All this quarterback talk had to prompt an e-mail eventually. The Chris Turner-Jordan Steffy-Josh Portis battle will spill enough ink before month’s end, and I’ve honestly about run out of original things to say unless something drastic happens. So fan input is especially welcome on this topic.
So here’s some from loyal reader Dan, who had this to say:
While all Terps fan have a huge respect for Steffy as a person, he is clearly a mediocre QB at best in games. Do you think Fridge is playing his usual mumbo jumbo mind games to ‘light’ some fire in the QB race, or do you think he is paying Steffy respect for being such a standup guy?
If all the variables were the same as last year, then yes, it would clearly be mind games. But Franklin’s presence makes me pause a bit, simply because I haven’t been through a full season with the guy to see how he operates when he’s in charge of something.
There’s two interesting dynamics at work. Ralph seems to genuinely want to make a call fairly quickly this year, whereas Ralph almost gleefully dragged it out last August. It also feels a little more like a competition this year. Let’s put it this way: There was never a doubt last year who would start, and there is this time around.
There could be some mind games at work, though Turner is even-keeled enough to handle them with aplomb (and while Turner’s never said this, my sense is that a guy who is clearly as comfortable with himself as Turner probably just rolls his eyes at the psychological ploys and moves on to the next snap, next meeting, next day, next game).
There is definitely something to be said for the respect Ralph has for Steffy. The senior pretty obviously ranks among Friedgen’s favorites since he took over at Maryland, a list I’m confident Josh Allen lands on as well.
I’m more inclined after Saturday’s scrimmage to believe Turner will start the opener, mainly because he’s the most tested of the bunch and he hasn’t foul up. That’s usually a good litmus test in College Park in August. But I still have a feeling (for whatever reason) Steffy will don a helmet rather than a headset at the start of a game at least once this year.