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Live Q&A at 7 p.m.

I never got around to giving you my thoughts on Saturday's spring game because I was a little tied up with other assignments -- the IndyCar 300 (Saturday night) and the Marlins opener on Monday. So, since most of that analysis may be a little stale, I've decided to do a Live Q&A segment tonight from 7 to 8 p.m. where I thought we could discuss it.

That being said, with football -- the official live blood of Eye On The U -- now on hiatus until the fall, I wanted to get some ideas from you guys on how we can keep this blog going. Obviously, we will have Canes baseball to discuss (even though I hardly cover the team) and I'm sure there will be offseason news on both football and basketball (which I do cover extensively). But I wonder if it will be enough. So, I need your help. Any other ideas and suggestions are welcome. Feel free to leave them below along with your questions for tonight.

See you at 7.

Comments

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What's up Manny, apologies for my tardiness.

What position would you say is the weakest right now, based on what you've seen in the Spring game and practices??

Also, I haven't heard any talk of Eugene Smith receiving an offer from us. Any word??

Q: How's Arthur Brown doing? I saw his stats the other day, but other than that we haven't heard much from him. Posted by: CaliCane | April 01, 2008 at 05:38 PM

A: Brown is a very raw talent. I kind of compare him a little to DJ Williams. Tremendous speed, skill and talent, but a guy that needs some tweaking. He played well in the spring game and that's a direct result of his athleticism. Give this guy some time under Michael Barrow and you'll really see something special.

Q: Manny, good job. Recruiting tid bits will be essential to keep the interest up. How about a snippet (Blustein can comment as well) on each recruit. Stating the pro and cons about them. I know it is like watching a soap opera but it is very interesting to readers. Occasional interview with players and recruits also can be milked to no end.

One thing I haven't seen much of are what the family of the recruits think of their son or bro as a Cane's player. You can throw that in there. I.e, what would Bailey's dad say about what his son said about hunting in the Island in relation to what Bailey said. Not pure football, but at least we can know what makes them tick. Clues to greatness, is how I would title it. Posted by: Rubcatcane | April 01, 2008 at 05:45 PM

A: Not a bad idea RC. Although, that's likely better stuff for full-fledged stories. I've actually got a great story on Bailey and what he used to do with his dad -- hunting possums -- I'm dying to share. But I'm holding off because I need to save some stuff for the summer. Look for it soon.

Thanks Manny. Im very glad to hear that.

Q: I'm relatively new to your blog, but I get the impression you have been around Miami football for a little while. I know there's a lot of hype about the team right now, and honestly the fans are wearing rose tinted glasses all the time. How would you asses the teams performance this spring from what you saw, honestly? Is there another UM team you might compare it to? It's not much to say that they looked better than last season, is there a more specific season you might compare this team to in terms of how the talent you saw in the spring? Posted by: David (Clearwater) | April 01, 2008 at 05:49 PM

A: I kind of look at this team as the 1998 team.. the one that followed that terrible 1997 season. I think this team is loaded with talent, but young. Its actually kind of funny. That team had a James in the backfield as does this one. A young Dan Morgan at linebacker (Colin McCarthy), Reggie Wayne (Aldarius Johnson). I kind of see this UM team like that one, which finished 9-3. I think this team could finish 9-3, but it would be a dream season. I think it will be more like 8-4, 7-5 tops. There is definitely more talent on this team in my opinion than there has been in three full years. That's how good those Northwestern guys and some of the other signees are.

Q: Hey Manny! We had a topic about our cheerleaders looks on canespace.1word DAMN!!!! Has they been a drop off on our Um Cheerleaders? Did you see them....ewwww Who has the best cheerleaders for college football?Do we need to comb the whole south beach, groves, boca,west palm,ft.lauderdale areas for our own team? Posted by: UMCHEERLEADERS-LOOKSLIKE-SOFTBALL PLAYERS | April 01, 2008 at 06:13 PM

A: Sadly I didn't really get a chance to check out the cheerleaders. But I'll be looking forward to a better scouting report than that this fall. Yikes!

Q: HEY MANNY! Whats the word on this CB Darrell Givens kid? i hear Miami is his dream school and he was at the spring game and loved it..ANY THOUGHTS? Posted by: DEECANE | April 01, 2008 at 07:00 PM

A: I'll need to ask Larry about him. Give me a few weeks to catch up on recruiting before asking me about some kids. I'll get back to you when I've had some time to study it.

Manny, this team beats everone in the ACC, with the possible exception of FSU. This team is better than the '98 squad, as much if not more talent.

Q: Sup Manny? How's the Family? Great I hope. Did U see the same Unity and Enthusiasm I saw? 86 and I were there for Canespace... Posted by: OCALACANE | April 01, 2008 at 07:08 PM

A: Thanks for asking OCALA. I'm doing great. So is the family. My wife and I will be going to the Final Four Thursday so I'm happy about that. I definitely have been impressed by the energy and enthusiasm I've seen from the players this spring. That's something I think the young guys have brought with them and its rubbed its way up to the top.

Q: Manny, this team beats everone in the ACC, with the possible exception of FSU. This team is better than the '98 squad, as much if not more talent. Posted by: Cavaleer | April 01, 2008 at 08:06 PM

A: The two toughest games in the ACC are going to be at Virginia (9-4) and at Georgia Tech on Nov. 20. I think Virginia Tech has taken a big hit. Playing at home versus FSU on Oct. 4 -- instead of the opener -- will be good for the team. It will give them a whole month tro prepare.

OK guys. I'm going to step away for dinner. But I'll be back later tonight to answer the remaining questions. Feel free to leave a few more.

Manny, what's the weakest unit on the team at this point??

And what's the word on Eugene Smith?? I haven't heard anything about an offere from us to him.

We beat UVA and GT.

We need help fast at WR if we're gonna beat everyone in the ACC, Cav, because the veterans can't catch worth a lick. J-Mac needs to get healthy and Streeter, Davon, & Benjamin need to be comfortable having these high expectations.

Manny any words on Ponder's and McNeil's injuries?

Do have any insight on who haith is going to use that scholorship on? Can Daquan Jones take on the role of scorer and not a shooter as a freshman.


Hey Manny -

The two biggest ares of improvement i see for the U are offensive line and the center QB exhange not to mention Field Goal kicking. What your take and how is the coaching staff dealing with this??

Thanks Dude - you rock

Manny thanks for all you do. I hate to disagree with you but... Virginia is losing some top players and Ga. Tech is installing a brand new (triple option) style of offense.

Manny, any idea how many recruits end up in prep school? I heard some didnt qualify, wvilla at hallofcanes.com, is always showing you some love, do you know him? Thanks for all the info and updates, by far the best Canes blog out.

Carlos, I agree, the WRs are a big question mark right now, maybe the biggest. They'll be the difference in a 8-4 or 10-2 season.

But really, one scrimmage with Khalil as the key man isn't telling us much. Khalil would be the ultimate gravy if he emerges.

I'm expecting AJ, J-Mac, Streeter, KT, Davon, Hankerson and Kayne to step up seriously. Shields is still suspect until proven otherwise, although I'm hearing some very good things about him playing STs and such, so who knows. Maybe he's been Shannonized.

Five months from now I think we'll be fine.

IMO, our defense under Bill Young is gonna be farther along than Nix's offense will be.

Young is doing stuff like disguising coverages...He's running a scheme that is light years beyond anything Walton ran and combine that with the amount of talent we've got incoming this fall, we look to be ok. Our DT's & DE's are going to have plenty of depth. Our LB's are looking like those classic Miami wrecking crews that are lightning fast & can bring the wood. Our secondary looks to be solid for the most part.

Our offense, Nix has to step up his game....JJ looks like he's going to have a monster season alongside Cooper. With such an inexperienced QB like Marve, we should be using a lot of playaction (which we hardly saw last year). The WR's are just a HUGE ?. No veteran has yet to step up. Maybe that will change in the fall. Our O-line looks to be solid....though. Nix will have to prove it on Saturdays because I'm still traumatized by some of his bonehead playcalls at some points in the game last season

Carlos, I agree with you about Young but I think Nix will sharper and more creative than we think.

Maybe you can enlighten me about all this "raw" stuff I'm hearing about Brown because from what I saw of the scrimmage he makes plays, period. He's had two weeks of practice and he's already more of a playmaker than Cook or Sharpton, yet everyone's saying he's so raw and that his technique is so bad.

Granted, he tackles a little high but when he's get you you're going down, one way or another.

Like you said, that's the way Hurricane LBs are supposed to look.

With Young's schemes, I think he'll make many more plays than Cook. So explain to me what's so "raw" about him, and how/why he needs so much work?

Granted, he's young and he'll improve but where's Cook been all these years?

To me that's BS.

I guess when they describe him as "raw" as relying on his natural ability to get him out of the fundamental mistakes he probably makes like staying with his assignment, plugging up gaps, etc. What I've gathered from the coaches is that once he knows his job like the back of his hand, combined w/his superior play-making skills, you're gonna have the next great LB at the "U".

just my humble opinion

oh and on the tackling thing...there's more to it....there's getting the correct angle on tackles, filling the lane, defending cutbacks, pursuit Angle, tackling in the open field, shedding & defeating blockers...

maybe he needs work there, too.

carlos,
Good observation on Brown.
We all been going back and forth with cav over what "raw" means.

I personally think if Spence were to come in the fall instead of the spring , we would all be talking about Brown being hands down the top dog in this superb class

peace

Why is Virginia going to be so tough?

They lost their qb, their star rb, and Long is gone.

Carlos, yeah, I think you're right about the "raw" with his technical work but how many 17-year olds aren't, other than Spence I suppose.

Manny it would be fun to talk a lot more about our great Baseball Team...Already 20 games over .500

Jaime, I ask the same question about all these ACC teams that are going to make us 6-6.

Where's the beef?? Last year UVA barely beat NCST. One week later we lose to NCST because we have a dysfunctional QB in OT. Then our other barely functioning QB throws three picks against UVA and puts us in the hole in the first bloody quarter and the team lays down after that.

So suddenly UVA is so incredible and we're the same team as last year??

That's BS.

Solar,

my only concern w/Brown and Spence being thrown into the fire so early is the beating their freshman frames are going to take. Remember JJ had to be pulled out of the latter halves of games when he was in his 1st year to save him. No doubts they will both be studs.

Cav,

usually those super-talented freshman take a redshirt year to learn the playbook but in our current situation, that can't happen.

Like I told solar, I just hope they don't get injured.

Carlos,
I'm hoping we can keep some fresh bodies in there like the old days, your right the schedule and competition will definitely take its toll.
They haven't played anything like they are gonna face as freshmen.

peace

just saw the boxscore in the Canes-FAU ball game tonight. Another double digit mash-fest...Good Lord, they are nasty.

Omaha!!!

Carlos, don't forget we have four more studs coming in June, plus C-Mac and maybe Romeo, so I wouldn't worry about the depth at LB this fall. I expect Futch and Robinson to be smart and talented enough to contribute right away with Young's schemes. Kane and Marti could be the same.

And since both Brown and Spence play 110% all the time, they'll need breathers. We'll be ready.

Q: Hey Manny its been a minute but I need your opinion. Most people including me left that game with questions about the O-lines pass blocking. Why is it that the the O-line that didnt pass block very well was able to pin our highly touted D-Line/Linebackers so well on running plays?
Also what are your thoughts on Randy saying this is the first time all spring he has seen the receivers/running backs drop passes like that and then some of the players saying having the crowd there changes things? Is it possible we may have some boys with stage fright, or maybe getting a little to over amped to fully concentrate? And may that have been the problems with the dropped balls last year? Posted by: Cane Since 1982 | April 01, 2008 at 07:09 PM

A: First, one thing you need to understand about the last scrimmage is that both coordinators weren't necessarily game planning against one another. It was more like they were testing out their units. Bill Young as I came to understand was really focusing on zone blitzing. So, while it was effective against the passing game -- you saw Darryl Sharpton pick up three sacks -- it often left his defense unprepared to stop the run. He said he had several guys out of their running lanes and took the blame for that.

Secondly, I don't think the crowd really had to do much with the drops. I think it simply has to do with the guys making drops. All of these kids hve played in big time games. Do nerves play a roll? Yes. But not in spring games. After all, the guys who were making drops weren't rookies for the most part.

Q: Manny, any news about Haith getting an extension done with UM? Posted by: orange 'n green in the vein | April 01, 2008 at 07:20 PM

A: I would imagine the school would be eager to publicize that. I haven't heard anything yet. He's got three years left on his contract for now. But I expect him to get a raise soon.

Q: If Robert Marve turns out to be the real deal, an all-acc QB starting this year and for the next 4, what do you think the future then holds for Jacory Harris? Posted by: Jack | April 01, 2008 at 07:24 PM

A: If Marve turns out to be the real deal, he won't be at UM for four years. He'll be in the NFL before then. Jacory Harris wants to be a Cane right now and I think the only way he considers leaving is after the next two seasons he feels like he won't get a shot at playing. But I think he'll play before then.

Q: In the latest ESPN mock (Kiper), KP and CC are both out of the first round. Is this a shock to you? Do you feel it was worth it for them to leave or would they have been better served playing out their senior seasons? Posted by: ChicagoCane | April 01, 2008 at 07:34 PM

A: Both didn't have stellar junior seasons. But just because Kiper doesn't have them as first rounders doesn't mean they won't be. Its hard to say if they would have been better served returning because you never know what can happen with injuries. They made the best decision they thought they could. It happens.

Q: Do you think UM's basketball success will bring in any solid recruits for that program as well as any other sport at UM? I recall Terrell Pryor initially wanted a school with multiple sports that were strong. UM currently has basketball and baseball with football making a comeback. Posted by: BBrinkley | April 01, 2008 at 07:36 PM

A: Not necessarily in other sports. Kids are attracted to the top overall programs, but a kid will not decide to go to Duke on a football scholarship because the Blue Devils are good in hoops. It obviously helps to have a well rounded program though because it means the program is receiving exposure all the time. That's all it really does.

Q: Weren't there a couple position changes on the football team? I heard the bigger receiver Daniel Adderly was moved to TE and to expect the same for Streeter and/or Futch. Any other movers besides them and Bailey?? Posted by: BBrinkley | April 01, 2008 at 07:39 PM

A: Adderley was moved to tight end. But it's really not that big of a deal. I kind of compare to Kylan Robinson being moved to linebacker. I don't think it will mean a whole lot in the end. Adderley has a long road ahead of him. He needs to gain weight and pick up blocking schemes. Streeter we'll have to wait and see. Futch is going to be a linebacker in my mind.

Q: With the safety play being pretty average in the spring, is there any chance Damien Berry (who we did not really hear about this spring), Telemaque, Cookie Buchanan, or Holton see the field for significant time? If so, which guy? Posted by: ChicagoCane | April 01, 2008 at 07:41 PM

A: I like Berry's toughness. He's headhunter. I wouldn't be surprised to see a freshman play some at safety especially because of the nagging injury situations with Ponder and Reddick. I've heard Telemaque could be the best of the group. But I need to see these guys in uniform first and hear what coaches say bout them once they are on campus.

Q: your Breakout Player on offense = ? your Breakout Player on defense = ? Posted by: Carlos | April 01, 2008 at 07:41 PM

A: Offense = Graig Cooper. Hard to breakout considering he's the returning leading rusher. But I think he has a big season in store.
Defense = DeMarcus Van Dyke. I think aside from the freshman and Allen Bailey who will make a splash, I'm expecting big things from DVD in '08.

Q: Which of the incoming freshmen not there for spring do you anticipate to seriously compete for a starting spot OR rotating in with those currently enrolled?? Posted by: BBrinkley | April 01, 2008 at 07:44 PM

A: Brandon Harris at cornerback. The two guys at defensive tackle -- Micanor Regis and Jeremy Lewis.

Q: Do you think UM's football team will earn some votes this season when the initial rankings come out? If not, and you had to pick a number, where would you "guesstimate" them to be ranked? Posted by: BBrinkley | April 01, 2008 at 07:49 PM

A: No way the Canes are ranked to start the season. Maybe by season's end -- somewhere the end of the Top 25. But that's after a 9-3 season.

Q: What position would you say is the weakest right now, based on what you've seen in the Spring game and practices?? Also, I haven't heard any talk of Eugene Smith receiving an offer from us. Any word??
Posted by: Cavaleer | April 01, 2008 at 07:49 PM

A: Defensive tackle, safety, center and tight end. I'd say they're all tied because it isn't deep or loaded with talent. Eugene Smith has received contact from UM. Scholarship? Not sure.

Q: Manny, this team beats everone in the ACC, with the possible exception of FSU. This team is better than the '98 squad, as much if not more talent. Posted by: Cavaleer | April 01, 2008 at 08:06 PM

A: Too much youth Cav to be better. The quarterbacks are going to make mistakes. So are the talented young freshman. Give them a year. But I like your optimism.

Q: Manny any words on Ponder's and McNeil's injuries? Posted by: Montreal-Cane | April 01, 2008 at 08:19 PM

A: Shawnbrey was a knee injury. I think Ponder is the same old shoulder.

Q: Do have any insight on who haith is going to use that scholorship on? Can Daquan Jones take on the role of scorer and not a shooter as a freshman. Posted by: zac | April 01, 2008 at 08:27 PM

A: Answered that one earlier... look for it.

Q: The two biggest ares of improvement i see for the U are offensive line and the center QB exhange not to mention Field Goal kicking. What your take and how is the coaching staff dealing with this?? Thanks Dude - you rock Posted by: alum 87 | April 01, 2008 at 08:32 PM

A: Center-QB exchange is important and so is the kicking, but I wouldn't consider it problem No. 1. The coaches are certainly working on it though. It's just going to take time and more work.

Q: Manny thanks for all you do. I hate to disagree with you but... Virginia is losing some top players and Ga. Tech is installing a brand new (triple option) style of offense. Posted by: DZ8 | April 01, 2008 at 08:36 PM

A: I feel you, but they are still very tough conference road games.

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