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Ralph: I am Embarrassed with Our Coaching Job

I will be posting interviews with players throughout the day. Here is the interview last night with Ralph Friedgen to chew on after the loss:

"We didn’t do a very good job coaching or playing. I didn’t do a very good job at all. Kind of embarrassed by the way we performed tonight. Give credit to Middle Tennessee. I thought they played well tonight. They really outplayed us.

We had too many mistakes. We had a play then we had a mistake. We had a holding, a dropped ball, a misread, a poor throw. We did everything. We had problems communicating on defense. When you are not focused and you know you are going into a situation where they are going to play you the best game they can, that’s what I was concerned about. I was not able to get our guys to understand that, and that is my fault.

(on Turner)
We all didn’t perform very well.

(on the defense)
They were spreading us out. They did a smart thing. They hit us with quick passes. They had quick wide receivers. It wasn’t anything we didn’t anticipate. They did a good job and they run a quarterback draw and get us all spread out. I thought we did a pretty good job on their zone stuff. We got tentative and didn’t tackle well. Even when we played it well, they would get four or five yards.

(lack of focus)
It was a large part of it. That’s my job to get them focused, so it’s my fault. I didn’t like our Thursday practice at all. We had a lot of mistakes in our walk-through. I just didn’t do a very good job. I have got to be better. I am embarrassed at what kind of coaching job we did. And I am embarrassed the way we played.

I remember we went to Northern Illinois, lost a tough one and came back and played in the Gator Bowl. These games were hard. FIU could have gone either way. Eastern Michigan. That’s why you play the game. I was watching Ohio State and Ohio, and they were playing them at home. That’s my job to get them ready to play and I didn’t do a very good job at it.

Sometimes they don’t hear you. That’s my fault. I have to make them hear me.

We hit the cross bar again (on the field goal). If we tried to do that, we couldn’t do that. We are going to see what kind of character we have as a staff and a team. Maybe they will start listening to me. I told them what I thought tonight. I told them I have been doing this for 40 years, this is not the first time. They have to start trusting me, that I’m just not a coach talking the talk. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. If they want to have a good football team they will."

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 7, 2008; 8:59 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Turner: I'm Embarrassed


Lack of focus? Mistakes? Let's face facts, we stink! Is Middle Tennesse even a Division I school? After barely getting by Delaware how is it possible not to be up for this game? Ralph blew this season when he didn't name Turner the starter after last season.

Turner was clearly the best QB at the end of last season. Instead of treating him like a starter and giving him most of the reps in practice he watered down his prerperation and confidence by having three guys split duty. None of the three QB'S look like they can play football. Portis at least moved the ball in spite of play calling a second grade coach in the midget league could predict!

PATHETIC! I am totaly embarresed to be a Terp right now. Ralph, start Portis and give the kid a shot. Steffy is a choker and Turner couldn't hit a bull in the a** with a shovel full of loose corn!

CAL 34 Md 9 oops make that 6, we can't kick field goals either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: donmac | September 7, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

If Ralph wants to try an conjure up glorious comparisons to past early season defeats then its grasping for straws time. Maryland has always had a bend but dont break defense since RF has been here but this year there is going to be a lot of breaking. That year's team had a competent offense and I think Suter was around to spark the special teams. I dont see any valid comparison to that years team.
I think with the right assistants Ralph can be successful but unfortunately those assistants are gone.
I dont know about the rest of you but i have concerns that Ralph can make it much longer as a coach. And i dont mean he will get fired--he looks more unhealthy than i can recall and how many men over 60, with a high stress job, and are that overweight can handle such a job.

Posted by: zman | September 7, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Right now things look dismal but we have to keep a few things in mind.

1) Yes, Ralph is the head coach but at the same time, Ron Franklin and Chris Cosh are the ones calling the plays and the heads of the offense and defense respectively. Yes, Ralph listens in but it comes down to those two picking the correct plays. Ralph trusts them enough. We also need to be aggressive from the start. Da'Real Scott starting strong and then not even going back to him? Not a good decision.

2) The alumni have been calling for Cosh's head since his fist season here and I couldn't agree with them more. If you're going to have a "bend but don't break" defense, that sounds like a let them do something and we'll react and try and stop them. Everyone could obviously see on Saturday that MTSU was not going to throw deep on us. If they're going to go out of the shot gun and throw quick passes, then get some press coverage especially if we're playing 3-3-5 considering there is an extra defensive back on the field. If our defense is the strongest part of the team where there is the most tenure, then trust those kids to stop the run and press the receivers to allow the line to get to the QB. Our DL comes under fire all the time but I think it comes down to the play calling and putting them in the best position to perform at the highest level. That I believe is where Chris has lacked over his tenure with Maryland. He needs to be more aggressive and take some chances instead of being so conservative.

3) Ron Franklin needs to take more chances. You could see Turner felt liek they needed to take chances and he chose the wrong moments but we can't wait until the last quarter to finally start throwing the ball. Scott had an amazing start and kept us in the ball game at the beginning. We should have been using him more and running max protect play action passes. You could see they were going to keep 8 in the box for most of the game and if they bring all 8 or even 7, if you max protect and look for one-on-one coverage, I'm sure they would be to find someone open. Yes, this might be reacting but at least we won't be playing into their hands which we did on both offense and defense on Saturday which was the main reason we lost the game. Adjustments need to be made throughout the game and we did a horrible job of that. And it's up to the coaches to make those decisions.

4) I think we really need to look at who we are recruiting and bringing in here. If a kid wants to come to Maryland and he fits our style and he's a good player, there is not reason not to offer him a scholarship and get him to buy-in early. I think that will help with buy-in and kids listening more. Growing up and seeing Maryland have losing season after losing season with no bowls was horrible. If recruits feel that way and want to come to Maryland to make it the best and they're not just saying that, then we need to get those kids. Also, we need to look at the players that don't get chosen by other big time schools in our conference and region and take those kids because they will have something to prove.

Side Note - Ever since we lost Derek Williams to Penn State because we laid off his father a few days before signing day, I think there has been a bad taste in kid's mouths when considering Maryland. That was probably one of the stupidest things we could have done.

Posted by: Brad | September 7, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

NOTE TO ZMAN: Thank you for saying what i've said in earlier blogs about Ralph's obvious weight problem he is a ticking time bomb,a massive coronary waiting to happen and no one seems to give a damn.Most people will say its a personal issue but its as much a health issue as if he had a drinking problem his family i'm sure is very worried every time i see him on the sideline i wonder with the stress of coaching division one football how it will affect his health. I hope for his sake he gets some help and soon.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | September 7, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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