Blog Entry

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition

Posted on: October 5, 2011 2:18 pm

Posted by Chip Patterson

Maryland head coach Randy Edsall has had a rocky start to his first year in College Park. The Terps started hot, with flashy jerseys and a big opening win against Miami in front of a national audience. But the Terps followed that victory with a pair of losses in front of the home crowd, including an embarrassing 38-7 rout at the hands of Temple. Edsall has been very adamant about team discipline, already suspending offensive standouts Ronnie Tyler, Quintin McCree, and D.J. Adams at times this season for violation of team rules. He does not allow ball caps, do-rags, or earrings around the football complex, and has stressed that his first priority as head coach is to change the culture around Maryland.

Jeff Barker, of The Baltimore Sun had an interesting take on the rocky start and transition to Edsall's style of coaching. Below is an excerpt from the column.
"It's up and down. It's been a roller coaster," said quarterback Danny O'Brien, whose red T-shirt on Tuesday bore the team's slogan - 'No Excuses. Just Play.' - in white lettering. "In one month, we've experienced a lot of highs and a lot of lows already. I think that's going to be good for us. We've already experienced a lot of adversity as a team."

O' Brien called Edsall "a great leader.

But not everybody is on board. One prominent veteran player said privately that Edsall's strict style doesn't allow individuals to be themselves and that he's looking forward to the season's end. Another veteran player has sought advice about dealing with Edsall from Friedgen who was dismissed in December with one year remaining on his contract.

"A lot of guys are making a rough transition to the way Randy Edsall wants to run things," said former Maryland receiver Emani Lee-Odai, who keeps in touch with the current Terps players.

Former coach Ralph Friedgen made headlines last week with his comment on the radio regarding his distaste for the current Maryland administration, and his wife was recently welcomed warmly on a visit to the team. It is not unreasonable to be concerned with the players' commitment to the new head coach.'s Heather Dinich questioned if Friedgen had become a distraction to the team during the ACC's weekly coaches' teleconference, and Edsall predictably dodged the topic. But how long will he have to deal with Friedgen's looming presence in College Park? In addition to being the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year, Friedgen played offensive guard for the Terps and spent two different stints on the staff before taking over as head coach in 2001. In ten seasons he went to seven bowls with a 5-2 postseason record, and was deeply engrained in the Maryland football culture.

For the Maryland faithful, Edsall doesn't have that kind of familiarity to earn that trust off the bat. He's a Big East guy through and through, spending his playing days and first coaching positions at Syracuse and making a name for himself at Connecticut. His core values are in academics and player discipline, both reasons athletic director Kevin Anderson cited at the time of his hire.

The team, students, and fans will all join Camp Edsall eventually. The frustrations regarding the leadership change are a direct result of the Terps' on-field struggles. Winning doesn't cure everything, as some people say, but it goes a long way to fixing inter-program strifes. Once Maryland gets it together on the field, I expect the off-field chatter to slow down significantly.

Despite the frustrating home losses, Maryland is undefeated in conference play. At this point, only five teams in the league can still say that. If the Terps keep winning conference games they will put themselves in a position to compete for a conference title. It is much easier said than done, particularly with Georgia Tech and Clemson as their next two opponents, but if the Terps follow Edsall's lead and focus on the next game it can be done.

However if the losses pile up in the coming weeks, the questions about "transition," "distraction," and "culture" will only continue for the first-year head coach.

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Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: October 6, 2011 2:52 pm

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition

Gotta give Edsall time here.  Granted last year's team had 9 wins, but it was the softest 9 wins in the history of college football.  The top win was either NC State or Boston College.  So that's not really saying much.  And even though they did bring back some talent, they lost some of their top skill players (Scott, Smith, etc.) 

I feel bad for the players that signed with Friedgen and now have to play for Edsall.  They probably feel like they've put their time in for a few years, and all for nothing. 

This is a really bad fan base.  They really don't care about rooting for their team, they just want to root for a winner.  This team had no respect last year (hence an 8 win team goes to the Military Bowl instead of a more prestigious one.)  Edsall stands for academics and accountability.  And the players who are whining about that why? 

Since: Oct 5, 2011
Posted on: October 5, 2011 7:19 pm

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition

Losing our defensive coordinator was a big blow.  Brown's blitzing defense protected our ineffectual corner backs, Chism and McDougle.  They are the worst set of corners in the ACC.  They were our corners in our 9 and 4 season last year so the blitz worked.   Losing Isaih Ross and Matt Robinson were big factors too.  Our linebackers are playing with injuries, and we are starting inexperienced and undersized defensive linemen, and that is the reason some of our upper classmen like A.J. Francis are getting more playing time.  Also, Temple has a heck of a football team.  They should have beaten Penn State.  It's going to a long year.  Let's hope we have a first rate recruiting class this year.  This is going to be one of those "Wait til Next Year" seasons. 

Since: Jan 24, 2010
Posted on: October 5, 2011 6:08 pm

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition

Apologies for the double comment.  I posted through the Bleacher Report, and evidently their interface isn't up to par.

Since: Jan 24, 2010
Posted on: October 5, 2011 6:02 pm

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition

Snoozer article.  If Maryland isn't doing well, how about those Miami U's?

And how about the queen of Raliegh, Debbie Yow?

Friedgen won with Vanderlinden's kids, and went to the Military Bowl after going 2-9 and losing 3 scholarships due to his poor academic planning.  Edsall gets at least four years.  Then you can write this article again, if you want.

The big story, in my opinion, is James Franklin.  Now there is a story.

Since: Jan 24, 2010
Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:54 pm

Report: Terps struggling with coaching transition

What a snooze article.  If Maryland is having troubles, how about those Miami U's?

And how's Debbie Yow doin'?

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