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Thursday's practice report

When you have a bye week like the University of Miami has this late in the season (a break of nearly two weeks off between games) it can be easy for a young football team to lose focus. But these baby Canes don't appear like they are losing any.

Randy_shannon2UM resumed practice Thursday afternoon at Greentree Practice Field (their first real one since Saturday's thrilling come-from-behind win at Virginia) and coach Randy Shannon said his team looked sharp working on fundamentals in full pads for two hours. There could be a good explanation -- Shannon has been keeping things light. Instead of spending a few extra days preparing for Virginia Tech, Miami players haven't been doing extra studying with coaches. If they have, it has been on their own. Several players including Javarris James said players have come in to study on their own and work out on their own.

BryanpataSomething else Shannon has been doing: avoiding talk of Bryan Pata. On the eve of the 2-year anniversary of Pata's shooting death, Shannon declined to talk about Pata. And those who were closest to Pata like defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, Antonio Dixon, roommate Dwayne Hendricks and Eric Moncur didn't talk with reporters either. Friday, UM will have a 5 a.m. practice -- that's a good way to make sure the guys are in bed early -- and then will take another day off before starting to preparing for the Hokies and next Thursday night's showdown on Sunday afternoon.

"If you try to get ahead for Virginia Tech players start to get bored because you see it more than you normally do," Shannon said. "You have to keep that edge on them of not really doing anything until next week... We worked on a lot of fundamentals [today], special teams, technique stuff and individual drills. That's all we'll do. Then we'll come back on Sunday, get ready for Virginia Tech."

> While a good portion of the players on UM's roster are either freshmen or sophomores who never got a chance to play with Pata, a couple guys spent some time talking about him Thursday. But unlike last year when Pata talk was natural, this year, nobody on the team seems to be doing much of it at all. It might just be because guys no longer want to bring up the bad memories.

"I haven't heard anybody bring it up," safety Ryan Hill said. "Why would you want to talk about an anniversary like that, for something that is so bad. I feel like they maybe could have done more. But it's a situation where it's like a cold case now. I feel like this was over a long time ago... I'm sure there are a lot of murders that go unsolved each year. Maybe someday somebody will turn themselves in so he can rest in piece. But right now, this is all we have to go by."

Still, that doesn't stop Hill or Javarris James from wondering time to time what happened that night. James said players will still share their favorite Pata stories from time to time. "We try not to forget about him," James said. "But I think we all prefer the stories about him smiling and having fun than his last day."

> Several Canes players were making plans to watch the Hokies' Thursday night victory over Maryland after practice including James, who said his ankle injury was nothing serious and he expects to play against the Hokies. Although many players weren't expected to stay up for most of it because of UM's 5 a.m. practice Friday. Quarterback Jacory Harris said he had to go home and write a paper, but would make sure he finished in time to catch the game. Harris said he has no problem waking up in the morning for practice -- but even a 5 a.m. practice is pushing it. "If I wake up at 4:45, I'll be sure to jog out there," Harris joked.

> There's no doubt who received the majority of the votes from UM players in Tuesday's Presidential Barack_obamaElection -- Barack Obama. Offensive tackle Jason Fox was seen on TV celebrating on Tuesday night when Obama won. Quarterback Robert Marve admitted Thursday he was an Obama fan and thought it was pretty cool Obama recently voiced his opinion about having a playoff system in college football.

> Jacory Harris talked Thursday about picking up some pounds -- and gaining strength in his arm. "Coach Nix had us out here throwing across the field, just basically doing drills to strengthen our arm. I feel a lot better. I feel I can go out there and throw it about 70 yards right now."

For all your audio needs including interviews from today, be sure to check out our UM audio page.

Comments

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Hey Manny, what happened to all the comments just now?

Anyways good to see that Nix is working on JH and RM on gaining arm strength. Would love to see JH throw a 60 yard strike leading the receiver the whole way for a TD.

Great job Manny.

Bye weeks are DREADFUL!!!

This is a public services announcement. Some of U fans are a little to emotional for me. Ive never seen MEN be so up and down about things. One week your happy and the next week your ready to fire ever one.Then your complaining that the team is mediocre and talking about what coaches we need to get. Then making a big deal about us having two Mr. florida QB'S and swearing that one of them has to go. Why? Do any of U have some inside information, U know some connects that is giving u guys some good quotes. We have two QB's to build a team around and if one of them leaves ( which i believe wont happen) then it is what it is. It just drives me crazy how up and down SOME of U guys can be. I don't know where all the emotions are coming from. How can grown men be so emotional? The answer is i don't know... This isn't the first down time this program has been through and it wont be the last one either. This is collage football people thats whats its all about building young talent. Some times U miss and don't get the right players which leads to this bad time but its up to the program to get it right not us. All I know was last year we didn't know how good the team was going to be into the season and they went 5-7. This year we came in knowing that we were in rebuilding mode and we are 6-3 with three games left and and moving in the right direction. I'm seeing something I didn't see out of the team last year, these kids are COMPETING every game, every quarter and every minute.So what I'm saying is MEN ITS TIME FOR U TO STAND UP POKE YOUR CHESTS OUT AND STOP BEING SO EMOTIONAL. ITS A FEMALE TRAIT. ( NO OFFENSE TO THE FEMALES U KNOW I LOVE YA.) lol

ACT ACCORDINGLY

Win lose or draw

IN RS I TRUST

I agree with you, miamiboi. Unfortunately, I think only about half the people who post on here actually read previous comments. Many of the people who post on here are either letting go of some steam or not even Canes fans. That's just a fact that we faithful bloggers have to live with. Best thing to do is ignore the stupid and bad comments and simply discuss the issues with the people who seem to be mislead by something or have good comments (as I'm doing here...I hope).

Also, I think you have to realize that many of the issues that come up on this blog are what help Manny (and the rest of the media) keep his job. If people didn't come on here and rant and rave about things, the Herald would ultimately decide that nobody's interested and could pull the plug on the whole ordeal. I, for one, certainly appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinions (albeit with a bit more civility than some) and appreciate the job Manny does. Sometimes, in my opinion, Manny makes some mistakes with his subject or word choice (and that's human), but he does an excellent job getting the scoop and discussing it.

As I said last night before the blogs went away: if Harris throws a 70 yard strike to an open guys down field, I'll be on my feet screaming with my hands in the air. That would be awesome! I'd do the same if Marve does it, of course. Or even if Cooper gets another chance to throw one down field.

miamiboisince85 and AZCanesDude,

I agree with both of you! Most of the negative comments come from people who don't know football or hate Miami and don't want to see them succeed. They act like Cane fans but they actually aren't. I hate to tell them, but Miami is on the RISE! We might lose a few games but that is part of the rebuilding process, it takes time.

Randy is doing a great job of turning this program around, and he should have at least 4 year to do it.

In Randy we trust!

^Some Great Posts^ Lets see how long it takes for the slow minded to begin their nonsense...

I think Jimmy Johnson said it best last year when he said to Hurricane opponents "you better get them now, because in a couple years they will be domninating again". This team is on the right track again.

Every true canes fan should check out the GT-UNC game tomorrow and cheer for GT.

I know I will!!!!

GO CANES!!!!

i wish politics and entertainment would not be mixed

Ugh, do I really have to cheer for GT? I guess if UNC is going to lose to someone, it should be to a good team and not NCSt or something.

I can't watch the game because out here in Rose Bowl territory I'm blessed with having to watch Michigan v. Minnesotta. Instead of a conference tilt featuring two ranked teams in GT and UNC.

And an aside I can't stand the stupid overrated cheer. Enough.

ESPN loves playing those early Big-10 games for some reason. They aren't even that entertaining. I suppose OSU/NW is somewhat entertaining, but the UM/MN game is pathetic. I wouldn't complain if they at least showed UGA/UK.

Any word on Jason Fox

AZCane,

The best will be in a couple weeks when I'm certain this area (Seattle) will get to have the Apple Cup on display which will probably feature what an 0-11 UW against the mighty 1-10 WSU Cougars. Yeah!!!

I'm ok with that because its truly local but please ESPN spare me the Purdue against the likes of Indiana that you love to showcase on the West Coast because you really believe College Football fans give a hoot about Rose Bowl tradition. Keeping my rant going... A true college football fan wants to see the teams available on a daily basis thank you very much.

OK I'm done with that for now,

GO Canes.

oops insert "the best" teams available

Sorry,

as a Cape Fear Cane I get to read and hear about the Tar Heels and Butch Davis quite a bit. The Tar Heels also had a bye week - going into the GT game - they prepared heavily and it showed in their domination of the Yellow Jackets. One thing that Davis did which made a lot of sense, was to have the defense practice againstt the scout team with no ball. Doing so drove home, staying home and staying on assignments - it obviously worked. The U should not look past the Hokies but they had better be watching a lot of film because the GT offense could ruin them. Also be aware that NC State has been making progress every week - each year we seem to get upended by an engineering oriented school - now we play 3 in a row. Beware of the engineers of Movember???

as a Cape Fear Cane I get to read and hear about the Tar Heels and Butch Davis quite a bit. The Tar Heels also had a bye week - going into the GT game - they prepared heavily and it showed in their domination of the Yellow Jackets. One thing that Davis did which made a lot of sense, was to have the defense practice againstt the scout team with no ball. Doing so drove home, staying home and staying on assignments - it obviously worked. The U should not look past the Hokies but they had better be watching a lot of film because the GT offense could ruin them. Also be aware that NC State has been making progress every week - each year we seem to get upended by an engineering oriented school - now we play 3 in a row. Beware of the engineers of Movember???

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