Notre Dame football: No panic in Edsall in building process
But taking shots at fans is quite something else for a college football coach.
That rarely turns out well.
A crowd announced at 29,945 (though reports claimed fewer were actually in the stadium) attended Maryland's 28-17 Oct. 29 loss to Boston College in the Terps' 54,000-seat Byrd Stadium. It was 35 degrees, a wintry mix of snow and rain, and the two teams combined for three wins.
A couple days after the setback, first-year Maryland coach Randy Edsall vented about the fans.
"I think whenever you support a team, or you have a team that you like, you support them regardless," Edsall said. There's only seven games a year (at home) that you can get out and see. If you're going to be a fan, be a fan and be out there all the time. ... Sometimes, it's not going to be the way you want, but just stick in there and support people and keep going.
"I've been (a Baltimore) Orioles fan, and it hasn't gone very well, but I haven't dropped off the bandwagon. That's what true fans do."
It's usually better for a coach to worry more about turning around a struggling team than how many fans are in the stands.
The pressure was off Edsall and the Terps Saturday night. Since it was a Notre Dame "home" game, the FedEx Field crowd may have been wearing a lot of blue and gold - and green - but at least there would be fannies in the seats.
Speaking of struggles
Edsall has been through renovation projects before. The growing pains he has experienced through this season have been felt before.
He was an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 when they played their first season in the NFL and won just four games. When he took over as the head coach at Connecticut in 1999, the Huskies won four.
"I know how to handle it," Edsall told the media recently. I know what to do. There is no panic. It was like this the first year when we put a team together in Jacksonville. It's Connecticut all over again, 13 years ago. Jacksonville all over again.
"This isn't earth-shattering. It doesn't have me discouraged. I have a vision of what we're going to do and I know we're doing things the right way."
Edsall looks beyond the reality of the present frustration Maryland is experiencing to the big picture status of his program.
"All anyone looks at from the outside is how many we win and how many we lose," the 53-year-old coach said. "That is the business we're in. I look at the big picture, though. When we are installing a program, there is more than just wins and losses.
"It's the total program that we are installing that needs to develop. We are improving in a lot of areas. We just aren't winning on the field right now. That will happen. I am confident in that. It's important to develop the entire program and have things done the right way.
"As long as I am the head coach, I'm going to make sure that we install the entire program. It's more than just on the field. It's making the young men better students, men and athletes. We better not lose sight of that. When we do that, we can get the wins on the field. We have an obligation to the parents."