The Work 4-3 (Scrimmage One)
**The following is based on what I've been told from multiple sources...
**One of the first and maybe most important notes from the scrimmage was that there was very little rotation in the first units other than DL and RB. Walton and Yearby took a majority of the first-team reps at running back. Quan Muhammad, Courtel Jenkins, RJ McIntosh, and Trent Harris started on the first team defensive line unit, with Gerald Willis working in at both the end and tackle spots. Chad Thomas and Kendrick Norton were rotating in with the first team as well. The starting corners were Corn Elder and Sheldrick Redwine with Rayshawn Jenkins and Jamal Carter at safety.
**Brad Kaaya was deadly accurate on Saturday morning. Although the stats showed 9 incompletions, there were multiple drops that contributed to that number. He seems to feel more comfortable in the face of pressure and made some very nice throws off-balance when the pocket collapsed. He hit Stacy Coley deep against Corn Elder early in the scrimmage and those two had a nice connection. Those two had it working all scrimmage.
**Evan Shirreffs does not have the biggest arm, but can move well for his size and makes quick decisions. His athleticism was on display on a rollout to the left. The battle for the backup spot between him and Malik Rosier will be interesting to watch. Rosier was inaccurate on Saturday, missing high on multiple occasions. I would say that Shirreffs has a lead right now in that competition. He showed flashes on the scout team last season and seems to be progressing.
**Jack Allison is similar to Shirreffs in the sense that he will surprise you with his ability to move. He's not stiff out there. He didn't do anything spectacular on Saturday, but in the bigger picture I'm told that Kaaya is really taking Allison under his wing. Those two were breaking down film together immediately following the scrimmage and Kaaya was more-than-willing to answer any questions that Allison had.
**Joe Yearby and Mark Walton both looked good Saturday, but that is expected. Yearby busted off a couple nice big gainers and Walton looked particularly slippery. Gus Edwards and Trayone Gray got their snaps against the 2nd and 3rd teamers, mostly.
**One position that you are going to see the staff recruit is fullback. Redshirt freshman Cory Giordano was running with the ones for most of the day, along with Chris Herndon. Giordano is a converted linebacker, who didn’t necessarily look bad on Saturday, but depth is needed at the position.
**The offensive line is workable right now, but the depth is not there. They looked solid on Saturday from what I’m told but work needs to be done after that first unit. Tyree St. Louis’ development as a right tackle is going to be major for this team.
**Stacy Coley not only looks thicker, but he is playing like it. Corn Elder was matched up with him for most of the scrimmage and the coverage was tight, but Coley was able to make a few tough catches in traffic and broke multiple tackles on the day, which is not something we’ve really seen from him in his time at Miami. It would not surprise me to see him have an AJ Green/Amari Cooper type year in the sense that he will be the most targeted receiver on the team by far. There might be a wide gap between him and the next receiver in terms of receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Like I mentioned, there was very little rotating at first team positions other than running back on the offensive side of the ball. Cager was lined up opposite of Coley on the other side. Cager had a nice touchdown grab on a ball that Kaaya put up there for him to snag on a fade route.
**The TE group is going to be heavily used in this system. David Njoku, Chris Herndon, and Standish Dobard all bring something different to the table and that was being shown on Saturday. Herndon has been touted as an H-back since day one here, but it seems like he's finally going to be used like one. They lined him up all over the field, including as a fullback and in the slot. He can be a weapon out in the flat and they even threw him a bubble screen. The downside with Herndon on Saturday was that he had a couple drops, but again it's good to know that he will be used to his strengths.
**Stan Dobard had a really nice scrimmage. He made a nifty move to make Jamal Carter and Charles Perry miss on his touchdown reception down the field. He just looks like he's moving much better, and as others have noted recently he appears slimmed down. He had a drop on a Rosier pass that could have been a 10-15 yard gain, but other than that he looked great.
**David Njoku scored a TD from about the two-yard line that was set up by a nice Stacy Coley grab.
**Freshmen LBs Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman both started on Saturday next to Jermaine Grace. The speed is getting back where it needs to be at this spot for the Canes. Pinckney in particular showed flashes of his athleticism during the scrimmage. Not only does he bring explosiveness at the position, but he also did a very good job of timing his blitzes and shooting the gap on Saturday.
**Kendrick Norton had a beautiful quick move inside on one play to burst through the line of scrimmage to pick up the ball carrier and throw him backwards. Once he starts to use his hands more effectively, he is going to be an absolute force. Last year’s recruiting class of him and McIntosh has the potential to be scary good.
**Gerald Willis was wreaking havoc, especially against the backups (no surprise). He probably uses his hands the best right now out of all the linemen. Courtel Jenkins blew up a sweep from the shotgun in the backfield.
**Demetrius Jackson played with his hand in the ground and was with the 2nd team for most of the day. He had a nice bat down at the line of scrimmage.
**Jamie Gordinier had a nice play against the run in a goal line situation where he shot the gap to blow the run up in the backfield.
**Terrence Henley had a nice pass breakup that Robert Knowles tracked down for an interception and turned it into a nice return. Mike Jackson looks good physically (as he did last year) and had a nice PBU early in the scrimmage with Kaaya at QB. The Canes need him to be a factor this season. As I mentioned a few days ago though, defensive backs need work.