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Saying all the right things (well, almost)

Media day has come and gone at The U and in just a few hours Camp Shannon will officially begin. But before we get started and I get to sharing some of the highlights from Friday, I wanted to provide my own thoughts on what I felt like after leaving the Hecht Athletic Center.

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Since taking over as coach, Randy Shannon has made it his mission to chip away at all the 'distractions' surrounding his program. Internally, he's installed new rules for his players in the lockeroom and new rules off the field. Externally, he's kept the quarterbacks off limits to the media (he knew we'd drive them crazy) and developed a new company line -- TEAM FIRST -- for all his players.

In essence, he's built an impenetrable wall around his team much like the one UM has built in recruiting from the Palm Beach line south this summer. But that's another story.

Friday, as Miami picked up talented Miami Northwestern linebacker Sean Spence as its 17th early commitment, the current Canes met with the media for the first time since the spring. And needless to say, all of them sounded like they had been in Shannon school for several months.

Quarterback Kyle Wright, who once reminded us last fall when he was injured how he would return and become the starter once again, had nothing but love and admiration for his buddy Kirby Freeman. Starting? Not as important as if the team wins. Ditto with Freeman.

Kirbyfreemanmug"Kyle and I are doing great. Our relationship is fantastic and it really is. It's not just something I'm telling you guys. It always has been, through our ups and downs on the field and off, we've always had a great relationship. We've always maintained it. I'm just trying to do whatever it takes to win games. That is our No. 1 thing. It doesn't matter who is behind center, we're trying to win games."

"It's all about team. Ever since coach Shannon and his staff have came in, It's all about The U. And It really is this time. It's not about me. It's not about a quarterback controversy. It's about team. And for the first time I actually really feel good about that. We're trying to go win football games. And that's the only thing were out to do. We're not out to talk to you guys about anything other than winning good football games. Coach Shannon has definitely implemented good leadership. And it shouldn't just rub off on us."

KylewrightListen to all of the interviews from Friday (to hear some of the interviews from Friday just follow this link to our audio page) and you hear the word team uttered at least a dozen times by every single player. There wasn't a hint or ounce of selfishness uttered by anyone. Not a dose of me, me, me before team, team, team. That should make Shannon happy. Canes fans too. It means his players have been listening and taking his message to heart. But don't believe for a second all of UM's problems are resolved and that TEAM FIRST concept won't find itself being challenged at some point. It would be naive to believe that.

Yes, you can expect improvement. Shannon said Friday all starting positions are open. He's taken a page out of the Jimmy Johnson school he once attended knowing that when practice starts at 7:50 a.m. every morning for the next 17 days his Miami's players are going to be performing at their best. But at somepoint, inevitably, someone will feel sour. Not because they aren't part of the winning, but because they aren't the reason its happening. Then, and only then, will we find out just how much this Canes team has changed.

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OK, now that I'm done opining, I wanted to share with you some of my other thoughts from Friday including perhaps the funniest slip-up Coach Shannon has had yet on the mic. For those of you listening to the audio, tune into his press conference between the 18 and 19 minute mark when he's talking about Graig Cooper and Javarris James.

When asked about Cooper in the spring, Shannon said: "I think Coop did a great job. He brought some some excitement to the team. And he's a calm guy. He's not an arrogant or flamboyant guy." It was going well, then coach goofed. "Belive it or not, he and Javarris James are kind of like butt buddies."

Butt Buddies? I never got around to asking Cooper or James what exactly that meant. But it probably would have brought a chuckle. I know I laughed and knew coach meant no harm (For those of you (18 or older) wanting to find out what it means, check out Urban Dictionary.com).

There were plenty of other highlights from Friday, including the news of Spence, which I got when I ran into him in UM's parking lot. And Shannon's reaction to former USC linebacker Josh Tatum and how he will not be on the team this season.

But if I shared it all on this site, this blog would end up being longer than my last term paper in college. I'd prefer for you guys to get your own impressions from our audio interviews, Susan Miller Degnan's story in the paper tomorrow and share your thoughts and questions over the next couple of days. After all, the season is just beginning.

Comments

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First!

Manny, any particulars as to why on Tatum?

Thanks for the Spence info, you're first with all the Canes news.now.

I would also like to know more about the whole Tatum story if possible.

Dave2183, dont mean to be a moron but Shandel over at the post broke this news @ 1:25, that was almost an hour before the herald. Still Manny has been awesome with his steady flow of info. What it looks like is we have a bunch of great places to get our info and that is awesome.

My guess on Tatum is he wasn't healthy and they'll probably sign at least 4 of linebackers they are recruiting

Good info Manny..looks like Randy pulled the hat trick on Tatum this time.

UBaby, Shandel has nothing about the Spence commit. Just info Shannon said at media day.

The Herald was the first to know as Spence told the Herald about his commitment on wednesday, and Manny honored spence's wish to not break the story until it was official.

Manny, thanks for pounding the pavement for us 'Cane fans, nice to see The Randy giving you so many reasons to be out and about on the beat. A few questions, 1) If this is the final word of Tatum why was he turned away? I just want the whole fiasco over, one way or the other is fine by me at this point. 2) I hear that Streeter has committed to UM today as well, or is this just a rumor? 3) I've also heard that AJ Green de-commits from Georgia and commits to the 'Canes today. This has to be a load of bull, right? I had no idea UM was even in the running for this kid anymore. Keep up the great job, you're blog is evolving into something worth a bookmark sooner rather than later IMO.

"Randy pulled the "hat trick" on Tatum." Nice!

The Cane Train is loadin' up, better get on board quick, seats are filling up fast!!!

what's the story on james bryant. saw it mentioned on espn but no where else.

Anne, JB's at Louisville. Wish him well.

Manny, what happened with Tatum? Physical issues or too much local talent or something else?

Thanks for the update as alawys.

Anne...would you like to be a Canespace Canesgirl of the month? We are looking for a few good women that love the U and wear the Orange and Green proudly!

Yes any word on Benjamin Jones looks like we nedd a DE and Tommy Streeter???

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r268/cane_puppy/seasontix.jpg Hurricane tickets honor the Orange Bowl. FAREWELL?

"... Shandel over at the post broke this news @ 1:25, that was almost an hour before the herald." sunsentinel's clock forgot to spring forward; runs on standard NOT daylight saving time.

Anybody has Tatum? What in the Tatum is going on?

Manny-
Keep working it! All the info this early only makes it that much more interesting to read what you'll have once the season starts. Keep up the good work.

9-3 this year is realistic...8-4 would be barely acceptable...ACC championship ine 2008 and National Championship in 2009 is very possible...

Montreal undefeated regular season is realistic. NC is a reach but still in the frame. It's the U baby. The NC is our birthright! ;)

Rock on....

OK, Manny you make the cal:

Is it Kyle or Kirby? What is your prediction?

And here is another one:

Who leads the team in yards this year?

JJ or Coop?

Kyle will be the starter but Kirby will have some playing time...Don't forget we will play some very physycal teams this year..Coop will lead the team in yards followed by Jones...JJ has great talent but seems a bit fragile.

I'm still trying to figure out the butt buddy comment?

I'm still trying to figure out the butt buddy comment?

freudian slip ; )

what, what in the butt ; )

Michael Irvin HOF

(MLB.com) Ryan Braun's gaudy numbers: .345 batting average, 18 homers & 87 hits. ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/hurricanes/ video of Hurricanes media day! has Coach Shannon lost weight?

Manny
I tip my hat off to you budy. Great work!
Looking foward to the season. Team mentality is what we need. No "I" mentality in this team. Great to see that all of them are in the same page. Go Canes!!!!!

Manny,

Mad props to U, thanks for the update. Late!

Undefeated. Yeah i said it put it in the vault.

Anyone think Wva has the best backfield this year?

HEY MANNY,

I love the coverage of the Canes! Hankerson will be back soon and things are looking bright for our receiving corps this year.

Aso, I think you mis-quoted Shannon. He said Coop and Baby J are "Best Buddies" not "Butt Buddies"! hahaha

Shannon was just used to his player mindset and messing with James and Coop. I'm sure the other guys ragging on them have told them the same thngs.

if not he meant "bosom buddies" or best friends

if not he meant "bosom buddies" or best friends

if not he meant "bosom buddies" or best friends

Blogs are good for every one where we get lots of information for any topics nice job keep it up !!!

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