Tuesday afternoon chatter:
### With only two practices, one scrimmage and the spring game remaining in spring ball, Al Golden said Ryan Williams remains ahead in the quarterback competition. (This is a recording, because we've heard that all spring.)
“Kevin (Olsen) is getting better,” Golden said. But “Ryan has done a good job holding off” Olsen and obviously, Gray Crow.
But Golden said he wants more leadership from Williams and others on offense.
"We're getting more leadership on defense right now than we're getting on offense, which is the first time in a while (that happened)," Golden said. "We need Ereck Flowers and Jon Feliciano, Clive (Walford) and Duke (Johnson) along with Ryan and Kevin, guys like that to step up. Phillip Dorsett and Stacy Coley (too).”
### UM 6-9 senior forward Raphael Akpejiori has been watching practice (and catching some balls while being observed by receivers coach Brennan Carroll). He plans to practice with the team in August.
"We're going to see what he can do," Golden said. "You can't coach 6-7 and all that other stuff he can do. But he can run. I had a chance to say hello to him a couple of times, not really in depth, but he seems like a great kid."
Could he actually help?
"At some point this must have been the conversation about Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates or any of those young guys, so we're looking at it like `Hey, the young man seems motivated, he wants to do it, he's learning it.' If he can do it we'll accommodate him, no questions asked." "Offensive coordinator James Coley said: “We’re short right now, and if [Akpejiori] can come in here and play, that would be great.”
### Golden said Standish Dobard “is setting the standard” at tight end.
Said Coley: “He’s tough. He has that Louisiana in him. He’s a guy if you’re going to squat on when you’re running a route, he’s going to run you over. He has brought it every day. Right now, Standish is wearing orange, Beau [Sandland] is not.”
### Golden said that Earl Moore and Calvin Heurtelou were standouts at tackle in the scrimmage.
"(Heurtelou) might be our strongest D line guy [physically] right now," Golden said. "Now it's reducing mental errors."
### Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said Jermaine Grace “made a lot of plays [in Saturday's scrimmage]. Didn’t have mental errors. Has a ways to go, but doing a good job.”… He also is “proud of what Raphael Kirby has done” at two linebacker positions…. He said safety Dallas Crawford “did what I knew he would do when the lights went on. Physical guy. Great feel for playing the game. For what he’s done in a 10-day period [moving over from running back] is really remarkable, not making mental errors.”…
### D'Onofrio said tackle Earl Moore has been “steady. He’s gotten better. Kind of the light went on. Earl has been really consistent. The thing that hurts us right now is Olsen Pierre is not out there. Ufomba Kamalu has gotten better.”
### More D’Onofrio: He said Alex Figueroa and Tracy Howard lost their black jerseys today because they are “not up to the standards” in the scrimmage. “It’s just about being consistent. We love Tracy. We want [black jersey] to be something special. You’ve got to grade out higher to be at level of a championship.”
### Al Quadin Muhammad is out with an ankle injury and Olsen Pierre with a concussion. UM is hopeful both will return this spring.
### D’Onofrio said Jamal Carter “has had a great spring with his competitiveness and passion and willingness to try to get better. He’s an example of a guy that benefited from bowl practices.”
### Coley, asked who has impressed him this spring: “Ryan Williams has a good command of the offense. I’m impressed with his ability to change plays and get us into great calls at the line… Taylor Gadbois has set himself apart at right tackle… Walter Tucker has had a really good last two days… D’Mauri Jones has gotten better every day.”
### Coley said Kevin Olsen has “made some nice throws” but needs to improve his communication with other players at the line of scrimmage so that they recognize the play he’s calling.
### The staff wants more from Gus Edwards. “What Gus has to grow into is a big guy that moves fast all the time,” Coley said. “Sometimes big guys choose when they want to go fast.”
### Coley, on the state of his offense: “We still have to play our brand of football. We’re not there yet. We want to be a tough team, physical, a team that people want to play us and have a bye week.”
### Coley likes the Rashawn Scott is “finally playing at 204. He’s not the 196 pound receiver any more.”
HEAT, MARLINS, NFL TV
### Now that the Heat has pulled ahead of Indiana (by percentage points), you’ve got to love Chris Bosh’s take on the situation.
"You know, that's why when the Pacers were talking, 'Hey, No. 1 seed, home court!' It's like, hey, it's August. Calm down a little bit. We know how it is. We know it's a marathon. That's one of the conversations you have to have amongst yourselves, and it's a reason to go out there and play hard every day. Saying it to everybody, shouting it from the mountain top, that's not our style."
LeBron James continues to downplay the value of claiming the No. 1 seed.
### A few tidbits about Jose Fernandez’s debut Monday, courtesy of Elias: He’s only the second pitcher to have nine strikeouts and no walks on opening day in the past 16 seasons (Jered Weaver was the other) and the 16th ever….
He’s also only the second pitcher to earn a win on opening day after being voted the Rookie of the Year the previous season. The only other man to do that is the Giants' John Montefusco, who was the National League's top rookie in 1975 and then started and won San Francisco's season opener in 1976....
Most impressive: Fernandez is now 10-0 all time at Marlins Park, with a 1.21 ERA.
### CBS today hired former Dolphins quarterback Trent Green as a game analyst. He fills the opening created by Dan Dierdorf’s departure, but he’s likely not going to replace Dierdorf on the network’s No. 2 announcing team. That slot could go to Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, with Greg Gumbel also still a candidate to maintain his spot on the No. 2 team.