COLLEGE PARK ——First-year Maryland football coach Randy Edsall, whose team has lost six of seven games, said he remains as confident as ever that his methods are working and that his players are firmly on board.
"No question," Edsall said at his weekly media availability when asked if players trusted in his system.
Edsall said players' work habits were on display at practices, which are closed to the media.
Asked if he could provide assurances to fans about the ultimate success of his program, Edsall, who has a six-year contract, replied: "The only thing I can tell you is that each and every day we're just going to go out and continue to work. I'm not panicking. I'm not going to change anything that we're doing."
Edsall has new offensive and defensive coordinators and stringent rules designed to make sure players conduct themselves appropriately off the field.
Thirteen of former coach Ralph Friedgen's players with eligibility remaining are no longer with the team. Multiple sources say more players are expected to transfer after the season — a scenario not unexpected given the shake-up of the staff from last season and the new schemes put in place.
Maryland, which has lost four in a row, hosts Virginia on Saturday.
Changes to the 'D'
Maryland has shuffled its linebackers, trying to improve its run defense.
The Terps have shifted Darin Drakeford, one of the team's best players, from weak-side linebacker to "Star," the equivalent of strong-side linebacker.
Star is the position that former All-Atlantic Coast Conference safety Kenny Tate played until his season ended with an undisclosed injury and surgery.
With the shuffling, true freshman Alex Twine moves to Drakeford's former spot.
"Just trying to get our best people on the field," Edsall said.
Maryland is giving up an average of 234.8 yards rushing per game, last in the ACC by more than 40 yards.
Call to the fans
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson sent an open message to Terps fans encouraging them to attend Saturday's Virginia game — the final contest for the team's 16 seniors.
Attendance was a season-low 29,945 for last Saturday's Boston College game in snowy, miserable weather. Far fewer fans than that were in the stands.
Edsall said of Anderson's appeal, which also thanked fans for their previous support: "It goes to show you what kind of leader he is."
Edsall said defensive end Justin Anderson (foot) remains out indefinitely. The junior started all 13 games last season as a strong-side end but was injured before the season.
"I doubt that we'll see Justin Anderson the rest of the year," Edsall said.