Technique, not confidence is Brad Craddock’s biggest issue

October 31, 2012

Brad Craddock missed a game-winning field goal attempt against N.C. State. (Associated Press)

Brad Craddock’s kicking woes throughout his freshman season at Maryland have snowballed in recent weeks. The Aussie import missed a 33-yarder that would have given the Terrapins a 21-20 win over North Carolina State on Oct. 20, then was benched in favor of walk-on Brendan Magistro the following week against Boston College after sailing a 35-yard attempt wide left.

Craddock, who learned to kick through Australian rules football, will continue to attempt field goals from at least 40 yards, where he’s been remarkably consistent this season. But until he demonstrates reliability from short distances, Magistro will attempt extra points and field goals from 35 to 40 yards in, Coach Randy Edsall said Wednesday.

Craddock’s struggles, however, aren’t the result of waning confidence, according to Edsall. It’s transferring technique from practice to games.

“I think it’s just the consistency of technique that’s his biggest issue,” Edsall said. “We went out on Sunday, did PAT and field goals, and I think it was six or seven kicks that he might have had from various distances, all of them were right down the middle. Not an issue. But that’s what we’re going to have to see all the time.”

Craddock could very well regain the job he gained once senior Nick Ferrara suffered a hip injury this preseason, and Edsall said the Terps haven’t grown sour on Craddock altogether. That the Aussie will continue to attempt deep field goals — Craddock is 4 for 6 from at least 40 yards — attests to that.

“Just because you have somebody step up over somebody else, doesn’t meant you lost confidence in him,” Edsall said. “I haven’t lost confidence in Brad.  It’s just that right now, he hasn’t been as productive as he can.” 

Magistro, who arrived at Maryland as a walk-on and was brought to Edsall’s attention before Craddock committed to the program, hit two extra points and a 28-yarder against the Eagles.

“We have somebody else who, through practice, has shown that he was a little bit more productive,” Edsall said of Magistro. “When he had the opportunity to do it in the game, he’s done it in the game as well.”

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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