Scout Team Defense

The scout team defense consists of freshmen redshirting, walk-ons, and players behind a number of guys on the depth chart. Graduate assistant Greg Laffere serves as the scout team offensive coach and took time to discuss each player and how they are doing.

"The hardest part for the scout team players is getting the timing down on opposing team's offenses," defensive scout team coach Greg Laffere said. "They wont be able to replicate the speed and intensity on game day, but it is important for the players to get their timing and go at a good pace in practice."

Laffere is a first-year graduate assistant after serving as defensive line coach at Kilgore Junior College in Texas. He was a two-year letterman as an offensive lineman at Miami in 2000 and 2001.

"Being on the scout team is a hard deal," Laffere said. "I'm trying to think back on guys that have been here that haven't had to be on scout team and there are a few, but almost everybody spent time on the scout team. When you are doing it, it seems like the longest day and it continues to grind on you. Early on it is sometimes hard to get their motors going, but they have done a good job now even though you kind of get tired of seeing the same faces."

Laffere understands the importance of the scout team and it's direct impact on the team's success on Saturdays.

"Everyone we have was the best player in their school, their area, and maybe even in their state," Laffere said. "Now you have to go bust your butt for two hours every day knowing that it will not directly impact your playing time on Saturday. You have to give the guys a good look every day to get someone else ready to play. A lot of those guys have aspirations of coming here and being starters. It is just not that way. For the most part I am very happy with those guys with the way they come out and play hard every day. I think with what they have done in practice has directly correlated with the way the offense has done in the games. Early on we weren't playing as hard and not performing our package as well, but now the offense started to pick up their intensity and the scout team has also. There is a 99% chance our offensive improvement in the games has to do with how we are practicing."

Clint Hurtt is also a graduate assistant and coaches the scout team offense. He also assists defensive line coach Greg Mark in practice with individual drills.

DE Calais Campbell (6-8, 260)
He might be the biggest defensive end we have had here since Ted Hendricks. He is a little different looking in his stance then the rest of our guys. He has tremendous potential and the sky is the limit. He is 260 pounds right now and he looks like he is about 220. He plays extremely hard and is a smart player. He is getting more comfortable and has shown a great ability to rush the passer. He also has the knack of making a big play. For a defensive lineman he intercepts and tips a lot of balls. Obviously he can chase down a lot of quarterbacks because he can run. —Clint Hurtt

Probably the guy who has been the most beneficial for us is Calais. He is doing a real good job and has a lot of potential. He is a fun guy to be around and plays hard. He is 6-foot-8, 265-270 pounds and is a big boy. He moves well. Depending upon how he fills out will determine his position because he could easily carry 300 pounds. Right now he is getting a lot of reps at defensive end, but is getting some at defensive tackle. He is a guy I think could play left tackle along the offensive line and be fine. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Playing time will be tough to come by despite being very talented

DE Rhyan Anderson (6-4, 285)
Without question Rhyan is one of the most physically gifted kids I have been around at the University of Miami. He is defensive lineman in terms of athletic talent, he is along the lines of Sean Taylor and Kellen Winslow. Obviously we haven't had the opportunity to practice him because he has been injured with a small operation on his shoulder. The times he did practice in two-a-days he has been pretty dog gone good. He does some things that is very natural for him as a young kid. He is fighting through his injury and he needs time to mature. You look at him and is about 290 pounds and you would think he is a defensive tackle, but I think he is a natural defensive end. —Clint Hurtt

He didn't get a big chance because he got hurt right out of two-a-days. I think he had one practice with us and he was already nicked up. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Assuming he can put the injury behind him and have a solid spring season, he has a good shot at being in the rotation

DE Chris Zellner (6-2, 230)
Has a great attitude and I think he will be a very exceptional player here. When you look at him you think he would a linebacker. He reminds me a lot of Javon Nanton. He is extremely explosive and a smart kid. He is aggressive and plays very well with his hands. He has good agility and takes coaching very well. I think he will be a real good player for us and I think he will help us out next year. Depending on how much bigger and stronger he gets he could help us in our base defense. Without a doubt he can be a third-down pass rushing specialist. I think he will be a phenomenal special teams guy also the way Jarrell Weaver was for us until his body fully develops. —Clint Hurtt

He has played a little bit of both defensive line and linebacker. He has done a great job. If he gets in the weight room for a year I think he will be a great player. He is a guy that is not filled out yet and once he does that he can be 245-250. He can run and is explosive. He is a hard-working kid that is fun to be around. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Right end likely last on the depth chart

DL Eric Moncur (6-3, 255)
The guy who has really been scary in practice is Eric Moncur. Eric came in at about 270 and a little chubby. We got on him about his weight and he is about 255 right now. I would say out of all of our defensive linemen, even the ones that are playing, he is the most explosive out of his frame. When he gets off on the ball he will rattle you. He plays fast, aggressive, and has good pad level. We have been working him in at end and tackle even at 255 pounds. He is so stout and quick he has a shot at tackle. In the ACC there is not as much focus on the power running game and a guy like Moncur could be very effective getting off of blocks against zones. He came out of a great high school at Carol City and coach Walt Frazier did a great job with him. I am extremely excited about Eric. —Clint Hurtt

You have to love that kid. That kid is special too. He goes and plays hard. He will be a good player. He is a shorter, stalkier guy can play both positions. He is a bolt of lightning off of the edge and I don't know if they are going to move him inside. He gets reps at both positions. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Will get reps wherever he plays

DT Dwayne Hendricks (6-4, 250)
Dwayne is really focusing in on the fundamental things, which is what he needs to get down. He is playing really good ball right now. When he gets his fundamentals down he is going to be an outstanding player. He has a lot of savvy along the lines of Calais. He kind of finds where the ball is and has a sense of what is going on around him. Now it is a matter of getting off of blocks and escaping from blocks so he can make those plays. He has a great feel for it and he kind of reminds me of a lot, but not quite as a big, but William Joseph. Dwayne is going to be an outstanding player. —Clint Hurtt

He is a guy a lot like Chris Zellner who once he gets in the weight room he is going to be a good player. I think there is a lot of potential there. He is definitely a defensive tackle-type guy—Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Third-string defensive tackle

DT Dave Howell (6-4, 285)
He is going to be fine. He has had some things technically and with his motor sometimes and being a full-effort kind of guy. He has done a good job for us. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Third-string defensive tackle unlikely to get meaningful snaps

LB James Bryant (6-3, 235)
He works with us on scout team defense as a middle linebacker. They platoon him over on scout team. He just has to learn the defensive scheme. He can run, hit, and has a little nastiness to him that you like at that position. He is going to be good. He is a big guy. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Third-string middle linebacker and special teams player

LB Kris Smith* (5-10, 190) & LB Rod Parker* (6-0, 215)
They are great kids and on scout team we have 13,14 guys, which is good. On Wednesdays they might take 80 reps. They don't complain. They are just out there working hard. They both are two leaders on the defense. I try to get them rest, but they wont come off of the field. They are great guys to have and I don't know where I'd be without them. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: N/A

CB Carlos Armour (6-3, 200)
We got some horses in our secondary. Throwing the ball against our scout team is as hard as anybody. Carlos Armour is unreal. He is the real deal. He is a big, long kid with long arms. He is another kid that pays every rep hard in practice and for a scout team player sometimes that is hard. He is out there matching up with people trying to be physical. He is going to be really, really good. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Could see time on dime formations and on special teams

CB George Timmons (6-0, 195)
He has a lot of physical tools. I think he is another guy that would benefit from a year in developing fundamentally. He is going to be a lot better off after he learns some things we are teaching him. He is doing better and starting to compete more. It seems like he is catching on more. He is with coach Walton during individual drills and getting a lot better. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Could see time on special teams and behind a lot of guys at cornerback

CB Travarous Bain (6-0, 175)
He has been dinged up a lot this year, but he has done a good job when he has been over there. He has been a heck of a special teams performer and has been working hard. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Still a key component on special teams and behind a number of guys at cornerback

SS Rashaun Jones (6-1, 185)
Him and Carlos Armour are going to be unbelievable players. They are a little bit ahead of George and Lovon in terms of mentally as far as being tough. He has been playing strong safety, but as far as where they wind up it is hard to say. He is one of those guys that can play any of the positions back there. He can do just about everything. He is a big guy, runs extremely well, covers people extremely well, and he comes up and can hit you. Just a tough kid that wont take anything off of anybody. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Could be the number two guy at strong safety and will see time on special teams

FS Lovon Ponder (6-0, 195)
He is a lot like George. It wont be long before they are there with Carlos and Rashaun. He has been playing free safety, but as far as where they wind up it is hard to say. —Greg Laffere
2005 Outlook: Third-string safety, but could be on special teams

* -- Non-scholarship player

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com.

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