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Thad wants Jacory to shake struggles

They might be enemies on the field come Saturday. But when their teams are done battling, Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis plans on putting his arm around the Canes' Jacory Harris and delivering a message: "Keep your head up, 'Lil Bro."

Thaddeus Lewis Lewis, who grew up playing at the Northwest Boys and Girls Club in Miami with the younger Harris, is well aware of how the Canes quarterback has been getting chastised for his interception woes. And even though Lewis would love nothing more than to beat the Canes and help Duke remain eligible for its first bowl game since 1995, the last thing he wants to see is his close friend continue to struggle.

Harris has thrown 16 interceptions this season, second most among Football Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks. He's thrown nine of those picks in his last four games. Lewis, the leader of the ACC's top passing offense, said he's spoken to Harris "a handful of times" throughout the season and tried to help him grasp the different defensive looks he's seeing. The last time they spoke, according to Lewis, was after Harris led UM to a come-from-behind win at Wake Forest.

"I try calling him, but he's like the mayor of Miami. He's hard to get a hold of," Lewis joked. "When I can get a hold of him, I just talk to him about what he's doing on the football field. There's no trash talking, just love. I told him I want to get with him in the off-season and teach him some of the things I've learned. Playing quarterback at this level isn't easy. It's all about decision making. You have to learn a lot from your mistakes. I know where he's at right now."

Lewis does. He's been there before. As a first-year starter in 2006, he had just as much trouble understanding the complex defenses being thrown at him week to week. In 11 starts his freshman year, he threw 16 interceptions -- including one very costly one at the goal line in a crushing 20-15 loss to the Canes.

Lewis said Harris is learning the hard way he can't make every throw he wants to. "He has a great receiving corps," Lewis said. "He's told me sometimes he feels like he can take chances because he thinks his receivers can come down with the ball. I haven't seen all of his interceptions, but you can't blame him for all of them. I've just told him the same thing I'm sure his coaches have -- he needs to see the whole field.

"For a young guy like him, this is his first real year on the job. I told him 'When you throw interceptions, you have to find a theme, a certain look they throw at you on that play and remember to not do it again. And, you have to think of a different way to get rid of the ball in case the defense you see isn't what you studied for.' I know that's happened to him a few times. I also told him about his playaction fakes. I told him I'd help him with that after the season. 

"Jacory is a good guy. No matter what, I always want to see him do good."

Had things been different Lewis might have been able to teach Harris some of these lessons in person. Despite being a two-time All-Dade selection at Hialeah-Miami Lakes High, the Hurricanes never bothered to show Lewis much recruiting interest.

His high school coach Jerry Hughes told before Lewis shared a recruiting diary with me and The Miami Herald before he chose Duke, UM coaches showed up once at his school to check him out and he never heard from them again. The Canes, already with two young quarterbacks named Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman, opted to sign Daniel Stegall instead. Stegall is now an outfielder in the Mets minor league system.

Lewis has turned out to be a pretty good quarterback at Duke -- with 9,375 career yards, 63 touchdowns and 38 INTs. Some guy named Ken Dorsey (9,565 yards, 86 TDs) is the only UM quarterback to have better numbers than that.

"Some people always tell me Thad if you were at The U things would have been different because they had so many quarterback troubles," Lewis said. "I just feel like I've been put in a situation for a reason. Randy Shannon is a good coach. He knows the talent he has in Dade County and he's not going to let it leave now."

JACORY: "WHIPPLE WANTS ME TO STAY AGGRESSIVE"... When asked Tuesday if the fact he doesn't have Robert Marve -- or a capable backup -- looking over his shoulder has affected his style of play this season, Harris said: "I know I take more chances -- way more chances than I would if [I had a backup]. I knew last year if I took more chances that would be it for me, I'd get no playing time. I'm just trying to win games. Basically, that's what it is -- do what's best for my team. These past two games, taking chances, that just wasn't best for the team."

Jacory Harris But is it really so simple to believe Harris is just playing like a Quarterback Gone Wild? When the press conference was over, I asked Jacory privately if offensive coordinator Mark Whipple has asked him to reel in the aggressiveness and stop throwing the deep ball. Not the case.

"Coach Whipple told me to keep playing the way I've been playing," Harris said. "He has a lot of faith in me, trusts me. He just wants me to complete more throws. But he doesn't mind me taking chances. He wants me to be aggressive."

That sounds a lot more like the truth. While center AJ Trump said Harris is also naturally aggressive, he said Whipple encourages Harris not to be afraid of making mistakes. "Whip would never change the play call because Jacory is throwing interceptions," Trump said. "That's the way coach Whip is. He believes in his guys. Whip isn't going to change his mindset in Jacory."

-- The biggest thing to watch coming out of practice this week is how Harris adjusts to playing with a protective piece of equipment on his throwing hand. Harris said he's never played something "like that" before.
 
-- One thing we learned Tuesday, even while Harris hid his arm and cast underneath a large Hurricanes sweater, was he was in pain throughout Saturday's loss at North Carolina. "As soon as I said the cadence the pain would go away and I'd start to forget it. But as soon as I let the ball go, it came right back. I just have to play through it."

FYI... Be sure to check out our audio section. Lots of good, long interviews with seniors Jason Fox, AJ Trump, Chavez Grant and the press conferences of Jacory Harris and Randy Shannon.

Comments

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1st!

Alot of people want to get on here and bash Coach Shannon, Jacory, and Coach whip but forget how bare our cubbard was. The past regime let alot of talent leave our backyard like Thad, because they believed in the " Terrible K's" and we all know where that got us. One major difference from the past and now, instead of regressing every year we are actually getting better!!!!!!! So lets appreciate and move forward like true canes and back our team

Before I say what I'm about to say, I think the canes and Shannon are on the right track. I am very satisfied as a cane fan with the big picture of where Shannon is taking this team. The growth has been there every year that shannon's been on the job. Now having said all that, it's time to stop blaming everything on Larry coker. We are approaching shannon's 4th year and it's time he take ownership of the praise and the criticisism that goes with this team. This shannon's team all the way and and if we win out and go 9-3 he should be rewarded accordingly and if the team falls on their face please don't bring up coker. Go Canes!

I like what you said Pcola. The thing that bothers me is what they are saying about Whipple (it showed in the Clemson game and against Carolina), he won't change his play calling even if Jacory is making mistakes because he has faith in his players. What???? I think Whipple is very creative in designing plays, but I think he is still learning how to manage an offensive game plan at this level. When your QB is struggling you run the ball. When you have 5 capable running backs you run the ball.

I know it might not be obvious to most but Whip is a "young" coach, young in the sense that this is his first offensive coordinating gig at a big-time program, college or pro. Hopefully at some point he'll learn that aggressiveness and recklessness are NOT the same thing.

The man can design plays, but he's not the best game-time decision-maker, which makes sense since he's new (I'm referring to the playcalling... the time-outs are a different story.. they were an issue before the Whip and still are an issue, which lead me to believe it might be a system-wide problem).

I would like for Whip to be "aggressive" in the sense that he keeps poking at the weaknesses in opposing defenses, over, and over, and over. If something is working, DON'T fix it. Let the defense adjust and then switch it up. If you just methodically drove the ball 80 yards the drive before, there is NO need to go for the longball right away on the next drive. Keep on sticking it to the defense until they adjust or give up/get tired. We could do this! It's what dominant teams do!

We have a talented squad (minus the OL, which is average and inconsistent but still capable of dominating a defensive line from time to time). I don't see why we can't go short, go long, run here, run there, fake it, pump it, pass it, hide it... etc. We do NOT need to go for the long ball so often. We have so much talent that mixing it up should be our main priority. Mix in a little wildcat from time to time. Maybe a little option. (Anything but that playground reverse he keeps calling that only works about 1 out of 10 tries). Be aggressive in this sense, methodical even, but NOT reckless.

It would also take the load off of Jacory. There's no need for him to have to try and win the game every game. Pass it or hand it off to one of your many playmakers and watch what happens. It's what Dorsey did.

GO CANES!!

Jacory seems to be making the same mistakes over and over -- throwing the ball up for grabs, often into double- or triple-coverage, and letting the WR make a play. Too often, the throws are mistimed or misplaced. You'd think after 10 games that he'd stop making these decisions. It's just inexcusable to make these throws on first and second down.

It's frustrating to watch the other team methodically move the chains while we get burned continually by reaching for a big play that just isn't there.

Im with mojo people seem to forget just how bare the cuboard was when shannon took over. That and how coach had to get rid of the intitlement alot of the players they did have thought they deserved. Jobs under coker were handed out not earned. it took randy 2 yrs to week out those kinda players. hes now trying to build depth. This team has alot of talented sophmores and freshman. When your best upperclassmen are moncor and mccarthy on d and they are injury prone. and on offense its jason fox and company on the ol your gonna have growing pains. Lets not forget no one in the country expected this team to win a nc this year. this team is where i thought theyd be. i figured 8-4 or 9-3 reg season with there schedule and hoped theyd do better. this team has alot of injuries to there best players. the depth isnt there but shannon is building a team that improves every year. coker has to be brought up though. under him the team got worse every year. He let good qb prospects in his own backyard leave and lost others cause they knew kyle wright was gonna start no matter what. Thaddeus lewis adn riley skinner are just 2 examples of kids who would of made a transition this team has easier. I believe in coach shannon and hope team goes 9-3 not 7-5 cause i think 7-5 gets him fired. I really want him to stay. that said you are what your record says you are. i still think this team is on track to be a nc contender every year in 2011 on. I just think shannon took over a program with less talent then any coach in miami history since schnellenberger. i think i spelt his name wrong but you know who i mean. even with probation wreckign this team butch davis had better talent starting out in my opinion especially at most important one qb.

The only thing the CANES need to focus on right now is beating Duke Saturday. This team was predicted by many to be 0-4 after the first 4 games. Right now they are 7-3 and with a win against Duke, USF, and a win in a bowl game this team could finish with 10 wins. Randy has got this team on the right track. We should be competing for the ACC championshipand possibly a National championship next year.

that's it ! it's over. U'll be back and BCS Bowling again this time next year ...

Ur BACK !!!

We should be competing for the ACC championshipand possibly a National championship next year.

Posted by: Jay | November 18, 2009 at 01:57 AM

pUre Genius !!!


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U know, seriously U Cane Fans, Ur so misinformed it's not any fun any more ...


Seenoir Sabado 20 K ?

good read manny..

i like what i was reading... the positive comments and all until 2010 U Champs ... Gators # 2... u fucd shyt real bad puto

Im with OBcane2k. This is a team that is decimated on D. Rather than lambast Shannon, or JH ( the latter with good reason at times), I would say, what he --- is wrong with these papier mache players and all the injuries? A leg here an arm here, what the????

I didnt like this goofy article. Thad Lewis would like nothing more than to DESTROY the canes. UM laughed in his face during recruiting- worse, they ignored him. This is how he gets even. So this Switzerland, United Nations pecenik article by Manny is ri-f-ing-diculous!Come on Manny, you can do better than 2 articles on two opponents' players. First the corn row boy from Gulliver, now an artcle about Lewis? Sure, theyre home grown products, but so was CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford, and many other who have come down here and beat the U. This is a UM section in theHerald, not a "Local and stet" section.

JH should stay aggressive. I agree. His mistakes are not about aggressivenss. they are dumb mistakes, so he should stop the dumb stuff and theO-line, the worst UM has ever had, needs to protect better.



Whipple needs to madke better adjustments in the games. The whole UNC game, our receivers were given 10 yard cushions because the D didn't want to get beaten deep. Where were the hitches, bubble screens, quick passes? The backs were uncovered coming out of the backfield. Whipple, the OC, has to see that and adjust. Jacory has to see it also. Just because there are two long routes on a particular play doesn't mean you have to go for them. Throw it to your playmaking backs or quick to the WRs and let them work the DBs in the open field, especially Travis Benjamin. Hopefully Jacory will be given the opportunities to audible at the line and take advantage of those things, rather than just go with the play as called. That'll come with growth. BIG UP COACH SHANNON, J-ICE, AND THE U!!!

Some of you are complete idiots. The last regime left the cupboard bare? The last regime included BOZO!!! Randy Shannon was a part of that regime and recruiting.

PS I am sure Larry Cokers record as a head coach puts Randy Shannons to shame! Hey, dont confuse you bozos with the facts.

Shannon is a complete idiot and definitely, 100% not a head coach. If you need anymore proof, you are completely clueless. He doesnt develop players, recruits only Northwestern, doesnt have a clue when to use a timeout, or clock management, looks absolutely clueless on the sidelines, is a poor leader and head coach. His teams fold late in the season like no other team I have seen.

Please though, sign him to a long term extension!!! I hope he stays around forever!

The thing with Whipple (this is an explanation not a complaint) is that he is pass oriented. He worked under Andy Reid and the Eagles. When the Eagles lose what do they blame it on? "Why is he pass it 5 times when he has Brian Westbrook and he only got 12 carries?" Those are the same things that Whipple is doing. It's his philosophy. He abandons the run because he believes in the passing game. That's not a knock on Whip because I like him and what you guys are saying is true. He is still a relatively young coach when it comes to owning the offense. Jacory will grow. It may not be this year but I'm confident he will grow n the off season. That's usually how it works. He'll have a chance to digest the season and truly look and see what he can improve on. Right now, it's really hard to truly improve because you are prepping for the next opponent. Not making excuses but this is true with any young player on any team.

I think Jacory has the right mindset in the direction he's been throwing the ball...

However, notice that when he's setting up to throw, he isnt comfortable, and appears to get rid of it with a little less umpgh, because he's being pressured...

The guy is accurate when he has time to throw...
We really reallly need to bring in some studs at Offensive Line....

Recruiting Tight Ends that aren't true lineman, then converting them doesn't always work.

Either land the big names at O-Line, or hire someone better equipped to groom those guys into Monsters up front...

Btw.. same goes for our corner backs!

yes other teams coaching staffs are baiting Jacory and Whipple and they are winning the battle...they know jacory wants to throw deep so they play soft and have two safeties and then send one or two linebackers to make him hurry...this started in the VT game and every team has tried and with great results...14 picks since VT and 20 sacks...bottom line they know jacory can pick you a part with his talent and receivers..whipple and Shannon need to go back to the FSU game where we only sent out two or three receivers and kept the backs and te in to block...this allowed JH time to get receivers open and hit his targets...IMO....missing hill and J James as blockers is huge...they were our best backs at protecting JH....all this is fixable and the D that is a whole other blog..but if we can take longer drives, run the ball and set up the pass that will keep the D rested....GO CANES...

....

Gators win SEC titles and National Championships
Canes win 6th best team in the ACC


Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe | November 18, 2009 at 11:05 AM


Umm, it helps when you know just a little bit about sports.
Miami has 5 National Titles. Florida has 3. I know this may be getting a little difficult but 5 is greater than 3.

Still with me? Ok. It took Florida over 60 years to win their FIRST SEC Title. Miami had 3 NATIONAL TITLES by then. 60 years without even winning your conference. 60 is a long time.

Ok, I know it's getting tough but hold on.

In the 3 National Titles that the Gators have they were NEVER the best team in the nation. That is correct. They have ZERO undefeated seasons. Impressive.

So, I know that was alot to take in and it sucks when you actually run into someone that knows what they are talking about, so now you are free to put your little penis in between your legs and walk away in shame. Loser.

Fellas everything will be fine, just not this year. We all probably figured a 8-4 or 9-3 season anyway, which is about right. Look at the bright side with all the injuries on Dee, will have 20 starters back next year, so nobody should move the ball on us to much, all our skilled off. people will be back, minus James but of course he hasn't been here anyway. The main problem will be the o-line and if it's average this year wait till next year, it could be worse, with 3 new starters plus a new T.E.Hopefully Gordon will get a medical and that would help.

reguardless of what any one may say the canes are improveing(7-5)and now we have the chance to finish(9-3) as fans our expectaions where high but I can almost promise you that our year will be they JR&SR.These boys are going to be the real deal, I Tell anybody a healthy hurricane team can beat anybody yes that means you to Gators.So as fans we just gotta be patient and stay true to our team and not bash them Shannon doing ok far as the progam goes(not the best coach but he str8)I would like to see him focus on getting the defense back in the top ten like when he was the defense cor. Butch Davis do it so why cant he, we gotta get that def back in the top ten because them Tar Heels going to be a problem long as butch is there

It looked in the Carolina game the d.b.'s of the Heels were way off the Miami receivers, and Miami still wouldn't throw short. Hopefully this week, "take what they give you" will be the theme.

Enough with this nonsense about Coker leaving the cubbard bare for Shannon. All you Shannon apologists need to stop. The man is a loser period. He was the 5th choice for the job. He was not wanted and is still not wanted. He is in completely over his head. He would make a good recruiting coordinator that is about it. Butch Davis inherited a mess when Erickson left us high and dry and went to the Seahawks. We were put on probation and lost a bunch of scholarships which truly hinders your ability to recruit and improve. Yet despite the rebuilding between 1995-2000 we managed to go 8-3 twice and 8-4 and win two bowl games before the breakthrough year in 2000 with the Sugar Bowl victory. When Coker left things were bad but Shannon had a full allotment of scholarships so enough with that nonsense once and for all. It is put up or shut up time for Randy and if he can't handle it he should just resign and not wait for the university officials to wake up and fire him.

Hey Don you mentioned going 8-3 twice and 8-4 once. However you forgot to mention that in 1997 Butch Davis and his team went 5-7. Randy has had a 5-7 and a 7-6. After this season we could possibly be 10-3 and stacked with 2 deep talent at many positions. If you are a hater then get off the bandwagon. We real CANES FANS are fans through the good and bad times. Looks like the bad times are just about over. 10-3 would be a great way to finish this year and be a great Start to next seasons, preseason rankings!!! GO CANES

Ibis I am no hater. I love the Canes and stuck with them through the bad times. I am just saying that Butch Davis had much less to work with than Shannon when he came in in terms of scholarships because we were put on probation in 1995. I care about the long term health of the program. Yes Shannon can recruit but he is a terrible gameday coach and eventually that will turn off recruits. (Ego Ferguson) You can't be blindly loyal to Shannon. I don't care about him. I care about what's best for the program. I want a coach who is going to return us to greatness and keep us there. Had Butch stayed I believe we would have been the team of the 2000's easily and not USC,Florida,or LSU. The truly bad times may be over but let me ask you this do you want to be mediocre to good which 10-3 is good but it is not great especially by Hurricane standards that's what "peach bowl" Coker would do almost every year. I just don't think Shannon has what it takes to make us great again. He is in over his head.

CANES

Man, it's disappointing to read we decided to take a backup plan from Arkansas, who was always a better bet to play baseball than football, than take a chance on Thad Lewis from our own backyard.

Even if we thought he would always be a backup, surely we thought the same thing about Stegall had he come. In that scenario, you always take the kid from the tougher competition, and who is local.

Randy Shannon can't prepare a team that can win consistently. I don't understand how some of you come on here and defend him by saying he's making progress. There hasn't been progress within this year, if anything we have declined.

Randy Shannon can recruit, but that mojo is going to run out real soon. People are begining to see that he can't take this team to the next level.

Lets go canes

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