Terps preseason football practice report: Day 1

The Maryland football team’s first preseason practice is in the books. Here’s a brief rundown of the action. 

VITALS

Date: August 5
Practice number: 1
Duration: 21 five-minute periods.
Location: Practice field.
Dress code: Practice jerseys and shorts.

ATTENDANCE

Injured and out: None

Out: WR Tyrek Cheeseboro (bereavement)

Limited: WR Taivon Jacobs (knee), WR DeAndre Lane (hamstring), S Zach Dancel (hamstring), LS Christian Carpenter (ACL), OL Silvano Altamirano, WR Daniel Adams, LB Bradley Johnson.

Disciplinary issues: OL Mike Madaras (suspended)

INJURIES

Jacobs continues to rehabilitate the knee injury suffered in high school, something the Terps knew about entering summer camp. Coach Randy Edsall said he has made solid progress over the past six weeks, and Jacobs was doing sideline-to-sideline sprints today.

Lane, an incoming freshman from Catonsville, Md., tweaked his hamstring and will “probably be on the shelf for a couple days,” Edsall said. The speedster slot receiver impressed before doing individual conditioning workouts for the rest of practice. “I saw some things out of him that I really liked,” Edsall said.

Altamirano, Adams and Johnson, all of whom had offseason cleanup surgeries, did individual work today. “Hopefully we can get them into team periods as soon as the doctors will allow us,” Edsall said, adding that center Stephen Grommer surprised him by participating in full.

HEADLINES

>> A hodgepodge day for the quarterbacks in their first action back. Starter C.J. Brown was 4 for 10 during one-on-one drills, finishing the segment with four straight incompletions, though one was dropped and another went through a receiver’s hands. He displayed nice touch and timing on a 25-yard fade to Nigel King past Dexter McDougle, and showed no ill effects from the ACL injury suffered last August.

During half-skeleton — with linemen and linebackers blitzing from only one side — Brown was 3 for 7. He made a nice completion to King under pressure and hooked up with Stefon Diggs on a tremendous leaping catch over Jeremiah Johnson. Brown was twice “sacked” — really, just touched — by Quinton Jefferson, who continues to solidify his spot as one of Maryland’s defensive ends.

“I thought he did well,” Edsall said of Brown. “All the guys had their moments, typical first day. Just a couple of the little things, in terms of getting out and rolling and throwing it on time, trying to get it to the right shoulder, all that stuff will come. I thought he threw the ball well. They might not have hit all their reads, but I thought the velocity and stuff was good today.”

>> Maryland’s three backup quarterbacks — Ricardo Young, Caleb Rowe and Perry Hills — were all shakier. Rowe and Young were both 3 for 9 during one-on-ones, while Hills worked short-yardage routes with the running backs and tight ends. Young had perhaps the evening’s best pass, a deep bomb to Diggs, who burned past safety Sean Davis. Young, however, was intercepted by Will Likely — the offense wanted a pass interference penalty — and later freshman Jarrett Ross during team drills. Rowe had some practice-long issues with overthrowing his receivers, and was picked off later during red zone drills by Davis.

During the half-skeleton, Young was 2 for 3, Rowe was 1 for 3 and Hills was 2 for 2. In his first team practice action, incoming freshman Shane Cockerille (Gilman) had his first pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Isaac Goins. Cockerille underthrew Diggs, who tipped the ball into Goins’ hands. Cockerille misfired on a deep ball to James Bowman, but finished the drill with an underneath completion to Tejiri Ehrie.

“I thought they moved well,” Edsall said of the quarterbacks. “We’ll see how they are in the morning, see if there’s any soreness. I thought they all moved well, didn’t show to me any ill effects in terms of limping or favoring the leg. I think we’ll find out a little more in the morning after getting off the leg and seeing what happened. I don’t anticipate any issues.”

>> With Madaras suspended until Friday, sophomore Ryan Doyle overtook his starting left tackle spot. Doyle traveled to every away game last season but played just once — against North Carolina State — after redshirting his freshman season in 2011. These next few days could be big for Doyle, who could conceivably impress enough to justify a move to right tackle, in the event that Madaras returns strong and Nick Klemm needs some backing up.

“It gives us a chance to get Ryan in there, see what he can do, hopefully get him some confidence, some more reps working with that unit,” Edsall said. “Hopefully we don’t have the injury, but at least we do have him getting that work. You look at these things, it’s unfortunate some of these things happen, but it also opens up opportunity for other people, so we get a chance to see them and then if they do have to play, what they’re good at and what we can highlight with them.”

>> Brad Craddock started off the kicking segment strong, nailing an extra point and a 28-yarder from the left hash. But he encountered some technical issues, firing wide left on a 35-yarder (right hash), way wide right on a 42-yarder (middle) and wide right again on a 49-yarder. The Australian sophomore was visibly upset afterward with his performance.

Brendan Magistro, who overtook Craddock on extra points towards the end of last fall, hit his extra pointa nd 25-yarder from the center, but pulled the 35-yard attempt wide left and barely reached the end zone on a 49-yarder that was dead on. Freshman Adam Greene, Maryland’s all-time career field goals leader, displayed strong leg strength, but shanked a 42-yard attempt wide left and left a 49-yard attempt short.

“Very inconsistent,” Edsall said of the kicking game. “Brad started off really good then all of a sudden he got in a little bit of a rut. They have legs, they have the ability, now it’s just a matter of focus and concentration. Same swing, doing the same thing all the time.”

So does this mean open competition?

“Right now, Brad’s the guy. We’ll continue to kick them quite a bit. We’ll chart it all. However it plays out, based on the numbers, who you get a good feel for from a confidence standpoint. It’s just consistency.”

>> Likely had several solid diving tips during one-on-ones, and continues to insert himself into the nickel corner conversation, but was later out-jumped on a deep ball by a taller receiver. He and Diggs were the only players fielding punts.

“I’ve liked Will since he’s gotten here,” Edsall said. “He’s just got some innate ability that you don’t coach, some instincts and knowledge of the game. I think Will’s going to be a good one for us and he’s in that mix to be a contributor this year.”

>> Team segments against the defense were mostly quarterback rollouts, read option handoffs up the middle or quarterback keepers. Brandon Ross and Albert Reid split time almost evenly in the backfield with the first team, though Ross always lined up for the first play of a new drill. Joe Riddle got full second-team repetitions.

>> Punter Nathan Renfro was consistently around 40-50 yards in the air on his punts, but tapered off during a second series.

>> Kenneth Goins took over for Tyler Cierski at fullback on the first string during one red zone series.

>> NFL scouts representing the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons were in attendance.

WHAT’S NEXT

Look for more posts from media day over the next several days. Maryland’s next open practice is Friday at 9:30 a.m.

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