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Salomon: Players and Coaches Need to Be Called To Task; AQM's DNP Was Coaches Decision

It has become fairly typical, after a Canes loss, to hear Coach Al Golden fall on the sword for either his players or coaches and accept blame himself. This is something that any good CEO would do. Blame starts at the top and then twiddles its way down. What I want to know, is what Canes fans want to know, when is it going to stop? When will the actual people that need to be held accountable going to accept responsibility and stop having it fall on Coach Golden? Golden puts people in a position to succeed. If they fail, it is their fault, not his.

Al Golden looking as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders
Al Golden looking as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Mea Culpa.

The famous first words of Miami head coach Al Golden after a University of Miami loss, similar to the one that they sustained at Louisville Monday night to start the season 0-1.  In Golden's four seasons at Miami, he has only won the season opener once, last season against Florida Atlantic.

When the Hurricanes lose a football game, Golden usually approaches the microphones and accepts responsibility for the loss.  He puts the entire loss on his shoulders and makes it sound as though he should be the only one held accountable.  He makes it sound like he is the one that called the wrong plays or he is the one that missed a big open field tackle or that it was his errant screen pass that resulted in a turnover.  I have a lot of respect for Golden for doing that, but sometimes blame needs to be put where it belongs.

The play calling on offense by offensive coordinator James Coley was abysmal and the kickoff return team did not do their job.  Technically, in a corporate environment, it could be said that everything was Golden's fault as it all starts at the top and Golden put people in the position to make the decisions that they made and also to perform the way they performed.  However, I would like to hear the head coach place blame where it belongs and call people to task.  I would like to see the coach confirm what the fans are thinking.

Coley called a horrible game.  He did not give Brad Kaaya a chance to succeed and he needs to take the training wheels off of the offense.  The right side of the offensive line could not block a Pop Warner team and the kick off return team let a very good athlete run through the middle of the field like it was Swiss Cheese.  Miami has always been known for having tremendous special teams and terrific offensive line play.  That was not the case this week.

The punting statistics were a little misleading because there were a lot of good bounces and rolls that padded Justin Vogel's numbers.  Miami gave Louisville the ball at midfield after a poor punt and they scored a touchdown on the drive.  The Canes cannot have that become the norm this season.  Perhaps they need to invest more time in recruiting specialists and get the best punter in the country. Pat O'Donnell showed last year that he was a weapon and was perhaps the best player on the team in 2013.

During a conference call with beat reporters on Tuesday afternoon Golden said about the offensive line, "I wouldn't just isolate it to the offensive line or right side of the offensive line.  There is going to be a lot of competition this week with positions up for grabs."

Certain players need to be called out for their dismal play. Danny Isadora and Taylor Gadbois need to be called to task.  They played an awful game and did not run block or pass protect very well.  They were not even average. Kc McDermott and Trevor Darling deserve playing time against Florida A&M and let's see if they can do better.

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After the game on Monday night, Golden had this to say. "We have a lot of things we need to fix, starting with me and the coaches. We will start on that here tonight on the way home, and get with the guys on Wednesday."

Golden said that it was the coaching staff's fault for not putting Kaaya in a position to succeed.  By running the ball between the tackles against a very good defensive line that stacked the box with eight and nine defenders, it was miraculous that Duke Johnson got out of the game healthy.

When confronted with the fact that the play calling was more beyond conservative, Golden pondered the thought then responded accordingly.

"That's a fair criticism," Golden said. "We probably should have opened it up more for him, based upon where he is as a player."

Too little, too late.  Canes fans wish that mantra was decided at half time and not after the game was over.

Freshman receiver Braxton Berrios looked like he was completely healed from an ACL injury that he sustained in a high school all star game.  He deserves more playing time and made a real nice catch on a fourth down play that kept a drive alive, albeit temporarily.  He was one of many UM receivers that only had one catch.

Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad did not play against the Cardinals.  Golden refused to say why, other than to say that his not playing was a coaches decision.  He said that any information regarding any possible suspension or punishment would be issued through Blake James, if that was the situation and that he would not comment further.

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