COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said Tuesday that he is worried senior quarterback Chris Turner misunderstood comments the coach made indicating he might play two of his younger quarterbacks this season.
"I'm going to talk to Chris. I think he misconstrued some of the things I said," Friedgen said at the team's weekly media lunch.
Friedgen had told reporters Sunday night that he intends to play sophomore quarterback Jamarr Robinson - and perhaps true freshman Danny O'Brien - sometime soon. He said "It's not a reflection on Chris," but that coaches need to begin to assess their young quarterbacks and provide them game experience.
On Tuesday, Friedgen emphasized that he isn't dissatisfied with Turner.
"I'm not down on Chris at all. I think he's one of our leaders, one of our captains. It wasn't any disrespect towards Chris," the coach said.
Turner ranks fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in passing. He has completed 141 of 244 passes (57.8 percent) with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has been pressured more this season than last - and the running game has been less effective - because of the team's inexperienced offensive line.
Turner has also been asked to carry the ball more himself. He acknowledges that he's not a natural runner and has had moderate results.
"From the outside looking in - with the media and fans - it might look like he's doing a terrible job," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "More than likely it's a lot of stuff that isn't him. Chris is a guy, when he's confident and protected, he's one of the best quarterbacks out there."
Asked Tuesday whether other quarterbacks might still get a shot, Friedgen replied: "We're going to do what we've got to do to win games right now. We're not disenchanted with Chris. If we're not doing better, then it's a thing where we've got to look at next year."
Offensive coordinator James Franklin said he tried to reassure Turner.
"Chris texted me Sunday and wanted to know if anything had changed, and I said, 'No,' " he said.
Franklin said the plan all season has been to find playing time for Robinson in the right spots. Franklin said Robinson had been set to play some against Clemson a few weeks ago but the quarterback strained a back muscle before the game.
New look for Terps
Maryland will wear special uniforms featuring black and desert camouflage for its Nov. 14 game against Virginia Tech to honor U.S. armed forces.
The University of South Carolina will wear similar uniforms that day - three days after Veterans Day - for its game against Florida.
The tribute was announced Tuesday by officials from Maryland, Baltimore-based Under Armour and the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides services for injured service members and their families.
The backs of the jerseys will read "Duty," "Courage," "Honor" and other esteemed values, the officials said.
"It's a good cause - something we can take a lot of pride in playing in," Smith said. Plus, "it looked nice," the wide receiver added.
Products related to the tribute will be sold in college bookstores, in military base exchanges and online by Under Armour. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Friedgen said Tuesday that he's taking a different approach to solving Maryland's turnover problem.
The Terps are minus-13 this season in turnover ratio. The team (2-5, 1-2 ACC) plays at Duke (3-3, 1-1) on Saturday. The Terps have been outscored 94-45 in two road losses.
Friedgen said his young team needs to relax during games and play as well on Saturdays as it does in practice.
"Do I make them too tight? I don't know. To me, let's go out and have fun. Let's get after people," Friedgen said.
He said the team is still working hard. "I wouldn't be surprised if we win our last five games - just the way these kids are," he said.
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Radio: 105.7 FM, 1300 AM
by 5 1/2