|03-22-2008, 09:32 AM||#3621|
Teammates point to middle linebacker Glenn Cook as the brains of the defense.
Last year, when he was forced out with a foot injury, he even spent time on the sidelines wearing Randy Shannon's headset and communicating with defensive players.
He is, in every sense, another coach on the field.
And this year he's back on the field and says he's picking things up well after missing all of 2007.
"I'm still getting back in it," Cook said. "My body's getting adjusted to it, little aches and pains. I was out a whole year."
Cook says he's still waiting to hear back from the NCAA on whether he will get an extra year of eligibility after missing his senior season last year. But he's optimistic.
"I'm just trusting that I'll be able to get it," said Cook, who is spending the spring with the first group. "I'm just waiting on that word, `Okay.'"
Cook said he's not concerned that Romeo Davis has already gotten cleared while he hasn't.
"It's a long process," Cook said. "Some people wait three months for it. I sent my stuff in three weeks, a month ago."
Cook is helping out young linebackers Sean Spence and Arthur Brown.
"They always have questions," he said. "Sean's a real smart kid, and Arthur's picking it up real well.
"Last year that was a big thing for us – we weren't really aware of everything going on, didn't have everything down pat. We're focused on getting this new defense down now."
Cook says the defense under new coordinator Bill Young has him excited.
"He's putting our best athletes in position to make a lot of plays," Cook said. "I think during the season it'll show. We've been doing it this spring so far, are getting it down, and it's fun, exciting."
Has Cook seen any signs that this will be a better defense than the inconsistent group of a year ago?
"It's a whole different group for the most part," he said. "We lost a couple of key players (Calais Campbell and Kenny Phillips). I think overall as a unit we're closer. We really trust each other. I think it'll be an exciting group."
Cook is currently enrolled in his first semester as a graduate student at UM. He's studying sports administration.
Perhaps his future holds an athletic director position?
"I'll take it a day at a time," Cook says with a laugh, adding, "I said if I was going to have to come back another year I might as well go for something that's worth something. A master's is a great achievement, so I figured I should push myself."
|03-22-2008, 09:34 AM||#3622|
RANDY SHANNON Q&A
Q: You had a lot of high school and Pop Warner coaches out at practice today.
Shannon: Yes. It's two days (of the clinic) – today and tomorrow. We have guest speakers in from different parts of the country, from college to high school to pro.
Q: How was today's practice?
Shannon: It was a great day because they flew around and they had time off (yesterday).
Q: How are the kickers doing?
Shannon: They're doing pretty well. They kicked a field goal to end the scrimmage here in a two-minute situation. They're coming along well.
Q: Is it hard to a.ssess the kickers? They have star ratings and all that...
Shannon: Everyone has ratings. It's what they do on the field.
Q: What about kickoffs?
Shannon: The only thing we're working on is field goal and extra point, protection and punt.
Q: Is there anyone you can point to that has made big strides from last season?
Shannon: A lot of guys have done a good job of picking up their play level, are learning a lot of things and getting better. Joel Figueroa is playing really well now. Chris Barney has done a lot of good things out there on the offensive line. Dedrick Epps is coming along. It's maturity factors and playing time – when it comes they're picking it up.
Q: What's the status of Luqman Abdallah? Is he playing?
Shannon: Not right now. He's taking care of some things.
Q: Do you expect him to be on the team in the fall?
Q: Is Eric Houston out here?
Shannon: He's taking some things.
Q: What about Kayne Farquharson and Eric Moncur?
Shannon: They're nicked up. They should be ready for the scrimmage tomorrow.
Q: The scrimmage tomorrow is the same format as the previous scrimmage?
Shannon: A little different. But we'll get a lot of stuff done.
Q: It's closed to the media and the public?
Q: Talk about Chavez Grant.
Shannon: Chavez is doing a good job. He's playing a lot at corner right now and is doing a great job, making a lot of plays. Chavez always has skills to be one of the good guys. We're really excited about the way he's progressing and coming along.
|03-22-2008, 02:19 PM||#3624|
Coach Randy Shannon shook things up for the Hurricane offense in today's second scrimmage of the spring.
For 18 consecutive series to start the scrimmage he began the offense at its own two-yard line.
Three safeties – by Allen Bailey, Marcus Forston and Darryl Sharpton. And only a couple of those 18 drives resulted in field goal tries.
"We drove the ball but couldn't complete on fourth down," receiver Jermaine McKenzie said.
The defense dominated the first half of the scrimmage, and the charge was led by Bailey – he had a huge day with several tackles in addition to a sack and safety.
"Bailey was causing havoc," McKenzie said.
The biggest defensive play came from Bruce Johnson, who had a 65-yard touchdown off a Robert Marve 15-yard pass.
Darryl Sharpton also had an interception. And he had the biggest hit of the day, nailing Graig Cooper on a fourth down play for a loss of yards.
Aside from Bailey, other sacks came from Forston, Steven Wesley and Adewale Ojomo.
The second half of the scrimmage, which included the offense starting in the defense's territory, produced better results with several touchdowns.
"We started off a little slow, but then we came and produced," receiver Sam Shields said.
Graig Cooper ran in three touchdowns during that part of the work, including a nifty score in red zone drills.
"I feel a lot more comfortable physically because I put on a couple of pounds," Cooper said. "We're not worried about stats, just putting in work.
"The offense, we did alright. We just have to put in work. There's always room for improvement."
Javarris James didn't participate today because coach Randy Shannon said he simply wanted to see other backs play. Shawnbrey McNeal also didn't participate due to illness.
Cooper found the end zone three times
Cooper was the starter in the scrimmage.
"I'm real happy with the offense, but we have more work to do," Cooper said.
"Cooper, he did a great job, ran very hard," said James, who watched on from the sideline. "They put him in some tough situations – he had to man up. He did pretty well."
Derron Thomas also had a nice day with some big runs. He had back-to-back rushing scores with the offense placed in situations inside the defense's five-yard line at the end of practice. His final touchdown ended the scrimmage.
There were also some passing touchdowns in the second half of the scrimmage. Sam Shields caught one from Jacory Harris, and Richard Gordon and Chris Zellner also caught touchdowns.
The tight ends had a big day, with Dedrick Epps making a huge catch-and-run on a 60-plus yard gain. That took the offense inside the defense's five-yard line.
With two touchdowns from the tight end position, Epps said, "We feed off each other, and the offense feeds off us."
Safety Randy Phillips said of the defense's performance today that, "The defense did real well in the beginning, but at the end we have to step up and make plays. At the end the offense stepped it up. We have to keep f!ghting when we get tired."
Other highlights from the day's work included Matt Bosher and Jake Wieclaw making field goals.
Some lowlights included a missed field goal by Alex Uribe, a muffed snap by Jacory Harris (lining up under center) and some dropped passes (including a couple from Leonard Hankerson and Jermaine McKenzie on a 40-yard route).
"I dropped a ball, but as far as running my right routes I did alright," McKenzie said.
Some more notes from the scrimmage:
* Marve went with the first group through most of practice, including the first drive, with Jacory Harris also getting a lot of snaps throughout (mostly with the second team). Cannon Smith did not get as many snaps as the other two for the second consecutive scrimmage.
"Marve and Jacory looked pretty good today," Epps said. "Cannon (Smith) did a decent job also."
* Joe Joseph and Antonio Dixon were the first team defensive tackles at the start of the day's work, but Forston got a lot of first team reps.
"I made a lot of plays today, (but also) had mental errors," Forston said. "Coach Shannon kept me in there for a lot of reps to test me, test how I am mentally. He gave me game-time experience right there.
"I was with the ones and twos a lot – a three-man rotation."
* Eric Moncur didn't play much in the scrimmage because of a groin issue.
"The defense looked good at the beginning, but we can't temper off at the end," he said.
* Safety Lovon Ponder did not participate, but there was no immediate explanation as to why – he was suited up in full pads.
* Kayne Farquharson had two nice catches on fade patterns, but on the first one he made the catch out of bounds. Khalil Jones also made several catches today.
|9 years ago||'04 #3626|
$12,733 | 619
|03-25-2008, 07:36 PM||#3628|
UM HAS A NEW TIGHT END
When 6-foot-6 Daniel Adderley signed with the Hurricanes as a wide receiver, fans speculated that he would become a tight end down the road.
And now, with only four other tight ends on the roster, the sophomore has made the move. Coach Joe Pannunzio approached him yesterday about switching spots, and he started practicing at tight end today.
"He told me I'm a tight end now," Adderley said.
Adderley's reaction to coaches asking him to make the switch? "I said, `Okay, cool, let's do it – however I can help the team. However I can help the Hurricanes win, I'm fine with that.'"
Adderley had a few short receptions during today's drills. He's working to pick up the nuances of his new position.
"I just was learning (today)," he said. "It was different being with the tight ends. Some of the older guys took me under their wing, showed me everything. We went through blocking schemes, how to block. They know I know how to catch and run routes. It was more about understanding how tight ends work down here, how the system works."
Adderley says he currently tips the scales at 217 pounds.
"I have some weight to put on for sure," he said, adding that he doesn't have a specific goal for his weight.
He adds, "I want to be comfortable where I don't get pushed around."
Adderley says he's excited about what the future holds for him as a tight end.
"I'm just learning, and it's fun," he said. "I like the guys at tight end, love coach Pannunzio. It's just about making the transition and making my body physically ready.
"I think I can definitely help out the team if I can put some weight on."
What can make him a great tight end?
"Being physical and learning how to block, because I already can catch," Adderley said. "I think I have a great advantage on linebackers. Guys like Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow, no one could cover those guys. I want to be like that."
Players say they are excited to see what Adderley can bring to the offense.
"I found out today in practice he was moving," quarterback Jacory Harris said. "We think he can really help us at tight end because we have a lot of great receivers, and he's a big body. If we put him down there at tight end, that's an advantage with him going against linebackers."
* There were a couple of nice scoring runs today – one by Shawnbrey McNeal and one by Graig Cooper. But each also lost fumbles and were doing up-down punishment after practice. Damien Berry and Adewale Ojomo forced the fumbles.
Carlos Armour also created a turnover with an interception.
Safety Randy Phillips said of the defense's performance today that "We did okay, but we have to get a lot beter. We had a lot of mental errors. We just have to get everyone playing on the same page to be where we want to be."
TE Chris Zellner said of the day's offensive work that "We did a lot of good things, have a lot to improve on. We got better today. That's all that matters."
|03-25-2008, 07:37 PM||#3629|
Quarterback talk with Marve, Smith, Harris
JACORY HARRIS Q&A
Q: You're still working hard to gain weight?
Harris: Right now I'm sick, have a cold, so I lost like four pounds. I'm like 175, 173 right now.
Q: What are you trying to accomplish going into Saturday's spring game?
Harris: I just want to show everybody what I've got. We come out here, we have three great quarterbacks and we're all competing for the starting job. We just want to go out and show everybody around the nation that Miami is for real this year and that it's going to turn back into the Quarterback U.
Q: Talk about the fans that will be out there and the pressure.
Harris: No, there won't be any pressure. If you could deal with the pressure at Northwestern and all the things that go on around there you could deal with anything.
Q: How important is your individual performance on Saturday knowing it's the last day?
Harris: It's very important. I want to go out there and showcase my skills, have my team surround me so they can make me better. I want all of us to be good. I just want to show what I can do in the game. Whatever I do in the spring scrimmage, that'll be what I can do in a football game. I want to show all the things I learned over the spring and just have an overall good day. I stay in my playbook, do all the things to get better. So as long as I do that I'll be alright.
Q: How would a great performance on Saturday affect things for the future, or could it?
Harris: It could affect things for the future, but at the same time coach (Randy) Shannon said we won't have a starter until fall practice starts. So that's when it'll be determined.
Q: Are you happy about that?
Harris: Yeah. It doesn't matter to me. That's more time for us to compete.
Q: What's been the biggest transition from high school?
Harris: The biggest transition is the early morning workouts, because we have to work out at 6 in the morning. I wake up at 5, and my roommate wakes up at 4. It's kind of hard with two different people waking up at two different times.
Q: On the field it hasn't been that big a change for you?
Harris: Not really. It's basically all upstairs (mentally).
Q: What do you think will be the most important things in the end that will determine the starting quarterback?
Harris: Basically the person that the team revolves around the most. Whoever the team has that great chemistry with, that'll be the starter. And right now the team loves all three of us.
Q: What are your greatest a.ssets as a quarterback?
Harris: My ability to think, to read defenses and learn my plays.
Q: Do guys on this team still talk about 5-7?
Harris: At the beginning of the spring everyone was saying, `Oh, we're not going 5-7 anymore.' Now it's `We're trying to win a national championship.' We're not worried about the past. The past is the past. Most of those players are gone, some are here, and even the ones that played last year are still thinking about the future. We don't even know that Miami had a 5-7 year.
Q: You haven't lost in a while. Is it kind of crazy to you that Miami lost seven games last year?
Harris: Not to brag, but I never lost a high school game as a starter on varsity or JV. To look at Miami losing like that last year, it was a learning year. That was coach Shannon's first year, new recruits, new offense, new everything. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they had to learn a lot of things and basically the chemistry wasn't there throughout the whole year, wasn't consistent. This year it should be consistent because we have family right now. There's unity right now.
Q: Did you watch the team's struggles last year?
Harris: Yes. Especially at the Virginia game when I went. I wasted a whole hour trying to get in, and when I walked in the score was 21-0. I was like, `No, I must be at the wrong game. This isn't UM.' That' s the thing that got me.
Q: What about the expectations on you? Are they too high?
Harris: I don't worry about all the pressure. Even if I do bad, I know nobody can mess with me. There's really nothing to worry about. All they can do is say things, and that doesn't bother me. Really expectations aren't that high.
Q: How are you guys going to avoid where this is a you vs. Marve vs. Cannon scenario?
Harris: Basically our coaches are the ones that determine that, because right now me, Robert and Cannon, we're like brothers. We have fun with each other. Even if one is doing bad, we hype him up. Whoever is the starting quarterback, we want to make sure he's the best for that job. As long as we're making each other better we know whoever we put there is doing the job.
ROBERT MARVE Q&A
Q: How are you physically feeling?
Marve: I feel great. I think the spring's going really good. I feel a lot better than I thought (I would). My weight stayed, so I'm feeling good about it.
Q: What do you want to show on Saturday in the spring game?
Marve: You want to play to the best of your capabilities and show everyone what you've got.
Q: You were here last year, so do you have that edge being here a year more than the other two QBs?
Marve: No, I don't feel that way. I'm just trying to work as hard as I can, come out here and have fun.
Q: Randy Shannon said he won't make a decision on a starting quarterback until just before the first game. Are you good with that?
Marve: That's the head man. He makes the rules, so I'm cool with whatever he says. We're trying to win games around here, aren't trying to find out `Who is this, who is that.' We don't know any position right now. You don't know where anybody is going to be yet. We're just trying to win games and work hard together.
Q: Is this team more of a unit than last year?
Marve: Yeah, you definitely feel more as a family. We're starting to play as a group. It's the first time I've seen guys in the huddle look each other in the eye - `We've got this, let's do this together, f!ght together.' We're talking a lot more about family, which is a great thing for a team. Around the locker room you can feel the vibe. Guys are asking other guys about what's going on in class, their social life in general. It's a blessing to be out here and have fun together.
Q: How important will Saturday's performance be?
Marve: We're not thinking about having a great game, are taking it play by play, completion by completion. So you just go out there and whatever's best for the team you do, whether it's to hand off the ball or throw the deep ball. You just try to make the play on that play.
Q: You struggled in this past Saturday's scrimmage?
Marve: It was just another practice. I thought I had a great spring, had a little rough day on the scrimmage but it wasn't too bad. They started running different kind of defenses, but it wasn't a big deal either way. I learned from it. It's just another practice.
Q: Are you looking forward to the crowd on Saturday?
Marve: Yeah, it's going to be a lot of fun just showing the U, how we're back. I think it'll be great for the fans to see what we've been doing.
CANNON SMITH Q&A
Q: What's your goal for the spring game?
Smith: Just go out there, try to play mistake-free football, run an effective offense and put up points.
Q: Talk about going up against two guys who have so many accolades and are so well-known here in Florida.
Smith: It's good. This is the University of Miami. They go out and try to recruit the best players they can so we can be competing for a national championship. It's a lot of fun.
Q: Have you felt like the odd man out in this three-way battle?
Smith: You can at times, but you can't let that affect you. This is where I wanted to come. I wanted to come play football here at the University of Miami, and that's what I'm doing. I work hard every day. I can't let stuff like that affect me too much.
Q: Three weeks in, do you feel like you're still on equal footing with Jacory Harris and Robert Marve?
Smith: Yeah, I do. I think all of us are picking it up well. There might be times one of us steps up and plays a little better than the other, but all in all I think we've been doing a great job. We're taking completions and running the offense pretty well. I'm happy with it.
Q: Is Marve a step ahead because he's had that extra year?
Smith: Yeah, he was a little more comfortable. Obviously Jacory and I had to come in and get our footing. But once we got our feet wet we've done pretty well since. All of us try to help each other out, see it as a team thing rather than beat each other out. We all are happy when each other does well and look after each other.
Q: Are you disappointed to see the spring coming to an end?
Smith: I am. It's tough, but at the same time it's a lot of fun to put on the pads and play. It get monotonous in the weight room, summer runs. This is fun, playing football.
Q: Will it make a big statement if one quarterback does particularly well in the spring game?
Smith: We still have a long way to go. It's got importance, but we have a long way to go until the opening game. We'll try to go out, not put too much pressure on the situation and just play ball.
Q: Do you think about if one guy or another is getting more reps than you?
Smith: It'll cross your mind from time to time, but you can't let that stuff affect you. When we get in you have to make the most of your opportunities.
Q: Do you feel like you have to prove yourself more than the other two guys?
Smith: At times, maybe. But I think we all have some proving to do. None of us have taken a college snap. The bullets haven't been flying yet. We all have something to prove.
|03-25-2008, 07:37 PM||#3630|
Shannon addresses when he'll name starting QB
RANDY SHANNON Q&A
Opening statement: We just came back off last week's scrimmage, had situational things today with four-minute offense where the offense had to keep the ball for four minutes and the defense had to stop them, get the ball back with about two minutes or three left on the clock. It was good situations today, game type experience. Some guys made some plays. We worked the younger guys at running back really hard in those situations – Shawnbrey McNeal, Lee Chambers and Graig Cooper. And we rested Javarris (James) a little bit.
Q: Is James hurt?
Shannon: No. Javarris is our big back. We know he can get in there and pound it. We have to let those little guys get in just in case Javarris is nicked up for the game. We have to find out what these guys can do also.
Q: How is Derron Thomas doing?
Shannon: Derron's doing well. He got a lot of reps last week in the scrimmage. Each week we concentrate on guys that get in there and work a lot. This week it's those (other) three guys' opportunities to get in there and work.
Q: Talk about Joel Figueroa's progress.
Shannon: He's doing real well. He plays with a lot of excitement, brings enthusiasm to the offensive line with some big hits. He's really, really playing aggressive. He's going to contribute a lot this season.
Q: How are the quarterbacks coming along?
Shannon: They're doing well. Last week Robert Marve struggled early in the scrimmage. But then he picked it up a little bit. Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith did a great job of responding, coming in and moving the ball downfield.
Q: Physically is Marve's hand 100 percent?
Shannon: 100 percent. No aches, no pains, no nothing.
Q: Is he a little ahead because he has that experience over the two younger guys?
Shannon: Not really because all of them have had off days. Last week Jacory struggled, Saturday Marve struggled a little bit. It goes up and down because they're freshmen. The best part about it is they responded and came back strong. They don't go in the tank, get back to what they do best.
Q: Is it possible you'll make a decision on a QB starter after spring practice?
Shannon: No, I'm going to wait. A lot of things happen in the summer time.
Q: You'll announce a starter just before the first game?
Shannon: Might do it a week before. We've got a Thursday game (as the opener).
Q: Lovon Ponder isn't practicing?
Shannon: He's nicked so we're holding him back a little bit.
Q: Is Arthur Brown hurt?
Q: What are you trying to get accomplished in the spring game?
Shannon: Some execution, playing in front of fans again.
* Shannon declined to talk about specifics of the scrimmage format on Saturday, but the autograph session will be held before the 10 a.m. kickoff – the signing will begin at 9:15 a.m. at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Players say they don't know how the two teams will be divvied up on Saturday.
"Your guess is as good as mine," WR Kayne Farquharson said.
|9 years ago||'04 #3633|
$4,976 | 793
i guess i can add to this thread, been lurking since last season
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- In the 2007 season Eric Moncur set high, but attainable goals for himself.
Moncur (6-2, 250) started three games his sophomore year in 2006 and expected to make a big impact in his first full season of starting in 2007.
Before the 2007 season began, Moncur wanted to finish the year with ten sacks.
Moncur, however fell short of his goal. In eight starts last season he racked up six sacks while also finishing with 48 tackles.
Moncur, who is known by his coaches and teammates as a perfectionist, is emphatic when he says last year didn't finish how he wanted it.
"Hell no I wasn't satisfied with anything last year myself or the team," Moncur said. "The only thing is if we do real good this year as a whole and we need to get to a bowl game."
"My own goals won't matter next year if the team doesn't do good. I just want the defense as a whole to do better."
The defensive line has proved to be an improved unit this spring according to Moncur because of the additions of converted defensive end Allen Bailey and freshman defensive tackle Marcus Forston.
Moncur says it seems like nearly every practice at least either Bailey or Forston are making plays.
"All you have to do is look at him to know he is good," Moncur said of Bailey. "He is a big kid that is fast and one of the strongest guys on the team and he has been a quick learner. He never played defensive line and the things he is doing right now is great."
"Marcus has just been a young guy for us that has made plays. He has had some plays where he pushes the pocket up the middle in passing situations."
Since his sophomore season in 2006 Moncur has lost 10-15 pounds off of his 6-feet-2 frame. Moncur says his sophomore year he feels like he lost some of his quickness. Now at 250 pounds, Moncur feels comfortable.
"I feel comfortable at my weight right now. I think I am going to stay at the weight I am at."
Bill Young's new defensive scheme has affected the defensive ends according to Moncur. When the linebackers attack the quarterback on zone-blitzes, the defensive ends are expected to drop back into pass coverage.
Moncur says he likes his new responsibilities on defense.
"Sometimes we are dropping back in coverage, but other than that it is pretty much the same thing," Moncur said. "I am comfortable doing that, it is fun and something different."
|9 years ago||'04 #3634|
$4,976 | 793
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- This spring is the most physical spring the players have experienced in their UM careers.
While cornerback DeMarcus Van Dke says the spring practices has been tough, he has already noticed a difference in the play of a couple players.
During the scrimmage, Van Dke says a couple players are showing more effort with the ball in their hands than they did last year.
"The physical nature of the scrimmage stood out to me," Van Dke said. "A lot of guys were making tough tackles and a lot of guys were running hard through the tackles and downfield. Cooper is running the ball a lot harder and Epps has been tough to bring down after the catch."
Even at receiver, Van Dke has noticed a more physical attitude from the players.
"Receivers like Hankerson will put a block on you and you can't get off of it," Van Dke said. "Hankerson is a guy who will body you up all day in the red-zone. They are a lot more physical."
"They are an improved group because they have Aldarius Johnson coming in and Jermaine McKenzie back and they add to the group they already had. I guess it is kind of the same, those guys just add to the depth we have. They have more guys to bring at us now."
As a true freshman in 2007, Van Dke started played in every game last season and started eight games. He finished the year with 14 tackles and zero interceptions.
Van Dke (6-1, 174) played last season at around 165 pounds and made an effort to put on weight this offseason. Van Dke says the added weight and strength has allowed him to play more physical.
"I have noticed the weight out here because I feel more confident making the tough tackles now and getting physical with the receivers at the line," Van Dke said. "I could have used the weight I have now last year, definitely."
Van Dke, Bruce Johnson, and Chavez Grant are all receiving reps with the first team defense right now. Grant has been a guy who has stood out this spring and Van Dke says it is because he understands the new defensive scheme.
"Chavez is one of those guys who is real patient in the zone," Van Dke said. "He can get his read on the quarterback and then on the receiver and jump the route. It seems like every time the ball is thrown his way, it is a deflection or interception. He has really shown out this spring."
Van Dke says playing in the new scheme hasn't been a problem for him because he played a lot of zone coverage in high school.
"It is something I did a lot of in high school, so I am used to it. It really isn't a big change for me. I can play zone or man."
|9 years ago||'04 #3635|
$4,976 | 793
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Arthur Brown is continuing to learn what it takes at the college level even as he f!ghts through the pain.
Recently, Brown suffered a minor shoulder injury, but it has not kept him off the field.
"I dinged up my shoulder a little bit so I am going through rehab," he said. "It is something I have to learn to f!ght through. I have to continue to f!ght through the pain."
Brown is still the second-team strongside linebacker behind Glenn Cook.
"I'll play anywhere they want me to play, but I feel pretty comfortable there," Brown said.
On Saturday, the team held their second scrimmage of the spring, in which the defense made a number of big-time plays including Bruce Johnson's interception for a touchdown and Joe Joseph's fumble recovery.
"Defense as a whole, I think it went pretty good, we made a lot of big plays," Brown said. "As a group, we made a lot of mistakes and it's just something we have to work on every day."
Overall, Brown was pleased with the defense's effort when it came down to the tough downs.
"We did good on stopping them on fourth-down, the money down," Brown said.
Brown was one of eight freshmen, who enrolled early at UM this spring to participate in spring practices, which Brown, a Wichita, Kan. native, is glad he did.
"Absolutely, I couldn't imagine of not coming in at this time,"" Brown said.
One of the reasons Brown chose UM over a number of top programs such as USC, LSU, and Oklahoma was because of his relationship with UM linebackers coach Micheal Barrow.
"He's a great coach, great person overall," said Brown of Barrow. "He's really patient and a perfectionist. He wants us to study the film and our playbooks all of the time. You just have to do what he says."
Although fellow freshman linebacker Sean Spence has gotten off to a great start and garnered plenty of praise this spring, Brown said he is still doing well with the learning process.
"It's going pretty good," Brown said. "I'm still learning and adjusting to the whole system. We are adding a lot more to the scheme so it is a learning process with the plays."
"I'm doing pretty well. I am catching up with everyone else."
The Hurricanes resume spring practice on Tuesday as they prepare for the spring game on March 29 at Lockhart Stadium.
|9 years ago||'04 #3636|
$4,976 | 793
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Junior cornerback Chavez Grant has arguably been the player on defense who has made the most plays this spring.
In nearly every practice Grant is mentioned by teammates as the player who came up with an interception.
"I feel like the spring has been going good from me," Grant said. "I am getting better as a corner and as a player. I am helping the young guys out here and I just want to get better as a unit by pushing each other. I feel like I am playing pretty consistently and I want to pull the other guys with me."
Grant says the reason for his strong play this spring has been because of the new defensive scheme employed by new coordinator Bill Young.
"I think it just gives us a little more freedom," Grant said. "We can run around a little bit and we can play off of instinct. I like the defense and you can play things a lot better when you like what you are doing. I think it fits me well. There is a lot of zone and a lot of blitzing. It is just a lot of things for the offense to pick up on."
"It is a whole new scheme. I don't think teams that played us last year will know what is coming. Maybe if they watch Kansas, they will know what is coming, but it is a whole new scheme for us."
Grant finished last season with 26 tackles and one interception. He started five games primarily at the nickel spot.
This spring, Grant has received most of his reps as a cornerback on the outside.
"I am primarily playing on the outside this spring, but sometimes I play the nickel too," Grant said. "Damien Berry and Anthony Redd*ck have been playing a lot of nickel right now and that is why I have been playing on the outside, because those guys are doing such a good job on the inside and they don't really need me right now."
He has gained seven pounds this offseason, up to 180 pounds, and says he can feel a difference in effectiveness of his tackling.
"I feel like I have gotten stronger and I don't feel like my speed has declined at all," Grant said. "I feel like it has helped me when I am making tackles."
With all the playing time Grant received last season, he says the biggest thing he can take into the offseason is a confidence in his ability and short memory to get over bad plays.
"The biggest thing is that you can't get down on yourself. We lost more games than we won unfortunately and that is not what Miami is all about. We have to learn from last year though and get those wins. I believe those who work the hardest get the cookie. I feel like playing last year helped me get a lot smarter and that is helping me out with getting interceptions."
|9 years ago||'04 #3637|
$4,976 | 793
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Dedrick Epps is having a phenomenal spring according to head coach Randy Shannon.
Epps had a 65-yard reception on Friday and scored a touchdown earlier in the week as he tries to separate himself from Chris Zellner and Richard Gordon to be the team's primary tight end.
"I believe I can make big plays this year," said Epps, a 6-foor-4, 255-pound junior from Richmond, Va.
Shannon praised Epps on Friday for his performance this spring, but Epps believes he has not had a complete spring.
"I have my good days and my bad days, it's pretty even," Epps said. "I'm pretty hard on myself and harder on myself than (Shannon) is. He may see something as good, but I see it as wrong and then go look at it on film and see that it is okay."
Last season, Epps had his ups and downs.
After not playing well against Oklahoma in the second game of the season, he was benched the following game against FIU.
"I took that as a lesson and that you can't slack at anything you do," Epps said. "Especially with a coach like this, who wants everyone to produce every day in practice and especially in the games."
Epps began to come on in the second half of the season including scoring the game-winning touchdown against Florida State, a 13-yard reception from Kirby Freeman with 1:15 left.
He finished his sophomore season with eight receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown.
"The season started off down, but then it got better," Epps said.
Former UM tight end DajLeon Farr transferred to Memphis following the season, which opened the door for Epps.
"I can't hold it against him," Epps said. "He's his own man. I was with him on the decision and wished him well on his transition. We still communicate with DajLeon so no hard feelings."
This spring, Epps is concentrating on the steps when run-blocking, in which he considers his weak point.
"I know I can catch and fine-tune that here and there, but every day I work on different things with blocking," Epps said.
Epps is still looking to emerge from Zellner and Gordon to be a dominant tight end like UM has had in recent years, but he is confident in the unit as opposed to having one guy.
"You always hear about Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow, and Greg Olsen, but now we have three dynamic tight ends that once we get the ball in our hands we can do something and can block well," Epps said.
"I will take three over one any day."