Aug. 6, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
After reporting to campus Sunday afternoon, the Maryland football team held its annual media day on Monday in advance of its first practice that evening.
The Terps, who have 23 workouts scheduled prior to the season opener against William & Mary on Sept. 1 in Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, spent most of the morning and afternoon taking pictures and meeting with members of the media to preview the season.
After team photos in the morning, head coach Randy Edsall held a press conference with reporters at 11 a.m., while team co-captains C.J. Brown, Demetrius Hartsfield, Kevin Dorsey and Joe Vellano followed shortly thereafter. Both press conferences can be replayed here.
Edsall, the co-captains and freshman wide receiver Stefon Diggs also conducted one-on-one interviews with "Voice of the Terrapins" Johnny Holliday which can be seen here.
Representatives from Under Armour were also on hand and revealed an additional uniform combination for the 2012 season. That uniform can be seen here.
Quotes from Edsall, offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, defensive coordinator Brian Stewart and student-athletes follow.
Head coach Randy Edsall
"We get a chance to get started today. We had 102 players report last evening. We got all of the compliance and paperwork that we have to do taken care of last night. This morning we had our conditioning test, now media day and we will get a chance to go out and practice for the first time this evening. It's been good to have all of the guys back. I thought that they came back in good shape. We had a few guys who didn't pass the conditioning test this morning so that will be dealt with. They will have to do a little bit more running and some won't be able to practice until they are in the kind of shape that we feel they need to be in. Everything was very smooth in how it went off last night and this morning.
"I'm looking forward to the season. We have a young team this year, 68 percent of our team is either a freshman, redshirt freshman or sophomore. But the thing I feel good about is we have 17 seniors. I told them yesterday that we will go as far as they take us. I really like our seniors. I like the leadership that I have seen out of them. I told them that their leadership has to continue and be even stronger as we go forward because of the number of young players we have in our program. I know they are ready to step up to the challenge. Our seniors have contributed significantly here and are in significant roles. I'm very anxious to get started working with this group and things have gotten off to a smooth start with this group."
On the growth of C.J. Brown:
"C.J. [Brown] has worked extremely hard. We aren't around them in the summer but there are guys that stop by the office who tell us what's going on. C.J. knows that he is the quarterback and our leader. I think he has done a tremendous job working to make himself better fundamentally and as a quarterback. He has really taken the leadership role to another level. The players really respect him as someone who understands exactly what needs to be done to get to where we want to go. He is a guy who just works and commands respect from his teammates."
On the switch to the 3-4 defense:
"This isn't a normal 3-4, two-gap scheme that people will think about when it's that defense. Taking a look at personnel I think we are better suited to doing the things we want to do defensively. Our players picked up on it. It will be good to be at full strength and hopefully to stay that way throughout the year. To have Kenny [Tate] come back and play the SAM linebacker, Darin Drakeford play the WILL linebacker for us, to have Demetrius Hartsfield play the MOE linebacker and figuring out if it will be Cole Farrand or L.A Goree to be the MIKE backer. But to have three guys like that playing the other three linebacker positions it will be advantageous for us to put them in the best positions to use their talents."
On protecting C.J. Brown:
"I told the coaches that we have to do whatever it takes to win. Some games that might be using C.J. more in the rushing game and then there will be games we don't do that. We can't sit here and be afraid to do the things C.J. can do to make us better. I think he will show people that he is a good passer. It is up to us as coaches to make sure we get Perry [Hills] and Caleb [Rowe] ready to go. Hopefully nothing will happen to C.J. but with football it could happen. We need to get the younger guys ready to go. One of the young guys will play because I need to find a way to get them experience. We will see how it unfolds during camp. When we get a chance to get Perry or Caleb into the game we are going to take advantage of it. I need to make sure I have a guy with experience just in case something happens. We won't be afraid to do all the things necessary to win with C.J. at quarterback."
On the team's preparations over the summer:
"We don't get to work with the players in the summer time. They have done a lot on their own. They have held their own practices, 7-on-7 games, and guys came in and watched tape on their own. We put pressure on them to make sure they are ahead of where we were when we ended spring. With our leadership I think we did that. I will be surprised if when we go out there tonight we haven't picked up a step from the spring. The guys know our expectations and how we do things so I think they are prepared to go out tonight and practice."
On freshman wide receiver Stefon Diggs:
"All of the freshmen are at the bottom of the depth chart. The depth chart was based on how the players did in the spring time. When we add the freshmen to the list we just plug them in at the bottom. When we go out there tonight we will have a period working on specialists. We will see who the best guys are. Stefon will be given that opportunity to see what he can do as a punt returner, kick returner, and a wide receiver. He is a very talented young man and is very competitive. He wants to play.
"Our whole philosophy is the best guy plays. It doesn't matter your class, the best guy will play. Every level that I have been at there is always someone who is a starter who won't be because of what they didn't do or how someone else worked. The players make the depth chart. If you want to go out and earn it and if you are then stay there. [Stefon] will be given every opportunity to play. The guys who can help us win will be the guys playing."
On expectations of improving from last season:
"I want all of our players to have a chip on their shoulder because I do. You hope that your players reflect your desire, attitude and determination. I want our guys to understand that this is a whole new year. Things have transpired from an academic standpoint, to our field, to the uniforms, and the young men who are here. Everything that I have envisioned when I came here is coming together. Now what we have to do is go out on the field and win. Now what I want are the kids to go out and enjoy the success of winning on Saturday afternoon. It takes a price to go out and practice the right way and prepare to win on a consistent basis. If we do that then we will be fine. Everything has led right to where we want it to be."
On the change from last year:
"Everyone understands the process of how we are going about things. Things were different last night than they were last year. The things I talked about last night were the same from last year but the guys get it now and they have been through it. I told the 17 seniors that it is their job to show our young guys the Maryland way. They need to lead them and be a big brother and lead them. They need to show them how we do things here. It will be hard, you will be held accountable and you could get that the guys understood that. When I met with the seniors I told them I trust them and they know what it takes to get it done. It's up to them to make sure things are taken care of in the locker room so the coaches can put them in the best situations on the field. It's a whole different feel with the atmosphere."
On his concerns entering camp:
"The biggest thing on my mind is coming out of preseason camp healthy. Offensively, we know we have guys in Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins who are reliable and we can trust them. But who is the third and fourth receiver who will step up? At tailback we have Justus Pickett as a guy who has played but who will be his backup, will it be Brandon Ross, Wes Brown, Joe Riddle or Albert Reid? Those guys have to step up and beat Justus out or be a guy we can go to. The position I feel the best about is tight end. We have three guys there in Matt Furstenburg, Davonte Campbell, and Ryan Schlothauer who have played. We found out that Ryan who graduated in the spring got into the MBA program here so that is a feather in Ryan's cap. I am very anxious to see Dave Stinebaugh who has been injured but is now cleared to play. We are anxious to see what he can contribute. With our offensive line we need to find some depth. We will have to take a look at the redshirt freshmen, take a look at the newcomers in Mike Madaras and Nick Brigham and see what they bring to the table. And at quarterback we need to find out who will be the backup. They will both travel but we need to find out who will be the backup. Offensively we have some more question marks going into camp.
"Defensively our front seven I feel good about them. A.J. Francis, Darius Kilgo and we need to see what Nate Clark can do. I feel comfortable with A.J. and Darius. We have Joe [Vellano] and Andre [Monroe], Keith Bowers, Isaiah Ross are guys who have played in games here and I feel good about that. At linebacker we have Kenny [Tate] at Sam with Alex Twine behind him. The biggest concern is who will be the MIKE. Who will be consistent day in and day out and be that guy either Cole [Farrand] L.A [Goree] or a young guy? Who will be the backup at the MOE behind Demetrius Hartsfield? Will Bradley Johnson use his experience to hold off a young kid from being a backup? In the secondary I think we need to address depth. Dexter McDougle, Matt Robinson, and Eric Franklin all have played and started for us. J.J. [Jeremiah Johnson] is the starting corner for us. J.J. needs to step up and the young guys have to be ready because we don't have a lot of depth there. How can the young guys factor into what we want to do?
"In the kicking game with Nick [Ferrara] coming off injury we would like for him just do one thing. But if he is our best kicker, punter, and field goal guy he will do that. Bringing in Brad Craddock and Nate Renfro I would like for one of them to be our punter and Nick just kick for us. We need to do well on special teams because we have some talented players who can score some points for us on the returns. The biggest thing is we have to scrimmage is finding out who are the guys that can go out there and help us. We need to stay healthy as well though."
Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley
On recruiting at Maryland:
"I think that recruiting is all about having a great product to sell. I think that we've had as a program and with recruiting a good offseason, and some of it is spilling over. Our players are our best ambassadors, they've done a good job with spreading the word. Our staff has done a good job with developing relationships we need to have to be successful."
On designing the offense around C.J. Brown:
"We always develop our scheme based on what our quarterback's strengths are. Obviously with C.J., one of his strengths is his speed. I've said it before I don't think he gets enough credit for his ability to throw the football, which I've been really impressed with. So we'll continue to design our plays and our schemes based on what C.J. can do."
On C.J. Brown's ability as a quarterback:
"He can certainly throw the ball, we've had to tweak some mechanical things with him, but I've been really impressed with C.J. as a whole not just as a runner. He's a sharp guy, obviously been well trained, and I think this is the third system he's been in. I think that's helped him, because he's well versed in a lot of ways. For us on offense we're pretty diverse and flexible. What we have to do is find out who the playmakers are around him, and get him to play smart as a quarterback."
Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart
On the switch to the 3-4 defense:
"Both are linebackers and the defensive line has players that can play on the inside of the field, as well as on outside positions. This gives us a lot of flexibility in formations and takes the opposition a lot of time to prepare for. I'm sure there are some little things that the offense can look for and pick up on, but the quarterback doesn't have this time to prepare during the game and we will be able to take advantage of this."
On how the 3-4 defense in the NFL will impact Maryland's 3-4 defense:
"The NFL is helping in two ways. One is when we are out recruiting and talking to our position players to know what exactly we want in our players. If we want a 6'1" player and there is a 5'6" player out there who is fast, we won't go after him because we said we want a 6'1" player to fill a specific positional need. If that means we have to explore and go a little further and into different states, we will, because we want to find and get a certain profile to fit our schemes. Just like if an NFL team has a 3-4 defense and they draft players to fit that defense. We are looking for certain types of players to fit our defense."
On senior defensive lineman Joe Vellano:
"Joe's skillset is unique in that we can have him play our end, which plays a three technique, a four high or a five technique depending on what front we are in. He can also play nose tackle. When he plays nose, we will use his quickness against that center so he can cross fake the center, bull rush the center, or use some of those techniques. I am excited about getting him out there and getting a chance to see some one-on-ones with those centers."
Junior Quarterback C.J. Brown
On if he will be cautious this season running the ball knowing he is the No. 1 quarterback:
"Well right now I'm not really trying to think about that. I've worked extremely hard this offseason to maintain my body, put on mass, put on muscle, and just continue to work on my game. Any time you think about getting hurt or playing a different way than you're used to, you're going to be more prone to injury. Maybe I'll be smarter in terms of not taking a big hit and getting down, but I'm not going to change my playing style. I'm not going to change how I play because that's part of the game. If [an injury] happens to happen then maybe it was meant to be, but hopefully that's not the case."
On how this offense is different from last year with a new coordinator and what he likes about it:
"Coach Locksey is bringing a lot of experience and a lot of enthusiasm. The whole offense and myself are really excited. We had a great spring and got most of the offense in, so right now we have to continue to flourish in the offense. I think the biggest difference is probably the tempo, but we're still a pro style offense that has the spread option and stuff like that. So we're a very dynamic offense that's going to give the ball to our playmakers and make sure they can be put in charge to make plays.
On how this year is different being the favorite for the starting quarterback position:
"I think that just being put in the position that I was last year, it was difficult for both [Danny O'Brien and me]. We both made the most of the opportunity we could, and it was difficult going week to week. Coming into camp this year I feel confident, it doesn't take any less pressure off me, but I still put a lot of pressure on myself. Coach Locksey and I talked, and he's going to push me and that's what I expect. I wouldn't think anything else just because I am the starting quarterback right now. I still have to go out there, work my tail off, compete, and show what I can do.
On his impression of Stefon Diggs and the freshmen during the offseason:
"I would say that not only Diggs, but a lot of the freshmen have really bought in. They've worked extremely hard, showed up on time, they've been attentive, asked questions, and have done everything they need to do. Guys like Diggs are very explosive, but we're eager to get out there tonight. We can only do so much over the summer with player practices, 7 on 7s, and stuff like that so we've seen them in open space. Everyone wants to see once you get the pads on, that's when players separate themselves. We'll have to wait a couple days, but we all know he's going to be a special talent, and an asset to this team."
Freshman Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs
On what factors lead him to commit to Maryland:
"It was all tied in, my belief, my faith, the faith I had in this university. It's a good school all around so all that tied in and I just bought in. I bought in to what [coach Edsall] was doing and how he was constructing his program, and I just knew this was a great place to be."
On getting accustomed to college and a new system:
"It's an adjustment. I have a lot of positive people around me, pushing me to do well, getting me in the meeting rooms, they're helping me a lot. It's just a new playbook, so I'm getting accustomed to it, getting used to it, and trying to get everywhere on time and be early. It's a good transition."
On what coach Locksley has told him about his role in the offense:
"He's not asking a whole lot, he's just asking me to work hard. That's all my coaches and teammates are saying, they're just telling me to work hard. My goal is to just be a good teammate, and work hard. Basically that's it, that's all I can do."
On the new turf field:
"It's a beautiful sight. There's a lot of good things happening, I guess we have the new helmet, I'm really happy about that they look nice. There's just a lot of good things happening with this program."
Senior Wide Receiver Kevin Dorsey
On C.J. Brown's growth as a Quarterback:
"The first thing I noticed on day one after we came back from the winter session was that C.J. was always coming in first during all of our sprints and drills. You can see that he put us on his shoulders. This is his team and he can step up to get the job done. From day one he has shown this and hasn't stopped. I know he will definitely have a big year and will show people that he can not only run, but he can throw the ball too, and make the proper decisions to lead this team to where we need to be."
On the two freshmen quarterbacks, Caleb Rowe and Perry Hills:
"Caleb [Rowe] and Perry [Hills] can both throw the ball. I have seen both of them throw some pretty awesome passes. They have been putting the ball where it needs to be, especially with the timing routes, which usually are one of the harder things to learn for a younger quarterback. They both have come along well since they first arrived at Maryland. I'm not quite sure what the final position on the depth chart will be for everyone, but regardless I think they can make some big plays."
On being the team's returning leading receiver:
"I think there is some pressure [on me] and it's not just something that I put on myself personally, but it's a pressure to get everyone else around me ready. It's a pressure to make sure everybody is on the right page and that they are fighting and grinding everyday to get that win and get where we all need to be. For myself, I am trying to be a better leader for the team and find out what motivates them to get them going. Every single person is different and you can't treat every situation the same. You may need to yell at some people while you may need to pull others off to the side and talk to them. That may be the biggest thing I have learned and had to work on to change for this season."
On a meeting between Coach Randy Edsall and the seniors:
"The meeting the other night was simply him telling us that player-driven teams are great teams and that was his main focus. Also, it's not just going to be up to us captains, but up to all the seniors to lead this team to wherever we want to go. If we want to go to the ACC Championship, it's going to be up to us seniors to lead the younger guys in that direction. That's one thing that Coach Edsall really harped on. He told us that our intensity and effort in practice need to be a certain way so that the younger guys can follow suit and act a certain way. If we are all pushing for the same mindset and goal, then the end result at the end of the season is going to be pretty great."
Senior Offensive Lineman Bennett Fulper
On quarterback C.J. Brown:
"He really knows how to take control in the huddle. As an offensive lineman, you like having a quarterback who can take control of the huddle and assess the team's mood for the play coming up. C.J. really makes you want to play for him up front and protect him. If we can give him some time, he will definitely be able to make something happen and make some big plays.
On C.J. Brown's leadership:
"If one game really stands out, it was against Clemson last year, but you could always really see it. It seemed liked C.J. always had what it takes and was a good leader for this team."
Senior Linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield
On freelancing abilities for the linebackers:
"Just like coach [Brian] Stewart said, freelancing causes confusion for the opposing offenses. As far as for players, you love to be able to walk around and freelance sometimes, but you have to be smart. You can't take stupid risks and put your responsibilities and assignment in jeopardy, which could lead to big plays.
On the evolution and versatility of the linebacker position:
"You can look in the NFL where the 3-4 is taking over on defense. Most of the best teams in the NFL run a 3-4, from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Baltimore Ravens to the Green Bay Packers. It's just the evolution of the game taking over. The linebackers are a lot more versatile today. There are linebackers who can rush, some linebackers who are specifically run-stoppers, and then a few who can do both of these things. It's so hard to find good defensive ends. They are the hardest position to recruit and so they usually convert kids to linebacker who can rush the quarterback or drop back into coverage."
Senior Linebacker Kenny Tate
On what the communication is like with the coaches/players during the off-season:
"We talk pretty much every day. Most of the guys all live together, so I mean if you're in commons or the view, or wherever you're with someone every day. We hang out on the weekends and in our free time, so we had a good summer. We talked to the coaches, when they were on vacation we'd ask them how it was. It was a good summer."
On his role in the summer time for getting the younger players involved:
"It's fun. Just like anything, you don't know what the purpose is until later. So, bringing them in during the summer is always a good time, just throwing them in there for a little bit letting them get a feel for it. Now they get a chance to show what they can do in camp."
On how last year ended and how things can turn around this season:
"Everyone is settled in. I think it was just a lot of hype and a lot of things that were going on last year. With transition things are always going to be covered very critically. But everybody is settled. As a team we've gelled together, we have some new additions with a lot of freshmen, and new coordinators. Everyone has the same goal in mind; we want to win football games. That's what we're doing our best to accomplish."
On if having a new coach come in effected last year's team:
"It was just a year, it happens. Like I've said before we had a 2-10 season with a veteran coach, so I mean we've been through it before we know how hard we have to work. We're definitely on the right path."
Senior Defensive Lineman Joe Vellano
On potential for team success this season:
"Anything can happen during games and they are always up for grabs. The sky is the limit for us and as good as we make the team through hard work and practice. It's one of those things where you have to go out and work as hard as we can every day, there's no real secret to it."