Friedgen: 'God, give us a damn chance'
Some highlights from an entertaining session with Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen yesterday:
“The mood of the team is frustrated, but I haven't seen it affect their effort. It's more of a 'let's get it right.' It's been a very physical week and not by design by me. I mean, there's been shots taken and given. I think we're mad right now, so we'll see how it works out. I think we're playing faster than we've played before. This is the first week I've seen us at a faster tempo.
“I bring linemen in here and meet with them for two hours a day, some of our young linemen. Just like an extra tutoring session. I had Nick Klemm in today, and he's going to be a good player, but he missed all of training camp, and he's missing assignments. You say, 'Why do you spend an hour and a half with Nick Klemm?' Well, I'm preparing for the worst-case scenario because it seems to be happening to me every time I look around. You know, we're two injuries away from Nick Klemm playing. If all of the sudden he gets in the game and doesn't know what he's doing, whose fault is that? It's like I told Nick, 'We'd like to redshirt you this year, but I can't guarantee that, and you have to put the time in to learn this stuff because, you know, you may have to play.' And I said, 'Worst-case scenario, or best-case scenario: We don't play you. You're going to be that much further ahead when spring practice comes along.' You know, a lot of these kids just need some individual time. When they're in a group, it's a little bit different because we're coaching everybody, but when I'm sitting here and on my screen I'm saying What do you do here? What's the call here? What's the front here? You got to know it. Tell me. Obviously you don't know it like you gotta know it [snapping his fingers]. You got to know it like this. ... I'm trying to do everything I can to help get these kids ready to play and to speed up their maturation point as fast as I can.
“You know, when you really think about this and you really look at it logically, okay, we're losing games because we're turning the ball over, but we're playing these teams, okay, and even Duke is a senior team, with freshmen and hanging in there with them. And if we don't turn the ball over, we'll win these games, and then everything's going to be looking a whole lot different than it does right now. But when I sit back and say, you know, we're making some progress, we just -- maybe we'll have a game where we don't have any turnovers and I'll pass out. God, give us a damn chance, you know? And I lost this week because we had a damn turnover. You know, I just, I'm getting to the point where if I'm watching tape of somebody else and they fumble, I get this electric shock that shoots up my back. And when they threw the interception for a touchdown, I just screamed out loud: 'Noooooooo!' [Yes, he legitimately screamed during the chat.] You laugh; it ain't damn funny. It kills me, you know? Why can't we tip a ball and let it fall into our guy's hands? Why can't that happen for us? When's it gonna change? I've been rolling sevens, er, craps for a long time here.”
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