Coach Speak: Thomas Brown runs through where the offense stands after practice No. 4

Stefan Adams

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After a rain-soaked fourth practice from the Miami Hurricanes, third year offensive coordinator Thomas Brown told the media that this is most talented offense he’s had at UM.

“We’ve got really good depth now,” Brown said. “We have some young guys who don’t know what the heck is going on, which is kind of normal for young guys. They have to grow up in a hurry because those guys can help us – from a depth standpoint but also probably to beat some guys out and possibly end up earning some starting jobs. Too much of a rollercoaster.

“We’ve got some super, super tough dudes on offense – not enough of them. A handful of guys who come out every single day and they’re physical, mentally tough and they finish everything. Those guys have to command [the same] from the rest of the group, so that they can bring it every day as a whole, as a unit. We have some really bright moments and some really terrible moments. We can’t have that. We have to be consistent every single day.”

Natural leaders have begun to emerge on the practice field and Brown points to three guys on offense that guys are beginning to gravitate towards.

“Malik (Rosier) plays the quarterback spot, so that will always be in an alpha position and he does try to take charge and take command,” Brown said. “He’s definitely been more consistent. Travis Homer doesn’t say a lot, but just watch him and he’ll motivate you. Guys have started to follow his lead some, DeeJay (Dallas) has an alpha male personality. He still has to grow up and mature more, but he’ll speak to the group, taking charge and being vocal.”

Brown elaborated more on Dallas, who has been working as the #2 back behind Travis Homer, same as last season.

“Deejay is a very skilled athlete,” Brown said. “Watching Travis work every single day should be a great learning lesson (for any player) - that dude will kill himself on the field, he takes coaching very well and is fundamentally sound.

“Deejay’s made a lot of progress. (Running) in between the tackles is going to be Deejay’s biggest adjustment from being an athlete out in space [coming in as a WR last year] to being a back. Also pass protection. He knows what he needs to do. He’s 22-0 pounds, has to play like it. … He’s making progress, I’m proud of him so far.”

Even though it’s only the fourth practice, coach Brown singled out a few freshmen that have been catching his eye so far in fall camp, beginning with the two-headed monster at tight end.

“Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory are going to be really good for us, I think,” Brown said. “Those guys are rotating and playing a bunch for us. They still have to learn what to do and have to grow up in a hurry, but they have flashes of some great plays.

“Obviously Lorenzo [Lingard] has been here already. He continues to work himself into a more prominent role as he’s learning what to do. He’s always a super “try hard” guy – he gives phenomenal effort every day. Cam Davis has flashes, but he doesn’t get it yet. Obviously he’s the newest one to get here. Just from how we do stuff practice-wise, how we finish stuff, the mindset we have every day – he’s got a long way to go with that. But he has really good ball skills, he runs the ball well.”

On the talented freshman wideout class that UM brought in, Brown said: “They are really fast, really good ball skills. Mark Pope is very talented - really all of those guys, I can’t single out one of them. Every last one we signed can do some different things for us. They have to mature fast.”

As many Hurricanes fans know, UM has specifically struggled for consistent play on the offensive line for years now. How well the O-Line comes together will be one of the keys to the team in 2018, and while Brown feels they still have a ways to go, he sees the group starting to come together as a unit.

“The first five guys are, again, not perfect, but I feel really good about those guys, and those guys coming together and gelling,” Brown said. “

Brown was most impressed with senior center Tyler Gauthier and said he “leads that group, without a doubt. He does a great job of taking charge and taking command. He’s one of the best leaders on our entire offense. I think it’s hard for an O-Lineman to lead, but he does a really good job of making sure those guys up front are definitely on the same page, and also putting pressure on the guys behind him.

Spring enrolle Delone Scaife is also making a bid to be the first man off the bench on the line.

“I would say DJ Scaife is definitely pushing behind those guys to possibly be the sixth guy in that rotation,” Brown said. “He has been here since January, really pleased with his progress. He’s obviously not there yet, but he’s definitely worked himself into the rotation and demanded to get more reps in practice.”

At the fullback spot, true freshman Realus George has been elevated over walk-on Michael Parrott for the #2 role, but is still trailing behind senior Trayone Gray. George is working on adjusting to the college game and learning the UM offense.

“Right now Trayone is the only option we have, in my opinion,” Brown said. “Realus has the physical tools, he’s big enough. Doesn’t get it (mentally) yet, in high school he was 40 pounds bigger than everybody else. These (college) linebackers will knock you out, and I don’t think he realizes that yet. He got a little wakeup call yesterday, hopefully the last time it’s going to happen. It’s hard to play the fullback position, it’s a different spot, different mentality. He has the physical tools, has to get a lot stronger. He’s a big dude size-wise but strength is going to be definitely taking time to catch up to.

“(Gray) can get in at fullback and help us function, he’s probably one of the strongest guys on the team. It just hasn’t transferred to out on the field yet. Looking forward to him cutting it loose and really see all of his talent. Right now he’s the only viable option we have at fullback.
 

motorcitycane

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One constant with the coaches is they are all pr aching about depth! Definitely excited about the offensive TE/RB/WR Depth. Can’t wait until our OL and QB depth catch up.
The Whole defense still needs depth too. We are still thin or young in some places.
 

Novacane32000

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Lots of new, fresh talent but it will be a while before they can turn that into wins on the field for us. At the very least , I'd hope one of the new TE's can contribute game one vs LSU.
 

CaneDog66

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Thanks Stefan. It’s great to hear Coach Brown talk about the young players and how they’re coming along. I think Pope and Hightower are going to play big time roles in our offense this season as will Jordan and Mallory. Man, it’s going to be so sweet to see a seam route hit for @20yds to either Jordan or Mallory. That’s going to really cause LSU fits defensively lol
 

jkaz1

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We're definitely a lot closer on offense with where we need to be.

Need 4 quality OL and a quality QB in this class for sure.

I don't think we've ever been this loaded at the WR position.

Of course, we had a year or two during the Butch years with 3 WRs who would eventually each get over 10,000 yards in the NFL (Moss, Wayne and Johnson), but there wasn't as much depth. A solid group, just not nearly as deep.

We're going to need both the freshmen TEs to play a lot this year.
 

JHallCanes

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With Mack trucks like Homer and Deejay, a dramatic improvement on 3rd has to be expected

The Herndon loss is the one that worries me the most
 

FrancisSaywer

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Good stuff. So refreshing to actually hear the coaches talk about our depth. This could be an extremely fun team to watch. Can't wait!
 

Cane6

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“So coach Brown, can you tell us which players are good and which are bad? Also, comment on crank size please”....... Susan whatsherface
 
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We're definitely a lot closer on offense with where we need to be.

Need 4 quality OL and a quality QB in this class for sure.

I don't think we've ever been this loaded at the WR position.

Of course, we had a year or two during the Butch years with 3 WRs who would eventually each get over 10,000 yards in the NFL (Moss, Wayne and Johnson), but there wasn't as much depth. A solid group, just not nearly as deep.

We're going to need both the freshmen TEs to play a lot this year.
Ok till Pope, Richards, Thomas start 10+ years and go to Super bowl slow your roll.. I like these guys, but 2000-2 receivers were the best combo short of Irvin, Brown and Blades, or Williams, Thomas and Hill

Let’s let not confuse Pre-season hype with HOF and All star players from the past
 
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