The Work (spring game edition)

The Work (spring game edition)

Peter Ariz
Peter Ariz

**To sum up the spring game for those of you who couldn’t make it: everything that happened Saturday must be taken with a grain of salt.

--The first thing I noticed while roaming the sidelines and talking to people close to the team was that this was nothing more than a show for the fans. All of the real scrimmage stuff is done in closed practices.

--Even James Coley told me after the game, “He (Brad) can do a lot more this year, but we obviously weren’t going to show any of that today. Everything today was extremely vanilla.”

--Another source told me that the offense was running different four verticals concepts all day. Not exactly a play that slices apart a defense dropping back into coverage.

**It would not surprise me to see Malik Rosier get some action in spots this year, most notably as a package QB. Coach Coley told me that the offense is more “spread-oriented” when he is in the game and that “he’s not just a clipboard guy”. Rosier is not consistent enough yet to be considered a legit every down starter, but he can do some exciting things if used correctly.

**Rashawn Scott is a guy who has impressed all camp long, and has had a good relationship with Kaaya since last fall. He had a couple balls bounce off of his hands, but James Coley was not discouraged.

--“He just has to catch the ball,” Coley said.

--“I’m not disappointed in him because he bounced back from it. But he did a great job fighting to get open a ran a great route, so he’s just gotta finish.”

--Coley also added, “He is a strong, big, fast receiver who I am really fired up about him being a part of the offense because he can be such a weapon for us.”

**I have been hearing good things on the tight end position all spring and Coley echoed those sentiments. He mentioned Standish Dobard and Christopher Herndon right away as guys who have really separated themselves, but he seemed to be very excited about David Njoku as well.

--“If he puts in a lot of work, he is going to be really good. We are so impressed by his athleticism.”

--Jake O’Donnell had a nice day of work as well. Good to see him step up.

--Jerome Washington is raw, but continues to show promise. Has the frame and movement where he should be very good once he adjusts to the speed of the game.

**Both Coley and Brad Kaaya highlighted that the defense had a good day.

--Coley liked what he saw from the defensive line and mentioned that they were getting lower than the offensive line.

-Kaaya said the defense was “dominating” the offense. Kaaya said he pulled his side of the ball together at half and told them that they needed to “wake up”.

**Brad Kaaya has not even been here for a full year and he is feeling much more comfortable than last season. He has established himself as the leader of the team and guys trust him.

--He said that his mindset has always been that “the season starts in January,” so making the move to Miami last May was an adjustment period for him.

--Kaaya added that he spent a large part of his time watching film during spring practice.

**Defensively, I am cautious when I say this, but I feel better about the line than I have since Golden has been here. The difference to me is not only the obvious addition of Quan Muhammad, but Michael Wyche and Anthony Moten’s progression.

--Wyche has gotten into much better shape and showed a nice quick first step in the game.

--Moten is coming into his own, which is a tremendous sign for Miami because he has the size and athleticism to blossom into a big-time player.

**Although most people are identifying Raphael Kirby to become the guy who steps up and leads that group, I’m looking at Jermaine Grace to fill that role. He is a very good open-field tackler and can run in space.

**Jamal Carter was in the right place a couple times today for two interceptions. He deserves credit for catching both though, because that has been a question in the past. If Miami gets THAT Carter this season, then that safety position is a major strength.

--We did not see a lot of it on Saturday, but JaQuan Johnson had a great spring and he will be on the field a lot. His maturity has never been doubted and he proved that over the past month.

**As far as recruiting goes, I was told that Miami generally did not push this event to recruits at all because it was not a flashy spring game. There were some commits in attendance, including the linebacker trio of Shaq Quarterman, Zach McCloud, and Greg Simmons.

--I’m told that there is not anything “imminent” on the horizon with the class as far as another big wave of commits or a big prospect committing soon. They are in a spot where they know a lot of what happens will depend on the season they have. But at the same time, in no way has the staff stopped recruiting kids. They know it's not possible that all of these kids stick, so they are still actively searching and calling.

**Tomorrow I will be posting exclusive video interviews with James Coley and Jamal Carter. Coley and I discussed the unproven offensive line, Gus Edwards, and Brad Kaaya’s progression. Carter recapped his day and the biggest difference for him this upcoming season compared to last.

--There are also some video highlights that you will want to check out.

Comments (42)

I give you a lot of schit but thanks for the work you did yesterday.
You didn't get to speak with Golden?? what they even give u credentials for...
You didn't get to speak with Golden?? what they even give u credentials for...

They got them so they could stand slightly closer than the other couple fans in attendance.

And, of course they didn't ask Golden any questions. All questions for Al must be pre-submitted and verified by the UM athletics ministry of information.
Hey Peter, any confirmation that we are going to a 1-gap Dline?
I agree about the Dline. They looked really good. I would be comfortable going into the NEB game with CThomas/AMoten/MWyche/AQM as my four up front.

Grace and Kirby were lights out.

Maybe the light has finally come on for JCarter. I said before this was a make or break year for him.

Artie Burns was VERY quiet. And that is a GREAT thing. He looks the part of a big time corner .
--Coley liked what he saw from the defensive line and mentioned that they were getting lower than the offensive line.

-Kaaya said the defense was “dominating” the offense. Kaaya said he pulled his side of the ball together at half and told them that they needed to “wake up”.

This is where it will get ugly this season. First five will have to perform well and play a lot for the offense to a threat.
Good stuff pete. Anyway you could give us some type of a depth chart based on the game?
Thanks for the write up. Are we still playing patty cake on the d-line?
What was attendance like? I've seen absolutely no one among the press mention anything, but that place looks as empty in pictures as Dolphins Stadium usually does for the spring games.
Thanks for the write up.

Lulz @ for "show for the fans" and "keeping it vanilla". Who the **** was watching and taking notes? The cloak and dagger stuff is amusing, if not delusional.

Calling BS on Rozier. The only game reps he will see is Bethune or the other cupcake we play. 2 series in the 4th quarter. He won't see game time against an opponent with a winning record or in a meaningful game because Al doesn't play backups. SteMo was on one leg for a half of a season and he didn't play Williams. The only way Rozier gets game time against a team with a pulse is if Brad gets carted off.

Wyche, Moten and e DL. Well, great. A paradigm shift has been needed on defense for 3 years now. Whatever it is that they do, doesn't work, despite Al's spin that we have the fifteenth defense in the land, and D'No telling 2 fans that we, in fact, really are aggressive. Apparently D'No has no memory of the 91 Canes team he played against, that had more sacks in that one game against Joepa's Nits, than his aggressive D had all of last season.

On LBs, sounds like they're coming along. I just hope that Golden isn't lying awake all night thinking of ways he can put 25 lbs on Grace before the season starts.

TEs- I'm hopeful that, after taking 4 years to finally find Warlord over the middle, the trend continues with the guys you mentioned. And Golden played TE in college.... Smdh.

I like some of the talent we have on the backline, I don't like that the ball literally hits them in the head before they locate it. I don't think the guy coaching the secondary is effective at what he does.

I'm worried about Brad. He started looking like Wild Thang before he got his glasses when it all started going south. So they're doubling down on him.... (you can't make this stuff up). I'll be rooting for that young man to have a supporting cast- yes it would help if Stacey came back from the Twilight Zone and Scott hit someone wearing football pads. A defense that stops people and Special Teams that puts us in good field position, scores, points, or puts the bad guys in a hole, would help. until then it's all talk. Remember what JJ said, "potential" just means you haven't done anything yet.
Is the positivity to keep the press pass? Or are you for real?
I saw washington in his limited reps and he looked really good to me, was very quick and has major size, caught a pass thrown behind him, i see him having a surprise year IF they play him, stand dissapointed me a little, dropped a couple of passes
So all Scott has to do is catch the ball? Deep insight from Coach Coley.
We heard a lot of the same things last year. Not a knock on Pete or anyone but at this point show me on game day. It's easy to be aggressive on defense in March against an offense that is throwing nothing at you. History tells us golden and Dorito fold like a cheap suit when it really matters (Saturday's in the fall). Until I see otherwise I will choose to not buy into this new defensive scheme or #renewed team bull****.
Well we have been vanilla since these asswipes been here.
They can't afford vanilla but that is all they know.
Golden and his cronies wanted the heat lifted with a great spring but vanilla was what they got.

5 wIns this year will be outstanding for this **** program.

Once proud now vanilla

Thanks Pete