Randy Shannon is on his way back home to South Florida for Canesfest. But he spent his morning here in Tampa, speaking to the Florida Sports Writers Association about many things.
Among the topics: his desire for an early signing period (like basketball), a new daylight only driving policy following the Jermaine McKenzie-Robert Marve accident, and how he believes if he can get a parent on campus, UM has a 90 percent chance of landing that recruit.
UPDATED (2:11 p.m.). OK guys, the first day of meetings are finally over. I've put together the first couple of comments from coach today and uploaded the complete audio interview for your listening pleasure on Herald.com. Follow this link if you want to listen to all 26 minutes.
Either way, I've included about the first 6-7 questions of today's interview with coach Shannon below. I'll come back tomorrow to give you my impressions, plus some of the other noteworthy items I've collected up here. First off, Randy started the press conference by addressing the three biggest issues of late -- the stadium situation, the accident involving Marve and McKenzie, plus the QB situation. I've decided to relay his opening comments, then some of today's Q&A. Feel free to pour your thoughts in and any thoughts from today if you made it out to Canesfest in Fort Lauderdale.
On the Stadium situation…
A: “Orange Bowl and Dolphins Stadium is an ongoing talk right now. When they make that decision it will be made. It’s going back and forth right now, so I can’t give you any other information."
On Jermaine McKenzie and Robert Marve…
A: “The two young kids who were involved in the accident were back on campus this Tuesday, joking around, having a good time. But we don’t know their status right now. Injuries heal different ways. Last year, Jon Beason got hurt and [team doctor] Dr. Uribe thought he was going to be done for the season. But a week, week and half later he came back and played. It depends on how those guys’ bones heal. Until Dr. Uribe says they are eligible to play, they won’t play right now. But in the middle of the season, if something changes and Marve and McKenzie heal and they come back in the fifth game of the season. We’ll let you know then."
The quarterback situation…
A: “Kyle and Kirby are doing fine. The players on the team say they’re both doing a great job. The feel like that we have two starting quarterbacks. And they say both of those guys have become friendly, genuine friends, guys who lead. One day Kyle leads the team. One day Kirby leads the team. And now they feel the quarterbacks are part of the team and not individuals or separate from the team. They do more with the team offensively and defensively. So, were doing some of the things for those guys to be successful."
Q: What was your reason for removing the names off jerseys this coming season?
A: “You get to a point, and I’ve always been on great teams as a player – NFL teams – there’s a lot of guys that when you have a bunch of teammates surrounding each other and playing like a team, it tends to be a good team. But when you have one guy stand out and all the focus is on him, and he starts to think he’s the team and not a part of the rest of the team. And that’s when you get the 7-4, 7-6 [seasons], bad situations."
Q: How do you feel your new disciplinary measures been received?
A: “It’s been great. You can tell by the recruiting aspect, we’ve been getting guys to commit early. It’s being held accountable for what you do. And when guys are being held accountable and they know what the consequences are, then they’re going to adhere to it. And the biggest thing you try do is distractions. That’s all the rules are [in place for], to keep them away from the distractions. Nobody can run an organization or business when you have a bunch of distractions. And those rules are in place to keep the distractions away, so we can keep being positive and moving forward."
Q: Is it hard to balance to balance being the tough guy disciplinarian, then be there for them when they come through your door?
A: “No. It’s not hard, because it’s more about if they respect you. If the players respect you and not fear you, then they can come talk to you all the time. But once they fear you, you can forget about any players coming to talk to you about any situations. This summer, we had a couple situations where we had players on the team had siblings pass away. Guys who had kids, brand new babies, first time fathers. So, those are things you have to deal with and sometimes they won’t come in and talk to you. We’ve had another person on the team, believe it or not, lost his uncle and then two weeks later lost his aunt. You always have to have an open door for those guys because if they don’t come talk to you, they really don’t talk to nobody else.”
Q: Will you still be very involved with the defense on game day?
A: “I’ll be a part of it. I’ll be part of the offense too. But I won’t be making the calls and stuff like that. The one thing I always notice is when you sit back and you are not coaching, you can see a lot more. And for five out of the six years I was just a coordinator, walking around on defense I can see a position on defense where maybe they’re not doing something right at defensive line or linebacker and the secondary and go and tell them he we need to get this done. Once the coaches know your not trying to say they’re [not] doing a good job coaching, then they’ll be OK. Because everybody has bad habits.
I mean everybody in this room is going to be confident in what they write. Everybody here is great writers. But when your editor comes up to you and says change this, change that, you get kind of pissed. Let’s be honest. You do. So, that’s the same thing in coaching, your coaches got to understand is that I’m seeing something different like your editor is seeing something different. So, its going to work out fine. We got a great staff and they’re funny. And they tell me some things that I do. So, I’m OK.”