Some recent offseason ink…’s Bruce Feldman and Ivan Maisel both had some recent comments on the Miami Hurricanes regarding offseason changes and players poised to make some moves come fall.

Maisel’s piece “Forward Thinking” discussed five teams poised to improve this upcoming season, based on last year’s record and returning starters. Maisel had Miami ranked #1 regarding squads that are “poised to take a big step forward.”

1. Miami — The Hurricanes, 7-6 last season, have generated all kinds of hype for next fall. Coach Randy Shannon has nurtured a very young team through two mediocre seasons. Now 17 starters return (if you count punter/kicker Matt Bosher twice, which we do).

There’s no longer any doubt about who will play quarterback. Jacory Harris is there. Robert Marve is not. If there’s a question about newcomers at the U, it’s the coaching staff. Mark Whipple, who will run the offense, may be the best coordinator hire of the college football offseason. John Lovett will run the defense. In other words, the table is set. The question, as it has been for five years, is whether the Hurricanes will arrive.

As for Feldman, he lists were “Top 10 Newcomers To Remember” and “Intreguing New Assistant Coaches”, where Miami’s Vaughn Telemaque and the new offensive coordinator received some praise:

– Vaughn Telemaque, Miami, safety: The Canes have produced more superstar safeties than any program in the country during the past 20 years. Maybe this Southern California product will be the next one.

Already UM people have compared Telemaque’s playmaking skills to Ed Reed’s. That’s pretty big talk, although sources close to the program say the redshirt freshman is off to a superb start in the first two weeks of spring ball. He might be exactly what the Canes were lacking last season when they managed a paltry four picks. That’s less than half the number of INTs Telemaque made during his senior season (nine) at fabled Long Beach Poly High.

– Mark Whipple, Miami, offensive coordinator: What used to be one of the most explosive offenses in college football has fizzled in recent years. The Canes have rotated schemes and coaches far too often, going from Rob Chudzinski at the start of the decade to Dan Werner to Rich Olson to Patrick Nix as UM drifted into a downward spiral. The shuffling only hindered the development of the Canes QBs. Former all-everything recruit Kyle Wright went from leading the ACC in TD passes as a sophomore to regressing with each subsequent season.

Whipple comes from the NFL with the blessing of many, including protégé Ben Roethlisberger. His new project is sophomore Jacory Harris, who is a bright kid and should do well under Whipple. Miami’s stable of speedy young receivers will help. Whipple is preaching for Harris to make his reads quicker and to exploit mismatches. Still, Miami opens with the most brutal four-game swing of any program in the last generation. It’ll be a big test to develop some confidence against the likes of Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech. There is no tune-up game in the bunch.



12 thoughts on “Some recent offseason ink…

  1. I guess I’m torn about Shannon. I was ready to throw in the towel on him at the end of the season but then I’ve read some of the good points made on here and found myself reconsidering somewhat.

    I need to see something this year, though. I hate being in this position and sounding like a spoiled, jackass fan, but I’m just not willing to wait around very long for yet another set of assistants to develop. I want to see some legit competitiveness and consistency this year. I know the first 4 games are brutal and I’m not expecting to go 4-0, but at the same time I’d like to see us in the game and actually challenging those teams for 4 quarters.

    Let’s hope 09 can be the turning point.

    -Tampa Cane

  2. I’m going to the scrimmage tonight at Traz. Looking forward to it and will share my thoughts with you guys. Keep in mind I’m no journalist and certainly not as insightful as ‘allcanes’. 🙂

  3. Tampa – I understand how some folk are torn. Miami fans are used to winning ways. When that happens, a certain mindset kicks in. We’re used to things being much better and will never get accostomed to 5-7 or 7-6 seasons. Totally understood.

    Personally, I’ve learned to look at the entire scope of things. Miami didn’t accidentally get to 5-7 seasons or just become sub par overnight. It took time for the program to erode from within and it’ll take as much time – if not more – to rebuild it the right way.

    Thankfully I don’t think a Mark Whipple or John Lovett really have to “develop”. Both are long-time veteran guys, a la Bill Young. Young wasn’t the issue last season — the lack of talent and depth on the defensive side of the ball held this team back.

    Thankfully those issues look to be resolved with all the new talent, as well as freshman being a year older and injured players ready to take on a bigger role (Randy Phillips, Eric Moncur, Josh Holmes, Colin McCarthy, etc.) Depth-wise Miami was hurting defensively last year.

    Offensively I expect a lot out of Jacory Harris version 2.0 this year. If the Canes can get solid offensive line play and more production out of the running game, there will finally be an aerial assault for the first time since Ken Dorsey left town.

    The first four games are brutal, but if this team plays to their potential and steps it up, a 3-1 run there is doable. 2-2 is most likely, but with those four games out of the way, Miami will be battled tested early and will be prepared for the rest of the schedule.

    Long and short, hang tough. 2009 will be a turning point and 2010 is the year many point to Miami being “back”…

  4. Canes305- Great post. It’s been your reasoning that has helped me maintain perspective and I think everyone appreciates the insight offered through this blog.

    I like what you’ve said in the past about using these frustrating times to help us appreciate the good times more when they roll around again. I know I’ll personally savor our future success more after these past 5 years. I realize now that I took a lot for granted during the Dorsey era.

    Go Canes

    -Tampa Cane

  5. 2 – 2 would seemingly be a fine start, especially considering that we play Oklahoma AFTER their bye week. So they have two weeks to get prepared. If we can get out of the gate at 2 – 2, then the remainder of the schedule looks pretty manageable.

    North Carolina, away, always seems to give us problems and South Florida, up here, to close things out does not scare me too much given the Bulls propensity to swoon at the end of the season on an annual basis.

  6. was at the traz last night. jacory showed poise asnd touch. VT Maq is a ball hawk in the secondary, and randy phillips looks good. our skill positions on offense look incredible. who needs bryce brown when every rb we have is capable of either taking it to the house or running over defenses a la freshman mike james blowing up marcus robinson. pass rush looks good. my only concern is the run d being consistent. our boys looked GOOD!

  7. was at the traz last night. jacory showed poise asnd touch. VT Maq is a ball hawk in the secondary, and randy phillips looks good. our skill positions on offense look incredible. who needs bryce brown when every rb we have is capable of either taking it to the house or running over defenses a la freshman mike james blowing up marcus robinson. pass rush looks good. my only concern is the run d being consistent. our boys looked GOOD!

  8. Well I went with tame expectations as it was only a scrimmage. Manny’s report in the Herald pretty much sums. Defense impressed more than the offense, but the running backs played really good.

    My personal impressions.

    Taylor looks impressive at 6’7″ 232lbs. But still has a ways to go skill wise. Too many poor exchanges with the center. Cannon Smith looks like someone cloned Doug Flutie (and I’m not referring to his ability). J Harris is still pretty thin. So the worry remains, if he goes down we’re in trouble. But it’s only Spring. Still plenty of time for improvement and growth.

    Running backs
    All I can say is this. Our backs had many in the stands saying “Bryce Brown WHO!!!” Cooper impressed. So did J James and Berry. No Chambers yesterday. But the real gem is Mike James. I had a hard time believing he is a 17 yr old that should be getting ready for prom. He is the real deal. Very powerful runner. I can only imagine what Lamar Miller will bring to the table. Trust me, we don’t need Bryce Brown.

    Man do they physically look good. Hankerson still has some fumble-itis, but he made up for his errors. Which is a sign of maturity. They all have the speed and size to get it done.

    As we all know this is key. It will be the make or break factor for the team in ’09. As Harris is great with time, running backs will be even better with holes and the receivers can complete routes. Fox looks like an NFL pro physically. I can see NFL first round. Grnated, if he produces in ’09. Orlando Franklin looked impressive as well. And the new guys look good. If they get it together, they have the physical gifts to get it done.

    With Phillips back our secondary looked pretty sold. Shields did get burned on a couple of those big running plays. Vaughn was also impressive

    d-line and LBs
    Brown seems so comfortable in the middle. Still needs to bulk up some more. The d-line looked the most impressive, penetrating on almost every snap.

    Overall you can start to see the separation in the guys. Some have bulked up and improved talent wise. But some of our guys still look wayyyyy to small. Especially for the punishing ACC play.

    Pretty much it. Best part was Mike James and also seeing the size of the crowd that attended. Granted they only opened the home side of the stadium for most of the scrimmage.

    GO CANES!! Progress is evident and coaching is to blame. That’s a good thing 🙂

  9. All I know is, that the fans we have right now are true Miami fans. The ones who are front- runners and come back when we’re back on top are nobodys. The last few years have shaken out the fakers. What’s left are the true die-hards. We support this team and only point out defficiencies or b*tch and moan, because we have love for The U. We all want the best for the coaches, the players and university, as well as ourselves as fans. We see the steps being taken and want to be back sooner rather than later. Living in Columbus, I have seen the last few years, a program (Suckeyes) that has competed in some big games and they’re really not that good – but they’re there. I want Miami to be in the conversation. It’s been a long time from the last BCS game, even in a league that has been there for the taking, and we haven’t been able to get it done. I look forward to this season even with the ridiculously brutal September. I am a true fan. I agree that this is the set-up season before we explode back onto the scene. But I do expect to make some waves this year as well, even with the tough teams we have on paper. It’s all about The U.
    -Columbus Cane

  10. Good summation, However, Miami ALWAYS seems to arrive back a year early…Remember, 2001 was supposed to be back, yet we were back (and subsequently screwed) in 2000!

    I must say, I have no patience in people that are ready to throw Shannon to the curb..These are the same people that NEVER showed when we put 25k in the OB game after game in 97-98…

    If you don’t have time to wait it out, go be a gayturd fan…Greatness takes time…

  11. although sources close to the program say the redshirt freshman is off to a superb start in the first two weeks of spring ball.

    Everyone is an all-american in the spring. We hear this “hype” every year. I know Vaugh has the goods, potential, to be damn good out there as a safety, but lets get him more PT than on ST and then we’ll go from there

  12. Its been a while since ive been this exited about the up comming season. The guys are looking really good it seems like everything is finally comming together and I credit RS. He knew that he had to go out there and bring the talent back to THE U. You have to admire someone who has been as loyal as him to the program and to south florida for as long as he has. When you talk to local highschool coaches they never fail to mention it. All the local coaches that I have spoken with always bring up how much improved there relationshp is with THE U. Its no secret that Choker had burned more than a few briges down here in regards to the local schools. We need to give RS time, I keep preaching that to every U fan who’s ready to turn there back on him. We gave Butch time and sh*t Chocker got atleast a year more than he should have gotten. We need to be loyal to those whom have always been loyal to THE U. Randy just needs TIME..

    GO CANES!!!


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