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Miami Football Prepares for 1st Scrimmage/Quotes

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Story Courtesy UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami football team returned to the Greentree Practice Fields Thursday morning for the eighth day of spring practice under head coach Mark Richt.

The Hurricanes began practice at 9 a.m. on a sunny day in South Florida. The eighth practice once again placed the team in full pads as the Hurricanes ran through another day of drills and play installation.

Following practice, Richt, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, wide receiver Lawrence Cager, tight end Stan Dobard, running back Gus Edwards, running back Trayone Gray and quarterback Brad Kaaya spoke to members of the media.

Miami’s practice on Thursday also served as the team’s final day of preparation before its first scrimmage on Saturday. The team’s first scrimmage will begin at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday at the Greentree Practice Fields. The scrimmage is closed to the public.

The spring schedule will conclude on April 16 with its spring game (2 p.m.) at Lockhart Stadium and will be aired live on ESPN3. The Hurricanes’ spring game also will be open to the public and will be free for all fans.

For the latest information on the Miami Hurricanes, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @CanesFootball, or visit our website at

Season tickets for the 2016 Miami Hurricanes football season are on sale now – visit or call (305) 284-2263 for more information.

Spring Camp – Day Eight

Mark Richt, Head Coach

On how much of the offense is installed at this point in spring camp...

"I would say about 80 to 90 percent of what we're going to install this spring. We still have a little more installation to go this spring, and defensively, there's a few more things I have to put in too."

On the expected tempo of the upcoming scrimmage...

"It'll be full-speed, it'll be tackle. It'll be a live scrimmage, except for the quarterbacks."

On if he is happy with where his team is with learning everything...

"Not yet. Two days ago, I would have said yes. Today, I'm not so sure."

On running back Gus Edwards, who returns from injury in 2016...

"He practiced better today. I think he had a couple of runs two days ago, where we really gave him a lot of space and he just didn't finish the runs the way we wanted runs to be finished. Obviously Coach [Thomas] Brown made a point, because today, when he did get some space, he was running hard, like he needs to, knocking people back in the runs, which was good. He has ability. He just has to learn to practice hard every single snap."

On if his team is 'bought in', and if so, how he knows that to be the case...

"Just watching [players] react to coaching right now, I would say yes. There's going to be good days and bad days. On the bad days, guys can't lose heart or anything like that. It's not always going to be perfect. Like I said, offensively, two days ago was a very encouraging day. I think everybody walked away saying, 'We'll be alright.' If you go by today, I think offensively there would be some guys that would say, 'I don't know, I'm not sure about this yet.'

“Everybody has to keep believing, keep banging away and keep trusting, and we'll be fine. This is a proven system, it has had success for basically over 30 years. It'll work if everybody does what they're supposed to be doing.

“On defense today, we did some situational stuff. We did third and short, third and medium, third and long, which we hadn't done the whole time through. We did red zone stuff we hadn't done yet. There was a lot of newness, and usually when it's new, the offense struggles a little bit, which they did today."

On how he plans on divvying up quarterback snaps during the upcoming scrimmage...

"That's a good question. Probably very similar to what I've been doing - that's Brad [Kaaya] with the [first string] and everyone else rotating between the two's and three's. It'll probably be the same exact role."

Stacy Searels, Offensive Line Coach

On his impression of the new group after a couple of practices…

“You know what, days have been really really good, and then some days they have been really, really bad. We’re looking for more consistency. I like the effort of Danny Isidora. He sticks out. He’s doing everything we ask, he’s playing hard and he’s leading. We need more guys to join his group. We’ve got some good, young talent, but we’ve got to grow up.”

On how he thinks the depth is looking right now… “Well I don’t really have a choice, we’ve got to go with the depth we have. I’ll be glad when Sonny [Odogwu] and Nick Linder get back. Those two will add to our depth.”

Lawrence Cager, Sophomore, WR

On Coach Richt’s comments regarding speed from the receiver group...

“I think it was trying to light a fire to make us work harder and get better each day. I don’t take it as criticism, because Coach Richt is a very loving guy. I think he is trying to get us to work harder and work on our speed, so we can run away from those defenders easily.”

If the comment worked in helping the receiver group work on speed…

“I think it did work. I think we came out and showed them today, just working hard and doing what we can.”

Gus Edwards, Redshirt Junior, RB

On if he is ready for full contact…

“Yeah, I’m ready for full contact. I’m going to be participating in the scrimmage, competing in the scrimmage, just anything. I’m just excited to be out here.”

On if he has had an injury like this before…

“No, this was my first surgery. I’d never had surgery before. So, like I said before, my brothers—my teammates—they did a great job of keeping my head in the game, just giving me words of wisdom from the guys that did have surgeries before. They kept my head right.”

On what he knows about the way running backs will be used…

“So far, we’ve been running the ball a lot in practices and it’s very up-tempo. They want to build it up to be able to go four quarters and that’s what we have to be able to do.”

Standish Dobard, Senior, TE

On how much tight ends are used in this offense doing so far…

“I’m very excited. There are a lot of formations and contacts for the tight ends. Me, [David] Njoku, and Chris [Herndon IV] are always on the field together and I think we are going to be very hard to stop.”

On how excited Gus Edwards is to be back on the field and how he helps the team…

“He’s very excited. Every morning I can see it in his feet. He’s just happy to be back. He’s just a big power back. There’s nothing like having Gus in the backfield. He’s going to get a lot of yardage for this team.”

Brad Kaaya, Junior, QB

On what he wants to see the offense accomplish…

“Just to be able to function at a high rate without things being scripted, without a set period. A lot of times in practice it’s just third down period or it might be short yardage, or it might be blitz period here. Just for guys to be able to function and pick up blitzes, pick up things on their own without saying, ‘Okay, this is blitz period’ or ‘Alright, get ready, they’re bringing strong scrape,’ or ‘They’re bringing cover three behind it.’” 

On finally being able to play in a scrimmage as opposed to doing drills and teaching…

“The guys are pretty excited, but we still have to stay even keel in that aspect. Just because it’s a scrimmage and guys are trying to earn spots, you can’t go overboard and try to make the craziest plays. You’ve just got to focus and do your job. That’s something that I’ve learned from the last two years of scrimmages, you just can’t try and force things. You’ve got to just learn to play.”