Ernie Salley had nothing to watch yesterday.
Maryland'a defensive tackle, out since Friday with a hip pointer, did not share his teammates' enthusiasm when their workout was scratched because of weather and because of wet wax and registration lines in the two gymnasiums.
Salley, fighting a case of the I-hate-being-injured blahs, likes to at least watch.
He hasn't hit or run since he sustained the injury, which he called "mild, nothing . . . just painful." But he has been a first-string watcher. He's on the sidelines every day, in on every play in his mind.
Beacuse he is making a switch from guard to tackle, Salley spent the summer on campus watching films. When he was through watching football movies, he went to see "Star Wars." Three times. He knows it as well as the wide-tackle six.
So when his show closed yesterday, Salley had another round with the blahs.
"This is bothering me," he said, speaking more of his injury than the weather. "I'm looking forward to a lot of things - the pro draft, a championship. And here I am, standing around.
"It really discourages me. At the first sign of trouble, I break; that's always been a problem with me. Last year, I hurt my ankles and I spent the whole season in a blah. I wasn't talking to my friends. My mother could even tell.
"I'm thinking positive. But right now it seems just like last year. I'm standing around again, looking at the guys. I hate it."
Salley said he hopes to be available for more than watching when the Terps scrimmage Saturday. His activity now is limited to situps and a few other exercises.
"It's painful when you laugh. It's painful when you cough," said Salley. "I've had one of these before, and this one is mild. This one is nothing.
"But I need all the work I can get. I was hurt the week of spring ball (bruised knee). I haven't been at this position a month yet."
Salley would have been considered for national honors at his old guard spot. Moving to tackle as a senior erases that possibility and he admits that disppointed him.
"The first couple of days I heard about it, I felt bad," said Salley . "But whatever helps the team is what I want to do. I'm real prepared for it. It'll be a big challenge.
"I'll have a lot to prove to other teams. I know they'll be running everything at the tackles - I just know it. They'll be testing me to see what I can do."
Coach Jerry Claiborne is anxious to see Salley, a native of Oxon Hill, perform.
"He knows his assignment," said Claiborne, aware of Salley's penchant for film. "But knowing and doing it are two different things. He needs work on the field."
Two-a-day practices ended with the team's first scrimmage Tuesday. Class began yesterday, which means the team will be working out daily from 3:23 to 5:47 (Claiborne's schedules tend to be specific). It also means a better attitude for the team, according to setbacks' coach Tom Groom. "The coeds are on campus and the morale is high." Groom said, expressing two apparently connected thoughts. After the scrimmage, players gathered in groups with their assistant coaches and for the first time were given their grades orally, while watching film on each play. Each player is graded - a plus for good, minus for bad. "U" for ungradable (not in on the play). RBI for extra effort and E for error. Normally, this information is handed to the players on a piece of paper like a report card. The players and coaches seemed to like the new procedure, which cannot be used often because it is time-consuming - approximately 2 1/2 hours to go through one film with each group.
"The good thing about it is the kids correct each other," said Groom. "There's a lot of interplay, and peer pressure is the best motivator you can have. They were essentially all grading each other." . . . Claiborne said he was pleased overall with the scrimmage, but noted. "Our defensive ends didn't hit receivers like we thought they should. We didn't play with intensity or go after each other the way I hope we would." . . . Fullbacks are plentiful and able. Mickey Dudish graded out at 94, with George Scott and Steve Koziol at 82. Tailback Steve Atkins led the tailbacks, grading a 96.