Some quick-hitters from Tuesday’s news conference with Maryland Coach Randy Edsall:
— Defensive lineman Justin Anderson, who suffered a foot injury during preseason camp, is doubtful to play this season, Edsall said. Anderson will have two years of eligibility remaining if he does redshirt.
— A few weeks ago, Edsall referenced trust and the importance of players believing in his philosophy. So I asked Edsall on Tuesday if he had indications that the core of this team trusts in him and his philosophy.
“Yeah, no question,” he said. “All you’ve got to do is go out and watch practice and see how the guys are out there practicing. You go out and watch the kids in the games and they are playing hard and doing the things they are supposed to do, so, yeah, I have no doubt about that.”
Asked if we [reporters] could come to practice and watch, Edsall said, “No, you guys can’t come. I don’t want you giving away secrets.”
Edsall has said that there would be no excuses. Given that credo, a reporter asked if Edsall could at least concede that playing so many freshmen on defense has made things more difficult in certain situations.
“You know, I am really glad that you brought that up,” Edsall said. “I wish you would write that, because if you write it and say it, then I can’t get blamed for it. Okay. If you want to write that, go ahead and write that. But hey, we’re going to go out there and do the things we can do and play as hard as we can play with the people we have. Shoot, every day we get up it’s fun, I am having fun. I am having fun coming in here every day and working with these kids and finding those ways to improve and get better. Like I said, every day it is great to get in here because you can see the enthusiasm and the excitement of guys going out to practice.”
— A reporter asked Edsall is he has talked with quarterback Danny O’Brien privately about his season and whether he has said anything to the sophomore to reaffirm his faith in O’Brien.
“Yeah, I’ve talked to Danny and talked to him and brought him aside just like I have everybody else,” Edsall said. “I told him even on the field the other day, ‘Just go have fun.’ I think that’s all you have to do. Just go out and have fun, prepare the right way, go out, work hard and have fun. That’s what it’s all about. Some people want to make this about life and death and it’s not about life and death. It’s about going out there and enjoying the experience and playing the game.
“Again, I think sometimes that expectations on young people can make it tough as well. Maybe I didn’t do a good enough job of minimizing expectations for him. So again, I think those are things we all can learn from. The only thing that you can do is go out and do your best. Some days, you’re going to be good. Some days, you’re not going to be good.
“That’s what I try to emphasize with all our kids. Just go out every day do the best you can. Do the best you can in school. Do the best you can in practice. Do the best you can off the field. Then when it comes to the game, just go out and play and have fun. I think people play better when they’re relaxed and focused, and most of the time they’re focused because they prepared the right way. That’s all we want Danny to do and that’s all I want any of our players to do is just to do that. You have to understand you have to go and put that time and effort in to get into that zone.
“Look at last night in the NFL game. Here is Philip Rivers, who’s an all-pro quarterback. An all-pro quarterback, one of the better quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He goes in, 20-some seconds left and fumbles the snap. It happens to the best of them. The best of them don’t always do the right things.
“Danny will be fine. Danny will be fine. You start to see him do some things. I think he’s relaxed a little bit more.”
— And, finally, regarding the fan base and weather affecting attendance, Edsall said: “Well, it was a nasty day, I will say that. It was nasty, that’s for sure. Again, whenever you support a team or have a team that you like, you support them regardless. There are only seven games a year, or seven games a year you can get out to see. If you are going to be a fan, be a fan and be out there all the time supporting them. All kids are out there playing hard and doing the things they are trying to do to help us win. So sometimes it is not always going to be the way you want it, but stick in there and support people and keep going. I’ve been an Orioles’ fan and it has not gone their way, but I have not dropped off the bandwagon. I think that is what true fans do. True fans just need to stay behind the team because it’s not always going to be as down as the record is right now. That is all going to change.”