Canes's Shannon Brings Culture Change

Going into his third season at Miami, Coach Randy Shannon faces an imposing first four games on his schedule. Shannon met with reporters the ACC kickoff to discuss that schedule, the improvement of his quarterback and team and how he's changed the culture of the team in his first three years.

What kind of sadist made up your schedule this year?

"I don't know the guy who did it but it's just part of it. It's an NFL schedule. Like the NFL you have to go out and treat it like it's an opponent you can beat. You have to change the tempo of practice and the way the guys prepare."

Is that scheduling a product of how good the ACC is from top to bottom?

"I think it is. It's always been the last two weeks of the season will decide who the division winners will be. I think that's what you have to look at. There's not an outright winner after six or seven games. It's always the last two games. That's the one thing about the ACC conference. It's fun to be a part of because of that."

Is the Florida State game one that you'd rather play later in the season?

"It's good for the conference. That's the one thing you have to look at. You have to play them sometime. If you don't play them at the beginning of the season it's always in October. That's always been a tradition with Miami and Florida State. That game has always been one of the highest rated television games so it's good for the conference. There are no other games on television that night so it's good"

Have you ever been part of a team that's had four opening games like you have this season?

"As a player we opened up with Florida State, Michigan, and somebody else. One year we opened up with Florida, Auburn, and Michigan. I've been a part of it but not the way it is now. It's part of it. What can you do about it?"

The commissioner stated that top to bottom the ACC is one of the best but it has lacked a national power. How would Miami and Florida State being back be good for the perception of the conference?

"It was a start last year when we had ten teams that made bowl games. We were the only conference that did that so it's a start. That's what you have to look at. Okay, they have ten teams compared to everybody else so that was a record. Are we starting to make that turn? Yes, I think we're starting to make that turn."

Can you talk a little about the progress that Jacory Harris made this spring?

"He made tremendous progress. He's a totally different person and a totally different quarterback. Now you look at him he's taking control of the offense. He's demanding a lot out of himself and also the players around him. He brings a lot to the table and is a leader of the team."

How's the new offense looking?

"Good, the players are excited about it and we're using the personnel around us and guys are maturing. It's great to see that."

Are there any games that you played last year and thought I'm looking forward to playing this team next year?

"All of them really, that's one thing about playing in a conference is that you play everybody. Every year you have to look forward to playing Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and teams like that. Losing some tough games you have to rebound and try to rebuild."

What are the biggest things you've learned over the past three years?

"You always change. You practices change because you get more of a culture change because you have your own players. Practice schedules change because guys understand what you're trying to get through in practice. Those are the things you change as a coach. As far as recruiting, that doesn't change. As far as you handle certain things, that doesn't change. Players don't change but they understand better what you're trying to get done and they follow along with it."

Is there more buy in now than before?

"By recruiting the players we have at Miami, we've changed the culture. They came in as a freshman and saw how it is. The second year we signed twenty nine players. Over two years we had fifty four new guys. That's a lot of guys. We changed over two-thirds of the team. So, we were able to get to where we wanted to be."

So, it's important to get the players that buy into what you're trying to do?

Yeah, you have to get your players to understand the culture and be successful. It becomes easy as a coach. You can sit back and watch the players do the right things. Knock on wood; we've been pretty good the past three years with the players doing the right things. It's easy with a coach to have the stability with the older guys. The seniors have been here three years and they understand so that's great." Top Stories