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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.

Comments

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

IT'S NOT THE COACH

Posted by: Canes | September 17, 2008 at 03:40 PM

Sliding for DECADES??????? We've only been winning titles for a little over 2 decades (1983). I'm not quite sure what you mean by that!

BE POSITIVE

Go 'Canes!

I just read that A.Johnson was starting...it is about time..this had to happen, those veteran guys looked real nervous against florida...Marve couldnt do it by himself...i mean floridas defense was good..but not great..you needed someone to make a big play..an I think the defense would have held up....but now i think that he should give L.Bryd and T. Benjamin the starting jobs...T.Benjamin could be a Percy Harvin type of player...Canes have a whole lot of speed guys, so the Canes should utilize it..they already got Collier returning punts which is good...so they are getting these guys out there to make plays...an that is what is needed...speed kills, so they have to use it...GO CANES!!!!!!!

I'm not sold on Nix yet either, but its 2 games into his second season at The U.... give him a chance..

As for coach Shannon, ease up.. One thing the U has lacked is a long lasting coach.. The past coaches all took pro jobs.. Shannon won't,, he could very well be our Paterno/Bowden,, He has the ship heading in the right direction give it time and stay positive!!

CANES ALL DAY!!

Sounds like Gaturd imposter canesrule is tossing a lot of salad these days. Too each his own. I think that Randy is doing a great job, not only in recruiting, but in rebuilding and correcting the problems left behind by Uncle Fester and Dan Werner> I think we'll see over 400 yards total offense this week against a feisty A&M team that will be motivated after we blew them out last year. We are still Da U, and don't you forget it! Da U 37 Texas A&M 12.

As for the Turds, if they don't beat a handdog Tennessee team by at least 35 points, a team that lowly UCLA dominated in the second half, I look for Urban Liar to start making changes in the offense and go back to Tebow draws instead of trying to get the ball into the hands of playmakers that don't make plays. The USC tailback reject has been a disaster; Percy is still hurting as evidenced by his eye popping 27 yards of combined offense against Da U; and the receiving corps is hurting from the absence of tight end Ingram, whose career is over after a torn ACL. I say Turds 23, Vols 0.

We won our 1st SEC title in 1991!

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, KEEP TRYING FOR 53 MORE YEARS

hey two ten toes

that great wide open ucla offense that got lucky and beat tennessee just lost 54-0 to byu. i guess norm chow had a bad day.

We shoud beat A&M big time, I don't know why there is only a 3 point spread, but Vegas knows best.

As for Turds posting on this Board: Fake canesrules tosses "if da u were a beatch's salad", just as tebow tosses percy's salad.
I am sniffing an upset, as lowly middle of the pack Vols knock several Gaturds out of this game; the Vol offense sux, but I say they wear the Turds out in the second half. Urban Liar cries at presser.
On paper Turds should win handily, but Tennessee 34 Gaturds 19.

Everyone has seen your predicting skill already 9'ships. Keep them to yourself.

Randy Shannon told the media yesterday -

"TexAnM goin B tuff fo arr yung kIds, hope dey not gonn pulla UrbMeyer an RUN UP da Sco."

He should of been fired for running his mouth about the FG at Gainesville. What a SISSY, he made your scUM university look soft with those comments. How quickly we forget the Glory days at Dah U. When he played back in the day, there was no mercy and running up the score was expected.

You know dem boyz at A&M looking fo payback !!!

You play to win the game.

Good Luck, the line just moved another 3 pts because Randy worried about a late FG.

MarbleMouf,

Really nice try, I must admit...you get an A for effort!!!!!

By the way according to the arrests records of your Gators the past few years compared to Miami's...it's not even close (Gators are leading the way). So I guess you guys are the SCUM between both University's.

Any word on what's happening with Daniel Adderley and Ian Symonnette?


CANES FANS LET ME KNOW IF YOU FEEL THE SAME WAY:

I THINK RANDY SHANNON IS MAKING A BIG MISTAKE BY RECRUITING THESE OUT OF STATE PLAYERS. I KNOW BRYCE BROWN IS RANKED VERY HIGH AS A RB BUT LOOK AT HIS BROTHER ARTHUR. SHANNON IS MAKING A BIG MISTAKE BY NOT GOING AFTER LAMAR MILLER, FRANK TEILFORT, AND JAMAL BERRY EXTREMLY HARD!!!!!

THESE OUT OF STATE GUYS DONT PLAY TOP NOTCH FOOTBALL LIKE OUR HOMETOWN KIDS.

IF SEAN SPENCE PLAYED BALL IN KANSAS OR NEW JERSEY HE WOULD BE RANKED NUMBER 1 AS WELL.

COME ON RANDY AND COMPANY DONT LOSE FOCUS ON THESE LOCAL KIDS STICK TO THE GAME PLAN!!!!!!

none...will see how u handles NC...NC has been a tough nut to crack...for the u. it has been know to beat the u...and butch is no dummy...he coached the u...so lets see if shannon can out coach Davis...yes NC lost,and they 0-1 in acc..but miami is 0-0 in acc...and if they over look a sound team..miami could be 0-1 in acc...and 2-2, overall...would be nice if the u was 3-1...maybe they be in the polls.. GO CANES. THEY CALL ME RICK.

does it realy matter. scum u or non scum u..this team played well as long as they played with killer mind set, but coach told them to play without trying to be killers and dont try killer tackles, and you saw results, A&M scored 2 T.D.s on them, then coach raised sand at them because they gave up those T.D,s????.for some reason if ya let kids do what they do best,..(smashmouthfootball)then they win the game..all i can say about that is kick them in head..thats old time canes at best..and kids looked that way..untill 3rd quarter...end of story...THEY CALL ME RICK.

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