Diaz on Odenigbo, Ford, and defending AJ Dillon

Diaz on Odenigbo, Ford, and defending AJ Dillon

Stefan Adams
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said that his unit spent the bye week working on more than just Boston College prep.

“We spent some time in the bye week looking ahead to some future opponents, looking ahead so we’ll be more ready when that week comes,” Diaz said. “And we came back and got focused on Boston College. The thing I’ll say about our guys - we have great leadership, great chemistry on defense. The guys love playing with and for one another. Their spirit has been great in practice and meetings and they’re very eager to get out and play.”

Diaz said the team would rather have played last weekend coming off the UVA loss, but Miami instead had a bye week and gave the team Thursday through Saturday off.

“Mentally we probably needed (to play), but physically it was good to get away a little bit, rest our bodies,” he said.

Boston College is known for their power rushing attack that is opened up by a physical offensive line.

“I would not say they are the biggest, most physical, but they are in that league,” Diaz said of BC’s line. “We’ve certainly played against some other large and downhill running offensive lines. I think from the demeanor of this football team and what they want to do and how they want to pound the ball, the personnel they have to pound it, the sets they get into with the personnel groups on the field they get into, that will be unusual compared to what we have played against.”

Possibly running behind that line may be 2017 ACC Rookie of the Year AJ Dillon. While he has missed the past two games with an ankle sprain, Miami knows Dillon is dangerous enough to have to prepare for either way.

“Well, there [are] three things that make you hard to tackle, right? One is being big, one is being fast and one is being quick,” Diaz said. “A good player should have, theoretically have one of those three attributes. If you have more than one of those attributes, then you are a problem. And obviously his size, you just look at him and [can] tell it is like tackling a middle linebacker. But then he has the speed to go all the way, he has got very good feet to make guys miss in the hole. So, I think that is why all the draft people rate him so highly, and he has been a problem when he has been in there.”

“We actually showed [the team] all of his long runs from a year ago. Just to get a sense, because again, a couple of the games that we scouted against him, he is not in those breakdowns. So just to get an idea of who we are going against. You know, our guys are super excited to go against him. And that’s what you want to do, you want to come to Miami and play against great players.”

Senior DT Tito Odenigbo was disciplined internally after a reckless hit that cost Miami the opportunity to get the ball back in the final minutes in their UVA loss.

“We have handled that here on this field. We have handled that inside this building,” Diaz said. “There [are] a bunch of things that he has had to sort of complete in that way. And we have talked about how we will learn from that. In terms of what happens when we let our emotions dictate our actions. If we coach these guys like they are our sons. Well, it is fun to coach them when they are doing well, but when they make mistakes, our mistakes are very public. We put it on national T.V. for everyone to see.

“But we would be the worst parents in the world if we just kicked the kid out of the house. It is a learning experience. And the neat thing is, our guys rallied around him. Did that play lose us the game? There’s 100 plays that lost us that Virginia game. Obviously, that was at a critical time and he feels awful about it but he has done discipline and we have been able to turn it into a learning experience.”

Adding the striker position has made UM’s defense more multiple in the ways it can defend, and Diaz says Zach McCloud and Romeo Finley have really stepped up their games at the spot.

“The neat thing about both those guys, they’re high IQ guys,” Diaz said of McCloud and Finley. “That position has become a really strong position on our defense.”

4th string DT Jon Ford has not seen many reps this season, and Diaz says that is mainly about the guys in front of him and still sees plenty of potential in Ford.

“Jon is still learning, and becoming more assignment sound,” Diaz said. “And obviously, we have a lot of guys ahead of him playing at a super-high level. So to get in, right now, the bar a little bit has been raised. So, you know, Jon is close. He has really made some big improvements, sure from a year ago, but even from spring ball. He is just a young guy that we are bringing along in our program. I was watching him today go through a drill, and I said, ‘This guy has got quite a future.’ Because he has everything you would want from an interior defensive guy.”

As for the top backup at DE, it seems Scott Patchan has overtaken Demetrius Jackson.

“Scott has probably nudged in front of Demetrius at defensive end…and same thing there, it is just hard to take [junior defensive lineman] Joe [Jackson] and [sophomore defensive lineman Jonathan] Garvin off of the field,” Diaz said. “Now the thing is and again, every week we have assess what type of game it is. Tempo of play. Temperature of the game. Is it a drop back team that is going to drop back and throw the ball more than 50 times, that’s really going to gas our guys out?

“We go to Virginia…and again, we are not playing as many snaps defensively as we did a year ago, so you are only talking about playing 50 or 60 snaps on defense. Because there is a point where any defensive player starts to lose their effectiveness. So the temperature, the amount they are playing, how many times they are having to pass rush and things like that…a lot of times that is going to determine how often we use our bench. So it is not always necessarily an indictment on how well or not well a guy is doing.”

Senior DB Michael Jackson was ejected in the first quarter of the UVA game for a questionable targeting call that Diaz did not agree with.

“We’ve asked, what you could do differently. Because if a guy is laid out and is laying out on his way to you, there is nothing to hit,” Diaz said. “I don’t know what other part of the guys body a defensive player can hit without hitting the guy in the head. And there is no part of Michael Jackson’s body that he can hit the guy with, without getting hit in the head. They say he is a defenseless player, and you are hitting a defenseless player. So, again, I will reiterate that I don’t think anybody would argue, and I don’t think anybody would bat an eye if we said, ‘hey, that’s a 15-yard penalty. Let’s go play.’

“But for a guy to be disqualified for a game? You are seeing it around the country. You are seeing important players that are being disqualified. Does the same thing happen to players on offense? Or being disqualified, in big time games? That’s the question…I think it is something for the competition committee in the offseason…the refs are doing as good of a job as they can do. They have a hard job. They have to officiate it by the letter of the law. Everyone benefits from the game being officiated in a safer way. So we are all for that. But if we can find some ways to help the defensive guys play and understand the predicaments that they get put in, I think that would help our guys.”
 

Comments (29)

Would really like to see Nesta get some snaps.

Tito shouldnt even see the field after the sht he pulled.

Good thing the D tops almost all categories or else we would be questioning why Nesta isn't playing just like the O. The kids that don't play are always better for some reason in peoples minds.
 
Good thing the D tops almost all categories or else we would be questioning why Nesta isn't playing just like the O. The kids that don't play are always better for some reason in peoples minds.
I would take Nesta over Tito right now. Tito is **** up.
 
I would be totally down to be saying CMD in the future. He would be a great CEO with a defensive mind. That would force him to hire a nice, young OC. #SelfishThoughts
 
Glad to see Diaz defending his guy. He knows that the D was in no way the reason we lost that game and to harp on that Tito play is stupid and unfair.

Ford is getting valuable experience because god knows he will be needed next year. Training wheels come off in the spring. No more babysitting.
 
This might not be a popular move but I'd like to see Willis play some DE on Friday.

DE: Jackson, Willis, Garvin, Patchan
DT: Bethel, Tito, Ford, Silvera
 
You're right, it doesn't make any sense. You want to put someone who's at 300+ lbs at DE. Incredible.

Against a team that's going to run the ball at us 100 times with 240 lb AJ Dillon.
 
This might not be a popular move but I'd like to see Willis play some DE on Friday.

DE: Jackson, Willis, Garvin, Patchan
DT: Bethel, Tito, Ford, Silvera

You want to move our most effective player?
 
Would really like to see Nesta get some snaps.

Tito shouldnt even see the field after the sht he pulled.
If you actually watched the replay G willl took a cheap shot that caused the whole thing. He knocked the lineman into tito
 
What Diaz said:

“But we would be the worst parents in the world if we just kicked the kid out of the house. It is a learning experience. And the neat thing is, our guys rallied around him. Did that play lose us the game? There’s 100 plays that lost us that Virginia game. Obviously, that was at a critical time and he feels awful about it but he has done discipline and we have been able to turn it into a learning experience.”

What Diaz was thinking:

“But we would be the worst parents in the world if we just kicked the kid out of the house. It is a learning experience. And the neat thing is, our guys rallied around him. Did that play lose us the game? There’s 100 offensive plays that lost us that Virginia game. Obviously, that was at a critical time and he feels awful about it but he has done discipline and we have been able to turn it into a learning experience.”
 
Hope the D can score to save the putrid Richt nOffense and special ed teams
 
To a position that we are already stacked with our other 2 best players (Jackson and Garvin)?

Are you hard of reading? Yes.

Garvin's role for this one should be situational/rotational. We need BEEF up front against a team that knows better than to throw against our secondary.

“They do what they do very well. There are no disguises. They want to run the ball,” Quarterman said. “The game is going to be fought in the trenches and it’s going to be fought there often, every play. We can’t get tired of playing the power or playing the stretch because they will run it back-to-back-to-back until we stop it. So, that’s what we have to look forward to.”
 
If you actually watched the replay G willl took a cheap shot that caused the whole thing. He knocked the lineman into tito
It’s old news but if that’s your reaction that late into the game you can **** off the
 
Diaz clearly is the future at Miami. The question is will Richt hold on long enough that it forces Manny to look elsewhere. His ability to adapt is the main reason, plus our athletes, that this defense is Top 5 currently. I wish some of that adaptation would rub off on old Pastor Richt. Then maybe we’d blow out teams like UVA instead of losing them. We’ve got to get with the times here in order to reach the upper echelons of college football again. Diaz got that and made the adjustments necessary to bring the defense into 2018. Lord I pray to thee, make Pastor Richt see the errors of his ways. Guide him to the hopes of a creative offense. If your name we pray.....amen.
 
It’s old news but if that’s your reaction that late into the game you can **** off the
So your reaction was for Tito to not have PT..how about g will who caused it..lmao at F OFF..yup that was my reaction. Two bonehead plays
 

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