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Shannon shakes up depth chart

Robert Marve was asked Tuesday afternoon how long it would be before we got to see him and Jacory Harris start throwing the ball down the field more. Before the question could be completed, Marve answered: "I hope in a couple of days."

Randy_shannonDon't hold your breath Canes fans. Texas A&M, which will host the Canes on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC, has one of the worst run defenses in the country. The Aggies rank 113th in the nation defending the run, 83rd in total defense and 24th against the pass. So, for those wondering what exactly Miami will do offensively after playing about as conservative as can be against the Gators, I, for one, am expecting more of the same.

Marve, Harris, coach Randy Shannon and a handful of other players met with the media as usual Tuesday to share their thoughts on the Aggies and how Miami will try and beat a team that has already lost to Arkansas State and barely got past New Mexico 28-22 two weeks ago.

The biggest news from Tuesday? It appears Shannon is trying to light a fire under a few guys' butts by making some changes to the depth chart. The biggest moves are on offense, where Shannon said he's moving a few guys around at receiver (and trimming down the rotation from eight players to seven) and moving Chris Rutledge exclusively from backup tackle to seeing some more time at backup guard too. There will be changes on special teams too. Arthur Brown will see more time there according to Shannon. And the new kick returners are Travis Benjamin and Brandon Harris according to Shannon. The new punt returner is Thearon "Pimp" Collier. That's move according to Shannon is to give Graig Cooper (who will handle more carries) a rest.

> As for Rutledge, he told me has been practicing some at guard for a few years now, but still hasn't seen any live action at the position. He said he's been playing both sides at guard since last week. "I don't mind I'm doing whatever it takes to help the team out and win," Rutledge said. "I played a little bit of it in high school. I played some of it when the new coaches came in two years ago. Coaches had already told me to prepared to play guard. I'm looking to get some live reps this week."

Jermaine_mckenzie> For those of you worried about receiver Jermaine McKenzie transferring, he told me he today he plans on "being a Cane for life." The fact he didn't play at Florida, he says, had nothing to do with performance. He told us he had a sprained MCL in his left knee and is now 100 percent healthy. McKenzie, who was a practice star when he first arrived at UM last year, said he's going to do all he can to impress coaches and get on the field soon. Players do not find out if they are on the 70-man travel roster, according to McKenzie, until noon Thursday.

Shannon was asked if McKenzie might get into the wide receiver rotation. "Whenever Jermaine is ready to crack that rotation he will," Shannon said. "Jermaine is like any other receiver. We don't play favorites. Whoever is good to play we're going to play. One thing is we're not going to put anyone in who is not ready to play. Guys have to prove it to us in practice. Is Jermaine doing great? He's doing wonderful. We think he's going to help us out this season. He's been nicked up, now he's back and we'll see what he can do."

The only thing that strikes me a bit strange about this all is that McKenzie was healthy enough to play the role of Percy Harvin the week before Miami traveled to Gainesville on the Canes' scout team. So, I guess we'll have to take their word that he was hurt.

> As for the receivers as a group, Shannon said he isn't sure who will be left out of the rotation. But according to the depth chart released to the media, the six guys listed were Sam Shields, Leonard Hankerson and Travis Benjamin "at The Z" and Aldarius Johnson (listed first), Laron Byrd and Khalil Jones "at the X." Who turns out to be No. 7 remains a mystery. It could be either McKenzie, Davon Johnson or Collier -- who will already be accounted for as the punt returner.

> Last week, Robert Marve defended his offensive coordinator. This week, it was time to stand up for his receivers, who dropped a few passes against Florida.

Robert_marve"We have great receivers here at The U. We have great receivers. I want to make that clear. Everyone talks about these couple drops in one game, in the second game of the season. I wish you guys could see practice, the plays they made for me. In practice, I'll scramble around and I've thrown balls to Leonard Hankerson he's caught one-handed in the back corner of the end zone. It would make you guys say Heisman Trophy winner. The guy is good. Everybody is good. You'll see how good this receiving corps is. When you have guys you can pitch it to that can take it 60, 70 yards. You all will see. And to be fair most of those guys are young. Even Leonard. He's a sophomore. Those guys are going to be ready to play. I trust them with everything. I'm going to throw them the ball -- anybody -- it doesn't matter. I'm looking forward to finding those guys and throwing some touchdowns."

Jacory_harris2> One of the more interesting responses I got today was from Jacory Harris, when I asked him how much freedom he and Marve have to change a play at the line of scrimmage. Basically, he estimated, that about 50 percent of the time he and Marve are given a play with the option of either passing or running. And he said they decide based on what they see at the line of scrimmage. Such was the case against Florida two weeks ago when Harris came in with UM pinned at its own 1-yard line. It was actually his check off to skip the run and hit Kayne Farquharson for the 12-yard gain.

Harris said it's been tough getting used to running the plays called by a coordinator. At Miami Northwestern, he called 99 percent of the plays for the Bulls. But he says he's prepared himself mentally to deal with it. He said he believes, eventually, Nix will give him and Marve the chance to audible more.

"Going into college I knew I was not going to be the person calling plays," Harris said. "People get paid to their job. They get paid good money to do their job and they're not going to let you call your plays, call your shots and do what you want. I prepared myself mentally to understand that."

> Another big topic of late for U has been freshman linebackerArthur Brown. Shannon told WQAM's Joe Rose that Brown has an ankle injury which has been slowing him down. But senior linebacker Glenn Cook said it could be that Brown is still behind when it comes to the playbook.

"I think he just hasn't learned as fast as some of the other freshmen," Cook said. "We just got to keep working with him. He's still getting acclimated. I don't think his level of high school ball was the same as some of the other guys. But I think he'll be fine. He is getting better. It's just a slow process. He's a real positive kid. It's not affecting him."

> In case you missed it, we had a live chat today from 2 to 3 p.m. Here is the link to the chat transcript.

> Also, for those of you who would like to hear Shannon's press conference or anything else that was said Tuesday, here's the link to our UM audio page.


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Good Stuff Manny!!! I really think The Team Is Moving in the Right Direction! Big Step forward was Moving Travis Benjamin to compliment Brandon at KR, and Letting Pimp be the PR. The Coaches are Making Good Adjustments and like Jacory Said Eventually they will let them Start Having A Little More Freedom to make their own play-calling. this Team is Ready!!!

First! Great Job Manny

I is...therefore I am!

I thought I was first! lol
Everyone is making such a big deal about Arthur Brown. Just relax when it is his time, he will play. The guy didn't play on a structured defense, he basically played run defeense or blitzed every play. Just go kill the guy with the ball type of stuff. He needs to know how to read offenses, formations, coverage schemes and so on. SO JUST RELAX!!

cook need stop down talk brown because in the florida game all i seen was arm tackling

A & M is struggling against the run.
UM has shown little in the passing game.
Do the math.

A & M will crowd the line of scrimmage, so I doubt UM will be able to start off running the ball. Miami has to show a credible passing threat or ANY defense can shut them down.

It also seems to me that in spite of the use of a full back, I see a lot of spread looks in this offense. And I don't like it.

If we don't see the QB's attack the intermediate and deep zones against this defense, I wonder if we'll ever see it under Pat Nix.

These are important days for the 'Canes.

This staff needs to prove to the players that it has the ability to prepare players before games and then coordinate them during games in a successful way.

So far, I've been impressed with Randy's recruiting and tough love approach to treating all players equally when it comes to discipline. He seems to be an outstanding person who demands the same hiqh quality of conduct from his players. This has attracted talented recruits as it should.

What remains to be seen is if he's a good head coach. He's definitely unorthodox. Last year he rotated players at positions week to week (e.g. QB, DB, and receivers). He seems to be doing the same this year. He also lets his coordinators deploy new schemes each week without a standard offensive or defensive approach that most good teams rely on. This seems to be working with Young this year but didn't do well for Nix last year (remember "hog wild" package with Coop in first few games...)

If his approaches don't succeed on the field, I won't be too surprised to see a repeat of 2007. Last year, it seemed that the players doubted themselves, their teammates, the depth chart, the play calling, etc. following the OU debacle.

Randy has a few precious games this year to get the team to succeed on the field and to get them to believe in his system and decision making.

If they win the games they should - like this one - then all the quirks regarding rotating players and schemes will be OK. If not, it will be perceived as poor strategy, preparation and personnel selection. And perception is reality...

We need this win. We need Randy to succeed. He's clearly a good, strong person that wants the best for the U and for the kids. I hope his unorthodox approaches pay off and that this team gels over the next month with some quality wins.

Of course, we're a few drops, blown coverages and dubious review from possibly beating UF - in which case all my concerns are less valid. But those things did happen and now we need to win some games.

This is the perfect game for the U, it's at A&M which is a large university located in a college town. Just like Hickville, it's loud, crowded and A&M will play good against Miami. This will help out the U for future games.

Give Nix time to turn this O around!

UCLA beat Tennesse on national tv with a third string QB, starting his first game. They opened up the offense for him why Miami won't do the same for our QB's?

Good stuff Manny!!

Got to say that I think you're doing a great job Manny. Informative and moving articles and a consistent blog presence that keeps this Cane in Los Angeles's belly filled with sweet, sweet morsels of 'Cane information.

Keep up the good work, young buck!

They are clearly lying about Jermaine McKenzie. His knee was fine enough to practice, he doesn't have a physical issue. I don't see why he had to drive himself to Gainesville, he should've been allowed to go with the team.

IMO, Randy Shannon has a doghouse and he makes these kids work to get out of it. Might be something he learned from Jimmy Johnson. He's the coach, its up to him to deal with it. All I can say is...we better play well on offense.

Either our offensive line is overrated or UF's D-line is pretty good. I'm guessing we're overrated, Hawaii was able to move the ball against UF. Their d-line stinks and they were able to shut down our ground game.

Why can't we pass-to-run like they do in the NFL? We always try to run-to-pass and end up getting a boring offensive gameplan.




Can't wait for this game. We will know alot about this team come Sunday, and I feel like we all might be very excited.

UCLA beat Tennesse on national tv with a third string QB - Two Ten Toes

He was a two time JR college player of the year and brought the all time td record for his school, Marve hasn't thrown a pass in two years!

Either our offensive line is overrated or UF's D-line is pretty good? I'm guessing we're overrated. Canesjunkie

Yes, Florida is ranked in the top 5 so I would assume they are pretty good. Overrated, who said we were rated!

Have you either played sports in your life? Not!!!! Leave FB to them and quit trying to coach via blogging!




Can't wait for this game. We will know alot about this team come Sunday, and I feel like we all might be very excited.

Posted by: 404canes404 | September 16, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Don't fool yourself. The UNC game will be our measuring stick. Shannon better have his team ready against his old mentor. We win that game we have a good chance of winning the ACC.

Before the question could be completed, Marve answered: "I hope ...

there's always that

These are important days for the 'Canes

Posted by: sfcane | September 16, 2008 at 08:31 PM

U think too damn much ... relax

What remains to be seen is if he's a good head coach ?

U go figure ... he'll be awwwrite

Hey guys, real canesrule here, just got back from yet ANOTHER skiing trip with the fellas and boy can those guys toss my salad……

It is my understanding that Randy is dreaming up something special for Texas A&M . A top secret plan that involves a brilliant play call by Nix. I just hope the refs don’t decide this game too. Insiders at Lamespace call it a touchdown. It is my understanding that we are incapable of scoring one of those “touchdowns.”

Dare I say we have THE worst rushing “attack” in the Nation? Baby J is just that, an injured baby. And Cooper aint too super. 1.6 yards and a cloud of dust baby.

How will Americas team fare against the soft Aggies? Our newly ranked 106th passing offense should match up well against their 24th ranked pass defense. Truthfully, I see this as a trap game. It’s gonna be closer than Duhhhh U thinks and I hope Marble Mouf issues a precautionary “DONT RUN UP THE FRICKIN SCORE ON US” media statement this week. Recently he was HARSHLY criticized by Dan LeBatard, Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, Jim Rome, Joe Rose, and even cane homer himself Steve Goldstein. What will his next blunder be? Maybe just maybe RS will keep his 4th choice trap shut. Prolly not. He aint real bright.

Anyhoo, from College Station where we’ll probably sneak by the Aggies, All the way up to Durham North Carolina where the Blue Devils will surely spank us, clear down to Gainesville where the Gators throttled us, and even down to Boca where the Owls would take us into the 4th much like the Dukeys did in 07 , this IS Cane Country.


Florida was ranked in the top 5 before they even played a game. Are they good, yes, but why did Hawaii rush for more yards than we did? Is our line rated? All summer we heard 'the offensive line is the strength of this team', 'maybe the best line in the conference'. IMO, its not, the LB's are.

'Have I either played sports all of my life?'...I guess you mean have I played before in my life? Yes I have, all through college. I'd ask you but, I don't care and it doesn't make a difference in how much respect your commnent gets.

I should leave the coaching to the staff...why are we on the blog then? Manners bro.

You're right junkie, UM's O-line is soft. They couldn't fight their way out of their own territory for the entire second half. Without the quickened pace of the clock that is now in place, it would have gotten real ugly. Cane fan being happy about a 23 point loss in a 3-point effort says it all. Three points is all these "athletes" could muster up in a big boy game?

The coaches knew this would be an uneven matchup and played soft to protect their butts. Nothing produces harsh criticism like a pick 6. And as much as I detest the phrase "played scared", that was as close to scared play calling as I have ever seen. 140 total yards by that group is completely inexcusable, I don't care who you're playing.

Miami has consistently recruited top tier classes yet we get the "rebuilding" story. This "rebuilding" is looking more and more like a dade county public funded project. SLOW.

Mr. Shannon was DC for a group of incredibly talented players. He's gotten way too much credit for those days. Seriously. Now he is in charge of the entrie team, offense, defense, and special teams. You can't help but scratch your head when you see some of his moves, public and team. There are just way too many red flags to even consider saying,"we're back." A top recruiting class does not a winner make. This is an incredibly difficult pill for "U" faithful to swallow. CSU was a joke, 3,500 student ecclesiastical school that is roughly the same as Palm Beach Atlantic University. The Florida game showed some bright signs but was overall a very poor showing. The offense was anemic at best. Saturday against the Aggies will be very telling. UM should throttle this floundering D-1 school. T A&M is pititful against the run so this should be a showcase game for Coop. U better crush them.

QB: Played one game in two years against Florida(at Florida) coming off a serious hand injury due to a car crash.

WR: Hankerson (a sophomore)is our best receiver and he only played a few plays last year.The rest our FR.

OL: 3 New Starters (The most important lineman is the center, this is his 1st year at the U.

FB: JR College transfer in his 1st year at the U.

RB: Baby Jay played a few plays then was hurt. Coop takes over as a sophomore.

Now if you look at this what would you do and expect? Would you have thrown the ball 40 times (At Florida)or called the game conservative?

Just give the players and coaches time to figure it out. The Giants lost their 1st two games last year and are a running team, but ended up beating a passing NE team. LSU won the BCS last year with 2 loses and they were a running team.

Chill out, were 1 and 1.

does anyone know where the um / aggies watch parties are ????

Why is there no experience at QB?
Why is there no experience at WR?
Why is there no experience at OL?
Why is there no experience at FB?
Why is there no depth at RB?

Good/excellent recruiting classes continually. But the team has gone downward steadily. Something is seriously wrong there. I don't buy into this "rebuilding" excuse. I'm sorry to say, it's even worse than that. There seems to be institutional problems in Coral Gables. You don't get where Miami is at by accident. And as nice of a guy and dedicated as Randy Shannon is, I just don't see him bringing us back. Too many borderline bizarre occurrences already. This latest shuffling of the 1st team isn't something that a team that is building in the right direction would normally be doing. Currently the team is mired in "if" and "when" scenarios. They better get after T A&M big time.

Good recruiting ? Who said that, Rivals? Scout? Wright 5 Star? Kirby F. 4 Star? Lance L. 4 Star? Willie W 5 Star R. Moore 5 Star? I can go on and on about ranking services that get paid for ranking HS players. You can't turn a team around in 1 Year and 2 games, it takes a few years.

Institutional problems in Coral Gables? Did you read that in a blog? Just like Jermaine M. was going to transfer yesterday, then today he's not.I can start any rumor in a blog.

Shuffling of the 1st team? All coaches shuffle players. How many RB did the Gator's play against us (4) and what RB didn't play? Moody

Wow, after 2 games were 1 and 1. What else do you want? Maybe we will turn into the Dallas Cowboys in the next week or so.

I don't necessarily buy into what recruiting sercives say. But it is a jumping off point and you'll notice that the coaches aren't seeing a whole lot of productivity from guys with no buzz. I get your point but don't tell me the rankings are completely useless. That said,UM has always brought in upper echelon guys. I think the whole mess points more towards UM not developing players properly. Football teams have to grow the whole enchilada. I don't see where that's the case at UM.

NO, I didn't get "institutional problems" from a stinkin blog. I see it with my own two eyes. You don't see it? Coaching turnovers, low pay for coaches, the economic sitch Dee departed from, the stadium snafu. C'mon man, you don't have your head in the sand like so many Miami fans do , do you? No offense to Randy Shannon, but he wasn't even mentioned in the latest coaching search until the bitter end. Um begged Petrino. No dice.

I wouldn't compare UF to UM. I don't truly think UF even showed all their horses/tricks in that game. One has nothing to do with the other.


Can you start posting the depth chart in the future?

I think Shields and Johnson should be our starting receivers and got most of the PT, assuming they are practicing and going to class. Followed by Hankerson and McKenzie. That is a solid top 4, let them get some consistent playing time! After that, let Benjamin, Byrd, and Jones fight it out for some catches, but keep the top 3 or 4 consistent for a while to see if we can make some strides. These WRs need some freaking continuity to produce!

canesrUle - SHUT THE @#*& Up

Hey guys, real canesrule here, just got back from yet ANOTHER skiing trip with the fellas and boy can those guys toss my salad ./... guy do you know what toss salad is ..I hope you dont know ...but around here it oral licking of the anus ...lol....serious so please i hope those guys didnt toss your salad >>lol ....on a more serious note the canes recruiting class is different, but first let me say that where in a tuff spot with qb ...see i want marve to start , but logically since jacory has three or four of his recievers from hs with him he's already got 2years chemistry with those guys .. so unless marve shows greatness which he could .. i think jacory and the recievers would learn to connect better early on since they have that time together ... randy bit himself when he suspened marve and made the promise he would play both .... neither would admit the rythym was thrown off when they were taken out of florida's game but especially marve need to get into a groove. I coach is going to play both he should use the three series rule where they would get three series in a row unless , an int. then they will sit while the other qb starts his 3series...if you drive your team down for a td you get a bonus series .. 4 series unless an int .. then the other qb gets in while you learn why the int happened ...if you drive your team down for a fld goal . then you earn a half a series... you cant go in on a hal series.. you must earn another half series to total one series bonus ... thats how i would handle it then if no one pulls away then either we got two terrible qb's or two great ones dawn for the nfl....

Hey guys, real canesrule here, just got back from yet ANOTHER skiing trip with the fellas and boy can those guys toss my salad


UM has always brought in upper echelon guys? Not always.
Portis 2 Star recruited as a DB.
Dorsey 1 Star not highly recruited.
Santana Moss 2 Star not highly recruited.

I think the whole mess points more towards UM not developing players properly? How do you develope players in 13 games?

FYI: Records of some great coaches, would you have fired them?

Pete Carroll USC 1st YR 6-6, 2nd YR 11-2
Butch Davis Miami 1st YR 8-3, 2nd YR 9-3, 3rd YR 5-6
Nick Saban LSU 1st YR 8-4, 2nd Year 10-3, 3rd YR 8-5

And Jimmy Johnson was an unknown coach that was hated by all UM fans after a 1st YR of 8-5 with games that included the Boston College Flutie pass and then the Maryland 31 point comeback. Look what he turned out to be.

All I'm saying is you can't judge a coach after 13 games. What happens if we run the table, will you still not like him?

"How do you develop those players in 13 games?" Its not just THOSE players, it's all the players over the years that compile the depth chart. Miami used to be the king of developing guys. There was someone to step into a position anywhere. So, no, it's not "13 games." From where UM started to where it is now is an enormous divide. I'm sorry you don't go from having future Pro Bowl receivers left and right to being outside the top 100 passing teams because you've had a run of bad luck or because you're down. That speaks to a larger problem.

It really has nothing to do with liking or not liking Randy Shannon. It has more to do with how the last several years have played out for this team , in this athletic department, in this university. It goes beyond the head coach. It points at the athletic department.

Did you just say,"run the table?".....................

i have but one thing to say concerning UM's player developement, or lack there of, PATRICK NIX. that's all.

What position will Tim Tebow play in the NFL if he even gets drafted?

I think that Canes, will be fine...the key to any great team is you have to have great talent, an i think that Shannon has done that. So within a year a two after this one..they will be a top 5 team...they have so much young talent to build on with more talent coming in. Shannon is building for the future of the program..just think he is mostly playing freshman an sophmores...an those kids are big time talents...so they have to play...an in regards to the passing game...i think he has to play A.Johnson, L.Bryd, T. Benjamin more..those guys are the future an need more touches to show what they can do..but the defense is great and will only get better....Sean Spence is a future all-american, and first round draft pick....but in regards to Arthur Brown, i think Glen Cook had a point...if Brown played against weaker competition in HS...in college it is alot different...where as the kids from South Florida play against that type of competition an speed all the time...so it is a big adjustment for him...it will take him so time...but I think the U will be back, so people dont panic...GO CANES!!!

Did you just say,"run the table?".....

I have high hopes!!!!!!!

All programs go through down year with player development, just ask ND, Michigan, Washington, OH State, USC etc. (Before Tressel and Pete Carroll arrived those team were bad for many years) But again, player development starts with recruiting good players. Shannon is doing a great job of recruiting and we also have a new AD that is out scheduling better teams to play. Let's give Shannon and the AD 4 years to turn it around, just like Butch Davis did.

FYI - The mighty USC Trojans record from 1996 to 2001 was 37-35. Pete Carroll came on board and turned it around but it took him 5 years.

All teams slump......

And the Trojans were spotty at best prior to that. UM used to dominate the football landscape. Big difference. No one in the last several decades held USC next to UM. And no one will, because the weren't.

Pete Carroll isn't coaching Miami.

Spotty? They have 7 National Titles, I don't call that spotty. I call that 2 more than the U.

Wow, you seem to be one negative person.

Do you think NE is a spotty team because they haven't won enough SB and lost 1 game last year?

Chill people. Geez, what a bunch of negative- nancys.
The jury is still out on RS's head coaching abilities, but give the guy a chance.
Anybody who has been a fan of UM for any length of time has seen the High's (5 mythical championships) and the lows (LSU peach bowl, last year, last week)Things will get better in time. Just be a fan and root for your team thru the good and the bad times.
Go 'Canes!

The Patriots have NO bearing on this discussion. NONE.

I don't know where you get your facts. USC downright sucked in the 80's and were mediocre in the nineties. Or keep talking about how Pete Carroll is going to make the hurricanes rebound. LIke I said, spotty.

I don't care about the Patriots, I don't care about Pete Carroll. UM has been sliding from where they were for DECADES.


Nor is it about "rooting" for the canes. This discussion is about what the hell is happening in that athletic department. There has been a measurable shift in recent years.

The Athletic Dept. includes all sports. Basketball is improving big time. baseball is a national power and football will get better, again. Have faith.

What would you do if you had control? And remember you have a private school budget not Bill Gates.

Now all of a sudden, people want shannon fired.All the coaches that came before him got the years they needed to get it done.The same thing took place with jimmy johnson so called fans bitched and moaned the first two season's, then THE DYNASTY.One of the biggest problems with Kyle Wright was no quarterback coach and having the same OC.Shannon wants continuity at the OC position,it's a must.Chill people shannon isn't going anywhere,let's see where were at come season's end, before we start calling for people's head.

The question above is for Canes.

welcane, I'm with you. I see nothing wrong with the AD.

"And remember you have a private school budget not Bill Gates."

This wasn't a problem in the past. The landscape has completely changed. Has Miami changed with it? I don't see it.

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