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'Canes Camp Day 2: More Notes/Quotes

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Courtesy UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Hurricanes resumed their spots on the Greentree Practice Fields for Day 2 of #CanesCamp, and head coach Mark Richt came away impressed with the effort of his players.

“Much better day of everybody handling the tempo, handling the heat, handling everything that we’re asking them to do,” Richt said. “I thought we practiced like champions today. We got to keep doing it, but it was a very good day in regards to that.”

After beginning their first practice at 3:05 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the Hurricanes had a start time of 9:30 a.m. Friday.

When asked what it meant that his team practiced like champions, Richt didn’t hesitate.

“Effort. Focus. Energy level. Just doing what you’re coached to do, down after down. It wasn’t perfect by any means. We had too many penalties today, we had some issues on assignment… I know what it looks like to have the type of practice where you’re going to get better every day, and today was one of those.

“Yesterday was close [to it], but today was.”



Video Interviews:

Head Coach Mark Richt - https://youtu.be/9xkqbhu35qA

Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz - https://youtu.be/0F-a8CQ8xOQ

Assistant Coach Mike Rumph - https://youtu.be/s1HQswOh7Vg

Defensive Lineman Chad Thomas - https://youtu.be/kkAH2ev83UM

Quarterback Malik Rosier - https://youtu.be/KrIW0quWknw

Wide Receiver Braxton Berrios - https://youtu.be/v-_9yTQcXPE

Defensive Back Adrian Colbert - https://youtu.be/bCH7Lc7ctC0


Post-Practice Commentary:

Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…
“Much better day of everybody handling the tempo, handling the heat, handling everything that we’re asking them to do. I thought we practiced like champions today. We got to keep doing it, but it was a very good day in regards to that.”

On what it means to practice like a champion…
“Effort. Focus. Energy level. Just doing what you’re coached to do, down after down. It wasn’t perfect by any means. We had too many penalties today, we had some issues on assignments – you’ll always have that when you rep two [second-string] and three [third-string] teams. I know what it looks like to have the type of practice where you’re going to get better every day, and today was one of those. Yesterday was close, but today was.”

On the play of junior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, who impressed on third downs as a freshman…
“He’ll be an every down option. With the tempo we’re going to want to go at, I’m hoping to be two deep at three-receiver sets and two-receiver sets. I don’t see him as a situational guy. He can do anything first, second or third down. A lot of it is just going to be running a bunch of plays, and when one guy gets tired, the next guy comes in and he starts going. He can do it all.”

“I’m all for [third-down catches]. The thing of it is, our offense is structured where we don’t have him as the main target. He may be the first progression, second or third. The defense, a lot of times, dictates where the ball goes, if the quarterback does it right.”

On the play of the team’s safeties through the first two days of camp…
“I like it – the veterans, especially. You can tell a big difference between the young guys and the old guys – just learning how to disguise coverage better. There’s a cat-and-mouse game every snap, with the quarterback trying to figure out what the coverage is. The more the safeties and secondary can disguise it, the tougher it is for the quarterback to be right. It makes him hold the ball longer. The veterans do a great job of that, and the young guys are still learning it. Overall, the safeties, especially the older guys, are doing a great job.”

On his early impressions of transfer defensive back Adrian Colbert…
“I like him. I liked him since the day he got here – his energy, his maturity. He should be mature. He has been at a great program, and came here and could keep pace in some cases, show the way. He did a good job.”

On the difficulty of transitioning from safety to cornerback, like Colbert is doing…
“Oh yeah. He’ll play. He’ll play a lot. He’ll play on special teams too. He’s long, athletic, fast. I know most every safety works on man coverage skills anyways. He’s not really that rusty at all.”

On the progression of redshirt sophomore quarterback Malik Rosier…
“He’s in the pack. [There’s] Kaaya, [then] pack. That’s what I got right now…Malik knows what he’s doing. Malik has to take it from the meeting room to the field, like the rest of them. I think when plays break down, he has a tendency to want to make something special happen. Sometimes, you just [have to] burn the ball. Sometimes you just take a sack. I think that wanting to make every play a great play, sometimes it’s not good. I always say, ‘don’t turn a bad play into a catastrophe.’ If it’s a bad play, burn the ball. We’ll punt. I’m okay with that. Sometimes he has a tendency to want to stretch more out of a play than he should.”

On the timeline of naming a backup quarterback…
“I’m not making any promises, but it could be as early as the first scrimmage. I just want to have peace that I’m doing the right thing. Sooner or later, we have to get the reps for the number two guy. If I have to wait until even after the third scrimmage, which gives me still 10 practice days prior, I think we’ll still be okay.”

On the status of freshman linebacker Michael Pinckney, who was seen riding an exercise bike…
“I think it’s a quad or hamstring. Something is bothering him a little bit. We don’t think it’s serious, but enough to where he wasn’t going full speed.”

On the status of junior linebacker Jermaine Grace, who was not seen at practice…
“Final day of exams. We had a few guys doing that today.”

On the idea of wanting his players to be bored with the playbook due to consistency and repetition…
“There’s still a lot to learn, a lot of variables. I want them to be bored in that it’s the same thing, it’s a consistent message. In this coverage you do this, in that coverage you do that. In this look, you run this way, in that look, you run that way. It never changes. In some ways, I want it to be boring in that they know it so well, that when the heat comes, they’ll be able to function well and not panic.”

Assistant Coach Mike Rumph

On how the first two days of practice have gone…
“It’s going well, as well as it can go for Day 2. I can’t say I’m not proud of how we have come out and competed.”

On what senior Adrian Colbert has looked like so far…
“He’s doing excellent. I couldn’t be prouder of him. Coming out here, he’s looked like he’s played corner for a while now. The main thing he does is that on the deep ball he is typically over the top. He’s not going to get beat deep. He has tremendous speed and comfort playing the deep ball. I know he is going to add depth to [the cornerbacks] and special teams. And I know the main thing he does well is bring the senior leadership. Already the kids are understanding that he sets the tone on how we do things, him and Corn Elder.”

On the value of having a veteran like Colbert to lead a young position group…
“It’s excellent because when you have a guy that is 22 years old and has been playing a good amount of football at another university, for him to come in and be selfish and focus on what I am teaching him shows the sophomores and freshmen that that’s the way to be a team player. I hate to say that he carries himself like a pro, but I like that he carries himself the way he does.”

On senior Corn Elder’s expectations going into this season…
“He’s doing very well. Corn has made a tremendous amount of plays. He’s probably my best ball hawk. He has really good hands as far as getting the ball in his hands. He challenges guys every single play. The main thing with Corn, I want him to be a more vocal leader. He’s such a leader without saying words, but I want him to get on Malek Young and some of the other younger corners. I want him to help them understand his mentality. He comes out here [with the outlook] that it’s a work day and he puts the work in, but I want him to help my younger corners understand that.”

Sophomore DB Jaquan Johnson

On if he has improved on moving around in the back of the defense and showing different looks…
“Yeah, I learned how to adjust with this defensive scheme because that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to disguise all the time, throw the quarterback off and stuff. These D coaches, they help me out a lot with that. They talk about it in meetings all the time and I’ve gotten real good at it since last year.”

On the biggest adjustment for him with the new defense…
“Really, it’s not so many plays. It’s a good amount of plays, and I’m learning how to play both sides. I’ve learned how to play both sides this year and it’s coming to me easily. The way they explain it . . . they make it real simple.”

On if he has done any work at cornerback …
“Well, the past two practices we’ve been working me at nickel. I’ve been doing a little bit at nickel . . . Not in the spring, we just started yesterday.”

On the overall defense…
“We’re coming together. We’ve got the defense down. We’re flying now. We’ve just got to pay attention to the little details and become even stronger.”


Senior DB Adrian Colbert

On Thursday’s practice…
“Today was kind of slow, they really weren’t throwing to my side today. I had a chance to pick a ball from Kaaya yesterday, they ran a high low route and I baited the low one. Went I went up to catch the ball I went down right away because I had a cramp in my leg.”

On the transition from safety to corner…
“The coaches have steadily been working with me. I’ve embraced the transition and think it’s gone really well. I want to keep working on my eye discipline. I’ve been focusing on visual cues to help me position myself better. “

On confidence in his abilities to cover from his new position…
“Most definitely. I feel like I can run with anybody in the country.”

On how practices at Miami differ from practices at Texas…
“Yeah it does, the coaches have been great. They give me equal respect and constructive criticism when I go wrong. The practice periods are a bit longer here but there aren’t as many of them, the humidity and heat is a factor for sure.”

On his goals for the season…
“Oh yeah, I didn’t come here to watch from the sideline, I’m working to earn a starting spot. I have a bit of a chip on my shoulders and I want to prove myself.”

On wearing the green and orange of the Hurricanes…
“I have loved it so far. Yesterday I had the butterflies, I was just so happy to be out here running around after missing spring ball this season.”


Redshirt Sophomore DL Gerald Willis

On anybody that took him under his wing after transferring to Miami…
Stan Dobard, we were high school teammates and since I’ve been here he’s been showing me a lot.”

On what he brings to the defensive line…
“I think my quickness, my hands, and my instincts will all help give me an edge when we line up.”

On what it has been like playing in a new scheme…
“Coach Diaz always says the 4-3 defensive scheme is set so that we can make plays and it’s been showing in practice.”

On which young players have impressed him…
“Joe Jackson and Tyreic [Martin]. Most of the freshman come in and have to learn a lot right off of the bat. But they both came in here with a purpose and they’re picking things up quick.”

On conditioning for this season and improvements compared to last season…
“Big Gus [Felder], the strength and conditioning coach, he been out here with us all summer and I feel like I’m in the best shape that I ever have been.”

On his body composition…
The coaching staff wanted me to put on some healthy weight. I came in 270 lbs. and now I’m up to 285 lbs. I also had a 30 percent body-fat percentage and now I’m down to 20 percent. We have all been happy with the results so far.”

On what it was like watching from the sideline last year after transferring…
“It was tough to watch, everyone else is out there getting reps and making plays. It hurt a little but now being only a month away from the first game I’m really excited. I want to show everyone this season that I’m ready.”