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Miami Hurricanes Football: Post-practice interviews 8/8

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The defense was a heavy focus after practice with the media today.

JUCO transfer CB Jhavonte Dean looks to have a major role on Miami’s defense in 2017.
247sports

No long preamble. Here are today’s interview videos:

DC / LB coach Manny Diaz

On the progress of transfer defensive back Dee Delaney

“He has done well. I think he has gotten better every day, as he’s become more familiar with what we’re doing in our install. Finally, he’s starting to see that the senior year urgency – the guy that has got to step up because this is his last go-round. Now we’re trying to really find that and really ignite him to step forward and to take a big-time role on our defense.”

On his expectations for Delaney…

“We brought him in with the mentality that he would compete for a starting job. Again, losing [Adrian] Colbert and Corn [Elder] off of last year’s team, we feel like, with the way that our roster is - not just with him, but with Jhavonte Dean – we had to bring in some quick-fix guys. We also knew we had an eye on the recruiting class. We love the 2018 recruiting class. We felt like, being able to have a guy that can come in and compete at a high level early on, help himself, I think it’s going to help him immensely with his future playing career…for us, it was a no-brainer.”

On if he has seen the defense making more plays on the ball and causing turnovers during camp…

“You can tell they’re responding to the greater emphasis we have put on it. We’re getting our hands on more balls. Part of it is recruiting - like Dee Delaney. Dee Delaney has ball skills. Some guys, when you throw it near them, they’re going to catch it. That helps. We all became better coaches by putting guys on the line who can catch the ball. But you want it to be contagious. We’re making a big point of emphasis to score on defense this year. We’re practicing the procedure of turning defense into offense…day-to-day, everything we get, we’re trying to score on defense.”

On how the linebacker position has adjusted with the absence of sophomore Michael Pinckney due to a hamstring issue…

“It’s been good. One, again, is Darrion Owens, who is mostly running with the first team…can he be that guy? Can he take control? He was that guy. He has to be on the sidelines. It’s hard. It is so hard in college football when these guys have to battle back from injuries. Jamie Gordinier is in the same boat. All of a sudden now you have to get back in the mix. Mike Smith, I think, has continued where he left off in the spring of being a guy that’s active and making plays. What I see with Mike Smith, is that Mike Smith is just urgent. He wants it really bad. That sounds so over obvious, but some guys, they just lock in and realize it’s their time to make an impact on the team. You see that with Mike. Bradley Jennings is coming along. Terry McCray is really improving. What we have is really what we want – a bunch of guys competing. I told the linebackers at the beginning of the year, with all the guys I had coming back, we’re in a very unique situation. Everyone knows the program, knows the system. We should be dominant on special teams, because all of those guys should be fighting for some role to help Miami win games.”

On if he sees the same urgency at the defensive tackle position as he does at the linebacker position…

“Yeah. I think the neat thing with [Kendrick] Norton and [RJ] McIntosh is that they’re not satisfied. They continue to push themselves at a different level. Pat Bethel, just his DNA, his make-up, the way he was raised, he’s going to give everything he has. To me, he’s defined by his work ethic and his toughness. Then you have a guy like [Anthony] Moten who is in his senior year, so he’s starting to raise his game. He realizes this is his last go-round. When you play in a 4-3 [defense], the defensive tackles are the most important guys we have on the field.”

CB coach Mike Rumph

On Dee Delaney…

A pleasant surprise, just very strong, and physical, and athletic and, most of all, he’s almost taking control of my room already. He’s the guy who’s disciplined because he’s coming from the Citadel, he’s a little older, and he’s urgent, similar to Adrian Colbert last year, so we’re just excited about him.”

On how much learning Dee Delaney has to do technique-wise…

“Oh, not much. What we saw on the film is kind of what we do, so we’re excited about him. He applies it, which is good. We go through it individually and I teach him something, and within a team period, he’s working on it already. So, it’s just very easy to coach him.”

On what convinced him that Dee Delaney could play on this level…

“His tackling. Just to see him at the Citadel, knowing that he goes against the triple-option a lot, seeing him tackle on film, and seeing him tackle Dalvin Cook when he had a chance to go against Florida State. So, we’re excited about that and his size and his ability to flip his hips…but our number one thing was his tackling.”

On Dee Delaney’s performance against major teams…

“Excellent. He steps up for the big games, and I saw that going against one of the top receivers in the ACC against South Carolina and then going against, like I said, one of the best in the game last year-Dalvin Cook. So, just excited to see how he reacts when he gets in our stadium with the crowd in there and how he plays with that situation.”

On the depth at cornerback…

“The depth is, well, I’m excited. I’ve got seven corners I work with, so it’s an easy room for me and the depth charges have been countermoveing. I’ve been changing them to see how they react to certain situations. Some days they’re on the one, some days they’re on the two, and some of the threes are rotating in the with twos, so it’s like a musical chairs right now. But I definitely like what I’m seeing.”

DB Jaquan Johnson

On how camp is going…

“Camp is going well. Everybody is flying around, we are having fun, we are all competing every day. We come out with a lot of energy, so camp is going well.”

On how good the defense can be…

“We could be one of the best in the nation. We could be the best in the nation. We just have to be consistent and come out every day and work.”

On the secondary…

“We are doing well. We are communicating. We just have to work on little details here and there, but for the most part we are gelling, making calls, communicating and everyone is on the same page – way better than day one.”

On his role on defense…

“I am in more of a leadership role. I am more vocal and getting everyone up before we go out and during stretch lines and keeping the energy up, so I have to come out and bring it every day.”

CB Dee Delaney (transfer from The Citadel, 2016 FCS All-American)

On cultural difference between UM and The Citadel…

“Discipline. The Citadel is a military school, so it is a lot stricter and more disciplined. But hey, these guys have discipline, as well.”

On connection with defensive back Jhavonte Dean…

“Jhavonte Dean and I are pretty good. We are actually roommates and stay together, so we’d always be together arguing, laughing and playing around.”

On his expectations of The U…

“I imagined it as it is. It’s wonderful. Nice sun, heat, you can’t beat it. At first the humidity got to me, but I am from South Carolina so the heat doesn’t really bother me.”

On the competition at cornerback…

“In the cornerback room there’s a lot of competition, each and every day. No one is slacking off, everyone has to come to work every day to get better.”

On his experience at Miami so far…

“It’s a humbling experience. Every day I wake up and I say, ‘thank you, God.’ I am happy just to be here and to get a chance to do what I love to do.”

On making the decision to come to Miami…

“At first, you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone, but I wanted to challenge myself. In college, I played receiver, but I wanted to be challenged so I switched to cornerback. I felt like coming to Miami would really put me to par to see if I can play with the big guys, so that’s how I made my decision. I just want to prove to myself that I can play with these guys.”

LB Zach McCloud

On defensive back Dee Delaney…

“He’s doing well. I know that if I was in his shoes, I would be very excited to be at a program like this one. I think he feels the same way. I don’t think he takes a snap for granted.”

On defense gelling…

“Yeah, I think so. We have some down periods and it’s not perfect every single play, but that is what camp is for. We are trying to get as close to perfection as we can.”

That’s it for now. More later.

Go Canes