Shannon: The freshmen have to play

Head coach Randy Shannon addressed the media on Monday and talked about a number of things. He talked about the status of Allen Bailey and Eric Moncur, Charleston Southern, Arthur Brown, the quarterback situation, when he first knew about the young quarterbacks, playing so many freshmen, the depth on the D-Line, and much more.

Opening Statement

"We're looking forward to our first game in Dolphin Stadium. The team is excited. They have a new defensive coordinator so we don't know what they're going to run on defense. We have to look at places he's been at to get ideas on what he's done. Also special teams-wise they have a new special teams coordinator. There's only so much you can do on special teams, but we work on all kinds of scenarios."

Q: Are the suspensions a distraction for the team?

A: Not really. It's kind of a different team. When we're practicing, one day the defense does a great job, the offense didn't panic, found a way to change the momentum around. Some days the offense will be on a roll and the defense comes back late in the practice, changes the momentum. It's how you handle adverse situations: You deal with them, stay focused on what you're trying to get done and move forward.

Q: Will Allen Bailey or Eric Moncur play in the home opener?

A: The door is open. They both went to the doctor, the doctor said it looks good and they are going back today or tomorrow. Two days ago Allen went through individual, tossed one of the defensive linemen around during drills. That's almost like a game type situation. They've been doing blitz drills, walkthroughs. The only thing they've done full speed is individual work, hitting the sled, going against each other. Eric was more ahead of Allen, but I would say they are about equal now.

Q: Will the playbook be limited due to Jacory being the starter?

A: He's got the whole entire offense in now, and he's worked every blitz, every front, every coverage that we have. We usually don't do that. The reps that he's getting have gotten him ready. We have had him run every play with every kid of coverage, blitz, or front he could see. There are no limits to what we can run.

Q: Is there anything Jacory can do on Thursday to become the starter?

A: Marve is a starter for the season. Nothing is going to change that. Jacory is going to play also, but Marve is our starter.

Q: Is Arthur Brown not on the depth chart?

A: Don't know. He's not on the two deep. Injuries happen, things like that, so I don't know. He could get on the field if someone ahead of him goes down.

Q: Talk about what makes you confident in Jacory Harris as a true freshman?

A: Because when you watch Jacory, and I'll throw Marve in there too they both handle themselves with a lot of pride, and poise. A true quarterback will always take the blame. Sometimes they'll throw a ball that hits a receiver in the hands and it is dropped and they will take the blame for the pass. When you have quarterbacks that do those type of things, it's easy for the other 10 guys to believe in them. You know there'll be some bad plays here and there, but if in practice you take the blame for things it'll be a lot easier when its for real.

Q: When did you first become aware of Jacory?

A: Probably 11th grade, 10th grade I noticed him. Northwestern was my school, I was recruiting him. I noticed how he handled himself then. He was a skinny young kid. The way he mingled with the guys on the football team (was great). He was never with offense, defense, was with everybody. In 11th grade him and Tommy Streeter used to come to the games all the time. The next game you see him with Sean Spence, always different guys. He would never, ever be with just those guys. He was a football team guy. Just like Marve, when I first saw him in (the UM summer) camp – as a young guy he was down throwing the ball like he was an 11th, 12th grader. But he was competitive. Guys may not run the route right - `Hey, it's my fault.' When they put him with the older guys, there were premier quarterbacks in the camp, he handled the pressure, didn't let the pressure get to him. He was young then but still handled himself well even with the older guys and was competitive.

Q: Is throwing a lot of short passes a function due to having young players or is that the best way you think you can do it?

A: I think you get the ball in your playmakers hands. It could be a deep ball, short ball, could be anything. You don't have to throw the ball 90 yards downfield to be successful. If a guy catches a five-yard pass and runs for 70, you still wind up with a 75-yard touchdown. You throw it 70, throw it 5, it equals the same thing.

Q: What do you think about the opener at a new stadium?

A: It's always exciting the first game of the season. It's a night game, a new stadium, new atmosphere. I think we'll have a lot of fans there that want to see the product because of recruiting, and lot of guys returning. They want to see things, see improvement. And I think they'll see improvement come Thursday night.

Q: Will it feel different at a new place?

A: No. Some of these guys have played at that stadium before. It is still football.

Q: Have the quarterbacks taken enough hits to be ready? They weren't hit in fall drills.

A: I don't think no quarterback will take a hit in practice unless you're in the NFL. If you're in the NFL, that's the only time you're going to take hits, and that's in preseason games. I remember with Dennis Erickson we said the quarterbacks one spring, we said they're going to get hit. We ended up with two guys that had herniated disks. Ever since then Dennis Erickson never did it again.

Q: Are you comfortable playing so many freshmen?

A: They have to play. So you can say you feel uncomfortable, but what can you do about it? You have to coach them up, they go in and play the game. Are we depending on those guys to play 70 snaps? No. They'll play about 20 to 25 snaps. If they know what they're doing full speed, they'll have a great time. If we throw them in for 60 plays and 30 they don't know what they're doing, you have a chance for 30 negative plays. We won't put ourselves in that situation.

Q: There's been a countdown clock to UM on Charleston Southern's website. Are your guys aware of how much this game means to Charleston Southern?

A: Yeah. Everybody we play for some reason, I don't know why, always has a countdown clock to when they play the University of Miami . Everyone. It's part of being Miami , you have a target on you. These guys understand what losing is, not to take opponents lightly. The coaching staff understands it, the players understand it, and they've been working hard.

Q: Why were the six players other than Marve suspended? Was it for academic reasons?

A: I never ever tell you what they do. I never do that.

Q: How will it affect the team, those guys being out?

A: It won't.

Q: Are you comfortable with the depth on the defensive line?

A: Any time you play young guys and we have to play young guys. If we didn't have all these freshmen on this team we'd probably have a one-deep. It's called recruiting. We have to play young guys, they're in this program. You can not feel like they can't do it. No, they can do it. That's the reason they're second team. They worked their butt off and they're better than other guys maybe on the team or we don't have guys on the team at that position. You can't doubt yourself. We won't do that at the University of Miami .

Q: Will Cannon Smith play this week?

A: Don't know. Cannon isn't at the level of the other two quarterbacks. He is the 3rd guy.

Q: Were any of the suspended players other than Marve going to be starters?

A: No. Don't quote me on that, but you probably will.

Q: How does playing on a Thursday affect your schedule this weekend?

A: It gives us a couple of more days to prepare for next week's opponent. You get one or two practices in earlier. Sunday will probably be a practice day. Then we will take Monday off and get ready for the game.

Q: What do you think of playing I-AA schools?

A: This schedule was done way before I became head coach. Schedules are made up six, seven years ahead of time. The only thing I have control of is 2013 right now. I would always like to play a good opponent. Like we have Oklahoma next year, Texas A&M and Florida this year. You always want to play good opponents. People will criticize you for playing too soft of a schedule or too hard of a schedule. Either way you're going to lose. So whatever you feel like you want to play, you just play and don't worry about it.

Q: When North Texas dropped out of this game, was it hard to reschedule it, find an opponent?

A: It was very difficult. Most people have their schedules done ahead of time.

Q: What has been the fan reaction to you making the decision to suspend Marve?

A: I don't know. I don't read the newspaper or the blobs or blogs whatever you call it. I don't do any of that. I haven't gotten one email from anybody. Not one.

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