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'Coach Cook' ready to lead

Go ahead and try to find one. Search UM's roster for defensive players and see if you can locate the go-to veteran, the man with the plan, the ace in defensive coordinator Bill Young's new deck? Is there a senior like Jonathan Vilma, Ed Reed or Sean Taylor to turn to? You probably found a few names you think you can toss out there, seniors like Lovon Ponder, Anthony Reddick or even a young guy with some experience like Colin McCarthy.

But the truth of the matter is when the Miami Hurricanes open their season against Charleston Southern on August 28th, they will not have a reliable, proven star to turn to. Will there be talent? Absolutely. Allen Bailey, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Sean Spence and cast of others could all turn out to be the next great stars at The U. But when it comes to veteran leadership, there is no doubt Miami will need someone from now until then to step forward. And my money is on sixth-year linebacker Glenn Cook to become that guy.

You remember Cook, the 6-foot, 235-pound kid from Hollywood Chaminade who came in with Jon Beason and Tavares Gooden in 2003 and was supposed to be part of that new linebacker trio that Glenn_cook was supposed to star at The U. Well, things -- like injuries -- happened. And just like Beason and Gooden before him, it seems like Cook will inherit the role of defensive leader next season. Coach Cook -- that's what his teammates actually call him -- was supposed to be the leader last year. But a foot injury followed by surgery cost him his senior year at Miami and it cost the Hurricanes too. UM sorely needed him last year and was left to survive with Gooden and a cast of inexperienced young guys. Well, Cook, coming off an 11 start season in 2006 in which he was named Linebacker of the Year on his team, finally got the good news he was looking for Tuesday when the NCAA granted him a sixth-year of eligibility. Consider it good news for the Canes too.

Cook, who spent last season coaching his teammates from the sideline, has probably been the smartest player coach Randy Shannon has had on his defense in the last four years. He picked up the defense quickly when he first arrived at The U. And now it appears he will not only be around to make plays in '08, but he'll also be able to mentor the next guy who looks ready to fill his shoes as resident smart guy on defense -- freshman Sean Spence. While Cook has seen time at outside linebacker this spring (Linebackers coach Michael Barrow likes to work his guys at all three spots just in case), Cook will most likely end up being the starting middle linebacker in the fall. I caught up with him Wednesday and spoke to him for about 10 minutes about his teammates, his role on the team next year and getting that all important letter from the NCAA this week.

“I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous,” Cook said. “I’m just thankful I have another year, that I’m not in the real world and I got another year of college."

Q: Do you feel like you are going to have to lead this defense this year because you have the most experience?
A: "I have the most experience – me and Daryl [Shaprton]. Between the two of us we really got to take the young guys and show them how its supposed to be done. From the film room to practice, everywhere we go, but it’s not going to be a problem with their talent. It’s more about instilling that work ethic to be a Miami linebacker. Between him and me we’ll take that role with the whole defense.”

Q: How did coaching go for you last year? Why did you want to do it? Did the guys actually call you Coach Cook?
A: “They clowned me a little bit about it. They used to call me coach a little bit before last year Glenn_cook_actionbecause I pretty much knew what was always going on. I picked up the defense pretty well. I just wanted to do what I could. I just wanted to be a part of it, help the guys out. Me knowing what’s going on, I just wanted to help the guys be successful. It was a different experience getting to see it from a different perspective, watching every game, just seeing, trying to help the guys from the sideline, giving the guys tips. I learned a lot.”

Q: How is the new defense coming along? Is it different than last year’s?
A: “Everybody has improved. You got a couple guys coming off injuries – me and Reddick. I think our secondary is improving a lot. They’re making interceptions. Chavez [Grant] is doing a lot. But [the defenses] are similar. It gives you an opportunity where you make it or take it. It’s a big risk defense. We’re trying to make big plays, cause big things to happen. We’re trying to dictate what the offense is doing. We’re not going to sit back.”

Q: So, it sounds different. Are you guys more aggressive, taking more chances than last year’s defense?
A: “I think we were aggressive [last year]. But I don’t think we were real confident as a group. I think we had a couple guys here and there that were confident in making plays. But I think overall as a group we weren’t confident with what we were doing. To me, any defense can be great. You can run three D-lineman. It’s just the players and just being comfortable with your group. I think this group we feel real comfortable. We flow off each other.”

Q: So are there different packages, three-down lineman?
A: “It’s variations. I wouldn’t call it a 3-4 package. A lot of things are different. We do a little more zone blitzing than in the past, that’s kind of the basis of it. We’ve put in so much stuff in these last couple of practices.”

Sean_spenceQ: A lot of people have been impressed by freshman Sean Spence and how quickly he’s picked up the defense. Do you see him maybe following in your footsteps, a guy who knows things so well coach will put him in the middle one day too?
"I definitely see Sean as that type of kid. He kind of reminds me of myself when I came in. You are going to make your mistakes because its something new or maybe a little more detailed. But he’s a very smart kid. He picks it up. He understands football, which is key. That’s something you can’t really teach. He picks up little things. I think he’s going to be a great one.”

Q: You said during the first spring practice that Arthur Brown had to work on his fundamentals. Is he improving?
A: “He’s getting better. It’s just a work in progress. I mean he’s definitely improved. He had a good practice today. I think its going to take time with him. Once he understands all the concepts and what we’re doing, he’ll be fine. It’s just a different world from what he’s been doing. I think he’s going to be fine."

Q: Colin McCarthy has missed the spring with an injury. Does it look like when he comes back in the fall, he’ll be ready to roll and where do you think he’ll end up on the weakside or the strongside?
A: “Colin wants to come back and play. We joke around and he’s like man I want to practice. He has a good attitude. I just tell him, get your shoulder stronger. To, me he can [play] both [strongside and weakside]. He’s another good cover guy. He’s also good on the run. For him, it doesn’t really matter. He’ll be somewhere on the outside.”

Q: How is Darryl Sharpton coming along? Where have you seen his improvement?
A: “He’s probably having the best spring I’ve seen him have. He’s flying around, making a whole bunch of plays. I expect him to have a great season. I think his [improvement] has been mental. That’s always been his thing. He’s always been a great player physically. But I think with the new defense he’s worked hard to get it down pact. He’s like another Beason. He gets to the ball. He’s going to fight to get to the ball. He’s just a natural linebacker.”

JUST SO YOU KNOW... HERE'S A LIST OF DEFENSIVE PLAYERS AT UM WITH CAREER STARTS -- Cook has 14 starts, followed by fellow linebacker Romeo Davis with 13. Who is next? Defensive end Eric Moncur has 12. Cornerback Bruce Johnson and safety Lovon Ponder have 11. Safety Randy Phillips has 10. Linebacker Colin McCarthy has nine, Darryl Shaprton has eight and linebacker Spencer Adkins has five as does defensive tackle Antonio Dixon.

** I'll have more from what I gathered from Wednesday's practice later Thursday.


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Can you give us your insight on how the individual members of the O. line perform in the scrimmage on Sat.


Heard comments Devin Ebanks has reached out to Da U ..... Manny any word on that???

Glenn Cook sucks. Dude has *no* talent, i don't care how smart he is he's slow as hell & weak.

That bum personally lost us the FSU game a few years ago when Slorenzo Booker juked him out of his shoes.

Glenn Cook is garbage.


Manny: OK, so starts at what LB position? Who makes up the second team? What does the rest of the depth chart look like.

I assume that Cook, Sharpton, Davis, and McCarthy have an edge b/c they are veterans, but which one is on the second team? What freshman (Spence, Brown, etc.) actually play on the first or second team?

MLB?!? Are you serious? If anyone sucks DANE CRISSY it is probably you. It just goes to show you what you guys don't know about MIAMI football. Glen Cook is a teacher of past tradition and technique. Once you have a disconnect from the past history and attitude this is what you end up with. It is Larry Cokers fault that we are in this mess. Hard workers like Glen Cook can help us salvage the team pride and history. Mark my words!!!!! From the ashes will come a TEAM that focuses on real MIAMI football.

Glad to have you back on football Manny. I live in SC, is the spring game going to be on TV this Sat? If not do you know if they will air in at a later date? Thanks

I wasn't a Cook fan til I saw the defense look lost while he wasn't on the field. He's not a great player, probably not even good based on what he's done in the past. But he's somebody who helps the other guys do better. I'm hoping the 15-20 lbs he's gained since we last saw him in 2006 help him be more physical out there. Ideally, he'd split time with Spence while Sharpton and McCarthy also started.

I'm fine with Cook playing if he wins his spot, not starting him because he's a senior.

What is this...'we didn't believe in each other last year' crap about? That attitude won't get us anywhere, it's the main reason I want the youth playing. It seems like a lot of Coker recruits just don't belong here.

sean taylor didnt play as a senior at um. he was too good.

A smart player like Cook is just what we need when we are implementing a new defense. The smarter football players need to hold us over until the more athletice one catch up to the nuances of the new D. Glen Cook is a Hurricane. If he earns the starting spot he should get the starting spot.

P.S. Thanks Manny for the football news, for all Canes news.

Anything on Adderley being switched to TE. I heard Adderley was the most improved wide out early on. Is this just a way to get him more touches? How much does he weigh now? Epps, Gordon, and then Adderley?

Thank you Manny...good write -- as usual.

It's funny, but we're talking about Spence and Brown like they're the only freshman linebackers coming in. We signed 8, and there are a couple more 4 and 5 star guys that will be here in the fall (remember Buchanan?). Cook is nice, I hope he has a great year, but talent gets on the field, and he's going to find himself in a very long line in the fall. Much longer then it is now.

Receivers too...most of our talented class is still in high school.

People don't talk about Taylor Cook much either, but he was the highest rated QB we signed in some lists. I remember being most excited about him during the recruiting process because he's huge (tight end huge) and has the strongest arm.

Spring is nice, but I don't think we'll have any answers until the fall. Most of the young talent isn't even at the U yet.

Good point on the team not being complete ChicagoCane. This team already looks more competitive, it will look even better in the fall.

I don't think Taylor Cook can compete for a start this year. The QBs already on campus are going to be too far ahead in order for him to make a push in the begining for the season. Middle to late part of the season is probably more realistic.

Did you say TE huge??? Thats interesting....

Taylor was never a senior at the U, and I would not leave Moncur off that list. The point is valid, there is a lack of leadership, but I also remember that problem in 1993 and Ray Lewis filled that void (you know as a true freshman). Maybe that had something to do with Ray, his personality and confidence were incredible (and that 1993 defense was very solid), but I think it really has to do with the fact that it doesn't have to be a senior at all, and also, it has to do with your position on the team and your personality. Sean was not really the leader of the defense. Reed was the emotional center of the team. So it is what it is.

The question with Cook is no matter how smart he is, can he keep some of those freshman off the field? The talent coming in in the fall is going to press everyone.

hope "Coach Cook" was not on the sidelines during the Virginia game, my god!

Come on guys, be supportive. Like U could do any better. If you think you can then why are you not on that field?

plain and simple Glenn Cook sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cannon Smith Should be our starter at QB. Can anyone say Todd Reesing or Chase Daniels ( Short QB's are getting it done

Is it me, or is this Blog..Narrow...

Randy was a player/coach when he was on the field back in the day.
HE said the only reason Jimmy Johnson wanted him in Dallas was to teach the other LB's how to play a fast 4-3 defense. Randy knew he was not the most athletic LB on the team.
I think he sees the same in Cook: athletic enough, help others on the field, and wont make a mistake.
Last year CMac, Sharpton, and Atkins were all out of position at times.
As for Brown. Just not ready yet. Its easy tackling Kansas farm boyz. Not as easy tackling Southern bread athletes.

I agree with the no cook, people, tough, aggressive beats too much thinking on the field anytime.

talent doesnt always help, willie williams for example had argubly more talent than any other lb at the U ever and he wasnt that smart and couldnt learn the D, thats why cook is so valuble to such a young D, yall need keep yalls mouth shut by talkin bout the players, i mean he's good enough to have a chance to play so i obviusly doesnt suck and i think he's going to help arthur brown, sean spence, and marcus robinson and others alot. and whoever said he slow than why's he run a 4.5? i mean if thats slow than i dunno whats fast

but for the record i dont think he'll start lol but he will play a good amount, he'll help out tremendously with the youngsters dont ya'll agree?

Glenn Cook is average-far below the Vilma, Reed, Morgan standards that the U has had. But he is in the same line of underperformers/ underachievers that stunk the big one last year. i mean, Kenny Phillips also stunk last year- if you don't beielev me, who do you lay blame on for the Oklahoma drubbing, the Virginia shellacking and the fact that Ga Tech ran ragged on us? what about the many long passes that we were burned on? what about calais Campbell? So don't just say Glenn sucked because last year was a gropu effort. they ALL laid an egg and as far as linebackers are concerned, since Glenn didn't play last year, who do we blame for as crappy lb play that I have ever seen at the U inyears? This D quit. quit, quit, quit, quit, quit, quit. I mean it quit. It shut down, closed shop and turned in the keys beginning wit the Ga Tech loss. Then, it quit against NCstate, Virginia, and BC. This was an entire team quitting. was it coaching? was it an attitude? what was it?

Does any one have any scoop on the o-line?

any one know how the wide outs are responding to a.hill? on that note" is ryan hill sleeping on the team? just not hearing much buzz from him.

Last of all ... the rb position, is their a shock and aww duo like clemsons (davis and spiller? or heck the thunder and lighting type like f.s.u (antoine smith and preston parker?

Baby J looked great in the first scrimmage. He looked like Edge out there with the no. 5. I still like Cooper's running style better, but Javaris is way more physical. I observed them doing blocking drills for 10 minutes before the game....Baby J throws vicious, Clinton Portis like blocks. Cooper wasn't bringing it like that.

I still prefer Cooper in space though....the dude is a gamebreaker. Baby J will be good at wearing defenses down. Let's not forget Shawnbrey either, he kind of has elements of the other two guys.

Haven't seen much of Lee Chambers....does anyone know if we will be using him to return kicks?

Taylor left after his Junior year. I think to be a leader guys have to respect you and yea Cook might know defense but you lead by example so if he is not getting it done on the field then guys will not listen. But who knows with a better d-line and blitzing D this year and cook beefed up he might be servicable.

Hope the defense can keep up with the offense at the spring game. The o had plenty of long drives during the last scrimmage.

It is Larry Cokers fault that we are in this mess. Hard workers like Glen Cook can help us salvage the team pride and history. Mark my words!!!!! From the ashes will come a TEAM that focuses on real MIAMI football.

Posted by: 87 CANES | March 27, 2008 at 08:10 AM

Well said !!

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