Terps hold first practice on new Byrd Stadium turf

August 10, 2012 | WNST Staff

Maryland held a two-hour workout inside Byrd Stadium Friday morning

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Though it was earlier and in a different location than originally expected, the University of Maryland football team donned full pads for the first time this preseason during a two-hour workout Friday morning.

A weather forecast that predicted afternoon storms caused the team to move up its workout to the morning, and heavy rains early in the a.m. triggered the team to practice inside Byrd Stadium, rather than the on-campus practice fields.

The session provided players their first reps on the recently completed FieldTurf, and head coach Randy Edsall came away impressed with the new surface.

“I thought our kids moved around pretty good and I think that as we get moving on it and everything else we’ll be in good shape,” said Edsall. “It’s nice and soft, I know that… I didn’t notice any issues or anything like that. I was very, very happy with it.”

The Terps went through a 24-period session that started with individual work, moved on to team periods and finished with red-zone, goal-line and short-yardage work. In the finishing stages of practice, Edsall said he was impressed with the offense.

“I thought our offense gave better effort today,” said Edsall. “I thought our offense got after it more than the defense did. What we have to do is be consistent each and every day. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, when it’s time to play everybody has to step up and meet the challenge.”

In particular, the running backs continued an impressive start to preseason camp. One of the bigger question marks coming in, that position group has been spurred by competition with two returnees and a number of talented incoming freshmen.

Sophomore Justus Pickett and redshirt freshman Brandon Ross have both been impressive in their second fall camp, while true freshmen Wes Brown, Albert Reid and Joe Riddle have also shown off their talent. Combined with sophomore fullback Tyler Cierski and freshman Kenneth Goins, Edsall has seen plenty to be happy with.

“I’m really pleased with the running backs,” said Edsall. “I think we’ve got a good group there. If you just take a look at the fullbacks as well, and then take a look at all the tailbacks – that’s where I need to get to with our program, where we have that kind of competition at every position.

“I know it’s only been five days but I have to tell it like I see it and how I feel… those young kids still have a lot to learn, but I think we’re going to be OK there.”

Terp Notes: Edsall said he’s been impressed with junior tight end Dave Stinebaugh for how he’s battled back from shoulder surgery. The Baltimore native is pushing for time in a loaded positional group that also includes seniors Matt Furstenburg, Devonte Campbell and Ryan Schlothauer … Edsall singled out linebacker Darin Drakeford and cornerback Dexter McDougle for having good camps thus far. They are two of 10 returning starters on defense … Sophomore Alex Twine is listed on the depth chart at SAM linebacker, which Edsall said is the most complicated of the four linebacker positions to play, along with Kenny Tate. Twine, who played in 11 games as a 17-year old freshman last season, has shown that experience in camp. “He’s out here playing so much faster and more aggressive than what he was a year ago,” said Edsall. “There was a play today where he came across the field and just lit the guy up… he’s playing a lot faster and with a lot more confidence this year.”

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