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Shannon: Starters will play special teams

Randy Shannon met with the media this morning for his weekly press conference. Here are some of the highlights:

- Starters will play special teams. Shannon said Miami's kickoff coverage has been horrible and he will now sprinkle starters into the lineup to improve it.
- Shannon said Graig Cooper called him at 1:30 a.m. following Thursday's game to appologize for his two fumbles and to promise he wouldn't fumble again. Shannon said he often gets a lot of late phone calls from players. Shannon then joked: "As long as police men aren't calling me at that time, it's fine."
- As for the turnovers, he said nobody is safe from losing their starting jobs when they turn the ball over and cited quarterback Kyle Wright's fumbles as a problem.
- Matt Bosher is still the punter. Shannon said David Strimple's late game punt against A&M was simply a matter of field position. He said Strimple will be used more for pinning teams deep while Bosher will continue to handle "hang time" issues.
- In evaluating Duke, Shannon said the Blue Devils love to blitz and will show it plenty on Saturday in the Orange Bowl. He also pointed to quarterback Thaddeus Lewis and his knack for hitting Eron Riley on the big play.
- As far as using the direct snap, Shannon said UM doesn't plan to overuse it. The Canes were obviously pretty successful against A&M with it. He said don't expect to see a lot of it.
- Linebacker Romeo Davis, once thought to be lost for the season, has been practicing with the scout team for the last two weeks and should see some real practice time this week. "He's just healed fast," Shannon said.
- Shannon said safety Lovon Ponder will work with trainers today and hopefully return to practice on Wednesday.
- Shannon said linebacker Glenn Cook has had his soft cast removed from his foot, but that he is at least two weeks away from returning to running and participating in drills.

Check back later today for the audio from that press conference as well as interviews with left tackle Jason Fox, linebacker Colin McCarthy and defensive backs Randy Phillips and Chavez Grant.

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