The Miami Hurricanes held their 2nd scrimmage of the fall on Saturday night. Manny Diaz gave comments after the session.
UPDATE: Here’s the video of Diaz’s comments to Joe Zagacki (it was pulled down for a minute there while I was writing this piece)
Read Diaz’s comments for yourself:
On the growth he saw in the team in the second scrimmage…
“It was uneven, to be honest. The first half, it was a massive butt-whooping. The defense just got after the offense. Very disappointing in the way that you started to see the ‘far away’ look in some guys on the offense, things we’re trying to eradicate from our program. We had a feeling the disease wasn’t fully cured. That being said, second half, the offense rallied. Where in the past, when things have not gone well, there would sort of be a tanking for the game. I saw a couple productive touchdown drives in the second half and guys showing some competitive fight and spirit, which is really what this camp and this offseason has all been about. That’ll be encouraging. But the self-inflicted wounds in the first half, not to mention, sometime you just take a beating – will be disappointing. It’s a good reality check. Conversely, defensively, to play as well as they played in the first half, and to sort of lose their edge in the second half, was disappointing. It’s like what we figured. We have not solved all of our issues. We are solving them. But to think we just snap our fingers and have it all fixed would be fooling ourselves.”
On what he saw from the team’s quarterbacks…
“I look forward to watching the film. Obviously, in the first half, nobody played well on offense. It was hard for those guys to function, and part of that was their doing as well. But again, I saw some guys lead some good touchdown drives in the second half. I think Jarren [Williams] hit one to Will Mallory, I know we had one to K.J. Osborn at the end. I still like the running of DeeJay Dallas. I think he has been consistent throughout camp. That has been encouraging.”
On who impressed defensively…
“Gurvan [Hall, Jr.] now has three [interceptions] in two weeks in scrimmage situations, which is great for him. Greg Rousseau, I thought, showed up tonight, which we’ve been waiting for in camp. I think he’s feeling a little better about his body. That was encouraging. Of course, [Michael] Pinckney and [Shaquille] Quarterman and those guys, I think Trevon Hill had a multiple-sack night. You’re starting to see some of the progress from those guys. The consistency on the back end. Two scrimmage situations, from a tackling standpoint, pretty good. Not giving up the explosive plays on just shoddy tackling down the field, which has been a hallmark of our defense. The disruption up front and the lack of giving up big plays has always been a big part of our formula.”
On what he wants to see between Saturday night and two weeks’ time in Orlando…
“It’s simple – it’s competitive fight. That’s the whole deal. It’s going to be a highly emotional night. Both teams will be supremely motivated to play against each other. Who can keep their competitive will through adversity? Because it’s going to be a night with all kinds of adversity, for both sides. And that’s why it’s about finding the right mix of guys that don’t blink in that setting. That’s what we have to go back and study this film and find out who are the guys that will fight their way off the ropes. I think both teams are going to land some blows. When you get put on the ropes, you have to fight your way out of it.”
The putrid offensive performance in the 1st half of the scrimmage is very unsettling. I’m glad things turned around in the 2nd half, but they need to be better up top. There was intermittent — at best — praise for any offensive player, with Jarren Williams being the only QB noted by name (for a TD pass to Will Mallory).
Gurvan Hall continues to prove he’s the best safety on the roster. Trevon Hill and Gregory Rousseau got nice mentions from Manny Diaz, along with several other defenders as well.
There’s much to be known still, but the defense is way, WAY ahead of the offense at this point.
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