Cassano goes indepth

New running backs coach Mike Cassano had a lot to say following practice today. Read on to see what he's saying about his new job, the players he's coaching, and much more.

Being at Miami:
This to me is a dream job. I just want to take part in making this thing a monster and bring it back to where it belongs on the top of the national map. The foundation is laid and we have a great opportunity to bring this to back where it belongs on top of the rankings and the guys we have here are doing a great job and I just want to be a part of that. I love the direction coach Shannon is taking the program and I'm excited to be a part of winning a championship

On the RB's:
It's early right now but anytime you are a new coach coming in you give the guys a clean slate that's the only fair way to go about things. Obviously I've watched the film but you have to do a good job making sure all the guys understand that they all have a clean slate. Some kids really rise to the top when they realize some of the things of the past are behind them and they can go forward with a clean slate.I have a great room, I feel comfortable with all the guys and they all work hard and they have really dedicated themselves to being students of the game and for young guys that is usually not the case it takes time for them to get some experience for them to go that route but these guys really really want to be great players and they know the tradition of running backs here at the University of Miami which is as rich as anywhere in the country. They want to represent what those guys stood for and represent them proudly.

On Lamar and Storm:
Lamar has been in meetings because he's at the ACC track championship but I can't wait just like you guys to see him, I love his track times I can tell you that. He has been great in meetings, I like guys when they are able to do two sports because it keeps them competitive all year round .Some schools frown upon that but we know the relationship between football and track here and it is a great working relationship and we will get them ready to go. He will be ready to play in the fall but the competition is going to be fierce. Im looking forward to him. Storm hasn't even been to his prom yet, he is 17 years old he is a great kid he is a hard worker with a tremendous amount of ability he is a big kid with a nice mix of size and speed. That's going to translate out on the field.

On Damien Berry:
He is a kid that is a hard hat and lunchbox type of running back. He is a tough physical guy that has deceptive speed. He has what I call suttle shake in space he can make guys miss in the hole. He will get those tough yards he is a hard working kid that has really really tried to become the leader of the group because he is looked at as a veteran and he has embraced that role and we are looking for his leadership and production on the field.

The competition:
The best guy is going to play whether it is by committee or whether one guy steps to the forefront we will make those decision whats best for the offense and best for the team. We have a great room where we all work together but they all compete but ultimately production is what matters out on the field and that is going to decide how many reps they get when it comes down to gametime.

Committee or one back?
The days of being able to have one back are over the game is too fast too physical to just have one back. If you look at a lot of the great teams with Reggie Bush and Lendale White and Darren McFadden and Felix Jones you can go on and on with these two back systems and it doesn't mean they cant get 1000 yards. I know it's a big thing to get that elusive 1000 yard season which is looming for next year hopefully we can get that but the number 1 priority is to have guys out there that may have fresh legs and the team goal is going to be much more important than any personal successes.

On running backs again:
They are all a little bit different and unique which is nice that is always important when you deal with multiple backs when you get different backs in a game when they are cookie cutter and carbon copy the defense will be playing the same back. With us all of our backs are unique whether it be a little bit faster or a little bit stronger maybe better hands maybe a guy that runs tougher or a guy that runs better in space those are the things that they are all a little different each guy has a couple things that have impressed me.

Specifics:
Damien is a hardnose physical runner that is more elusive than people give him credit for. Storm is a big kid, around 217 pounds and he is a legit 4.4 kid that has a unique combination of size and speed. Lamar Miller I am excited about he is a great kid and he is definitely a football guy first, he is very attentive in meetings and the thing that has impressed me with all these guys is their commitment to learning the offense and becoming complete backs and learning all the things necessary to become a complete back and that to me is impressive and the most important thing. The more you know the better you can play. Mike James is very very natural, he is a smooth runner and another kid who is deceptively fast as well. He is another guy that has great size and speed. He is another deceptive runner whether it be size, speed, and his elusiveness as well. I haven't been able to do anything with Cooper (rehab) but he is a guy who understands that the thing he can do right now is help these guys and tutor these guys and help them with his experiences. Ive challenged him this season to become a teacher, to become a second running back coach and to be able to see the game from a different set of eyes. He is helping these young guys come along use his experience to benefit the program

On this year:
I think that we've lost a lot of numbers as far as yards from the past but going forward I couldn't be any more excited about what we have coming up and being able to unleash this crew next year.

On Patrick Hill:
I love Pat Hill. I absolutely love him from A-Z. He is the leader of the bunch.


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