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Williams: I Did a Bad Job Leading

Perhaps the biggest disappointment Saturday was the play of Maryland’s veteran offensive line, projected to be one of the best in the ACC. Maryland linemen outweighed MTSU’s defensive linemen by an average of 58 pounds, but MTSU’s quick defensive linemen still harassed quarterback Chris Turner throughout. Here is some of this week’s interview with Maryland center Edwin Williams, who took a lot of the blame himself:

(Where do you need to improve?)
We definitely need to get sharper on landmarks, footwork and fundamentals. These are things we can fix. It’s not lack of effort. We need to be perfect and crisp on every series. We have to stay consistent.

(Friedgen kind of emphasized the positives with players. What was that like?)
Coach has a motive and he knows people were very upset. But we have 10 more games to play. It’s a long season and we have to stay together and stay united.

(The offense had a couple long plays, but couldn’t sustain drives? How frustrating?)
It’s a little bittersweet. But we have to stay focused. We have to put a lot more effort and work harder every week. It’s a bump in the road right now and we have to look toward the future. We have to polish up on technique. It’s nothing an experienced offensive line can’t adjust to.

Last week, we practiced fairly hard but now we have to take our game to another level. It’s a reality check. We have to do things a lot quicker and be on our ‘A’ game.

Everybody approaches each game the same way. Each week, we have to start the process over. I don’t think we slept on any team. With Cal coming, sure there is an excitement and curiosity about them. We have the ability to bounce back from any type of negative. When we play to the best of our abilities, we’re a great team. It’s going to be a true test for everybody.

A lot of people are very comfortable with the offense and know exactly what they need to do on each play. Sometimes people may not be as experienced as others. On offensive line, it’s all about communication and everyone being on the same page. You can’t be foggy in any aspect of the game.

(Was the offensive line a little disjointed?)
Myself, I did a bad job leading the team. We work on our corrections. We know what we need to do to improve on that. Some people lead in different ways. Right now, it’s kind of about leading by example. It comes down to practicing hard, about consistency and about finishing things.

(How do you think the offensive line has played?)
The offensive line with any team is going to be a little struggle because you can’t just put five guys together on any week. As the season progresses, we will continue to get better because we have that chemistry on and off the field. There is no one pointing fingers. This week will be a true test. We have to manage the game very well. I have to be the leader and the motivator. Being the center, I set the whole team up. If that means extra work on or off the field, that’s what I have to do. I have talked to the guys and said we’re all in this thing together. We’re close. It has been like that. Just one step, one extra push and we’re there. It just takes a little bit more each and every play. It’s all about execution. It doesn’t matter what play the coach calls.

The potential is endless. I think we can be one of the best teams in the country. We can’t let anything break us apart. This is probably the tightest team I have been on.

(What did the o-line talk about this weekend?)
On Monday, you have to clear your head and move toward next week. You have to keep in your mind what you need to improve on. There is no one pointing fingers. We all have to get better individually. The offensive line is a tight group of guys, we sit around and talk about it. But at the end of the day, it’s over. We have a lot of seniors. A lot of people are in each other’s ears, telling them what they need to do.

(What was the flight home like?)
It was pretty quiet. People took this to heart. We invested a lot of time and effort to be a good team. You only have 12 opportunities a year. To not have one of those 12 opportunities maximized is unacceptable. The good thing is that people aren’t down on themselves, they aren’t saying, ‘We suck and we won’t ever be good.’ People still have a positive and optimistic outlook.

(on consistency)
There are consistent people, but to have a consistent team, you have to know each and every play specifically what you have to do. A lot of that is leadership. A lot of the older guys, including myself, have to show the way and show what it takes to be good. And other people will follow. A lot of young guys look up to us as role models.

(What is your thought process as an older team?)
Every year, you have to start the process over. We all went through the summer workouts and did everything necessary to get to this point. Communication is definitely a key factor that we need.

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 11, 2008; 7:23 AM ET
Categories:  Football  | Tags: Edwin Williams  
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Great to see his responses to the questions and to the game. This is the model all of the team should be following, taking personal responsibility for what they control and focusing on improvement.

Tell Edwin we say thanks, he's a great kid and we appreciate his effort.

Go Terps!

Posted by: ckstevenson | September 11, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Maybe edwin should be the new defensive coordinator. Can't imagine he'll call worse plays than Cosh and he's certainly better at taking responsibilty for his own shortcomings.

Posted by: Lee | September 11, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

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