The Work 3-31
**The most frequently asked question from fans this spring seems to be something along the lines of “what is the biggest difference between this staff and the Golden staff?” Well, the answer is there are a ton of differences. First, I will say that from a recruiting standpoint, high school coaches truly respect this staff. When Golden was here, a majority of HS coaches did not take the staff seriously, quite frankly.
**Sources have noted to me that the tempo of practice is the first thing that you notice. These coaches are trying to maximize reps. Another thing that really stands out is the intensity of this staff.
**Tight Ends coach Todd Hartley and Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz are two of the more vocal guys on staff. Hartley seems to be more of a positive, upbeat personality, while Diaz is really digging into the players when they do anything that is not being taught, such as run around blocks. Diaz is actually out there in cleats if that gives you an idea of his style of coaching.
**OL coach Stacy Searels is “out of his mind” (in a good way) and seems to be a drill sergeant at times. He is a big proponent of body language. Kc McDermott, Bar Milo, Danny Isidora (as mentioned in post-practice comments today), and Tyree St. Louis all seem like they have made big strides in the offseason. I’ve heard from a few different people that Milo’s redshirt year has been a major blessing for him. He took it seriously and it is showing. He can play. This group seems improved, but there is still work to be done. Miami needs one or two from the group of Jahair Jones, Hayden Mahoney, Alex Gall, and Loftus to take the next step in order for this group to keep Kaaya protected.
**I’m told that after one of the first practices, Richt absolutely ripped into the team “harder than Golden ever did”. He told the team they were playing “soft” and that he refused to coach a team like that. Not exactly breaking news, but that is nice to hear if you are a Canes fan.
**Safeties coach Ephraim Banda is another guy who falls into the “high energy” category. He is not afraid to let loose out there. I’ve mentioned previously that he is also emerging as a star on the recruiting trail.
**David Njoku looks even better, which is what you would expect from a guy showed flashes last season and is such a physical specimen. His weight is up and he has retained the burst that makes him such a special talent.
**The defense “dominated” today’s practice from what I was told, which shouldn’t be a surprise because that normally tends to be the case in practice settings. They showed a lot of under front today against 21 personnel offensively.
**They are rotating the linebackers a lot right now. Jamie Gordinier is another player who really made use of his redshirt year wisely, as he put on a lot of good weght. Mike Pinckney is physical. He has a chance to play a lot early on.
**A concern heading into the spring was lack of depth and defensive back and that is showing at times. This team definitely needs an infusion of talent back there.
**Early enrollee Patrick Bethel looks the part.