Shannon Talking Football

Read on to find out what coach Randy Shannon is saying about Miami's offense, defense, and special teams. There have been some changes in the lineup. He also talked about some other things that you don't want to miss...

On Kyle Wright's improved play against Texas A&M:
He didn't try to win the game. He threw one pass to (Dedrick) Epps. It was a one-yard out route and (Epps) made 15 or 10 yards on the gain and a first down. He threw a ball to Coop on a checkdown and he made one guy miss, first down. Down he has the opportunity to go deep. He did and he took advantage of it. He didn't force any balls. He's gonna take what people are giving him. Get the ball in the athletes' hands and ;et them make the plays happen.

On how it happened:
Coaching! Coach Nix and those guys are doing a great job coaching Kyle. He's doing what we need him to do to win games.

On how the offense is progressing:
The whole offense is doing right. Everyone is doing what they're supposed to do. Everyone's getting open, (Kyle) is finding receivers, the offensive line is protecting, the running game is going. That makes life easier.

On the direct snaps to the runnig backs:
That's just a gameplanning situation. You can use that every now and again. Just like the option, nobody likes to see it because you have to work on it in practice and it takes away from what you wanna get done. A lot of people use it if you have a play or two. Arkansas uses it. LSU used it against us two or three years ago. A lot of people are using it in situations. If you use it every week, people will game plan against it. You just have to pick and choose when you're gonna use it.

On the fumbles the offense has had:
Fumbles are not acceptable around here. If you don't get it dont, you won't play. Bottom line. It ain't the leash that's short (on Cooper). Let Kyle keep fumbling the way he us and we'll get him out of the game. If it's Lance, it'll be Lance, Sam, Ryan. Turnovers can demoralize you on offense -- not just the person. We work on it every day. Around 1:30 after our game the other night, (Cooper) called me. He said, "hey coach it's Coop. I won't do it again." I said, "Coop, understand how it is. We can't accept turnovers." You have to be prepared to work hard. If you don't, someone else will play. It's not a short leash. It's turnovers. You can't win games with turnovers. When Coop fumbled, you saw Javarris James and Shawnbrey (McNeal) in there. Fumble and Shawbrey plays. Stop fumbling and Shawnbrey don't play. I'm not trying to be arrogant. That's the only way you can get guys to understand -- to put guys in front of them and they'll work harder.

On getting late night phone calls from players:
I get a lot of phone calls from players, talking about things they did in the game or if they just wanna talk. It's because they wanna do well. We're a team but we gotta play the best guys that give us an opportunity to win. As long as police officers don't call me, I'll be fine.

On how to coach it:
Jimmy Johnson always had this word - never tell a guy to hold onto the football. Just tell him to protect it. Don't tell him don't fumble because the guy is worried about squeezing the ball and not running. If you say don't fumble, here's a guy running down the field with both hands on it not going anywhere.

On the cornerback position:
All the corners are doing a good job. We're rotating three guys (Carlos Armour, DeMarcus Van Dyke, and Bruce Johnson). If Glenn (Sharpe) keeps improving, he'll be in the rotation. Every week we have competition at cornerback. Glenn has to earn his spot back. If you don't do your job, someone else will play. He could've played but the other guys are working harder.

On Bruce Johnson:
He's got some natural skills. Bruce has been around here a long time it seems like. He's played the nickel, where Chavez (Grant) is playing. He's playing the corner position. Bruce has matured a lot. That's a tribute to him understanding what it takes. Football can be taken away from you. With Kelly (Jennings) not around, he's grown up and understands what it's all about.

On Willie Cooper:
He had two caused fumbles the other night. He's a senior. He knows what it takes. He's played special teams. This is his opportunity to play. He's always been happy-go-lucky. Willie has played weakside linebacker, strongside linebacker, both safety positions. He never had an attitude. He's always been upbeat and positive. Wherever we need him, we know that he'll do well at that position.

On special teams:
That's one thing we're gonna work on this week is kickoff coverage. We're changing the lineup. We're putting some starters to cover the field and our kicker has to do a better job of getting the ball downfield. That's one emphasis we're gonna work on. We gotta have better field position. We can't keep starting off on the 40, 45 yard line and giving people the short field. We gotta be the aggressor and pin 'em down deep. Every starter is gonna have two special teams. That's how we'll separate them and mix guys around.

On starters being on special teams:
Sean Taylor and Antrel Rolle started on special teams all four years. Edward Reed was a starter on special teams. DJ and Vilma were starters on special teams. Everyone can be a starter on special teams.

On new punter David Strimple:
Strimple is more of a kicker to get it down near the endzone. Bosher is more of kicking it 40, 45 yards and get good hangtime. We just notice these things. We tried Bosher earlier in the year but he'd punt it and it'd come down in 10 yards. Now Strimple has a role on the team.

On the late 4th quarter against Texas A&M:
We didn't finish the game. We had our third group in there. Those guys gotta finish the games. They come to the University of Miami to play and if you get on the field, you gotta make sure you have pride and play the way you should. Those guys didn't respond late in the game and it cost us some points. You play so well and then something like that happens...

On the crowd being a factor against Texas A&M:
It was 45,000 against Texas A&M and 41,000 against marshall. Does 4,000 really make a difference? That's how I look at it. I love playing in the day, sun, heat. People are not used to the weather. I'll play all of them then if I could but TV rules. You see college football atmospheres, lot of excitement (at night). When I was a player, we played in the day. The heat was an advantage. Now all of a sudden people say it's the night atmosphere thats the advantage.

On being unranked:
All this Top 25, it doesn't really bother me. You gotta win. If you win, it'll take care of itself.


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