Week Two kicked off with talk of this weekend's scrimmage being the main focus. Today we got to find out who impressed, who needs to step up, and how the new faces are integrating into the team.
- Jimmy Gaines, starting MLB and "QB" of the defense, didn't seem pleased with the play of his unit during the scrimmage this weekend. He tipped his cap to the offense, admitting that they got the better of the defense; but was confident that the defense would get revenge. When asked about the new additions, he said he was happy to have them and added when it comes to depth - the more the merrier.
- Defensive Coordinator Mark D'Onfrio wasn't quite as down on the performance of the defense, but did say he would like to see improvement in the areas of open field tackling and pursuit to the ball. He wasn't surprised by it, though stating, "...generally the first one (scrimmage) is sloppy because you don't tackle live until that situation". When asked about David Gilbert (transfer from Wisconsin) and the possibility of him starting, D'Onfrio said that will be up to David; an opinion that was echoed later by Al Golden. They both agree, if healthy, he has the talent, but has a long way to go to get into playing shape; and will have to earn his spot when the time comes. Both coaches say that all the new transfers have more than enough time to get integrated into the team and learn the schemes before the start of the season.
- Coach Al Golden also had the defense's back, saying that it was situational football that included placing the ball at the 3,10, and 20 yard lines. He mentioned the previous scrimmage where we had limited access (and told not to report on); and brought up the fact the defense "put it to" the offense. Since he brought it up, I can go ahead and confirm his assessment of it - the defense was great while we were there. A few int's by the linebackers had Morris pretty angry. Fig was running around taking people's heads off; and the DL wasn't getting pushed around by a well above average offensive line. Duke and Dallas both broke long runs, but over all the defense did own the day.
- In 'not exciting but really important' news, Coach Golden had high praise for K Matt Goudis saying he was 3 for 3 on kicks all of which were 45 yards or more.
- Deon Bush was going to go through his first full practice today (and see how it goes). When asked, Golden said he should be fine for week one.
- Artie Burns did well in the scrimmage and Jermaine Grace "...made you take notice." Grace has been "doing really good things" and has been put in on all the special teams situations. Some thought he may redshirt but it appears he may spend his freshman year contributing on special teams. Coach D'Onofrio said that Al-Quadin Muhammad and Tyriq McCord were his "...fastest guys off the edge."
- In injury news Freshman OT Sunny Odogwu was not on the field this morning. Nothing official by the team was released so far, so lets just go with 'undisclosed injury' for now. We will keep you updated. With the loss of Danny Isidora, and Malcolm Bunche being nicked up every few days, Miami doesn't need anyone else going down. UM may have depth on the O line, but at this rate it won't for long. Hopefully it's minor and we can move on.
- As we get closer to the season, I had planned on giving the color jersey report a bit more attention (black on defense means starter, orange on offense means starter, etc.); but today Denzel Perryman was in a green back up jersey, so I'm gonna hold off a bit. If someone stepped up and unseated Prez at LB, we have an unexpected freak athlete to run and tell the world about (AKA the next coming of Ray Lewis). But chances are he needed a kick in the butt, or someone else gave a great effort... either way let's wait 'til Friday to see who's wearing what.