Armstrong leads an improved secondary

The Hurricanes had some major question marks in the secondary going into the spring and a lot of them were answered.

When the 2011 season ended, Miami's secondary depth didn't look too good. Ray Ray Armstrong was coming off another subpar season, in which he missed some games due to suspension. The cornerbacks needed more depth and for playmakers to step up.

A lot of that happened during spring football. Armstrong, now a senior, emerged as one of the top players on the entire team. He's had a great four months to start the offseason and coaches have high expectations of him heading into the summer. He talked about his own improvements from the mental aspect.

"I'm improving on just running the defense. Being the safety, you have to pretty much be the quarterback on defense. You have to make all the checks, get guys lined up, and going out and making sure you're all executing as one."

Armstrong's physical skills were never in question but he believes even those are a work in progress.

"I think they have improved but they can always get better. I'm not a finished product right now. We have depth. Under these coaches, like I said, they give you everything you need to work on every day in practice. Going out and doing those things, that will help me."

Armstrong wasn't the only Hurricane defensive back who had a solid spring game.

"I thought, clearly, Brandon's plays were good," Al Golden said. "I thought Ladarius (Gunter) made a great play on Rashawn Scott's play. I think Thomas (Finnie) has been very steady for us."

One of the top question marks the entire spring was which safety would step up and become a starter next to Armstrong. Golden saw some good things from those competing for that spot.

""I thought Kacy (Rodgers) and A.J. (Highsmith) made a lot of progress," he said. "Vaughn (Telemaque) had an interception and so did Ray."

While the secondary showed improvement throughout spring, they're not where they need to be.

"Clearly, we let up some explosive plays and we gotta do a better job there," Golden said. "The Dorsett play, we should have hemmed it in and he got out between the safeties. We have to do a better job."

Gunter and Finnie were the spring game starters at corner, with Armstrong and Rodgers at safety.


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