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Evaluation Week: Grading the Coordinators

Today we will examine the performance of both coordinators, and this should be interesting. First, to review, 88 percent of pollsters yesterday gave Ralph Friedgen a grade of C or worse. And I forgot one note on Friedgen that I will remember: He gave the results of that players’ poll on the quarterbacks during training camp, which many people found interesting.

Let’s start with defensive coordinator Chris Cosh. Here are some thoughts that jump to mind about Cosh through six games:

Virginia, ranked last nationally in scoring offense, scored four offensive touchdowns against Maryland, one more than the Cavs had scored in four previous games combined … Players displayed poor on-field communication against Middle Tennessee State … MTSU receivers were often wide open as QB Joe Craddock hit them for quick receptions … Cal QB Kevin Riley threw for 239 yards in the fourth quarter, as Maryland’s linebackers failed to cover the same routes they had earlier covered … Injuries to Maryland’s secondary have hampered the Terps ability to cover the pass … Clemson moved the ball at will against Maryland’s defense in the first half … Cosh made adjustments and held the Tigers to 26 rushing yards in the second half … Maryland is 11th in the ACC in pass defense and total defense … Maryland is 90th nationally in total defense … Maryland is 98th nationally in pass defense. The Terps are 94th nationally in tackles for loss … MTSU Coach Rick Stockstill said he was surprised Maryland hardly blitzed against his inexperienced offensive line … Maryland made Cal's Jahvid Best a non-factor in the running game ... Virginia hit Maryland with quick strikes, long sustained drives and fourth-down plays ...

And let's turn to offensive coordinator James Franklin. Some thoughts off the top of my head:

The offense looked vanilla in the opener against Delaware … Franklin displayed more creative play-calling in recent games (minus Virginia) … The 76-yard reverse worked perfectly against Clemson … Danny Oquendo’s pass worked perfectly against Eastern Michigan … Whether it’s poor route-running or something else, Darrius Heyward-Bey has a combined two touches the past two games and did not catch a ball in either game … Chris Turner has developed into a more consistent quarterback … Josh Portis’s packages are somewhat predictable … Franklin is the first to accept blame after a poor performance … Maryland’s passing offense is 86th nationally … The Terps are 85th nationally in scoring offense … Not sure how much rests with Franklin, but the offensive line has been perhaps the biggest disappointment for Maryland … Felt the same way Ralph Friedgen did when evaluating the quarterbacks situation and choosing Jordan Steffy as the starter …

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 7, 2008; 6:43 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: The Ike Whitaker Saga


I'll echo the same theme that's been posted in earlier topics. Cosh seems too willing to just sit back and let things happen. He really should turn our linebackers loose and let them try to create some havoc.

I think Turner can throw the ball. Maybe Franklin should start using the pass to free up the running game. We do have some very good skill players.

Posted by: ewg | October 7, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Neither coach is adept at making the PROPER adjustments in game to put the players in the BEST position to WIN.

Posted by: Elwood | October 7, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Cosh's D right now is a joke. There will be a lot of angry people if he's back next year.

Posted by: Steve | October 7, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I know that buying out Ralph is an obstacle but bringing back Mike Locksley would be great. He's from the area, would lock down the recruiting by keeping LJ Sr. and PSU from getting into Moco and PGC and his offense is thriving at ILL. As the head coach, he would likely bring someone that knows his playcalling. As far as replacing Cosh, any high school coach will do. The guy is horrible.

Posted by: MLinDC | October 7, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Tried to give Cosh the benefit of the doubt, but he simply is not a good coach. He needs to go when the season is done.

Posted by: V | October 7, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I gave both coordinators a "C". A lot of displeasure has been directed at Cosh, and perhaps deservedly so. I've never been impressed by his reactive style of defense.

However, I don't think he has the type of talent on the defensive side to run an attacking-style defense. We don't have any lineman who can generate a pass rush, so we'd have to bring up linebackers for that.

And I have to fault recruiting for not bring in enough DB prospects. We have too many WR prospects on this team, and alot of that talent is being wasted.

Posted by: Charles | October 7, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Cosh - F

Franklin - C

Franklin deserves more time to get his system in place (although I'm not a real fan of the WCO at the college level) but Cosh has had his chances. If he wants, he can be a linebacker coach. Otherwise, let him walk.

Posted by: terpfan | October 7, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Cosh got an F from me. One half of D in six games should actually warrant something lower than an F.

Farnklin got a C and I seriously considered a D. We keep hearing about the inconsistancy of this MD team and how they play down to the competition. It is starting to become clear that Franklin game plans down to the level of the competition. Look at Delaware, MTSU and UVa. In all three games the play calling was totally uninspired.

Posted by: Paco in Ajijic | October 7, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Cosh has got to go. He is way over his head. It is like he is in prevent defense 90% of teh time. No agressiveness or pressure on QB.
Franklin has got to be more creative and get his best player involved whatever way it takes. If not by the pass than as ahandoff or maybe even have the ball snaped to him. Come on!!! DHB is the man so use him.

Posted by: Jack | October 7, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

It's going to be hard to sell the new suites if Yow doesn't hire a real DC - Cosh is beyond a joke.

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | October 7, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I will say that I expect a lot out of Maryland Football, maybe I shouldn’t. The program markets itself as a successful one and is really still living off of the first 3 or so years that Ralph was named head coach. With major stadium renovations on the way the team really needs to separate itself from the very average ACC mid level teams. However, I do think the program has a good image and reputation for having quality kids and not kids of suspect character as some other local schools do (WVU and VT). I think that is important to mention.

Ralph has had some big wins over the last few seasons but obviously consistency has been a HUGE problem. He can only place the blame on himself and his coaching staff so many times until you have to say that things are in fact his fault and he isn’t doing his job.

Cosh needs to go, bottom line. The team got up for the Cal game this season. The only other game the defense preformed well was in the second half of the Clemson game, where Clemson imploded. Tackling, communication, and dealing with misdirection offensive schemes have been a problem each of the 3 seasons he has been on staff.

Franklin in my mind is hard to figure. It seems as though the offense has as much talent at receiver, tight end, and running back as you could ask for. Not to mention what is supposed to be a strong veteran offensive line. With all those things in place and the versatile Josh Portis coming off the bench the offense seems very very boring and predictable.

Summing it up, Fridge needs to get more consistency out of the team but still has 2 years to lose his job. Cosh needs to go now!!! Franklin has to really open up the playbook to prove he should keep his job, by the end of this season.

Posted by: kdc | October 7, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

What about grading Ralph? I think the media's treated his handling of the program with kid gloves because he had such a great start.

Posted by: MLinDC | October 7, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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