Tate Shines in New-Look Defense
There has been so much talk about how opponents will have a difficult time preparing for Maryland’s new-look defense because it is so different. And, for a number of reasons, the defense befuddled Maryland’s offense throughout most of Saturday’s scrimmage.
“Defensively we are playing very well,” Coach Ralph Friedgen said. “We have a lot of speed. I feel good about where we are defensively.”
First-year defensive coordinator Don Brown’s defense will include a multitude of blitzes and creative looks designed to confuse offenses. It worked Saturday, when Friedgen said offensive players “started seeing all these blitzes and all these guys running around. Then they are hesitant about who to block. And they are not very aggressive. I tell them, ‘Be aggressive. If you make a mistake, you make a mistake. If you don’t hit anybody, it doesn’t matter if you know who to block or not.”
Perhaps no one has thrived in the defense as much so far as safety Kenny Tate. He seems to be making an interception almost every practice, and he had one – to go along with five tackles – in the scrimmage.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Tate said. “It’s very confusing. It just looks like chaos sometimes. But there is a purpose for everything. You might not know what is going on, but when you finally sit down and look at all the details, you’re like, ‘Oh, that makes a lot of sense.’ ”
“Coach Brown has a thing about playing fast,” Tate added. “If you’re not playing fast, he’s a little upset.”
On Friday, I asked Friedgen if he is getting an early sense how difficult this defense will be for offenses to prepare for. He paused and said: “It’s different. It’s got some good stuff. It’s tough to pick up.”
Friedgen later added, “He blitzes about every other play.”
You get the feeling the coaches and players are very excited about what this defense can do.
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