The Maryland Terrapins released their post-spring game depth chart yesterday, and there really weren’t a whole lot of surprises involved in the entire thing. We already knew who the starting quarterback would be since Edsall announced that a few weeks ago, but I still have a few thoughts on other matters and positions. The depth chart brought up a few interesting things:
1.) Randy Edsall has a lot of faith in C.J. Brown, and not much in any other quarterback
To see C.J. Brown get the nod as starter wasn’t surprising, since Edsall has reiterated time and again that you don’t lose your job due to injury. Brown is almost certainly going to be the day one starter, and that’s both good and bad by my estimation. It’s good because not having a quarterback controversy is good for a team’s stability. After last season’s injury debacle at the position, nothing pleases me more than knowing who the Terrapins are going with as QB1.
It’s also good because it at least gives me a varying degree of certainty that C.J. Brown has regained most of his health and athleticism. Sometimes running quarterbacks take a little while to get a little more cocksure of their abilities once again after a knee injury. C.J. Brown will have his confidence sooner rather than later knowing that he doesn’t have a quarterback breathing down his neck.
It make me wonder a little about what else the Terrapins have at quarterback, though. A perfectly healthy Ricardo Young, who was once considered a big stud transfer, couldn’t do enough to beat out three guys coming off major injury (Brown, Hills, and Rowe)? We already know what Perry Hills offers, and if Ricardo Young isn’t considered much better than him I lose a bit of confidence in the Terps to overcome another injury spree. I know that’s pessimistic and premature, and I’m not saying I don’t have faith in the quarterback’s to stay healthy. I’m saying what if C.J. Brown, who has been injured far more often than not, gets hurt again? The QB crop doesn’t elicit much enthusiasm.
2.) What’s up with Marcus Leak?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Randy Edsall say that players don’t lose their jobs because of injury? If that’s the case, what happened to Marcus Leak, who is now deep in a ditch behind a bunch of other receivers? Stefon Diggs makes sense considering he’s one of the best receivers in the nation, as does Deon Long given the things he did at the JUCO level. But (and this is no slight at the player) Nigel King, Malcolm Culmer, and Amba Etta getting the nod over Leak is surprising.
Leak was injured, but last I checked he was on pace to be ready for the season’s start. It’s concerning because, for one, maybe he isn’t as healthy as we initially thought. Leak had surgery on his toe back in late October, and that kind of injury doesn’t typically take a full year to recover from. Nigel King wasn’t nearly as effective as Leak during his time on the field, and it would seem like Leak would fit in just as well with the offense. So why isn’t he WR3?
Maybe it’s because our depth chart is so chock full of talent at the receiver position that it won’t matter, but then maybe it isn’t. Leak seemed poised for a very big year last year, and he appeared to be poised for just as big a year once healthy. With a couple of 90 yard games and a pair of touchdowns, I figured he’d be right in line for a very good role in the offense. Perhaps I’ll have to revise that.
3.) The running back stable is as solid as ever
This one most Terps fans know already. I’m extremely excited about the running game (which was putrid last year) after seeing how hard Brandon ross hit the hole during the spring game. He and Wes Brown are slotted as the top two backs, which gives the Terrapins a pair of bruisers who run incredibly hard to help out the passing game. It also slots Albert Reid as the third back, and considering how much more confident he looked in his last outing, if Wes Brown isn’t healthy he should be able to slide right in and be effective.
The offense looks poised to do some fantastic things, and it’s contingent on that running game being as good as expected.