The body language of Kenny Phillips says it all, doesn’t it?
Head slung low. Dejected. The long, slow walk back to the tunnel after yet another home loss. That field must’ve felt 200 yards long as these Canes trekked back to the locker room moments after a 19-16 OT loss to Wolfpack, who entered the contest 3-5 on the season.
Any notion of winning the ACC is now a pipe dream. Sure, mathematically Miami could still take the next three and hope for a for a few miracles – but if the Canes can’t knock off N.C. State how can wins over Virginia, Virginia Tech and Boston College even be considered logical? Simply put, they can’t. It’ll take an act of God for
I said after the
I checked out the message boards after the loss, perused my share of online articles and even had a heated debate with my old man regarding the state of the program. Two days later, I’m still sick over all of it.
I’m sick of the product on the field, I’m sick of the flip-flopping regarding fan’s opinions about the coaching staff or players and I’m flat out sick of seeing the Canes lose these types of games.
Let’s start by attacking the obvious – the Canes are quarterback-less. All the Kirby Freeman supporters, where are you now? 1 of 14 for 84 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions? For those keeping score, since entering the game in the second quarter at Florida State, Freeman has gone 5 of 25 for 143 yards, 2 TDs and 5 interceptions over six quarters of football.
Safe to say, The Freeman Era is officially over. God love this kid’s heart, attitude and moxie, but #7 is not Miami QB material. Never was. Never will be. Now we’re hearing that Freeman was nervous, his confidence was shot and that even with all the in game pep talks from teammates, there was no shaking this kid’s fear.
When Freeman hit Dedrick Epps for the game winner and laid on the ground convulsing after being sandwiched by two Noles, a few things ran through my head. First and foremost, the kid’s health. #7 didn’t look that good, writhing on the ground in pain, with hands shaking.
From there, I honestly hoped it was the last down Freeman ever played as a Cane because he’d never top the moment. 3-for-3 and a come from behind game winner in
A week later, an all time low in the loss to
Call me crazy, but I’ll take the confident true freshman next year before I bank on a senior who seems broken beyond repair. Thanks for the good times, Kirby but an injured Wright is better down the stretch than damaged goods.
Moving on to the play calling. Definitely suspect at times. A few days later I’m still sort of second guessing some moves. I don’t really get the notion of back-to-back jump balls to the barely six foot, on the bench all day, in and out of hot water Sam Shields in the waning moments of regulation.
Instead of wasting the skills and stamina of Darnell Jenkins on two consecutive direct snaps earlier in the game, I’d have preferred to see
The elder Shields actually called
Shannon’s ways, beliefs and actions are either going to make or break these kids – and I am fine with that. If a player is too fragile to handle the disappointment of a head coach, that kid lacks what it takes to become a champion on the field.
I’m sick of all the “he’s too hard on the kids” chatter. Those who can’t take it, can leave. Those who can will be joined by more who can come February 2008 on Signing Day. If
Recruits are showing up weekly for home games and they’re bringing other potential recruits. Miami Northwestern quarterback Jacory Harris is spends every free moment as an ambassador for The U.
Planning to enroll this December to get a jump start on next year, Harris is in the ear of every recruit he comes in contact with. This past week, offensive line recruit Matt Patchan. The five-star prospect was in tow for N.C. State to watch his old man honored as part of the 1987 National Champs team and returns for the OB finale as his official visit.
The recruits are coming, the recruits are coming. Everyone knows it. Especially the coaches, who told recruits at last week’s game to walk up to current Canes who play the same position and let them know they look forward to taking their jobs next year.
Explain to me why the majority of this fan base oft cries for the return of Jimmy Johnson and the hey day of the 80s – yet when they have a JJ disciple in their presence, running show the same way Johnson did they still can’t see the forest for the trees?
Lest not forget how the Johnson era began in
Remember, Johnson inherited the National Champions and lost five games.
Try to imagine the 1984 season taking place during Internet era. How would Johnson have survived the message boards, radio shows, ESPN segments and more-rabid-by-the-minute fan base? He’d have been absolutely crucified and run out of town.
Johnson loved the scare tactics regarding pulling scholarships and promoting competition. How come when he did it, he was a genius, yet
JJ lost five games his first season and dropped two his sophomore year, getting worked 35-7 by
Year four, as dominant a performance as any
I’m not calling
Patience. It’s a word sports fans loathe, but reality needs to set in regarding this program – presently and in the near future.
KP hanging his head in the above photo. A guy like Derrick Morse still in uniform, staring at the ground in disbelief almost a half hour after the game ended. Since when were players like this few and far between? How about when Larry Coker was in charge and failed to recruit
Can you name the recruiting coordinator last season? I bet you can’t. How do I know? Because Coker never appointed one.
Miami had no recruiting coordinator… which better explains the two verbal commits this time last year compared to the dozen and a half the Canes sport this year.
The day’s of being finesse under Country Club Larry or kids playing scared? No mas. Same to be said for all the big talk and lip service. This program has been talking about the road back to the National Championship since the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. In a few weeks it’ll be four years since
It was pretty embarrassing to hear chants of “
These kids have no clue what it takes to become a championship caliber team, but their coach does. So do the recruits from Northwestern. That’s no accident. Winning breeds winners.
Give it time, people. Seriously, what choice do you have? The team you see today is light years behind what
In other words,
Pete Carroll went 6-6 year one at
Urban Meyer was 9-3 year one at Florida, with a full cupboard thanks to Ron Zook, while Miami’s cupboard was ransacked, depleted and bare when Shannon came aboard for Coker last December.
How about Charlie Weis? Back-to-back (underserved) BCS games his first two seasons, yet 1-9 in 2007 and coming off an overtime loss to Navy? I’ve never see a coach go from ‘hero’ to ‘zero’ in a quicker span.
Start judging Shannon come 2009. For now, ride out the final few games and start looking forward to 2008. Yes people, we’re in rebuilding mode and this is what you do.
Now isn’t the time to torch the staff and overanalyze the play calling. News flash, they’re doing all they can with the kids they have. Some there physically but not mentally – and vice versa.
When No. 7 lets a bomb fly on a 3rd and 5 and overthrows his nearest receiver by 20+ yards – Patrick Nix didn’t call that ill-timed deep ball. Freeman simply missed the two receivers on a crossing patter at the first down marker, panicked and chucked the ball way too deep to avoid an interception.
Take this scenario and times it by a few dozen, because we’ve seen it often this season. The right plays are called, but a lineman misses a block, someone gets called for a false start, a player slips during his route, a quarterback never looks past his first option or forces a ball that never should’ve been thrown.
Try to remember these things the final twelve quarters of this regular season. This is a first year project. Give it time and judge accordingly.
One ‘last hurrah’ at the
From there, Virginia Tech and
We’ll be back. We’ve been here before and it’s in our blood to earn our spot back at the top. Nobody knows the blueprint better than