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Coach Speak: Diaz Talks Garvin and Jackson’s Progression, Striker Position and Possibilities for the Veteran Defense in 2018

Coach Speak: Diaz Talks Garvin and Jackson’s Progression, Striker Position and Possibilities for the Veteran Defense in 2018

Cory Grimes
The UM defense had a breakout year in 2017, but Manny Diaz knows there is a lot of room to progress. One of the hardest tasks for a coach is avoiding complacency from players who have seen recent success. Getting guys to be dissatisfied with being good and instead striving to be great is what separates the average coaches from the best in the business. Guys like Joe Jackson and Jon Garvin have received high praise, and rightfully so, but Manny Diaz knows they can go even further. Diaz touched on what it will take for Garvin and Jackson to take their game to the highest level.

“Just the consistency. I think when you watched them on film a year ago, you could see what they did well and things they can improve on – sometimes it’s like there’s meat left on the bone, per se,” Diaz said. “With Joe [Jackson], just his get-off, using more of his speed. He has developed some really good power rushes. He’s a strong guy and he has gotten stronger since last year. But being more explosive on his get-off and putting [offensive] tackles in a tougher position,” Diaz said. “For a guy like Garvin, again, going into Year 2, it’s just the idea of down-for-down consistency. He obviously made some big time flash plays a year ago. His skillset, his balance and things like that, is kind of elite. Now it’s just understanding how to complement that with different moves.”

The buck doesn’t stop with just Garvin and Jackson at defensive end. Diaz is enthused with the depth at the position. There’s a handful of players at the position who can compete at a high level and Diaz touched on the rest of the defensive end rotation.

“It’s so weird to say, but a lot of times you don’t even notice who’s in,” Diaz said. “It’s a luxury we have and we’ve had it in the past with some of the guys we’ve lost. We just have starter-quality guys. Who runs out there for the first play doesn’t necessarily matter,” said Diaz. “We don’t think, ‘oh gosh, this guy is in, there’s a drop-off.’ That’s what we love to have happen at the University of Miami, where you’re coming with waves of two-deep, if not even more and the level of play doesn’t decline.”
There’s a lot of familiar faces who are entering year 3 in the Manny Diaz defense. With a bunch of veterans leading the way, it can allow a coach to be more flexible by adding more variation and nuance within the scheme. Will Manny Diaz take advantage of the experience on defense by possibly adding some more exotic looks this year?

“I think there’s still an idea of getting better at what you do,” Diaz said. “There’s always a chance of trying to be creative. But being creative for creative sake – it has to have a purpose. I think as you do, always, you look back at what you did well and not so well a year ago schematically, and where you can improve and then the players you have and how you can plug those guys in to play different roles. From that point on, you kind of craft what it takes to beat the teams you have to beat.”
Diaz has a wealth of talent at all three levels of the defense, probably more than he ever has since he landed at UM. His biggest challenge will be figuring out a way to maximize this roster. The striker position is one of the ways Diaz is looking to best utilize his talent laden bunch. When asked if he has seen what they want from the striker position in the first 10 days of camp, here’s what he had to say:

“We have. It’s about using our personnel,” Diaz said. “With big athletes like Derrick Smith and Romeo Finley, how can we get those guys on the field when you’re already blessed with two safeties like [Sheldrick] Redwine and [Jaquan] Johnson, with backups like [Amari] Carter and [Gurvan] Hall and Robert Knowles that have really come along. You have a lot of talent at one position, so how do we get all those guys on the field? Bringing those guys closer to the box, their ability to play ‘man,’ be physical and to play the run, come off the edge, do a lot of different things - is really what it’s about. It’s not necessarily any type of innovative schematic invention. We’ve been playing ‘nickel’ forever. It’s, ‘hey, look. Here’s the deck of cards we have. How do we best deal these cards out?”
 

Comments (34)

“It’s so weird to say, but a lot of times you don’t even notice who’s in,” Diaz said. “It’s a luxury we have and we’ve had it in the past with some of the guys we’ve lost. We just have starter-quality guys. Who runs out there for the first play doesn’t necessarily matter,” said Diaz. “We don’t think, ‘oh gosh, this guy is in, there’s a drop-off.’

And some were crying about the dline depth, lol
 
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“It’s so weird to say, but a lot of times you don’t even notice who’s in,” Diaz said. “It’s a luxury we have and we’ve had it in the past with some of the guys we’ve lost. We just have starter-quality guys. Who runs out there for the first play doesn’t necessarily matter,” said Diaz. “We don’t think, ‘oh gosh, this guy is in, there’s a drop-off.’

And some were crying about the dline depth, lol

THere are those that will always find something to cry about. Richt has brought the program out of the tone age and into the space age
 
Gerald Willis is going to be the key to our entire defense. We have no one that can replace him on the roster and the chaos he's going to cause up the middle will make everyone's job easier.

We need him healthy and in a good state of mind all year. This D is going to go how he goes.
 
Defensive End is our best position unit of any on our team. We have two starters who can legit go first round. Can't remember the last time when that was the case.
 
“It’s so weird to say, but a lot of times you don’t even notice who’s in,” Diaz said. “It’s a luxury we have and we’ve had it in the past with some of the guys we’ve lost. We just have starter-quality guys. Who runs out there for the first play doesn’t necessarily matter,” said Diaz. “We don’t think, ‘oh gosh, this guy is in, there’s a drop-off.’

And some were crying about the dline depth, lol
I call bull. Scott the only white guy on the line, you have to notice that 😂
 
Gerald Willis is going to be the key to our entire defense. We have no one that can replace him on the roster and the chaos he's going to cause up the middle will make everyone's job easier.

We need him healthy and in a good state of mind all year. This D is going to go how he goes.

Can't wait to see him push someone's face in......:machinegun::machinegun:
 
Well, we played a 260 pound end at tackle last year in D.Jax.

So why not Joe Jackson? Do you think he's weaker than D Jax? Slower?

Not one bit.
One of the worst ideas I’ve read here and that says a lot.

This isn’t Madden dude , the dl has talent but is the thinnest position. You don’t move your best pass rusher inside with zero experience inside. DJ was the best run stopper last year , and is by far the best this year. That’s from the Diaz’s actual mouth. He also has a lot bigger lower half than Jj which helps inside.

DJ probably won’t ecen lineup this year inside as much because of the de depth.
 
Well, we played a 260 pound end at tackle last year in D.Jax.

So why not Joe Jackson? Do you think he's weaker than D Jax? Slower?

Not one bit.


Lol I can’t tell if ur just a troll or you really believe in these ideas you come up with.. why in the hell would you move your best DE inside on passing downs where there is more traffic and less room to operate. The only DE that will bump inside will be DJax on occasion.
 
Lol I can’t tell if ur just a troll or you really believe in these ideas you come up with.. why in the hell would you move your best DE inside on passing downs where there is more traffic and less room to operate. The only DE that will bump inside will be DJax on occasion.


He’s definitely a troll, a bad one at that
 
no mas por favor

no good reason for the slot to be wide ass open all the time
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“It’s so weird to say, but a lot of times you don’t even notice who’s in,” Diaz said. “It’s a luxury we have and we’ve had it in the past with some of the guys we’ve lost. We just have starter-quality guys. Who runs out there for the first play doesn’t necessarily matter,” said Diaz. “We don’t think, ‘oh gosh, this guy is in, there’s a drop-off.’

And some were crying about the dline depth, lol
I don't think anyone has really been worried about the talent on the DL. Moreso the actual Numbers of Dlineman. I mean you wont be able to convince me only having 5 DE's is good. I love the players we have there, but we need more for sure.
 
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