COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland football team wrapped up its 11th practice of the spring on Thursday evening. Under the guidance of new Defensive Line Coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and new Offensive Line Coach Tyler Bowen, the Terps are making great strides to improve up front.
After leading the Fordham Rams to the top ranked offense in the Patriot League last year as offensive coordinator, Bowen now takes control of the Maryland offensive line.
“I’m super excited about being back home," Bowen said. "Obviously playing here, getting my start in coaching here, this was a no-brainer for me."
Bowen expressed how excited he was about the talent he inherits on the offensive line.
“I tell our guys all the time that we have a lot of potential, but we need to turn that potential into production," said Bowen. "That’s what we’re doing right now in spring ball, that’s what we’ll to do over the summer and that’s what we’ll continue to do in fall camp. There’s a lot of really talented players, a lot of guys that have played a ton of games and that have experience, but we have to turn that potential into pure production.”
Bowen also emphasized the fact that he will be able to fine tune the offensive line as a coach who has played in similar circumstances, last playing football for Maryland in 2009.
“I think I provide a unique perspective for our guys," explained Bowen. "I’m not a coach that played the game 35 years ago, I’m a guy who has played it in the last 10 years. I’ve down-blocked the three technique in what used to be Byrd Stadium, now Maryland Stadium. I’ve been in Virginia Tech on a Thursday night and had to play those games, so I know what they’re going through. I also know what it’s like to come out here and work hard and work towards a common goal with guys and I think some of that perspective is good for them and I think it’s good that I can provide that for them.”
Junior offensive lineman Derwin Gray, who appeared in all 13 games last season, has been noticing the change of tempo Bowen brought to the team.
“He brings a lot of energy," said Gray. "The energy starts in the building and then translates on to the field. We’re getting better in all facets of our game.”
Brumbaugh joined the team in February as co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach after coaching the defensive line at Kentucky from 2013-2016. Brumbaugh, like Bowen, sees a lot of potential for his line.
“They’re really raw, but they understand how to do things," explained Brumbaugh. "They want to work, they want to listen, and that’s what's most important to me.”
Brumbaugh, who coached first-round NFL picks like Bud Dupree during his time with Kentucky, uses his experience with them to push the defensive line the extra mile.
“Experience breeds success," said Brumbaugh. "We do extra work because it’s going to be helpful. Really when you’re working with these guys and they’ve seen those [NFL players] work, they knew those guys started at some point in their career. They weren’t just NFL stars, they had to start somewhere. So I think that really helps our guys grow and get better.
“We talk about their work habits. Their effort, and how they work. So they’re working to get better. Those are the things that we really preach. Watching those guys really does help.”
Defensive lineman Jesse Aniebonam, who had a team-high nine sacks last season noted the defensive line has been making great strides under Brumbaugh's leadership.
“He has brought a lot of intensity for sure," said Aniebonam. "He’s brought a lot of exhilaration on the defensive line. He’s just going based off of his evaluation of us. From the first day he just started working on base techniques and brought a lot of intensity and wants to make us the best defensive line in the league.”
The Maryland Football team returns to the field for a scrimmage Saturday in its last week of preparation before the Red-White Spring Game on April 22 at Maryland Stadium.