Golden: We have to get better

While the Hurricanes defeated Florida this past weekend, head coach Al Golden will be the first to tell you that this team has a lot of work to do. Read on to see what Golden was saying about the team on Wednesday.

Q: Watching you guys from afar early in the season, I see some parallels how the University of Miami men's basketball team's season unfolded, specifically after getting a big win, there was a lot more exposure on the national level. How is your staff and your players adjusting to getting a little more exposure after the win over Florida?
A: Yeah, we have no idea what's being said outside these doors. We're just going back to work. We were in here Sunday. So whatever celebration was short lived at best. I kicked it off. I was here at 6 a.m. when the trainers came in, Randy Johnson was the first player in. Everybody else got in. We got a good lift in on Sunday, watched the tape, and we're moving forward. We have a lot of things that we have to fix. And I don't mean any disrespect to the parallels that you're trying to make, I just can't make them. You can make them, and I have no idea what transpired with Jim and with basketball. But relative to us, we're not talking about anything on the outside. Just as we did not talk about Florida going into the Florida game. It's been about our process this week as us versus complacency. We're really not calling it a bye week. We're calling it a process week. We're trying to get better. We're trying to compete every day, and we're trying to see if we can find some guys that can step up and compete for jobs.

Q. Listen, Clive Walford, 15 of his last 16 touches have either gone for first downs or touchdowns. How much higher are the expectations of what you want from him now than maybe this time even 12 months ago?
A: A lot higher. That number suggests that we should be getting him the ball more. Again, I think he's more mature now. We're going to keep pushing him. He's been one of the guys that we've been pushing the last two days. Really pushing to get his timing down, to run everything full speed so Stephen knows exactly where he is. To really turn the corner, turn the corner and play faster. So it's ironic that you mention him. I think you've got a good pulse on the team, and he's a guy that we've got to get involved more for sure, especially on third down. We've got to get him involved more.

Q. Have you seen enough in the first couple weeks out of Curtis Porter? I understand you guys want him to be a two-gap player so you guys can play that 3-4, but have you seen enough out of him that he is healthy, he is productive, that he can be that two-gap guy for you?
A: He's doing a great job. How can you underestimate the impact he's had on our defense right now? It's not just his size, it's everything. It's his approach right now. It's the way he's finishing plays. The arm violence. He's turning and running to the ball. He's in better condition. He's been fun to coach. He really has been. He's really matured, and he's staying healthy. He's made a great difference on our team. He's really being a great teammate right now and doing all the little things right which is awesome.

Q. Your defensive rotation, how do those guys feel after playing a lot? It didn't seem the rotation is going to be thinner in a game with Florida as it would in a game with FAU. How did you feel they finished that game?
A: The irony there, other than Chickillo, who got up around 71 reps, because we didn't think Kamalu was ready for that. Now, this is a big Kamalu week as you can imagine. This is a big Hamilton week. Those guys got to step up and mature. But they weren't quite ready for that. But the interesting thing there, is all the other guys didn't get out of the 40s. Renfrow and Porter, and Olsen Pierre, all of those guys did not get out, and Luther, all of those guys didn't get out of the 40s, which kept us fresh, and everybody had a role that they executed. That was a big difference in the game. We just refused to get worn down, and we rotated. Hopefully that rotation will get stronger here, not weaker, as we start to bring along Kamalu and Jelani Hamilton and Earl Moore and all those other guys that we're working this week. We really need those guys to grow up and step up this week. It's been quite a challenge. We have two good practices. We need to have a good one tomorrow.

Q. You're talking about Clive being a veteran, and I'm wondering about Phillip Dorsett. In the first two games there were times when it looked like he had his signals crossed with Stephen, and when the ball was obviously intended for him and his back was to the play. Obviously, they're both successful Players and veterans. Is this the product of a new offense or could you talk about that a little bit?
A: No, just disconnected a couple times and that's it. It's really not a function of any one thing. We all have to improve, starting with me. We're doing that here today. Today and yesterday we worked very hard on a lot of different things, most importantly on our third downs. I think Stephen's balance is excellent right now. He's throwing the ball really well. We had a lot of continuity with our receivers. We're pushing Stacy and Malcolm, and trying to get more production out of the tight ends. So, again, it's been a very productive two days. It's not a new offense. It's not Phillip. It is the totality of it and the way the game unfolded. Again, we would have all liked to have a better production on third down against FAU, but we did amass 500 yards total offense, and 300 yards rushing. This past game, obviously, all the game plans went out the window. We did not run the ball as well as we wanted to, and we did not convert as well as we wanted to on third down, and we had some miscues that you spoke about. That's it. It's over. Excellent opponent, glad we won. We won as a team, and now we've got to move forward.

Q. The other thing I wanted to ask you, I know it's a bye week. Is this a good opportunity to get out and do some recruiting especially after a victory. The other part of it, is the timing of recruiting important as much as the recruiting itself, or is it important at all?
A: Well, I don't know so much the timing because if this was decision time, then timing is important, if that makes sense to you. In other words, if a kid was going to make a decision, he and his family had said, okay, sometime after the Florida game we're going to make a decision, then, obviously, that would be favorable to us. But in terms of the timing of it, it's just a function of getting out. We're in a bye week, and we've practiced really hard the last two days. We're going to practice hard tomorrow, then we're going to get our coaches on the road Thursday and Friday. We're going to go to farther places. Not places farther away because we don't have anything -- this weekend, we don't have a game. Then when we go to South Florida, we'll do the Tampa and Orlando area and maybe a little bit, you know Ft. Myers, west coast. Then when we're back home, we'll start hitting the local areas. So it's just a little strategy involved because we have to go to the further away places this week just because of the way it falls on the calendar.

Q. You talked about the offensive line after the first game not bringing their training into the game in some instances. Just wondered how they graded out after game number two against Florida and what are some of the areas they could improve in?
A: Yeah, again, it's like one of those deals that I don't know how to explain it. You practice as a southpaw all training camp, and you get in a game like that and you're just slugging away. You're a jab guy. It was just one of those deals. We were just fighting, and scratching and clawing and doing whatever we needed to do. There are certainly things we needed to get fixed. We know that. We have to run the ball better than that. That's not just on the O-line. That's on everybody, starting with me. There are some things that we looked at that were exposed and we need to get corrected and we'll get that fixed. Then there are some other things that we can do moving forward that we'll do. Again, slugfest for sure. I'm proud of the way the guys fought. It wasn't pretty, but certainly a lot of room to improve this week, and they know that.

Q. Did you think the pass blocking was better than the run blocking?
A: Yes. Correct.


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