For the first time this season, the Maryland football team donned full pads and took to the turf at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium for its fifth preseason practice on Friday.
Under hot and humid conditions, head coach Randy Edsall and his staff continued their preparation for the Terps’ season opener against Florida International at Byrd Stadium on Aug. 31 at 12:30 p.m. The team began practice with individual work and unit drills, before moving into team drills and a scrimmage during the two-hour session.
“I thought we got some good things done,” said Edsall. “Today the offense kind of got the better of the defense a little bit. It’s still early in camp with all the installation going in on both sides of the ball. But the guys are really working hard, that’s the thing I’m pleased about it.
“The execution has gotten better each day. The first five days we throw everything at them. After today we will start to go back and go over things. They’ve had a lot thrown at them. I thought they’ve handled it pretty well.”
Freshman running back Jacquille Veii turned in one of the more impressive highlights from practice. With the offense three yards from a score, Veii took the handoff and went skyward clearing the offensive line and sailing into the endzone. The impressive display of athleticism continued a week-long trend for Veii.
“Jacquille is having a really good camp,” said Edsall. “He’s doing extremely well. I’ve been very impressed with him, and his ability to run the ball. He’s done a pretty good job from understanding and executing all the things he’s got to execute. It will be interesting to see as we get a little bit more into some of the pass game stuff in terms of protections and all those things, but he’s a very talented runner.”
As the installation of the offense continues, so does the progression of quarterback C.J. Brown who looks very comfortable so far in camp.
“The thing I’ve been pleased with is I haven’t seen any ill effects from him from the standpoint of running, cutting, or him not feeling comfortable with his knee,” said Edsall. “And again what has to happen just like with any quarterbacks or receivers, they need some time to develop some togetherness, some timing, and that’s starting to come along with each practice. He’s moving really well.”