What Kevin Olsen hopes will be the start of the Kevin Olsen era at Miami began Tuesday when he took control of the UM offense in the next-to-last spring practice, three days after Ryan Williams suffered a torn ACL.
UM doesn’t want to say the quarterback job is Olsen's for obvious reasons and Al Golden portrayed this as a competition, but it would be very surprising if Olsen isn't the starter for the opener.
Gray Crow isn’t going to win this job (my opinion) and Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier need time to familiarize themselves more with UM’s system when they arrive in May.
Olsen, supremely confident, said the way he’s thinking is that “it’s my show.”
Olsen, after practice today, said: “Being the guy is why I came here. It’s a shame this is how I got to be maybe the guy. I’m going to embrace the break I got. It's unfortunate for Ryan. I feel awful. I feel so sad for him.... We need to step up as an offense, me leading it now.”
Olsen said he already has begun studying tape of Louisville’s defense. The teams open the season on Labor Day night.
Olsen said after Williams was injured, Golden told him: “You don’t have to be Superman. Get guys the ball. Manage the game. Take shots when they’re there.”
Given an unexpected opportunity, Olsen said: "I wouldn't say I'm nervous. I didn't come here to be a backup. I didn't come here to sit behind people the whole time." But he added that he knew Williams would be the starter this season if he hadn't been injured.
He said he speaks every day to his brothers Greg (the Carolina Panther and former Canes tight end) and Chris, and “they said you have to be a leader and put in the time.”
Olsen said the amount of time he spends on football, aside from practice, will increase now that he expects to lead the offense.
“There’s room for improvement in footwork and reads,” he said. “I have to step up even more in the leadership role.”
Olsen was up and down on Tuesday. He made several strong throws but also had two interceptions --- one by Jamal Carter on an overthrow and another by Tracy Howard.
Golden said Olsen “did an excellent job” Tuesday and Crow performed “his best without question. He threw some really good balls today.”
Golden said: “Kevin is stepping up in the pocket, finding the second, third receiver. He was unflappable the other night [in the scrimmage]. There was a really good quarterback competition today. That will continue through the spring game. We’ll add two more guys” with Kaaya and Rosier.
Golden said doctors haven’t given him a timetable on Williams. But it’s unlikely he would be ready for the start of the season.
### Asked if he would be hesitant to start a freshman at quarterback (Kaaya or Rosier), offensive coordinator James Coley said: “If they beat out the guys who are here, the best player has to play.”
UM has one more spring practice (Thursday) before Saturday's spring game, which isn't a game per se as much as a glorified scrimmage with one-on-one, seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills.
Please check back later for a lot more Canes stuff, plus Dolphins, Heat and Marlins.