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Franklin: Terps' Quarterbacks Have to Be 'Tough Suckers'

It's no secret that quarterback Chris Turner has been a little banged up in recent weeks. He and Coach Ralph Friedgen have grudgingly acknowledged it at times, but Turner is the last person who wants to make excuses for inconsistent play. He also will not blame his offensive line, which is a work in progress, to say the least.

But Friedgen on Sunday said Turner has been “skittish” because of the pressure; he has been sacked 14 times so far and hurried many, many other occasions. Offensive coordinator James Franklin said he has been talking to all the quarterbacks about the need to hang in the pocket, even though pressure – or a hit – may be coming.

“They just have to be tough suckers,” he said. “They have to be so mentally and physically tough that they are going to do their job despite the odds. They are going to follow their training despite the odds. I don’t care if on first down they get sacked and on second down they get sacked. If it is third down and the guy’s open, he can’t start moving around the pocket or be looking at the rush and doing those things.”

Franklin later said it is natural to become a little skittish with relentless pressure by the defense.

“I think it is natural, as human beings, there is a self-preservation. You start to change things. Instead of just dropping back and going through your progressions and doing things you are trained to do. We saw it last year at Virginia and last year with Florida State. Chris is a tough guy. He will stay in there and do the things he has to do to be successful.”

How worried are you that the pressure on Turner will start to take more of a toll on his physical condition?

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 30, 2009; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Comments

Maybe Franklin can be a little more helpful to Turner by mixing up the playcalling, especially if weather conditions deteriorate. Against Rutgers, the Terps had a 13-10 halftime lead, and Franklin comes out of the locker room trying to throw the ball all over the place as the rain came pelting down. I know we had lost Baltz for the rest of the game, but a three-and-out is certainly better than an INT and WAY better than a fumble in the endzone for a TD.

There has not been much criticism of the playcalling during the Rutgers game, but I think that is what really killed the Terps last week. We have two very good running backs, yet if they fail on a first down run, it seems like it takes 5-8 plays before Franklin comes back to a run. There was no reason for the Terps to be chucking the ball all over the field in the pouring rain with a 3-point lead, or even when they were down 4 in at the start of the 4th quarter.

Rutgers had a very conservative game plan, and stuck with it knowing that the field conditions would worsen throughout the game. The Terps did a good job of mixing up the playcalling in the first half, but as conditions got worse, we seemed to throw the ball more. Heck, even a few QB draws could have loosened up that defense, but Franklin thought he could outgun Rutgers despite the weather. Obviously the Terps couldn't, and the defense finally gave up at the end of the game giving up those two late long TD runs.

Franklin needs to answer some questions about his playcalling (it's been inconsistant ALL SEASON), and whether he is taking into account the potential for another soaker on Saturday against Clemson.

Posted by: Russtinator | September 30, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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