Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Terps' Burning Questions

Heather Dinich, who covers the ACC on ESPN.com with a very up to date blog, answers three burning questions about the Terps heading into the 2008 season.

"1. How will the ongoing battle at quarterback affect the team chemistry?
This is a similar situation to what's going on at Virginia Tech, and who knows, maybe Friedgen will play both Jordan Steffy and Chris Turner in situations that play to each of their strengths. Regardless of what happens, they both have reason to believe it's their job. Steffy looked legitimately good this spring, but Turner proved he was more than capable last year when Steffy suffered a concussion.

2. How much more productive will the offense be under first-year coordinator James Franklin?
This was a smart hire because Franklin recruited half the players he's now coaching, and his addition to the staff allows Friedgen the luxury of being the head coach without having to worry about calling the plays. Look for Franklin to throw more deep balls this season and for receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to catch them.

3. How important is this season for Friedgen?
Maryland has had three losing seasons in the past four years. No wonder the local media isn't chipping at the lock on the gate to see spring practice. In 2006, the Terps beat Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl, but that was their lone bowl win since the 2003 Gator Bowl. The athletic department is heavily invested in stadium renovation and trying to sell luxury suites. Somehow, though, (namely a sweet contract and a metro audience where the Ravens, Redskins, Orioles and Nats divert some of the attention) Friedgen has escaped the hot seat. "

Heather was a guest on the Steak, Crab, & Curry Show last Spring and the interview can be heard on our podcast. The podcast is available for download on iTunes.

You can also read the ACC Blog by Heather here.

**Also, on the blog, Heather broke down the power rankings of the ACC:

The Terps were ranked 4th with the description "The Terps could be this year's darkhorse, as Ralph Friedgen made a smart off-season hire in offensive coordinator James Franklin and has playmakers with the potential to flourish in the West Coast offense. The key will be how he uses -- not appeases -- his quarterbacks."

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