COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland head coach Randy Edsall addressed the media after UMD's first spring practice March 4. Here's what he had to say:
“I thought they gave good effort. The guys were into it. We had as good of a day as we’ve had in a long time around here, weather wise. There were some new things that we’re doing defensively, but I thought the kids were working and getting the calls down. It was pretty much just base offense and base defense.
"Overall, I thought it was good and I think we’ll see better improvement in the second practice. You can’t see too much from a physical standpoint because there are not pads on.”
On the new defensive scheme:
“It’s new from the standpoint like a couple guys up front that are playing techniques that they’ve never played before. From a coverage standpoint, it’s a lot of the same just some of the technique things that we are doing. Yannick [Ngakoue] and Jessie [Aniebonam], we’re playing them differently. Roman [Braglio] and Brett [Kulka] are in a better position to suit their skillset.
"Them playing on a tight end, they’ve just got to learn that technique. The inside guys have done that before. The safeties are going to do a better job of fitting into the run scheme. I told them they weren’t going to master it in one day, but I was pleased with how they attacked it.”
On how the players reacted to switching defensive schemes:
“They’re excited about it. There are some things that we’re doing that are going to serve us better because of the personnel. That’s the biggest thing with coaching. You’ve got to evaluate who you have and put them in the best position to be successful and that’s what we’re doing it.”
On what he wants to accomplish during spring practice:
“It’s just getting everyone to learn the new techniques you are going to play… We’re going to have a core group of fronts, coverages, stunts and blitzes that we are going to hang our hat on and we are going to perfect those through the first 15 practices. It’ll come together more and more each and every day.
"In these first five practices we’ll pretty much install everything. Then after they get back from spring break, then we can kind of go back and review everything and you’ll continually see progress. It’s just that process that you go through in spring ball to get to where you want to be by the end of the spring.
"You know you are still not going to be a finished product because they’re going to work all summer long and you going to incorporate freshman, and then you are going to be ready to go in August and have the finished product by the time you start the season.”
On facing the challenges that the Big Ten presents:
“I see guys that understand what the challenges are. Last year you might have thought you knew what the challenge was and what you were going to go against, but there was still some uncertainty because they’d never done it. Now that they’ve done it, they know what the challenges are and what the expectations are.
"They know what we have to do to get to where we want. They’re excited about that and they’ve worked extremely hard over the past few weeks getting ready for spring, and now they’ll work hard for these six weeks in order to get the football part of it down.”
On his message to the team at the end of last season:
“The only thing that I told them is make sure that we take every opportunity we have and make the most of it. If we do that, and we really work and perfect the fundamentals and the techniques of the positions that they play, then we’ll be a really good football team.”
On new defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski:
“Keith’s high energy. The kids respond to him. He’s passionate and he’s smart. He knows it in and out. I’m really excited with what Keith brings to the table and how he handles the kids and how they respond.”
Edsall Talks First Spring Practice
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