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Deadspin Piece On The Terps

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On 11/14/2017 at 8:19 AM, birdwatcher55 said:

I see him leaving ..building his brand at a higher level program as an assistant. Personally I think we are way in over our heads in the Big Ten and have felt that way since we left the ACC. Every year I see us struggling to be 7-5 at best. Perhaps time will prove me wrong but right now I don't see much progress or improvement over the previous regime.

You think he's going to leave to go back to being the DC at a school like Michigan?  Why did he ever leave them to begin with if that's the case?

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16 hours ago, birdwatcher55 said:

He's 6-7 and likely 4-8 out of the gate here. Coaching here in Big Ten seems like shoveling sand against the ocean. It's going to be a struggle. Just my two cents.

 

But that's about what even a good coach would be or someone that wasn't "in over his head" would be out of the gate.  MD was in need of a huge rebuild. 

I'm not aware of many coaches that voluntarily quit P5 jobs so they can go be a coordinator somewhere.  And that's because it doesn't have much of a purpose.  Durkin is not going to be Kirby Smart.  He's not going to be Jimbo Fisher.  He's not going to go from coordinator to major P5 job.  He's just not regarded as that good of a defensive mind. 

So why go back to a place like Michigan or Florida?  So he can build up his reputation and end up right back where he currently is?  A middle of the road P5 job?  He's exactly where he would 5 years from now, except 5 years older. 

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12 hours ago, birdwatcher55 said:

I don't see him staying here for the duration of his contract. And if he's not as you say a " good defensive mind" then what is he? 

I didn't say he wasn't a "good" defensive mind, I said he wasn't regarded as "that good" of a defensive mind, in comparison to somebody like Kirby Smart, that was regarded as an elite defensive coordinator. Or Jimbo, who was regarded as an elite offensive coordinator.
Durkin was seen as a good defensive mind, that was young, energetic, an elite recruiter.  Teams have built their programs around far worse before. 
And I have no problem with saying Durkin won't be here for the duration of his contract, if you're saying he will be fired at some point.  Most coaches end up fired.  But the idea that he is going to voluntarily quit to go back to being a coordinator is crazy.  There are no examples of a coach doing that.

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On 11/18/2017 at 1:45 PM, birdwatcher55 said:

Next year will be a make or break season for him. If he puts up another 4-8 season, he will be history. Right now I just don't see much progress with this program, 5th string QB talk aside.

You're just putting too much emphasis on the on-field product at this point.  It takes time to build up a program that is as irrelevant as this one.

Looking at the schedule before the season, most predicted 6-7 wins at max.  That was prior to losing their top 2 QBs and best defensive player in the first 3 weeks.  They don't have the depth yet to overcome things like that.  Bortenschlager's not a bad QB, but the offense they're trying to run needs a mobile QB to work effectively.  I'm convinced this team would have shown real progress with Pigrome or Hill at QB.

Durkin's done a good job recruiting.  He still needs to prove that he can coach them up, but you can't judge that right now because he's bringing a knife to a gun fight.  It's going to take patience and some growing pains.  

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Like I said, I'm not all in on Durkin.  There are some things, even with the roster disadvantages he has, that concern me.  But it's just impossible to fully judge his ability to coach right now.  

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Right now Maryland's most pressing issue is getting thrown around on the lines. They look like rag dolls getting mauled by a pack of dogs against most of the teams in the Big 10. They can't have a good strength and conditioning program. At least not one that is on par with most other schools in our conference. Not saying they need to get rid of anyone. Just fix it Maryland! Control what you can control.

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4 hours ago, OsEatAlEast said:

Right now Maryland's most pressing issue is getting thrown around on the lines. They look like rag dolls getting mauled by a pack of dogs against most of the teams in the Big 10. They can't have a good strength and conditioning program. At least not one that is on par with most other schools in our conference. Not saying they need to get rid of anyone. Just fix it Maryland! Control what you can control.

The concerning thing here is that the O-line should be good.  There's a lot of highly-ranked recruits on that line, including some with some experience.

Losing Pigrome and Hill was such a killer, because it's so hard to evaluate Walt Bell.  The offense he wants to run needs the QB to be a running threat.  I truly think that the offense would have shown significant progress this year, but it's hard to know for sure.

The defensive line, on the other hand, was hopeless.

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1 hour ago, glenn__davis said:

The concerning thing here is that the O-line should be good.  There's a lot of highly-ranked recruits on that line, including some with some experience.

 

This is sort of the point I was getting at. They have players that should be good. But they get shoved around and pushed aside almost as fast as if they weren't there.

Maybe it's something as simple as blocking scheme. Gary Kubiak proved to me you can do wonders with an undersized line with the right scheme. He did it for years with the Broncos.

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7 hours ago, OsEatAlEast said:

This is sort of the point I was getting at. They have players that should be good. But they get shoved around and pushed aside almost as fast as if they weren't there.

Maybe it's something as simple as blocking scheme. Gary Kubiak proved to me you can do wonders with an undersized line with the right scheme. He did it for years with the Broncos.

Is chop blocking legal in college football?.

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1 hour ago, birdwatcher55 said:

I'm not an alumni but if I was I would be totally embarrassed after yesterday. This program seems massively in over its head trying to compete in football in the BIg Ten. And to keep blaming injuries on two QBs for being 4-8 is ludicrous. Good programs recruit good backups. Injuries are part of the game. Ironically Durkin was brought here as a defensive mastermind and that just hasn't translated on the field. These defenses over the past three years have been beyond atrocious. I'm sure Durkin is not going anywhere but those assistants need to be cleaned out at the very least.

They have only been there for 1 full recruiting class.  And QB is probably the most difficult position to recruit instant impact guys.  You saw that with LSU this year.  You saw that with Miami play out on Friday.  Danny Etling was a Purdue recruit.  How is he starting at LSU, especially with a borderline 5* true freshman backing him up?  Well, true freshmen aren't ready to play QB. You need somebody with some experience in the system.  How the hell is Malik Rosier starting for Miami?  Dude didn't have as single FBS offer coming out of high school besides Miami.  Well, the only other QB on the team with any time in the system, also didn't have a single FBS offer coming out of high school.  And the 4* true freshman Richt recruited with his first full recruiting class, just isn't ready, because he's a true freshman. 

It takes a LOT of time to build up depth at QB.  It's not like RB or WR where every recruiting class is filled with just add water ready guys if you can land them.
And MD is NEVER going to be that type of program that is deep across the board.  If that is your expectation, you're going to be disappointed with every coach. 
MD, at best, is going to be a school that lands seven to 9 4* players a recruiting cycle, and its 2 deep largely consists of those guys with a few 3 stars thrown in.  In a year where a high % of those 4* players pan out, they make a run if they can avoid injuries.  But the recruiting is never going to be at the level where they just send waves of talent at you. 

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I can't say I watch College football or follow the Terps closely.  I can say that from my seat in casually following land that it seems like every year the Terps end up starting their fourth string QB at some point.

I'd worry about the offensive line first.

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I will say this.  By next season, I think we can start to make a determination about whether a "recruiting staff" was the way to go. 
I remember discussing with a poster how difficult a job it is to recruit in the state.  And the administration and Durkin clearly agreed with me.  The hired a coach that had more of a recruiting reputation than an Xs and Os reputation.  Durkin then hired a lot of young, energetic guys that didn't have much of a reputation in terms of on field production in their respective area.  This was a staff built around one thing:  locking down the state of Maryland in recruiting. 
There are some early signs that maybe they went TOO much on the recruiting side.  I'm not ready to definitively say that, I'll give them until next season when the talent level should be good enough for decent production.  But there is some concern.

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12 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

Is chop blocking legal in college football?.

It wasn't really legal in the NFL then either but I guess you could if you could get away with it. At least you might with the refs they had in the Penn St. game. They didn't see much of anything.

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16 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

I can't say I watch College football or follow the Terps closely.  I can say that from my seat in casually following land that it seems like every year the Terps end up starting their fourth string QB at some point.

I'd worry about the offensive line first.

Most of the QB injuries have had nothing to do with the offensive line.  MD has wanted to use QBs who can run for the past 5-6 years.  Pigrome got injured trying to make a cut while running.  Hill got injured while running the ball as well.  Mobile QBs are just more likely to get injured; unfortunately it seems like MD has just been particularly unlucky in this regard.

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BTW, I believe I read somewhere that based on the Sagarin ratings MD officially played the most difficult schedule in college FB.  

To me the 4-8 record is not particularly troublesome.  Getting absolutely run off the field by the better programs is the problem.  They have to show that they can at least be competitive with these schools.

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