It's no secret that Randy's relationship with the media — especially the local media that cover him day in and out — has been not bad necessarily, but probably always a bit uncomfortable.
I've always gotten the vibe that Randy and the local media are like freshman year roommates that have a "good" relationship, but don't hang out outside of their dorm room or even really know much about each other. This, of course, is of Randy's design. Likely exacerbating this issue is the fact that in one of the few times that Randy did open up to a local reporter— in his sit down lunch with Manny Navarro from a few years back— it resulted in the mini-controversy over some comments that Randy made about a murder that happened (or did not happen) in Gainesville. (I don't remember this terribly well, someone can correct me in the comments.)
Michael Irvin is ostensibly a member of the media. He's been doing radio and TV work pretty much since he's been out of the NFL, and for an ex-player, he's not bad at it. But to Randy, Michael isn't a member of the media, or at least he's MUCH more than a member of the media. They played together at UM during the program's most infamous days, but they were also roommates during that time as well. Randy isn't close to very many people, but he was, and is still, close with Michael. It seems like he trusts Michael.
So it's hard to call Michael's interview of Randy on WQAM last night an "interview" in the classic sense. (You might just call it "Great Barstoolio Gets A Boner" -- The Great Barstoolio.) In fact, if it wasn't for some questions asked by Michael's co-host/producer (?) Kevin Kiley, it pretty much would've just been two old roommates talking about football. The result was probably the most enlightening interaction between Randy and another member of the media since that lunch with Manny. A few of the topics touched on in the interview— taking it one game at a time, getting the old "swagger" back— were boilerplate, but there was an ease, and a palpable humanity, about Randy that he rarely, rarely displays in public. He reminisced about old games and old plays. He was clearly having fun. During an interview!
In fact, he was so at ease that he pretty much openly committed an NCAA violation, without precisely committing an NCAA violation. Early in the interview, Michael asked Randy about Seantrel Henderson. Randy responded by saying that, per NCAA rules, he's not allowed to talk about Seantrel until August 4th. But Randy didn't stop the question there. Instead, he repeatedly egged Michael on.
Randy: To be honest with you, I cannot comment on him until August 4. That's the sad thing about it.
Michael: That's the rule?
Randy: That's the NCAA rule. I can never mention his name. But you can.
Kevin: I think I can hear you, I think I can hear you smiling though, Randy.
Randy: The biggest thing in it is, if I say something, whoever that guy name is we talking about, the next thing happens, I'll be turned into the NCAA, and there will be another school, trying to get him to go to their school.
Michael: And we don't want that.
Randy: No. But you can talk about it, anytime that you want.
Michael: Yeah. And I've heard, I'll tell you what, I've had a lot of people, man, and they talk about this kid, what a phenomenal talent he is, because once he made the decision to come to Miami, that's all everybody started talking about. They talk about, he's a phenomenal talent, big guy, phenomenal talent, but you gotta make sure you're pushing him to work, you gotta make sure he's working.
Randy: I heard this, Mike, to be honest, I heard that if we go get this kid, I don't know who he is, but a lot of people keep saying that we're going to get this young man, and I know he's supposed to be a big guy that's real athletic, played basketball, light on his feet... and I'm just trying to wait and see if that young man gon show up.
Michael: That's what I heard too, Coach. I heard you got some pretty good sources. [laughs]
Randy: I don't know who it is.
Michael: [laughing] He's light on his feet and is a great basketball player. Matter of fact, I heard that exact thing.
Now, I'm not Paul Dee, NCAA judge over here, but I don't think a secondary violation is committed unless a coach actually says the recruit's name. But that interaction between Michael and Randy was at the very least secondary violation foreplay.
And now, some ofter topics of interest from the interview.
On players working on their own:
I think they've done a great job in the film room on this season. LaRon Byrd has a key, that he came and got from me, and the guys come up here on Saturday mornings, 7 o clock, watch films for about 35, 40 minutes, then they go out on the field and do their 7-on-7 and individual drills. That's how you know you got a team that wants to get it done, and that's the things that have changed over the process... but we have guys that are football guys now. Junkies. Football junkies, as you call 'em. Gym rats. And those guys are gonna take us to where we need to be at.
On tough early games:
You know, taking it one step, one play at a time, and go through the process. Cuz you know what, a lot of people doubted us last year when we had those first four games, and we went 3-1. But we have to improve on those first four games, and try and get better in this upcoming season, which I know these guys will, because they've been through the ringer now, and they understand that complacency or somebody patting you on the back can make you a little lazy. And with the way this team is now, with the competition that we have now, with the depth, which I think is unbelievable now on this football team, it's really, really gonna surprise a lot of people.
On Jacory and maturing:
I think the greatest thing happened to him, Mike, is that he sat out this spring. And I'm watching spring practice, and we going through spring, blah blah blah blah. So one of the young quarterbacks made a throw, it was a three deep coverage, and he's supposed to outside to the X, but he went down and inside of the field, and [Jacory] said, "God! What is he doing?" I looked at him and said "Jacory, you did the same things last year during the game." And he looked at me, Mike, and said, "Coach, are you serious?" And i said, "OK, after this, you, me and Coach Whipple, we're gonna go upstairs." And we pulled up the same exact play, and you know what he said? He said, "I understand now." [...] And i think that really helped his maturity aspect of it, and then when I watched him come off his hand injury, he was out there the whole entire summer, cuz he wasn't throwing the beginning of summer, going through five step drop footwork. Three step drop. Play action pass. The naked game out of it. The sprint out game. All those things. 45 minutes of just footwork. And people don't know how important that is. [...] The last three weeks, it was unbelievable how he was throwing the football again, cuz he worked on the little things.
On Jacory and being a leader:
He's a very intelligent football player. Very smart. Always watching film. The thing that you notice... is that he's a leader. One day I'll see him, walking around, he'll be playing around in the weight room, out on the football field with the offensive line. All of a sudden, two days later, I'll see him with the defensive line. Then two days later I'll see him over there kicking field goals with Bosher. He's that type of guy, that's always with his teammates. He wants to be accepted as a teammate no matter what. And as far as his calm and cool and collected, I've never seen a quarterback, and this is even dealing with Troy [Aikman] and Bernie and all them, he does not get frustrated by anything. This is unbelievable. I mean, if the game is on the line, put him at quarterback.
[Randy then talks in super football jargon about Jacory, I believe, checking off to the play that resulted in Aldarius' 4th down catch in the Wake Forest game last year]
He goes on to talk about being very in tune with Whipple, how he hates speaking engagements and only does them if Shalala directly asks him and his big expectations for the defense. Then he and Michael talk about the '86 team, swagger, the new celebration rules, etc. There is more reminiscing at the end. Michael tells him to clean out his voicemail box.
Michael also interviewed Randall Hill, which was probably amazing, but I have yet to listen to it. It's taking all of my self-discipline to not post a gif again.
IN RECRUITING NEWS, and I barely feel comfortable even talking about this, the big boy Rivals site is speculating in its weekly "Whispers" column that we are the favorite for the potential #1 prospect IN 2014. As in four years from now. As in, we all may be dead, who knows, you never really know. His name is Sony Michel. He is a RB. He is being compared to Noel Divine. Miami is supposedly his dream school. My dream
school world is one where I'm not forced to care about a 14 year old football player that's not in "Little Giants," but hey.