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Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 12/23/2010

A weekend full of answer-seeking phone calls for many Maryland players

By Steve Yanda

Maryland senior linebacker Adrian Moten and the rest of the Terrapins got to go home for a few days last weekend, though it didn't end up being an entirely stress-free and relaxing respite.

On Friday, it became clear that there were a lot of questions that needed to be answered regarding the Maryland football program. Among the main queries: Who, exactly was going to coach the team in the Military Bowl on Dec. 29?

This was the question Moten kept asking as he made phone call after phone call to teammates, coaches and anyone else who might possess the answer. For a while, no answer could be found.

"It was pretty crazy," Moten said.

As it turned out, Ralph Friedgen will coach the team's 13th game this season. But it will be his final game at Maryland's helm. Athletic Director Kevin Anderson announced Monday that Friedgen will be fired, effective Jan. 2.

"As big a decision as it is for Mr. Anderson to make, it’s been Coach Friedgen’s lifestyle the past 10 years, his family’s lifestyle," junior wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "It’s definitely a big change. There’s a lot that goes into it besides just going out and competing, the Xs and Os and being around us. It’s definitely tough on (Friedgen), but I think he’s handled it the best anyone could in his situation."

Here are some other players' thoughts on Friedgen's firing and its ensuing fallout:

Redshirt freshman Danny O'Brien: "Everyone’s got their opinions, but I think as it is kind of settling in, people are collecting themselves and coming to the realization that we have a game to play. And we want to send Coach Friedgen out the right way, with a win, which would be the best way to do it, to be 9-4 and have a chance to be in the top 25, which was one of our goals at the beginning of the season."

Senior linebacker Adrian Moten: "Basically, they talk about not giving you another contract or not trying to negotiate you another contract, that’s hard to face ... I feel for him. He’s a great coach."

Smith: "I came here to play for him. I didn’t come here to play for anyone else. It’s definitely tough. And that’s the case for a lot of players. You come here to play for a coach and play for a program. At the same time, you have to represent the school. They make the executive decisions, and you have to kind of live with it. It’s definitely tough when you come in to play for a certain group of coaches, and the next day, they’re not there. But it’s a business, so I understand it."

Senior linebacker Alex Wujciak on who the program's next coach might be: "Obviously, everyone’s heard Mike Leach. Who knows what’s going to happen? That’s something that we can’t even control, so you might as well not even worry about it."

By Steve Yanda  | December 23, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Next: DC Don Brown: 'I know I've got a lot of good football in me'


These are all thoughtful answers and they speak well for our players. Just another reason to support them next week. There are plenty of players in the NFL who do not show the polish of these young men when they engage the media. DOB once again stands out.

Posted by: petecard | December 23, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Definitely. Danny has the leadership gene.

Posted by: jake177 | December 23, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

No BBall TI so I am asking the question on this thread...

What is going on with Parker? 2 games ago, he got 0 mins and last night with us leading by 40 he played 4....surprising to say the he having trouble adjusting? Doesnt he play hard in practice? Do you think hes thinking of leaving?

Posted by: TerpfanMA | December 23, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Funny how certain posters on here have been claiming that Friedgen is such a terrible recruiter and that all our good recruits came to play only because of Franklin or Locksley.

Torrey Smith is the best Terps offensive player in the Friedgen era, in my opinion. He says: "I came here to play for Friedgen. I didn’t come here to play for anyone else. It’s definitely tough.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 23, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@ TerpfanMA

Landon Milbourne had a similar freshman year. I wouldn't worry, he'll get his minutes at some point.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute! Barno just gave a respectful answer to TerpFanMA's question! It must be the holiday season, with peace on earth, goodwill towards men.

It says a lot about a coach when your players stand up for you the way this team has. Not only have they shown their love for their coach, but they also know the right things to say to the press and handle themselves with dignity and poise.

I remember Joe Krivak's last year at MD. The school gave him a contract extension after one winning season (which in hindsight was a bad idea). The next year the Terps tanked. Many of those players admitted that they gave up on their coach so they deliberately lost games or didn't give any effort. The lack of leadership on that team was so obvious that MD had no choice but to let Krivak go.

Part of the reason why I thought Fridge deserved another chance after going 2-10 last year was that despite the poor showing on some games, they showed determination in almost every game. With the exception of a couple of games like Cal, the Terps lost by a close margin. They could have easily been 8-4 instead of 2-10. They were a young team last year, so they were going to take their lumps. But they didn't quit. They didn't blame the coach. Leadership speaks volumes when you win or lose. The men that fought through 2-10 made it to 8-4 and one game away from making the ACC Championship because they had a coach who didn't give up on them and who didn't give up on their coach.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | December 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

TerpfanMA has been respectful as well lately. Treat someone with respect and you'll get it in return. Except PoopyMcPoop.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 23, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Barno-Don't know who else to ask but you seemed to be well connected at MD. Who is on the search group for the new coach and did they hire some firm to help in the search. I seem to recall that Anderson said that all of this would take place this past Monday, right after he announced that RF was leaving. Since then there has been nothing posted or mentioned about this.

Posted by: fellowfan | December 23, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

OOPS Barno- Just saw the Sunpaper blog that lists the members and that Pat Richter is involved. Seems he has a past history with Anderson.

Posted by: fellowfan | December 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

OOPS Barno- Just saw the Sunpaper blog that lists the members and that Pat Richter is involved. Seems he has a past history with Anderson.

Posted by: fellowfan | December 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Who's this poopy guy?

Posted by: DixonTheDog | December 24, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

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