The Washington Times - August 11, 2009, 11:25AM

Maryland’s coaches pretty well understand the development of the offensive line is the key to any sort of offensive success this season.

Unsurprisingly, the players themselves are certain they’ll be a lot better than many folks expect.


There aren’t doubts about left tackle Bruce Campbell and center Phil Costa. It’s just that no one has any clue what to expect from the cast of heretofore mostly unknown quantities behind them.

“The fact we’re young and we lost seniors and some say we’re inexperienced, it’s not going to be a crutch for us,” left guard Andrew Gonnella said. “We’ve been working hard and a lot of people and a lot media are saying we might be troubled. They don’t know us.”

Actually, Gonnella hits on precisely the point why there are questions about the Terps’ line. There’s really no way of knowing how Gonnella’s game will hold up. Or Lamar Young‘s. Or Tyler Bowen‘s. Or Justin Lewis‘. Or R.J. Dill‘s. Or, to a lesser extent, Paul Pinegar‘s.

None of those guys played much behind a veteran line even a holdover such as Costa quickly admits underachieved last season, which is probably the most troubling indicator for the unit.

But otherwise, Gonnella is right. No one really does know these Terps.

“There’s two ways to look at it, and the way we’re going to look at it is you’re going in as an underdog, and it kind of makes the possibilities endless,” Gonnella said. “We’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

—- Patrick Stevens