F^CK THE BOT
- Nov 24, 2015
Change the culture bench these under preforming starters. Tired of watching players not play up to their potential.
Thanks!A six-pack of Miami Hurricanes notes on a Monday:
▪ Give UM credit: In several key areas (quarterback play and kicking game and offensive coordinator), this Hurricanes team appears far better than a year ago. Maybe not dramatically better overall as a team, but significantly better in those three key areas.
But here’s one sign when you’ll know the program is back to where it needs to be: when under-performing starters are genuinely at risk of being replaced.
It happened with one starter on Monday, when left guard Ousman Traore was replaced by Jakai Clark.
But the question is whether there’s enough quality depth to put others at risk; that’s something coaches are still determining.
Over six career starts, D.J. Ivey’s play at cornerback for Miami has been wildly uneven. Against UAB, he allowed two of the three targets in his coverage area to be caught for 45 yards, including a touchdown.
Last season, Ivey allowed UM’s most yards in pass coverage (349), with quarterbacks completing 24 of 41 passes in his coverage area.
If this were a top 10-caliber program, there would be someone there to take Ivey’s job or at least make it uncomfortable for him. Whether UM has that remains to be seen, though when I asked on Monday, defensive coordinator Blake Baker made clear that Te’Cory Couch is pushing Ivey and that job is genuinely open.
“I think Te’Cory can definitely challenge,” Baker said. “Te’Cory came off the bench early, starts in our third-down package.”
Beyond Al Blades Jr. and Ivey, there are only four other cornerbacks on scholarship: Couch (plays a lot anyway in nickel packages), Christian Williams (the highly-touted four-star prospect from Alabama) and freshmen Isaiah Dunson and Marcus Clarke.
Because Couch likely will play regardless, the hope is that Williams will develop enough to challenge Ivey if Ivey doesn’t achieve more consistency.
On Thursday, Ivey played 53 snaps, Al Blades Jr. 48, Couch 29 and Williams 8.
At defensive tackle, Jon Ford’s underwhelming - not bad, but somewhat underwhelming - UM career continued Thursday with Ford finishing with the lowest Pro Football Focus grade of any Canes defensive starter, aside from Amari Carter.
He was sealed off on UAB’s touchdown run, and even though he has been adequate at UM and pretty good at times, he has never fulfilled the expectations of a former UM defensive line coach who privately insisted to people that he’s a first-round talent.
Ford, obviously, is good enough to be in a Top 25 team’s defensive tackle rotation. But ideally, you would like him to feel that he could genuinely lose his starting job if he didn’t play better.
That seemingly is not the case, with Ford still viewed as a better option than Jordan Miller, Jalar Holley, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Jason Blissett.
Now let’s be clear: We’re not saying Ford should lose his starting job. He’s still one of UM’s top two defensive tackles. But you hope to see more in his final 10 games as a Hurricane - or one of the young kids legitimately challenge him for time.
Even Baker admitted last week that Ford and Nesta Silvera need to be more consistent. Silvera was very good against UAB.
So those are just two examples. There’s reason for measured optimism with this UM team, primarily because of D’Eriq King and the new up-tempo offense.
Baker surprised us on Monday when he said: “Competition is fierce where last year it wasn’t.”
That’s certainly the case at safety, backup defensive end and linebacker (one position where there are a bunch of players with similar skill levels). But more talent and depth is needed to get this program where it wants to go.
▪ Why did obscure receiver Marshall Few (who was put on scholarship 20 months ago) play ahead of well-regarded freshman Xavier Restrepo in the opener?
Few played 16 offensive snaps. According to UM, Restrepo played two.
Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee explained it this way: “Marshall is a senior, very reliable, very dependable. Xavier, we’re excited about his future. There’s a consistency element there” that could improve.
Of the other freshmen receivers, Michael Redding played 12 snaps and Keyshawn Smith and Daz Worsham didn’t play at all on offense.
“We really like our young receivers,” Lashlee said of the four freshmen. “As the year goes on, you will see them more.”
▪ Speaking of wide receiver, Dee Wiggins ended up playing the most among the receivers on offense (69 snaps), followed by Mark Pope (52), Mike Harley Jr. (45) and Jeremiah Payton (29).
At tight end, Brevin Jordan played a lot more than Will Mallory (66 snaps to 29), with Larry Hodges logging six snaps. All those numbers are courtesy of Miami Herald correspondent Daniel Gould.
▪ Here’s how UM allocated linebacker snaps on Thursday, per Gould: Bradley Jennings 35, Zach McCloud 30, Sam Brooks 26, Waymon Steed 13 and Ryan Ragone 6. Avery Huff and freshmen Tirek Austin-Cave and Corey Flagg Jr. didn’t play on defense.
On the defensive line, among the ends, Jaelan Phillips played 49 snaps, Quincy Roche 45, Cameron Williams 16 and Jahfari Harvey 12.
Among the tackles, Silvera and Ford each played 31, Harrison-Hunte 19, Miller 17, Holley 7 and Blissett 5.
At stiker, Gilbert Frierson played 33 snaps and Keontra Smith 24.
▪ Couple things from UM chief of staff Ed Reed’s recent appearance on The Jim Rome Show on CBS Radio:
During the offseason, he participated in player/coach Zoom calls. “I was on … every day, every night, playing music, smoking a cigar, just trying to keep people connected, keep people sane. People lost their minds during the last couple of months.”
In recent weeks, he has been around the team and “I know things coach asked me to look for,” Reed said. “… It hasn’t been like, ‘Man, you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I know what it should and shouldn’t look like.
“You asking me to bring that standard back to Miami,” he said. “I know the standard that we had and the standard Jimmy Johnson talked about. It was about the players.”
Reed can be on the field during games, but not on the sidelines. He can speak to recruits by phone or on Zoom as long as he does not make the phone call himself.
▪ Quick stuff: According to UM, the school didn’t poll season-ticket holders to determine exactly why attendance fell short of capacity Thursday; the Canes sold 8153 of 13,000 available tickets. But UM said 67 percent of their season-ticket holders rolled over their tickets until 2021…
Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call Saturday’s game at Louisville (7:30 p.m.,, ABC)..... ABC also will nationally televise FSU-at-UM at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 26.
I believe LCE has already said that coverage isn't Avantae's strength so he would have definitely been a liability at CB. He's a single-high safety.I would not be surprised to see Jared Harrison Hunte or Jordan Miller pass up Jon Ford in the next few weeks. The situation with Few over Restrepo doesn't concern me given the circumstances of Restrepo being a true frosh and Few being a senior in the 1st game of the season. X will pass up Few soon enough.
What really bothers me is Ryan Ragone over Avery Huff. TBH none of the upperclassmen LBs really impress me all that much. It's one game and Jennings was ok but McCloud was terrible and I hate to say that. We really need the younger kids like Brooks, Huff and even Cave to begin to develop. I know the plan is to put him at Striker but Chase Smith can't get here fast enough.
Amari Carter continues to be a liability in coverage. When Avantae Williams was determined to need to sit out the year some said it was not that significant due to him being a true freshmen and the depth at Safety. I disagree. Avantae could have contributed at Nickel and is versatile and athletic enough to help at CB where Ivey continues to struggle. The recruiting of the CB position needs to be much better and more consistent going forward.
Despite the fumbled punt and his inability to find a niche for himself thus far I think Pope could have a moderately successful year at WR. I expect Wiggins to snap out of his funk but I am highest on Payton. I expect him to establish himself as the year progresses. I'm intrigued by Redding's potential and Im excited to see more from Restrepo. Would like to get a look at Keyshawn Smith as well.
did you miss the Golden era? or Richt entire offensive staff? maybe the last 4 OL coaches?"has never fulfilled the expectations of former UM defensive line coach who privately insisted to people that he's a first round talent". Was Craig Kuligowski the most underwhelming hire in UM history?
yeah but those guys were all known bums. I didn't expect anybody on Golden's staff nor Richt's offense to do anything. Kuligowski came here with all these accolades and this incredible reputation.did you miss the Golden era? or Richt entire offensive staff? maybe the last 4 OL coaches?