Brown: Defense lacked execution, communication early
Don Brown, Maryland’s defensive coordinator, is nothing if not blunt. It’s refreshing. He will assume responsibility for mistakes, credit players who deserve it and give you a no-nonsense assessment of an opponent. My favorite quote from a near 20-minute chat with Brown yesterday (along with other reporters):
“Morgan State, we did a number on them from a points standpoint. Agreed?” Brown said. “But we executed. You put the tape on and you’re going, ‘That’s right, that’s right, that’s right, that’s right.’ Here in the first quarter [against West Virginia] you put the tape on and you’re going, ‘What in the hell are you doing? What are you doing? And what are you doing?’ That’s the thing that is difficult. We went from executing to not executing, just for periods of time.”
He exhaled a deep sigh.
“I don’t have a great answer, I wish I did,” Brown said. “I really wish I had a better answer, but I’m giving you an honest answer.”
The first half of the 31-17 loss at West Virginia was an unmitigated disaster for Brown’s defense. West Virginia amassed 345 yards on 48 plays. Maryland was fortunate to trail only 21-0.
“Execution, communication all critical elements to success,” Brown said. “And we did neither in the first quarter ... We still have some warts. But we played hard for 60 minutes. I am very pleased with that piece.”
Running back Noel Devine had a 50-yard run in the first quarter that Brown felt really “unsettled” his defense. And what seemed to bother Brown the most was West Virginia’s seven-play, 62-yard drive at the start of the second quarter. On third and 17 from the Maryland 26, quarterback Geno Smith hooked up with Stedman Bailey for a touchdown pass.
“The drive we gave up in the second quarter, that was not good,” Brown said. “We had them in third and long. That was not good. And a big part of that was communication.”
Brown listed all of his key players and offered a brief comment on each. Many players are still young, he said, but there are no excuses.
“The reality is we are playing a lot of young guys still,” Brown said. “I look at Drew Gloster, first time in a big game even though he is a fifth-year senior. Joe Vellano, first time in a big game. Justin Anderson, first time in a big game. [Adrian] Moten, [Alex] Wujciak played well, they have been in big games. [Demetrius] Hartsfield, been in big games. [Cameron] Chism, I didn’t think had his best day. [Trenton] Hughes did not play well early then settled down and played well later. [Antwine] Perez did not play well. [Kenny] Tate played pretty well. If you ask those guys, I think they’d be accountable and tell you the exact same thing.”
Maryland ‘s defense was on the field for more than 80 plays for the second time in three weeks. That can’t continue.
| September 22, 2010; 12:36 PM ET
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