Guest post by Patrick Guthrie
In case you haven’t already heard, wide receivers Quintin McCree and Ronnie Tyler have both been suspended indefinitely from the Maryland football program. Word leaked out last night that Tyler’s suspension is the result of a second-degree assault charge, so with him it’s definitely more than just stepping out of rank under Randy Edsall.
Where this hurts Maryland is not where it would first appear. Even though Tyler put the cherry on top of the sundae with his diving touchdown at the end of the first Maryland drive, and McCree proved a consistent target (7 catches, 39 yards) there are plenty of viable options to replace their production.
One of the places that Maryland has always had a wealth of talent is at the wide receiver position. Although McCree was second on the team in catches last week, he only produced 39 yards, and there’s no questioning who O’Brien’s favorite target is (6’2” Kevin Dorsey appears to have filled the yearly hole at #1 receiver). It could be argued that even tight end Matt Furstenburg, with his rare ability to stretch the field from that position, is second in line.
Look farther down the bench, and there’s more talent. Florida transfer Adrian Coxson has measureables to spare, and looks to live up to the promise of that title more than the failed “Josh Portis experience.” Tony Logan has proven his explosiveness in the return game, and Tyrek Cheeseboro is another highly regarded option.
Where this really hurts Maryland is what Tyler in particular did when he wasn’t catching passes. Although he was only 5’9”, he was a key blocker on plenty of the screens that set up his eventual score on the first drive. You don’t recruit wide receivers for their blocking, which is why I doubt that any of the younger options can replace what Tyler brought in that area of the game.
I think the immediate on-field effect tomorrow is that Crowton will dial down the screen passes, which were a very effective part of the offense last week. The same can be said for sweep runs outside. When those types of plays are called, watch for the wide receivers blocking on the outside, and see if they’re able to hold up at the point of attack.
McCree’s situation is still unknown, which means his suspension truly is indefinite considering we don’t know what it’s for. The situation surrounding Tyler’s suspension has been pretty clearly delineated here, and it certainly doesn’t look good. Tyler’s toughness, and his ability to operate in traffic will be missed, and hopefully there’s a legitimate explanation for what happened. But if the charges against Tyler stick, that dive towards the pylon last week may be the last memory of him in a Maryland jersey.
Patrick Guthrie is a contributor to BaltimoreSportsReport.com and University of Maryland alumnus. You can read his thoughts on all things sports on his personal blog “Two Years Too Late.”