Wide receivers coach Kevin Beard sounded like a proud papa when he addressed the local media Thursday afternoon. Despite the fact that he was introduced to the media on a conference call, his smile was readily apparent through the phone. He sounded like he was ready to hit the ground running.
"I am learning on the go and I just happy to be on the job," said Beard. "I am here to teach technique and fundamentals and we are going to be very technically sound this season. I am going to help these guys get to where they want to go."
Beard inherits a corps of receivers that will be led by Stacey Coley, who is coming off of a horrible season. After a promising freshman year, Coley was beset by injuries and was never able to make a big play for Brad Kaaya during the season.
"There was a lot of pressure on him last season and it just continued to build up," Beard said. "He had instant success the year before and he was crippled by that success. He just has to relax and come familiar with his surroundings again and give himself an opportunity to get better and to get deeper in this process. He needs to go out and have fun and get the pressure off his back."
Beard said that having Kaaya under center is a receiver's dream come true and makes his job as a coach a lot easier.
"Brad is not going to throw a bad ball. You can't drop the pass and blame it on Brad," Beard said. "He can make all the throws. If you don't catch it, don't blame Brad. Also, if you don't catch it, the guy behind you will. You need to expect yourself to make those plays.
"These guys control their own destiny. It's all about making plays," Beard said.
Beard also spoke very highly of Rayshawn Scott and Braxton Berrios.
"I am so excited because those guys are so hungry, both of them," Beard said. "I see a high ceiling in those guys. For Rayshawn, the biggest thing is that he has to stay healthy. Braxton is going to be more than a third-down possession receiver. He is going to be a play maker."
Beard also said that he will be getting his recruiting responsibilities from the staff, but that he anticipates recruiting heavily in Broward County, where Miami has not done very well in recent years.
"They will assign me a particular area, but I will be heavily involved in Broward County," Beard said. "It's all about building relationships. That is what is all comes down to at the end of the day. It's all about building relationships and telling people the truth. When you tell people the truth, its hard for people to get in their feelings when you are honest with them."
Melvin does not know much about his personnel group and he has nine days to learn them and to watch tape of his crew before spring practice starts.
"I have to teach it and they have to execute it," Melvin said. "They have to play with effort and play with some hustle. That's all that they have to do and we will be fine."
Melvin coached with Al Golden at Temple in 2009 and is happy to be back with his former boss.
"The earth is round and tootball is a small environment," Melvin said. "Somethings come back full circle and I am glad to be here. Al is very detailed and a pleasure to work for. He let's me coach and do the things that I do best."