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D'Onofrio wants improved scoring defense

D'Onofrio wants improved scoring defense

Peter Ariz
Miami Defensive Coordinator Mark D'Onofrio spoke to the media before the team's second practice of fall camp.

**On how much the coaches can learn from one day of practice:

“You can start to tell a lot. The biggest thing I think is that we’re more confident and strong. I see a bigger group that is more confident as far as their technique and utilizing the strength gains that they’ve been accumulating since January. That’s the part I think shows up and I think we have better competition at a lot of positions so those are the two things that stand out.”

**On having experience:

“We’ve got quite a few guys that played and that was part of the deal is that we made a commitment to play a lot of young guys in hopes that we would continue to grow and gain experience.”

**Comparing Jimmy Gaines and Raphael Kirby:

“Jimmy’s played a lot of snaps. To be quite honest with you, Raphael’s first game last year was against Notre Dame. Jimmy’s played a lot of snaps for us the first two years, but unfortunately last year he was really banged up and limited. Kirb is continuing to get better and they work together. Jimmy works with him constantly, even though it’s competition.”

**On being ranked in the 100s in total defense last year:

“There were a lot of different scoreboards that you can look at and we look at them all, we don’t ignore them. That’s a place that we want to improve, but the way college football is today, I don’t know if that’s the number one stat. At the end of the day, it’s about points. The less points you give up, the better chance you have to win. We want to give up less yards obviously.”

**Can the team defense make a marked jump from last season?

“That’s the expectation, we all expect to. If every individual gets better, if every coach gets better then that’s how you get better.”

**How important are strength and experience to a defense?

“Those are key factors, there’s no doubt. The bottom line is to play great defense you wanna play with confidence and confidence comes from demonstrated performance. The way you demonstrate performance is by getting stronger and going against some of the guys we go against on a daily basis and have success in practice. It’s all about gaining confidence as individuals and as a group.”

**On if he’s seen the sophomores feel more comfortable compared to last year:

“College football is hard, it’s demanding. Defensively, you’re playing a different type of offense every week. It’s different from high school and it’s different from the pro game. You get the triple-option, you get the pro-style, you get the spread and you only have a certain amount of hours to do it each week. It’s demanding. They’re going to school, they’re in study hall, and they’re over here getting ready to play somebody so it is demanding and it’s only natural for them to get more comfortable as time goes on.”

**On needing consistent defensive tackle play:

“There’s no doubt, it’s gonna help. You’ve got to be strong up the middle, you’ve got to be stout so that’s where it starts. With Jimmy playing middle linebacker, and Curtis (Porter), and Luther (Robinson), and Olsen (Pierre), you talk about guys with experience some experience as a start. We’ve got to be develop more guys and get more guys that will be able to help us, but as a start those guys have been in the program with us and matured and got stronger and bigger.”

**On versatility at the linebacker spot:

“Jimmy could line up at any of the three spots and he’s done that for us over the last two years. He’s probably the most versatile of the group. Denzel has played Mike linebacker and Will linebacker. Thurston Armbrister has played both the Sam and the Will for us. He was out in the Spring, but he started three games for us and played 300-plus snaps last year. You can use your older guys to get versatility and you’d rather have a young guy coming playing one spot. Alex Figueroa as a freshman can play the Sam linebacker and we’re trying to put more on his plate, but Tyrone Cornileus can play multiple spots, Kelvin Cain can play multiple spots.”

**Should we see more of a pass rush threat out of Shayon Green this season?

“He’s a guy that’s not only getting stronger and better, but really getting healthier as he gets away from some of the stuff he’s had in the past. People forget he’s had some injuries. He’s a guy who at one point we weren’t sure what was going to happen with him, but he ends up playing in all 12 games last year and leading the team in tackles. As each year goes on and he gets away from those health concerns, his skills and his game and statistics and pass rush will all improve.”

**Some players have been talking about the scheme not really changing and it’s more about execution. What would you say about that?

“It’s all about execution. You’re always going to go back and say ‘ok, I don’t like the way we did this, or this wasn’t good for us’ and that’s whether you had a great season or you have a disappointing one. There will be some things that will change, but regardless of what it is, I’m glad they’re talking in that language because it really is about execution. It’s about each individual doing their job, being in the gaps they’re supposed to be in and really at the end of the day it’s about playing hard.”

**Some guys have set lofty expectations. Do you have to slow them down with that?

“We talk to them in terms that are processed. It’s every day. It’s right now. We have one task to knock out right now and it’s practice and in that practice is every drill. Don’t look ahead. Don’t look back. Every task that we put in front of them we want them to knock out. After practice is conditioning, then they have to hydrate and eat to keep their weight up and it’s really just a matter of keeping them focused on the task at hand and tonight we’re going to have a great meeting. Everybody in the country is going to have a meeting tonight and we need to try to have a better one. We all want to have a great season. We’d be in the wrong spot if we all didn’t have higher goals.”

**On Ladarius Gunter and Antonio Crawford:

“Ladarius has done great. He’s constantly improved since he’s been here and it’s benefitted him a lot that he came in here last spring as a junior college player who had three years to play three. That really helped him to get acclimated and then last year he was really playing his best football as the season ended. He continued it over to the winter program and the spring. He’s a leader back there in the secondary. Antonio has continued to improve. Everybody knows we talked about him in the spring. We thought he had a really, really, really good spring and he had a really competitive day yesterday where he did some really good things.”

Transcribed from video at www.hurricanesports.com
 

Comments (284)

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Well, last year's defense had a knack for forcing turnovers. It was the only thing that made them relevant all season long.
 
10 pages....line up losers let it rip
 
Coach D is going to make the haters look like the small minded fools that they are.
 
I pray every night that this man some how saves our defense
 
2013 - 82th
hopefully 30-40 range in 2014
 
I think we'll be better. Can't get any worse, but we didn't really lose anybody useful except for McGee so we will have the same guys, plus the new improvements, and a year of practice and weights. Should be a top 40 type unit or something is really wrong. There is talent and pretty good depth everywhere but LB.
 
2013 - 82th
hopefully 30-40 range in 2014

Eighty-twoth? WTF. :ohlord:

I see this defense making a huge jump this year, top 50 defense. One of my concerns though is will our offense be such a quick strike that guys won't get time to properly recover.
 
2011 - Streeter, Harris

2012 - Davon Johnson, Brandon McGee

2013 - Luther Robinson, Curtis Porter
 
**On being ranked in the 100s in total defense last year:

“There were a lot of different scoreboards that you can look at and we look at them all, we don’t ignore them. That’s a place that we want to improve, but the way college football is today, I don’t know if that’s the number one stat. At the end of the day, it’s about points. The less points you give up, the better chance you have to win. We want to give up less yards obviously.”


This is what grinds my gears right here, the moving target type answer. Most of these reporters wouldnt know how to followup on an answer like this and would agree because hey he is the DC, he should know. But in reality everything is relative, even if we are playing tons of high scoring teams and high paced offenses that skew our stats (which we are not), everyone else is under similar circumstances and 100+ teams seem to be able to deal with it better. We arent the only ones, it might not be the only stat but its one that helps people see what is a top defense, if you give up little yards, you will rarely give up many points.

I understand what issues he has been under but I dont care what tempo teams play at a 4 win UVA led by QB Rocco should not be able to walk up and down the field. I dont think any of that has to do wih no huddle or whatever other talking point excuse he wants to use.
 
Fewer missed tackles and gettin off field more often on 3rd down = less points scored on our D.
 
One more 3rd down stop in each half and we will have a magical season. Anything more than that like 2 more sacks/game and an extra turnover a game and pack your bags and I will see you all in Pasadena.
 
top 40 defense. I'm all in.
 
**On being ranked in the 100s in total defense last year:

“There were a lot of different scoreboards that you can look at and we look at them all, we don’t ignore them. That’s a place that we want to improve, but the way college football is today, I don’t know if that’s the number one stat. At the end of the day, it’s about points. The less points you give up, the better chance you have to win. We want to give up less yards obviously.”


This is what grinds my gears right here, the moving target type answer. Most of these reporters wouldnt know how to followup on an answer like this and would agree because hey he is the DC, he should know. But in reality everything is relative, even if we are playing tons of high scoring teams and high paced offenses that skew our stats (which we are not), everyone else is under similar circumstances and 100+ teams seem to be able to deal with it better. We arent the only ones, it might not be the only stat but its one that helps people see what is a top defense, if you give up little yards, you will rarely give up many points.

I understand what issues he has been under but I dont care what tempo teams play at a 4 win UVA led by QB Rocco should not be able to walk up and down the field. I dont think any of that has to do wih no huddle or whatever other talking point excuse he wants to use.

Lets not forget this was the 2012 depth chart.

DE: Anthony Chickillo SO, Darius Smith "JAG"
T: Darius Smith, Luther Robinson
T: Olsen Pierre SO, Earl Moore FR
DE: Shayon Green "1st timer been nothing but injured", Kelvin Cain "Small DE"
OLB: Jimmy Gaines, Eddie Johnson FR "Gone"
MLB: Denzel Perryman SO, Raphael Kirby FR, Armbrister FR
OLB: Gionni Paul FR"Gone"-or- Tyrone Cornileus "JAG"
CB: Brandon McGee "Finally turned it around" , Larry Hope FR, Howard FR
S: Kacy Rogers II "JAG", A.J. Highsmith "JAG", Rayshawn Jenkins FR
S: Vaughn Telemaque "JAG", Andrew Swasey "JAG", Deon Bush FR
CB: Ladarius Gunter SO, Thomas Finnie SO, Crawford FR
 
Absolutely love Jimmy Gaines. Has all the physical attributes, the football IQ, and the character to do big things.

Love the fact that this kid was a 2 star recruit out of Buffalo, and he has worked his way up to where he is now.

He embodies the work ethic and character that Golden has been instilling in this program since Day 1.

A true Cane.
 
Not a fan of all his scoring defense talk. Typically, if you force turnovers,stop the run, and sack the QB you're not worried about scoring defense because all the scoring will come from the backups.
 
People in hell want ice water.....
 
We're gonna be much better this year, I think. We're gonna be great at tackling. We're gonna fly to the ball, which we did last year. We're gonna be physical. And we're gonna be MUCH better at covering people. I can see that already. Offensive players aren't just running through our defense wide open. We finally know who to cover and what zones we should be, yada yada yada.

I still think we're gonna suck at pass rushing though. We're not gonna get alot of sacks. The scheme just doesn't allow for it IMO, and D'Onofrio's defense has never registered big sack numbers from what I've seen.
 
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