Analysis: Manny Diaz hire

The Hurricanes announced the hiring of new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz this afternoon. Read on for a complete analysis of this hire and what it means for Miami from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

Manny's considered a very good recruiter but I'm not sold. He's definitely an upgrade over Coach D but I was hoping for a more impressive hire.

He's been a DC for 10 years at the college level -- four at Middle Tennessee State, three at Texas, two at Mississippi State, and one at La Tech. With the exception of a good (not great) year at Texas in 2011, his defenses have always been pretty average.

The thing his teams do best is getting pressure on the QB. His La Tech team in 2014 led the nation in sacks, and four times his defenses ranked in the top 26 nationally in sacks. That is the most exciting aspect of this hire. UM is loaded with quality pass rushers. They'll be getting coached by an elite DL coach. The DBs won't have to spend so much time in coverage like they typically would playing for Coach D.

However, everything else screams average from his units over the last 10 years. His teams have historically struggled to stop the run. Five times his teams have finished 70th or below in being able to stop the run so don't be surprised if that continues being a problem here.

Because of the pressure his defenses bring, they do a solid job of creating turnovers. Five times in his 10 years they've finished 26th or better at turnovers gained. Having access to the caliber of athletes he'll have at UM, that number should go up. From that standpoint, there should be some excitement.

I expect his defenses to bring some heat, create pressure and turnovers, but give up big chunks of yards and points.

Even though he spent three years at Texas, he'll have a chance to have his best roster here at Miami so hopefully some of those numbers will naturally go up.

My biggest concern is that what makes people believe his units will be elite here when they never were at Texas or Mississippi State? Hopefully having access to better, more aggressive athletes and playing in the ACC Coastal vs the SEC or Big 12 (known for his scoring offenses) will help change that, too.

Solid hire but not a great one. Good recruiter, which is important since UM's last few DCs going back to when Tim Walton left were not good in that department.

At the end of the day, I hope more than anything that he keeps things very simple and really allows these kids to get after people. If he does that, you'll stop seeing so many elite defensive players in south Florida going to FSU, Alabama, LSU, etc. South Florida kids are more aggressive than anywhere else in America and so this is a very good fit from that standpoint. He will be UM's most aggressive DC since Greg Schiano in terms of bringing the heat, and the current players and recruits in south Florida will really like that.


Canes Time Top Stories