April 10, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland football assistant coaches met with the media Wednesday afternoon in Gossett Football Team House. Below are quotes from each.
Wide Receivers Coach Lee Hull:
On the offensive unit:
"I think we are starting to play a little faster because we are in our second year in this type of offense. Last year our offense was thinking a lot, trying to get lined up, so I think having this be our second year we have a lot more consistency. The players are starting to figure out what we are trying to do, so that is going to help them play faster and make plays.
"I have always told our players that they have to know our offense like the back of their hand so it becomes second nature. Now I do a three-click test, they get three seconds to get an answer right about our attack because that is how fast paced it moves on the field. When you are in a game situation you don't have much time to think, you have to line up, read the coverage, adjust your split and know the route you are running all in a matter of seconds. Getting used to this no-huddle offense and playing at a faster pace is starting to come more naturally. "
On the wide receivers:
"If I had to give them a letter grade I would give them a C+ right now. I think there is always some room for improvement. The grade might seem a little low because I think in the beginning of the spring we didn't do as well as we expected to. But now that we are in the second half, we are performing better and learning from our mistakes."
On standout players:
"I think everyone has made strides of improvement, but I would say Malcolm Culmer has made the most. He has been the most consistent all around, both in blocking and running routes."
Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach Mike Locksley:
On Deon Long's impact:
"I think his familiarity with the system has allowed him and afforded him the opportunity to come in and put himself in the position of possibly being a starter for us. His accomplishments have helped build his confidence, but now we have to fine-tune the intricacies and techniques to help him excel as a wide receiver against the top completion. The knowledge of the system will give him a chance to come in and play right away, but how quickly he picks up the technique will determine the type of success he has at Maryland. "
On the receiving unit:
"They have the potential to be a really strong unit on our team this year. To have the skill that we have on the outside, I would say as a coaching staff we feel really good about our talent. I would also say although they have talent, they must also perform at the type of level that is necessary to be successful."
On the players' familiarity with his offense entering year two:
"There's definitely a natural ease in that the terminology, the plays, the techniques, we're going through all of it. This is the third time it's been installed for some of these guys -- we put it in last spring, we did it again in the fall and now we're doing it again in the spring. There's definitely a familiarity with it."
Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Andre Powell:
On moving Joe Riddle to another position
"I think initially Joe was recruited at another position, and then as we watched him we determined that his skills were best suited for running back. He has improved this spring, and has exceeded my expectations. To play running back you have to be smart and be involved in every facet of the offense. You also have to be really tough, and I think he is starting to pull all of those aspects together."
On finding a back who can play every down:
"We would like to have an every-down back, a guy that can run the ball on a normal down and one that can operate within the passing game as well. We haven't gotten that far in our planning, but I think we are looking for guys to play every down."
Offensive Line Coach Tom Brattan:
On Ryan Doyle:
"Ryan has moments where he is really good. His thing to me is playing on a more consistent level and growing into his body."
On new players:
"We see improvement in all of our guys, we just have to gage if we are on track for the start of the season. I think spring football has been huge for us in determining what we need to work on over the summer. Summer ball is going to be huge for us."
On Silvano Altamirano:
"He has been a welcome addition. He has come in and brought a lot of athleticism. He is receptive to what we are telling him. Is he a finished product? No, but certainly he will help us out. I would say he has the athletic ability to play either guard position."
Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator John Dunn:
On importance of practice time in March and April:
"We are allowed 15 practices, and these guys aren't 10-year veterans. We need everything we can get, and we need to maximize this time. Going into the summer the guys must know what things they have to work on individually, and I think it is critical to have this time so going into the fall they have a base understanding of what we are coaches need them to do in terms of fundaments, techniques and schemes. This time of development is huge."
On Dave Stinebaugh's role this season:
"I think Dave has always had the ability to accomplish the things he has shown us this spring. As coaches we have always seen that he has great capability. He has had the injury bug which has set him behind a little, but I think he is going to be able to do everything that Matt Furstenburg was able to do. Dave can be effective in both the running and passing game, he is dynamic."
Outside Linebackers Coach Lyndon Johnson:
"Right now Marcus Whitfield would be the `Will' and Matt Robinson would be at the `Sam.' We have to see how his shoulders hold up. Coming back from those two surgeries is obviously a concern, but he seems to be progressing very well."
On spring surprises:
"I wouldn't say Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil was a surprise. Since the moment he got here his work ethic has been off the charts. He has a non-stop motor, and he is one of the stronger guys. I expected him to do the things he is doing now because of his transfer status. I think the group as a whole is very impressive. They pick things up a lot faster than I thought they would, and we are playing fast right now."
Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach Brain Stewart:
On athleticism of defensive line:
"I think the defensive line did a great job this spring in terms of pass rushing and playing blocks. It is hard because we are going to play against big guys. Joe [Vellano] and A.J. [Francis] played big, so I am excited to see if we can play big again this fall. Right now we are playing athletic, but I am still unsure if we can play big."
On the players' familiarity with his system entering year two:
"Last year they were in a learning process so we had to tone everything down and make sure they knew what to do. Now with it being the second year in the defense, now they're playing fast and we're trying to do what we're supposed to do at a high level."
On biggest accomplishment made by the defense this spring:
"I think we are a good pressure team, and we can play a little more man than we could last year. "
Defensive Line/Assistant Head Coach Greg Gattuso:
On improving defensive vision:
"The actions are what we are trying to get done. We are blending a lot of youth into this defense, but the knowledge is something that will make it work. Everyone is on the same page and understanding what we are trying to get done."
On defensive room:
"The thing that has been interesting with the defensive line room is Joe [Vellano] and A.J. [Francis] were very domineering personalities, they answered every question and were incredibly knowledgeable. What happens now is the younger guys can answer questions and express themselves. Everyone is increasing their confidence in the defense because they are not overwhelmed by the bigger personalities."
Inside Linebackers Coach Keith Dudzinski:
On overall unit:
"The one thing we want to do with the 3-4 is stop the run, and try to make teams a little more one dimensional. I think we have been doing a pretty good job because we are challenged every day in practice with our offense. We have done a pretty good job holding up the run so far. I think being in the second year of this defense has helped guys understand concepts better, and guys now know what their jobs are and what we expect from them. We are playing a lot faster and seeing things better."
On Bradley Johnson:
"Bradley has been quiet here for the last two years, and other players injuries have given him an opportunity to come in and do a great job. I think he is going to give us more competition at the inside linebacker position."