March 6, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Head coach Randy Edsall and some of the Maryland players visited with the media on Tuesday at the Gossett Football Team House.
The Terps open spring practice Saturday.
"We're very excited and very pleased with the off-season we had. Our players are really looking forward to getting back on the field to practice the different things we'll be doing offensively, defensively and on special teams. Like I said, we've had a very productive winter conditioning program and now we get to go on to the next phase, out on the field, to start to improve upon our fundamentals and techniques to get us more ready for the 2012 season."
On whether he'll use 2011 for motivation for 2012:
"I think everyone has a bad taste in their mouth in terms of what took place last year. We're going to focus and concentrate on 2012 and work to improve each and every day and know we have to let our actions speak louder than our words. Everyone is looking forward to being about to get back out on the field so we can prepare ourselves and get ready for the season."
On how he can build mental toughness:
"There are a lot of things we can do to build mental toughness. Like I said, I thought our off-season program was really good. We did a draft [in the offseason] by picking out 16 team leaders who help get their team in line. We're still going on with that concept as we go through the rest of the semester because they can get points through their academics and lifting that we will do at the end of the semester. From a mental toughness standpoint, in the spring there will be situations that we put them in that they will have to fight through. The first thing you can do is have the leaders hold their own players accountable. That's what you see happening. Now what we have to do is take what we just did for six weeks and now do it again for another six weeks. If we can do that then we will be well on our way to where we want to go. Then when we take our outstanding recruiting class and bring them in and integrate them with what we already have it will really aide us and help us as we get ready for Aug. 5 [the opening of preseason camp]."
On if he has the type of players that fit in his system:
"I think all of our players understand what the program is that we have at the University of Maryland. They get that we're trying to make them better people, better students and better athletes. They understand that and they are all in. The recruits who we have signed and are coming [here] understand that and are on board. That's why we were able to sign a top-35 class in the country. They understand what the program is all about and how we're going to aide them in their development and their growth as they go through their career here at Maryland. That's what we're going to continue to do and that's what we're going to continue to sell to future recruiting classes."
On how CJ Brown has handled being the No. 1 quarterback:
"C.J. [Brown] is a competitor. Even though he knows that he is the No. 1 guy, he still goes out and works his tail off every day. He is not going to be satisfied with whatever he does on Saturday. He is always going to work to be better on Tuesday and then to be better on Thursday. He is a leader and the guys respect him. He has a tremendous work ethic and I don't see any issues with C.J. at all. I'm just anxious to get out there and let him be the leader of this team and do the things he's capable of doing within what we want to do offensively."
On the young players that saw significant time last year making a jump this year:
"We have a lot of guys, I think 22 freshmen, who played last year, so they gained valuable experience and knowledge that will make them better. The kids we redshirted last year also get their opportunities this season. When you have that experience it's something that's only going to benefit you. We are really looking forward to getting those 22 freshmen who played back out there to continue their development and growth. Then, those kids who redshirted can now go and unwind because they have done a pretty good job since last fall taking advantage of being redshirted by getting stronger. The offensive linemen group has become a very tight knit group and has worked extremely hard in the weight room and you can see it in terms of their bodies. Now we get a chance to coach them up more than what we were able to do during the fall. You get a chance to get Nigel King back out there who wasn't even practicing during the fall. That's the fun part about spring practice. You really get to focus on those fundamentals and techniques and really develop these guys."
On the Sam and Will linebacker positions and what makes Alex Twine and Darin Drakeford good fits:
"In terms of what we want to do schematically they are positions that have to be playmaking positions for us and our defense. Those guys have to be able to make plays for us in terms of what we're going to do schematically. You want to have guys that will be able to rush [the passer] and cover. They have to be guys that have the ability to do both and the guys at that position are guys that we think can do a good job at rushing the passer and be in coverage. They are those hybrid type guys who have the strength to play the run, but also can rush and do the things in coverage that you're looking to do."
On the impact of recent changes:
"There is going to be some impact. I think we are handling it perfectly and I know Coach Edsall is going to make accommodations to our depth chart and we're just pushing forward. We have the same goal."
On quarterback C.J Brown:
"He's taken on a great leadership role and he's our guy. He's improved every day. I think he's going to be a great quarterback this season."
On looking ahead:
"You've got two new coaches so I think people have thrown last year away because you know you're not going to get that back. We are really just focusing in on the 2012 season."
On offseason competition:
"I am all for how we did offseason this year. It's so much more competitive around here between being in the weight room and the classroom. There are so many things that we do that promotes competition and I think it has helped the team a lot. Even though we are competing against each other I feel like everyone is really together."
On where he can improve:
"I feel like I have to play faster all the time. I feel like I ended the season pretty well I just have to work on being consistent the whole year."
On the team overcoming recent transfers:
"I am really close friends with [Danny O'Brian] but things like that happen and you can't really dwell on them. You just have to hope for the best for that person and move on. You have to look at the brighter side of things."
Senior Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano
On motivation for the next season:
"I think there are a lot of guys who are really good playmakers on the field. There is going to be a lot of pressure. I think our scheme up front is really good; they have a lot of game experience now. We've been working ourselves defensively and there's going to be a lot of new things going in. Every year is a new team."
On new defensive coordinator Brian Stewart:
"The new coaches are obviously really nice guys and they really get us motivated as well. We just had a defensive meeting this morning and just the way [Stewart] is really upbeat is really good. We are really working on getting this defense down and getting that work in off the field as well. We have a lot of new guys in positions to make plays and I think it really just fits us personnel wise."