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Terps ready to put dismal 2009 season behind them

August 11, 2010

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- During the cold of winter and the warmth of spring, Ralph Friedgen never stopped reliving the worst season of his lengthy coaching career.

"You're 2-10, there's not a day goes by that I don't think about that," Friedgen said Tuesday at media day, hours before the Terrapins held their first summer practice.

Maryland is coming off the first 10-loss season in school history. The Terrapins dropped their final seven games, concluding with a 19-17 defeat at Boston College.

The focus this summer will be on staying fresh and building a positive attitude.

"I've done a lot of thinking between the Boston College game and to now, things we can do better as coaches, how we can better utilize our players, how we can keep them healthy," Friedgen said. "So I've made some changes."

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In an effort to avoid the rash of injuries that contributed heavily to last year's disaster, the Terrapins intend to prepare smartly for the Sept. 6 opener against in-state rival Navy.

Friedgen intends to lighten up on the hard-contact drills and will hold two scrimmages instead of the usual three.

"There's a fine line between getting them ready to play and not getting them injured," Friedgen said. "That's one of the things I'm going to be really in tune to."

The plan for 2010 is to erase the stigma of the 2-10 season a week at a time.

"Our first goal is be 1-0. Our next goal is to 2-0 and so on," senior center Paul Pinegar said.

The Terrapins are picked by the Atlantic Coast Conference media to finish last in the Atlantic Conference. But Friedgen pointed out that in 2009, Maryland beat conference foe Clemson and played well against the other four teams.

"There's not that big a gap between first and sixth," Friedgen said. "We have to talk about this and convince them. I think once we do that, I think you'll see this team grow in confidence. The ability is there. They've just got to believe."

The Terrapins got off to an encouraging start when every player passed the conditioning test for the first time in Friedgen's 10-year run at his alma mater.

"There are a lot of good signs happening right now for us. The fact that we don't have to deal with that while we're in two-a-days is a big relief for me," Friedgen said. "The players are focused and they've done their part. So we're where we want to be at this point in time coming into the season."

Friedgen said linebacker Avery Murray left the team for personal reasons and that running back Taylor Watson (knee) and defensive end De'Onte Arnett (cyst) will miss most of camp.

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