Maryland sophomore kicker Brad Craddock talks about how he has improved this season, and his three…
ACC Teleconference: Randy Edsall
RANDY EDSALL: Well, we're here on a bye week this week and feel good about being 4-0 at this point in time, and hopefully we'll get some guys healed up this week and get on the practice field today and continue to work on getting better with our fundamentals and techniques and start to do a little preparation for Florida State.
Q. Your team received some votes in the AP Poll and you guys are starting to get a little bit of national attention. Is that something you need to kind of rein them in or is it premature for the team to get a little overconfident?
RANDY EDSALL: Well, first of all, I don't think we should be ranking any teams until you get to the middle of October to see how anything comes out. You know, 4-0, we haven't accomplished anything yet. We just kind of -- we don't look at those things, we just take it with a grain of salt and know that we've just got to continue to get better because we still have a lot of things to work on and to improve upon. That's kind of been our mindset. You just take one at a time. At the end of the year we'll see where we're at, so we really don't concern ourselves with that because it's where you're at at the end of the year, not where you're at after four games in.
Q. I was just curious if you have any plans to address the all players united movement with your team and what you would tell guys if they were interested in joining it during the middle of the season.
RANDY EDSALL: I think that's a -- I don't have any opinion on it one way or the other. I did read about that. But again, I'm sure that if our players had anything in regards to that, they would come in and sit down and talk about it. But the one thing I would say is that if players are going to -- on a team are going to be involved, then really everybody should be involved because if everybody supports it, then fine, but if it's just a few individuals, then I don't think that's, in my opinion, in terms of -- that's the team concept. Either everybody is in or you don't support that.
But again, it's great that players have that ability to express their opinions for what they might believe in.
Q. Talk about what you guys do during a bye week. What do you do as coaches? Do you guys still go out and recruit like some other schools do, or what do you do?
RANDY EDSALL: Well, we brought the guys in on Sunday, and they lifted weights and we watched the film, and then the players were off Monday and Tuesday. We're going to practice Wednesday and Thursday and then they're off Friday and Saturday and we'll get back into our routine on Sunday. As coaches, guys -- we had some guys out on Monday, some guys out on Tuesday. We're here with the team today and tomorrow. We'll go out recruiting on Friday, and I'll be out on Friday and Saturday watching games.
So we get a chance to self-scout ourselves after the first four games and get us an opportunity to get ahead on the game plan with Florida State, as well.
Q. Playing at M&T Bank Stadium last Saturday, do you think there's going to be more games in the future when we move into the Big 10 next year?
RANDY EDSALL: Well, I think what everybody has to understand, contractually we're obligated to play six games here at Byrd Stadium every year. The only chance that we would have an opportunity to take a game away from Byrd was when we would have seven home games. That's a challenge to be able to get seven, but again, I think that's something that our administration would really like to do if we have the opportunity to do that because it was just a great day and a great atmosphere.
Q. After the game on Saturday, a bunch of the defensive guys were extremely complimentary of Coach Stew and the job he's done. I was curious just from your standpoint, what has he brought since he's come into the program and now entering his second year?
RANDY EDSALL: Well, I think, first of all, that Brian does a tremendous job, and also Greg Gattuso and Lyndon Johnson and Keith Dudzinski are excellent coaches, as well. It's all part of the team concept that we have, and we've got -- those guys are playing well, and they're running to the ball and doing the things that Brian as a coordinator is asking them to do and then doing the things that the position coaches are asking them to do.
When guys do their job and they listen to what they're being taught, then you have a chance for success.
Q. I didn't get to see it obviously, but is it fair to characterize the West Virginia game as a defensive victory? It looks like in your first three games your offense really was over 500 yards plus. You didn't do that but you forced six turnovers, you held them to under 200 yards. Seemed like it really was a defense-dominated game.
RANDY EDSALL: We did. We played very well defensively. You know, we scored a touchdown on defense, and we also gave the offense some short field to drive the ball on special teams and defense. But no, I thought our defense played well. We gave up a couple runs late in the game that we weren't happy with, but again, I think as long as guys just continue to really work hard and do the things they're supposed to, we can be very productive.
Offensively we just had-- we shot ourselves in the foot. We had six penalties on offense. We had some false starts and did some things that I didn't like, but we took a drive at the end of the game, 12 plays over eight minutes. I thought that was good.
But no, our defense played very well on Saturday.
Q. And can you just address, West Virginia has been kind of Maryland's bugaboo for a few years, even before you got there. It's been a tough series for you. To turn it around with such a decisive victory, how satisfying is that?
RANDY EDSALL: You know, the players did a great job and the assistant coaches. They went out and executed the plans we had. They played hard throughout the game. Any time you can get six turnovers, that's a definite advantage, and you should have success if you do that. But again, our guys are just-- they're playing hard. They're playing with confidence, and hopefully we can continue that.
Q. You talked about your defense a little bit and you touched on that, but is there anything specific about the scheme itself that kind of has led you guys to be so successful the last few years?
RANDY EDSALL: You know, I think it's guys understanding exactly what their roles are, what their job is, and it's guys going out and executing. They're playing with confidence. They know-- they do a good job of the coaching preparing them in terms of what they're going to see and how to react to it, and so I think it's a great effort amongst the players first and foremost, and then it's a good job by the assistant coaches getting them prepared and getting them ready to go out and do their jobs.
Again, it's a team thing with our defense. We've just got a lot of guys that want to play well, want to do their job, and fortunately for us that's what's happening right now.
Q. Just wanted to ask you about the whole mantra that you've had since day one: Do your job. With a team that has so many young guys, just the challenges of getting everybody to buy into just doing what's required of them and not trying to do too much. As we know, things can backfire when they do that.
RANDY EDSALL: Well, again, I think one of the things is sometimes people try to make this game a little bit too complex. I think the simpler that you can keep it where you have guys that have athletic ability and intelligence and you keep it where they can go out and play fast and do the things that you want them to do, I think that's to your advantage.
And again, we've gotten the guys to buy in to say, hey, you do your job. You're 1/11 of what's going on out there, so just do your job, and if we get everybody else doing their job, we're going to be successful. That's one of the things that's happening, and we've got guys -- I think we're very athletic on defense, and we've got guys who can run.
You put all that together, and it allows you to have the kind of success that we've had through four games, but we know we still haven't played as good as we possibly can, and we're striving each and every day to get better and improve where we're at.
Q. You guys have been extremely effective on special teams this year. Can you just talk about how that helps you either offensively or defensively, how that contributes to your success?
RANDY EDSALL: Well, I think that from a special teams standpoint, Brad Craddock is a year older, a year more mature, a year stronger, and he's worked extremely hard to perfect his craft since last year, and he's kicking with much more confidence than he did a year ago, and I would say the same for Nate Renfro.
When you start with special teams, you start with the two specialists, and then plus we've got a snapper in Greg Parcher who gets overlooked but who's done a great job. Again, it gets back to I think athletically we have some really good athletes, and guys have bought into special teams as important. Not everybody can be a starter on offense or defense, but there's a way to contribute to the success of the team through special teams.
And again, it's a credit to the players but also with Andre Powell, special teams coordinator, for getting those guys to understand what their job is and then for those guys to go out and do their job, and everybody is just working together so we can create field position for our offense or our defense through special teams.
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