« Top 60 Countdown: No. 8, DT Allen Bailey | Main | Taylor Cook says he'll be ready if 'it' happens »

Camp Shannon Preview

Are you ready for some football?

I am. Personally, I'm tired of all this preseason talk and I'm excited we are finally going to start seeing the guys we've been writing about run around with helmets on. Canes football season officially gets going in a few hours at Cobb Stadium.

022409_sean_spence THE SCHEDULE: Friday was the first day of organized team activities and included orientation sessions, equipment pick-up and team meetings. An Exclusive Season Ticket Holder Practice will get underway today at 8 a.m. (a practice open to only season ticket holders and members of the media). The school's Hall of Fame will also be open and fans will be able to pose for photos with Vinny Testaverde's Heisman Trophy.

The Hurricanes will work in helmets and shorts Saturday and Sunday, shells on Monday and Tuesday before moving into full pads starting Wednesday. After Saturday’s practice at Cobb Stadium, the team will move over to the Greentree Practice Fields for the remainder of fall camp (which will be closed to the media). Two-a-days will start Thursday, Aug. 13 and the team will have closed scrimmages on Aug. 15, Aug. 21 and Aug. 25. The final practice of camp is Monday, Aug. 31.

MEDIA ACCESS: It won't be great or like it was this spring when we actually got a chance to watch the team practice. So, if you're looking for detailed practice reports they won't exist anywhere. After Saturday, we only get to watch the team stretch But we will be able to talk Shannon every day and up to eight players a day. We'll have to find out what's going on through those interviews. 


Here are some of the questions I hope we'll find answers to by the time camp ends:

1. Which young offensive linemen will really be able to help UM this season? There isn't a bigger question mark on the team than the Canes depth up front. After Jason Fox, Orlando Franklin, A.J. Trump and Joel Figueroa, the level of playing experience dwindles quickly. Matt Pipho, expected to the be the starting right tackle, has no career starts and little playing experience. Beyond him, guards Harland Gunn (UM's strongest lineman) and freshman Brandon Washington and tackles Benjamin Jones and Jermaine Johnson will try to progress quickly enough to be ready should any of Miami's starters go down with an injury. Or could true freshmen Cory White or Jared Wheeler surprise us? Or will Fox, Franklin, Trump, Figueroa and Pipho have to really play all 60 minutes come Sept. 7?

2. How much better will this run defense be under new coordinator John Lovett and with several key players back, including the physically gifted Allen Bailey now permanently at defensive tackle? Beyond strong quarterback play and a wealth of playmakers, UM's calling card has always been the ability to stop the run. The Canes were the worst in the ACC at doing it last year. Will Lovett bring back that attitude? How much will having a healthy Colin McCarthy help? And will Miami's corners actually bring people down instead of arm tackling?

3. How much will the tight end position really be able to help UM this season? Dedrick Epps, trying to fly back from an ACL injury, swears he'll be ready to take a hit and participate in camp. Is he really 100 percent? What is going to happen when he does get hit? How will Jimmy Graham look in a football uniform? His teammates love the way he's played on 7-on-7. But what happens when the pads go on? Are the Canes just going to quietly phase the tight end out of Mark Whipple's offense by the end of camp?

4. How much better will the Canes secondary be? Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. That's all Brandon Harris and Demarcus Van Dyke have been hearing about. The Canes had just four measely interceptions last year. Is John Lovett's new defense going to allow Harris, Van Dyke and the rest of UM's secondary to play more aggressively? Will Harris and Van Dyke become the dominant cover corners UM needs them to be?

5. Which underachieving veterans will step up there game? We know all about how talented UM's young players are. We expect big things from Sean Spence, Jacory Harris, Aldarius Johnson, LaRon Byrd, Marcus Forston, Marcus Robinson and a cast of other sophomores and redshirt freshmen. But which underachieving veterans are finally going to show us they can help this team out too? Outside of Jason Fox, there haven't been many. Eric Moncur, Colin McCarthy and Randy Phillips are seen as veteran leaders. All three were expected to do big things at Miami. But injuries have slowed them. Who makes the biggest splash? When will we Chavez Grant, Darryl Sharpton, Leonard Hankerson, Javarris James or Sam Shields do something big for this team?


There aren't a ton really. But I'll provide the ones I believe will at least be intriguing.

> Right tackle: Jeff Stoutland is standing behind Matt Pipho. He says he can do the job at right tackle. But what if he falters? Ben Jones was battling behind him in the spring along with Jermaine Johnson. I've heard Joel Figueroa could get a look. 

> Receivers No. 5 & 6: Randy Shannon said the rotation at receiver will get shorter. OK. But no shorter than six really. After Aldarius Johnson, LaRon Byrd, Thearon Collier and Travis Benjamin, four guys will probably end up competing for two spots. I believe it will between Tommy Streeter versus Leonard Hankerson (on the outside) and Kendall Thompkins and Davon Johnson (on the inside). 

> Third string RB: Freshman Mike James stole the spotlight in the spring while Lee Chambers sat out with an injury. Damien Berry won Spring Game MVP honors. Lamar Miller arrived on Friday. Running backs not named Graig Cooper or Javarris James combined for 62 carries, 289 yards and 3 TDs last year. Who will vault to top of the pecking order for scraps? My money is on Smiley.

TWITTER UPDATES: Last, but not least. I'll be out at practices throughout the week. Whenever anything important breaks, I'll post news and notes on my twitter page. Look me up at HeyNavarro


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

See you there Manny!



Right now i'm not very pleased...been hearing reports thatTommy Tuberville might end up the HC at the U. Randy Shannon is the right man for the job hands down. Back when ol Tommy was at Auburn and things were runnin good he decided he didn't want us when we were looking for a coach, he flat out dissed us. Now that Shannon and Co. have us going in the right direction I start hearing his name pop up. Secondly, I am not very pleased with the job that Kirby Hocutt is doing either. More so than anyone else in the program he needs to step up his game. At some point during this season if a new contract isn't signed for the coach I will be very very PO'd to say the least.

Hocutt wants to see some wins before giving Randy and extension.

However, I agree Shannon is doing a fantastic job and the program seems to be going the right directions.

If the O-line holds up and the D stops the run, we'll be unstopable.

let the games begin. i wanna see everybody's face after week 8. love the canes. lets make it happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm just not feeling Hocutt that much. If we won 19 NC's in a row I wouldn't change my mind on him.

we lose shannon we lose miami dade player



a good friend of U met his demise …
WQAM fired their Beast for speaking ill of the Miami dolphins …
how dare he ; )
let those sonsofbitches hear you …

joe bell (GM) joe@wkis.com
josh darrow (PD) joshd@wqam.com



I guess Jolly Joe Bell finally figured out the Beast is Jewish. Elbow, out he goes.
Oh well. Didn't belong on the air. Too bad this wasn't a package deal with Zagacki.
His lasting legacy (and it's a good one) will always be "The Bong Song" (Sisqo parody) from Neil's show.
-- IbisNation

I hope it's not true. He was one of very few guys that could / would do shows mostly dedicated to Canes talk.
-- Gooby

its a bad deal that one of the few reporters that actually cares about the team was let go, but we are due an upgrade
-- jevoasis

i've been out of so. fla for basically two years. do guys like bailey and zagacki admit that coker was a joke? or do they still defend him as vehemently as they did when he was a dead man walking?
-- krcane

one of they crew that loved to bash the "village idiots" as Joe Z. liked to refer to so many of the people who didn't like Coker. I don't feel bad that he's gone because it opens up the possibility of an improved broadcast.
-- traitor71

i listen to qam for canes stuff, like basketball, baseball and football games and the occassional hurricane hotline. otherwise, i listen to 790. but beast always seemed like a nice guy. he is a true canes fan. anf hey, in this economy, he is married with a kid i think, you should not wish that anyone lose their job.
-- ibiscool

Although he was a bit of a jerk to his callers, he really did care about the UM programs. The whole crew of Beast, Zagacki, Darrow (who I think is the worst of them all), and Bailey is just terrible. It's a shame we can't have better announcers than these clowns.
The only people worth listening to on QAM are Joe Rose (he brings on great guests) and Goldie.
-- Gocanes881

It wasn't always roses between WVUM & WQAM when I worked for the former, but the Beast was by far the friendliest of the QAM broadcasters and very generous to student broadcasters with his time. He was incredibly nice to me, and was always willing to get VUM kids internships or help anyway he could. I hope he lands on his feet, he's a true Canes fan.
-- TruePoacher

When will the axe fall on Balllick Jr. and Zadorki? Not soon enough, I'm afraid.
-- DCF in LA

I will say that it was nice at least having one guy who would always talk 'Cane sports. He was a big fan (no pun).
-- Don Caneleone


I always liked the Beast becuz he was UM guy through and through. He bleed Orange and Green. I think he will be missed.
-- dmatt

NOOOOOOOO!!!!! I loved The Beast. Sad.

I'm just not feeling Hocutt that much.

Posted by: 87' canes | August 08, 2009 at 04:42 AM

I am not very pleased with the job that Kirby Hocutt is doing either.

Posted by: 87' canes | August 08, 2009 at 01:46 A

I’m not feeling you …
displeased with your job …
Kirby gets an A in my book …


I wont pass judgement on Hocutt until after this year. Neither will I say anything about Shannon- because if there was a time to EARN a pay raise, and a long term contract, it is NOW! If UM goes 3-1 or 4-0 after the first 4 games, Hocutt MUST give him the extension and with that a hefty pay raise. IF it is 2-2 or worse, I would wait until after the end of the season. An 8-5 season would be the grey zone. At that moment RS will be on the clock and hot seat. A 9-4 season will be ok. Not great but ok. 10-3 and a great bowl or BCS bowl (win or lose), will be good. 11-2 or 12-2 (if we win the ACC) will be wqhat we all hope for for this season as a stepping stone for the 2010 NC season.

2010 will be the end of gator talk in Florida. It will be the year of the cane.

Playaz- make me a liar- make it 2009.

Not worried about the offense, it will be great. Defense will be good if the attitude is in your face by each player, every play.
Randy , stand on the sideline and watch the show, your job, getting the right character guys and attidude is done. Good job on that.

Manny: What happened to Collier? I saw him limping around, but did see when he injured himself.

Who is Smiley?

screw the big fat lispy beast. Minimum wage job that any one of 100 people could step right into. Too bad Zagacki is still in the fold. He makes the awful Mick Hubert sound electric. Bailey is eternally tarnished for posing in a Speedo on a I-95. At least Bailey brings some enthusiasm to broadcasts. Too bad he's permanently saddled with a Copa stigma.

Mofin, Mike James is smiley.


(hurricanesports.com) Approximately 1,500 exclusive season ticket holders were on hand to catch an early glimpse of the 2009 Hurricanes

Mofin, Mike James is smiley.

Posted by: Nate | August 08, 2009 at 11:36 AM

No, Mike James is the truth & is going to be a BEAST!!! lol

``Typical Day No. One,'' UM coach Randy Shannon said. ``There's always a first sloppy day, but for the most part it was pretty decent. Guys flew around a lot more than I expected because we gave them about 10 days off. So it was a good sign.''

Great . just great .


There aren't a ton really.

So where is all this talent depth we've been hearing about ?

You all keep leaving out Tommy Streeter. He is a diamond in the rough. If you need somebody to catch that ball no matter where it is, Tommy is the guy. Jacory Harris and Tommy Streeter are like ice cream and cake. They play so well together. It's like they read each other's minds. Where is he on the depth chart for this season?

I live in Orlando and big article today on CFB. Feature on FSU and Fisher and all the usual blah, blah, blah. However, good points made on the fact that FSU return a ton of young experienced players and an intact O-line.Fisher was quoted as saying that this would be the team to bring FSU back. It's going to take alot to get out of that initial stretch even at 2-2. As far as the season is concerned it would be best to lose to FSU and OK, and beat GT and VT. A tall order in any case. GO CANES!

DeeMack: I also believe Streeter belongs in the top 5. The guy has height, hands, and deceptive speed. He will probably sync with Jacory Harris as well as Aldarius Johnson.

I don't know why Streeter doesn't get more pub on the blog. I've got him in my top 10 players.

FSU has no receivers and no rbs. Ther D line adn dbs are decimated and they are about tolose 14 wins.

Yaer that FSU comes back? Dont think so Jimbo. Go back to LSU with that smack.

This is "The Guy" everyone! Art, Kehoe, Steamer, etc., etc., etc., etc! While I'm sure that there is more than 1 person spewing their garbage on here, this is the guy that shows up morning, noon and night to wreck the blog!

He is a regular on The Herald's Gator Clause blog, but in reality he spends 90% of his lunchbreak here. Head on over to Gator Clause and let him know what you think of him!

My first Gator game was in something like 1975. It's been quite a journey. It's still getting better thanks to Foley, Meyer, and Gator Nation. It's great to be a Florida Gator.

Posted by: 14-0ToPasadenaWeGo | August 08, 2009 at 11:18 AM

So we already know you have a 14-15 year old daughter and now you tell us you have been going to games since 1975, which probably makes you about 45-55 years old.

Why would a 45-55 year old boy spend all day on the UM blogs spewing garbage like a 13 year old? You are the biggest loser on the web! Bar none, it's not even close!

What causes a normal, law abiding citizen to turn into the biggest internet baby in the world?

I understand that there is A LOT of heartache in there since 1975 at the hands of UM. But c'mon "14", what on earth causes what will follow? Grow up little man, if your dick is that small, then for God's sake go buy a Corvette like all the other midde aged losers do!

You're a middle aged man? With a teenaged daughter? What kind of "dip" does that girl of yours chew? I'm betting Skoal!

Posted by: 14 is an abberation (100+ years doesn't lie) | August 08, 2009 at 01:59 PM

All the blogs are batting your daughter around like a two bit pinball "14"! Way to go! Way to represent your family!

Definition of pathetic: When a blogger hangs on a (Former) rivals blog, almost 1 year after the game was played.




Offensive line and db's are both question marks this yr. We can live with the young db's because the dline will apply the pressure needed to force quick throws, or for the qb's not to even get a throw off. What will decide what type of year we have is our Oline. If they are weak, our frail young qb will struggle also, as will the entire offense. The play of the O-line in week 1 against FSU will tell the tape of the rest of the yr.

No, Mike James is the truth & is going to be a BEAST!!! lol

Posted by: WHAT! | August 08, 2009 at 02:40 PM

Yeah, he is. But they call him smiley because he smiles a lot.


Posted by: Child Please | August 08, 2009 at 07:25 PM

does QAM care about U?
that’s the $64,000 question …
they sacrificed the voice of the University of Miami to placate the goddamn Miami dolphins …
hell, they sacrifice ratings to placate the goddamn Miami dolphins …
shoving that revolting dolphin happy talk down your throat til your ears ring
market leader no more : )
The lovable Beast spoke for U …
far more than the supposed voice joe zagacki who limits his vocabulary to 3 words: uh, um & leadership
I’m not taking this lying down …
and neither should U …



Posted by: Child Please | August 08, 2009 at 07:25 PM

I’m better looking …


Here are the reasons why I truly believe this will be a winning year for the CANES.
Football games are won by being strong in the critical areas on the field, and I believe as a result of improvement in these areas Miami will have a successful season.

1. Center Position: Most don’t want to acknowledge this openly, but this was the weakest position played on the offensive line last year. If your center can’t control the middle of the defensive line, your offensive becomes inadequate to run the ball, which has an affect on the passing game. AJ Trump will be an upgrade!!!

2. Middle Line Backer Position: This will truly be an upgrade from last year. Teams were able to run against the defensive due to the weakness at this position to make plays. Sean Spence will be the smarter candidate for this position. He is a hitter and hitters bring fear to their opponents.

3. Safety Position: If VT can stay healthy and bring that toughness to stop the run in addition to making big hits, Miami defense will be the best defense in the ACC and in the top 10 national.

Make note of this and let me know how it all shakes out in the end.

Which underachieving veterans will step up there game?

It is "their" not "there" game.

The comments to this entry are closed.