COLLEGE PARK -- Tuesday marked Maryland’s second practice of the preseason that was open to the media, meaning the second chance to get a look at the quarterback battle between, mainly, Daxx Garman and Caleb Rowe.
Here is the latest.
Evaluating Daxx Garman
Garman took snaps with the first team on Tuesday, which was a departure from the plan on Friday when different quarterbacks took snaps with different teams.
He started slowly, unable to complete his first three passes and throwing an interception on a deep ball to the near corner of the end zone that was picked off by safety A.J. Hendy.
“I’ve just got to come out and start strong,” Garman said, going on to explain the reason for his interception. “It’s just a Hail Mary. We’re just trying to throw it into the end zone, give the guy a chance to go up and get a jump ball.”
Garman would settle down after that, thanks mostly to a shift to shorter passes -- into the flat, on screens, and on short slants. That included a touchdown pass in a red zone situation to Amba Etta-Tawo.
Of the two quarterbacks, Garman was the only one Tuesday to get snaps in zone-read schemes, which could still remain part of the offense despite the shift in quarterback styles from last year’s starter, C.J. Brown, to either Garman or Rowe.
Evaluating Caleb Rowe
Rowe did not have the best day on Friday, the last time practice was open to the media, and admittedly some issues persisted into Saturday.
But by Tuesday, Rowe said, he felt like some of the technical and mechanical issues he encountered last week had been ironed out and that he was “feeling more comfortable.”
“I didn’t have a great day on Saturday and I’m able to accept that,” Rowe told CSN. “But I come back out here and I just get better, work hard.
“I don’t even worry about the competition. I’m just trying to be the best quarterback I can be and at the end of the day, if that doesn’t work out, that doesn’t work out.”
Rowe, too, threw an interception. It was one of two by sophomore cornerback Daniel Ezeagwu. He would settle into the short game, as Garman did, and end up with a nice completion percentage and no additional turnovers.
What Randy Edsall Is Saying
Edsall stressed that he would let the week play out before making a final decision on the starting quarterback and other hotly contested spots. By doing that, he said, he would avoid making a decision “too soon.”
“We'll get to a point where if they don't decide it based on what they're doing, then that's a call that myself and the coaches will have to make with that,” Edsall said.
“It's just a matter of making sure that you're doing the right thing and just seeing all the things you need to do.
“We don't play for two weeks, but it's like anything else. You'd like to see guys just jump ahead of other people and you know sometimes it's hard,” he continued.
“Caleb hadn't practiced in the spring coming off that ACL. Daxx came in as a transfer and still trying to learn, get comfortable with everything and then Perry [Hills] is there.”
For Rowe, he tells CSN that the longer view of the position battle is something of a relief.
“It gives a little bit of relief knowing that not every throw you make is life or death,” he said. “It’s more a body of work.”