Video of Edsall's comments can be seen in the player above, following a brief advertisement.
COLLEGE PARK -- The questions about Maryland’s wide receiving corps often begin with something flowery and positive, perhaps citing the accolades handed to that group by national writers or nicely placing the ball on a tee for a home run of a glowing endorsement.
But Randy Edsall’s response to those questions comes down like a sledgehammer.
“Well to be truthful, we’ve got a lot we need to work on with the receiving corps,” he said at the team’s media day last week.
“The two guys that I’ve been the most impressed with at the receiving corps so far are…”
It’s Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, hands down. Could be the top two receivers in the conference. Next question.
“Levern Jacobs and Taivon Jacobs.”
“Those are the guys that I think have practiced the best so far when we’ve practiced. They’ve all worked very hard and the truth is that we’re not looking for receivers who only catch the ball around here. This isn’t flag football or 7-on-7.”
Not to take anything away from the law firm of Jacobs & Jacobs, of course. Levern showed in the absence of Diggs and Long last season that he could be a legitimate No. 1 option -- and thus a terrific third option. And Taivon has flashed the type of elite speed in camp that can make him problematic for defenses as a slot receiver.
But what Edsall projects to the media locally is not the glitz and glamour that you might see elsewhere. There’s a purpose to it and by all indications, it’s well received.
“It’s tough love and you need that from a head coach,” Long told CSN. “Because if you didn’t, he wouldn’t be doing his job. So he sort of put the bullseye on the wide receivers because he knows the talent we have and he wants to get the best out of us.”
Both Diggs and Long are healthy, which is half the battle, but Edsall has stressed that catching passes isn’t everything the coaching staff is looking for.
“We’ve got to have complete receivers and our receivers have to make sure they listen to [wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell] and that they do what he asks them to do. With the talent that they have, they can be very good. However, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Maryland opens its season on Aug. 30 against James Madison.