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Costa Puts OL Responsibility on His Shoulders

There is no question that senior center Phil Costa is the quarterback of the offensive line. And if you saw how the line performed in Saturday’s scrimmage – ugh – without Costa, who sat for precautionary reasons because of his knee, well, then you understand his value to this team. I had a long talk with Costa about the line recently. And while I included some of it in my story today, I wanted to provide a little more from that interview so you can get a better sense of his mentality heading into his senior season.

“I understand where the rankings come from,” Costa said of the low expectations for the line. “We don’t have lot of guys with starts under their belts. But we have a lot of young guys with a lot of talent. Lamar Young, Tyler Bowen, D.J. Dill. They are doing very well.”

On what concerns Costa most about the offensive line:

“I am not too worried about the guards. And I feel very confident about Bruce [Campbell] and myself. The left guard is playing between us, so he will be okay. I’m next to the right guard. What I am worried about is the right tackle, because he is not next to any experienced guy. That’s the concern for me. Nobody has stepped up at right tackle yet. Right tackle is one of the best spots for competition as a team right now.”

On what message he sent to the younger players during the summer:

“During the summer, Bruce Campbell and I we talked to the younger guys and said, ‘It is going to be a little different than last year.' They thought they were entitled to something. We wanted to bring a new attitude. I don’t care what year you are, I want to bring an attitude: You are coming to play everyday.”

Costa did not want to disparage last season’s offensive line, but he felt linemen at times had a sense of complacency, which contributed to mediocre results on the field.

“It emerged in practice and came out on the game field. People think, 'Oh, I’ll get it in practice, I’ll get it in practice.' But if you’re not getting it in practice, you are not getting it in the game. That’s where it all starts.”

On the types of summer workouts Costa ran with the younger linemen:

“I was running a lot of position drills. They were some of the best ones run by a player. Efficient. Everyone listening. It’s easier for me because last year we had five or six seniors where there may have been too many Indians and not enough chiefs. I’m in an easier position because I’m the guy, I’m the senior. Everyone is going to look to me for guidance.”

On the biggest key to the offense:

“We can have a great offense if we get the offensive line together. It will be dependent on that.”

On taking a young line into a very difficult environment (at California) for the opener:

“It’s a little different than in previous years. We’d play a Delaware or an easier team, supposed to be easier team, we don’t have that luxury this year. We have to be ready to go. In practice, people say, ‘I’ll get it, I’ll get it.’ We don’t have time to get it. That first game is coming quick.”

On whether leadership now comes naturally for him:

“Talking to players doesn’t bother me at all. Do some one-on-one talks and then you feel more comfortable doing it as a group. I can also give the coaches my opinion at the time, the sense of what everyone is going through.”

On expectations for Campbell:

“Bruce is going to be dominant. They don’t have him preseason anything, but at the end of the season at least first-team all-acc tackle.”

On how much responsibility falls on his shoulders:

“We’re underrated. We have two good players who have played before. I feel confident in these guys. I really do take it personally. We’ll move up the rankings each game. If we mess up, that’s my fault. If I do well and Bruce does well and another guy messes up, it’s all for nothing.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  August 18, 2009; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Weather Interrupts Tuesday Practice


Costa makes the right comments, inspires a bit of confidence for me.

barno - nice point on "If we had played and beaten Duke the last 5 years" on the earlier thread. I think you are right, every conference has a patsy (ok, the BE has a lot of patsy teams) and MD was denied its patsy for half a decade.

Posted by: HughGRection | August 18, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the o-line could be a strength in a few years with guys like Campbell and the 2 Petes (White and Desouza - sp?). I really hope this year is the start because the rest of the offense is set.

Posted by: TerpFan2001 | August 18, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Pete Desouza is going to kill people. He's about the biggest human I've ever seen, plus a really good dude. Go terps!

Posted by: settleten | August 18, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

prima donna

Posted by: Terps247 | August 19, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

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