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'Canes Camp Day 3: Notes/Quotes

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Courtesy UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes opened Day 3 with a thud on the Greentree Practice Fields, where the team wore shoulder pads for the first time in a morning practice.

"Great day as far as putting some shoulder pads on and being able to pop a little bit, and do what we call 'thud.' It's a tempo,” head coach Mark Richt said. “You have 'live' - which is tackling, blocking below the waist. ‘Thud' is a full-speed drill but there's no below-the-waist blocking or tackling to the ground….some really good, nice contact plays.”

Richt said the defense won the practice thanks to its physicality and toughness, on display in front of Golden Canes in attendance for a private practice and brunch. Richt addressed the group afterwards.

“[The defense] looked like they were more excited about playing football today,” Richt said. “It started well for them and it just kept going. Offensively, I will say, sometimes things go bad and they just turn to junk for the rest of the day. But they fought, they competed, started to execute a little bit better as we went.”

Defensive backs were among the most impressive group Saturday morning, according to Richt, and included in that group is sophomore cornerback Sheldrick Redwine.

“We're all competing right now,” Redwine said. “Everybody is competing every day."

The Miami native said he used the offseason to focus on his patience, and that work is starting to pay off.

"Staying more lateral and being more patient at the line,” Redwine said. “Sometimes, earlier in the spring, I was eager to try to press, and I would end up opening the gates. I feel as now I'm being more patient at the line, to be able to cut off more receivers."

When asked about which position group has made the most progress since his arrival, Richt did not identify an individual group.

“I think everybody. I really do. I think everybody,” he said. “We're so much better than first day of spring, which makes sense, but even the last day of spring, we're so much better. We look better, we're stronger, we're leaner and we're in better condition.

“They understand how we want them to practice. If a receiver runs 70 yards down the field, there's going to be the whole defense chasing his rear end for 70 yards, and that’s how you play.”



Read on for more for #CanesCamp Day 3 reaction from players and coaches:


Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement...
"Great day as far as putting some shoulder pads on and being able to pop a little bit, and do what we call 'thud.' It's a tempo. You have 'live' - which is tackling, blocking below the waist. 'Thud' is a full-speed drill but there's no below-the-waist blocking or tackling to the ground. There's other times we're going to run by a guy and tag off. We were in 'thud' today. Some really good, nice contact plays.

“The defense definitely won the day. They looked like they were more excited about playing football today. It started well for them and it just kept going. Offensively, I will say, sometimes things go bad and they just turn to junk for the rest of the day. But they fought, they competed, started to execute a little bit better as we went. Overall the defense looked like a more physically tough team than the offense, as a whole. Nice, hot, smoky, muggy day.”


On which defensive players stood out Saturday...
"It was like a swarm. I couldn't even tell you who - a lot of them. The defensive backs played, I thought, exceptionally well, with the ball in the air. There were some outstanding balls in the air that were broken up, and some really good-looking picks. I couldn't even tell you who got them, because I'm going to the next play. I'm not looking at the [jersey] number to see who got it. Overall, I thought the defensive backs really had a nice day with the ball in the air, and competing physically too.”


On if he would like to see his defense always "win" practice...
"I would be sick if the offense won every day. You're going to be in trouble. Defense, they might win every day, but I like it when at least one side of the ball is tough, if at least one side of the ball is getting after it, sooner or later the other side of the ball is going to rise to that. I'm not saying the offense didn't compete. I'm just saying today, the defense got the best of it. They looked more tough, more physical. Part of it was how they swarmed the ball. It wasn't necessarily one individual play or one individual hit. The guys were really rallying to the ball and striking.

“I'll say this too - when you 'thud,' as soon as you 'thud' a guy, we call him down. We know in real games, guys actually break a tackle, guys get yards after contact. If the drill is to four yards, and if it goes to four yards the offense wins, and if it's under four yards the defense wins, if the 'thud' is at three and a half, we're saying it's down, so the defense would win. In a real game, if that back  finishes behind his pad and gets one yard after contact, the offense would probably win that drill. It's hard to keep score when you're in 'thud,' but it's still worth doing, because I want them competing every single drill.”


On the offensive line...
"There were some good plays. There were some times where things would just pop big and everybody did it right. Then there were some times that we didn't get it done. Some of it is assignment, some of it is just technique or maybe a new twist in there. Some of these twists our defense runs and people run around the country are a little difficult to master. Hitting a moving target, so to speak, and being disciplined. But you learn as you go. You can walk through all you want, but when you start going full-speed, the guys who are really good athletes - it takes a while to get used to it.


On if anybody stands out on the offensive line...
"I can't really point out anybody."


On how the offensive line looks physically as a unit...
"I think they're in good condition. I think they're going to be strong enough, athletic enough. I know they're going to be well-coached. There will be snaps where we watch tape, and [we'll say], 'That's exactly how it should be done.' And it will be exciting. Sometimes there were tremendous pockets or great protection, but the defense still won because they covered extremely well. I might see a beautiful pocket where the line did a beautiful job, but the offense still doesn't get a point that time because the defense did a good job or the quarterback made a bad read, or whatever it is. We had some really nice pockets, we picked up blitzes overall pretty darn good."


On what unit has progressed the most since his arrival...
"I think everybody. I really do. I think everybody. We're so much better than first day of spring, which makes sense, but even the last day of spring, we're so much better. We look better, we're stronger, we're leaner, we're in better condition. They understand how we want them to practice. If a receiver runs 70 yards down the field, there's going to be the whole defense chasing his rear end for 70 yards, and that's how you play great defense.”


On the play of the team's fullbacks...
"Not bad. It's a very physical position. Big boy Marquez [Williams] is running with the ones [first string]. He's how you draw them up. He got some good strikes today."


Assistant Coach Stacy Searels

On the importance of having returners on the line like Nick Linder and Sunny Odogwu...
"We're thin. We're thin right now. If you don't have Nick Linder and Sunny Odogwu, we'd be paper-thin."


On how the offensive line unit has looked physically through three days…
"I think Gus Felder has done a great job with them in the weight room this summer. I thought they came back and were in good shape...there are some young guys that have a long ways to go. But the older guys that we're counting on to play, they're physically back healed, in shape and ready to go."


On which young players have impressed...
"It's too early to say right now."


On offensive lineman Sunny Odogwu…
“Sunny loves the game. He loves to compete. He loves everything about Miami. He loves everything you give [him]. Sunny has the best attitude of anybody I have ever been around, and he is appreciative of being at Miami. He loves the game, he loves his teammates, he loves his coaches. He tells me, 'I love you coach,' and I'm beating the fool out of him. He's doing a great job. I love his enthusiasm."


Offensive Lineman Sunny Odogwu


On injuries to offensive linemen from last season…
"To be honest with you, we've put last year behind our backs. This is a new era. Right here. Everything [last year] is over with. Right now, all we have to do is move on to the next one. Now, we have the next one. We have everything we need right now to be great. We're working hard as a team to be [great]. It's only going to take us as individuals and collectively as teammates. We already have the coaches, we already have everything - the strength coaches - everything...we have to believe in ourselves and just keep going every day."


On his body fat percentage…
"The last time I checked, it was 13. Last season, it was probably 18 or 20 percent."


On how he feels he has been progressing through the first three days of practice…
"I feel great, man. I feel 120,000 percent. It's just wonderful. Every day, I come out here, I'm happy to be here, with the new team, new coaches, Coach Searels, my teammates. All of them. It's something to give glory to God about."


On where he gets his positive attitiude…
"It comes from having a rough background, a rough childhood and a rough life. You have nothing to be upset about. Yeah we get upset [sometimes] on the field, but why beat yourself up if things don't go your way all the time? Why don't you just keep your head down and learn? I'm here to learn. I'm a 'student-athlete' - that's what it's called. I'm here to learn every day, learn from Coach Searels - he's the best that has ever done it. Coach Richt, Thomas Brown, our running backs coach - he's amazing. You can see. Coach Searels, he played the game. All of them. You have nothing to worry about. Just trust them and be positive, and know that there are going to be bad days. Great days are coming. Great days are always bigger.”


Defensive Back Sheldrick Redwine

On the mindset of the defensive backs through three days of camp…
"We're all competing right now. Everybody is competing every day."


On the presence of Adrian Colbert in the secondary…
"He's taking on a leadership role. He's been getting our young guys right, getting everybody right."


On how he has progressed in the offseason and early on in camp…
"I think my play is coming along good. I'm just trying to progress every day, like everybody is."

On how the new defensive scheme fits him as a player…
"Personally, I feel like I'm more of a reactive player. This is an attacking defense, so when I see something, I just have to go get it."


On what he worked on in the offseason…
"Staying more lateral and being more patient at the line. Sometimes, earlier in the spring, I was eager to try to press or something, and I would end up opening the gates. I feel as now I'm being more patient at the line, to be able to cut off more receivers."

Offensive Lineman Nick Linder

On how camp practices have gone under Coach Richt…
“He’s a great guy. He started building that relationship since he took the job and seeing how he did things in the spring and after summer workouts and now here, he is just a pro with how he runs and operates things. It’s really good.”


On what the offensive line is capable of heading into the season…
“We’ll all be healthy and capable of moving a certain way and performing a certain way. We’ll be better and that will give Brad [Kaaya] confidence to stay in the pocket, make his reads and hit his throws.”


On the responsibility of protecting a quarterback like Brad Kaaya…
“We take pride in that. You guys know how good he is. We like keeping him off the ground. That’s our job and that’s what we have been focused on this whole offseason, keeping him clean.”

Defensive Back Corn Elder

On being the vocal leader of the defense…
“It’s going pretty good, I talk a lot to most of my friends and the cornerbacks are like brothers to me, so I don’t mind speaking up and talking to them. When it comes to leading the defense, I’ve been here for four years so it’s not that big of a deal for me.”

On the receivers that have stood out in camp…
“All of them, you know guys like Stacy [Coley], Braxton [Berrios] and Malcolm [Lewis], they’ve all been here a while. Also the young receivers like Dayall [Harris] and Ahmmon [Richards], they’ve all been stepping up. I think every receiver brings something different to the table.”

On teammate Adrian Colbert….
“He’s doing really good. You know he’s fast, he can cover and today he made some good plays. He had a couple of interceptions in the last few days. You know he’s doing a really good job.”


Offensive Lineman Trevor Darling

On the offensive line as a unit…
“I feel like we’re a lot closer than we used to be - everybody is just one unit, and you know we don’t argue. Somebody could tell me that I’m not doing something right and I won’t take it to heart, I just fix it because I know that he just wants the best out of me.”

On the evolution of quarterback Brad Kaaya…
“Brad has evolved a lot, and I’ve been here to watch him evolve. He’s doing great things, he’s a very smart guy and he just completes our offense.”