Two passing Terps could be better than one

Two passing Terps could be better than one
October 26, 2011, 4:12 am
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By Benjamin Standig
CSNwashington.comThis month Danny OBrien has gone from being the assumptive starting quarterback to getting pulled before halftime against Georgia Tech to serving as the backup against Clemson to coming in for a woozy C.J. Brown against Florida State. Saturday against Boston College, OBrien might add time-sharing quarterback to that list. Maryland coach Randy Edsall confirmed on Tuesday his decision on which quarterback will start against the Eagles will be a game-time call. While the sophomore passers battle it out during practice and take snaps with the first-team, all options are on the table. We might play both on Saturday, I dont know. Well see how the week goes. We could play one or both, Edsall mused during his weekly press conference. The Terps (2-5, 1-3 ACC), losers of three straight and five of six, are looking to maintain their bowl eligibility andavoid the Atlantic division basement. That is where the Eagles(1-6, 0-4) currently reside.Before facing Clemson, the quarterbacks were kept in the darkuntil warm-ups, but Brown was announced as the starter against Florida State early last week. After Brown suffered a vicious shot to the helmet courtesy of a Seminole defender, OBrien entered andfor a stretch had the offense moving. Now, it is back to the waiting game, but with the added twist.Edsall did not offer any objection to the notionthat both players could be part of the game plan.Would that mean alternating series or even snaps? Perhaps bringing inthe more mobile Brown in red zone situations?Whatever can give our team the best opportunity to win, Edsall said. If there is somebody thats a little bit better in one area than well do that. Its like on defense when you go into third down, you go into Nickel. You get another defensive back in because you think it helps you be able to stop somebody a little better. Last season OBrien threw three touchdown passes in the Terps 24-21 victory at Chestnut Hill. Now the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year is working hard to have another crack at the Eagles.Just doing everything right. Being a leader on and off the field. Then it's about production, OBrien answered when asked what he can do to earn back the starting job. You've got to have a really good week of practice to give yourself the best opportunity to play great on Saturdays.The two quarterbacks insist their friendship is sincere despite the competitive rivalry and have been there for each other to offer suggestions during games. OBrien has remained poised throughout the recent ups and downs, but is no fan of being the one wearing the headset on the sideline."It's a lot different," O'Brien said. "I don't like it and he doesn't like it. But, if he's in the game, for us to have a good chance of winning he is going to have to play well. We're tight. We just try to make each other better."After throwing 22 touchdown passes with only eight interceptions over 13 games last season, OBrien has tossed only five touchdowns with six interceptions in six games this campaign. Three picks came in the initial loss against West Virginia and the offense was listless in setbacks against Temple and Georgia Tech. O'Brien was 1-of-6 for 17 yards against the Yellow Jackets before Edsall turned to Brown. Following the turn of eventsagainst the Seminoles, OBrien ran for a short touchdown, passed for another and hooked up with receivers Quintin McCree and Marcus Leak on several big plays. Though his confidence has never faltered at all, OBrien could not quite put his finger on the reason for thisseason's struggles.."My work ethic and how I approach the game hasn't changed. I haven't changed my attitude about the game; I still love it, OBrien said. We've played some good teams, it's a different scheme, we have different coaches, different players out there, different tempo, I'm not playing as good as I should be. It might be a little bit of all those things. You can't really get hung up on why you're not playing well. You just have to fix it.As the quarterback competition rolls on, OBrien was asked the future holds for him after the season.I have not even thought about that, OBrien said. I would be doing a disservice to my teammates if I was thinking about anything after the season or anything after BC, honestly. Right now, its about keeping the blinders on and trying to beat a good defense.Notes...ShouldKenny Tate receive a medical hardship and return tothe football team next season, Edsall intends on keeping him atlinebacker.That is what he is. I think that is his best position to play at the next level and that is his best position for us," Edsall said.An All-ACC selection atsafety last season, Tate played four games this season at "Star" linebacker, butsatoutthepast three contests with an undisclosed injury and is expected to undergo surgery this week. Edsall said the undisclosed injurycontributed to Tate'sstruggles while adjusting to thelinebacker-safety hybrid position.