- Dec 12, 2014
Hopefully before I'm dead we'll see our STs Elite again.....
I hope Louis Hedley is the real deal! We need to have, at least, a serviceable Punter. If we do, it will unquestionably mean additional points for our team. Go Canes!!Following Thursday’s practice, defensive coordinator Blake Baker spoke about how well his defense played in Saturday’s scrimmage, while also recognizing the offense is still handicapped right now.
“I think we have to continue to be who we are,” Baker said. “The offense is getting better and better every single day, they’re installing a brand new offense while the guys have been in this defense for the past three years.”
With sophomore WILL backer Waynmon Steed having knee surgery, the Canes are left thin at inside linebacker this spring. Sophomore LB BJ Jennings is cross-training at both backup MIKE and WILL, but Baker said they are looking at trying out some of the walk-on’s there as well.
“Right now, we’re still trying to stay put,” he said. “Darian (Stephenson) is doing some really good things and Colvin (Alford) is doing some really good things as well at our striker position. If we do move somebody inside, that’s who it might be. Saturday they might get some reps in there.”
Of Jennings, Baker sees him becoming more confident and feels he has a chance to be UM’s sole backup inside linebacker when the season begins.
“He’s really looking to fill that Mike Smith role, the swing guy,” Baker said of Jennings. “Overall, you wish you had a little bit more, but on the bright side they’re getting a lot of reps and a lot of position flexibility.”
Are the Canes considering adding a transfer linebacker to help the depth after spring concludes?
“If the right guy pops up,” Baker said. “It’s been discussed, but right now it’s early.”
Junior DT Jon Ford was held out today with what was termed a wrist injury.
“He’s meeting with the doctors today to find out what the best step is moving forward,” Baker said. “Right now, we don’t know.”
Redshirt freshman Gilbert Frierson is making the transition from cornerback to striker linebacker this spring, and has been one of the more interesting stories to follow.
“He’s done a great job. I really think he’s been one of the biggest surprises,” Baker said. “Playing a new position, but he is a smart kid and a great communicator. Loves to play football. To me, he brings a lot of juice to our defense. I’ve been really happy with Gilbert. Getting better every single day and he’ll play a significant role in the fall if he continues to do so.”
Sophomore DE Gregory Rousseau was again one of Miami’s top performers in their spring scrimmage, racking up 4 sacks in total, and Baker sees him as a player with a ceiling.
“I think he’ll be an impact guy,” Baker said. “And I think he can get so much better, has so much room to grow. But he’s so naturally gifted. He’s a great kid, very coachable. I think you’ll see a huge impact from Greg Rousseau this year.”
As for the number 2 cornerback role, DJ Ivey, Al Blades, and Nigel Bethel are competing every day for the job. While Baker says one of them is starting to emerge a bit, he’ll keep the competition going through the fall.
“I think they’re all extremely close,” Baker said. “DJ Ivey is really starting to stack good days on top of good says, which is what you want to see. But it’ll go all the way to fall camp without a doubt with those three. All three have a different skill set. A lot will be getting more reps and playing with confidence.”
**Outside linebackers coach Jonathan Patke returns for his second season coaching the strikers at Miami, but has also added a new title as well: special teams coordinator. After Tuesday’s drills, Patke says that the team has been repping the return game every day, and some players are starting to emerge in that area.
“I really like Jeff Thomas back there, we have KJ (Osborn) going through some reps, Trajan (Bandy) has caught punts and kickoffs, Nigel Bethel has done a good job returning kicks for us, obviously Mark Pope, Deejay Dallas,” Patke said.
What has been his main message to the unit?
“Secure the football,” Patke said. “Really you don’t get that opportunity until you go live, though.”
Miami has been known the past few years for playing their starters on the special teams units, and that won’t be changing under Patke’s direction.
“We want to play the best guys on special teams. In the NFL, there are starters that play on special teams,” Patke said. “If you can do it in college, you’ll make a living doing it in the NFL.”
On the punt team, Patke pointed to redshirt freshman FB Realus George and senior LB Shaq Quarterman as those that have stood out so far.
“They’ve all had their share, everyone is getting their opportunity to prove themselves on special teams,” Patke said.
The Canes are expecting a new punter to come in over the summer and challenge senior Jack Spicer, and Patke says Australian-born Louis Hedley is ready to compete for the job.
“He’s ready, has all his paperwork,” Patke said. “He’s been training, is excited to be a Hurricane.”
What’s crazy is we are technically only using two LB and we are STILL thin!!Steed goes down and we are already talking about walkons getting reps. Yikes! Hopefully Wilder is a full go by fall. Joyner needs to seize this opportunity as well. The bottom line here is that Huff and Brooks better come in with the mindset of playing immediately because you never know what may happen.
I don't want to dwell on negative stuff since we have a new head coach a new staff and a new recruiting department who have all done very well addressing the issues that needed to be addressed. Having said that, the uneven recruiting needs to stop. There have been 3 recruiting classes signed since Shaq, Pink and McCloud showed up and in all that time we have failed to develop any semblance of quality depth at the position. Aside from the incoming freshmen Huff and Brooks, Waynmon Steed is the best prospect behind the starters but he now he is out for the year. In other words our rooster management under Richt sucked massive quantities of dead penguin dycks. Manny needs to fix it.
It’s just that he so used to being far away from the ball (cb & safety) whereas the striker/rover/OLB position is moreso about making plays at & around the LOS so now he had to get off blocks of lineman, FB, TE, H backs...instead of just WR’s...it’s a different world defending the run game from that spot vs a true safety/cb spot. It’s alot to handle bc you have to change your mindset.What’s your rationale on that? Think he fits better as a true safety?