CIS Mailbag: Week 1

CIS Mailbag: Week 1

Canes Legacy
WEEK ONE MAILBAG, featuring questions about the LBs and safeties in Manny’s system, our favorite Cane, the Industrial Revolution, breakout players, and Debbie Deb.

Grover (CanesInsight): Will John Campbell be any good at LT?

Campbell will be noticeably better than what we saw at LT in 2019. Campbell is a 3rd year guy which means he’s mature both physically and mentally compared to 18 year old Zion Nelson. Factor in the scheme change and his play getting better as last year went on, and Campbell will hopefully be ready to make the next step. Justice is doing work as the OL coach and Campbell is just starting to tap into his potential. How quickly he develops is yet to be seen, but I am optimistic about him and the rest of the OL.

BeatThoseBookies (Twitter): Is Canes at -14 as easy money as it appears?

I really want to say yes and be 100% confident. There are quite a few unknowns with this squad and opening night during a pandemic dominated offseason against a well coached G5 school may lead to a slow start. However, after watching UAB last Thursday and not being as impressed as I thought I would be, I’m taking the Canes -14 but not betting the mortgage on it. I don't see UAB being able to score much and our shiny new offense will score enough points to win comfortably.

Roddy W from Birmingham (mail): With UAB’s long history of elite receiver play, how do the Canes corners stack up?

The corners for Miami have a lot of potential, but are absolutely one of the position groups that fans will be most closely watching on Thursday night. UAB does have a couple good players at wideout, but if Blades and Ivey have progressed as much as many expect them to have over this offseason, we’ll be ok. If there are issues, I wonder if the staff will be quick to get Williams and Couch out there, or if they’ll trust the now veteran corners to work it out themselves.

STEVE KIM (@SteveKimESPN): How different is Miami football history changed if Butch doesnt go to Cleveland after the 2000 season?

Dynasty, titles in 01 and 02 easily with more down the line. What made Butch great was his ability to identify talent. The way recruiting evolved with the internet may have negated some of that in the later 2000s but Butch would have assembled such a talented roster year in and year out, racking up wins, he would be considered a King (no pun intended) in Miami and the momentum would have carried into the 2010s. The big question with Butch would have been if he would continue to adapt in his identification of talent and the schemes implemented to best use that talent. The way people talk about Saban is what Butch potentially left by going to Cleveland, in my opinion.

Grover (CanesInsight): Who is your darkhorse for breakout player of the year on offense and defense and why?

On offense (and it seems like everyone is getting hyped up at this point), I’m going to go with Dee Wiggins. Harley and Pope are stealing the headlines but Wiggins was our playmaker at WR last year and his ability to get deep should allow him to thrive in Lashlee’s offense. On defense, my pick is Jordan Miller which you can read about on the CIS Roundtable (shameless plug). Miller flashed in the limited amount of snaps he received last year and has the strength and athleticism to be a playmaker at DT. I wouldn't be surprised to see his snaps increase throughout the year and threaten to take a starting spot from Ford or Nesta.

Melanoma Fighter (Twitter): Who is your favorite Cane and how /what made you a Cane fan? Mine was Irvin and Miami/Nebraska OB for title 1.

There have been a ton of Hurricanes that I’ve loved watching over the years, but no player will ever be like Sean Taylor. He’s so far and away my favorite player that I’ve had a framed picture of him in my son’s room since before he was born and nearly convinced my wife to name my daughter “Taylor.”

As far as what made me a Canes fan, so much of it is the attitude and mystique of the program, even during a down period. They were always presented as a big deal, and it was easy to get caught up in the atmosphere of the OB, the hype from the fans and players, and the long history of kicking ass without remorse.

KrazyCane (CanesInsight): Does the system hold LBers back in this defense? Can Jennings have a bigger impact than Shaq did at the position?

I don’t think the system holds the LBers back. We’ve only seen Shaq and Pinckney in this scheme over the last 4 years and while they were good players, they were somewhat limited athletically. We saw Sam Brooks flash in the bowl game last year and we’ve seen McCloud fly around as well. LB will be an interesting position to watch as we add better athletes to the mix. Shaq was an iron man for us in the middle and a leader on some very good defenses. Jennings has some big shoes to fill and if he lives up the hype he’s getting in camp, I believe he’ll be more of a playmaker than Shaq.

Cane Fan 4 Life (CanesInsight): Who’ve been the leaders on the defense?

With camp media access being limited to Zoom call it’s a difficult question to answer, but we should learn the answer after Thursday night. Ford and McCloud are the seniors but I have my eye on Al Blades Jr to step up and be the vocal leader.

Skay11 (CanesInsight): Does Jeremiah Payton show by the end of the season he’s the next big time Canes WR? And which freshman WR do you think has the most upside?

Payton will get his opportunity to showcase his skills this year. When you say “big time Canes WR” that is a lofty expectation considering our history. The physical talent is there and we now have the scheme to let these types flourish. Is he the next Andre Johnson? Probably not, but I envision Payton being a very productive WR down the road for us. Michael Redding III has the most upside of the true freshman WR class. He’s built like a college WR already at 6-2 203lbs. The key for Redding will be to perfect his route running and learn how to bully CBs.

TpaBayFlyFisher (CanesInsight): How many plays will the offense run (I think Enos had six)?

We probably won’t run a ton of plays due to the simplistic nature of the offense. However, Lashlee will move guys around and the formations will appear different, but we are running the same play. Expect a lot of RPO with King reading his key and deciding to give to the RB or throw behind the defender. Enos was a massive failure here that will continue to haunt us. Brighter days are ahead with Lashlee.

UMFarArcher (CanesInsight): How much did the emergent Western Industrial Revolution affect the delay in UM going to a spread offense where UM speed and skills will enhance their success here in 2020?

The impact of the Western Industrial Revolution, which took place hundreds of years ago, can still be seen in today’s modern game of college football. The transition from manual labor (pro style bro) to factories and machines (spread offenses) forced the rest of the world into an “adapt or die” mentality. Those that still rely on hands to do the work (Power I and fullbacks!) have perished and been regulated to the depths of society, or RB coach at Cincinnati. Those that joined the modern times and embraced the change have flourished.

So while many other teams would eventually adopt the mentality so celebrated by the advancements in technology, there was a harsh reality that was born out of the move of populations from more rural areas to cities. The influx of available workers allowed for the terrible wages and working conditions to become standard. Much like in England some years prior, Americans started to dream of living situations better than their current realities, reflecting many of the ideals of the British Romantic period. Much like the Romantics, it took many years of dreaming about better lives to turn those “castles in the air,” to quote Transcendentalist thinker Henry David Thoreau, into reality. Miami fans were long members of this group, as they waited for the adaptations promised by the first great advancements of the Industrial Revolution to eventually make their way to South Florida.

Luke Caneswalker (CanesInsight): Can you speak upon the 89-96 years. Was Erickson that bad he couldn't win with his own guys? Were we good enough prior to the sanctions and lost those games due to random reasons or was it a bad trajectory? Was Bama better than us or did we lay an egg?

Erickson’s problem was that he was asleep at the wheel when it came to managing the players he was left with. Jimmy had established a stacked roster with a real edge to it, but the key was that Jimmy always knew how to motivate them. Under Erickson, guys could do anything they wanted, and just like we saw with Coker a decade later, giving guys freedom like that only works when the players respect the coach. That didn’t happen with Erickson, because he really had no idea what kind of identity he wanted in his team.

It’s not like the guys he was bringing in were bad players either. We may not have been as good as we were with Jimmy, but we were still loaded with enough players to win. In my opinion, the issue was that those guys didn’t have the guidance from the staff that they needed to be their best selves.

As for the Bama game, we were a better team, or at least a much better team than we showed. They gave up 67 more yards in that 93 Sugar Bowl than they did all season long. Having the game be so close to Bourbon Street may not have been the best scenario for the squad, but just in general there was a clear lack of preparedness that should never happen in a title deciding game.

305407cane (CanesInsight): Why is it so difficult for safeties in our scheme? Why is it so complicated and why do they have so much responsibility?

With how aggressive we are in the front 7 (shooting gaps and blitzing) the safeties are usually left to clean up anything that gets by which is why we see such high tackle totals from that group. We hear Banda preach tackling and that is a big reason why. Jaquan Johnson was an excellent tackler and when he was off the field, it was noticeable. In addition to having their enhanced run and underneath responsibilities, they also have to defend the pass like normal safeties. It’s not a surprise that it takes our safeties a year of experience before they really start to shine. The good news is we are recruiting very well and that will allow development time while veterans like Hall, Bolden, and Carter carry the load.

Grover (CanesInsight): Will Nesta be better than Willis in 2018?

No. Willis had a special season in 2018 that tends to get forgotten due to the amount of losses the team had. Nesta is nowhere near the athlete that Willis was for us. Willis was a legit 5 star DL coming out of HS and his 2018 year finally showed what he was capable of. Nesta still has some work to do in terms of his technique but he’s looking at a breakout year, just not on Willis’ level.

Ben (CanesInsight): What’s your favorite ice cream flavor and how old were you when you realized Lookout Weekend by Debbie Deb was a banger?

Mint chocolate chip and 14. I should clairify, her best song is clearly “When I hear music,” but obviously that song is more of a bop than a banger.

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions. We’ll be doing it every week.

Comments (24)

I like to tell myself Payton will be the next AJ (I know it’s unwarranted but still).
mint chocolate chip is very underrated
I knew the replacement Debbie Deb back in the day. I was tight with the guys that brought her in bc 1 of those crazy dudes wanted a hot chick - literally. It was nuts. Amazing how much the world has changed.
Many thanks for your thoughtful, insightful reply.

I feel "enlightened" now.

2021 Commits

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Florida State
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