Practices started Saturday, August 6 and the coaching staff welcomed back a number of key players with a lot of experience.
"The players are going to be tired and sore this month because we are going to push them," head coach Larry Coker said. "We have a lot of work to do. Everything has been a positive so far with our defense running around. Our offense is having a lot thrown at them right now."
Talent wins games and according to Coker this year's team is not short in that category.
"I feel like we have a team that is potentially good enough to win every Saturday," Coker said.
Last year the team finished 9-3, but was considered a disappointing season. They are 13-5 in their last 18 games. To put their record in perspective they were 46-4 in the previous four seasons.
"They know what is going on," Coker said. "They come here to win championships. We did some good things last year, but they expect to do better."
In recent years Miami teams always had standout players in preseason lists as well as guys with first-round expectations. This year only Eric Winston and Devin Hester have earned such praise questioning whether or not the talent has dropped off.
"I don't think the talent has dropped off," Coker said. "I think the talent is there. I don't think we have six first-round draft choices--maybe we do, but nobody else has ever had that many. We have good talent and I don't have any complaints with how we evaluated these guys in recruiting and now we just have to coach them."
This year the Hurricanes will feature a new starting quarterback when sophomore Kyle Wright gets the call. Wright beat out redshirt freshman Kirby Freeman for the spot in the spring and has everyone excited.
"He is prototypical," Coker said. "He really looks good at what he is doing. He has outstanding speed, which is an added dimension we haven't had."
One of the most explosive players in college football is back for the Hurricanes. Junior Devin Hester has returned five kicks for touchdowns (two kickoffs, three punts), recorded four interceptions, rushed for 40 yards and one touchdown, and has caught five passes for 141 yards in his career.
His seven career touchdowns ranks second on the team to running back Tyrone Moss who has 11.
"I think you are going to see a new Devin Hester--attitude wise," Coker said. "Not that it was bad, but just the maturity. He has only played in the secondary for one year and has really grown up a lot. He is understanding what it takes to play on every play. He has the potential to be one of the best defensive backs that I have ever been around."
Freshman were allowed by the NCAA to participate in summer workouts with the team. A number of them have shown a lot of confidence with their expectations of contributing this year.
"Sometimes you see young men look around and see why they were recruited," Coker said. "Their confidence level builds up and they think this isn't so bad."
Practice resumes tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com
Coker Excited for 2005
Canes Time Top Stories
Miami vs. Virginia Tech HighlightsJerod Evans had 357 yards of total offense and 3 scores to lead the Hokies to a 37-16 win over the Hurricanes. Travon McMillian rushed for 131 yards and Bucky Hodges caught 2 TDs…
Canes TimeYesterday at 9:59 PM
Post Virginia Tech: Mark RichtRead on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying following his team's loss to Virginia Tech Thursday night.
Canes TimeYesterday at 9:54 PM
Virginia Tech 37 , Miami 16Here are some game notes from Miami's 21-point loss to the Hokies.
Canes TimeYesterday at 9:52 PM
State of the Canes: DefenseThe Hurricanes are 4-2 and preparing to play at Virginia Tech Thursday night. Read on for a complete analysis of Miami's defense at this point in the season.
Canes TimeTuesday at 8:15 PM
State of the Canes: OffenseThe Hurricanes are 4-2 and preparing to play at Virginia Tech Thursday night. Read on for a complete analysis of Miami's offense at this point in the season.
Canes TimeTuesday at 7:10 PM