Terrapins' Defense Ahead of Offense After One Week
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
One conclusion Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen was certain about after reviewing tape of Saturday's 111-play scrimmage was that the defense is miles ahead of the offense entering the second week of camp.
Of the 14 sacks made by the defense, Friedgen said, 10 occurred on plays in which there were missed assignments. Senior center Phil Costa (knee) did not play in the scrimmage, which left an inexperienced offensive line to deal with the blitzing scheme that first-year defensive coordinator Don Brown has employed.
"We don't want our defense to get a false sense of security," Friedgen said. "If no one blocks you, you have a pretty good chance to get to the quarterback. That's because you have young kids and [Brown] is coming at them from all different angles, and with different personnel groups."
Safety Kenny Tate, who coaches say could thrive in Brown's defense because of his versatility, had five tackles, a sack and an interception in the scrimmage.
"It's a lot of fun," Tate said. "And it's very confusing for the offense. Coach Brown has a thing about playing fast. If you're not playing fast, he is a little upset."
Watching the Quarterbacks
One of the things coaches wanted to see during camp was progress by sophomore quarterback Jamarr Robinson, who is expected to back up senior Chris Turner.
In Saturday's scrimmage, Robinson completed 6 of 8 passes for 97 yards and threw one interception. Friedgen said that there have been times during camp when Robinson "really does some pretty special things" but added that consistency is paramount to Robinson continuing to develop.
"Sometimes I think he just loses focus," Friedgen said. "When he is focused, he plays very, very well. He has a strong arm and he can make some tough throws. Then when he kind of gets out of it, you say, 'Why are you throwing there?' Sometimes he can't tell you."
Turner attempted only four passes in the scrimmage and continued to earn praise from Friedgen.
"Chris has been very sharp," Friedgen said. "He is playing right now like I expect him to. He is very calm. He doesn't let the blitzing affect him. He is telling the running backs, 'Watch the blitz over there.' I think he is very comfortable with the offense."
Barbour Shows Strong Foot
Sophomore Mike Barbour continued to demonstrate why he holds a lead in the place-kicking battle by making 4 of 6 kicks in the scrimmage, including a 47-yard field goal. Barbour's misses were from 45 and 40 yards.
Friedgen said Barbour was probably one more successful kick away from winning the competition over junior Nick Wallace and freshman Nick Ferrara.
"I would have liked to see Barbour make that last kick, and I think he would have had the job," Friedgen said.
Friedgen has been known to mispronounce names, and last year once called Barbour "Barbaro" by mistake. On Saturday, he said: "I wish he was Barbaro. That means he is a stallion."
Friedgen said freshman running back Caleb Porzel was expected to undergo an MRI exam on his left knee Monday. Friedgen said he believes that Porzel suffered an MCL sprain in the scrimmage and that he should miss about a week of practice. . . .
Friedgen said he moved sophomore Lamar Young up to first-team left guard, ahead of sophomore Maurice Hampton. Redshirt freshman Justin Lewis dropped to second-team right guard, behind sophomore Andrew Gonnella.
"They are all going to have to play," Friedgen said.