Maryland held its spring assistant coach availability Wednesday afternoon, two days before the spring football game, which is tonight at 7 p.m. in Byrd Stadium. Here’s the quote dump from the defensive assistant portion. The offensive portion is below:
Mike Locksley, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
On C.J. Brown
I think the comfort level for all these guys is that they’ve been in the same system for two years, so there’s a comfort level with the terminology, with the system, with how things work. It’s been good to see his development on some of the weaknesses coming out of last spring. He’s improved throwing the ball, he’s really worked on it and we’ve seen some of the dividends.
On Ricardo Young
For him, he’s been able, because of the injury situation, to take some very meaningful reps. With him not playing a game in four years, it was a blessing in disguise I’ve been impressed that he’s continued to get better with each practice. We’ve talked about the inconsistencies he’s shown. To me, those definitely can be attributed to a lack of experience and the speed of the game and the system.
It’s his first time going through it. A lot of people think he’s been in my system. When he came to New Mexico, he was there for two weeks before things changed. It wasn’t like he had the system installed. It’s really the second time he’s had it installed, from when he came into fall camp and then now. I’ve been impressed with how he’s handled the volume of things thrown at him. Still, a lot of work to do.
On C.J. Brown as the starter
That’s what’s been talked about since day one. A lot of people are acting like that’s new news. But there’s a base rule, you don’t lose your starting position due to injury, unless the player playing is playing at a higher level. IT’s a natural progression that CJ would be our starter. We’ve got great competition at every position offensively. The competition factor will always be there.
John Dunn, tight ends
On Dave Stinebaugh
I think Dave has always had the ability to accomplish the things he has shown us this spring. As coaches we have always seen that he has great capability. He has had the injury bug which has set him behind a little, but I think he is going to be able to do everything that Matt Furstenburg was able to do. Dave can be effective in both the running and passing game, he is dynamic.
Andre Powell, running backs/special teams
On forecasting the season
We’d like to have an every-down back — a guy that can run the ball on a normal down and a guy that can operate within the passing game as well. We haven’t gotten that far in our planning [as to which running back it will be], but I think Coach Edsall and Coach Locksley would agree, we’re looking for a guy who can play every down.
On injured running back Wes Brown
From what the doctors tell me, he’s doing well. I’m not in the training room when he’s getting treatment, but I’ve been told he’s been doing well.
On kicker Brad Craddock
Brad’s improving. He’s improving. He’s got a ways to go. I’m glad this is the end of spring practice and he’s got the summer to train, get some technique things fixed.
On the return game
I think going into the season, Stefon [Diggs] will be our return man. I think what we have now, is we have several other players who can go in, in the event Stefon’s not in the game, and give us the ability to make plays when Stefon’s not in the game.
Lee Hull, wide receivers
On Nigel King
Nigel’s taken advantage of his opportunity, and that’s what you need to do. You need to take advantage of your opportunity. Someone’s not there, so it’s your chance to step up and show what you can do. It’s only going to help us depth wise, to have another guy we can count on.
On transfer Deon Long
Yeah he’s met expectations. I think the thing what Deon needs to do is start to refine his route-running. I think he got comfortable at junior college because he could just run by people. He was a better athlete than most people. He’d just use his athleticism to make plays. Now you’re going into the ACC and Big Ten the following year, there’s guys just as good as you. He’s going to have to refine his route-running, technique-wise, all the fundamentals, and that’s what he needs to work on. I think he lost a little bit of that going to junior college.
I don’t think it was an adjustment. He’s a very good player, very good athlete. I just think he thought he could do what he did in junior college. Now he’s understanding, “Hey, I have to be on my game, I have to do everything right, I have to be fundamentally sound, technique sound.” Once he starts doing that, he’ll be fine.
Tom Brattan, offensive line
On the spring outlook
I’m pleased with their progress, but I also know we have a long road to go. I think the spring is important for your younger players, in the sense that okay, we’re not reading off a card anymore and we’re not running scout team anymore. You’ve been in the weight program now for eight months. We’ve had chalk talk now, you should know the stuff now and do it in a live situation.
On playing with a chip on their shoulder
I think nobody’s happy how last year left given the situations. We’ve had this, we’re not going to have all these injuries come next year, let’s get on page and get this thing done. I’ve detected that.
On returning C.J. Brown under center
I think there’s something to that. Our guys will block 32 the same way whether it’s Ricardo, CJ, Caleb [Rowe] or Perry [Hills]. We’re blocking this protection the same way. That’s an intangible the quarterback develops with his line over a period of time. It’s a factor, but I would hope our guys are blocking and playing the best of their ability all the time.
I don’t know if it was ever a factor for them last year. This is who we have, these are the cards we’re dealt, and we’ll do the best job we can this afternoon.