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Diaz breaks down team heading into spring scrimmage #2

Diaz breaks down team heading into spring scrimmage #2

Stefan Adams
Following Tuesday’s practice, Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz touched on the QB competition heading into the Canes’ second spring scrimmage on Friday and discussed the progress made by UM’s quarterbacks.

“We want to have a really good competition and we want that to go all the way through training camp… We haven’t even discussed yet how the quarterback reps will be split up (in scrimmage #2),” Diaz said.

On freshman early enrollee Jake Garcia, Diaz said that he had returned to full strength off his foot injury and had begun fielding some first team reps along with Tyler Van Dyke.

“What impressed everyone is Jake was not cleared for team settings until the day before the scrimmage,” Diaz said. “That day we went out and practiced in helmets, then ‘Bang!’ here goes your first scrimmage. The way he handled himself - that first scrimmage day can be overwhelming - I thought the way he acted (was) like he’s been around a long time. Was very comfortable and the throws and all that different stuff - that’s what we were most pleased about. Both of them (Garcia and Van Dyke) played very well that day.”

Of the offensive line, Diaz spoke about the experience and depth the team has built over the years really paying dividends this spring.

“We can roll for sure more than five, it can be seven, eight, nine guys and not expect a drop-off,” Diaz said. “That’s been very encouraging.”

Diaz mentioned that some players have missed time this spring due to being in the team’s COVID protocol but, aside from DE Deandre Johnson, he did not name the all those players.

“Today was [Johnson’s] first day in a team setting for health protocol reasons - excited to get him more and more reps as we close out the spring,” Diaz said.

Miami’s first team at wide receiver has experienced heavy rotation in the early weeks of spring camp according to Diaz and he mentioned Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope as having shown improvement thus far.

“Charleston Rambo has also given us a big shot in the arm,” Diaz said of the receivers. “Xavier Restrepo makes plays every day in practice. Daz Worsham has made strides, Keyshawn Smith, we still think he has a big future and is pushing everybody.”

As previously mentioned, UM’s second scrimmage of the spring will be this Friday, and Diaz said that it will take place in the evening.

“We scrimmage in a game format, put an amount of time on the clock given the amount of people we have and go as long as we think we can scrimmage for,” Diaz said. “In the springtime, we have so much depth, we go ones vs. ones, but we have more than 11 ones.”

This offseason marks a return to the defensive coordinator role for Diaz, a position he held at UM for three seasons before being named head coach at the beginning of 2019, and he talked about how the transition has been from his perspective thus far.

“That’s been natural. I already had a role, just getting into the play calling - I’ve been doing that a long time,” Diaz said. “That’s been fun, easy… more important than who calls the plays, what the play is. The guys have responded – defensively, we’re trying to get back to having an edge about us, we lost the edge. That’s what this spring is about.”

On Zach McCloud’s move from LB to DE, Diaz has been impressed with the transition thus far, comparing it to how Trent Harris adjusted to the same move.

“Zach has exceeded my expectations,” Diaz said. “I didn’t think he’d look so natural so soon… Some guys you say `Just go’ - at defensive end, there’s a lot more ‘Go, go, go’, where at linebacker, you have to process where to go. A guy like Zach, as tough as they come, so experienced, intelligent, is soaking up all of Jess Simpson’s coaching like a sponge. He looks like he’s played defensive end more than 10 days of practice.”

Diaz also reaffirmed that no fans will be allowed at Miami’s spring game.

Comments (72)

I'd even be OK with Garcia staying poised, hot and starting the season like other phenom QBs have - we're due. In other words, playing well enough to keep King as the back-up while off to a hot start and rolling all up in that 15-0 stew.
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I hate the coach speak BS.

Your Senior WR's are showing improvement?
Why are they 4 years in and still "showing improvement"?
They should be established as reliable, polished guys.

And then in another breath...
"Restrepo is willing himself into being a guy."

When these MF'ing upperclassmen gonna "will themselves" into being a guy?

angry the punisher GIF by NETFLIX
With Pope and Wiggins some guys take longer to get ready. I've seen it before with Hankerson at receiver and others. I wish them two the best. With that said if they can't separate themselves from the younger guys just play the younger guys.

As far as McCloud goes I can't see him playing alot. Some spot duty at best. I look forward to the season. The only position that makes me not ready to give a season prediction is the qb position. King will be no where near 100%. ACL take at least a year to get back from and playing at a high level. I've seen it with so many athletes who have the surgery. Yeah they come back in 7-9 months but they take at least another season to be right again.
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manny can roll 7-8-9 guys in the OL rotation.. just for the love of god dont let scaife be one of them :ROFLMAO:
To be fair, they couldn't possibly have gotten worse................
And does anyone have any numbers on Wiggins and Pope in the scrimmage when Xman got 144 yards on 9 catches? But yet Manny feel the need to single these guys out as improving with zero statistics. Manny's game is to blunt the portal damage of guys taking off. He knows a lot of the upperclassmen will leave and hit the portal if they are not in the 2 deep or even starting just by virtue of their expeience.

Wiggings and Pope should not be starting anywhere until they make some drastic improvements as well as Perry at LB. Perry has not the athleticism nor the speed to play a decent game at LB. For the coach to make consideration that he is a possible starter is criminal. Time to move on from these guys that had more then enough time to prove themselves especially since they are not even being mentioned in the daily progress report.

Get ready again for Manny to hide these guys behind false belief that they are better then the guys making noise in practice and in scrimmage. I now have questions about the guys that played last year with no production to back up the time they got on the field.
I hate the coach speak BS.

Your Senior WR's are showing improvement?
Why are they 4 years in and still "showing improvement"?
They should be established as reliable, polished guys.

And then in another breath...
"Restrepo is willing himself into being a guy."

When these MF'ing upperclassmen gonna "will themselves" into being a guy?

angry the punisher GIF by NETFLIX
I couldn't say it better my man!!
I guess improvement for Pope and Wiggins means catching two balls in a row. Bury them on the depth chart. Give me Rambo, Smith, X, Redding, Harley, and the freshmen all day.
And in my opinion things will get markedly worse for them when Brinson, George and Mr Dynamite Smith get here. They better start studying their shoelaces in the words of the great but late Jim Mandich!
09/04 @
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