Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen has spent the last four months evaluating.
After all, there’s not much else you can do after a 2-10 season, the Terps worst since 1997.
So, Friedgen has spent the offseason pouring over film and talking to players trying to figure out if there was any deviation from what he had done in his previous nine seasons.
"It's been very strange,” Friedgen said at a news conference before his team opened spring practice Tuesday. “I went back and I looked at things. We didn't really do any things different that we had done in the past.
“I think our team is very determined to show that we're not a 2-10 team, we're much better than that.”
The opportunity to get back on the field and start the process of making things better was something that Maryland players relished. They’ll have 15 practices over a five-week span to get better and to figure out how to win.
The biggest obstacle of last season was youth and inexperience. Injuries forced several players into service before they were ready and the team suffered because of it.
The biggest questions this spring will come on the offensive line. It lost five of its seven members a year ago and failed to adjust in 2009. Last year, the Terps allowed three sacks per game and the running game was almost nonexistent with just 105.75 yards per game.
This year, the line loses Bruce Campbell and Phil Costa, but the Terps should be better apt to deal with filling the holes. Paul Pinegar, a former walk-on who has played guard and tackle, will slide over to center to fill Costa’s shoes.
If the line can protect, quarterback Jamarr Robinson, who started the final four games of last season, can be a playmaker for the offense. Robinson showed flashes of that ability last season and has worked hard this offseason to establish leadership and set an example for the rest of the squad.
"The whole last season has been something everybody has been thinking about while working out and in everything we do,” Robinson said. “We've just been using it as motivation and something to drive us harder. Not complaining and stuff like that. Every day I think about it. With all the people we had and all the weapons we had, going 2-10 was very surprising."
Friedgen is confident that one bad season won’t turn into a streak.
During his film study he saw positives that he’ll try to accentuate this spring and negatives that he’ll try to eliminate. The Terps had 23 fumbles last season and lost 14. Overall, they were -.50 in turnover margin.
But most of all, Friedgen said after losing its final seven games, his team needs to learn how to win again.
“I feel very good about our players and the places they're in right now and their conviction is to be better,” he said. “I feel good about our staff. I looked at our tape and there were a lot of times where we just didn't have good luck. The opportunities we had that we didn't take advantage of and we just didn't make the plays when we had the opportunities to make them. I'm hoping that is going to change.”