"It's so hard to say," said Coker, when asked if the offense had been making a progress near the goal-line. "What it might really say about our football team is that our defense is really special. So until we actually get out there and play, we won't know for sure.
Although Coker did say that he was pleased with their performance after
struggling in a pair of scrimmages last week. Even with several big plays,
the defensive unit held the UM offense to field goals on two seperate
occasions inside the five-yard line last Wednesday. The offensive unit did
not score on Saturday
Coker complained that the offense looked 'slow'.
"We haven't been able to run the ball," Coker said. "We're going to have
to run the ball to beat teams like Penn State, Washington and them guys."
If the season started today, senior Daryl Jones and sophomore Andre
Johnson would open up at the wide out positions.
"We'll narrow that thing a bit more after Tuesday," Coker said.
KEEP A SPOT OPEN
Coker said on Monday that freshman receiver Kellen Winslow II will have
a role on this year's team.
"He's going to play this year," Coker said. "We're just trying to work
him in and determine his role on the football team."
Winslow II, the son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, wil not
play tight end for the Hurricanes.
Coker shot down any potential problems among the slew of Miami running
backs, including Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and Najeh Davenport. Whoever
performs the best will play, Coker said.
"Whoever is the better player, that's the guy that is going to play. The
running back position is one of the those ego positions, but if there is an
ego bigger than this team that guy won't be on this football team," Coker
Running back coach Don Soldinger said that although Portis is 'being
pushed a whole lot' by McGahee, he remains the favorite to start at running
"He's just productive. You can put that in bold, black letters. He's a
productive player," Soldinger said. "There are two things Clinton has- a
competive charge and confidence. I don't lose any sleep when he's in the
NEXT IN LINE
With back-up center Scott Puckett out 3-4 weeks with a slight tear of
the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, redshirt freshman Joel
Rodriguez has been moved up the depth charts. Rodriguez will most likely
fill in as Romberg's back-up Sept. 1 when the Hurricanes travel to Penn
State for the season opener.
Rodriguez, who played in Saturday's scrimmage in place of an ill
Romberg, has never taken a snap during a game. Although, offensive line
coach Art Kehoe has plenty of confidence in the 6-3, 277-pounder.
"Joel has been a here a while so I feel comfortable with his familiarity
of the offense," Kehoe said. "He's real quick and a phenomenal athlete.
He'sgoing to have to grow up a little faster tthan he wanted to and put in a
lot of work."
Kehoe praised Rodriguez for the work he's done in the fall practice and
most recently Saturday's scrimmage.
"It's a shame for Scott, but we're in a good situation," Kehoe said.
Rodriguez, a Monsignor Pace graduate, is jumping at the chance of
getting extentive playing time. Rodriguez spenty many long days in the South
Florida heat along with several teammates. He is ready if and when the
Hurricanes call his number.
"I didn't know how to react at first, but with all the guys we have on
the line I'll be alright," Rodriguez said. "The guys have really been
Just in case-the Hurricanes can turn to redshirt freshman Chris Myers
and junior Joe Fantigrassi at center if Romberg or Rodriguez went done.
"I feel the guys we have will get the job done," Kehoe said.
Aside from Puckett and senior defemsive end Cornelius Green (turf toe)
no other injuries were reported. Junior defensive end Jamaal Green, who
missed all of last week with a knee sprain, practiced for the second
straight day. Green said the knee felt 'fine'.
Early Morning Practice Notes, 8/20
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