Shannon: Team has talent, hasn't quit

Head coach Randy Shannon spoke about a number of things today. You don't wanna miss what he's saying about quitting, what went wrong against Virginia, where the team goes from here, and much more. Read on...

On the Virginia game:
* The biggest play of the game was when McCarthy scored on the fumble before it was called back. That was a 14-point swing and momentum shifted in UVA's favor. They just had to make a play here or a play there but didn't and they couldn't stop the momentum.
* On Sunday, the team came out and did "pretty good".
* The kids are having fun in practice and the coaches are encouraging them not to hold their heads down.
* Two drops by Jerrell Mabry, one by Lance Leggett, and one by Darnell Jenkins really hurt the offense early. Convert those four plays and that makes a huge difference in the game. * In determining who will play after a game like that, he'll see who played hard and who didn't. The ones who didn't play hard won't play.

On quitting:
* He's reminding the team that people will remember how you play your last games.
* He is challenging guys, wondering if they want to be remembered as quitters.
* Most seniors here will have to get a non-football job when they leave (instead of playing in the NFL). He's reminding them that no company in business will want guys who "shut it down" when the going got tough.
* A few years ago nobody expected this team to at Virginia Tech and win. Everyone had them penciled into the national title game and Miami went there and believed they could win.
* Guys have come in and watched film on their own. "That shows you how much they care."
* He pointed out Antonio Dixon was as evidence of how hard this team is still working.
"Antonio Dixon is coming off a severe injury. He's out there giving it his all, keeps trying. That's why you can't say this team isn't trying."

On the team's talent level:
"We have talent. Kenny Phillips, Randy Phillips is a good player. Sam Shields did a lot of good things. Javarris James is a good back. Cooper is a good back. Dedrick Epps is gonna be a great tight end. Richard Gordon is gonna be a great tight end for us. Jason Fox is a true sophomore who's started two years in a row now. We got talent on this team, it's just young talent, not like the older ones we've had. We just gotta keep working."

On injuries:
* Graig Cooper will go through some drills today and they'll determine his status for Saturday.
* Shawnbrey McNeal "probably won't play".

On Virginia Tech:
* Virginia Tech is a good football team that plays sound defense with a ball control offense. * We can't turn the ball over. We will play aggressive football and attack.
* In all his years playing against Virginia Tech, the biggest thing he's noticed is you have to win the turnover battle to beat them.
* The team will "impliment some new things" this week that will give them some opportunities.

On hope for the future:
* He was with the Dolphins when they lost a playoff game to Jacksonville 63-7 in Jimmy's last year there. The following year, the team won the division.
* Parents have called and thanked him for taking care of their sons.


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