March 1, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Leading up to spring practice, which begins March 10, each member of the coaching staff has taken part in an interview session with the local media.
Last week, offensive line coach Tom Brattan and defensive line coach/assistant head coach Greg Gattuso visited with the local media.
On Tuesday, inside linebackers coach Keith Dudzinski, tight ends/recruiting coordinator John Dunn and wide receivers coach Lee Hull sat down with the media in the Gossett Football Team House.
Dudzinski and Dunn are beginning their second season with the Terps, while Hull is starting his fifth year.
On the inside linebackers:
"We've got the two inside backers. We've got Mike and Mo, that's how they're termed. We're going to have Loren Goree at the Mike, and at the Mo, will be Demetrius Hartsfield. The backup Mike will be Cole Farrand, and Bradley Johnson will be the backup at the Mo. That's how we'll start the first day of spring."
On the scheme:
"It's good. It's not a lot different from what we did last year with the Mike and Will, which is good for me. I carry over a lot of the same teaching, so from that perspective it's going to be easier for those inside backers during spring practices."
On Demetrius Hartsfield:
On defensive coordinator Brian Stewart:
"I think Demetrius has at times played really well. The thing that happened last year to us, as you know, is the injury bug. So, Demetrius got moved around quite a bit. He would bounce in from the Mike to the Will position, so it was a little bit tough on him because he was a little inconsistent from time to time. He wasn't getting the great feel of playing the one position, but toward the end of the year, I thought the last four games he really came on and played really well. He was healthy, and we expect him to come back and have a big year for us. We're expecting things from Demetrius. He's very athletic, he's big, he can run, and I think he's starting to feel more comfortable in the schemes. He made the transition from Will linebacker to going into the middle, and I think he's really starting to understand what his role is as an inside backer."
"Coach Stewart has been great. I think he's an added excitement to the program. He's been really good to the kids, and he's a pretty intense guy. He brings a lot of energy every day, and he's just a good guy to be around. Obviously, he's got a lot of experiences because he's been in the NFL, and he's been in college. He's been at those levels, and he's an everyday kind of guy. He likes to grind, he likes to coach football, and he likes to get in there with the guys. I think it's been great."
On bringing in new linebackers:
"It was one of our needs this year in fulfilling recruiting. Those guys play special teams, and they're a big component of special teams each week. So, I think that will help us, and we're still getting to a point where we're trying to get as much depth in the program. Right now, we're counting on young guys to come in and help us compete and try to win a lot of football games."
On incoming freshmen:
"We're very happy with the guys we signed. We signed five of them, and all of them have different attributes that really stand out. From the inside linebackers, a guy you'll probably see in up there is Brock Dean, a guy who is very exposed to a very cerebral type of player. There's also Abner Logan, a guy who could be a swing guy. He could be an outside linebacker or an inside linebacker, and he can run very well. He's athletic and probably a little bit raw as a linebacker at this point. There's Shawn Petty, who is a really good athlete from Eleanor Roosevelt [High School]. Here's a big kid who can run, and he's athletic and can flip his hips. So, we're just excited about the athleticism in the guys that we are bringing in.
On Bradley Johnson becoming a linebacker:
"We made that move about midway through the season last year. The toughest part for him was playing defensive end, and then he had to go back and try to learn how to play linebacker. I think he was little bit behind in that respect, but I think the run game piece was really good for him. He already has an understanding of schemes and seeing things move in front of him. I think it was the pass game stuff that he got to get to learn a little bit more, and I think being here in the spring, he's going to have a great opportunity to be in the two deep and get a lot of reps. We're going to see a lot of Bradley thing spring, and hopefully he'll develop really quick because he's another kid who has some physical abilities. He can read, but he's limited in terms of his pass experience right now.
On recruiting after a down season:
"One of the selling points we tell kids is they will be able to contribute right away. I think everyone is going to tell kids that anywhere in the country, but I think the reality is when they start looking at the roster and depth charts, they see we do need help right now and they have a chance to go in there, make an impact and get some plays as a true freshman."
On players taking the next step:
"I think the whole defensive needs to take a big step. We need to grow up as a full defense. In my position group, I'd like to see all those guys really take a big step up. I want to be as competitive as we can be. Those guys are where they are right now, and that's day one, but guys like Cole Farrand and Bradley Johnson have as much a chance as the other two guys in front of them. That's a starting point, so we want all four of those guys to be competitive every single day in practice."
Tight Ends Coach/Recruiting Coordinator John Dunn
On depth heading into spring:
"We haven't quite set it, but obviously coming out of the season, Matt Furstenburg was our starter and Devonte Campbell was behind him. Dave Stinebaugh was injured, so he won't be full [go] for the spring, and then Ryan Schlothauer is back. Those guys are a veteran group, and they're itching to get back out there and start new."
On Dave Stinebaugh's recovery from offseason shoulder surgery:
"He's been real good. We hear from the trainers, and he's doing well. He's progressing, gaining strength and mobility and things like that, so I'm excited about that. He's not going to be full for the spring, but I don't know exactly what he'll be able to do. He has a torn labrum, and that's a reoccurring injury."
On incoming freshman P.J. Gallo:
"I think he's going to fit in this group well. We signed him, and when you're talking about tight ends, you're talking about being able to block, being able to run routes, being able to catch and being able to do things with space. You have to be a big athlete, and that's what he is. He's about 220, 225, which is good. He can come in here, get in the strength and conditioning program and put on weight. He'll be able to get quicker, faster, stronger and all those things. I think he's going to fit nicely into the group."
On aspects to improve on at tight end:
"We can always get better in blocking. You have to be a jack-of-all-trades at the tight end position, so we really want to improve in the fundamentals: footwork, hand placement, hat placement, being more physical and being a more dominant blocker. I think for the most part at the tight end position as a whole, we've been pretty productive in the past games. We like no drop passes and obviously, we strive for perfection. We have three guys that are going to be seniors and just being able to play like a senior and be dominant on every play, not just getting the job done, but being a dominant player. We're really working on techniques, fundamentals and being a great finisher.
On senior-to-be Devonte Campbell:
"In these morning workouts, Devonte has been a different guy. I think he understands that this is the last go-around for him. His motor, his energy and his leadership skills are all starting to rise. I'm excited for him, and I'm excited to see what he's going to do in the spring. He's had a different mindset, and he's been coming to work. He's been putting forth the effort that you like to see on a consistent basis. That's been the thing with Devonte, is he has a lot of tools to be a good player, and he just has to be consistent, so it shows up all the time on the field.
On incoming freshman Stefon Diggs:
"Getting the No. 1 player in Maryland and the No. 1 player in D.C. is big. I think he can do a lot of things for this team and for us offensively. The message that it sends to the in-state players and the local guys is big, and we're putting a huge emphasis on him staying here and coming to Maryland."
On who helped in recruiting Diggs:
"With Stefon, it truly was a group effort. Every person that's going to affect him on campus had a part to do with it. You obviously talk about the head coach Randy Edsall, the offensive coordinator, Coach Locksley, and certainly Lee [Hull} is his position coach at receiver, so you hate to single someone out. Those three guys, and then of course everyone else it takes when he comes here and visits. Certainly, there's strength and conditioning, the academics, just everything, so I don't know if you can point to one single person. It truly was a group effort."
On Ryan Schlothauer's progress:
"Ryan is a very, very smart individual. I believe he had the highest GPA on the team, so with a guy like that, you can be a jack-of-all-trades because you can ask him to do multiple things. When you play with two tight ends at the same time, which we'll continue to do, sometimes that can be two different positions. We've asked him to be a backup for both, so it's not just learning the tight end position, but it's like learning two different positions. We try to find a way to put him on all the special teams. Ryan is smart and tough, and he'll do anything you ask him to do. When you have those kinds of qualities, then you find your way on the field, and he's a guy who earned a scholarship and was very deserving of it. He's a big, strong, physical guy, and he can help us in a lot of different places, and we ask him to, and he does a good job of it.
On ideal number of tight ends:
"Right now, we have four on scholarship, and we can certainly bring in P.J., so that makes five. That's a good number to be at, and we've got three seniors, so the spacing of it is a little different, but as far as the numbers go, we're good there. When you talk scheme, and we certainly have, you can't talk scheme without talking personnel. I think that we're in a position where we have some veteran guys, and we're going to be able to do two tight end sets. The scheme is part of it, but certainly within the scheme, the personnel dictate it. Hopefully at the tight end position, we're going to make a statement saying we need two tight ends on the field, and that's going to help us. We did some of that last year, and we'll certainly continue to do it this year. Our second tight end is the quote on quote "H-back" and really people term an H-back as more of an off-the-ball type tight end, a second tight end, where it's not quite a full back, not quite a tight end, it's kind of in between. Devonte has carried that role for us and Devonte does a nice job, and Matt, all four guys really. They're all interchangeable where they can line up on the line of scrimmage, and they can also line up line up in the backfield in the wing alignment and do those two positions. We will have a guy at `H-back' and we really teach all four of our guys both positions to suite their strong point.
Wide Receivers Coach Lee Hull
On spring depth:
"Our spring depth is pretty good. We've got two veterans coming back with Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins and I'm really happy with how they've been working so far this winter being leader. We are going to depend on those two guys for leadership, especially with the young group that we have. I'm pretty pleased with how winter conditioning has gone even with the young guys, they are coming along and they're working hard, especially Marcus Leak. Marcus Leak has been doing a real good job so far this winter, he's won a couple events that we have at winter condition. Nigel King is doing a real good job, he's getting better. With a year off, obviously he's behind the other guys because he couldn't work out with us so he's a little behind getting in shape physically, but he's been working hard trying to catch up. Devin Burns is doing a real good job too, being a leader. I'm pretty excited about our depth at receiver and how they're working."
On a potential depth chart heading into the spring:
"Right now, Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins are our starters and then after that it's wait and see. It's going to be a competition for the other guys. Even Boykins and Dorsey are going to be pushed. Some of the young guys are doing a great job. I think they are hungry. I know they see they have an opportunity to play because we don't have a lot of upperclassmen. It's going to be a great competition this spring."
On eliminating last year's drops:
"I don't dwell on the past. Being a receiver and playing the position I know you've got to have short memories, you can't dwell on the past. Obviously, those guys understand that they had some drops, but I'm not dwelling on that. We're moving forward. The emphasis this winter is getting on the Jugs machines, getting with the quarterbacks, getting a rapport with them. I think part of it is that it was a new system, so those guys were trying to adjust. We had a couple of our keys guys who we were counting on to be playmakers missed a few games so we had to put in some younger guys. They now have that taste of playing time, so hopefully that benefits us. There is a big emphasis right now of them being on the jugs machines, catching 500 tennis balls a week and getting with C.J. [Brown] and getting a rapport with the quarterback."
On incoming recruit Stefon Diggs:
"Obviously, he brings some excitement to the table. He's explosive, he's a playmaker. My expectations of him are to come in, learn the offense and we as coaches have to find a way to fit him in with the rest of the guys. He's a freshman, so I'm not going to but the burden of the world on him to be our savior. I want him to be able to grow, be able to feel comfortable in the system. If you're not comfortable and you've got to much pressure on you to make plays and do certain things, you're not going to produce. My expectations of him are to come in, learn the playbook, be himself and be the playmaker that he is."
On Nigel King:
"Nigel's long, a 6-foot-3 guy. He's got great length, great hands. He can go up and high point the ball, so his reception area is huge. He should be a red-zone threat for us because of his height and his length. Being a tall guy, he does have good speed, not Torrey Smith speed, but good speed that can be beat you deep. He's got a lot of skills for a tall kid, so it's going to be interesting. I'm excited to work with him because it's going to be the first time I get a chance to work with him and see exactly what he can do, but I think he has a lot of upside."
On Marcus Leak:
"I think the sky's the limit for Marcus, I really do. He's got a little taste of what it's like to play in the ACC. He got a foot wet last year. He's a big strong, physical kid. He can run, he's very powerful so he brings some physicality to our receiving core. He's got really good hands and I know he dropped some balls last year but again, that's just being a freshman so I'm hoping that's over with and that now everybody can see what he can do. I think he has some real upside."
On Kerry Boykins:
"He brings some toughness. He's a guy that you can play at all three positions. He's very smart. He's always in the right place. You know he's going to do exactly what you want him to do. If you watched the game last year, he was our third down guy. That shows you the confidence that we have in him. I just want him to be a leader. Like I said, he and Dorsey are our two older guys so I expect a lot of him to be a leader, to show the young guys the ropes. Kerry's always been a guy you can rely on, very dependable, very respectful. The players look up to him because of that. So I expect him to do that same thing he did last year, just go out, be that common force for the receiving group because we are going to have our ups and downs. He's like a coach on the field for me, if I don't see something, he can correct it and he's been doing that a lot this winter. I expect him to be a leader, go out and produce and do the things he's been doing for four years now."
On this year's receiver recruits:
"I think all three guys that we recruited can help us this year. Obviously, we all know about [Stefon] Diggs and the skill set he brings. Also you have Amba [Etta-Tawo]. He's a tall long guy, 6-foot-3 with long arms. One thing I liked about him was I saw him go up and high point the ball and that's what attracted me to him. He's a fast guy and he gets down the field, stretch the field vertically but he goes up and get the ball. He could be another red-zone threat for us. Malcolm [Culmer] came to our camp. He did a great job, ran a 4.4 flat on six watches two different times. He has a lot of speed that he brings to the table. He can catch he ball and accelerate and that's one thing I liked about him was when he got the ball he could accelerate and be at full speed in two or three steps. Obviously, with all three of them it's going to be coming in and learning the playbook.