In other words, I’ve seen as much football as a Norwegian salmon farmer.
Although it’s possible there are some diehard Jan Stenerud fans over there, what does this mean? It means I don’t find it particularly beneficial to lie and give you my list of who’s hot and who’s not and I don’t see how anyone else in the media can either.
Sure, I can talk to players and coaches and get their thoughts – and I have – but I’m one of those crazy media types that likes to see the goods for myself, which can be pretty tough around these parts.
A side note, as much as I respect this university and love Randy Shannon, I’ll never understand the paranoia that forces coaches to act like spring ball is some sort of nuclear sub exercise in the Pacific. I have no problem with a Thursday practice before FSU being shut down, but to close it all down in March, seems a bit excessive. That’s just the humble opinion of this media member.
Saturday brought us the first full scrimmage of the spring. (Stats are below.) Pay no attention to any of it. What the stats don’t tell is that the receivers had a gazillion drops.
“The guys we’re depending on at receiver had too many drops and the tight end position had too many drops. Just as a total offense, we had too many dropped passes.” That was according to the head coach.
Another Shannon sentiment; the defense didn’t get their job done.
“We had too many missed tackles. We had opportunities to make tackles. Yeah, we’ve got running backs that can make people miss, but we have defensive players that should make those tackles. I’m very disappointed by the way we tackled. I thought we chased the football hard on defense, but that’s the first scrimmage. You’re going to miss tackles. We have a long ways to go,” said Shannon.
Ask me if I’m worried about either of these things. C’mon, I dare you.
It’s spring and I really have a hard time making any kind of correlation between what goes on in March and what goes on in September. Think of spring ball like the first exhibition game in the NFL. I remember Brandon London looking like Andre Johnson at Fins training camp last season. By the end of the first week in September he was looking for a job.
Don’t get caught up in what goes on now. Am I excited about what I’m hearing about Lamar Miller, Storm Johnson and Damien Berry? Yes. Am I going to pencil in any of their names on the Heisman Trophy yet? Of course not.
Because we are such diehard fans, we tend to look at every moment of Hurricanes’ football as if it were the National Championship game. Sometimes you have to take a step back and say, “we talking bout practice.”
Just some other things in no particular order:
– I’m almost glad Jacory Harris is hurt and can’t throw this spring. There’s nothing more scary than an unused, unprepared backup quarterback coming into a game. The fact that A.J. Highsmith, Stephen Morris, and Spencer Whipple are taking all of the snaps is a good thing. They are getting more reps now with the first team than they will ever get when Jacory is healthy.
– If you’re already thinking about how Randy is going to find enough playing time for the running backs, don’t. Running back is the number one position when it comes to getting “nicked.” It will take care of itself.
– Who plays what linebacker position in March is not important. I am going to bet that Kylan Robinson is not the starter when we get to opening day. Don’t fret.
– I really like the two coaching hires. Rick Petri is old school and I want my line coaches old school. He’s rugged, brash and he’s been here before. He’s gonna be great for our boys up front. Don’t be surprised if our d-line starts drinking that raw egg shake that Rocky was drinking before he went for his run.
As for Mike Cassano. That’s my boy. Being that I grew up in Beantown, I’m partial to the guy that’s from the streets of Andover. Plus there are too many Yankee fans on the staff, so to have a fellow member of Red Sox nation in the house makes me feel better about the fall. In all seriousness, I’ve seen Mike coach for a while, here and at FIU. He’s great and now is the time that we need a great running backs coach, with all the talent present at that position.
Here’s a tidbit; on a college staff, many times the running backs coach is the weakest link. He might be a recruiter or he might be a guy that’s just learning the ropes. Hell, he might be a guy that the head coach lost a poker game to. On a lot of staffs, the running backs coach is like the Ambassador to Barbados. Most of the time you’re just making sure your tan is good. This is not the case with Cassano. This guy can flat out coach. He can motivate, he can recruit and he knows the mind of Whipple from their time at UMass. Just a ‘wicked awesome’ hire, in my opinion.
– Finally, can we get the head coach a contract please? Who knows if the numbers that are being reported ($2,000,000) are accurate? I don’t, but, I do know this – the salaries of coaches are going up by the day.
Is Randy going to take a home court discount? Most likely in the end, but if market value for a head coach of a decent D-1 program is $2M, then pay the man his money. Randy has done more than enough to warrant the going rate.
Remember how you felt when we lost to Virgina in the last game at the Orange Bowl? That’s not going to happen again under Randy. This program has improved. The kids are staying out of trouble. They are graduating. He is accomplishing what MOST other Division 1 coaches can’t . At some point we, the diehards, have to put some pressure on the university to get him signed.
I don’t think Randy is asking for some ridiculous amount of money. He’s not going to do that to his alma mater. Give the man most, if not all, of what he wants and let’s get on with the football. Word out of the Hecht is that there is a likelihood of LOSING recruits because Shannon doesn’t have a deal. It’s all fun and games until you start losing recruits. Sign the man… NOW.
Canes305 set up thebeast@allCanes.com so you guys can get a hold of me. I’m going to interview players and coaches this spring/fall and welcome your suggestions or questions.
I hope to see most of you at the OPEN practice On Thursday night at Lockhart. As promised, here are the stats from Saturday’s scrimmage:
Lamar Miller – 9 carries, 32 yards, 2 TD
Damien Berry – 8 carries, 48 yards
Mike James – 6 carries, 46 yards
Storm Johnson – 6 carries, 34 yards
Pat Hill – 2 carries, 13 yards
A.J. Highsmith – 9-for-18 95 yards, 3TDs
Spencer Whipple – 2-for-10 60 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Stephen Morris – 6-for-11 63 yards
Travis Benjamin – 4 catches, 49 yards, TD
Thearon Collier – 3 catches, 19, TD
Leonard Hankerson – 2 catches, 50 yards, TD
Kendal Thompkins – 2 catches, 32 yards
LaRon Byrd – 2 catches, 30 yards, TD
Jake Wieclaw – 3-for-3 field goals (32 yards, 25 yards, 22 yards)
Highsmith – 5-yard TD pass to Hankerson
Miller – 9-yard TD run
Highsmith – 17-yard TD pass to LaRon Byrd
Whipple – 15-yard pass to Travis Benjamin
Highsmith – 14-yard TD pass to Thearon Collier
Miller – 3-yard TD run
Colin McCarthy- 5 tackles, fumble recovery
Vaughn Telemaque – 5 tackles
Shayon Green – 4 tackles
Steven Wesley – 3 tackles, 2 sacks
Ray Ray Armstrong – 3 tackles, 1 INT
DeMarcus Van Dyke – 3 tackles, 4 pass breakups
Brian “The Beast” London is one of the foremost insiders on all things Miami Hurricanes. He was on the Canes broadcast crew for more than a decade. He hosts a daily online radio show on SoFloRadio.com.