With Scott Steiner (shoot name Scott Rechsteiner) aka the Genetic Freak (aka Big Poppa Pump aka the Big Bad Booty Daddy aka Freakzilla) being rushed to the hospital- I decided to make a Frankensteiner version of a spring update post. Steiner has had a long and storied career in the squared circle spanning five decades, a tag team with his brother Rick (worked name), and a run as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. He’s also given himself a half dozen nicknames, bought two Shoneys restaurants, and continued to work into his late 50’s.
Here is video of Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz taking out a tackling dummy and his players joining in celebration.— Josh White (@_JoshRWhite) January 13, 2019
Each tackling dummy is labeled with something different including a 7-6 record and opponents’ team names. pic.twitter.com/KDk82JJjW6
If you remember spring of 2019, Manny Diaz decided to throw a WWE edition of Hurricanes football complete with Coach Diaz tackling a dummy with 7-6 written across it. In the rasslin’ b’ness, that’s what we marks call a “Dusty Finish.” A Dusty Finish means at first fans think there’s one result, like 7-6 being a bad season, and find out in fact there’s another finish, like 6-7 being a reality. Jim Crockett Promotions fans began to hate the Dusty Finish as much as Miami fans hated the Diaz Finish in the bowl game against Louisiana Tech in 2019.
I love that some of the major gimmicks are gone. No longer is Diaz attempting to make a Stone Cold Steve Austin in the beer truck like entrance to an FSU coaching clinic or a booster dinner event. It seems like year 2 Manny is a more serious Manny. Losing can really screw with your ego, trust me, I’ve done a lot of losing in 18 years.
Why not a 66 2⁄3 chance?
A great season is in the eye of the beholder, and a great season to me would be double-digit wins, a Coastal Division Championship, and a win in a New Year’s Six bowl game. The last time that type of great season was a reality? Sit back in your Steiner Recliner and let’s do a little Steiner Math- it was 2003. Larry Coker’s 2003 squad finished 11-2 and came up victorious in the Orange Bowl over rival Florida State thanks to ‘Canes legend Sean Taylor’s fantastic safety play in both the regular season and bowl matchups against FSU.
Our beloved Kevin Fielder was a mere three years old the last time Miami pulled off this feat and now he’s drinking screwdrivers and covering more football programs than an Adidas contract. So what does 16 years prove? It proves that in Coral Gables winning 10 games and a NY6 bowl is going to take one hell of a feat.
There’s also a new offensive coordinator, quarterback, and the same old offensive line in place while the kicking game leaves a lot to be desired and lost K.J. Osborn as a returner but gained kicker Jose Borregales from FIU. Jonathan Patke is going to have to prove he’s improved as a special teams coordinator in all facets from the coverage game, to the return game, and as a specialists coach as Miami can’t afford punter Louis Headley to take a step back, or for Borregales to resemble Bubba Baxa in any fashion.
Why 66 2⁄3 minus 25, plus 33 1⁄3 could equal 141 2⁄3 percent chance
If you look at the additions and subtractions, Manny Diaz has won the off-season once again. The things we’re hearing out of practice are tempo, speed, polish... those are all great phrases to hear coming out of week one of spring football. Will Mallory even said he could learn the formations in 15 minutes if he wanted to- which is a passive aggressive shot at the Dan Enos offense and its complex-for-no-reason approach.
Will Mallory said the playbook isn’t even close to how big it was last year. Says he could learn all the formations in 15 minutes. Talks about the benefits of not thinking so much— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) March 5, 2020
I’ve been a long proponent of simpler means faster, and attempting to make offense more like defense regarding the read-and-react style defensive coaches want out of their players. If a defense is too complex the players can’t react fast enough to what the offense is doing on the field. If an offense is too complex the players can’t adjust on the fly and make situations beneficial to them.
Case in point, the times when Miami lined up in slow developing play action passes a year ago on third and long. If players can’t get out of those kinds of calls, and a system isn’t built to maximize talent- it’s a broken system. One of the better systems at putting players in the position to make plays is the Run & Shoot which you can see in the XFL this season with the Houston Roughnecks. Houston isn’t winning games just because, their quarterback has been allowed to be a play maker and the modern R&S offense has incorporated even more screens, RPO’s and plays like mesh that give the offensive players carte blanche.
So with Rhett Lashlee’s new simpler, faster, adaptable scheme- the Hurricanes offense could mask weaknesses, emphasize strengths and score a lot of points. Bringing in D’Eriq King from Houston, the addition of new freshmen in Dazalin Worsham, Xavier Restrepo, Don Chaney and Jaylan Knighton to go with veteran players like Brevin Jordan, Mallory, Cam’Ron Harris, Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope means Miami can and should score points.
Let the players make plays, let them be free of restricting play calling and philosophies of the west coast type offenses and more free flowing and easy to learn schemes of the Air Raid, Run & Shoot and ever evolving NCAA Offense.
Above- I can call this Blue Right 520 J Fade H Choice or create rules that make the system easier to understand when you line up at the line of scrimmage. This can simply be called Rip Slant. If my rules are #2 on the open side always runs a slot fade then if we’re in 2x2 with a slot he knows what to do just by hearing slant. The H/Z (closed side) knows to run Choice when they’re back side of the concept (slant).
Above- that’s a rule breaker, right? The #2 (J) doesn’t run a slot fade so the concept has to be named some how. I call all rule breakers by mascots. So in the play above it would be Nole for the slant-arrow concept front side, and Choice again on the back side.
Listen to Hal Mumme and June Jones call plays this weekend in the XFL, the two most potent offenses in the league use extremely simple play calling systems. In both systems because of the option routes adjusting to the defense the OC can call the same play multiple times in a row and see an entirely different concept. That’s a thing of beauty when the goal is to score points and keep it simple.
So why are alarms still ringing? Sackerfice.
If being a Miami Hurricanes fan has taught me anything in life, it’s cautious optimism. Just because the Steiner Math adds up with new OC Lashlee and QB King, doesn’t mean I need to tell the alarms ringing that they’re just fat schlubs and not genetic freaks. It’s been almost two decades since Miami’s last “great” season, the offensive line still leaves a lot of be desired and games are won and lost with great line play and quarterbacks, and it is a new offensive system in play.
Manny Diaz also has to prove that he can still motivate a program into being more than a gimmick infused team of guys playing for themselves. I’m not sure if removing helmet stickers is going to motivate anyone more than seeing the discipline, character, and desire at it’s strongest from the top down.
Coaches can say all of the cliches and do all of the gimmicks they want but if players don’t belive the head coach is the hardest working most disciplined and reliable guy in the building then it won’t matter. On Friday morning Diaz mentioned the “how” but really should be focused on the why. If players don’t know the what and how at this point, I’m concerned. The focus should be able to push to the why certain plays are ran at certain times, or why certain drills are done at certain positions.
Will Manny Diaz sacrifice (or sackerfice as Steiner would say) enough of himself in order to win ball games? He’s shown he’s not afraid of change but I need to see the 100% sacrifice in him from gimmicks like yachts and stickers to the 100% focus on real motivation techniques- which are pulling playing time from guys who don’t work hard enough to be a Hurricane.
All the gassers in the world won’t make someone stop quitting, they’ll just be a more in shape quitter from the jogging.