The Washington Post

Maryland football Coach Randy Edsall pleased with offense, not defense

I just returned after spending a few hours at the Gossett Team House for Maryland’s media day. I talked a lot with the assistant coaches, and I’ll post their thoughts on the offense, defense and a variety of players throughout the rest of this week.

Here are some other tidbits from the day:

Coach Randy Edsall said, “I feel I know who we are offensively.” The offense has been playing well; better than the defense at this point. Defensively, Edsall is “not as happy, pleased or as far along.” He added that there are still some unanswered questions on defense. Defensive coordinator Todd Bradford went into some detail about some of the current issues with the defense, which I’ll write about tomorrow.

Regarding special teams, Edsall said a competition at punter is brewing between Nathan Renfro and Michael Tart. Edsall said he has been pleased with the production of Nick Ferrara at kicker.

Among the players who have performed well are two freshmen running backs, Justus Pickett and Brandon Ross, both of whom are putting a push on those ahead of them on the depth chart and could get playing time. Returning running back Davin Meggett said there is no depth chart at the position because the competition has been so fierce.

Edsall noted that Keith Bowers, a freshman defensive end, has played particularly well and is in the two-deep.

Kenny Tate’s backup at the Star position — a hybrid linebacker/defensive end slot — will be Avery Graham, a sophomore who had played cornerback.

Lorne Goree, a redshirt freshman, is No. 2 at middle linebacker and, Edsall said, if he can be consistent he can put pressure on starter Demetrius Hartsfield.

Edsall said starting quarterback Danny O’Brien has improved in recent days and played well in Monday’s scrimmage.

No word on the leg injury suffered by wide receiver Adrian Coxson in Saturday’s practice. Edsall said he would not discuss injuries this season, for the most part, and instead issue the ACC’s injury report each week. The next practice that is open to the media is Friday.

Left guard Andrew Gonnella said fellow offensive lineman Pete DeSouza is making a remarkable recovery after breaking both legs in last season’s motor scooter accident. Gonnella said DeSouza has been practicing with the second- and third-string offensive line and that in the past week, “I have seen him get a lot better.”

Tate did not shy away from emphasizing the importance of the season-opening game against Miami on Labor Day night. Tate pointed to the importance of last season’s opener against Navy when he said, “The first game of the season is always a tone-setter. It is a conference game. There is a lot on the line.”

Miami has plenty to think about now, considering it is in the midst of an NCAA investigation. More on that Wednesday as well as my conversations with Maryland’s coordinators.


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