The Maryland football team’s second open preseason practice is in the books. Here’s a brief rundown of Friday’s action.
Date: Aug. 9
Open practice number: 2
Duration: 25 five-minute periods.
Location: Byrd Stadium.
Dress code: Full pads.
Injured and out: WR Deon Long (back), FB Tyler Cierski (calf strain), RB Joe Riddle (head).
Limited: S Zach Dancel (hamstring), LS Christian Carpenter (ACL), OL Silvano Altamirano, OL Mike Madaras (disciplinary), S Elvis Dennah, WR Tyrek Cheeseboro.
Long, Cierski and Riddle were the new injuries.
“Deon hurt his back,” Coach Randy Edsall said. “We’re still evaluating. He’ll be week-to-week.”
Riddle, the third-string running back, “got hit in the head” and will be day-to-day. Cierski is similarly day-to-day with a calf strain. Other players, like Dancel and Carpenter, sat out full-field sprints at the end. Dancel did some light jogging while Carpenter and walk-on linebacker Marc Rodriguez did sit-ups.
Madaras, Dennah and Cheeseboro were all wearing shorts. Freshman wide reciever Taivon Jacobs, who’s returning from a knee injury suffered this offseason, was in full pads, as was classmate DeAndre Lane, who had tweaked his hamstring during the last open practice on Monday.
>> C.J. Brown completed 6 of 13 passes during one particular drill, working forward from the 20-yard line. During a red zone drill, he found Stefon Diggs on a nice play-action rollout, uncovered in the back of the end zone. He also made a solid zone read from the 3-yard line, rolling in untouched.
“The thing I’ve been pleased with, is I haven’t seen any ill effects from the standpoint of running, cutting or not feeling comfortable with his knee,” Edsall said. “What has to happen, is they need time to develop some togetherness and timing. That’s starting to come along with each practice. He’s moving really well. Like I said, he can always be better, he will be better, but it’s that process we have to go through.”
>> Caleb Rowe had two strong passes over the middle to Diggs, who continues to be hard to cover in practice. Ricardo Young, who flashed his speed throughout practice, also made a strong deep pass to Tyrek Cheeseboro, past Issac Goins. Edsall had some words for Goins after that play, evidently concerned that someone would get hurt.
“I know injuries are a part of this game, and we’ve done a much better job this year, but we have to take care of each other,” Edsall said, specifically referencing that play. “Don’t do something where you’re going to reach behind, those sort of things where we could end up having an injury. I said appreciate the effort and how everyone’s going hard, but we have to be smart. When we thud, don’t leave our feet, don’t cut block, don’t take guys down. Just brought them together to remind them to take care of each other, let’s not do something foolish where someone will get hurt, because someone’s frustrated that they didn’t make a play.”
>> Running back Jacquille Veii was the day’s biggest standout, scoring three touchdowns over various drills, including an read option-pitch in a goal-line situation and made a nice leaping dive over the pile. Veii was one of three commitments Maryland scored on National Signing Day, and the team moved DeAndre Lane to the slot to make room for him. With Riddle sidelined, this could be an opportunity for Veii to work his way into the conversation for that (admittedly distant) third running back spot behind Brandon Ross and Albert Reid.
“Jacquille is having a really good camp,” Edsall said. “Very impressed with him, his ability to run the ball, and he’s done a pretty good job from understanding and executing all the things he’s got to execute. It’ll be interesting to see, as we get a little more into some of the pass game stuff, protections and all those things. But he’s a very talented runner.”
>> Speaking of Ross, he got popped at the goal line and lost a fumble. Couldn’t see who knocked him back, but it was a solid hit.
>> The kickers again struggled from distance. Everyone hit their extra points and short field goals, but as practice ended, the Terps moved farther and farther back to test their leg strength. With the wind blowing roughly 10 mph to the right, the kickers tried to overcompensate and wound up struggling as a result.
Brad Craddock, the incumbent starter, missed wide left from 40 yards and three straight from 58 yards, as teammates were cheering him on. At one point, an offensive player yelled, “I’ll buy you McDonald’s if you make it.” Edsall had some words with Craddock before his third 58-yard attempt, which was the only one to fall short. His second attempt was wide left and first hit the left upright.
Adam Greene barely hit a 48-yarder from the left has but left a 54-yard attempt several yards short and to the right. He also hit a 38-yard field goal from the right hash, and it’s clear the Terps are giving him a solid look this camp.
“Inconsistent today,” Edsall said of the kicking game. “Down there in the tight red, when we had the opportunity for field goals and extra points were good, but we went out there, they come out here, there’s wind, it’s sunny out, might be a young lady in a bikini over there or something, they get distracted too easily. They have to come out here, think there’s nothing here.
“That’s what I tried to tell Brad. He had plenty of leg, but he was trying to play it because the wind’s going to do this. He just has to kick the ball. Needs work between the ears.”
>> Madaras, who served a two-week, university-imposed suspension for violating the student-athlete code of conduct, returned and participated in positional work without pads. Edsall says Madaras, who started most of last season at left tackle as a true freshman, will return to full pads on Tuesday, the date of Maryland’s next open practice.
“He stayed in good condition,” Edsall said. “Once we get him into helmets and shoulder pads, then we’ll put him in there, all the team drills and everything else. I think he’ll work back in really quickly.”
>> At one point, linebacker Cole Farrand and wideout Stefon Diggs got into a mini-shouting match after Farrand delivered a hit on Diggs. The dispute quickly fizzled out.
>> On consecutive possessions, defensive lineman Andre Monroe batted down a pass by Young at the line of scrimmage, and then defensive lineman Nate Clarke blocked the ensuing field goal attempt.
>> Dexter McDougle intercepted a poor read by Perry Hills and returned it for a touchdown. He dropped into zone coverage and Hills didn’t pick it up.
>> With Long out, Amba Etta stepped into the “X” spot on first-string and impressed with a leaping grab over Will Likely during one-on-one drills early in practice.
>> A.J. Hendy got first-team repetitions over Sean Davis at free safety.
>> With Cierski out, Kenneth Goins took over first-string repetitions at fullback, and saw plenty of action in goal-line and red-zone packages on Friday. Last open practice, Goins already substituted in for Cierski in red zone drills.
>> Vinny Cerrato and Rob Long of Baltimore’s 105.7 the Fan were broadcasting their show from the Maryland radio booth upstairs in Tyser Tower.
>> Quince Orchard CB Elliott Davis, who holds offers from Rutgers, Buffalo and Clemson, according to 247sports.com, was in attendance, as was former Maryland quarterback Scott McBrien.
Look for more posts from practice over the next several days, specifically on the defensive line, and a story in tomorrow’s paper on Quinton Jefferson. Maryland’s next open practice is Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Edsall said, the team will have a closed scrimmage. Enjoy the weekend.