A brief rundown of what happened at the Maryland football team’s latest spring practice.
Date: March 9, 2013.
Practice number: 4.
Duration: A little more than two hours, separated into 24 five-minute blocks.
Location: Byrd Stadium practice field.
Dress code: Full pads.
Injured and out: RB Wes Brown (ankle/labrum), WR Marcus Leak (toe), WR Levern Jacobs (labrum), LB Cole Farrand (left ankle fracture). Farrand, Brown and Jacobs were all spotted in full pads. Brown is still wearing a walking boot, but did some bike work while Jacobs did sled pushes.
Yellow jerseys: QB C.J. Brown (ACL), QB Ricardo Young, QB Dustin Dailey, QB Caleb Rowe (ACL), QB Perry Hills (ACL), OLB Matt Robinson (labrum). Like last practice, Rowe and Hills both stretched with the team. Rowe ran some laps while Hills worked on the bike. Robinson participated fully again during 11-on-11 drills, but sometimes locked his hands behind his back to avoid overexerting his shoulder, much like he did this week.
Limited: Rowe, Brown, Hills, DL Andre Monroe (knee).
Disciplinary issues: None.
>> Four practices into the spring, Coach Randy Edsall said the Terps haven’t been as consistent as he’d prefer, alternating between fundamentally sound technique and head-scratching mistakes.
Pressed on whether any specific players have been consistent throughout the spring, Edsall couldn’t come up with a name.
“I think there’s guys that have been okay, but I don’t think there’s anybody who, for four practices, has just nailed each practice,” he said. “Hopefully once we get all the things in that we want to install, it’ll start to come together. But this is what you have spring for, for guys to work and get better.
“You can see guys get better. It’s a matter of getting back out here. They haven’t done this since November. There’s guys improving, but there’s nobody who has shown off the charts right now, because of all the little things we have to get better at.”
>> Quarterback C.J. Brown took 32 drop-backs during one-on-one drills with the wide receivers and defensive backs. Both Dustin Dailey and Ricardo Young worked on the field’s opposite end, running the option against the front seven.
Brown completed just 9 of 29 passes during that drill and had some miscommunication with some of Maryland’s younger, less experienced receivers, which Brown later said is to be expected at this stage. He did hook up with Deon Long for a beautiful over-the-shoulder grab, and Stefon Diggs burned his defender several times by a solid five yards on short routes.
At one point, however, Brown overshot Long on a fade route, and Long came up barking at the senior. This drew a rebuke from wide receivers coach Lee Hull, who was standing nearby. Long is a pretty talkative person, so this isn’t exactly shocking.
>> During those one-on-one drills, freshman Will Likely got flagged twice for pass interference calls (three referees were on hand). Otherwise, Likely looked strong again and was praised by Edsall after.
Going up against Maryland’s first-string receivers, cornerbacks Dexter McDougle and Jeremiah Johnson forced incompletions on 4 of 9 passes. Isaac Goins was also whistled for a pass interference, but successfully defended 3 of 4 pass attempts that came his way.
>> Young and Dustin Dailey alternated plays in a 6-on-8 drill against the linebackers and secondary. Each took 17 dropbacks. Young completed nine passes, was intercepted once on the first play by Anthony Nixon, had six incompletions and one scramble. Dailey also completed nine passes, scrambled five times and had three incompletions.
“I think he’s been very, very inconsistent,” Edsall said of Young. “I think he has a long way to go. At that position, you really have to have attention to detail. He’s got to understand that he is a good athlete, but he’s got to pay attention and master the fundamentals and technique and be exact.
“He hasn’t played in a while, and now he’s getting some reps under fire, and we’re getting a chance to see how he handles that. There’s been some good things he’s done, but he’s been very, very inconsistent through four practices.”
>> Long, Stefon Diggs and Will Likely all took turns fielding kickoff returns that Edsall hurled from the 40-yard line. Daniel Adams, Tyler Cierski, Joe Riddle, Albert Reid, Kenneth Goins, P.J. Gallo, Amba Etta and Malcolm Culmer all worked on return blocking during that drill.
>> Maryland closed its practice with 11-on-11 series for both Young and Dailey, ultimately finishing with a simulated two-minute drill situation with limited contact. After a seven-yard completion to Culmer, Dailey’s drive stalled with an early holding penalty and got backed up another 12 yards when Justin Anderson blitzed uncovered off the edge. A fourth-down lame duck heave got batted down by Zach Dancel.
Young actually picked up a first down with a 14-yard completion to Nigel King on an out pattern. King had another good practice, using his size to body up defensive backs in traffic, and had his defender beat on the next play but was overthrown by Young. Marcus Whitfield and Nixon teamed up for a perfectly disguised blitz on second-and-10, when Nixon hedged at the line then backed off at the last second, allowing Whitfield to blitz unabated at Young for a six-yard loss.
King picked up a 11-yard completion on third down, but Jeremiah Johnson stopped Stefon Diggs for just a three-yard gain on fourth-and-5.
>> Young displayed his athleticism during 11-on-11s, scrambling and juking past A.J. Hendy with a fake pitch.
>> Alex Twine forced a fumble on Brandon Ross.
>> The defense kicked off practice with this drill, which can only be explained through picture:
>> Transfer punter Sam Retzky (Tulsa) was wearing jersey No. 18 today. Tuesday, he had on 23. Looks like the makings of a Sam Retzky Jersey Watch.
>> Asked about offensive lineman Silvano Altamirano, Edsall said he spoke with the transfer and implored him to slow down.
“He’s thinking too much and he’s not playing as fast as I would like him to,” Edsall said. “I told him don’t worry about things, just play fast and as quickly as you can. We understand that you’ll probably make those mistakes, but makes those mistakes full-speed. He’s a worker, a guy who’ll be okay. After four days, there’s so much thrown at him that he’s kind of swimming a bit.”
>> Recruits Yannick Ngakoue, Jermaine Carter and Elvis Dennah were all in attendance. Ngakoue was honored at the DC Touchdown Club’s annual banquet on Friday night as the Washington D.C. high school player of the year.
>> Look for blog posts over the next couple days on the secondary, Brad Craddock and C.J. Brown’s rehab.
Tuesday, March 12: Practice at 4 p.m. in Byrd Stadium. Closed to public.