An irate Randy Edsall assailed his team during practice Friday morning, giving a handful of media members a rare view of how animated the first-year Maryland head coach can become.
Edsall started to boil after watching Tony Logan, standing near the end zone, catch a long field goal attempt that came up short. Logan started running the ball back upfield. The offensive players were slow — very slow — to pursue Logan as he ran in the open field.
Edsall lit into his entire team. He then stopped practice, gathered players around him and continued to criticize their overall effort for a few minutes. Among the things Edsall said: “Do it my way! Don’t do it your way!”
After practice, he said, there were two sources of his anger: that specific play as well as a handful of other incidents.
“I told them at the beginning of the week that this was going to be a tough week,” Edsall said. “This is the tough part of the camp, and you’ve got to fight through it. You’ve got to be strong mentally. We had some incidences out there that, when I see something I don’t like, I am going to let them know.
“Those things, the one drill we did there, that’s a legitimate drill in a game that could happen. The offensive line is not used to tackling. If I see something that I didn’t like and I don’t address it, then I am cheating the kids. I am not going to cheat the kids.”
Quarterback Danny O’Brien got some rest in practice. Cornerback Dexter McDougle worked on the side of the field.
Edsall has said that he has not been overly pleased with the defense so far. Asked about the unit again Friday, he said it has been inconsistent.
“When we go out and guys are taking care of their responsibilities, we are pretty good,” Edsall said. “When we don’t take care of our responsibilities, if a guy comes through a block and if he doesn’t rip through and attack the guy, then we end up having big plays against us. Everyone, collectively, all 11, just do your job.
“The biggest thing, we have too many guys, the eye discipline. It’s like they are sitting at home in their La-z-boy. You’ve got the chips over here and the soda here and the feet are up. They are watching the game. And that’s what they are doing out here. They are just watching the ball instead of reading their keys. That makes for trouble on defense.”
Edsall said the scandal at Miami, which had 12 current players implicated in a Yahoo! Sports report, has not changed his preparation plans at all.
“We just have to worry about Maryland and being as good as we can be,” Edsall said.
An FBI agent from Washington came to speak with the team Thursday night about a variety of issues, including gambling. (The meeting had been planned for some time.)
“It’s just about having these young men hear from someone else about what’s out there,” Edsall said. “Gambling, bookmakers and stuff in terms of social networking and really just the whole gamut of things that can affect them. That they have to be careful with who they are associating with. One thing I want to do with our program is every year have people come in.”