Practice Report: Aug 6

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Miami Hurricanes held their first practice of the season today at the Greentree Practice Fields. Unfortunately they were only able to practice for 30 minutes due to weather.

Today the team practiced in shorts on a great clear day, but after the sirens went off indicating lightning in the area at 4:00 they went inside for position meetings. They anticipated resuming practice at 6:30, but the lightning had not cleared the area thus cancelling practice.

Once a team begins practice they can't make it up and that is why the coaching staff was hoping to get this one in.

The sirens go off indicate lighting within a six-mile diameter and there can't be any indications of lighting in the area within a 15-minute time frame.

"We were hoping we would be able to get a practice in. The fields are beautiful, the weather is beautiful, and the players are beautiful. Everyone was moving around well and it is disappointing that we aren't able to finish it up. But it is what it is. We'll work through it and we won't use it as an excuse."

"I don't know if we are going to have better weather days than this in South Florida in August and September."

"This was definitely a fundamental practice we had scheduled. We were wanting to see how guys fit in, how they operate, how they execute, and how far along we are. We were planning on getting in some team stuff at the end of practice such as 7-on-7's and our inside runs."

"I think it is rare to play young players, but less rare. If you lose guys early to the draft, somebody has to fill that spot. I think the thing has happened is that the guys have done a great job working out with the team in the summer and are so much farther along than before. A lot of these guys will have the opportunity to be in the mix this year. There is no sense holding guys back if they are going to be high draft choices. If they are ready to play, then let's play them."

"I told our coaches not to get into a comfort zone with playing guys just because they have been here and know how to line up in a cover-3. Let's get the difference-makers on the field. We need guys that make a difference and bring energy to the team."

"To return to where we want to be the key is, and let's not kid ourselves, having talent and we have that. I like our team because these guys are hungry, smart, and really see an eye of the tiger with them."

· RB Tyrone Moss weighed in at 222 pounds, which is down from the 236 mark he was at last year at this time. His goal was to report under 225. During the season he will try to play near 220 pounds.

· OT Eric Winston is wearing two knee braces as a protective measure from an ACL injury he suffered last year. He is wearing two instead of just the one to help with his balance, but could take them both off depending on how well he adjusts.

· All of the freshmen had their head shaved--a tradition for incoming players.

· The offensive line units were as follows:

1st Team
LT Winston LG McMeans C Byrd RG Tella RT Butler
2nd Team LT Rutledge LG Bain C Wollschlager RG Morse RT Wimbs
3rd Team LT Howell LG Youngblood C Rochford RG St. Pierre RT Barney
4th Team LT Trump LG Pipho C Pou RG Walk-on RT Walk-on
· Although Youngblood lined up as a guard Coker said he is a tackle. Currently, at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds he looks more like a guard, but could grow into a prototypical tackle.

· The first unit of linebackers was WLB Jon Beason, MLB Leon Williams, and SLB Tavares Gooden. Roger McIntosh did not practice due to injury. Beason looks like a typical strongside linebacker whereas Gooden is more of a weakside linebacker. It will be interesting to see if these two stay at their respective spots or change before the season.

· The three incoming linebackers were WLB Spencer Adkins, MLB Eric Houston, and SLB Darryl Sharpton.

· All of the linebackers were pretty juiced up before practice dancing around together before breaking into team stretches. It's too bad they didn't get to make plays today, but it was good to see their energy level high since they are one of the units to watch this season.

· Devin Hester, Darnell Jenkins, Ryan Moore, Terrell Walden, and Bruce Johnson fielded punts during a punt return drill.

· CB Randy Phillips stated yesterday that he expects to play this year and Coker said the same thing to the media after practice today. "He is very talented and what you are looking for," Coker said.

· S Kenny Phillips created quite a buzz by telling the media he was going to lead the team in interceptions. Coker responded by saying, "I don't care who it is. Whoever leads, I hope they have a lot of them beacause that means we will win a lot of games."

· TE Greg Olsen drew praise from Coker today calling him the best tight end in the country. Olsen will need to improve on his 16 catches and 275 yards with one touchdown to be one of the best. Staying healthy is also a key for Olsen, which he has not been able to do since arriving on campus.

· Former cornerback Tanard Davis was out practicing with the team today, but there is no official word on whether or not he is re-joining the team. He was a guy that was not asked back for his final year of eligibility. This would be quite an interesting move for both parties involved if he does indeed rejoin the team. Davis is a quality individual who got along well with his teammates and would provide depth to the cornerback position. Currently the team has two open spots for scholarships.

· DT Teraz McCray, CB Carlos Armour, CB Glenn Sharpe, and RB Andrew Johnson are still recovering from ACL injuries. Johnson did participate in jogging drills, but the others were held out of everything.

· LB Roger McIntosh was held out of practice due to recovering from an arthroscopic knee surgery to remove a bone chip in what Coker described as a "simple surgery". He had the operation last week and is expected to be out 10 days. Last season McIntosh had problems with his back and shoulder, but this injury is reportedly unrelated to his previous troubles.

Sunday, August 7 at 8:30 a.m.

The practice is open to the public. It was originally scheduled for 3:30, but was rescheduled Saturday night to assure they would be able to get a full practice in. More practices could be moved to the mornings, but there is no official word as of yet.

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


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