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Q&A with Patrick Nix, more notes

Quite simply, there hasn't been a man who has caught more heat from Canes' fans this season than offensive coordinator Patrick Nix. The second-year coordinator, who came to UM from Georgia Tech, heard it first for his conservative game plan against the Gators. Then, a week later, fans forgave him as Miami put up 41 points in a blowout of Texas A&M. Now, his name is back in the complaint box because Miami blew a 24-14 lead with nine minutes to play for what fans believe was conservative play-calling late in the game (how easily we forget what happened to UM's secondary).

Patrick_nixNix, like defensive coordinator Bill Young, hasn't done many interviews since the season started. But I was able to get him for about six minutes Wednesday after practice (consider that a lengthy one-on-one interview these days) to talk about the development of his quarterbacks, what he's seen and liked from Robert Marve and Jacory Harris so far, if taking Marve out for a series disrupts his rhythm, and why he's coaching from the sidelines this year instead of the press box like most coordinators do.

Q: In a game like this, a rivalry game, [former Canes quarterback and Sun Sports analyst] Steve Walsh told me today the most important thing is probably just protecting the football and not making turnovers. What's your take?
A: That's the most important thing in every game. If you have turnovers you lose. If you don't generally you have at least a chance to win. I wouldn't say its just a rivalry game. Every game in the same. You talk about rivalry and rivalry is good. You got to do that every game. You got to do that every day in practice.

Q: What have you seen from Robert in his first three starts. He's had moments where he's looked great and then one or two moments were he may have made a bad decision. How would you assess his decision making?
A: The last play of the game Saturday I wouldn't [call it bad play]. I'd tell him to throw that one 10 out of 10 times. With 10 seconds left you sure can't throw it away. The other ones, he's actually made great reads. He and Jacory both. I think Jacory has played really good and made great reads. And Robert has played really good and made great reads.

Q: Is there still anything after the first three games Robert hasn't done well that you are still stressing to him?
A: No. They're both the same. We work on everything every day. We haven't played many games so every day is kind of a new day for him. Every week is a new week. There are a lot of things we have to continue to stress and work on, a lot of fundamentals just base things to continue to stress with all of them being so young.

Q: People on the outside were real excited about Robert and Jacory because of the accolades they achieved in high school and had some big expectations for them. After three, four games, do you think they've performed ahead of schedule?
A: I don't know ahead of schedule because I don't know what schedule is. I know a lot of the average fans like to put a schedule on it. But that's why they're average fans. You can't put a schedule on it. They're both doing really well. They're both giving us a chance to win and making plays and doing good. If that's ahead of schedule, then that's good. They're both executing, moving the offense, doing what they're supposed to to do and giving us a chance to win.

Q: Some folks have made a big dilemma about taking Robert out for a series and putting Jacory in. The argument is it slows down the offense, messes with his rhythm. What do you say to that?
A: I don't say anything to it. I mean, I don't know. I've seen a lot of guys... I don't think its really messed the rhythm up of Robert a whole lot. I think he's played pretty good whenever he's been in. I don't know that if its messed his rhythm up. I wouldn't say that.

Q: As far as when they've decided to tuck the football and run -- which hasn't happened often -- have they been doing it at the right time?
A: Yes. They haven't done it much. I guess. To be honest with you I couldn't tell you. I'd have to go back and look at film. But there has not been an issue with that.

Q: Jacory was telling us a funny story last week about how you were yelling at him a couple months back and then apologized because you realized he still wasn't 18. Do you still treat them like young guys or has that stance changed a little now that they have a few games under their belts?
A: I don't treat them like veterans because they're not. It's just like the interception against Texas A&M. That was the first time Robert had ever seen that look. You can't give every look in practice. That's impossible. He's seen it and now that he's seen it, I never expect him to make the same decision again. Just like North Carolina. The first interception he threw there was one of two or three bad decisions he's made all year. Now that he's made it and seen I don't expect him to make it again. But at the same time these guys are going to make first time mistakes and that's just part of it. They're not veterans. We have high expectations for them -- Very high expectations for them. But at the same time, I'm realistic. I'm going to coach them. I'm going to teach them and I'm going to work with them to get them better and not assume that they know anything and they're going to be able do anything. But at the same time expect them to go out there and perform and execute.

Q: They both talked about how much they like the fact you are on the field with them. Most coordinators are up in the box. What do you see as the benefit of it?
A: Probably just being able to communicate with them, eye to eye and talk to them and keep them calm and tell them what's going on. And probably as much as anything, keep other people away from them. A lot of times when you are in the box there are a lot of people that like to give their 2 cents and everybody is an expert at the quarterback position and want to tell them. But they don't understand the reads at all. They don't know what's going. So, I'm able to shelter them a little bit from that also. But the biggest thing is just being able to sit down and talk to them and explain to them what's going on, what we're fixing to do, any thoughts for the next drive, get their thoughts, those kind of things.

Q: Will you spend the rest of the year on the sidelines? And are you happy with the help upstairs?
A: Oh yeah. We'll re-evaluate it after the season. [Coach Aubrey Hill] does a great job upstairs. They do a great job.

*** HERE IS THE LINK TO OLD UM AUDIO PAGE. I know the new Herald web layout has made it hard to find. If you guys want to listen on the interviews, click on the link. Here's the direct link to my interview with Nix.

Jermaine_mckenzie> If I had to pick one player on this team to root for it would definitely be redshirt freshman receiver Jermaine McKenzie. Not only is he one of the nicest, most respectful yes sir, no sir guys on the team to talk to, but he's got a great attitude too. After his scary accident last year, he's been battling every week to not only get healthy but to prove to coaches he deserves a chance in the rotation at a position now loaded in numbers. When Miami played at Florida and Texas A&M this year, McKenzie was left off the travel roster (68 players go). He still drove himself to Gainesville, alongside UM's bus, to watch the Canes play. This week with freshman Thearon Collier going down, McKenzie has finally gotten off the scout team and into the rotation at the Z position (split end) with Khalil Jones, Sam Shields and Travis Benjamin. Here's to hoping J-Mac gets a ball thrown in his direction this week.

"All this week I've been dreaming about this Florida State game, catching my first pass, my first touchdown," McKenzie said Wednesday. "It's just very exciting to come out and show what I can do with Florida State. I just take it day by day. Inside, Im I've very excited. But on the outside I've got to stay within my game and play. I have no idea [when I'll be in]. I just know when my number is called I'll be ready."

> This week's injury report actually didn't have any surprises: right tackle Reggie Youngblood (leg), receiver Thearon Collier (chest) and reserve running back Damien Berry (leg) were the new names on the list. Shannon said Wednesday Youngblood's injury didn't require surgery and that it would likely be week to week. Collier's injury was a "pain tolerance" injury. Collier did practice somewhat Wednesday, but still obviously isn't healthy enough. I think Berry is headed toward a redshirt.

Steve_walsh> I used most of my quotes from former Canes quarterback Steve Walsh in my quarterbacks story today, but there were a few Walsh thoughts that didn't get in. One, he doesn't believe, unlike the past when FSU and UM played, that this is a make or break game for both young quarterbacks. He called Saturday's game simply an opportunity for Marve to further prove this is his team. Walsh said he called Marve a left a message on his voicemail after his first start against Florida, but hasn't called him since. His take on Marve through three games: "I real love his mobility, his arm strength. But he's got to improve a little bit with his decision making. There was one play against North Carolina where he took a sack instead of getting rid of the ball. But I like the way he moves, throws on the run. He's just got to keep working hard and making it his team. Eventually, one of these guys is going to have to take this job by the horns and make it theirs."


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Damn manny u are the MAN!!!!!!!

TE recruit gets the call vs. North Carolina

This out of state tight end says he was the first phone call a coach made from the field against North Carolina. The Canes want him badly, so how does he feel about UM? Read on.


Thanks Manny
Andre Ware said during Saturday's telecast that he feels Jacory will overtake Marve at some point. I'm biased because he's my favorite player. Do you agree?

Manny, great work on the blog as usual.

I know you're running with the story and doing your job but at least give us Harris' or someone who's really making the decisions perspective. Or even what you really think or feel based on conversations and experience.

That's all I'm saying. Now maybe you're putting the word out so that the powers that be can do what they need to do to prevent this from happening.

But Jacory and his family knew what he was getting into when he signed. It's not like Shannon said you're coming in and will start over Marve. What's with all this second-guessing when the reality hits home??

Besides, he'd be doing the same thing at all those schools who are trying to sell him a bill of goods but they don't tell him that. He'd be going through the same learning process and he'd have to wait his time unless he out-played whoever is in front of him.

Besides, how many freshmen QBs walk into a situation and start running a pro-set offense right out of the gate?? No one, unless there's no other option.

Or is he afraid that he won't be able to beat out Marve all of a sudden, now that he sees it everyday and in games?? I personally think he willl.

And all of this isn't even considering the U's history with QBs sitting, learning the system, waiting their turn, then lighting it up.

I don't understand. I would understand if he came in the games and drove the team the length of the field for TDs. THEN he would have room to talk about transferring.

But he hasn't done that. So he needs to just man up and plow ahead. He's making adult decisions now and living with them when they're not sweet and nice is a big part of being an adult.

In reference to putting in Harris..."I don't say anything to it. I mean, I don't know. I've seen a lot of guys...", sounds like he didn't know what to say. Manny, I'm getting the impression that if it were up to him, he wouldn't do it. Maybe he's voiced his opinion about this to RS who shot it down. Do you think there's something to this, or am I just reading too much into it?

Also, I'm surprised you didn't ask him anything about the incredibly predictable middle screen passes he loves and if he will actually trust Marve to throw downfield a little more often this week.

Go get em J Mac!


Q: Also, I'm surprised you didn't ask him anything about the incredibly predictable middle screen passes he loves and if he will actually trust Marve to throw downfield a little more often this week. Posted by: Casual Observer | October 02, 2008 at 02:44 PM

A: I'll post the audio of the Nix interview so you guys can hear the way he answered some of the questions. As for asking him about the middle screens, I didn't feel like I was going to get a warm response if I questioned his playcalling. You have to find the right time sometimes to ask questions like that. He gave me 6 minutes -- that's more than most other reporters this year.

A: I'll post the audio of the Nix interview so you guys can hear the way he answered some of the questions. As for asking him about the middle screens, I didn't feel like I was going to get a warm response if I questioned his playcalling. You have to find the right time sometimes to ask questions like that. He gave me 6 minutes -- that's more than most other reporters this year.

Posted by: Manny Navarro | October 02, 2008 at 03:07 PM

So then you have plans to ask such a question? lol. Alright, I'll give you a pass for today.

As always Manny, doing a fantastic job with the interviews

Great job Manny!!

Ur right you gotta watch what you ask the dude. He might Jim Rome your azzz Chris Everret! LOL

My money would be on you anyway bro!


Manny WTF would we do without u??

Canez coverage absolutely blows everywhere else.

Thanks again for all you do my man!



Richard Wilson
Tight end
Spanish Fork (UT) Spanish Fork
3 Star

Ht: 6-foot-3
Wt: 224 lbs
Forty: 4.64 secs
Vertical: 33 inches
Shuttle: 4.38 secs
GPA: 3.8
Class: 2009 (High School)

Manny...GREAT stuff here today! Nix has gotten some heat, and while most fans are patient, some are not.

If he has a good game play calling against the Noles and the Canes win, the dogs of war will back it down. If not, it could get ugly...

Thanks Manny, great job!

And to the USF fans that have been trolling around Eye on the U with their chests puffed out talking smack:


In reference to putting in Harris. I believe your right if it were up to Nix he would leave marve in. it's randy's call so we will be stuck with it until one of them transfers.i hope its not marve.
RS is still making rookie mistakes in his second season

Manny as always you take the prize for Hurricane beat writer of the year for 2008, just please don't start coasting on us down the stretch here! I think Nix has done a solid job working with the inexperience at the QB position he has this year and is showing he can develop these guys in just a short time under his tutelage. With the inexperience at WR to go with the same at QB I don't know exactly how much more you can ask for at this point in the season from the passing game, not to mention not having JJ available isn't making this any easier on him and his offense.

I think you are saying that you hope the better of the two stay at miami. Both will need to play to determine just who the better qb is or have you already decided that marve is.

where's the tough questions manny?? why didn't you ask him about the conservative play calling..wow you have dissapointed me and i'm sure many,many others..that was a sell out.

rich - you don't question a coaches play calling. This is only something a wanna be coach fan would do.

How about we just relax on his play calling? It's getting VERY old!!!

Shannon has him here for a reason, and he would be out just like last year's DC if Shannon felt he wasn't getting the job done. Nix is doing an excellent job in developing these kids. Our inexperience is probably going to lose us a few more games.

I am still a lock for 8-4 this year. After a 5-7 season there isn't much more you can ask for. Our upperclassmen are not getting the job done. This has nothing to do with coaching. Some of those guys shouldn't even be at THE U, but you can thank Coker for that.

What the coaches have done is find someone that WILL get the job done. If the coaches weren't shuffling players to find the right mix of them then I would have a problem. They are doing the best they can with what they have.

I know everyone wants to praise Saban, and what he is doing with Bama, but I do not think Saban inheroited a team as did Shannon with this one. I don't think people really relize how bad we were. it's just going to take time, BUT things are looking MUCH better than last. Nix play calling gave us a chance to win the game. We did not have this last year. We flat out SUCKED!

In reference to putting in Harris. I believe your right if it were up to Nix he would leave marve in. it's randy's call so we will be stuck with it until one of them transfers.i hope its not marve.
RS is still making rookie mistakes in his second season

Posted by: mark | October 03, 2008 at 12:48 AM

Totally agree with this one. You gotta remember Shannon is a linebacker who's dealt with defense his entire career. This HC job is the only time in his career that he's had to focus on offense and he treating them like a defense. If you sub out your best skill players (Coop, Marve, some receivers) in the second quarter you disrupt their rhythm, its plain and simple. and yes, for an offense full of freshmen and sophomores rhythm is even that much more imoprtant. When they get back on the field they have to try to find it again and as we've seen vs. Uif and NC they didn't until the last drive and it was too late then. It's necessary to sub guys out on defense to keep fresh guys in but on offense you have to give guys the opporunity to get in "the zone" and if they're sitting on the bench for 6-7 minutes every second quarter you decrease that chance.

A much better idea would be to let Marve play the enire first half. Bring Harris out to start in the 3rd for two series and see how he produces, this way it's more natural and Marve can truly come back out and reestablish himself and concentrate on being a closer. As far as Coop, RS should let the players have a little more say-so in letting them tell him if they are tired or not. If Coop says he can go in the second let him go. Don't assume by taking him out in the second and puting him back in there in the 4th quarter that that is the only mode for success. I love RS and I love what he's done there so far but the in game coaching is very similar to the Coker days and the subbing thing is the one thing that I see that is unorthodox and is messing up the offensive rhythm. You can't coach offense like you coach defense and RS knows defense. He should let Nix have more say-so in this as well, (him being a former quarterback and understanding this fully).

Lastly, every game is different. You can't do the same exact thing in every game. Does he think teams won't watch the film, know that he's going to put Jacory in, in the second quarter and then blitz the hell out of him? At least bring him in at a different part of the game each week. It's too regimented and shows that he's more concerned with sticking to the plan in his head than game-planning during the game (making adjustments, changing schemes) something that Butch Davis gave us a clinic on last week. I want Randy to succeed so bad and I hope he learns from these early season mistakes and gets it right. He's doing all the right things otherwise he just needs to let Nix make these decisions because he's more knowledgable (he's a freaking quarterback!).

Beat FSU! Go Canes!

Of course GameDay isn’t going to the lifeless fish house. Why would they? An “official” said that they expect “70,000 for the game.” What a load of krap. That place won’t even sniff 50k. It looks mighty empty in there with 25thousand empty orange seats. You’re football program is still heading down as you start understand what a terminally krappy stadium situation you are stuck in.

GameDay only goes to locations that have an actual gameday spirit OUTSIDE the stadium as well as inside. The only thing outside Dolphin stadium is a couple hundred acres of nothing. Virtually everyone that comments on Dolphin Stadium says the same thing;it’s a nice “venue” but a “terrible place to watch a game.” Enjoy the reality of knowing that your school just doesn't have the resources to compete at the top level anymore. You're beginning to understand.

It’s funny when DuhU outprices lower bowl tickets and fans in the upper deck ( binoculars required) are looking down at empty seats. Just a small detail of an enormous bungling of a very important matter in the history of the UM football program. Those empty seats are your new reality. Enjoy.

Cane360 hit it dead on. You get a lot of these "savior" coaches that come in to great programs and reap the benefits of the hard work and foundations laid by their predecessors. Saban may be a better coach than Shula, but Shula was out there recruiting through all the turmoil, and it's his kids that are winning for Saban. Urban Meyer had the same thing at UF. Zook, for all his faults (and it looks like he maybe didn't have faults, he's doing a heck of a job at Illinois), was a great recruiter, and left a rediculous amount of talent for Meyer to win with when he arrived.

Coker, on the other hand, left NOTHING! He logged onto recruiting services, scoured the country for 5-star recruits and brought them in regardless of their personalities, work ethic, or ability to play in the UM system. He expected all the athletes to fit into his system, and when they didn't evolve or change they would cry about it and stab each other in the back. Shannon is now doing all the work that Zook and Shula had to do at their schools, and here is hoping that they don't fire Shannon and bring in someone else to reap the rewards of his hard work.

Good interview Manny. You hit the nail on the head at the beginning of your interview. My oh my... how we forget how bad our secondary looked in that second half. I will be there tomorrow in the upper level (cheap seats) cheering on them "Miami boyz". Everyone pay attention to the D-line and the secondary. If they can put pressure on Ponder, the DBs and UM will have a good day and roll. Otherwise... "bring the butter to put on the toast (DBs)"


Don't you remember that Harris was the key to bringing in the NWern Championship Team, as a whole. He was the ringer and he was promised to be able to compete for the job. He and His parents were concerned of him sitting on the bench and Randy must of said something like... If he can compete, then he'll see playing time and if he did say it, then his word is his bond and nothing else will change it... He's stubborn that way, so get over it.

Posted by: Cat5 Cane | October 02, 2008 at 10:29 AM


grace us with your presence ...
ESPN.com's heather dinich dutifully reads Eye on the U ...
hi sweetie ...


If the Canes lose a football game in Dolphin Stadium, does anyone know about it?


Posted by: gaturd agent provocateur | September 30, 2008 at 02:26 PM
not surprisingly, you overlook the millions out there in TV land ...
from sea to shining sea ...
viewer interest ensures ...
U never walk alone ...


all-u-can-eat free dressing,

You must be really concerned about the U to type a message that long. Keep on typing, I know your worried about the U.

FYI - 3 of the 4 games have been on National TV, and so will this weeks. Recruits love that!

6 Ring coming soon!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: all-u-can-eat free dressing | October 03, 2008 at 10:25 AM

What is your freaking problem? You have issues dude. Sorry THE U has done some mean and hateful things to you, whatever those may be, but get over it, and move on. You are a child! Grow up, and mature. Stop picking on the tiny PRIVATE university in Coral Gables. Better yet, STOP HIDING BEHIND YOUR KEYBOARD. Why don't you come out, tough guy? You freaking WUSS!

Have you even seen this 2009 recruiting class, you freaking moron! Get on the short bus, Mr. Dum-Mass!

No joke, Green. Sure we don't fill the stadium because we have kids from all over the nation and world going to school here. And anyone who cannot afford to go to school here, go to UF or FSU. It isn't like we can have every red neck with one tooth coming to all our games. As I walked through UF to go to the game, I sure as heck didn't see any graduates from UF. You can't tell me those one tooth hillbillies went to school there. They are Santa Fe rejects just like our friend here, all-u-can-eat Gator Meat!

Cane360 Hey Fellas real canesrule tosses 9 salads here

Gators compete against what? You want tickets out you go to the Gator game.

Canes compete against what? Fins, Heat, Panthers, Marlins.

Now can you afford tickets to all teams in Miami? I didn't think so!

Manny, nice article!
Go Canes!

They are showing Miami and FSU on ESPN Classic from2002

That's what the true UM team played. Those days are gonna be coming back. Nix need to take some notes.

Hey Manny do you know the update with Zach Kane?
what the lates about him?
and what up with C.J ODOM man that kid can hit where did he go?? do anyone know ?

insidetheu source:
We caught up with LB Zach Kane, who signed with Miami in February, but enrolled at Milford Academy (NY) this fall as he is dealing with legal issues. See what Kane had to say about how things are going, where he stands with Miami, the latest with his legal issues, and more

Why didn't you ask Nix why he plays not to lose instead of playing to win?

first off if jacorey transfer he can start at west verginia because pat white is a senior so dont say he would have to wait cause alot of teams could use him now more then miami marve has 5 touchdowns and 3 pics jacorey isnt even in the game long enough to throw a touchdown and jacorey is young and look what he is doing i think in due time jacorey will be the starter randy shannon is giving him experience for next year

john, get off that pot! not once has marve not looked better than jacory this season! jacory is one of the best QBs in college football.

you tossed my salad and ate all you could eat. get off our blog you wanker!!!!

Dear Patrick Nix;

I will no longer defend you or your coaching ability. Your consistent misuse of the words "good & well" have done you in.

People perform well, not good. Good is an adjective, as in, he is a good player and today he played well. Since you do not have a "good" grasp of English grammar, I hope you do "well" as a coach, since you do not possess the proper use of the English language, your credentials preclude you from a meaningful alternative occupation.

Jcorry or MArve, they both look pathetic in that offense! when are we going to get a qb that throws for 300 yds !!!!!!! please God! this is torture!
look at so many programs with qbs that can throw and receivers who can catch! even if they lose: Oklahoma, Notre Dame, yes, NCarolina, Florida, texas, Texas Tech, etc etc etc. We have thses pathric Mr Florida Football! Please do something like win a game! The D is always winning games for youlosers! And for all you Jacorry lovers, he can't manage a whole game yet and if you think he does, you guys are from another dimension!

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