HAGERSTOWN — You might say that Randy Edsall and the University of Maryland football program are in a honeymoon period.
The second-year coach and the Terrapins are going through the changes and compromises that come at the beginning of most unions.
Those are the things that Edsall can control. The one he can’t is the concept of time … no one seems to agree on the Terps’ timetable.
“Everything these days is about instant gratification,” Edsall said Thursday during the Terps on Tour stop at The Greene Turtle in Hagerstown. “They want wins yesterday. College football is all about winning, but I’m not going to compromise what I believe or the beliefs of the University of Maryland to do it.
“We’re out to build a program, not just a team. A program will withstand the test of time, but a team goes through changes from year to year. You have to understand that sometimes you are going to take your lumps when you are building a program.”
Edsall took his lumps. He was accused of everything but losing his watch when it came to his timing as the replacement for 2010 ACC coach of the year Ralph Friedgen. The Terrapins fell from 9-4 to 2-10 in 2011.
The Terps were thin because of injuries and there was turmoil at quarterback as Danny O’Brien and C.J. Brown shared the position. There was a perception of disorganization.
The Terps appeared to be in turmoil as a number of players decided to leave the program and there were wholesale changes on the coaching staff.
He barely had his bags unpacked from his move from Connecticut and fans and the media were already calling for his resignation.
It looked bad, but for Edsall, it was just more adjusting.
“I think when you came into a new situation, you hear what everyone else did and you have your own philosophy,” Edsall said. “I’ve been in coaching for 30 years and I know that when you go into somewhere new, you have to establish an identity and the philosophy right away. Otherwise, there will be problems down the road.”
Those changes aren’t always met willingly, thus the periods of adjustment.
The latest trend came to an end with Maryland’s recent spring practices.
“I’m really excited for what’s in store in 2012,” Edsall said. “There is a different atmosphere and different environment in College Park. We had a good spring and I’m excited for the season.
“We have put in the philosophy of doing the best you can do on and off the field. We can’t worry about the guys who aren’t there. We’ve got the guys who are on board now.”
O’Brien was one of a group of Terrapins who elected to leave the program. Brown is penciled in as the starter this year as Edsall and the Terps make the adjustments to get back to winning.
After spending most of the offseason adjusting the philosophy, Edsall took advantage of Thursday’s outing to help adjust his identity with Maryland fans. Edsall was at the program with Terps men’s soccer coach Sasho Cirovski and new women’s coach Jonathan Morgan as a chance to bond with the university’s faithful.
“The reason I’m here is to give the people a chance to know me and the program,” Edsall said. “We want to have more of a presence in this area. If an athlete here this year, next year or down the line is thinking about going to college, I want them to have Maryland on their mind.”
Again, wins will help Maryland fans embrace not only Edsall’s image, but his philosophy, too.
“I understand the nature of the business,” Edsall said. “A lot of people were critical, but I’m not going to lose my convictions of what I think is right. I want to get out there and prove what we are doing is right. We have made a lot of changes. I’m competitive. I’m not happy that we were 2-10.”