Terps' Edsall Not Playing Prediction Game
By Matt Zenitz
COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland football coach Randy Edsall looked down for a brief moment, clearly smiling, before looking up, glancing around the media in attendance at Thursday's press conference and chuckling before answering the question he had just been asked.
A member of the media had just asked Edsall his opinion of the Terrapins being projected to finish fifth (out of six teams) in the ACC's Atlantic Division by the media at the ACC Football Kickoff in late July.
"You want my honest answer?" Edsall joked with the reporter, before playfully asking,
"Who are the people picking that?"
He went on to say, "I've never really bought into any of that stuff, though. It just gives us a little bit more incentive to go out and prove people wrong. … I know what we have and know what we can do. Our players know what we have and know what we can do. The only way we can prove anyone wrong, though, is by going out there on the field and taking care of business."
Maryland begins preseason practice Tuesday, with players reporting to campus Monday night. Edsall, entering his first season as the Terrapins' head coach, said he, along with his coaches, would spend the weekend "putting the final things together" in preparation for that.
Maryland returns several key players, including quarterback Danny O'Brien and safety Kenny Tate, from last year's team that finished 9-4 and closed the season with a dominant 51-20 victory against East Carolina in the Military Bowl.
But while Edsall is happy with the returning talent and was pleased with the improvement he saw throughout spring practice, he said he hoped to see continued progression from his team leading up to its season opener, Sept. 5 against Miami.
The new coach also mentioned that several positions were still up for grabs, including starting spots at wide receiver, fullback and guard, among others. Numerous backup positions are also still up for grabs.
"These are the times when you have to put in that hard and preparation to get ready for the start of the season," Edsall said, adding later, "The foundation has been laid. We still have to smooth out some of the rough edges, but there's no doubt in my mind, as coaches and as players, that we're ready to go, and ready to attack this challenge head on."
Edsall announced Thursday that Maryland will unveil its new jerseys Aug. 22.
Offensive tackle Justin Gilbert (knee) will be limited throughout preseason practice and isn't expected to play in a game until at least October.
Fellow offensive tackle Pete DeSouza, meanwhile, has been cleared for full contact less than a year after he suffered two broken legs in an off-campus scooter accident. Edsall said DeSouza would be evaluated throughout the fall.
Posted Aug. 5, 2011