There are times when not talking about something is ultimately counter-productive.
But sometimes it makes all the sense in the world, and that is indeed the case when a bunch of people want you to rehash a decision about a starting quarterback.
That’s what Ralph Friedgen sensed, and he very sagely started off today’s media session in College Park with a firm but uncontentious statement.
“Before we get going, I’m not saying anything more on the quarterback situation,” Friedgen said. “That’s over with. If you want to talk about anything else, I’ll be glad to do it.”
And for the most part, he stuck with it.
A lot of folks have questioned a lot of things about the selection of Jordan Steffy as the Terrapins’ quarterback. Some of it was the process. Some of it was past performance.
Friedgen knew a backlash was probably coming, and maybe withstood a greater force than he needed to in the 24 hours or so after his decision. But the way to prevent that from becoming a daily annoyance is to not bother with it anymore.
After all, the reasoning from Ralph’s point of view has to be “You wanted an answer, and now you have it.” And you know what? There’s more than a little truth to it. A lot, really, especially since it wasn’t like the depth chart was written in Sharpie on Monday.
So the QB comments were limited to how the quarterbacks looked (“All three quarterbacks practiced well today,” he said) and how tough a choice it was in comparison to anything he’d done in the past.
“Probably the most difficult, probably just because it wasn’t going to be good no matter how I went with it,” Friedgen said. “I think a lot of those kids. I think they’re all great kids and they work their butts off and I believe in them tremendously as people.”
So Friedgen said the right things. Quarterback Jordan Steffy said the right things, as he always does. Offensive coordinator James Franklin said the right things (though his reply to a question about whether Chris Turner might stick around —- “What I can tell you is I’m really excited about the University of Maryland’s football program and the direction we’re heading and our offense and that’s what I’m focusing on.” —- might be more vanilla than anything you can buy at Baskin Robbins).
But today was about being wise, not making any waves and shifting attention forward rather than backward.
A reporter joked with Friedgen about singing at some point during camp. He might not do that, but he and everyone else presented to the media horde provided a perfect pitch today —- unified, politically correct and probably not the least bit headline-worthy.
For Maryland, not really saying much was anything but counter-productive today.
—- Patrick Stevens