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Diaz speaks as Canes return to practice, prep for Duke

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Stefan Adams

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Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz and his team returned to practice today after a two-week layoff, and Diaz gave his take on where the program stands heading into their first game back this weekend.

“Happy to be back here, back in game week talking about a football game,” Diaz said. “We will practice this evening. There will be some unique challenges this week just to get to Saturday… The only thing similar is a bowl game where you have a long layoff, but it’s not a bowl game because you haven’t had your normal bowl practices.

“The things that stand out is, number one, tackling. Conditioning, football-shape conditioning. Special teams because of disruption on the depth chart, timing of special teams. And then turnovers. Those are the things you really double down on. You double down fundamentally to make yourself hard to beat and hope the scheme will look better (if) the fundamentals are better.”

After Miami’s game against Wake Forest this Saturday was canceled over the weekend due to the Demon Deacons’ own COVID issues, UM and the ACC agreed to replace Wake on the schedule with Duke late last night. Duke’s previously scheduled game against FSU this weekend was canceled due to COVID issues within the Seminoles’ program.

“This team has to have a great sense of `We’ll find out what today is all about because by tomorrow it might change again,’” Diaz said. “We had some meetings this morning, I think the kids are very excited to be back. They want to play… We didn’t really know that Duke was going to be our opponent until last night. There’s some familiarity there. The schematic part is one challenge. We are happy for the league to arrange the game. We’re excited to play Duke on Saturday night.”

While Miami will return a lot of players that had previously missed time with COVID, Diaz said the team still expects to be missing some players come this weekend vs. Duke.

“We feel we have enough depth at all positions to be good,” Diaz said. “Dealing with the long layoff, getting our guys back in football shape, in contact, there’s a lot of things very unusual about our team at this point. It has to be a very focused week.”

While the two-week layoff has presented numerous challenges for the Canes, it has also given guys like OL Navaughn Donaldson time to heal up from injury and possibly contribute down the stretch.

“We’ll put the 11 best guys out there that put us in position to win,” Diaz said. “We’re happy to have Navaughn back and as the week goes on, we’ll see what role he can play Saturday and beyond.”

Diaz also spoke on the recruiting side of things, talking in general about what the 2021 commitments have done on the field as a group this season.

“In generalities, we have been very excited with what the guys have been able to do,” Diaz said. “Some players are just getting three or four games, some teams having a hard time playing even what amounts to half of a season.

“You want to see your players play their best their senior year, not rest on their recruiting laurels, and by all accounts, we’ve been excited about our guys. … It won’t be long before a group of them get there in January, which is crazy.”

Miami’s offense has made a lot of strides on that side of the ball from just one season ago, and Diaz believes the relative early success of the new system has been beneficial in recruiting.

“I think it has (helped). … Our recruits know it’s not anywhere near where it’s going to be with what we feel we can be offensively. Yeah, that’s been one of the great storylines of the year.”
 

Gables Cane

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Nov 2, 2011
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1,233
Hard to say.

All of the players that tested positive prior the VT game should be cleared. Most of the players who were held out of the VT game due to contact tracing should be cleared unless they contracted the virus last week.

It's the players that haven't been held out for any games this year that are at most risk. There's quite a few starters on that list.
 
Joined
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Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz and his team returned to practice today after a two-week layoff, and Diaz gave his take on where the program stands heading into their first game back this weekend.

“Happy to be back here, back in game week talking about a football game,” Diaz said. “We will practice this evening. There will be some unique challenges this week just to get to Saturday… The only thing similar is a bowl game where you have a long layoff, but it’s not a bowl game because you haven’t had your normal bowl practices.

“The things that stand out is, number one, tackling. Conditioning, football-shape conditioning. Special teams because of disruption on the depth chart, timing of special teams. And then turnovers. Those are the things you really double down on. You double down fundamentally to make yourself hard to beat and hope the scheme will look better (if) the fundamentals are better.”

After Miami’s game against Wake Forest this Saturday was canceled over the weekend due to the Demon Deacons’ own COVID issues, UM and the ACC agreed to replace Wake on the schedule with Duke late last night. Duke’s previously scheduled game against FSU this weekend was canceled due to COVID issues within the Seminoles’ program.

“This team has to have a great sense of `We’ll find out what today is all about because by tomorrow it might change again,’” Diaz said. “We had some meetings this morning, I think the kids are very excited to be back. They want to play… We didn’t really know that Duke was going to be our opponent until last night. There’s some familiarity there. The schematic part is one challenge. We are happy for the league to arrange the game. We’re excited to play Duke on Saturday night.”

While Miami will return a lot of players that had previously missed time with COVID, Diaz said the team still expects to be missing some players come this weekend vs. Duke.

“We feel we have enough depth at all positions to be good,” Diaz said. “Dealing with the long layoff, getting our guys back in football shape, in contact, there’s a lot of things very unusual about our team at this point. It has to be a very focused week.”

While the two-week layoff has presented numerous challenges for the Canes, it has also given guys like OL Navaughn Donaldson time to heal up from injury and possibly contribute down the stretch.

“We’ll put the 11 best guys out there that put us in position to win,” Diaz said. “We’re happy to have Navaughn back and as the week goes on, we’ll see what role he can play Saturday and beyond.”

Diaz also spoke on the recruiting side of things, talking in general about what the 2021 commitments have done on the field as a group this season.

“In generalities, we have been very excited with what the guys have been able to do,” Diaz said. “Some players are just getting three or four games, some teams having a hard time playing even what amounts to half of a season.

“You want to see your players play their best their senior year, not rest on their recruiting laurels, and by all accounts, we’ve been excited about our guys. … It won’t be long before a group of them get there in January, which is crazy.”

Miami’s offense has made a lot of strides on that side of the ball from just one season ago, and Diaz believes the relative early success of the new system has been beneficial in recruiting.

“I think it has (helped). … Our recruits know it’s not anywhere near where it’s going to be with what we feel we can be offensively. Yeah, that’s been one of the great storylines of the year.”
“We’ll put the 11 best guys out there that put us in position to win,” Diaz said. “ That has been a problem. Is it your best 11 or should it be the 11 best?
 

mackjones

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3,373
If only we had defensive coaches on staff. Like positions coaches, coordinator and head coach/former DC to teach these kids how to tackle. Because that would be great.
huh? FWIW... Miami isn't the only Power 5 conference team to have relative issues with tackling. Also, because of the LACK of DEPTH and a host of players going AWOL, Miami can't engage in tackling drills of years gone bye. Matter of fact, because of the lack of roster players at this time, Miami CAN'T possibly go " FULL SPEED " regarding tackling. huh? For the simple reason of possible injuries. Nevertheless, the way to avoid practice injuries is for a team's players to go 100 percent and what not.
 

Zombie-Cane

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Tackling is a lost art form. The days of wrapping up and taking someone down are gone for most players. Now it is launching yourself and burying a shoulder and hoping they go down from the massive shot and that it is worthy of making it on Sportscenter. Sadly, most result in missed tackles.
 

Echtcane

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Nov 28, 2016
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702
Tackling is a lost art form. The days of wrapping up and taking someone down are gone for most players. Now it is launching yourself and burying a shoulder and hoping they go down from the massive shot and that it is worthy of making it on Sportscenter. Sadly, most result in missed tackles.

I agree, but what I want to know is why. It would seem with the increasing emphasis on safety an avoiding targeting the trend would be coaching them in the other direction.
 

rok

Dead Manny Walking
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Nov 4, 2011
Messages
20,740
He makes a good point about fundamentals affecting how the scheme looks. Nobody's fault but Bolden's for allowing the long TD run by Hooker.
 

The Franchise

The Best EVER
Joined
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43,441
Diaz always comes across as laying the groundwork for failure. He acts like we've been off for 2 months. It was 2 measly weeks. It's a few days more than a typical bye week.

What he should be saying is that he's excited and the team is rested and recharged and rejuvenated and will come out with their hair on fire. This was the perfect time for a recharge and to heal some bumps and bruises.
 
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