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Edsall's first move should be hiring Penn State's Johnson

Finally, Randy Edsall and Kevin Anderson seem to be in same time zone as Maryland fans -- real time.

Edsall, backpedaling his way out of a 2-10 season faster than any of his cornerbacks did the past four months, admitted to a Washington Post columnist Thursday something he had not said since taking over for Ralph Friedgen last January: that he made some mistakes along the way.

Anderson, trying to retain the smallest shred of a tattered fan base that had not yet abandoned the Terps since their opening-game win over Miami on Labor Day night, told my Baltimore Sun colleague Jeff Barker Friday that a "top to bottom" appraisal of the football program will be done, starting with a face-to-face meeting with Edsall Saturday night.

With the expectation that changes will be made on the coaching staff, here's the first move Edsall should make: offer longtime Penn State assistant Larry Johnson the position as defensive coordinator. And here is the first move Anderson should make: give Johnson the title of associate head coach.

It would help solve two issues: it would give the Terps the type of respected defensive presence on the sideline, or in the coaching box, that they lacked when Don Brown left last spring for Connecticut, Randy Shannon didn't come up from Miami (after being fired himself as the Hurricanes coach) and Todd Bradford, who had been hired as linebackers coach, was promoted to defensive coordinator. If anyone should be the scapegoat for this season's collapse -- culminating with the Terps giving up 35 points in the fourth quarter of their 56-41 season-ending loss last Saturday at N.C. State -- it is Bradford.

More importantly, hiring Johnson would be a significant boost for recruiting, especially in Maryland.

That should only be the start of the overhaul of Edsall's staff.

Based on early projections, this could be Maryland's lowest-rated recruiting class in recent memory. The next move is something Edsall should have done when he was hired last winter. He needs to hire a recruiting coordinator to help lock down the state's top prospects, as well as many of those coming out of Washington. The next offer should go to former Dunbar (D.C.) coach Craig Jefferies, who was hired by Mike Locksley at New Mexco right before Edsall came to Maryland. Locksley was fired early in the 2011 season and Edsall would be wise to bring Jefferies back from Albuquerque as quickly as possible.

And here's one more suggestion: I don't know what Gary Crowton's contract situation is, but I assume he received a multiyear deal when he left -- or was pushed out of -- LSU. Given Maryland's economic woes when it comes to the athletic program, paying off yet another coach would not be feasible. Bring Crowton back, but have him change the offense to suit Danny O'Brien, something that should have been done last spring before ignorance and arrogance got in the way. Unlike defensive end David Mackall and tailback D.J. Adams -- both of whom announced this week that they are leaving Maryland -- the sophomore quarterback seems willing to wait before making a decision about his future. Help make it for him.

These moves are not going to turn the Terps into a 10-2 team, or even an 8-4 team. It might not even help the Terps get to 6-6. But they would certainly change the conversation coming out of College Park these days, and perhaps give fans a reason to start paying attention -- and help pay the bills -- if Maryland slowly begins to move back in the direction Edsall, but very few others, believes they are going. Don't worry about the fact that Johnson is coming from a program that has gone from being revered to reviled.

Just as Anderson did last season after firing Friedgen, Anderson and Edsall have to move quickly.

They are now living in real time, and the clock is ticking.

Comments

Short of the total house cleaning which SHOULD take place, these suggestions are good starting points. You missed one, however. The hiring of a new Special Teams Coordinator is also critical as the Terps had a horrible season on special teams as well.

Don i couldn't agree more with column. But please keep the heat on The Ad down there because something like this shouldn't be allowed to go on.

I have never in all the years that i have supported this team, and lets be honest we have had some very poor coaches here, experienced more turnmoil then we have had since randy took over. While we were 2 and 10 that is not the main reason why i gave up my 12 tickets, it's because of how this coach has alienated the team, the media, and mostley the fans that have supported this program for many years. Ad Anderson say's that he is 100$ sure he made the right choice to be head coach. He couldn't be more wrong if he tried. The back lash of this past season will resonate for many many years to come and the many fans that turned in there tickets like me will never come back until this grevious mistake is corrected. Mr Anderson you should be very ashamed of yourself for allowing this to continue.

Well done, Don.

Don I agree wholeheartedly that Mr. JOHNSON should be the d coordinator,maybe even head coach. But as I remember he has turned down Maryland several times in the past. I thought he even turned down the head coach position before. He has the high school coaches respect and they trust him with their kids. I F we can pry him away from PSU it would signal that Mr. Anderson has a plan. Please make it happen.

Don,

That sound you hear is you hitting the nail on the head! All good points and all well supported. Let's hope Randy's wife reads this.

Edsall's first move should be to resign..........and then get the h---- out of town. He's an egotistical and arrogant coach who is WAY in over his head and will NEVER be able to turn this program around - he should spare everyone as well as the next 10 years of MD football by moving on and taking a job at a smaller school - yes - someone will hire him because he will probably be successful at a bottom feeder school just looking to get on the map like UConn football was....enough said - bet I get half the posts here agreeing with me.

Spot on Don !

Agree with Ravtown that a new Special Teams coach is needed too.

However, I think recruiting may turn out better than most people speculate. Randy should be able to sign 25, and there is still room for some highly rated guys who have not yet verbally committed. Hope the Terps are able to add 3 or 4 of these 4 star guys.

what the heck happened to UMD??? SMH bball and football. Go Lady Terps!!!!

I believe that we should give the man a chance. From what I read he has already got verbal commitments from some pretty highly rated players for next year.

UMDFAN I think you are being very ambitious with your recruiting projections! With guys jumping ship and a 2-10 season and all of the papers and fans ripping the coaches why would anyone want to come here? It is sad!

Let's face it we have hit rock bottom! We took a Terp Alum who cared about this school in Friedgen and did him in a way that was just plain wrong! We went public and pretty much told the world we were going to hire Leach then didn't. We hired a coach that has never beaten a ranked team with a shade above .500 lifetife record. What makes you think we are going to do anything smart now under Anderson? He had no affiliation with the area or the school and was looking for a bigger paycheck! Anybody miss Debbie Yow yet? Her football team is going to a bowl game this year!! The last time I checked she wasn't eliminating any her school's programs either!

I agree Bradford MUST go, but so should Loh, Anderson and Edsall! I one year we have become the diaster of the Atlantic Coast!

Anderson needs to find a head-coach-in-waiting and make him head coach in all but name. Take away Edsall's job without firing him. Maybe we can get him to quit.

Love the suns coverage..use to read the post..Live in North Carolina . terp 75 alum

What a train wreck Anderson is. The Trustees need to act and ditch him. He made an awful pick in Edsall over Leach is going to send us back to the Krivak/Duffner/Vanderlinden eras. Sad

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