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FAU to call Shannon, Leach; Fins players say Crowder missed; plus UM, Heat



Football items from around town, and other tidbits:

### Florida Atlantic University plans to reach out to at least two familiar names in its search for Howard’s Schnellenberger’s successor: Randy Shannon and Mike Leach.

"Randy is a man of integrity, a first-class guy and first-class coach,” said FAU athletic director Craig Angelos, who worked at UM when Shannon was an assistant there. “I want to see if he’s interested.”

Angelos also has a good relationship with Leach: “I would consider Mike,” he said.

Angelos, who has been focusing on Saturday’s opening of FAU’s new stadium (against Western Kentucky), also plans to speak to former USF coach Jim Leavitt  (who is now the San Francisco 49ers' linebackers coach) and several others. “I will cast a wide net,” Angelos said, adding there’s no front-runner to succeed the retiring Schnellenberger but that he wants a successor in place by December.

A close associate said Shannon prefers a higher-profile job, ideally out west, and would love the Arizona gig, which is open after Mike Stoops’ firing Monday. Shannon has received a few defensive coordinator offers, but no head coaching offers, since UM fired him last November after going 28-22 in four years. Shannon might have to decide whether to bite if FAU ultimately offers him the job or gamble on his chances of landing a more attractive job eventually.

“A lot of times when you give people a second chance they are better than the first time,” Angelos said. “They’ve learned from mistakes. They’re hungrier. That was the case with our basketball coach Mike Jarvis, and he won the conference here after three years. Randy can be better the second time around.”

Leach went 84-43 at Texas Tech, including 11-2 and 8-4 his last two seasons before being fired after 2009 amid allegations of improper treatment of receiver Adam James. Leach denied the claims and said, “I was a victim of a national smear campaign by Craig James and ESPN.”  After Shannon’s firing, UM didn’t approach Leach partly because of those issues, but FAU has no major concerns.

Leach, who has received no offers since his dismissal, said he would be receptive to listening to FAU. “I do plan to coach,” he said. “Craig is a great man and FAU is a great program. Anything negative that happens to Miami can only help FAU and FIU.”



### With $10 million in cap space, the Dolphins have talked about restructuring and extending Cameron Wake’s deal, which is a bargain ($480,000 and $565,000) for 2011 and 2012…. But negotiations stalled with Kendall Langford, who reportedly was seeking $15 million guaranteed. One Dolphins official said there’s less urgency because his play has declined from 2010. “Nothing is happening,” Langford said, adding that he hopes for an extension…. The Dolphins’ season ticket count (below 43,000) ended up the franchise’s worst since 1983.

### Karlos Dansby and Yeremiah Bell say the Dolphins miss Channing Crowder, who was cut. “He was exceptional against the run and we miss his persona, how he approaches the game,” Dansby said.

Said Bell: “Channing caught things before they happened. He anticipated plays and would communicate to everyone what he saw after one series. There’s some of that now, but it was all the time with him. He’s one of the smartest players I’ve been around. He learned a lot from Zach Thomas.”

Neither intended their comments as a shot at Kevin Burnett. But Burnett has graded out worse than Crowder did last year. Pro Football Focus ranks Burnett's play this season 43rd and worst among inside linebackers. Crowder was 18th last year.

### Incidentally, Crowder, who was cut in late July, continues to defend Tony Sparano but question general manager Jeff Ireland's decisions. He also has been critical of the offensive play-calling beyond the first couple of series of every game. "I can tell you every time they're going to run," Crowder said on WQAM, adding he believes other teams can anticipate that, too, with the Dolphins offense.

### A UM official said FIU pitched UM on a home-and-home football series, but the Hurricanes declined. FAU is a possibility for UM… Coaches want more from their ballyhooed safety tandem. “We need more plays out of Vaughn Telemaque,” Al Golden said. And Ray Ray Armstrong, in his first game back, “was rusty, didn’t perform at a level we need to win a game in that situation.”

### Why isn’t UM blitzing more to generate more of a pass rush? Because UM is afraid to leave its defensive backs, especially its corners, without help. UM considers Brandon McGee the best of its corners – faint praise – but a UM official said he continues to have a habit of sulking or losing confidence after giving up big plays.

### The defense UM is using is “so simple that we can’t go simpler,” Golden said. Golden puts it bluntly: Because of the defense’s shortcomings (82nd nationally, 97th against the run), “the offense needs to start winning the game” when it has the chance. But “on defense, we can’t throw up our hands and say, ‘I can’t believe what a mess!’”

### The NCAA is still investigating Nevin Shapiro’s claim that he gave a then-UM assistant basketball coach money to give to a member of forward DeQuan Jones’ family (a claim Jones’ mother denies). Neither UM nor the NCAA has decided if he will be eligible when the regular season starts… UM defensive end Olivier Vernon said the NCAA rejected his appeal to shorten his suspension from six games.

### The Marlins haven’t given up on center fielder Chris Coghlan but aren’t counting on him to fill their one open starting position player job for 2012, not after he hit .230 for Marlins and .245 at Triple A. “Coghlan has to earn his way back,” Marlins executive Larry Beinfest said. As for the other top internal option -- third baseman Matt Dominguez -- he “held his own,” Beinfest said -- but the Marlins aren’t sure if he’s ready offensively. The team seems inclined to add another bat; “You would like some protection in the lineup,” Beinfest said.

### One Heat concern was eased this week when power forward Udonis Haslem – off a second foot surgery – was cleared to begin full on-court workouts… At center, the Heat would be content to add either Brendan Haywood (if there’s an amnesty clause in the new labor deal and Dallas cuts him) or free agent Samuel Dalembert. But the feeling is Haywood might be more realistic because he’s owed $45 million more by Dallas if he’s cut, making his next contract less of an issue than it is for Dalembert, who ideally wants more than what Miami could offer if the mid-level exception shrinks from $5.8 million to $3 million.

Dalembert has better career numbers (8.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks) than Haywood (7.4, 6.2, 1.5). But “Dalembert is very inconsistent and doesn’t fit into a team game very well,” ESPN’s Jack Ramsay said off air.



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Ex Cane

I don't blame the Canes for not wanting to play FIU either... Um is scared.


Honestly, I don't think its best for them to play each other anyways, but what I find out is that they would say no to FIU and yes to ... FAU?!??!

Are they basically saying they only want to play teams that will be ZERO competition?


what I find odd*

Ex Cane

Where did Ghost of Pelegrin's post go?


I don't blame the Canes for not wanting to play FIU either... Um is scared.
Posted by: Ex Cane | 10/11/2011 at 10:25 PM

UM has nothing to gain and everything to lose. If UM wins, they were supposed to do that. If they lose, FIU gets one more accomplishment to pad its short resume with. From a business perspective, there's no need for Miami to embolden their cross-town counterpart.

Florida ducking Miami is a completely different ballgame. They had years of playing each other before they decided to cut off ties.

AA Pilot #4771

In hindsight, my Canes should be thankful that the Gators won't play them. Realistically speaking, the gayturds would demolish my Canes right now. Sadly, I don't see that changing for the foreseeable future.

Ghost of Pete Pelegrin

Where did my post go?? Where are my first amendment rights? And this is not the real Pete Pelegrin....

AA Pilot #4771

Barry is a control freak and will close the comments section the moment not enough UM brown nosing is taking place.

It was closed early this morning before I flew an Eagle in from USVI.


Dear FIU, please concentrate on beating FAU in a consistent basis before you say UM is scared of you.
FAU owns you on the field and their stadium is much NICER than yours, actually you need also to focus on finishing that half way built glorified high school stadium.
If my memory doesn't fail me; FAU rejected an offer from UM 3 or 4 years ago when FAU was doing well.


Your first amendment rights are not protected in a private location's comment sections. You're free to say whatever you want, but they're also free to remove whatever you post.


Wow...look at all the Marlins comments...NOT...does anyone Care about the Marlins going into new stadium??? No...

AA Pilot #4771


I walked your stadium about two months ago, not as spectacular as initially thought. Lots of obvious cost cutting. One obvious area where FAU has the edge is the media/club building. Hope they finished it up during the last several weeks, I was skeptical that they'd open it on time. I'm also very skeptical that it will be even a 1/4 full. The prices are nearly in UM territory, and FAU has the worst attendance in the Sunbelt right now. Expected, considering their poor record. Should be a good recruiting tool, maybe it'll help displace FAU from dead last in all of Div1 recruiting per Rivals.com during the last few seasons.

Anyways, once FIU wraps up the north section, I think its fair to say FIU and FAU's ON CAMPUS stadiums will be par. Difference being that FIU's stadium will be full.

Let's get real, although FAU has the better record, but all media outlets agree that FIU is the better program by a very wide margin. How did you guys fall so hard from only a few years ago when you won the belt?

AA Pilot #4771

...Better record against FIU...


Why bother even addressing anything FAU, Pilot? They are an embarrassment to Florida football. At least FIU has their shizzz together.

Go Canes!


are you seriously bragging about your attendance? FAU's has been better than yours since day 1. I have been at your games and if you read the media programs from the sunbelt conference you can clearly see that FAU outnumbers FIU in attendance for 1,500 fans.
@canestillidie: wow man! embarrassment to the state? doesn't FIU has the record for the longest losing streak in the nation?
FAU has the record for the fastest team to make it to a bowl and win it. In fact FAU has gone to 2 bowls and won them. You have been to 1.
@AApilot#4771: You don't have to be impressed with the stadium, besides you saw it 2 months ago. It is just a stadium, but surely is better than yours. 1/4 full? hahahahaha ahahaa , please don't be so jealous. Get ready to eat crow, and don't be so arrogant.


Brando McGee has to understand that even the best of the best of corners will get beat one time or another...just win the next play..."Trust your technique"- Al Golden


FIU lost to Duke and to Louisiana-Lafayette and UM is scared of them? Hey all you F*@cking A-Holes, you lost to Duke and Louisiana-Lafayette! UM at the bottom of their worst cycle ever and with sanctions don't and have never lost to Duke and Louisiana-Lafayette. FIU lost to Duke at home! That on campus stadium sure makes you a great team, NOT!

Hey losers who have such pathetic lives that your only meaning of self worth is enjoying UM going thru a tough time, at UM's very worst of worst times they are so much better and bigger a program than you it is not even a discussion. Yo are all pathetic crap! In your so called "good year" you lost to Duke and Louisiana-Lafayette!


The 'Canes should play FAU and FIU. The local rivalry will fill the stadiums with fans from both schools and--at least in the near future--the 'Canes will win those games and pad their winning percentage the way national champions do.

I disagree with the above assertion that the 'Gators would beat the 'Canes (in football, that is). The two teams appear to be evenly-matched groups of Florida high school talent: braided super-stars who please the ladies hungry for big NFL $$$.


Why bother even addressing anything FAU, Pilot? They are an embarrassment to Florida football. At least FIU has their shizzz together.

Go Canes!

Posted by: CANESTILLIDIE | 10/12/2011 at 11:35 AM


I say screw it. Play everyone in the state and represent orange and green. We should play FIU,FAU,FSWHO,U of F$%^ups every year in my personal opinion. PLAY EVERYONE IN THE STATE!!!!! Guess what people, The U has the highest winning record against other Florida schools till this day. We lead against fswho, uf, usf, ucf, fiu... fswho is overrated this year sorry to break it to everyone. They continue to loss to wake forest. I mean c'mon man, wake? Uf is in shambles. FIU is developing a team that looks good but still doesn't cut it yet. FAU will not, for a long time, be anything for anyone to fear. I personally can't wait to face USF again. We lost that game due to garbage play calling from our coaches, plain and simple. USF played a good game I will not lie but not good enough to win. The former coaches literally gave it to them. UCF, really do I need to say something here or will it be just what everyone else thinks as well?

Point is fear is not an issue. We're looking to build up from this year because we have new coaches and a new system. Little by little for those who have actually paid attention can see that the team (offensively) is coming together. Defensively I can't say much due to the fact that we have lost too many to season ending injuries or other health issues. Hell we still haven't gotten Olivier Vernon back from suspension but he'll be back on the roster for the GT game.

Talk all the garbage you trolls want to talk. In the end you will be in the loser column.




Oh ya, someone please fire shalalalalalalalalal, thank you.


As an FAU fan, I would love to have UM on the schedule. Easier local opponent for UM for the next couple of years until FAU gets better with the help of a new quality coach. The new stadium is gorgeous and impressive now. As for FIU, they should not be rewarded by playing UM after instigating that brawl a few years back. The FIU players were so bitter that they got snubbed recruiting-wise by UM that they had to take it out with cheap shot after cheap shot. The refs should have stepped in much earlier in the game. Cristobal has done a great job with recruiting and turned around a program that sadly Strock wasn't prepared to build. That said, if FAU gets a quality coach and Cristobal is hired away, FAU should surpass FIU again.


Personally in my opinion, whenever Golden is done with The U, the athletic department should seriously consider throwing a ton of money at Mario Cristobal to come back to Miami and lead us onward. I love, absolutely love Al Golden for his courage to stick things out under such circumstances and instill into our players the mentality that their name will only get them to college and what the do from then on is what matters. Hard work and perseverance is what pushes Golden and Co. I love it.

Now with Mario we'll have tons of energy added to what Golden will leave behind. Mario is from The U and knows on a personal level what it takes to represent The U. He was part of it physically and emotionally. What he's doing at FIU is comparable to what Golden did at Temple. Mario isn't quite there yet in regards to building his panther empire but he's on his way and his players believe in him.


FAU... you should keep your mouths SHUT until you actually win a game this season. LOL

You're starting to sound worse than FIU fans. As I said, at least FIU has their shizzz together. FWIW, FIU's stadium was at capacity against DUKE, a game they should have won but seriously our conference's refs took that one away from them.

Shut up you stupid owls. Seriously... worst team ever. Since you're bringing up streaks, doesn't FAU own the longest streak for being placed in ESPN's Bottom 10?!? LOL

Stupid owl.


Randy Shannon is on FAU's head coach list. I guess FAU thinks that Shannon did a great job at UM.


They probably think Al Golden is doing a good job too.



Coach G tells it like it is to the press and to his players and Coaches...I will agree that Randy was a good DC but not so good as a HC ..you could see in the games that he was out of his comfort zone...
He is a good guy and I still believe that when everything is said and done that he is still a 'Cane...you can't just stop being a Hurricane...guaranteed that if you asked hin he would say so...it just did not work out. FAU and FIU both have 'Cane connections so let us just get better and quit nitpicking...we are in good football territory..respect your programs and support them..
For me a Graduate of U of M..I am a 'Cane all the way.
Good luck and Go 'Canes..

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