Earlier, in response to multiple requests on Twitter, I posted Maryland coach Randy Edsall’s full comments of his answer to a question about quarterback Danny O’Brien.
Go ahead and read them here.
In any case, I had the opportunity to ask O’Brien (last year’s ACC rookie of the year) if he felt expectations for him were too high coming into the season, as Edsall suggested.
“I don’t want to disagree with what he says, but I have high expectations for myself, and I had them last year before I played a down,” O’Brien said. “That hasn’t changed now. You can’t let that affect you. You have to go out there and prepare like you’ve always prepared and do what’s been proven successful. I feel like expectations are something that are going to be there and they’re always high and it doesn’t really affect me.”
Unsurprisingly, O’Brien was able to easily pinpoint who had the greatest expectations for him.
“No one’s expectations are going to be higher [for] me than myself,” O’Brien said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself to play well – good pressure. Everything else kind of is what it is. You can’t control it.”
This is probably mountain-out-of-molehill stuff, the product of some poor phrasing on Edsall’s part. One thing’s for sure: Maryland didn’t do anything to minimize external expectations for O’Brien, and understandably so for a program that needed to sell tickets.
O’Brien was a major part of how the school (undoubtedly with Edsall’s blessing) marketed the football program, largely because he was a successful, recognizable and appealing part of Maryland’s strong 2010 season.
And given O’Brien’s maturity, it’s not ultra-likely that excess offseason hype is a major contributing factor to the fact he has more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (six) through eight games.