Coach Speak: Diaz ready to give more reps to freshmen, Hartley talks punting game

Stefan Adams

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#1
After Wednesday’s practice, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz talked about the freshmen players he’s seen that he believes deserve more reps.

“(Gregory) Rousseau for sure would have been one, we’re sad to see him [injured] and hope we can get him back,” Diaz said. “Up front (Nesta) Silvera for sure will be in the mix, (Patrick) Joyner has a chance now with Rousseau being out. In the back end you’ve already seen more DJ Ivey, will continue to see him. Al (Blades), and Gurvan Hall you’ll start to see more and more as the weeks go on.”

After missing all of last week, senior DE Demetrius Jackson returned to practice yesterday, and Diaz feels his experience will be invaluable this week at Toledo in Miami’s first true road game.

“It’s very important, especially going on the road,” Diaz said on having Jackson back. “Noon kick, hostile environment…it’s going to be a really big spectacle up there. So to have an older guy, who has been in that experience and who has seen those types of environments - he’ll know what to do and be able to play at full-speed from the beginning – is important to us. We just want D-Jack back anyways. He’s a big part of our defense.”

UM’s defense struggled a bit with the Rockets’ passing game in their matchup last season at Hard Rock Stadium, giving up 344 yards through the air. While Toledo is breaking in a new QB this year, much of their receiving talent has returned in 2018, such as Cody Thompson and Jon’Vea Johnson.

“They really can do it all,” Diaz said on the Toledo receivers. “They’re as deep as a group, and this is not just my opinion, the numbers tell it. (You’re deep) as anyone in the country when you have three guys that have had 1,000 yard seasons. And they all have different skill sets, but the one thing they can all do is take you deep.”

Freshman corner Al Blades came into Miami during the summer and has quickly earned the trust of the coaching staff. Diaz says his ability to find a role in UM’s defense so early has everything to do with how he handles things between the ears.

“The transition from high school to college usually doesn’t have anything to do with their physical ability or their talent,” Diaz said. “All of our guys are talented. It’s the ones who mentally have that maturity to compete at that next level. Al stood out very early in training camp as a guy that was just not in awe of the speed of the game out here.

“Trajan Bandy gets kicked out of the game on the fourth play of the game against LSU, guess what? Al Blades, you’re the nickel. Maybe one of the most intimidating settings in all of college football, at Cowboys Stadium, and Al goes right in there and plays like he’s playing catch in his backyard. Obviously there’s something in his mental makeup and in his wiring that makes him believe that nothing is ever too big for him. He feels very confident in every situation he’s in.”

On DT Gerald Willis’ performance so far: “He’s quick, so he’s hard for guards,” Diaz said. “He’s also powerful and tough so it’s not all finesse. And he can be strong and sturdy at the point of attack.”


**Tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Todd Hartley is looking for more from his starting punter in Zach Feagles, who has had a few bad kicks through UM’s first 2 games in 2018.

“I think he feels the pressure more than anybody else, to be honest with you,” Hartley said. “He understands that he was brought here to do a job, and our standard is to be the best in the country. That is our goal. And we are not there right now, okay? And he understands that better than anyone else.

“He understands that we are holding a very high standard, and he needs to hold a high standard as well. The kid’s working his butt off. I do believe he’s going to get there, and for some reason if he doesn’t we’ll try (Jack) Spicer and if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to find someone in the offseason. At this point right now the only thing we can do is promote that kid and give that kid every opportunity to get out of this funk. (In practice) he shows what he can do; we have to transition that to games.”

Hartley has had more success with his tight end unit so far this season. Despite losing veteran Michael Irvin II to injury in fall camp, Hartley has gotten his two freshmen tight ends in Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan ready to play, and both caught TD’s last week against Savannah State.

“They weren’t frustrated after Game 1 (vs. LSU) but wanted to do more to help the team,” Hartley said. “You tell young kids, `You’ll get your shot.’ They had just as many game plan targets against Savannah State as LSU, it just happened to come to them. And ended up with nine catches as a unit and three touchdowns. I think those kids just getting out there and seeing themselves make plays does wonders for their confidence.”

Freshman corner Al Blades was named the captain representing special teams this week for Toledo, and Hartley elaborated on how he earned that designation.

“A guy that came in, didn’t say much, wanted to be on the depth chart, worked his butt off at practice – you put him in game situations and he showed out,” Hartley said on Blades. “His performance is what earned him that spot. He’s a kid that, at the end of the [Savannah State] game, you’re trying to get some other kids that don’t normally play in the game, and I’m like, ‘hey Al, why don’t you take this rep off so we can put someone else in there?’ He says, ‘no, I’m not coming out.’ And I said, ‘alright, well get back in there then.’

“He’s a guy that tells me he wants to be in there. He’s a really good football player. He has great speed, he’s a great tackler, he has the right mindset and the right mentality to be an unbelievable special teams player. For a kid to be a captain Game 3 of his freshman year, that says a lot about the kid.”

In Hartley’s now third year at UM, only one other player has gotten that type of recognition as a freshman.

“[Travis] Homer, I believe, was a captain his freshman year,” Hartley said. “I don’t think it was Game 3. It might have been Game 7 or 8 – somebody can probably look that up. But he was a captain his freshman year on special teams. But Al was probably the first this soon, this early, for sure.”
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
904
#2
Will be very interesting to see who ends up being the better players, the freshmen we just got on campus or the much more hyped AH duo who snubbed us.

Hard to bet against Blades DNA, especially when his mind and work ethic are so rock solid.
 

Boot Cane

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
458
#3
SMH it these guys not looking RIGHT NOW for a punter next year
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
323
#4
Will be very interesting to see who ends up being the better players, the freshmen we just got on campus or the much more hyped AH duo who snubbed us.

Hard to bet against Blades DNA, especially when his mind and work ethic are so rock solid.
After Wednesday’s practice, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz talked about the freshmen players he’s seen that he believes deserve more reps.

“(Gregory) Rousseau for sure would have been one, we’re sad to see him [injured] and hope we can get him back,” Diaz said. “Up front (Nesta) Silvera for sure will be in the mix, (Patrick) Joyner has a chance now with Rousseau being out. In the back end you’ve already seen more DJ Ivey, will continue to see him. Al (Blades), and Gurvan Hall you’ll start to see more and more as the weeks go on.”

After missing all of last week, senior DE Demetrius Jackson returned to practice yesterday, and Diaz feels his experience will be invaluable this week at Toledo in Miami’s first true road game.

“It’s very important, especially going on the road,” Diaz said on having Jackson back. “Noon kick, hostile environment…it’s going to be a really big spectacle up there. So to have an older guy, who has been in that experience and who has seen those types of environments - he’ll know what to do and be able to play at full-speed from the beginning – is important to us. We just want D-Jack back anyways. He’s a big part of our defense.”

UM’s defense struggled a bit with the Rockets’ passing game in their matchup last season at Hard Rock Stadium, giving up 344 yards through the air. While Toledo is breaking in a new QB this year, much of their receiving talent has returned in 2018, such as Cody Thompson and Jon’Vea Johnson.

“They really can do it all,” Diaz said on the Toledo receivers. “They’re as deep as a group, and this is not just my opinion, the numbers tell it. (You’re deep) as anyone in the country when you have three guys that have had 1,000 yard seasons. And they all have different skill sets, but the one thing they can all do is take you deep.”

Freshman corner Al Blades came into Miami during the summer and has quickly earned the trust of the coaching staff. Diaz says his ability to find a role in UM’s defense so early has everything to do with how he handles things between the ears.

“The transition from high school to college usually doesn’t have anything to do with their physical ability or their talent,” Diaz said. “All of our guys are talented. It’s the ones who mentally have that maturity to compete at that next level. Al stood out very early in training camp as a guy that was just not in awe of the speed of the game out here.

“Trajan Bandy gets kicked out of the game on the fourth play of the game against LSU, guess what? Al Blades, you’re the nickel. Maybe one of the most intimidating settings in all of college football, at Cowboys Stadium, and Al goes right in there and plays like he’s playing catch in his backyard. Obviously there’s something in his mental makeup and in his wiring that makes him believe that nothing is ever too big for him. He feels very confident in every situation he’s in.”

On DT Gerald Willis’ performance so far: “He’s quick, so he’s hard for guards,” Diaz said. “He’s also powerful and tough so it’s not all finesse. And he can be strong and sturdy at the point of attack.”


**Tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Todd Hartley is looking for more from his starting punter in Zach Feagles, who has had a few bad kicks through UM’s first 2 games in 2018.

“I think he feels the pressure more than anybody else, to be honest with you,” Hartley said. “He understands that he was brought here to do a job, and our standard is to be the best in the country. That is our goal. And we are not there right now, okay? And he understands that better than anyone else.

“He understands that we are holding a very high standard, and he needs to hold a high standard as well. The kid’s working his butt off. I do believe he’s going to get there, and for some reason if he doesn’t we’ll try (Jack) Spicer and if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to find someone in the offseason. At this point right now the only thing we can do is promote that kid and give that kid every opportunity to get out of this funk. (In practice) he shows what he can do; we have to transition that to games.”

Hartley has had more success with his tight end unit so far this season. Despite losing veteran Michael Irvin II to injury in fall camp, Hartley has gotten his two freshmen tight ends in Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan ready to play, and both caught TD’s last week against Savannah State.

“They weren’t frustrated after Game 1 (vs. LSU) but wanted to do more to help the team,” Hartley said. “You tell young kids, `You’ll get your shot.’ They had just as many game plan targets against Savannah State as LSU, it just happened to come to them. And ended up with nine catches as a unit and three touchdowns. I think those kids just getting out there and seeing themselves make plays does wonders for their confidence.”

Freshman corner Al Blades was named the captain representing special teams this week for Toledo, and Hartley elaborated on how he earned that designation.

“A guy that came in, didn’t say much, wanted to be on the depth chart, worked his butt off at practice – you put him in game situations and he showed out,” Hartley said on Blades. “His performance is what earned him that spot. He’s a kid that, at the end of the [Savannah State] game, you’re trying to get some other kids that don’t normally play in the game, and I’m like, ‘hey Al, why don’t you take this rep off so we can put someone else in there?’ He says, ‘no, I’m not coming out.’ And I said, ‘alright, well get back in there then.’

“He’s a guy that tells me he wants to be in there. He’s a really good football player. He has great speed, he’s a great tackler, he has the right mindset and the right mentality to be an unbelievable special teams player. For a kid to be a captain Game 3 of his freshman year, that says a lot about the kid.”

In Hartley’s now third year at UM, only one other player has gotten that type of recognition as a freshman.

“[Travis] Homer, I believe, was a captain his freshman year,” Hartley said. “I don’t think it was Game 3. It might have been Game 7 or 8 – somebody can probably look that up. But he was a captain his freshman year on special teams. But Al was probably the first this soon, this early, for sure.”
Always informative Stefan!
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2011
Messages
4,168
#5
let the young thoroughbreds run.....
 

jsy

Recruit
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
835
#6
Hartley himself said the standard is to be the best
since he's gotten here our special teams is not near the best

when will he start to hold himself accountable?
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
640
#7
After Wednesday’s practice, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz talked about the freshmen players he’s seen that he believes deserve more reps.

“(Gregory) Rousseau for sure would have been one, we’re sad to see him [injured] and hope we can get him back,” Diaz said. “Up front (Nesta) Silvera for sure will be in the mix, (Patrick) Joyner has a chance now with Rousseau being out. In the back end you’ve already seen more DJ Ivey, will continue to see him. Al (Blades), and Gurvan Hall you’ll start to see more and more as the weeks go on.”

After missing all of last week, senior DE Demetrius Jackson returned to practice yesterday, and Diaz feels his experience will be invaluable this week at Toledo in Miami’s first true road game.

“It’s very important, especially going on the road,” Diaz said on having Jackson back. “Noon kick, hostile environment…it’s going to be a really big spectacle up there. So to have an older guy, who has been in that experience and who has seen those types of environments - he’ll know what to do and be able to play at full-speed from the beginning – is important to us. We just want D-Jack back anyways. He’s a big part of our defense.”

UM’s defense struggled a bit with the Rockets’ passing game in their matchup last season at Hard Rock Stadium, giving up 344 yards through the air. While Toledo is breaking in a new QB this year, much of their receiving talent has returned in 2018, such as Cody Thompson and Jon’Vea Johnson.

“They really can do it all,” Diaz said on the Toledo receivers. “They’re as deep as a group, and this is not just my opinion, the numbers tell it. (You’re deep) as anyone in the country when you have three guys that have had 1,000 yard seasons. And they all have different skill sets, but the one thing they can all do is take you deep.”

Freshman corner Al Blades came into Miami during the summer and has quickly earned the trust of the coaching staff. Diaz says his ability to find a role in UM’s defense so early has everything to do with how he handles things between the ears.

“The transition from high school to college usually doesn’t have anything to do with their physical ability or their talent,” Diaz said. “All of our guys are talented. It’s the ones who mentally have that maturity to compete at that next level. Al stood out very early in training camp as a guy that was just not in awe of the speed of the game out here.

“Trajan Bandy gets kicked out of the game on the fourth play of the game against LSU, guess what? Al Blades, you’re the nickel. Maybe one of the most intimidating settings in all of college football, at Cowboys Stadium, and Al goes right in there and plays like he’s playing catch in his backyard. Obviously there’s something in his mental makeup and in his wiring that makes him believe that nothing is ever too big for him. He feels very confident in every situation he’s in.”

On DT Gerald Willis’ performance so far: “He’s quick, so he’s hard for guards,” Diaz said. “He’s also powerful and tough so it’s not all finesse. And he can be strong and sturdy at the point of attack.”


**Tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Todd Hartley is looking for more from his starting punter in Zach Feagles, who has had a few bad kicks through UM’s first 2 games in 2018.

“I think he feels the pressure more than anybody else, to be honest with you,” Hartley said. “He understands that he was brought here to do a job, and our standard is to be the best in the country. That is our goal. And we are not there right now, okay? And he understands that better than anyone else.

“He understands that we are holding a very high standard, and he needs to hold a high standard as well. The kid’s working his butt off. I do believe he’s going to get there, and for some reason if he doesn’t we’ll try (Jack) Spicer and if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to find someone in the offseason. At this point right now the only thing we can do is promote that kid and give that kid every opportunity to get out of this funk. (In practice) he shows what he can do; we have to transition that to games.”

Hartley has had more success with his tight end unit so far this season. Despite losing veteran Michael Irvin II to injury in fall camp, Hartley has gotten his two freshmen tight ends in Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan ready to play, and both caught TD’s last week against Savannah State.

“They weren’t frustrated after Game 1 (vs. LSU) but wanted to do more to help the team,” Hartley said. “You tell young kids, `You’ll get your shot.’ They had just as many game plan targets against Savannah State as LSU, it just happened to come to them. And ended up with nine catches as a unit and three touchdowns. I think those kids just getting out there and seeing themselves make plays does wonders for their confidence.”

Freshman corner Al Blades was named the captain representing special teams this week for Toledo, and Hartley elaborated on how he earned that designation.

“A guy that came in, didn’t say much, wanted to be on the depth chart, worked his butt off at practice – you put him in game situations and he showed out,” Hartley said on Blades. “His performance is what earned him that spot. He’s a kid that, at the end of the [Savannah State] game, you’re trying to get some other kids that don’t normally play in the game, and I’m like, ‘hey Al, why don’t you take this rep off so we can put someone else in there?’ He says, ‘no, I’m not coming out.’ And I said, ‘alright, well get back in there then.’

“He’s a guy that tells me he wants to be in there. He’s a really good football player. He has great speed, he’s a great tackler, he has the right mindset and the right mentality to be an unbelievable special teams player. For a kid to be a captain Game 3 of his freshman year, that says a lot about the kid.”

In Hartley’s now third year at UM, only one other player has gotten that type of recognition as a freshman.

“[Travis] Homer, I believe, was a captain his freshman year,” Hartley said. “I don’t think it was Game 3. It might have been Game 7 or 8 – somebody can probably look that up. But he was a captain his freshman year on special teams. But Al was probably the first this soon, this early, for sure.”
Like the report as always!
Need to let Spicer get some kicking in during actual game conditions to see how he performs in those conditions. This Feagle's problem is beginning to look more and more to me like a college career problem. I hope I am wrong!
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
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#8
...special teams coordinator Todd Hartley is looking for more from his starting punter in Zach Feagles..
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
3,462
#9
Damnit....When I first saw "Diaz ready to give........(I was praying to No avail)
up Blitzing 20 times a quarter....
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
3,919
#10
We went from having one of the best punters in NCAA to having perhaps the worst. Does anybody understand what he's doing wrong mechanically that he is so bad?
 

jsy

Recruit
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
835
#12
we were spoiled by the last guy in charge
golden was the butch davis of finding punting talent
 

jsy

Recruit
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
835
#13
We went from having one of the best punters in NCAA to having perhaps the worst. Does anybody understand what he's doing wrong mechanically that he is so bad?
I don't know exactly but the dude is jacked maybe he spends too much time in the gym benching and not kicking
 
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
2,634
#14
We went from having one of the best punters in NCAA to having perhaps the worst. Does anybody understand what he's doing wrong mechanically that he is so bad?
I'm no kicking expert, but he's got the yips. It seems to be mental, not mechanical, although there could be a mechanical form issue with his "swing" that causes his technique to break down more easily than it should. It just seems like he's focusing on other things like not getting his kick rejected right back in his face because our special teams blocking is atrocious, and not just focusing on doing his job of getting the ball off. Kid has the leg to boom it.
 

TerragonSix

Can You Dig It?
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
Messages
1,560
#15
"A few bad punts to start the 2018 season."


No Sir. Hes had a *few* good punts. He's had *many* bad ones.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
705
#16
We went from having one of the best punters in NCAA to having perhaps the worst. Does anybody understand what he's doing wrong mechanically that he is so bad?
I think he has the yips. Coaches say he's booming the ball in practice, but can't take it to the game. That's all in the mind. He must be thinking about it too much.

Kinda like a golfer on that dogleg par 4 with water down the right side saying to himself....don't shank it in the water. Then...SPLAAAAAASH!!!!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
705
#18
I'm no kicking expert, but he's got the yips. It seems to be mental, not mechanical, although there could be a mechanical form issue with his "swing" that causes his technique to break down more easily than it should. It just seems like he's focusing on other things like not getting his kick rejected right back in his face because our special teams blocking is atrocious, and not just focusing on doing his job of getting the ball off. Kid has the leg to boom it.
Exactly!!!!
 

jsy

Recruit
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
835
#20
"A few bad punts to start the 2018 season."


No Sir. Hes had a *few* good punts. He's had *many* bad ones.
i can't recall a good one. the only time he seems to kick it well is when were kicking from the opponents side of the field and then hell kick a 60 yarder out of the end zone
 
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