Diaz Talks UM Defense

Read on to see everything defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is saying about his defense eight days before Miami's season opener.

On the defensive installation:
We’ve been installing our defense against Miami’s offense. Now we have to prepare for other teams and some guys are a bit behind in doing that.


On the competition between Adrian Colbert and Sheldrick Redwine:
It’s back and forth. I don’t think we want to make a call on that because we don’t want the competition to end. We will continue to evaluate it every day. We need all our guys to play but we are undecided.


On if they're where they need to be:
As a coach you’ll always want to see more. Overall I would consider their camps positive. There is such a small margin of error. Colbert, you can see his urgency that this is his final year. They both have a chance.


On knowing the sub packages:
It goes back and forth. We’ve been pleased with the development of Robert Knowles. We start trying to make decisions on sub packages, your comfort level with that is who can go in the game and we like what we see from Robert.


On the nickel back competition:
We’ve only introduced nickel for a day. We still have to find out before next Saturday. Romeo Finley will be a much better player in November than he will be in September. Same with Zach McCloud. Those are things we will consider when making those decisions early.


On the young DL:
Our mentality right now is we are trying to get all those guys ready to play. With Pat and Joe, we are getting them game ready. Injuries happen and that line can get short on depth. We rep everyone in practice.  They’re getting the same amount of coaching as Chad Thomas and the older guys.


On if they look ready to play:
Both of those guys have flashed skills and made plays. The difference is a game is coming now. Can they play at game speed? Will the moment be too big for them? That’s always a big question with all freshmen and we have a bunch of them.


On the linebacker competition:
Zach is a runner and a hitter. He’s as hard a hitter as anyone we have on defense. He is learning the discipline of playing defense. Because he’s tough we’ll always find a spot for him. We have to make sre he’s in the right spot. CJ has been in the program longer and has the athleticism to play out there. The tiebreaker will be the toughness. Zach knows it. Pinckney, it’s been good getting him back. He and Gordo have rolled back and forth with the ones. We haven’t made a decision there yet. You want to see a guy at will who can chase plays down and has the instincts to slip through gaps and make plays behind the line of scrimmage


On the defensive performance in the scrimmage:
We held them to 2.09 a carry. That’s good. There are three yard gains, which is good, but we had guys in the backfield that if everyone is running to the ball we make it. 2nd and 12 compared to 2nd and 7 is a big difference. We have to get off blocks and get to the ball. Those are things we are trying to do. You can’t grade them poorly because of what the numbers were but those are things we are looking at considering the standard we have for them.

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