Summer Workouts Begin Today

The team begins their eight-week summer training program with coach Andreu Swasey today.

The team will be broken down into four groups beginning at 7 a.m. Players can also attend workouts at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.

They will go eight weeks straight and get a week off at the end of the summer before fall practices begin.

"This is the start of our fall season," Swasey said. "We have to make sure guys are mentally and physically fit."

Last year Miami finished 7-6, the six losses were the most since 1997 and only twice in the last 27 years has Miami lost six times in a season. As a strength coach, Swasey took the losses hard and blamed himself for the way things were going. Most coaches have a particular unit to keep track of or a particular side of the ball they are in charge of, but Swasey's responsibility is every single player on the team.

Heading into summer workouts, he understands the importance of a successful summer to get the team back on the national stage.

"Every season, but especially this season, you always want to make sure you are challenging the kids," Swasey said.

Randy Shannon was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach and a number of assistant coaches have changed, although Swasey remained at UM. Like any business relationship, there must be respect. And these two have a lot of respect for one another especially for being successful at their respective areas.

"We have always had a great working relationship," Swasey said. "A lot of things fall off of respect and I think more than anything is that I respect him as an individual, as a person, and as a position coach, and now as a head coach. I always knew that he was on the road to being a head coach whether it was here or somewhere else, that is just through his work ethics and the things he has done."

SUMMER MOTTO: "80/20"

This summer, Swasey's motto for the team is "80/20".

He wants guys to be 80 percent "heart, desire, and toughness" and 20 percent "athletic ability".

So far he believes the team is working towards that goal.

"We are talented, that is not the issue," Swasey said. "We had some close games last year, but for whatever reason we did not win those games. I just take it that we have to push forward and not put ourselves in that situation and if we are, we need to be able to respond."

For UM to be successful in '07, they will need to care about the team getting the win as opposed to who is getting credit for the win, which has been happening in the past.

KEY IMPROVEMENTS

Swasey is particularly interested in seeing how running back Javarris James improves this summer, his first summer with Swasey, after rushing for 802 yards and four touchdowns last season.

He is also interested in the young offensive linemen Jason Fox and A.J. Trump.

In addition to young players, Swasey wants to see how the older guys, who have had success improve such as Calais Campbell, Eric Moncur, Glenn Cook, and Kenny Phillips.

While he looks for improvements from certain individuals, he is concerned with the team improving as one.

"There are always guys that you are excited about, but it is that team push that is going to get us over the hump," Swasey said.

LEADERSHIP

One of the keys to the summer program is to establish leadership amongst the team. First-year head coach Randy Shannon's job is to be a leader for his coaching staff as well as the team. But for Miami to return to national prominence, they need one or two individuals to emerge as clear-cut leaders, something they have not had since 2003 when Jonathan Vilma's class departed.

There have been good players since 2003, but not strong leaders like a Vilma, Ken Dorsey, or Ed Reed.

It takes a special individual to be special leader. And for Miami to be special again, someone will have to be a special leader.

Unfortunately, there might not be that special leader on this year's roster.

FRESHMEN REPORTING

A number of incoming freshmen are expected to report to UM this summer, but they can't participate in summer workouts until after they graduate from high school.

Look for the freshmen to start rolling in for the second summer session at UM, which begins on June 27.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

Canes Time Top Stories