Shannon appeared very energetic during practice, involving himself with both the offense and the defense and shouting instructions to his players. It was a role most people haven't had the pleasure of seeing him in yet, and he filled it nicely in front of several hundred fans.
"It was nice, it really was," Shannon said about the fan turnout. "Especially on a Saturday morning, I bet a lot of them would normally be sleeping from the night before, but that's the influence that we have to understand with Miami. We have to get the fan support to come out no matter what the conditions are, and if we can do that, things are going to be great for us."
Any rust that the Hurricanes might have had was sweated away in the first hour of practice. Despite being early in the morning, the heat and humidity took their toll on the players.
"Every day, everyone in the country is going to have someone go down because they've lost a lot o f weight or haven't been in the sun for a while, so that's all it is," said Shannon. "By the third of fourth day, you won't see that anymore."
"The first practice is always exciting, but it doesn't really get exciting until you put on the pads. Everyone is trying to be cautious so they don't get hurt. We're going full speed. I tell the guys that if everyone is going full speed, then no one will get hurt."
Shannon also alluded to the fact that some familiar faces on the first team were not practicing with the starters. For much of the day, most positions were rotated in and out, and it was difficult to determine who was starting and who was not.
"There's competition going on throughout the whole entire camp," he said. "Have fun, but understand that there's someone behind you competing to play also. I'm going to hold everyone accountable and have competition open throughout the entire camp."
Shannon and the Hurricanes have another open practice tomorrow at 7:50 AM, then proceed with closed practices until they face Marshall on September 1st.