U, the Eye on The U Crew. I want to thank everyone who participated in our first question of the week segment: What Ails The Canes? I spent two hours pouring over your responses and have to say for all the crap Canes fans get about being arrogant or moronic, most of you not only know what you are talking about, but you know how to deliver it too. I was impressed with how well some of you wrote such impassioned short essays in answering this week's question.
I know all of you didn't necessarily read everything that was posted by everyone here. So, I picked some of my favorites to share with you because some of you really made me laugh and some you made me want to strap on a helmet and hit the field for The U. Seriously, I'm not just trying to blow smoke up your rears. Some of you can really write. And there's no question all of you know and love your Canes.
Before I share my favorite posts and salute The Eye On The U Crew, here are my two choices for my favorite entries: JC and BG1906. If both of you could shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org sometime Thursday before 6 p.m., we can talk about what you'll be writing about this week as guest bloggers for Friday. Also of note, if I had to choose a bronze medal winner, UMLam would be my choice. Nice, strong argument that was well written.
OK guys, here are my favorite responses to What Ails The Canes.
"Has UM just become regarded to the players as a stepping stone to the NFL with a lessoned sense of 'team'? When people talk about lack of talent and Cokers recruits, I'm not buying it. They have the talent and speed but not showing up for some games has been their MO for years regardless of the coach. I just see it as players having one foot in the U and the other in the NFL. I have the ESPN college package and I can honestly say that I have never seen a team that just doesn't show up sometimes. I always tell friends that I do not worry about an inspired UM team playing against a top rated opponent, I worry about an uninspied team that is to busy reading their own headlines and living in the past." Posted by: dubba dub | October 09, 2007 at 05:36 PM
"We are good enough to win every game, and bad enough to lose all of them. I believe in Shannon and his staff, it just sucks not winning these games.." Posted by: aqua | October 09, 2007 at 05:43 PM
"A great team walks onto the field and knows that they are going to win, a great team might be down at half-time but they know that they are going to win, and a great team might be playing in an away game across the country, with no fans traveling to see them but they know that they are going to win. The 2007 Miami Hurricanes are not a great team." Posted by: Ryan | October 09, 2007 at 05:59 PM
"What the Canes lack is a hunger to score, a reckless abandon to succeed, to inflict pain on the field and be the greatest. The us-against-the world mentality. Old UM teams would have lost to UNC and said (even to their fans) "go ahead, doubt us, we'll show you and you'll be back cheering for us. And even if you don't, screw you, we're the U and we've never needed you, we win with 25K in the stands!" Not these Canes." Posted by: JC | October 09, 2007 at 06:00 PM
"What happened to the Canes? Very simple, we started to recruit in other states instead of dominating our territory. We picked up 4 and 5 star duds who dominated their high school classifications in states that aren't very competitive in FB. As a result we lost out on guys like Dwayne Bowe, Nate Harris, Ali Highsmith (UM Pedigree), and H.B. Blades (UM Pedigree). Now schools like Florida and LSU have picked up our slack and have started to cherry pick recruits out of SoFla." Posted by: 305tilliDie | October 09, 2007 at 06:17 PM
"They play down to their competition because they believe they should win just because they are Miami. What they have to understand is that they are not THAT MIAMI. They have to go out and play hard and with focus and energy EVERY SINGLE TIME they play, no matter who it is, because they are fighting to regain national prominence, they must bring their hard hats and lunch pails each and every week, regardless of who they play." Posted by: bg1906 | October 09, 2007 at 06:28 PM
"I believe what has hurt the canes is a losing environment that has been created and accepted by the players. This is the reason why Shannon believes he has to re-program the players. It is all about attitude. That is the major difference between these canes and that of the past Canes. Im sure the past Canes would not allow themselves to be overcome mentally and losing was rare to them. Once you accept losing, it becomes a normalcy in your life. That is the attitude they have. What Randy needs to do is change that mentality, and what better way then bring up a crop of undefeated recruits (NW Bulls) who aren't used to losing, to back up what Randy is preaching. Basically, you are a product of your environment, and their environment has not been a winning one for a couple of years. Thats my take." Posted by: Mia Canes | October 09, 2007 at 07:02 PM
"Coaching under Coker was terrible, the offense was consistenly stagnant and he never showed any form of change in approach, he would just clap when we managed a field goal." Posted by: Tayson Gaines | October 09, 2007 at 07:34 PM
"...these guys are soft. Larry Coker was too interested in being their friend instead of their coach. You look at the Jimmy Johnson, Butch Davis. Taskmasters. Ballbusters. No excuses. You don't like it, go home. Don't letthe door hit you in the ass. That's how we got guys like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Michael Irvin, Frank Gore. Freaking warriors. These coaches busted their butts so much in practice, game day was like a day off. Ask any Cane who played for these guys... And this is what they'll tell you to a man. And now, the good news. Randy Shannon knows this. He was there and he saw first hand and knows what it takes to win. Discipline, accountability, hard work, and no guarantees. You earn it. You earn the right to wear that Jersey. This is freaking UM football dammit! Not some free four-year joy ride through South Beach. Time to snap up the chin strap boys, grab your package and sack up. Boot camp with Randy Shannon '08 coming to Greentree...Look out...Go Canes!" Posted by: Canefan66 | October 09, 2007 at 08:42 PM
"Where is the Warren Sapp, Ken Dorsey, Santana Moss, #47, even K2 running up and down the sideline hyping the others up? That attitude was squashed by Coker, who wanted a kinder, gentler Cane. I’m not saying RS should bring back the Randall Hill days, but this team is a dull knife that needs sharpening. And sharpening takes time. Kyle has played at times this year like the Kyle who suited up against FSU that night. So has the rest of the team. At times they regress back into the Coker inflicted Psychosis, which causes them to not believe in themselves, each other, or the coaches. RS and staff have started rehabilitating them. The third quarter against UNC is a great example of that. A strong talk from RS, and boom they look like the 2001 Canes." Posted by: DarthCanesFan | October 09, 2007 at 10:33 PM
"Shannon has got a huge task ahead of him to change the culture of this team and its not going to be done overnight, probably not even this year. But he’s laying the ground work for the identity he wants, which is great. Teaching the players the intricacies of the game and correct technique is the easy part. Having them trust and believe in their ability and the person next to them that is what is going to turn this thing around." Posted by: umlam | October 10, 2007 at 12:44 AM
"I think these kids need to be sat down and forced to watch Ed Reed's post halftime speech to his team during the FSU game in 2001 and Irvin's hall of fame speech over and over until something clicks. You can't win without a leader, no matter what sport you are playing." Posted by: Gibby | October 10, 2007 at 01:08 AM
"I forgot what it is like to have a guy other teams know is going to get the ball, but still can’t be stopped. This team has no playmakers, and that is all a function of weak recruiting. Until a player takes the field no one knows if he is a playmaker. The Canes are ailing because there is a lack of physical preparation, a leadership vacuum on either side of the field, and the talent level has dropped resulting in a lack of playmakers. The solution to the Canes’ ails will be great recruiting, great coaching, and most importantly lots of hard work. One of my favorite Hurricane players quotes from the Jimmy Johnson era; “game day is like a day off, because everyday during practice we know we are playing against the best offense/defense in the country.” Posted by: jtime | October 10, 2007 at 09:24 AM
"The Hurricanes have had no identity. These Hurricanes have had 2 head coaches, and God knows how many coordinators and assistant coaches. It seems that there is nothing reliable in the offense, on the defense, or in the locker room for them to fall back on when they struggle, or to build on when they excel. So what do they do? They borrow their identity from ghosts of years past. They run out of the smoke, jump on the visiting teams logo, and make the U sign with their hands. They think that is enough. It is not." Posted by: Robnyce | October 10, 2007 at 09:45 AM
"Perhaps, once RS has been able to purge this somewhat listless group of players (of course there are exceptions, I'm speaking globally) and replace them with guys with real hunger and attitude, UM will be UM again." Posted by: Mephistopheles | October 10, 2007 at 11:18 AM
"I think they have not adjusted very well to all of the noon starts. Still look kinda sleepy." Posted by: CCC | October 10, 2007 at 03:12 PM