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Friedgen Talks Generation Gap

I have found an interesting theme developing. After the game yesterday, I asked Ralph Friedgen to assess the state of the team after finishing the nonconference schedule. I wanted a big-picture sense of whether this team was ready for ACC play. As he often does, Friedgen takes the question and veers off on a tangent. He said he believes his expectations are sometimes higher than players’ expectations. Well, that’s a problem, if true. And for the 212th time, he talked about players not always working hard in practice and an overall consistency that is sometimes absent in practice.

The only other year I covered Maryland’s football season was 2004. I can’t put my finger on it, but when comparing Fridge 2004 to Fridge 2008 I sense a difference in Friedgen’s overall demeanor and his relationship with his players. One person within the program also acknowledged that there is a difference. Again, I’m not sure what it is or what the significance of it is. After all, this Maryland team is poised to be more successful than that 2004 team that won all of five games. But Friedgen has repeatedly talked about a “generation gap” between he and his players; and that this is a “different era,” meaning that today’s players don’t always understand the meaning of hard work, sacrifice and learning from mistakes. He has suggested that some players have instant gratification syndrome and don’t anticipate having to fight through adversity to achieve goals.

I am 30 years younger that Friedgen, but I don’t disagree with him about today’s youth in general. That said, I don’t remember Friedgen repeatedly touching upon these subjects four years ago. And this season, he mentions these themes almost every other day. For whatever that’s worth. In the end, if Darrius Heyward-Bey keeps running through gaps in the defense, generation gaps won’t matter much, will they?

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 21, 2008; 11:13 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Barnes Talks Defensive Adjustments

Comments

Is it me or does Friedgen get crabbier and crabbier every year? Hey Fridge, lighten up! Enjoy yourself. You're gonna win the ACC this year, right?

Posted by: V | September 21, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

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