Pata Enjoys First Day in Pads

The Miami Hurricanes practiced earlier today for the first time in pads this spring. Defensive end Bryan Pata thoroughly enjoyed the workouts and looks forward to the scrimmage tomorrow.

"It felt real good today," Pata said, who is up to 280 pounds. "They (the coaches) said no tackling to the ground, but basically everyone was getting after it today. Everyone was going full speed and tomorrow we have that big scrimmage so hopefully tomorrow there wont be any problems."

The Hurricanes will hold a scrimamge on Saturday duriing practice, which begins at 9:30 a.m. and is closed to the public.

The scrimmage will allow the coaching staff to take a closer look at their personnel and evaluate tape on them.

Last season, Bryan Pata led the team with 14 quarterback hurries and had three sacks while playing in 10 games.

It wasn't the production the former Miami Central star had hoped for. As he enters his final season his head coach has an expectation for him.

"I expect him to give great effort," Larry Coker said. "He is a very talented player, but he needs to be consistent and give great effort on every play."

The team has completed three practices and so far, Pata has been feeling good.

"I feel like I am getting better. I have a little more weight and I am quicker off the ball while working on my stance."

There has been a new found excitement amongst the team during spring practices. The six new coaches along with new leaders looking to step up are two main reasons as well as wanting to get the bad taste out of their mouths from the Peach Bowl loss.

"After the end of last season everyone was ready to come back and work hard in the spring because of the loss in the Peach Bowl. We aren't worried about that anymore. Eeveryone came into spring practices with fire and smashing each other. That is what is going to keep on happening."

John Palermo was hired in the off-season to coach the defensive line. Although Palermo is a 1974 graduate of Florida State, he has done a good job with the Hurricanes thus far.

"Since he has been here, I like him," said Pata. "He is a cool coach. He is disciplined on a lot of the little things and that will make us better as a group."

In addition to hiring Palermo, the Canes also hired Clint Hurtt to be the assistant defensive line coach.

"Having Clint Hurtt is helping us a lot," Pata said. "When we had just one coach everyone would just pile up and we wouldn't get that many reps. Now that we have Clint Hurtt and Palermo everyone gets plenty of reps. We are getting more instructions now."

Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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