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Terps DC Don Brown: 'We're starting to figure it out'

I asked Don Brown, Maryland’s defensive coordinator, to give an honest assessment of the defense at the midpoint of the season. Like everything with this Maryland team, it remains a work in progress. But there are signs of improvement. It has generally played well against the run. Brown said linemen like A.J. Francis and Zach Kerr “ate dirt” as they learned on the fly last season. They are making progress this season.

(Coach Ralph Friedgen said one issue is that the defense has started slowly this season. Against Clemson, there were two early blown assignments and Maryland was fortunate it did not lead to a touchdown on Clemson’s first drive.)

Back to Brown, he said last season the unit focused on installing blitzes, etc, during the week. Now, it is at the point where “we are game-planning each week. We’re looking at opponents and saying ‘This is what they do well. Let’s take it away.’”

Brown sees progress.

“We’re starting to practice with a purpose every week the last two weeks,” he said. “It has kind of been what you think it is going to be. Guys are executing and doing things like you think they would. You look at the scheme and go this should happen and this is what’s happening. I think we’re just starting to figure it out.

“The one thing is we’re just so --- it’s not an excuse, it’s reality – we’re still so damn young in several spots that guys are continuing to get better every time they go to practice. I don’t know where the ceiling is going to be. As I told you before, I think we have our warts, but we’re trying to work around those and play to our guys’ strengths and minimize weaknesses as best we can.”

Brown also offered his thoughts on the significance of the Boston College game, which can’t be overstated. This is a big one for a Maryland team that has dropped 10 straight road games.

“This is obviously an important effort,” he said. “Being on the road is a huge challenge. We’ve got to break through on this road thing. I mean, this is an important game for us.”

By Eric Prisbell  | October 21, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: Will Maryland be able to run the ball against Boston College?


Hey! How about trying to win ALL our games...geez these simpletons think it is some kind of moral victory to win an away it would be ok if we beat Duke on the road but WVU came to CP and destroyed us....I, as a fan. am not going to be happy getting to 6 wins (and going to the OliveGarden Never Ending Pasta Bowl) on the back of crappy teams like Duke, FIU, Morgan State, BC and Wake Forest if it means we keep getting blown into the weeds by real teams....wake up Ralph or get out of town!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | October 21, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Why does it take a year and a half to install a defense at this level? Brown's assertion that they were not able to do any gameplanning last season just goes to show how incompetent this coaching staff has been on far too many occassions. Don Brown is full of baloney about this defense, and they have been getting fortunate all season in their "bend but don't break" philosophy. There are some supremely talented players on this defense (Tate, Hartsfield, Moten, Woujiak, and Perez), but this defense continues to muddle in this confusing and terrible scheme.

If they're approaching a "finished product" on the defensive side of the ball, I'm ready to see another makeover with a new DC.

Posted by: Russtinator | October 21, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

'starting to figure it out', I would hope so.. Let us know when they have it 'figured out', then we'll be going somewhere...

Posted by: frostanna | October 21, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Starting to figure it out after getting blown out by Clemson?

Posted by: SirPelleas | October 22, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

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