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Golden says coaching staff will remain intact, addresses other issues in news conference; Fins

Highlights from Al Golden’s news conference from Monday afternoon:

### He said there won’t be any changes to the coaching staff. As we reported, UM never asked him to dump Mark D’Onofrio, and Golden had no intention of doing it. He said “the answer is not change, the answer is continuity.”

He clearly trusts this staff and wants to see what the staff does with a team that is adding a high-end recruiting class.

“First year without the NCAA cloud,” he said. “There’s a big part of me that wants that, that hasn’t experienced that…. We have an experienced group, mature group coming back. I look at my depth in the spring [with] the first team. We’re a lot deeper. I like the symmetry we have.”

### He dodged questions about Penn State, declining to say if he interviewed or considered the job. “There are universities that have expressed interest the past couple of years. I have not addressed them and I’m not going to start now. It’s flattering… other people express interest in us. I’m excited about where we’re going.”

Did the speculation hurt, considering one player de-committed during the period of uncertainty (Hialeah Champagnat defensive tackle Travonte Valentine)? “No,” Golden said. “Our staff did a great job of communication.” Valentine named LSU as his favorite but hasn't ruled out UM.

### Golden said nobody has left the team and “we don’t foresee anybody leaving.”

### He said eight recruits will enroll this week: running back Joseph Yearby, running back Brandon Powell, offensive tackles Trevor Darling and Shane McDermott, defensive tackle Calvin Heurtelou, defensive end Trent Harris, linebacker Juwon Young and receiver Braxton Berrios. The first four of those, and Berrios, are four-star recruits. And all eight are very well-regarded.

Defensive tackle Michael Wyche, from East Los Angeles JC, has signed with UM but isn't an early enrollee at this point.

### Asked if the defensive philosophy needs to change, Golden suggested he likes the core philosophy “but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to tweak our use of personnel. The team is reborn every year… In terms of schemes and direction we want to go, we’re not where we want to be.”

So UM might use some players differently. But it doesn’t sound like they will dramatically change their approach. Golden said he hopes to generate more pass rush from a four-man rush.

Then, as he did on Jose Rose’s show today, he spoke about “the progress on defense, and how the defense was more explosive this year.  The progress we made, whether it’s the sacks, the fumbles caused, the interceptions, this is the most explosive" defense UM has had in his three years. (But it's clearly not good enough yet, and Golden doesn't dispute that.)

### Asked to assess his linebackers (a unit that needs to play better), he said he feels good with a group including Denzel Perryman (who might turn pro), Tyriq McCord, Al-Quadin Muhammed (can play outside linebacker when UM is in a 3-4), Jermaine Grace, Raphael Kirby, Thurston Armbrister, Alex Figueroa and two incoming players: Juwon Young and Trent Harris (who can also play defensive end).

“We’re getting longer at linebacker. Young and Harris are 6-2, 6-3, have range and length. We’re getting stronger and better at that position and I don’t think we’re giving up the speed. Denzel got a lot bigger last year and didn’t give up speed or anything from a conditioning standpoint.”

### Asked about the fact that among 123 teams, Miami was third-worst in both rushing yards allowed and third-down conversion percentage allowed in the final five weeks of the season, Golden said:

“The reality is we weren’t good enough. It’s my responsibility for us to be better at that time of the year. We have to continue to build our depth. That’s going to be critical. Injuries, the guys we lost, were difficult. That’s no excuse.”

### He stopped short of saying the quarterback job is Ryan Williams’ to lose, but he’s clearly the front-runner.

“Ryan has done a really good job, but you’re not anointed the starting quarterback. Ryan did a good job distinguishing himself as the No. 2 in training camp. Kevin Olsen and Gray Crow [and incoming quarterbacks] will have an opportunity to compete. In terms of his growth, maturity, football intelligence, [Williams] is someone we’re excited about.”

### He said offensively, “we want to be more balanced. We have explosive playmakers but we need to control the ball a little better. We need to do a better job on third down, and that includes first-down efficiency. How can we get in more third and manageable? For how we conduct the offense, our completion percentage needs to be close to 68, 67 percent. We could have helped out the defense a lot more by converting” third downs.

“We were a lot better running the ball, explosive runs, runs over 10 yards. We were a lot better with explosive pass plays. Very excited to say that element is coming back” – with Duke Johnson, Stacy Coley and others.

### Golden said he isn't sure if Duke Johnson will be available for spring football, as he recovers from injury. He hasn't announced the spring schedule.

### Golden confirmed that Kevin Olsen, Rashawn Scott and Ray Lewis were all suspended for the bowl game for “conduct detrimental to the team.” He indicated he expects Scott –as a senior to be – has to speak up more for his actions.

He seemed more forgiving of Olsen and Lewis. All three remain on the team.

### Quick Dolphins note: One potential candidate to replace dismissed offensive coordinator Mike Sherman: Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, who worked with Philbin in Green Bay and is considered a bright young assistant. His contract is up. Joe Philbin wanted to interview him when he was putting together his initial Dolphins staff, but the Packers wouldn't allow it.

Gary Kubiak and Rob Chudzinski, who lost their NFL head coaching jobs, are among veteran former offensive coordinators available. 


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Lt. Lois Einhorn

Al Golden is lying, he HAS addressed EVERY single coaching opportunity right away, releasing a statement that same day.

This time he interviewed with Penn State, didn't get the job, and removed himself from the search a full 24 hours later when Penn State moved on to interview Jonathan Franklin Sunday.

It cost him his best recruit and the one player who could have made N'oD's stupid scheme work.

Steve B

Valentine was always close to decomitting.He may yet come back. It serves no purpose for Al to say anything about PSU. All coaches do this.
We will keep this recruiting class intact .Al can definitely recruit. If his gameday coaching proves inept he will have stockpiled enough talent for the next better coach to come along.

Theo Smith

More bad news coming out Coral Gables.

long time cane

Barry. Valentine, who decommitted, is a big get.Hopefully Golden can sway him by Feb signing day.Not thrilled Golden is remaining pat with DOnofrio. What about Michael Wyche? Is he still in this class? Hope the recruits jell early especially on defense.


Well you live or die with your supporting cast. If he keeps the present DC we will have another disappointing season


I like Jose Rose better, might get better ratings down here

Barry Jackson

Thanks, Longtimecane. I added Wyche. Committed but not early arrival as of yet.


Disappointed to hear we will be using same defensive scheme again.
I guess it is OK to get burned for 600 yards a game for Golden week in and week out.
But for us season ticket holders it is not OK, I and my group we have discussed it, truly can't stand to sit there and watch the other teams orchestrate 10 minute drives on a regular basis.
We will be looking for something less painful to do on football saturdays next year, but still love my Canes.


The defense got more explosive this year, yeah right.


I guess we will have to stay optimistic about the improvements this coaching staff will make this coming year. SMH. I am a little disappointed that Derrick Griffin isn't enrolling this spring. I was looking forward to seeing him on the field during the Spring games.


He said “the answer is not change, the answer is continuity.”

Translation: Same crap, different season.


deutsch duden


BS...blind loyalty to D'Onofrio...9-4 here we come again


I am convinced Barry that CG is VERY aware of our D deficiencies and adjustments will be made. He is not at a News Conference going to layout changes, and cover all that, but he will be out with his Coach buddies from other Conferences, throwing ideas out there, and we will see a whole new look. CG would never say that, but they are working on it.

Let us move on and support our new Class.

2014 could be a pivotal year for our program.
Thanks for a good report.
Go 'Canes

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Posted by: UGoCane | 01/06/2014 at 03:33 PM


That is the most delusional thing I've ever read, Onofrio is Al Golden's best friend and the best man at his wedding - they both share a defensive philosophy of rushing four and playing zone. They both share a defensive philosophy that they won't blitz or allow their corners to play man coverage or press coverage.

They've shared this philosophy since Penn State, through Temple, and of course have changed nothing (even though the defense has gotten worse and worse) their entire time at Miami.

Zero chance we see any changes on defense, never mind "a whole new look".

Al Golden isn't looking for defensive ideas and isn't looking to change his best friend's schemes.


worse thing he could do is keep his two asst' d'f o/,c cant see any reason after three yrs it's the same ole defense, offense sucks as well.


Not a single of you probably even attend games. You guys all suck as fans, better with you not at the stadium.


We will see.You have to improve regardless and he has no more excuses.The 2014 class is stacked and they have playmakers at every position.He will get canned if they go an 8-4.Period.

cane   man

continuity is great when what your doing is working, when its not change is needed. starting to think Al is not the man for the job. hope im wrong.




Good for Golden. “the answer is not change, the answer is continuity.”


Why coach? Why stay here... Your Alma-matter need it you...

As far as consistency is concerned it will be the same.. Bigger players that are super strong but cant get out of their own shadows.. We will continue to play assignment football and get drilled by offences..

Coach you are a good person but no the right coach for the Hurricanes...


QBs who are affraid of contact! Look at the BCS game tonight...college football has changed due to the dual-threat QB. Rosier may be the best of the 5 QBs, if he gets a fair chance. Baylor, Duke, FSU, Texas AM, Oregon, Louisville, UCF, Ohio State, Clemson, Missouri, Oklahoma, and now Auburn are just a few examples of overnight success. Noticed that Notre Dame was not explosive this year without their QB.

I am a true fan of a pocket QB, but most HS coaches are going with the dual-threat player in that position. Johnny "Football" would not be successful in our offensive scheme. Of course, we know what has happen to the Gators...post Tebow. Unless, Jim Kelly, Kosar, or Dorsey are on this roster or available...then don't try to make these QBs run a pro-style offense. Especially, if the QB is not learning how to: Audioble, look off primary receivers, check down to 2nd and 3rd options...or just run a basic screen play.

I believe the defense will get better, but the best players need to be on and stay on the field. Nothing wrong with a zone defense, but we need to change the zone coverages too. Example, the zone can force the team to throw to the outside, and take away what they like to do with crossing routes. Another way in using a zone, similar to basketball box-n-one. For example, Tracy Howard covers the team's best receiver man-2-man, and the rest play zone. Just be creative! The only thing from last year that had me puzzled...if you cannot pass rush, how can a team still beat you with a screen pass or draw? Just asking, because I am not a coach...just a former player!


Alot of you forget when we had a real D line we only rushed 4 Man two deep safety. And Sean Taylor and Ed Reed were the only two safties to come to the line and able to drop back in deep coverge to fool the offense.

I would like to see more man and I;m not in favor of the DC, but with out pressure our Db's will be dog tired and breakfast toast.

big daddy cane (mr troutman)

This was the worse defense i seen in years...we looked jv all year. I look at games and see how other teams look on d ,man we are not even close to them. We have fell for over 12 years now since our last championship.THATS A LONG TIME. My how the mighty have fallen is so true when it comes to us...back then teams knew they were in for it or least they were getting a game when they played us..Now we are mocked..one guy told me after the Lsu game in 04 we are SORRY...i could not say anything but take it...you know how hard it was for someone like me from DADE county to take that...the curse have to be over soon...its been over a decade...way too long for anyone to suffer..

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