Posts Tagged ‘Don Brown


How Is the Football Team Spending its Bye Week?

Ever wondered what football players and coaches do during the bye week? Specifically wondering about the Maryland football team, who after consecutive losses to UVA and Duke now finds itself at 2-6 and nearly becoming the universal pick for worst team in the ACC?

Well, wonder no more. Through our inside sources, Shell Games has provided this exclusive update on coach and player bye week activities. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

— Chris Turner: Shivering in a Simi Valley irrigation ditch

— James Franklin: Shivering in the film room

— Don Brown: Shivering in the bar room

— Ralph Friedgen: Shivering beneath an Old Country Buffet steam table

— Demetrius Hartsfield: Shivering in a training room hot tub

— Entire offensive line: Shivering through inspirational visit to spackle factory

— Anthony Wiseman and Cameron Chism: Shivering. Just shivering. So dark. So very, very dark.

— Da’rel Scott and Davin Meggett: Carrying footballs along the beach. Sipping cold drinks out of football-
     shaped glasses. Clutching stuffed footballs in sleep. Shivering.

— Nick Ferrara: Long Island. Banging.

— Travis Baltz: Saving shivering children from trees

— Torrey Smith: A whirlwind tour of the country, stopping in Oakland, Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis…
     you know, just for shits and giggles.


Terps Defense Needs a Hug, Alcohol


My name is Don Brown. I’m from Quincy, Mass. I don’t have any hobbies, but I do like to get >beeeep< after a victory on Saturday night.

–Don Brown, Terrapins Rising

Great quote, Don. After all, who doesn’t like to get beeped after a Terps W? Sometimes, I like to get so beeped I can’t even beep. However, I have a feeling he might have been downing quite a few mini bottles on the flight back from Oakland following the season-opening dismantling at Cal.

To further what is likely an inappropriate motif here on this back-to-work Tuesday, Patrick Stevens over at D1scourse has a rather sobering breakdown of Brown’s Maryland debut. It’s enough to make you want to hurl. Not since 2001 have the Terps given up 500 yards in one game, and only once in that time have they given up more than 40 points. Eight Cal plays alone racked up 300 yards. This signals that Brown’s attacking style kinda, sorta didn’t work at all. If you’re gonna send the blitz from all positions and angles, you’ve got to a) consistently make big plays in the backfield, and/or b) keep enough guys in the secondary area to put up some kind of “defense” against the home run. If you’re gonna try to confuse the offense with your super-complicated packages, it’s probably a good idea for the executors of said packages to not also be confused.

Also, what happened to all those big, big stars we were supposed to have? Where was highly touted D-line replacement A.J. Francis? Oh, he was invisible? But his training camp interviews were so colorful! He wants to be a rapper omg I can’t believe it that’s so cool. What didn’t translate for the redshirt freshman? He must be secretly injured. Even more surprisingly, though, was the absence of Nolan Carroll, our fifth-year senior and supposed leader in the secondary. Oh, was that him eating Jahvid Best’s road exhaust on the opening touchdown? At least he was on the screen. I didn’t see Alex Wujciak once. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Wujciak is the key. I’ll leave it at that.

At this point, let me add the disclaimers — just one game, hindsight’s 20-20, it’s a new scheme, this was the best team on the sked, it’s a young group learning on the fly. But after this meltdown, it’s clear that the defense is not just “a few plays away.” No. They need to work. So for the sake of Terp livers everywhere, get to it! James Madison — beatable, but no pushover — looms.

(Photo credit: Tony Avelar/AP)


Maryland football: a quick season primer

I can’t believe the Terps’ first game is this Saturday. Where does the time go? Ahh, Summer. She is a many-splendoured but a flighty mistress. Will there ever be one who can tame her?

Time to stop talking about the back-up long snapper battle in the spring scrimmage. Time to start talking about the real players and the real games. Maryland out-gutted Cal last year at Byrd…we’ll see if they can do it again this year in Berkeley. I’m glad we’re starting the season with a tough test…it will be a good barometer. Now, I could be wrong — it’s happened once or twice before — but I have a good feeling about this football team. I like them.

There are uncertainties, but those uncertainties are also known quantities. In other words, I think we all know what we don’t know. The offensive line and the defensive line are both green and highly suspect. The O-line doesn’t even have two starting guards right now, with the one sure guard position manned by Andrew Gonnella, a walk-on—a walk-on with an inspiring story, but a walk-on nonetheless.

No one has emerged at place kicker or tight end. The team lost 30 seniors. They’re young in a lot of places. People aren’t expecting much of us. This ground is well trod.

But despite all this, I think they’re strong and deep in a lot of good areas. Da’rel Scott leads a talented RB corps that could make up for a lack of proven road graders on the interior of the line. The wide receivers are young, but they’re frisky and they’re deep. Ditto the secondary. Alex Wujciak is absolutely the key to the defense and leads what could be a solid group of linebackers–if he can stay healthy, and if Don “Attacking Style” Brown’s blitz packages can confound other teams the way they confounded their own during offseason scrimmages. By all accounts, the defense is much improved. And of course, back on offense, there’s Chris Turner. He’ll play a Steve Blake-type role here…the straw that stirs the drink. Putting his wideouts in a position to make plays.

So basically, if the lines can just be decent, the Terps can be good. There’s your season storyline.

Crazily, the Terps are a 22-point underdog at Cal — the team THEY BEAT LAST YEAR. Someone get my bookie on the phone.

Can’t wait for the season…I’M FREAKING OUT!!!!


Terrapins Rising Recap: Episode 7


The excitement is starting to build as Terrapins Rising moves from spring practices to summer training camp, meaning these episodes were filmed just weeks (or days) ago.  It’s a great time of year, baby!

In this very special episode, we see some amusing home footage from senior d-lineman Charlie Villanueva  Sam Cassell Jared Harrell. New players and coaches introduced themselves to the team, with the highlight being D-coordinator Don Brown’s observation that “I don’t have any hobbies, but I do like to get BEEEEEEEEP after a victory on Saturday.”   All right!   I also like to get beeeeeeep.

Another cool moment — maybe the coolest of the season — showed about 10 seconds of an actual pregame sideline, with the crowd chanting that “oh-oh-oh-OH-oh” song and the players about to lose their minds from the adrenaline. It was only 10 seconds. But I think I actually had to stand up off the couch, I got so pumped. That’s saying something.

But here’s where it went downhill.  The rest of the episode was bascially one big commercial. Now before you call me a communist or Hitler or whatever, let me say that I understand the promotional aspect of this program.  That’s the price CSN pays for its access.  I like Under Armour as much as the next guy.  I know we all gotta make this money. But I do think this episode got a little carried away.

First, some athletic department suit gives us a “tour” of the new luxury boxes, which we all know have been such a rousing success. I wonder if this little “tour” would have happened if the boxes were sold out.   This wasn’t even the worst part, though.  They spent a whole segment, or close to it, discussing Ralph Friedgen’s weight loss. And hey, the man lost 105 pounds. I take my hat off.  Seriously, that’s incredible.  But then he started talking about this great diet company he hooked up with, and how he can eat the food he wants, and how it fits with his lifestyle, and etc.  They even interviewed the diet company guy — wearing his gay diet company logo-emblazoned golf shirt, no less — who was all like “[Diet company name redacted] was just so happy that our delicious line of entrees were able to” blah blah blah.  What?  But the coup d’etat was 10 solid seconds of Ralph eating one of the diet company bars. Just sitting at his desk. Eating the bar and smiling with chocolate all in his teeth. That airtime could have contained something interesting. But no.  Had to get the pitch in.  Sure, Fridge!  No prob, we’ll do it for ya!  What angle should we film you at while you’re eating the bar?  Before you eat it all, can we do an interview with the remnants of the bar? That’d be an awesome get.

Bottom line:  at this time of year, I believe they should be trying to get us fans as pumped up as possible for the season.  Because in the end, isn’t that the best sales pitch of them all?  Word up.

(Photo credit:  Well, I took it, but the image was from Comcast SportsNet)


Training camp’s got me all buzzy


This season’s training camp in College Park is a little like Lenny Dykstra’s bankruptcy. It’s intriguing, it’s kind of exciting, and at the moment, it’s raising a lot more questions than it’s answering. But unlike Nails, we’re not ready to “do the 11” on Maryland’s prospects just yet. For truly, as Terphed indicates, now is when hope springs eternal. There’s a buzz in the air. And anyone who knows me knows that I will stop at nothing to catch that buzz.

It’s evident where the question marks are: Can the offensive and defensive lines (lost four and six guys, respectively) solidify? Can feature back Da’rel Scott keep the momentum he gained, lost, and regained last season? Can linebacker Alex Wujciak be a real, honest-to-goodness star? Will Chris Turner “Lay it Down,” or will it be more of the old “Round and Round?” Can punter Travis Baltz use his heat-ray vision to melt those defenders who would rise against us? Can punter Travis Baltz also kick extra points and field goals? How can a D-1 school have so much difficulty finding a decent place kicker?

But let us not ponder these areas. Now is a time for optimism. Without further ado, the upsides:

— Punter Travis Baltz. He’s on the Ray Guy Award watch list. I can’t even see him no more. The air is just too rarefied.

— Offensive skill position players. Da’rel Scott coming off a 1,133-yard season including a 174-yard, two-touchdown A-bomb on Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl. The receivers are young, but Torrey Smith, Ronny Tyler, and Adrian Cannon could lead an underrated attack. Lansford Watson might become a receiving threat at tight end.

— Secondary. Hello! I’m Nolan Carroll. You might remember me from such projects as “2006: The Year I Was A Mediocre Receiver.” But after that season, I switched to the other side of the ball, toiled my way up through the special teams ranks, and am now a heat-seeking missile in the Terps’ defensive backfield. If you watch “Terrapins Rising,” you know that. If you don’t, please learn that. Anthony Wiseman is at the other corner slot. Terrell Skinner, Jamari McCollough, Kenny Tate (who also switched from wideout), and Antwine Perez comprise a rock-solid safety corps.

— D-coordinator Don Brown. He’s got a bunch of crazy blitz schemes and plays an aggressive style and what not. Sounds like a good d-coordinator to me.

So there you go. I’m sure I missed some, but whatever. I’m not a scout, nor do I play one on my blog. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out…between the white lines….of BATTLE!

(Photo credit:


Getting back into the “spring” of things with Terps red-white game

Dear Mom and Cousin Merle,

Sorry we’ve been away for a while. Spring is like the deadest time on the college sports calendar (unless you count summer). At least we have good company…Terrapins Insider hasn’t posted for three weeks. Does that make you feel better, Terphed?

But anyway we’re back and we’re gonna try to keep it rolling. And if we can’t, we’ll call you, tell you why. For God’s sake if a doctor can do it then why can’t we?!?!?

And what’s more, there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on right now. No really. Because what says exciting more than the football team’s annual red-white game, set for this Saturday? Did someone say position battles? Boom. And you thought we were settled at Tight End. Come on, son. You don’t have to go through life so oblivious. Also remember that we have a new D-coordinator in Don Brown. Can’t wait to see him unleash all the crazy new schemes he will surely have prepared for his own offense.

Logic is annihilated during the annual red-white game, when brother faces brother in the ultimate fake test of wills.

Logic is annihilated during the annual red-white game, when brother faces brother in the ultimate fake test of wills.

The game happens at the end of Maryland Day, when us alums and fans look out over Route 1 and survey that which we have wrought, and determine that it is good. So think of the red-white game as the climax of this event…it’s like the part during Burning Man where they burn the man. I bet the house on White this year. Go White! Daddy needs a new pair of everything.

(Photo credit: Yuchen Nie — The Diamondback)


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May 2020