The Washington Times - September 3, 2008, 09:15PM

Ralph Friedgen wasn’t in the best of spirits after practice today.

We were due one clunker with a fair number of short answers, and this was it. And in fairness to Ralph, he’s entitled to a few bad days himself.

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It’s tough to not get the sense that he (like a lot of other people) is about quarterbacked out. But for now, his decision on who to start is made for him with Jordan Steffy out with a thumb fracture for the next three-to-four weeks.

Now, take a look at the schedule. Let’s suppose he takes four weeks to heal as much as he’s going to heal without surgery (more on that shortly). That is not trying to be pessimistic; a thumb injury on a quarterback could probably keep a guy out longer.

So Steffy misses Middle Tennessee, California, Eastern Michigan and Clemson. Next up is Virginia, followed by a bye week; unless he’s direly needed, you’d have to think there would be some caution about rushing him back when there’s an extra week of recovery built in.

Steffy had the option of season-ending surgery presented to him and passed. No surprise there; the guy came back for a fifth season to play, not wear a headset. Instead, he’ll undergo surgery after the year is through.

He didn’t speak with reporters today and hasn’t since before the opener, though at this juncture it’s pretty pointless. It’s appearing safe to say he didn’t throw a big party upon hearing the news an injury cost him his job for the second straight year.

So the man of the moment is again Chris Turner, and said many of the things you’d expect a guy in his situation to say (and did so while wearing a sweet Juventus jersey). He tried to not look back much on his two weeks as a non-starter, which is probably pretty smart of him. He even said the booing of Steffy was “not cool.”

The latest chapter of the Maryland quarterback saga really won’t begin until Saturday. Pretty much everything between now and then is just idle chatter.

Of course with this team, this probably isn’t the last we’ll hear of the QBs.

Not by a long shot.

Patrick Stevens