Danny O’Brien: ‘We want to keep the defense on their toes’

March 29, 2011

Danny O’Brien acknowledged facing a steep learning curve while mastering Coach Randy Edsall’s offense over the past three months, but the quarterback said he’s already certain of one thing: Edsall expects everything to operate at much faster tempo than last season.

O’Brien said plays will be relayed from the sideline faster. He’ll call them faster. And, if everything runs smoothly, the time from the moment the ball is spotted by the official to the moment it’s snapped won’t allow opposing defenses to adjust.

“We’re going to mix it up,” O’Brien said hours before taking the field for the first day of spring practice Tuesday. “A little more no-huddle than we have in the past. I don’t know if it’s going to be like Oregon, [but] we want to keep the defense on their toes.”

O’Brien said Edsall has shown the Terps video of Oregon’s spread offense, which used a relentlessly frantic pace to wear down defenses.

“We’ve watched a little Oregon film, so there’s going to be some influence there,” O’Brien said. “What we run may be a little different as far as the actual plays, but the style of how we get the play in fast, run more no-huddle, it’s going to be similar to that.”

It’s all going to put more pressure on O’Brien, who enjoyed a breakout season last fall, going 7-3 as a starter a season ago and passing for 22 touchdowns. But that doesn’t worry him because he spent all winter preparing himself for the challenge.

In addition to packing on eight pounds of muscle onto his 6-foot-3, 213-pound frame, O’Brien said worked on his agility and, of course, spent countless hours buried in the pages of an entirely new playbook.

“It’s tough when you get a whole new playbook with a bunch of words you’ve never seen,” he said. “It’s like learning a new language.”

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