Coker Day After Maryland: The Quarterbacks

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Miami coach Larry Coker addressed the media about QBs Kirby Freeman and Kyle Wright after the Hurricanes lost 14-13 at Maryland.

Opening Statement

"I am very pleased with Kirby Freeman. I think Kirby Freeman gave us a spark. I am really pleased with the way he came out. I was concerned because you are on the road, a loud crowd, and a hostile environment, but he was very poised. He did a nice job running the offense and I think he really gave our offense a spark. Our third down conversions were good. Our goal is 50 percent and we have not even been close to that, but last night we were. We had a touchdown pass and did a nice job running the ball off the spread with some of the new things we have added.

"Especially when you look at the game; the dropped passes and the big plays early in the game doomed us. We had chances to win and just didn't. As far as Kirby Freeman is concerned I was really pleased with his play. A 96-yard touchdown pass and a 65-yard touchdown pass; other than that they had nothing. Bottom line they didn't need any more. I am very disappointed for Ryan Hill because he is one of the most exciting players we have in practice. He works as hard or harder than anyone in practice.

"I am disappointed for him because he takes it very seriously and takes his play very seriously and wants to contribute in every way possible. Of, course to have that happen is a shame for him. He is a freshman and he is going to make a lot of plays here before he is finished because of the way he works."

Is there a quarterback controversy now?

"No. I don't have any controversy. We are going to play the best players and we only have one healthy quarterback anyway so there is nothing to have a controversy about."

Is that decision predicated on Kyle's thumb?

"I'll make that decision, but there is no controversy. We are not going to have any controversy."

Will Kyle be able to play this week?

"We'll see. We will know more today and as we go through the week how he performs. I don't think he could have played Saturday. We hoped that maybe he could be in a backup role and if need be an emergency role, but I don't think he could have played Saturday. So to answer your question there really is not controversy because Kirby is our starter because he is healthy."

What was offensive approach you used with Kirby?

"I think we were a little more conservative because you don't know what you are going to get. You see it here in practice, but until you get in a hostile stadium on the road, you don't know what you are going to get. Not that I didn't think he would play well, I really did, but yet still, the poise and being sure to get our players off together with a lot of crowd noise. We will tweak and do things we feel like Kirby does best. Whatever we did I liked and he'll continue to expand as we continue into Virginia."

Did Kirby call a lot of audibles?

"He had quite a few yeah. Audibles in terms of this play or that play. Not go out and ok this looks good. But yeah there were a lot of those and he didn't miss much. But again the guy is a football player. He is a football junkie so to speak."

Did Kirby audible more or less than Kyle normally does?

"He didn't do any less. It is not the same offense that Kyle has, but he did as many audibles if not more. And when you add the dive read package into it—all that is is the old double option. You are going to hand a ball off to a guy or you're going to keep it."

Were you surprised to see Kirby, an excitable player, play within himself in the game?

"I was very happy to see that he did that. Kirby and I talked about that. The natural thing for any of us is to think I am going to show everybody now and I am going to go out and do this, and do this, and do this. The way he handled himself was very special. He was poised and he was in control. The offensive players rallied around him. Surprised; maybe a little bit that he had the poise that he had. But certainly what we talked about is you don't have to be superman. I didn't say manage the game, because Kirby is an exciting player that can make some things happen. He is not a manage the game guy. I can go out and manage the game. I couldn't win the game, but Kirby gives us a chance to win the game."

David Lake can be reached at lake@canestime.com

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