the Florida State game because all our effort and energy is into preparing our guys for a tough Virginia team that’s coming in here.”

 

On if Saturday’s game will show the character of the team:

“There’s no doubt you’ll see. We had two of our better practices Sunday. Tuesdays are like pulling teeth. They’re coming off a day off and this is the time of year with a lot of midterms and things like that, but the focus was there. We’ll find out a lot about ourselves this Saturday.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

 

On moving on from Florida State to Virginia:

“On Sunday, we look at the tape from last week’s game, the good, the bad, and the ugly and then we practice on Sunday. It’s Virginia. We focus on Virginia and try to prepare for them.”

 

On the offensive challenges Virginia poses:

“I think they’ve got a strong running game. Both running backs, especially [Kevin] Parks, are running really well. Then, the quarterback’s a good runner. He does a good job of reading. They’ve got a zone-read scheme that they run and he’s not a bad passer. He’s got a good, strong arm. He’s a good athlete.”

 

On scouting Virginia despite personnel changes:

“The offensive line was different. They’ve been changing and moving around the offensive line. They used some different receivers, but their scheme stayed steady and what we’ve got to do is look at the scheme and what they do in different formations and attack it. That’s what we’ve been doing.”

 

On defensive lineman Zeke Riser:

“I thought he did a good job. He did what we asked him to do. He’s a solid player. He used his hands, filled his gaps, so I was pretty excited. I was excited for him that he got his first chance to go out there and play for us.”

 

On the mood at practice this week:

“I thought that on Sunday we ran around well and then I thought yesterday was a good practice for us.  I thought the energy was up and the attention to detail was up. I was pretty excited about that.”

 

On defensive lineman Andre Monroe:

“He’s quick. He’s experienced. He’s played before and he’s a good player for us. If we see something where we can use him to take advantage we’re going to do that. We thought that he’d do a good job for us.”

 

– Maryland –

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Terps OC Locksley thinks week off will help preparation for Tallahassee

Posted on 02 October 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

 

On Florida State’s defense and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner:

 

“They’re a very typical Florida State defense from our standpoint. I’ve had a chance to play against Florida State quite a bit during my tenure here at Maryland, and this defense is as talented as those defenses that I’ve faced back when I was here before. Joyner is an exceptional football player, like you said. Not just a great corner. They move him around, play him at nickel, he pass rushes, he’s a guy who you need to know where he is and you need to account for.”

 

On reviewing the game film from Florida State’s game at Boston College:

 

“Anytime we watch film, we would hope we that we’re able to find some things we need to try to take advantage of. They’re well-rounded and BC is a little different than we are schematically. I thought Florida State obviously came out with a win, and they did enough to win the ball game.

 

“For us, it always starts with us first and foremost, taking care of the things we can control with not turning the ball over, executing at a high level, making sure we convert the third downs, and then obviously scoring touchdowns in the red zone is real important. To beat a good team like Florida State, you got to have a few breaks go your way, and our guys need to make sure we give ourselves a chance by getting the game into the fourth quarter.”

 

On bye-week adjustments:

 

“I think we started out pretty well as far as, I like to say, staying clean with the turnovers the last couple of games, especially in the West Virginia game, whether it due to rain or lack of security of the ball, we went back and made sure that we’re reemphasizing, we’ve got to take care of the football to be any good on offense. We definitely hit some of the fundamentals and technical things that you do during the bye week. Coach [Edsall] obviously adjusted practice schedule to where we had more individual time, so we were able to go back to some of the foundation and fundamental things that it takes to be successful.”

 

On preparing for the crowd noise at Doak Campbell Stadium:

 

“We have the whole two weeks. For me it’s a little nerve-wracking with the music turned up loud. For two straight weeks, I think it’s good for our players. It makes them focus in, have to really pay attention to seeing the ball and locking in from a focus standpoint. Again, what a great atmosphere, it’s what coach shared with our guys, what a great opportunity to go play in front of a big crowd, and on the road, having played down there it’s a great atmosphere.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

 

On Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston:

 

“I think Winston is doing a great job right now as a redshirt freshman as far as controlling the offense, getting the ball to the right guys and reading coverages. [He] does a good job improvising also. He’s a special player and it’s a great challenge for us.”

 

On Jameis Winston’s escape ability:

 

“Luckily or unluckily, we’ve played a lot of quarterbacks that have that escape ability. When we played against ODU, I thought that was one of the better guys I saw move around a little bit. That being the case, I think you’ve just got to practice and simulate that with our backup quarterbacks to help us on scout team. They do a great job of doing that; moving around and throwing the ball late.”

 

On slowing down Florida State’s offense:

 

“Our basic defensive philosophy is to stop the run and then make the team one-dimensional, and then we play from there. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go out there and load up the box, stop the run and try to get them to be one-dimensional. The score of the game also helps that, and then we’ll be able to play the pass game from there.”

 

On Maryland’s increase in team speed over the last year:

 

“It’s always a work in progress. I like our guys. Our team speed and our recruiting has picked up since I’ve been here. I’m excited about the young guys we have.

 

“The consistency in the offensive and defensive philosophies has helped our team play fast. The smarter you are, the faster you play. I think that’s the big key.”

 

On his confidence in the defensive backs playing man-to-man defense against Florida State’s wide receivers:

 

“Watching us play West Virginia, we didn’t play man coverage at all. They had to cover the routes and be where they were supposed to be. Every game presents a different challenge. We just go with the flow of the game, but as we prepare for them, I’ve got confidence in all the DBs, from Sean Davis to Will Likely, that we could play some man if we wanted to do that at a high level. “

 

– Maryland –

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OC Locksley says playing in Baltimore good for Terps

Posted on 18 September 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

 

On West Virginia’s defense:

“I don’t think from a structural standpoint they’re much different than last year. They’ve kind of switched who the coordinators were, but I know they were co-coordinators, so from a structure standpoint it’s very similar to what they did last year. I think those guys are like us. In year two of a new scheme, they’ve got a great understanding and this will be the toughest defense we’ve faced so far.

“The big thing is that they create pressure with their front.  They’ve got some zone pressures they like to bring and that helps add guys to the box to stop the run. I think their secondary, especially their safeties, are athletic and talented and good tacklers. They play well in space. They create turnovers. We’re going to have a challenge this Saturday and I know we’re looking forward to it.”

 

On if he ever talks to defensive coordinator Brian Stewart to a scouting report of the Terps’ offense:

“We talk all the time, whether it’s him asking about offensive stuff or me about defensive stuff.  The good thing about preparing for this week is that a lot of stuff they do is what our defense does. Going against that style of defense every day in practice through spring and through fall camp, affords us a luxury that we get reps against that style of defense. Again, with the athleticism they have and they’re well-coached and good tacklers, it’ll be a challenge for us and we’re looking forward to it.”

 

On playing in Baltimore:

“I think any time we can play up in Baltimore is a good thing for us from the standpoint that the recruiting base and the Baltimore fans get a chance to see us. As far as playing in a NFL stadium, we’ll have our hash marks. The numbers are a little different, but in the walkthrough we’ll address some of the differences in playing in a NFL stadium.”

 

On the slow start at Connecticut:

“For us, it was definitely not the type of football we want to play. The thing that we preach first and foremost is not beating ourselves. The fumbles down in the red zone area, coming up short on two fourth and inches; that’s not what good teams do. Obviously, we need to get that corrected. Scoring in the red zone and our third down percentage are all correctable and things that we’re doing the necessary steps to try and correct this week.”

 

On wide receiver Levern Jacobs:

“Every time he’s played for us, he finds a way to make plays for us. He’s got the speed and for us, we’re always looking for guys who can make plays and to find ways to get them the ball. It was great to see him make that play right before the half [at Connecticut]. For him to make the play obviously gives us confidence that he has that ability. Having two brothers both playing Division I football is a testament to their parents. Both those guys are extraordinary athletes. They both have bright futures here.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

 

On defensive back Dexter McDougle:

“Anytime you have a player, who was playing at the level he was playing at, and he gets hurt, first you’re disappointed for the player. Then you look back at the contributions he made for the team overall. But we got to keep going. We’re going to miss him, we love him, but we got to keep going.”

 

On preparation of the younger players:

“I think that everybody is preparing well. Everybody is excited about their opportunities and taking advantage of those opportunities. I think we’ll be fine. I think those guys know the seriousness of this and at any given time your number could be called for you to play and at any given time you could be hurt. I think they understand what’s going on.

“I think we’re doing fine. When you’ve got to approach practice like a game and go full speed and you do those things in the classroom as well as on the field you’ve got a chance to be successful.”

 

On linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil:

“I’m excited for him and about him. When we first saw him last spring, he was a walk-on player and doing the thing he was doing on scout team then this last spring, just all effort. We knew he was going to give us everything he had and now you see the benefits of his effort.”

 

On if linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil plays with a chip on his shoulder:

“He sure practices and plays like he has a chip on his shoulder. I haven’t talked to him about that specifically, but he always brings energy to practice and to meetings and his play. Like I said earlier, he does practice and plays like that.”

 

On whether a lack of depth limits the packages they can run defensively:

“I think you have to adjust. We’re going to have to adjust and play the people and play the packages that put us in the best position to stop what they do. “

 

On West Virginia quarterback Ford Childress:

“West Virginia’s quarterback is young. He’s a redshirt freshman and they also have a backup guy that hasn’t played. When you have Geno Smith, it was hard for anyone else to get in there and play. He’s young, has a strong arm and has a good grasp of the offense. Their offense in general is the air-raid offense, which Mike Leach and Hal Mumme and those guys created. It can be very diverse. It can be two backs, four wides. It presents a challenge depending on who they have personnel wise.”

 

On whether his past experience with the spread/air-raid offense has helped preparation:

“It helps an awful lot because understanding the tempo and understanding how they are going to call the plays from the sidelines with the quarterback signaling who gets to screen; so it helps in that sense.  But you can’t match the speed and you can’t match the players at practice.”

 

On the success of the pass rush this season:

“I think it goes hand in hand with our offense. Our offense is scoring and so that puts the other offense in a bind where they can’t just sit back and run the ball more and do some short area stuff. They’re going to have to be more aggressive and that’s helped us. It’s helped us in the long run being able to pressure more because of that.”

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Terps DC Stewart says CB Likely “special player”

Posted on 11 September 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

On the offensive balance so far this season:

“That’s the one thing we strive for offensively is to be able to, not necessarily be 50-50 run pass, but to be able to execute both well.  During the course of the games, what we do is predicated on what the defense gives us. The first game, they did some things to take away our running backs so our quarterback had some big plays. Our play-action stuff has been good. In the second game, they forced the running backs to make plays and we were fortunate that our rushing attack got going.”

 

On his advice to running back Brandon Ross going into the Old Dominion game:

“We’re a zone team and what we call our power type runs, where there’s one cut and you have to get downhill, we thought that in the first game Brandon was taking too long to get to the hole. We just stressed, make a read, stick a foot in the ground and attack the line of scrimmage. I thought he did a better job of that in week two.”

 

On running back Albert Reid:

“As we’ve said before, we’ve got two guys that we know for sure have the ability. We look at Albert as a starter from the standpoint of 1A and 1B. He’s a kid that works hard and has great vision. I was glad to see him get in the end zone for his first Terp touchdown. He did a great job of making a guy miss in space and that’s what you see out of Albert. That’s what you get day in and day out. That’s how he put himself in position to help us offensively.”

 

On the differences between running backs Albert Reid and Brandon Ross:

“Albert’s probably a little more powerful. Brandon has the ability to hit the home run. He has the long speed you like. But they are a lot more similar than they are different.”

 

On how the team blocking has improved:

“It’s definitely something we’ve talked about. With what we do on offense, perimeter blocking is as important as our offensive line protecting our quarterback because when you’re working to get the ball out in space to your playmakers, it entails guys out on the perimeter making blocks at the point of attack. Last week, we got better with our perimeter blocking. Our backs did a good job in protection and our receivers were covering up a lot better than they did in the first game.”

 

On Connecticut’s defense:

“We’ve got one game to evaluate them off of and we used last year’s game even though they’ve got a new coordinator. What we saw against Towson was a pressure defense that played a lot of man coverage. It’s similar to what they did last year against us. They play a lot of man, disguise their coverages, and like to get the eighth guy in the box. The eighth guy in the box means our zone read game has got to be on point with our reads to eliminate the extra guy and then we’ve also got to when out on the perimeter in man-to-man coverage.”

 

On the offensive line’s motivation after surrendering six sacks to Connecticut last season:

“I don’t think they are necessarily motivated by what happened last year. I think they are motivated at getting better like each and every position on our team needs to do. I thought they made strides from week one to week two. Their landmarks were a lot better. They played with a lot more leverage up front. They were executing and not making a lot of mistakes. From that standpoint, we got a lot better. With that being said, a lot of positions on our offense need to continue to get better and we still have so much more room for improvement from a fundamental and technical standpoint.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

On the thought process that went into the game plan against Old Dominion:

“Against spread teams, I think you’ve got to have the fastest guys on the field. That was my thought process and Randy’s [Edsall] thought process the whole time. We were going to put the fastest guys on the field.”

 

On the depth of the defense allowing him to run the dime:

“That was the key actually; the depth. We had the depth to stay in dime and substitute. That was the problem we had last year. If we were going to run a package like that, we couldn’t stay in it throughout the game because we had to fluctuate in and out because of the depth.”

 

On the players that were removed from the lineup because of the scheme:

“That’s a testament to those guys, to the big guys and Cole Farrand. If you’re a true team player, and you understand our package and what we’re trying to do and you see where you fit and where you don’t fit. They understood and did a good job of practicing hard and helping and noticing things on the sidelines that were happening during the game.”

 

On defensive back Jeremiah Johnson’s role:

“He still does the same things that he did when he was out there. He’s at all the meetings. He conducts voluntary meetings with some of the young guys to make sure they’re on point and know what’s going on. He’s done a great job. He’s just a great kid. We miss his play, but we want him out there helping.”

 

On defensive backs William Likely and Isaac Goins stepping in for Jeremiah Johnson:

“Jeremiah got hurt early in the first game so Isaac played most of the game and so did Will. The way coach Edsall structures practices, it’s hard for us not to see what guys can do. It’s an easy evaluation process, so when those guys get out there, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what those guys can do.”

 

On what he expects from Connecticut’s offense:

“It looks like a mix of both Cincinnati as well as last year’s UConn. I’m expecting some downhill runs as well as some perimeter runs. They ran some perimeter runs against Towson. Some spread with passes to the tight end, not like the spread we faced against ODU.”

 

On defensive back William Likely:

“I always thought he was a special player. It’s like when you’ve got Stefon Diggs. Did you expect him to do the things he did? You kind of did. With Will, he’s doing a great job and I think he’s a special player.”

 

On linebacker Alex Twine:

“Alex is doing a great job. The depth that we have at the linebacker position is tremendous and that being the case, he’s a guy that can play outside for us and inside. He’s started outside for us before. He’s doing a great job. The guy in front of him, Matt Robinson, is doing a great job. He just had to make sure he’s always ready.”

 

On linebacker Matt Robinson:

“I’m excited to have him. From him playing in the back end and now in the front, he knows what’s going on in our meeting room and he can relay that to the other guys in his meeting room. It makes it exciting because then our communication is real clean on the field.”

 

On how Robinson helped in the dime package:

“That’s what really made it work. You’ve got a guy that is a hybrid type guy; a DB/linebacker. He has size enough to help us in the run, but has enough quickness and speed to be back there in the pass [coverage] and do some things. It helped us tremendously.”

 

On defensive lineman Darius Kilgo:

“He’s doing a good job putting his hands on people and playing blocks and understanding the defense. The maturation of everyone understanding the defense is what’s helping them play better on defense.”

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