Friedgen: Scott Practiced
I caught most of Ralph Friedgen’s radio show on the drive home from campus and found it quite interesting. First off, Friedgen said running back Da’Rel Scott practiced Wednesday but not at full speed and that he remains questionable for Saturday’s game against Eastern Michigan. Here are some other random observations from Ralph’s radio interview:
Kicker Obi Egekeze hit another upright in practice today. Trying to lighten the mood, Ralph told him to aim for the uprights from now on. Some players have approached Friedgen to tell him that Maryland has a new season now and that Friedgen doesn’t need to reference Middle Tennessee State because players learned their lesson. But Friedgen said he sure will mention Middle Tennessee before the team takes the field Saturday. Friedgen was asked about the Kevin Barnes hit on Jahvid Best, which all the newspapers chronicled in great length today. Friedgen said he has seen the tackle but has not seen the “explosion,” referring to Best throwing up.
Friedgen also said his team is very tough to read emotionally. He could not get a feel for the team’s mood after his spirited talk with the team the night before the Cal game. As it turned out, players were very motivated and angry. Friedgen praised fullback Cory Jackson, calling him the most valuable player Maryland has. One caller cracked me up because he asked Ralph: "How did you turn the team into a machine for the Cal game?”
Ralph talked about all the ways he has tried to motivate the team but said ultimately that players carry the responsibility. “It is in their hands, not mine,” Friedgen said. Friedgen was asked about the empty seats in the upper deck Saturday and simply said: “A lot of people missed a heck of a football game.” One caller asked this question: “Coach, I don’t want to do Charles Gibson and let you walk into a buzz saw, but when was the last time Obi made a kick?”
“I always walk into a buzz saw,” Friedgen said.
Friedgen talked about playing music now during the final 15 minutes of practice to motivate the team. He played Zombie Nation and started jumping up and down like fans do, a show that amused players. Friedgen was asked what he thought about Jahvid Best getting more newspaper hype than Da’Rel Scott last week --- what newspaper would do such a thing!?!? --- and Friedgen said not to go overboard about Scott yet, cautioning “not to go crazy after three games.”
Friedgen said Eastern Michigan played Saturday against Toledo in a torrential downpour and that EMU runs a no-huddle spread offense, a style that gave Maryland loads of trouble in Murfreesboro. And, of course, Friedgen closed the interview with his favorite topic: The EMU punters. He said it might be interesting for the fans because they use three punters. We’ll see on that one.
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