« Linebacker Brandon Marti arrested | Main | Dwayne Collins out tonight vs. UNC »

UM still a coach's dream

The University of Miami may not have the budget to pay coaches top dollar or a recent history of success one would imagine enticing enough to make outsiders believe this is a place the best football leaders in the country want to be.

But there is something about The U (no matter what it is lacking right now in a 19-19, three-year span of ordinary football) that still makes it an extraordinary place for coaches to want to be. I believe its because it's a place where all the right ingredients are in place to hit the game-winning home run and be the hero.

New defensive coordinator John Lovett met the media Thursday. That's exactly what new defensive coordinator John Lovett meant when he used the phrases "very thrilled," "very fortunate," and "very lucky," to describe his feelings about getting the job. Lovett, 58, has been in a lot of other coaching huddles. Auburn. Clemson. Mississippi. And most recently, Butch Davis' up at North Carolina, a team most could argue is in a much better position than UM to succeed having won their last two meetings against the Canes.

But coming to UM? No way Lovett was going to pass that up, no matter how hard it was to walk into Davis' office and tell him he was leaving for another team in the ACC. The same could be said for offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. This is a guy who won a Super Bowl with Pittsburgh, was in line to move up the coaching ladder with a Philadelphia Eagles team that was in the NFC Championship game. But then, The U came calling. Didn't Bill Young say the same things a year ago before he returned home for the only job that was really better?

Lovett told us he's been eyeing the Canes a long time -- even before he stopped delivering furniture or driving a zamboni during hockey games at Mount Union College when he first got into coaching. 

"When I was a coach, one of the first places I visited was the place," Lovett said. "I visited Dave Campo, who had just taken a job here. I was at the University of Maine. He said come down here and talk some football. They had just beaten Oklahoma, won the national championship that year Because of that trip I also met Tommy Tuberville. Coach [Butch] Davis was working here at the time. I made a lot of good contacts. Every time you looked when I was a young coach, this was the U. They always had terrific players, were in the hunt for a national championship. It was a place that `Geez, it would be great to coach here someday.''

> Lovett has his chance now and he knows he'll have to act fast with less than two weeks before the start of spring football. He told us he still hasn't familiarized himself with the players and only recently started to watch film. The good news is he's going to make UM's transition to a fourth different coordinator in four seasons as easy as possible. Instead of learning a new language, Lovett said he'll try to keep the same terminology for most of the stuff he's implementing. "I'd rather one person learn it than 50 people learn it," he said. "To me that makes a lot of sense."

> His defense will also not stretch beyond the playing limits of his player's talents or smarts. "It'll be similar to what they've done here," Lovett said. "We'll base out of a four-man front, play some zone coverage, man coverage, some type of pressure. It's not like we'll come in and change the whole scheme, be blitzburg. It'll be in that format and style. Every place I go I try to find out what the guys we have can do and cater to them. If you don't have corners that can cover, defensive ends that can play inside, you have to adjust the personnel you have to make it fit, be successful."

> Credit special teams coach Joe Pannunzio for helping bring Lovett over. Lovett said the two are old friends and after Pannunzio asked him if he was interested, he passed it on to Shannon who did the rest. 

> While many of us think Randy Shannon might have a bigger hand with UM's defense in light of him telling us he might just do the job himself, Lovett expects to be running the show on his own. "Obviously everything we do I'll run by him, especially if it's something different," Lovett said. "I've worked for Tommy Tuberville, Butch Davis. Both those guys were defensive coaches. Neither really meddled in what I was doing. The big thing all of these guys want is they want to make sure what you're doing fits in their philosophy and that the kids are playing fast and hard."


In all, we got a chance to speak with four players Thursday: offensive tackle Jason Fox, linebacker Sean Spence, kicker Matt Bosher and defensive end Eric Moncur. We didn't learn a whole lot beyond the fact they're very excited about taking on what will be a very challenging start to the 2009 season. But there were some brief thoughts, notes to pass along.

Sean Spence > For starters, Canes fans need not worry about Sean Spence getting a big head after his big freshman season. The kid said his father, a Miami Northwestern assistant coach, still calls him every week to remind him where he came from and what he needs to work on. Spence said he's definitely taking on more of a leadership role with Glenn Cook gone, teaching fellow freshmen like Arthur Brown, Jordan Futch and Ramon Buchanon what he learned last year. Spence also told me he's gained six pounds of muscle from end of last season and is now weighing 213.

> Fox is stepping up his game, too. Fox said he can't believe he's already a senior (neither can I) and Spence said he's noticed Fox taking more of a leadership role in the weight room, getting on other players and holding them accountable. With several offensive linemen gone and several newcomers, Fox said he knows its going to be a challenge to fill some holes. When asked if he thought prep school recruits Brandon Washington and Jermaine Johnson might be able to help right away, he said it was up to them and their work ethic.

"I remember the first game I started at Florida State – it was an experience for me seeing the change in the speed of the game," Fox said. "If players don't see the field right away it's mostly learning the offense. The game is so complex. It takes as much time in the film room and studying the play book as anything else. It's harder than people realize. It can be extremely challenging to an incoming freshman who is not only trying to learn football, but get adjusted to college life. It's a whole out of body experience."

> As for Moncur, he said he was really worried he might not get a chance at a sixth-year of eligibility. ACC rules require players to wait until the end of the season to file for medical redshirts. Moncur's return next season should be a great influence on Adewale Ojomo, Allen Bailey, Marcus Forston and the rest of the talented linemen UM has. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sorry, my grammer on that last post was really crapy!

If the U finishes 2-2 or better through its first 4 games against ranked teams, they will set themselves up nicely for a great year and potential BCS Bowl or greater. Although each of the first 4 teams the Canes face are ranked, each team also have significant holes to fill. FSU has to replace its starting WRs, RB, LBs and DBs. Both GT and VT have to replace their best defensive players, and both have to replace some DLs, DBs, LBs and OLs. OU has to replace its entire offensive line and receivers. The Canes, however, bring most of their 2-deep starters back on both sides of the ball. The growth of the '08 class (who definitely delivered on the field like no other freshman class has at UM) will determine the success of this team next year and beyond.

If Whipple can turn the offense around as Massachusetts Cane says he can(50+ pts/500 yds. per game, although I would be satisfied with 42+ yards), and Lovett can simply build on what Young's defense from last year, the Canes will win at least 10 games in '09 and appear in a BCS bowl.

Dan Morgan is coming back out of retirement.

Add another Cane to the list of NFL players. Vilma and Morgan in the back field. can you say scary?

calicanesfan, see your point, but my point was that I did not think the U would have done worse. Losing last 4 games is about as bad as it gets. My point was that the higher talent would have produced better than experience. Guess that is just an opinion. I for one would not have second guessed Randy for player the young players and giving them experience.

I love all you turd fans who continue to disrespect the U ...

It's nice to see you are all still jealous after all these years.

You will never measure up, ever.

Really SebastianIBIS?

I hate all the turd fans! Give them a couple of Cane type years (that we had grown accustomed to)and they become more arrogant than the Canes that litteraly dominated decades instead of just a 3 year span.

But I see your point.

Manny correct me if I am wrong but...

dlu, your theory is correct only it is the first to "commit" not "sign" since no one can sign until next Febuary's Signing Day. Although,..., they could accelerate their graduation to next December and be at the "U" on scholarship next January before actual signing day.

I believe a scholarship offer is only valid for 2 weeks. Therefore if the "U" makes an offer and the recruit accepts within the 2 weeks of the date that it is offered, the "U" must follow the offer up with a Letter of Intent to the athlete the following signing day. If the athlete does not commit within 2 weeks of the offer then the scholarship offer is not binding on the "U".

An early offer, earliest being September of their junior year per NCAA rules, is a marketing tool. If you see a kid that is a going to be a probable 4 or 5 star recruit next year, it gets you in the door early. Most kids will not make the commit until much later to weigh their options, take their visits, and have their 15 minutes of fame. As all of you witnessed on signing day, the commit means nothing until the university receives the signed letter of intent, usually faxed, from the athlete.

The "U" can pull any of the offers that are older than 2 weeks. As the recruits start commiting you will see the "U" cancel offers as positions of need are filled or if a high school athlete gets into scholastic, legal, or injury problems during their senior year.

The fact that Miami already has 40 offers extended shows that they are getting into the high schools and evaluating athletes when they are 9th and 10th graders. College basketball is now showing up at middle school games to be seen by athletes and already get their attention. Recruiting has changed from when we were in high school.

You plant many seeds so that hopefully you can harvest the best crop.

Tranquilizar, Texas seems able to fill up their scholarships early and often. I never even here about Texas in the recruiting process very much. They are filled up early. I am just saying that would be the way to go next yr. for the U with all of the Fla talent available and avoid all of the drama. JUst get recruits that know they want to be Canes.


an early offer does not eliminate drama.

Bryce Bruce commited February of 2008 but did not sign the LOI on February 4, 2009.

My long post was to explain why the "U" made 40 offers for approximately 26 scholarships available. This is now the norm for all major colleges.

Bryce is just scared that the only playing time he's gonna see with the competition here is on the Greentree Practice Field and not in Dolphin Stadium. Lamar Miller already called him out in the media saying he's gonna prove he's the best and that included Bryce.

Bring it on!!! According to Lamar anyway, don't know about Bryce.

dlu. You may have a point, but in Shannon's system mental understanding, discipline and smarts will trump talent any day. Just ask Wille Williams and Robert Marve.

trans, it would eliminate the drama if the U would make it known that all scholarship offers end on signing day. And stick to that as a U policy.

All I am saying with the signing drama is that some schools seem to have risen above it. And I would like to see the U rise above it. Especially now that the U is on the rise, it just is not fair to the other football players. Why reward dumb behavior.

I think every university should be mandated to pull scholarships after the NSD unless the student petitions to the NCAA and get granted an extension. This will bring back the excitement to the NDS coverage and ESPN will especially be greatful. Last year, Tyrell Pryor would have been granted an extension because he was in the middle of basketball season, but this year Bryce Brown would not have been granted an extension and be forced to make his decision on NSD.

The problem quickly becomes obvious: if you don't clean house in-state any given year, you're left holding the bag. The less obvious problem, though, is that high-four and five star recruits are exponentially more valuable than three and low-four star players. If we were to plot it out, the resulting graph would look something like this:

They don't call 'em "can't miss" prospects for nothing.

this graph was interestin, is counter to my view on BB, I think that he is over rated but the stats are huge seeing the graph in favor of 5 star players, at least that is what the graph says.

I agree on the signing day mandate, Calicanes, My graph did not show up, oh well, it showed a huge up swing in 5 star recruits vs 4 star recruits as far as their college careers.

Willie Williams = 5 star linebacker Miami

Clay Matthews = Walk on linebacker USC


I thought that too calicane but the plotted out graph % wise seem to indicate differently. It makes sense in a way, a guy with huge talent is easy to spot. The guys that may develop into huge players, diamonds in the rough are harder to spot. I still think BB is way over rated and and error in talent evaluation.

Willie Williams was a dead give away, came to the U with a lock on his ankle to monitor his movement. Gee could be a character problem coker.

I might add the same thing for BB could be a character problem also. Not in the same way but still a character problem.

Bryce would see his playing time only at Greentree fields his first 2 years if he came here. I don't think he's hungry enough, mostly because his "trainer/manager/spokesperson/advisor" Brian Butler and Bryce's dad are filling his head full of crap and he's thinking he's gonna have everything handed to him. I think he's looking for a handout starting position and he's not gonna find that here. I really do hope he does come here though, so he can get his head straightened out by his new Miami brothers and develop into an elite back with a great attitude.

Dominating Kansas isn't the same as dominating Florida.

Manny,does anyone know if the policy about media at spring practices will be different this year?

I think the entire Bryce Brown saga sounds too fishy. He basically has an agent. You can't tell me this guy is not looking for a payday somewhere. You can't tell me that he will just go away once BB enrolls in his college of choice. I will welcome him if he choose Coral Gables, but it looks like competition will be stiff. If his brother performance is any indication, it will take a year or two to adjust. If I were RS, I would make it apparent to BB that we are a team. That means earning your spot on the field.

I agree with calicanes///

There are more five star busts than there are 5star players who really turned into somethingspecial. I mean, a so-called 5 star player (whcih arent many) is a player that according to the "geniuses" ( and use that termloosely) such as Mel Kiper and Todd Mcshay are absolute can't lose players. Te 4-2 40 guys, the 6-5 wrs. the 6-9 320 lb 18 year old OT. But reality is, youcant compae hs competition across theboard, except for in a few places... So CAl, texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. Ohio? maybe/

That whole ratingsystem is so flawed, and the goof balls at ESPN so full of themselves but they sound like sheister cr salesmane and they are wrong 50% of the time!!!!!

I bet Mel Kiper can type better than me, though.

Dan Morgan should stay retired, that dude can't help but stick his helmet somewhere and get hurt. You were a great player for a while, but you've had too many concusions. Quit while you're ahead...no pun intended.

Why are we still talking about that Kansas running back? He's not coming here, let it go.

Mel Kiper and his kind are just trying to make a buck...they aren't really hurting anyone, so it's tough to hate on them for that. We fans are the ones who are really responsible for the mess this has become.


you have a fixation on BB. Move on. Oregon and other schools have not pulled their offers. It is still mentioned that he may make a recruiting trip to Univ.of Tenn. Don't change your recuiting system because of this one teenager. Don't pull the offer and damage your relationship with Arthur Brown who will be a starter this Fall.

I have stated before that it is my opinion that Bryce will sign a LOI elsewhere. If he signs a LOI elsewhere, good PR for the "U" because we stuck by him and he rejected us. If we pull an available scholarship, we look petty: bad pub. If he signs a "U" LOI, more competition and depth at RB. Can you imagine how inspired the other RB will be to prove they are better than the #1 recruit.

Forget BB. Buy your wife a Valentine present and get on with life.

tranquilizar- O ok . I'll give U that one. U have a point.

Actually I think the U looks great if they pull BB's scholarship, not bad, TRANQUILizar. Sends a message that the U is tired of silly recruiting games. Right now its news and is a symbol for the odd state of college recruiting.
Shandel has a funny post on BB one of his better bits of writing.

One benefit of the financial crisis is that now cost of housing arond the U for assistant coaches is affordable, a detriment in the past.

Great Job again Manny!!! One game at a time is the formula to winning. It easy to get caught up in things that are not of importance. Nevertheless, I hope our young team take practices and games one at a time. Also,keep their priorities in order and great things will happen!!!


everybody praised paul johnson for pulling the scholarship of that one kid that took the visit to auburn. he wanted the kid to honor his committment. so idk. it doesn't really seem worth it to me. if the o-line plays better, i think this could be a break-out year for Coop and Chambers. JJ just needs to stay healthy and keep doin what he's been doin: between the tackles running.

With all the talk regarding - Whipple and Roethlesberger, Whipple as a great QB coach - don't be surprised to see significant improvement in the O-Line play.

This is an area of his coaching abilities that kinda fly's under the radar.

But, if you were to go back to Joe Rose's interview with Sparano just after Whipple was hired - you would hear Sparano credit Whipple with everything he knows about O-Line coaching.

In fact, Sparano says Whipple is a great QB coach because of the holes his O-Lines open up for the RB's. Which in turn takes so much pressure off the O-Lines pass blocking and allowing the QB to work the ball to the "best" open receiver.

All this will lead to a tremendous reduction in sacks, QB hurry's and tackles for loss. Which means - extended drives - more points - a rested defense and most importantly - WINS!

rivals states player changes position? Is it Sam Shields? What is the position change?

Yes Sam Shields to defensive. Apparently he has practiced some at that position during practices last season. Its his best chance for the NFL, a lot of people's view. If he can tackle, that will be a plus , U has plenty of receivers need more depth at dB position. SS just might be good on defense. He certainly has the physical skills.

I have one question....Why doesn't the U have the resources to get someone like a Urban Meyer or Les Miles...Are the boosters of Florida will to give more than those of UM....as one of those boosters I wonder where my money is going?

Les Miles is a punk

We have Shannon, that's all that matters!

Bad for Shields, maybe good for the team over all, but kid has been receiver all his career and in his senior year moves to defense. We have a lot of YOUNG receivers and he has the most experience. I think he should stay, and not only be a role model for the adversity he has been through,but also because we need his leadership with a group of although talented, young receivers. Its not like he's gonna start on defense, He's just going to be a backup, and be on the defense for depth. Kudos to Shields for being the ultimate team player, but couldnt we have moved Damien Berry back to his natural position as defensive back, and keep the leadership of a seasoned receiver who we all want to see succeed in his senior year after all he has been through?

We dont win at Virginia without Shields clutch catch early on backed up to our own goal in that 4th quarter drive. Jacory needed someone he could depend on being a young quarterback, and he's going to need a receiver who has been there and done that throughout the course of they're career to help him thorugh his first season as our starting QB.

What is more embarrassing than having your resident retard, canesrule, come on this blog in DRAG and post as UMASSCANE ?

He's desperate

Although I would have like to have seen Shields move to CB last year, I still think this is what do you do with a player that has great sub-4.3 speed, plays well on special teams, but doesn't have great hands. CB will give Sheilds a better chance at paying time this year and the pros next (Frankly, a secondary that only has 3 INTs needs all the help it can get).

Shield's move (probably Sheilds own choice in part) not only signals a weakness in CBs, but also signals that the U is somewhat satisfied with its depth at receiver.

On the Bryce Brown/Brian Butler saga, they now damaging themselves. If BB were to sign with the U, he will have to start all over not only learning plays and getting adjusted to the speed of big-time college football, but BB will have much work to do in order to win over his teammates and disillusioned UM fans. I was listening to WQAM on Sunday morning and a couple of former players have come out to say that BB obviously does not bleed orange and green so it might be in his best interests to go somewhere else.

Shields has been a failure as a WR for all intensive purposes. Moving him to CB is not a bad move at all. I don't agree with those above stating that he really is losing out in this situation. Yes, he is being a team player...but I think he has just as much to gain as he has to lose. Chances are he won't be starting on offense anyway and he has not been known much for his leadership, so those arguments are fairly moot to me. Why not try something new?

This move takes the pressure off of him and gives him a fresh opportunity to shine at a different position that puts a premium on his physical talents. In the system we run the CBs don't have to think as much as in others and Shields inconsistent hands are no longer an issue. Our current CBs have not played extremely well so if he takes care of business (not an easy thing to do, but Shields is supremely talented - the issue will really be mental) he could very easily see the field a lot more on defense than on offense.

At the very least, he can help push the other CBs. Hopefully he can also become even more of an impact player on special teams at the same time(he should be in the kick return rotation, if his head is on straight). Best case scenario, is we have another sort of Hester situation on our hands. Worst case, he doesn't really make an impact beyond special teams (which means nothing changes). This is definitely a good move for the team and possibly a solid one for himself too!

PS - If there is enough RB depth (c'mon Brown, just sign and get on with it), I think moving Berry back would also be a good idea. Either way, wasn't Berry more of a Safety than CB?

I also forgot to mention that Shields move is a positive for the team b/c it opens up more opportunities for the stable of young guys who need to prove themselves!

UM Cane fans still complain about UM coaching changes this year, yet Charlie Weiss is acting as his own OC at the most lucrative program in college football, Notre Dame. Also, Butch Davis has not replaced Lovett and he lost two more coaches today, one a linebackers coach that went to Auburn and the other a TE coach to go to the Browns, yet UNC fans are not pushing the panic button. UNC has at least three major coaching vacancies at this late juncture and UM has none. Imagine, UM fans were panicking over a month ago about its OC and DC vacancies, but it now has quality coaches in both roles while other programs are struggling to fill their vacancies.

News flash:


Posted by John Taylor on February 16, 2009, 6:19 p.m.

Florida offensive lineman Carl Johnson allegedly violated a sexual violence restraining order by making contact with the woman who had requested the protection order, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.

Johnson had the order placed against him last Monday, and the incident that allegedly violated the order occurred this morning.

According to police records, the offensive lineman followed the unnamed woman off of a campus bus. The report said Johnson had several opportunities to get off the bus, but waited until the woman exited to do the same.

The police reports obtained by The Sentinel contained no indication as to why the sexual violence protection order was put in place.

The redshirt junior started the last nine games of the 2008 season after left guard Jim Tartt suffered a shoulder injury.

Ha, ha dumb ass gayturds!!

« 1 2

The comments to this entry are closed.