Miami's Coordinators Talk

Read on to see what they were both saying on Wednesday.

Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers

On the backup cornerbacks and how they came along…

“You know when you look back over the course of the season, what you always see is the good plays to let you know that there is encouragement. The issue is when you are a backup is consistency. And that is the hardest thing. Great players are consistently good, and it is hard to be consistently good. It is not about the flash plays, because all of those guys have made flash plays. The first three days of our bowl practice, with so many seniors in the secondary, we actually told those guys to kind of sit out, and we said, ‘Okay, this is going to be sort of our first audition for next year.’ We always believe that our depth chart in the spring will be a clean slate. What happened this year will not matter anymore at every position on defense. So we really wanted those guys, to take the initiative and say, ‘okay, you know what? I understand these guys are walking out the door at corner and safety and I have got to step up to take their role.’ So that was just a little morsel of an appetizer but obviously that is going to be a big part of the spring.”

On recruiting players at positions like linebacker with three freshmen starting this past season…

“Probably both are true. I think what we shown is that the best players are going to play at the University of Miami. If you are a legit guy and you are a big time player, no matter what school you are going to go to, there is going to be competition. And it is the silliest recruiting ploy there is, to say, ‘Well there is going to be somebody there that was told the same story a year ago in recruiting.’ If anything, we want players that want to come to Miami, to compete against the best. Now, does our current roster still have major depth holes? Yes, of course it does. And obviously the guys we are recruiting are aware of that. However, we would never want someone to come to this school that did want to compete for a starting job the minute they walked on campus. At the same time somebody who was weary about that; In my past the recruits that ask you too many questions about the depth chart, sometimes that is a red flag, because at the University of Miami the expectation is that we should have a great defensive personnel. That brings out the best in the guys that are here.”

On bowl week and diving the time between business and enjoying the experience…

”Bowl games are always a combination of business and pleasure. I think generally speaking, the way that the week goes, when you first get their you have a chance to sight see and do all of the social events. And as the game gets closer it is time to lock in. Really by tomorrow’s practice we should be able to play the game. So what you do, you go to the bowl site and just review the game plan that has already been established during our days that have been here. The oddity of having Christmas eve and Christmas while we are there, which is a little bit of a different dynamic. So really by the time you get to the 26th, it is time to go. You are two days out from the game and I think our guys will be locked in and ready to go.”

 

Thomas Brown, Offensive Coordinator / Running Backs

On things he has learned since he arrived at Miami…

 

“One of the biggest surprises is how great our kids are as people. Coming down here so many people told me so many negative things about the players in Miami, whether it was from a recruiting standpoint or the guys we have on our roster. There have just been very few issues. From Day 1 those guys almost bought in to exactly what we wanted them to do. They’re hungry and they want to win. Obviously you never can say you had a season go exactly as you wanted to have it, but I think this is a learning experience for us. I think you learn more in the bad moments than you do from the good stuff. The 4-0 in the beginning, I think we grew more as a team during the four losses. I think it’s great momentum for the future and I’m excited about it.”

 

On how the transition to this coaching staff’s style has gone…

 

“Easier, a lot easier [than I thought]. I thought we would have to come in and put the hammer down and yell and kick half the team off. The perception of what people say about Miami and Miami kids, some adults tried to scare me out of it and scare my wife and kids out of it. There are bad things about every place you could go to and you’ll find negativity if you want to find it. It’s been phenomenal to be around our guys. They’re not perfect, but they’re very coachable and they’re hungry and they want to be great.”

 

On what Mark Walton has meant to the program and the team this year…

 

“Mark has meant a lot. Obviously being voted Team MVP was a huge accomplishment for him. I think it was kind of surprising to him that he was actually voted that. I think he still has a lot of room to grow as a player. He could become better and more of a vocal leader. I think he’s a quiet guy at times and more of a lead by example guy. From a life standpoint he’s a guy that I spend a lot of time with individually talking about things outside of football. There is not much motivation that needs to be had from him on the football field, but I want him to be great as a person first. Not that he isn’t, but I want him to continue to grow in those areas as well as on the football field.” 


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