The Washington Times - April 16, 2009, 06:38PM

Looking for the bright spot of the spring for Maryland?

The best bet is to look away from the offense.

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Namely the wideouts.

Life without Darrius Heyward-Bey doesn’t look particularly fun right now, even though Maryland brings back some receivers who played a fair amount last season (Torrey Smith, Ronnie Tyler, Emani Lee-Odai), some who played a little (Adrian Cannon) and a couple who redshirted last season (Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins).

A week ago, coach Ralph Friedgen grumbled that Tony Logan could be surging up the depth chart, if only because the sophomore was the one guy who was making any sort of plays.

In the spring, those comments come and go. But it seemed worthwhile to bring up the wideouts with Friedgen again today.

The message was much the same.

“They haven’t stood out at all,” Friedgen said. “The secondary has just shut them down. we’re playing very well on defense. I think there’s a big improvement in our secondary. Some of the things we’re doing we’re doing, I’m very pleased with on defense. It’s causing some problems. Many times, we’re one-on-one and they’re not winning. I’m really disappointed with the progress of our wide receivers.”

It’s all well and good to have “experience” in the backfield, both at quarterback and tailback. But if the offensive line should come equipped with a “Pardon Our Progress” sign – which it should – and an eclectic group of receivers aren’t moving forward, well, that doesn’t bode well at all.

Some of it is a function of contending with an aggressive new defensive scheme that takes the fight to the offense rather than reacting to an opponents. But that can’t be all of it, hence Friedgen’s disappointment.

And as a result, you can be sure that unit will be monitored as closely as any over Maryland’s final five spring sessions.

Patrick Stevens