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Miami Hurricanes Football: 8/18 Fall Camp Wrap-up

Richt rips the team on Friday after lackluster showing.

Mark Richt was a bit testy after practice to say the least.
Stefan Adams/State of the U

Old Testament Richt puts team on blast

When it comes to college coaches, there are many that have the reputation of being a hard-ass, acting sullen or displeased almost on a regular basis: guys like Saban, Dantonio, etc.

With Mark Richt, at least towards the media, he mostly comes off as a father-figure/preacher type, always level-headed in his still competitive nature.

However, today we got a new version of the Miami Hurricanes head coach: Old Testament Richt. After practice, Richt was about as “fire and brimstone” as he is likely to ever get, expressing his extreme irritation with just about everyone.

“There’s always days I want to rip somebody, but today I’m ripping everybody starting with me,” Richt stated. “Everyone around here has to do their job, okay, and right now it’s not happening. And I’m part of it: it’s on me. But I promise you it’s going to be on everybody else too that needs to do what they’re supposed to do.”

Richt was especially annoyed with how his offense looked unprepared and disorganized in the one-minute drill that wrapped up the day’s practice.

“I wasn’t too happy about how the thing ended, trying to do situational offense, the one-minute drill in particular,” Richt said. “It looked like we didn’t coach one down. We had meetings to cover it, walkthroughs to cover it, jogged through it two days ago, jogged through it again today, told everybody exactly what to do, how to do it. And it didn’t happen.”

“Plus we can’t even get our pylons in the right spot because they’re landmarks for us to make decisions on certain plays. Our equipment people might have put them in the right spot to begin with, but by the time we got to the drill it was in the wrong spot which helps blow up the drill.”

While some may say this was coachspeak intended to light a fire under his troops in the middle of a long fall camp, Richt seemed genuinely upset about a lack of attention to detail from his Hurricanes.

“Are you a visual learner? Alright, watch it on the board, on the film. Are you an audio learner? Then listen. Kinetic learner? We’ll jog through it for you. Every way a person learns, we showed them how to do it and they didn’t do what they were supposed to do.”

Mark Richt got animated with the media after Friday’s practice.
Stefan Adams/State of the U

Even though he knows it’s only fall camp and mistakes happen, Richt stressed that this type of attitude can cost a team games in the win column down the line.

“It’s too crucial of a situation to have this happen this deep into camp.... It’s not a matter of ability or where you are on the depth chart, it’s will you listen and do what you’re supposed to do? Which is not happening. Hey a guy gets beat trying to pass pro, okay. If a guy runs the right route and the ball hits him in the chest, he drops it, that’s going to happen from time to time. But I’m talking about just flat out not knowing what to do when it counts the most. And that’s why we lost close games last year.”

While the players are the ones on the field, Richt knows at the end of the day it is the ultimate responsibility of the coaches to get their team ready to play and the buck stops with them.

“I hope it got their attention. It got my attention that we’ve got to coach better,” Richt said. “It’s either too complicated or we’re not good enough teachers or we have the wrong guy in the game, and that’s coaching. We have to figure that out.”

Richt pointed out that, overall, he’s liked what he’s seen out of his offense “but we just didn’t do what we were supposed to do (today), things I know they know how to do. It’s disappointing.”

The team will hold its second fall scrimmage on Saturday and Richt said the format will be similar to the previous scrimmage held last weekend, with a few additions.

“We’re adding a one-minute drill which we botched today, we’re adding third down situations, overtime and two-point play.”

Three-fourths of the way through fall camp, the coaches are beginning the get an idea of how the depth chart will shake out in preparation for the first game against Bethune-Cookman on September 2nd. Richt stressed the players understand that time is running out to make an impression.

“Any minute now we’re breaking into scout team, so don’t come crying to me: we gave everybody reps,” Richt said. “Ones, twos, threes got a boatload of reps, got a chance to show coach whether you’re ready or not. We have to figure out to the best of our ability who deserves to play.”

McIntosh, McDermott, Gauthier react to Richt, young players, and upcoming scrimmage

RJ McIntosh speaks with reporters after Friday’s practice.
Stefan Adams/State of the U

**Mark Richt wasn’t in a good mood after Friday’s practice, something rarely seen around Greentree practice field in the past year and a half.

“Once in a blue moon,” said DT RJ McIntosh. “When he’s like that you know something’s wrong,” McIntosh said.

Did the players get the memo?

“He said he wasn’t happy - I think it’s because the offense, they’re coming along, making a couple of mistakes right now but they’re going to get it,” McIntosh said. “He’s saying he doesn’t like how good are we right now, but I think we’re a good defense.”

“Today we didn’t execute the way we needed to, obviously there’s a learning curve for the younger guys, some things they haven’t seen before that we’re trying to prepare for,” said OL KC McDermott. “At the end of the day we didn’t do a good enough job preparing for it. That’s why they call it practice, so you can get better every day.”

“It’s disappointing, especially when we’ve been working so hard,” McDermott continued. “But at the same time we have a lot of young guys out there, that two group is full of freshmen and guys that really haven’t played that much. At the end of the day we have to do a better job as leaders to step up and teach them what to do.”

When asked if it was important to have a coach that can get in your face and get a little animated, McDermott responded “Yeah it is, but with our (position) coach, we don’t have that issue, coach Searels is always raising his voice, making sure we’re doing a better job every single day.”

“At the same time, it’s up to us as leaders to step up and take control sometimes,” McDermott continued. “Coach wants to see tough kids that just want to go out there and bury people, use great technique, and just get your job done. Every single one of us, that’s what he asks of us, and we go out there and try to do that to the best of our ability.”

**On the new players and freshman additions to the D-Line, McIntosh said they brought an upgrade to an already fierce pass rush.

“Coach Kul is trying to get us to attack and use our hands more,” said McIntosh.

Freshman DT Jon Ford was finally cleared by the NCAA and arrived for his first practice yesterday. He’ll compete to provide some depth on a deep Canes D-Line and McIntosh is excited to have Ford around.

“He’s a big guy,” McIntosh said about Ford. “It’s nice to have him here. Trying to catch him up. He’s young right now, is going to make mistakes, we understand that, and we’re trying to help him out.”

**After starting a few games as a sophomore last season, junior Tyler Gauthier has been the starting center all spring and fall this year. With depth on the line a key issue facing Miami in 2017, Gauthier was asked about how his backups, Hayden Mahoney and true freshman Corey Gaynor, were faring so far in camp.

“They’re coming along great. Hayden’s a really good football player, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do everyday. Corey’s improving, learning the playbook, getting his snaps right, having less mental errors. I’m really proud of how Corey is doing.”

**Goals for the team going into the scrimmage on Saturday?

“To do better than last scrimmage as a defense, (the offense) scored a bit too much for me (last time),” McIntosh said. “We can do better putting more pressure on the quarterback. My goal is to get to the quarterback more.”

“We’re just looking at ourselves to make sure we do a good job protecting whoever’s in there,” McDermott said. “As I said before, it doesn’t really matter who is our quarterback, it’s how we protect them. We’re going to do that, study our film tonight and be prepared.”

“For this scrimmage, it’s our last scrimmage where we settle the ones and twos down,” said Gauthier. “It’s a very important scrimmage in that aspect. You have to play your best, earn your spot. Because there’s a lot of competition everywhere.... We treat it the same (even though defenders can’t touch the QB). We go as if it’s live everyday.”


  • WR’s Evidence Njoku and Ahmmon Richards, and OL Zalon’tae Hillery sat out off to the side of practice this morning and rode exercise bikes instead. Njoku has been nursing a hyper-extended left knee injury the past few days, sporting a brace and crutches, while it was unclear why Hillery and Richards sat out.

  • With Richards out, freshman WR Mike Harley stepped up to join the first team in drills. Harley lined up on the outside opposite Lawrence Cager, with Braxton Berrios in the slot, Chris Herndon at TE, and Malik Rosier at QB.