Throughout practice, the offensive coaches (Nix in particular) kept the offense's energy level up - a noticeable difference from recent years.
"I don't think there's any difference in the energy level [between spring and now]," said Nix. "The difference is that our guys know a lot more about what's going on a little bit better, as opposed to the spring, when their heads were swimming a little bit because they had no clue what was going on and it was their first time seeing the offense. I think the energy level and excitement are the same though."
Injuries were also a factor during the spring. During spring practice, the ‘Canes only had three available scholarship receivers and were decimated by injuries on the offensive line. Despite that, most players are healthy now and working towards getting better.
"It's never where you want it to be," said Nix about the offense's progression. "Even if you're scoring 50 points a game, it won't be where you want it to be. You're always making mistakes and you have to correct them. Today we didn't really turn the ball over; we didn't have many missed assignments, busted plays, or things like that. There are always mistakes and we had a few, and we'll have to get them corrected before the next practice. If you ever settle, then you're moving backwards."
Changing offensive schemes is no walk in the park for the players, but judging by practice, the players seem to be catching on. Both Coach Shannon and Coach Nix stated that there weren't many mental mistakes today in practice, which is a good sign. Despite this, there is a degree of mystery as to how Nix will implement his system and how some positions (such as fullback and tight end, among others) will be implemented. The only thing we know thus far is that Miami will run a balanced offense, but how will Nix use his personnel?
"Our offense will change from week to week," said Nix. "It'll depend on who we are playing and who is healthy, etc. We know the guys that we need to be giving reps so we try to do that and give them different looks and try to challenge them early. We're just trying to challenge them and make them think and not let them just go out here and have an easy day. It's very important that you try and challenge them as early as possible so that they're ready once the season hits."