A quick, overly simplistic assessment of the Jamarr Robinson package a month after his return from a shoulder injury is as follows from Maryland's perspective:
GOOD: His presence on the field doesn't automatically mean a run play is coming (though it is more likely), and he seems more than content to not run quarterback option keepers (unlike other practitioners of a limited set of plays). The possibility of a long pass always exists.
BAD: He fumbled a snap on the Miami 2 last week that basically cost Maryland a chance at four points; the Terrapins settled for a field goal moments later.
Robinson, of course, got to play much of the second half against Wake Forest, but Maryland can't reasonably anticipate getting itself into many more 62-14 games this season. So this, it seems, is the best way to keep him engaged.
But is shuttling quarterbacks in and out a viable solution? Ralph Friedgen obviously thinks so.
"I think it does help you because they have to prepare for another package," Friedgen said. "Would I like us to be a little better in it? Yeah, I would. I think the more we work it, the better we'll get at it. I think it takes advantage of some of the skills [he has]. When he comes in and fumbles the snap, I'm not real happy about that, but overall, I think it's given us some things."
Here's the realistic problem with any external evaluation of the second-QB ploy: If anything goes wrong, then the perception is it backfired. If someone breaks off a big gain, there's the perception that it worked. And if Maryland winds up with a modest gain --- say, between two and five yards --- there's an underlying sense that it didn't add a whole lot to what was happening (even if it did) and simply proved a one-play disruption under center (even if it wasn't).
So two of the three outcomes don't improve perception (although two of three are more likely than not to help achieve the desired outcome of a victory).
What's interesting is how much time Maryland actually invests in the package. For using something roughly a half-dozen times a week, Friedgen said the Terps put in a lot of effort in practice to make it work.
"We take a period to work it. We polish it for a period and then we work it for a period," Friedgen said. "When Jamarr's in there for team periods, that's a heavy part of his plays. We work it pretty much."