What is the most pressing question that needs to be answered in the spring?
Will the offense improve and how much? All we've heard about for the past month or so is how Bill Young and the new defense will do. Quite frankly, it doesn't matter if the offense doesn't get better. Even under Tim Walton, who was fired after the season, the defense was in the better half of the conference. They were good enough to win a few more than five games last season. The offense, statistically, was terrible and needs to get better -- a lot better -- if UM plans on having a successful season. It'll be interesting to see how they progress during the spring and especially into the season.
where will everyone play on defense?
With new defensive coordinator, Bill Young's scheme comes some new ruffles that should shake up the landscape of a defense that has become predictable in recent years. This spring should see a lot of player movement as the team tries to find the proper position for a majority of the team's players in the new scheme that will feature new assignments and responsibilities for players that Hurricane fans have yet to see. It is also a scheme that could utilize the new found depth on defense, allowing more players to be involved in specific roles. How it all shakes out is going to be fun to watch as you have competition at every position including a host of new players as early enrollees and second year players that are hungry to supplant and pass last years disappointing group that finished 33rd in the country in total defense.
Can Randy Shannon and his staff develop talent?
Randy Shannon and his staff have proven the last two years that they are excellent recruiters, but it remains to be seen if they can develop their talent. Miami underachieved in Shannon's rookie year. Despite their talent deficiencies this team should not have lost to North Carolina, or been at the receiving end of a 48 point blowout in their final home game. No one is expecting Miami to establish themselves as a contender this spring, but the Canes must show improvement. Patrick Nix and the offense staff must prove they can develop Robert Marve, Jacory Harris, and their talented group of wide receivers. New Defensive coordinator Bill Young must begin to get production from a Hurricanes' defensive unit that is talented enough to be a good defense next season. Coach Shannon has proven he can land top recruiting classes, but that is only half the battle. His ability to maximize his recruits' potential will determine if Randy Shannon's tenure will be a success or a failure.
What can we expect from our quarterback this season? Big shocker here.
Clearly, Robert Marve is the guy to beat in my mind, but his ability to perform in the spring will give many fans something to discuss in the weeks leading towards fall practice. A good spring campaign by either him, Jacory Harris, or Cannon Smith, and spirits will be very high coming into the fall. Should any of them suffer setbacks, the tone might not be as positive. I truly feel that the ability of our quarterback to come out and make plays with our offense will dictate how fans respond to the team during the spring.
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