Edsall candidly tackles Terps' 'difficult' season

Edsall candidly tackles Terps' 'difficult' season
November 23, 2011, 5:04 am
Share This Post

By Benjamin Standig
CSNwashington.comBeyond the mounting losses, many of which have come in demoralizing fashion, much of the frustration surrounding the Maryland football program stems from Randy Edsalls reserved approach. Throughout the season, the first-year coach has been cautious, perhaps overly so at times when it comes to offering his insights on the program. Discussion of game day setbacks have come without emotion, even during the current six-game losing skid. Rarely is the curtain pulled back on what specific illshave stymied progress. Detailed signs of positivity,morsels fans could cling to as a sign of progress during a down season, have been kept at arms length. Even announcing specifics on a players injury after surgery amounted to a need to know basis.Perhaps someone made Edsall aware that his button-upped ways have proved divisive ormaybe theweight of weekly frustration finally had the coach put his Jon Gruden-esque "next man up" type talk on hold. Whatever it was, a different Edsall appeared Tuesday for his weeklymedia session, the final one of the trying seasonbefore the Terps (2-9, 1-6 ACC) play their finale at NC State (6-5, 3-4) on Saturday.While he has a ways to go before catching up with his candid basketball-coaching counterpart Mark Turgeon, the bulk of Edsalls answers came with a level of frankness rarely seen from the often-stoic football coach.Frequently expressive, at times Edsall appeared to well up at times during the more than 30-minute session as he reflected on a season filled with losses, suspensions and not meeting expectations."Things have been very, very tough and very, very difficult," Edsall said inside Gossett Team house. "Did we meet the expectations that I had in terms of on the field? No. No, we didnt meet those. Is it surprising that we didnt meet those expectations? Probably not, because of all the things thats been documented and thats taken place. Am I discouraged? No. Im happy that weve started to lay the groundwork and put the foundation in and put the building blocks in place to create that team atmosphere."Edsall tackled several topics, including being criticized for his disciplinary ways during a scandalous era in college athletic when perhaps being on the side of discipline is the way to go."Asking people to be on time and do whats right and have discipline and structure in their life is so they can go out and be successful in life. I think I have unfairly been criticized for that but everyone is entitled to their opinion.Edsall also added, If asking people to be on time and do whats right is wrong, then I was raised the wrong way and brought up the wrong way.Another topic Edsall addressed, the impact of having only 17.5 hours per week of practice time instead of the standard 20 hours: "Weve talked about that as a staff. Going into the season, I dont think any of us realized how much of an impact that was going to have, especially when youre coming into a new situation and youre installing new systems. Probably a bigger impact than what we anticipated.Regarding building blocks put in place during his first season, Edsall referenced a pyramid the players see at the team entrance called Gaining Trust through Team Values."What they see at the top of the pyramid, they see wins, they see bowl games, they championships, they see graduation. But, you cant just go from the ground floor to the top floor without doing the process along the way. The process along the way is about team, is about trust, belief, buying into The second level is enthusiasm, having the passion to be as good as you can be in everything that you doThe third level is accountability, being dependable. Are you somebody that can be counted on. Are you willing to know what the program is and when other people dont do the things that are expected within the program, are you going to confront them and say this isnt right. This isnt the Maryland wayI feel thankful that at least we got that part implemented. Have we got it all accomplished? No, we havent. Did I think that it would get all accomplished in one year, in less than 12 months? No, I didnt think it would happen that way because as Ive said before Ive been through this before. But weve made the strides...While working late in his office Monday night, Edsall caught a television interview with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. The longtime owner of the three-time Super Bowl champions talked about organizational standards, how he emphasizes The Patriots Way to new players.Edsall: So I am sitting there and I am saying, Wow, thats all I am trying to do here at Maryland. And I said, you know what, I must be doing something the right way because here is a guy, one of the most successful franchises in the NFL, basically saying the same things that I am saying and trying to instill here in this program.'NotesEdsall said it is unlikely sophomore defensive end David Mackall, suspended indefinitely earlier this month for a violation of team rules, returns to the team.I don't think that looks real promising right now," Edsall said.After starting the first seven games of the season, Mackall entered as a reserve against Boston College prior to his suspension. Mackall finished with 30 tackles and three sacks after posting 18 tackles and three sacks in 12 games during the 2010 season...Edsall announced that senior wide receiver Ronnie Tyler would not accompany the team to NC State this week because of academic issues.The South Carolina native posted 18 receptions for 158 yards and one touchdown this season and his top in career receptions (79) and yards (878) among the current receiving corps. Tyler missed last seasons Military Bowl for academic issues and was suspended two games earlier this season following an off-campus incident...Center Bennett Fulper will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury.