Q&A with Wesley McGriff

Wesley McGriff is entering his second season as the defensive backs coach at the University of Miami and midway through spring practice, CanesTime.com caught up with him to talk about the latest.

Q: The talk has been that Chavez Grant is having an excellent spring. How has he been doing so well?
A: Chavez Grant can be a fine corner. He is having the best spring of all of them so far. He is just having fun. He is playing with a lot of confidence. He came by my office the other day and I was teasing him saying there is no way he can be leading the DBs in points so far. He is not worried about mistakes. He is just going out there playing and having fun.

Q: Is there anything in particular with Chavez or is it just him being confident?
A: I think the scheme benefits him a lot. He can really carve his niche in this scheme. This scheme fits his talents well.

Q: Does the new scheme allow the DBs to make more plays on the ball?
A: Yes it does. It gives them the opportunity to see the football more. They are not turning their backs to the quarterback every play. We will play some man coverage, but this scheme definitely gives them more of a chance to use their vision and see the field.

Q: How has Bruce Johnson's development been?
A: He has all the tools. He knows what he needs to do mentally to improve his game. I am working with him not only on his focus, but his confidence. He is a very confident kid, but he needs to get to the point where he realizes you are going to make mistakes but you need to play fast and have a short memory. That is always where his focus gets out of whack. He needs to learn to not worry about making mistakes and just play football.

Q: How has DeMarcus Van Dyke been doing so far?
A: He is always telling mew about how he has gained weight, but I do not know if he has. I always tell him do not worry about your weight and just keep that speed and agility. He is going to be great player. He has been doing a great job and his attitude and actions show me he wants to be one of best corners of the country. A lot of that responsibility lies on me now to continue to coach him and keep pushing him.

Q: Can Tevaris Johnson be successful at corner with his size?
A: He is a big guy, but he has the ability. He works every day on his ability to get in and out of transitions. I would not let his size discourage him from playing corner. His size gives him an advantage at the line of scrimmage. He just needs to get in the playbook and be more consistent, because he has a great combination of size and speed.

Q: Last year there was a lot of rotation at cornerback. Are you hoping that two guys can establish themselves as the clear cut starters?
A: If I could get nine guys that could play and stop the deep ball, I would play all of them. You are always going to want two guys to grab the bull by the horns and be the starters. I am trying to hunt for two guys that are consistent and that can make plays. You want to guys that do not come out except for fatigue or injury.

Q: How has Anthony Reddick doing after his surgery?
A: He is doing a great job coming off of that knee surgery. Every day that he is out on the field he gets more confident in that knee and once he gets completely comfortable with it he can be a top shelf safety. He has great ability and it just a matter of him practicing more and getting comfortable.

Q: What about Anthony gives him the ability to be a top shelf safety?
A: He is very physical. He is a real smart kid. He has a high football IQ. One thing that sets him apart from other guys is always in the office studying football. He has me coming at 6 in the morning to watch video with him. He is always studying and asking questions. He is a student of the game. He has an unquestionable work ethic.

Q: How has Randy Phillips been developing at safety?
A: He has made a good transition from corner to safety. He is really excited about playing that spot. We expect big things out of him. He is a mature guy and we expect him to play like that. His teammates look at him as a leader and it is just a matter of him playing to the level of a leader.

Q: How are the 2nd year safeties coming along?
A: They are all doing well. Jared Campbell has really improved on his technique and fundamentals. His confidence has really improved and I am really excited about him. Damien is just non-stop energy. He is a natural football player and playmaker. JoJo is probably the one that has improved the most from that group. He has improved 10 fold and it is showing. If you asked me right now which one of them is most ahead it would be JoJo right now.

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