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Friedgen Says He Couldn't Reach Players

Just finished with Ralph Friedgen’s ACC teleconference. Friedgen again repeated that he did not reach the team with his message and that “I wish I had an answer for it. I definitely don’t like feeling the way I do right now.” He said he “knew what was going to happen” Saturday in Charlottesville, in terms of knowing U-Va. was going to give his team its best shot. But he said he couldn’t get that across to his players. He said this happens across the country and that the question is “How many times can you get up over a 12-game season? That is the secret, if you can get your guys to understand what they are going into. They read the papers and the Internet.”

A North Carolina reporter asked about Darrius Heyward-Bey’s touches and Friedgen said: “We have been calling plays to get him the ball. He has to do a better job reading coverages and running routes. A lot of things go into it.”

Maryland will practice today and tomorrow. The only media access is today, so I'll provide a post-practice update. Friedgen has to balance getting better with not getting his team more banged up than it already is. The Terps had a team meeting yesterday and will have another before practice today. A few players met with Friedgen personally this morning. Friedgen thinks the bye week is probably good this week. Had Maryland won, he said he would have wanted to keep playing. He started watching Wake Forest tape this morning.

The Virginia game was a “tough game for me personally,” Friedgen said. “But we have to put Virginia behind us.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  October 8, 2008; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

I still stand by what I said the past few days. It is time for Coach Friedgen to consider resigning. These young men are players he recruited, and he cannot reach them. Yes, it maybe hard to get up for every game, but championship teams find a way to get things done and win. They do not get shutout on their worst nights.

Posted by: Elwood | October 8, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Fridge is right that there seems to be a generational thing about players not being able to focus, and his not reaching them. After the loss to MTSU I said the problem was a lack of talent. I still think this team is woeful in the defensive talent department and the defensive scheme is an absolute joke (partly because the talent isn't there to do anything but sit back and play soft) but the biggest problem is a lack of mental preparation, mostly by the players. I'd still look at dumping the Fridge but I can say it's not all his fault.

Posted by: Rob | October 8, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

From many reports, Fridge is known as being aloof and distant to his players. Maybe it's time to bring in a coach the players can relate to.

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | October 8, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I am a fan and season-ticket holder and can tell you that RF has changed over the years. I remember vividly a fan gathering where he stoically signed autographs as if this were some needless exercise that someone of his stature shouldn't be subjected to.

I personally believe his early success (2001-2003) went to his head.

Not only is he having a problem reaching players, he's having trouble reaching fans.

He's turned me off to the point where I have decided not to attend any more games until he 1) gets fired or 2) changes his arrogant ways.

Posted by: Charles | October 8, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I think Charles is on track here. Breakfast with Fridge is a perfect example. He used to hold them before every home game and for the past 2 or 3 years, there have only been 2 a year. I know he is a busy guy and talking about game plans and taking questions from 100 or so die-hard fans isn't that important to winning. I just think he has changed since 2002-2003 and not for the better.

Posted by: adam | October 8, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Fridge is indicting himself with that comment. Reaching his players is his main responsibility.

To blame this on a "generational" thing is absurd. Every player in America is in this generation but we are one of very few teams who have this problem.

This is bad coaching, very simply. I also have observed a change in Fridge's demeanor. He needs to get back to his 2001 style promptly, or he needs to leave.

I've been defending him for a long time now, because of his accomplishments, but this is getting old.

Posted by: Scott | October 8, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

UVA was a bad loss....you really wonder why they put all that work in with the spring, and summer training, and then not show up for a game - especially UVA who beat em in Byrd last year...doesn't make sense.

Posted by: alumni 77 | October 8, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

No support on this board for the fat genius?! Come on people - wake up. When the Terps turn around the season by beating Wake and then NC State - to get them to 3-1 in conference, I want to hear you then. Yes the UVA loss was inexplicably bad, but this season is far from over - especially considering how wide open the ACC is....

Posted by: Sheesh | October 8, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The fat genius disappeared in 2004, and has been MIA since.

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | October 8, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I have backed Fridge on this board and still hold out hope he can reclaim the glory of 2001-2003. That said this "generational gap" BS is some of the more idiotic nonsense I have ever heard. Does any 50+ year old coach ever have anything in common with a 20 year old kid? Is he saying that coaches in the 50s-60s raised before television, cars, and radio had a lot in common with those 20 year olds ready to fight in WWII. And then I am sure a lot of those grown coaches from the "greatest generation" had a ton in common with the long haired make love not war players of the 70s. What a cop out. Get one of your kids to play you a Lil Wayne cd and get a freaking clue. How old is Jim Laranaga? He didn't have any problem pumping up his team by doing some research and playing some hip hop tunes. Isn't that half of what coaching is?

Posted by: Lee | October 8, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Fridge is paid too much money not to get through to his players. He has failed both with his players and with the fans. I have had season tickets for over 30 years and I gave them up for the rest of the season to some kids in the neighborhood. It was just not fun to watch a team so ill-prepared for games and the lack of good coaching just added to the misery. He has not won with players he has recruited and I don't see that changing. He gets kids that seem to be good kids and good students but the program needs a lot more than that. He needs to move on.

Posted by: Mike | October 8, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I loved this result.

Virginia -- 31
Maryland -- 0 (zero - zip - zilch - nada)

Maryland's - Defensive and Offensive lines and Linebacking corp are the worst in College Football.

I have seen harder hitting teams in powder puff leagues.

Maryland's recruiting efforts are going to take a major hit with this result.

Prediction:

Wake Forest -- 34
Maryland -- 10

Maryland will finish with a 5-7 record.

I am happy that Maryland is no longer recruiting Tavon Austin.

Jelani Jenkins, Travis Hawkins and Isaac Holmes will be signing with the University of Florida.

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: Gary | October 8, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Jelani Jenkins will be a Terp!

It's a done deal.

Posted by: SB | October 8, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

we have the talent. we wouldn't beat cal or clemson if we didn't. hence, it's the coaching.

same with basketball. everyone blames gary for not recruiting. but his inferior recruited team didn't pretty well beating #1 north carolina on the road this year.

these coaches saved their programs. we owe the a debt of grattitude, but there does come a point.

Posted by: justin | October 8, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

He said this happens across the country and that the question is “How many times can you get up over a 12-game season?"

Well that's ridiculous. It's only 12 times a year out of 365. If you can't do that....

I think he has lost (or is fast losing) his players. Maybe the next game will get better but I'm pretty sure it's going to happen more frequently from now on.

Posted by: charlie | October 8, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

He's piling up the indicators for bad coaching and program management, especially for a $2M contract and guarantee to be within the top 15. Does anyone think for a second he's amongst the top 35, 40 top head coaches, let alone top 15?
signs of bad coaching/program management:

1-get outrecruited
2-poor player development.
3-turnover in staff
4-reoccuring problems re: performance
5-inconsistency
6-bad gameplanning/scheming
7-not reaching players
8-blaming players

You look at the past 5 years and tell me that Fridge is not underperforming. you tell me that he has control over this program.

He needs to re-evaluate whether he's sending the program back to where he originally found it.

Posted by: MLinDC | October 8, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Even top programs can have off days(USC losing to Oregon St, Florida to Ole Miss), but both football and mens hoops are incredibly inconsistent. They cannot even sustain focus for one game, let alone an entire season.

The coaches are coasting based on their previous success, and feel they cannot get fired because they are alums. There is an AD who is too busy placing ads everywhere and ruining a perfectly good football stadium to notice how poorly the coaches are doing. It is time to clean house from the AD on down.

It is not that the team has lost two games, it is to who and how. (Dont get me started on the Delaware game.) If the losses had been to Cal and Clemson, would anybody be really that upset ?

Posted by: jg284481 | October 8, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Eric,
I have a theory that may explain the losses. How many people were in attendance for each of those games? I remember watching each game and wondering why it was so quiet. The players practice with the boom boxes on high volume. what do you think?

Posted by: Jack | October 9, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

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