Baker adjusting to new offense, breaks down stop unit

Baker adjusting to new offense, breaks down stop unit

Stefan Adams
While the attack unit tries to get comfortable within a new up-tempo offense in Coral Gables, Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator Blake Baker says his players are going through an adjustment period as well trying to defend it.

“It forces you to have to learn your job, there’s not enough time to look at the linebacker, safety next to you and say `What’s my job?’,” Baker said. “The second thing is it’s hard to simulate, some of the teams we play are tempo teams, it’s hard to simulate that on scout team. We’ll be well prepared for it going into the season.”

Baker pointed out that he is trying to get his defense to think differently in practice every day, and that has changed his coaching style a bit as well.

“The difference is now you’re coaching off of film, there’s very little time in between plays to go up and say `Hey, you have A gap’ or `Do this, this, and this.’,” Baker said. “The blessing in that is the players don’t know they’ve messed up and they’re on to the next play… I think it’s a positive, a huge positive when you talk about how you as a coach know how well a kid understands it, because there is no time to teach it, ask your buddies. They can know it in the film room, know it in a walkthrough, but if they can’t know it at this tempo, they don’t know it well enough.”

Is there any difference he is seeing between the 2019 team and this new 2020 version of the Hurricanes?

“There’s a different energy in my opinion on both sides of the ball,” he said. “It’s kind of cool when you don’t have quote-unquote established players on defense and watching who is stepping up in the leadership role, with the play on the field. It’s like a new baby, it’s exciting right now. And then you realize you have to change a lot of diapers. No, it’s fun right now.”

Sophomore corner Christian Williams has spent a good chunk of time this spring working with the first team, and Baker praised his development thus far.

“Christian has come a long way with his technique,” Baker said. “It probably took him a little bit longer last year than Te’Cory (Couch) to develop, then they caught up to each other. Both those guys are pushing Al (Blades) and DJ (Ivey) every day. This spring, the depth chart is very fluid and will change daily based on production. We’ve seen three or four starting corners in three days.”

At linebacker, the Canes are dealing with a ton of injuries, with Tirek Austin-Cave (shoulder), Sam Brooks (shoulder), Corey Flagg (knee), Waynmon Steed (knee) and BJ Jennings (hip) all sitting out to begin spring. Baker said almost every role is up for grabs, and added that Steed and Jennings won’t return until the fall.

“We’re starting from scratch,” Baker said. “Outside of Zach McCloud, there’s no experience out on the field right now.”

Its gotten to the point where Miami is starting redshirt sophomore walk-on Ryan Ragone at WILL linebacker, but Baker mentioned that redshirt freshman Avery Huff is making a strong push behind him as Huff learns the defense better.

“Speed, he can run, instincts - still a long ways to go when you talk about development,” Baker said of Huff. “He has to continue to get stronger. He came in late for fall camp, is really learning the defense for the first time. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s a great athlete.”

UCLA transfer DE Jaelan Phillips sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, but Baker said Phillips is impressing on the second team after recovering from wrist and concussion issues.

“He’s a special dude. He is all of 6-6, probably 260 plus pounds,” Baker said of Phillips. “The thing that’s very impressive is he understands leverage, does a great job getting under offensive tackles’ pads. And he hasn’t played football in so long, that’s one thing that usually takes a little bit of time is leverage and pad level. But he’s done a great job of it early-on.”

Baker also said Phillips first arrived at UM at 220 pounds and now is at 264 pounds, and Baker feels he is close to being all the way back after taking so much time off from the game.

“It ought to come back to him pretty quick,” Baker said. “He looks the part.”

When asked who was acting like the leaders of the defense so far, Baker pointed to Zach McCloud, Gurvan Hall, Amari Carter, Al Blades, and DJ Ivey.
 

Comments (76)

While the attack unit tries to get comfortable within a new up-tempo offense in Coral Gables, Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator Blake Baker says his players are going through an adjustment period as well trying to defend it.

“It forces you to have to learn your job, there’s not enough time to look at the linebacker, safety next to you and say `What’s my job?’,” Baker said. “The second thing is it’s hard to simulate, some of the teams we play are tempo teams, it’s hard to simulate that on scout team. We’ll be well prepared for it going into the season.”

Baker pointed out that he is trying to get his defense to think differently in practice every day, and that has changed his coaching style a bit as well.

“The difference is now you’re coaching off of film, there’s very little time in between plays to go up and say `Hey, you have A gap’ or `Do this, this, and this.’,” Baker said. “The blessing in that is the players don’t know they’ve messed up and they’re on to the next play… I think it’s a positive, a huge positive when you talk about how you as a coach know how well a kid understands it, because there is no time to teach it, ask your buddies. They can know it in the film room, know it in a walkthrough, but if they can’t know it at this tempo, they don’t know it well enough.”

Is there any difference he is seeing between the 2019 team and this new 2020 version of the Hurricanes?

“There’s a different energy in my opinion on both sides of the ball,” he said. “It’s kind of cool when you don’t have quote-unquote established players on defense and watching who is stepping up in the leadership role, with the play on the field. It’s like a new baby, it’s exciting right now. And then you realize you have to change a lot of diapers. No, it’s fun right now.”

Sophomore corner Christian Williams has spent a good chunk of time this spring working with the first team, and Baker praised his development thus far.

“Christian has come a long way with his technique,” Baker said. “It probably took him a little bit longer last year than Te’Cory (Couch) to develop, then they caught up to each other. Both those guys are pushing Al (Blades) and DJ (Ivey) every day. This spring, the depth chart is very fluid and will change daily based on production. We’ve seen three or four starting corners in three days.”

At linebacker, the Canes are dealing with a ton of injuries, with Tirek Austin-Cave (shoulder), Sam Brooks (shoulder), Corey Flagg (knee), Waynmon Steed (knee) and BJ Jennings (hip) all sitting out to begin spring. Baker said almost every role is up for grabs, and added that Steed and Jennings won’t return until the fall.

“We’re starting from scratch,” Baker said. “Outside of Zach McCloud, there’s no experience out on the field right now.”

Its gotten to the point where Miami is starting redshirt sophomore walk-on Ryan Ragone at WILL linebacker, but Baker mentioned that redshirt freshman Avery Huff is making a strong push behind him as Huff learns the defense better.

“Speed, he can run, instincts - still a long ways to go when you talk about development,” Baker said of Huff. “He has to continue to get stronger. He came in late for fall camp, is really learning the defense for the first time. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s a great athlete.”

UCLA transfer DE Jaelan Phillips sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, but Baker said Phillips is impressing on the second team after recovering from wrist and concussion issues.

“He’s a special dude. He is all of 6-6, probably 260 plus pounds,” Baker said of Phillips. “The thing that’s very impressive is he understands leverage, does a great job getting under offensive tackles’ pads. And he hasn’t played football in so long, that’s one thing that usually takes a little bit of time is leverage and pad level. But he’s done a great job of it early-on.”

Baker also said Phillips first arrived at UM at 220 pounds and now is at 264 pounds, and Baker feels he is close to being all the way back after taking so much time off from the game.

“It ought to come back to him pretty quick,” Baker said. “He looks the part.”

When asked who was acting like the leaders of the defense so far, Baker pointed to Zach McCloud, Gurvan Hall, Amari Carter, Al Blades, and DJ Ivey.
Baker gettin’ work
 
Interesting to hear this year’s leaders on defense. I think you can add Bubba to that number when it’s all said and done. Surprised as well that Baker didn’t name one DL player. I would think Roche is stepping it up and probably Jon Ford as well. I think Rousseau is too quiet to be the ra ra guy
 
Without sarcasm, have Steed or Jennings ever been healthy at Miami? I feel like Steed got injured right when he arrived but Jennings I can't remember participating in anything at any point.
 
Holy hell. We better get healthy at LB soon. We can’t have a walk-on redshirt sophomore getting real reps
 
Interesting to hear this year’s leaders on defense. I think you can add Bubba to that number when it’s all said and done. Surprised as well that Baker didn’t name one DL player. I would think Roche is stepping it up and probably Jon Ford as well. I think Rousseau is too quiet to be the ra ra guy
How/why is Bubba a leader? Nothing against the kid, but I'm tired of the argument that those who came before are somehow sage.

We have a shitload of players who have proven nothing. A TON of players. That may have been because of their efforts, it may have been about scheme, it may have been about a head or position coach, but they all need to shut the **** up until they actually do something.
 
Talent needs to meet development at that LB position, quickly
 
Stefan- just a few suggestions

As the team posts every single interview on youtube, a lot of the recent articles are just re-hashing quotes from these media sessions.

I do realize that the team does not really allow you guys any more availability, but here are some suggestions of items I think we want to know about...

-Position group focus- ex evaluation of offensive linemen their positions etc.., growth of DT position, asking questions like- how can the DTs get back to G willis, Norton & McIntosh type production and disruption? Previously our DTs seemed to shoot gaps more but now we are in a bit of a contain and catch formation.

-Schematic changes the team will make on defense, adjustments (more or less zone, more 3 LB sets, what was bakers biggest disappointment last season and how he will fix it.

-More in depth interviews of the new coordinators this yr

-Emerging stars on the team, maybe an indepth article on them

----------------

Nothing is more annoying than listening to SMD ask a player about EVERY OTHER GUY ON THE TEAM besides the guy doing the damn interview. Its fucking infuriating, and I am sure its disrespectful to the kids being interviewed.

There are plenty of stories on this team, but I hope you can take the lead and not just re-hash interviews like SMD, Manny, Barry etc...
 
Seems like Huff is becoming the Mark Pope of the defense with his struggles learning the playbook. Better get him a tutor or something to accelerate his learning curve cuz we can't have Ragone see the field........ever !
 
I still think Baker is a joke but the one good thing about going up vs this offense is it will help us better defend UNC. I believe that’s the best offense we face next year.
 

2021 Commits

OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
215
Hollywood, FL
OT
6'7"
255
Pompano Beach, FL
CB
5'10"
145
Miami, FL
TE
6'2"
205
Miami, FL
OLB
6'3"
205
Miami, FL
TE
6'5"
220
Miami, FL
K
5'11"
140
Hollywood, FL
OLB
6'2"
200
Homestead, FL

Latest Predictions

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2020 Schedule

09/05
Temple
Miami Gardens, FL
09/12
Wagner
Miami Gardens, FL
09/17
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
09/26
Michigan State
East Lansing, MI
10/03
Pittsburgh
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10/09
Wake Forest
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10/24
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
10/31
Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
11/07
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
11/14
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
11/21
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, GA
11/28
Duke
Miami Gardens, FL
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