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Scrimmages done, and -- thankfully -- the real thing is almost here

Hi all, it's Susan Miller Degnan.

As most of you know by now, UM closes its scrimmages to most of the media -- but opens it to ESPN broadcasters and any UM-affiliated media it wants to allow in (e.g. WQAM). So the people who cover the Canes every day haven't seen any live game-type situations. All we can do is go by what UM sends us, which is obviously only half the story.

You're not going to see any negative statistics, or hear about any specific problems (except for interceptions), so until the curtain rises and we see the real thing, all we can do is make educated guesses -- and talk to the players.

I'm not saying that UM should tell us every negative thing happening. I'm just saying it's hard to decipher exactly where the team stands, which is why we're all very much looking forward to the first game -- though FAMU is not Ohio State.

 Some thoughts on the scrimmages:

 * Where is Adewale Ojomo on the final statistics of all three scrimmages? I don't see him listed at all. If I'm wrong and someone knows something, please chime in. I think he can be a great player, so I'm wondering how much he has played and what he has done and if he's totally fine.

* What exactly is happening with right tackle (and former guard) Joel Figueroa? He missed the last two scrimmages with an undisclosed injury. We're thinking it must be shoulder-related, though I don't know for sure. He sat out the spring recuperating from shoulder surgery. Randy Shannon said not to worry, that he's fine and will be back. But when? Maybe he'll sit out FAMU, maybe not. But it might not be great for him to get his first start at tackle at Ohio State.

* How is Figueroa's current replacement, redshirt freshman Jermaine Johnson? He hasn't taken a snap in college yet, and everybody has to have a first game, but we're all kind of wondering how he's really doing. Shannon told WQAM's Joe Rose this morning that Johnson blew a couple assignments here and there, but that he generally did a very good job.

* Jacory Harris didn't throw any interceptions Monday -- that's excellent. But he only completed 4 of 12 passes. Maybe he couldn't find any open receivers or maybe he was about to be sacked and threw the ball away. But 4 of 12 is not encouraging. I think all of us are wondering what shape his thumb is in. The guy has tons of talent, but he needs that thumb to be healed to be as great as he can be.

* Alonzo (A.J.) Highsmith seems to really be coming along well.

* Desmond Howard of ESPN was on a media conference call Tuesday and commented how thin the team was at experienced linebackers. Colin McCarthy is a talent (if he can stay healthy), he said, as is Sean Spence, but after that it's anyone's guess. He sees this part of UM's team as a definite weakness.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

Comments

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Jeez Susan, just rock me to sleep why don't you! Good points on all of it. I guess you're right, we'll just have to see. It does make me uncomfortable when Randy gives little info and suspect praise. Remember, they were praising Richard Gordon as a kickoff returner back in 2007... that bit of intuition lasted 1 return in an actual game setting. In short, Go Canes!

Depth at LB will be a concern against GaTech, North Carolina, and VaTech teams that will play a "smash mouth" (a term from the 90's) type of offense.

I am sure the coaches are hoping for 3 and 4 wide receiver sets, so it will limit the exposure of the LB's as they get healthier and gain experience.

First: Susan, stop whinning. Sounds like sour grapes. So what if WQAM and ESPN gets the scoop. Maybe if you wouldn't ask Randy dumb questions trying to stir the pot, you would be able to build the relationship that Joe Rose, Don Bailey, etc., have with Shannon. Its all about trust.

Next, quick question: If Miami has one of, if not the, best defensive lines in the ACC (maybe Country), and our linemen go up against these guys everyday in practice, how can we state that they haven't "taken a snap in college yet"? I know its not in a game setting, but come on, going up against Smith, Ojomo, Bailey, and Forston everyday has to count for something. Its not like these guys are going in there after their first week in practice. Most of these guys have been around for at least a year. Come on man (woman)?

I'm here in Compton Ca, thanks for any post
BUT DAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
I see why coach gives you the cold shoulder
you do just mix things up
I guess that your job

@gerrard huff- KHAKIS ALL DAY, EVERY DAY

I heard the receivers dropped some passes, so that may be a reason for Jacory's poor numbers.

Michael, my bad. You are absolutely right about Jermaine going against some great linemen. I should have said "in a game." Of course he's going against some great linemen everyday. By the way, I wasn't trying to complain, just trying to set out the scenario for why a lot is unknown right now -- to us, not, obviously, to Randy and his coaches. Anyway, thanks for the post.

Susan, good observation on Ojomo. No one on the rivals boards (and, sadly, I read every comment) has picked up on that. IMO he's the key component to the D this season - making it impossible or unfruitful to double team Bailey. Keep us posted. Or, maybe, we'll just have to see next Thursday.

Good point on the unknowns Susan. I agree with you. It must be frustrating to the media, as it is frustrating to us as fans, not to be able to see any of the fall scrimmages, and rely on stats that just don't seem to add up. We don't know who played these scrimmages or for how long. Whipple hasn't done an interview at all, and neither has any other assistant coach other than Barrow.

The only thing I will say is that Randy looks very comfortable this year. He has talked about being careful not to push injured players back too fast, to give them time to heal, and not to risk his most valuable players in practice games. That makes sense to me.

I would love to see more for sure. One of the things previous coaches have done in the past was hold a fall scrimmage and let the fans see the team, usually on select a seat day. It let the fans build excitement for the coming year. I think it is a mistake not to do that. If you want a packed house, you have to build a connection between the team and the community, and giving a sneak peek at the team does that. I hope Kirby makes Randy be more open next year.

Any cuts or scratches ?

THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!
Holy canoli chicken little, tell us how you really feel! Do you have any positive thoughts on the scrimmages or is it all doom and gloom? Talk about a negative Nancy. What negative statistics do you thik they are witholding? They list INT's, fumbles, passes defended, sacks, long TD's. What even constitutes a negative stat? Its an intersquad scrimmage, a big play by the offense could be viewed as a negative for the defense and vice versa. If we already know they only give us a sampling of the stats then why would you look so hard into them?
In regards to the players held out of scrimmages, its done with the purpose of preserving them, letting them heal up for the season and getting more reps for the younger guys. In case you havent noticed we have a BEAR of a schedule to start off. Losing one of our starters a couple of weeks out from the start of the season to a serious injury could be a serious blow. If we are to have a chance to make it through unscathed we must be at full strength.
Finally, questioning J12's stats (which might not be accurate) and following up with a quick comment about how good Alonzo is coming along... please tell me you arent going to try and stir up a QB controversy in the near future. I know you dont have a lot to write about right now but negative stories before one of the most anticipated seasons in recent times is not the way to go about it IMO. Soon enough all questions and concerns will be answered on the only place that matters.. the field. []_[] GO CANES []_[]

GOOD MORNING SUE. I HAVE TO ADMIT, YOU'RE IMPRESSIVE. I HAD SOME OF THE SAME QUESTIONS. I DO FEEL THOUGH, COACH SHANNON HAS HIS REASONS FOR BEING SILENT IN REGARDS TO THOSE QUESTIONS. LOSE LIPS SINK THE SHIP AND COACH RANDY IS DANDY AND NOT GIVING OUT ANY FREE CANDY SO WE'LL JUST HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CANDY BAG AND BELIEVE WHEN IT'S TIME FOR HANDING OUT. WE WILL GET THE TYPE CANDY WE'RE EXPECTING. PSALMS 100

Thank you, Susan

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE! 3G Cane, great post! OK, for the record: I'm not trying to stir up a controversy. I wasn't trying to be negative (but you're right it was -- just contemplating some unknowns.) I think the Canes are loaded. And I do think the coaches appear very comfortable and smart about how they're approaching situations.

Also for the record, I'm a big Jacory Harris fan. And Neosporin, you're funny (in a good way).

It's a new day! About to leave for practice. Everyone have a happy, healthy and positive day, including the Canes.

Susan, yes there are questions but the CANES will be fine. There is talent and depth on this team. How good will this team be? It takes a little luck. Just wait until 9-11 and ask ohio state how good the CANES are!!!

I totally agree with Susan's points- I've brought them up on Manny's blog as well. 4-12? Not impressive, but the question remains, How's his thumb? and you can forget about a NC if his thumb isnt 100% period.

Ojomo? Bailey (may be rested), Figueroa?

Randy Shannon interviews are usually a waste of time. You will never get a straight answer from him. He forgets that "someone else" buys game tickets and supports the team financilally and refuses to open up to the public. We want to know how the team is doing. Ok, certain info you have to withhold, but what's the difference?

But his " I just want them to compete" " I just want them to execute" I just wantthem to fly around" " He's just nicked" answers are BS.

I watched college football live and Blackledge was on their giving his thoughts on the Canes scrimmage. He mentioned that Wr's dropped some passes on Monday. Also he mentioned something that DBJ and Joe Z has said, that the Canes Oline looks the part they just don't have game experience. Great job Susan covering the Canes.

If there is one thing I would change it is the secrecy that coach insists on maintaining. I don't think it is fair to the media or fans alike. With that said if you seek, facebook or tweet you can access a wealth of info. HURRICANESPORTS & CANESCAMPUSBLOG ARE GREAT ON TWITTER. Also you can follow me and I always have fresh stuff and give it that MIAMI SPIN !
CUTLERRIDGELAZ ON TWITTER.

SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND !!! GO CANES!!

Susan, you're the only writer that actually reads and responds to the readers' comments, positive or negative and we really appreciate that. Maybe you can give the others some pointers about being interactive with their audience. Keep up the good work.

24 mins. ago Allen Hurns Freshman outta Carol City High caught a long TD pass in 7on7 action in Wed. morn. practice. Receiver is looking like something great. But then again so is RB,DL,TE,DB is it me or does it feel like "OUR YEAR"!!!!!

Without a doubt if there is one person that should have total access it is Ms. Deegan. Susan always gets back to you on questions and ALWAYS is objective. We definately have a great beat writer. Her understudy Mr. Navarro would be well advised to do as Susan does.

Thanks everybody. I really do appreciate all the posts, as long as they're not mean-spirited. And I don't think anybody has been mean-spirited.

Everybody has something to offer. And Laz, Manny is a great guy who works super hard and knows his stuff. He's a great partner on the beat! He's off this week.. OK, running to end of practice! Be back soon.

Guys (and gals), relax...I agree that it's frustrating that Randy doesnt divulge more, but trust me, I'm here in Tallahassee and Jimbo Fisher aint giving up JACK! Not even to his team affiliated media. The equivalent to their WQAM doesn't even have a clue. I think this is becoming par for the course for coaches early in their tenure.

I think we'll be fine.

why do you have so many names
Ms.Susan Miller Degnan.
Thanks for something at least
about whats going on with the
team.
Go Canes,Crush TOSU.Paybacks
are HEAVEN

Some of you guys need to get over yourselves! SD is just trying to let you know that all she can do is speculate when she can't actually watch what's happening during the scrims. Apparently she has the same questions we all have and can't get the answer to them because they(she and Manny) are kept out of the scrims. You hate on her for not telling us anything and then you hate on her for letting us know why she can't answer our biggest questions. I'd like to know some of the negatives... that way we'll all know why some of the big names may or may not be starting come game time. A week ago I asked about Sean Spence and why no stats on him. This time I got those stats so now I know that he's at least there practicing. TY Susan, some of us will take anything we can get and appreciate you taking the time to find things out for us even though you're shut out from being able to make your own observations and form your own opinions.

Just a little info. I saw last night concerning T. Pryor Ohio State QB. T. Pryor attempted 295 passes last year completing 167 of them in 13 games for a total of 779 yards. If one averages those stats up. Mr. Pryor was throwing for less than 90 yards a game last year. He did run for close to 200 yards in 09 and he did light up Oregon in the Rose Bowl. But those 2009 passing stats should give Cane fans something to think about going into 9/11/10. GOOO! CANES!

Susan,

We (and I believe I am speaking for most of us) are diehard fans looking for crumbs, mere morsels of information to get us through this off-season. We can understand your frustration with the lack of information. We would love to be on the sidelines recording every snap, making highlight tapes and talking trash about the speed of Lamar or the dominance of Bailey. We can’t. The only way we are going to get that information is from local reporters. It does us (and the Herald) no good if you (and your questions) are dismissed by Shannon. He has mentioned on numerous occasions his distrust for media, so we need, let me reiterate, WE NEED you to maintain or develop the same trust that Don Bailey and Joe Rose have garnered with Randy. That’s the only way we are going to get information we want. I’m not suggesting you crawl up next to the Miami staff and cuddle with them, if something negative happens, report it, just don’t go looking for angles.

As for the Stats, no one really thinks these are the right numbers. Half the time they don’t even add up. The reporting of those numbers is for a reason. Allow me to quote from the movie 13 Days. “This is language.... This is [Randy Shannon] communicating with [Tressell]!” If you were trying to send the message to the Suckeyes that you can’t double team Bailey, how would you do it? If you didn’t want to alert other teams to the dominance of Ojomo, would you discuss his stats? On the flip side, if you wanted other teams to have to game plan to account for a tight end, would you “upsell” the playmaking ability of Chase Ford? Maybe my UM goggles are on too tight and maybe I’m wrong and Ojomo hasn’t made it back and Jacory’s skills have vanished and all of the negatives that could come out of those stats do exist. But at this point in the year, optimism rules the day and we choose to believe that this team will dominate. Yes, I agree with the others, thanks for interacting with us. It does add more to this blog than we get elsewhere.

Some of us Canes fans don't live in Miami anymore so we can't go to the practice field and peek thru a hole in the fence. All we can do is hope for the best from this blog. This is incredibly better than NOTHING AT ALL. This is coming from a guy who used to go to Canes home games in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's. I am Canes STARVED! Please don't piss off the only people who can help me get a fix.

Susan a couple of comments about your comments.

#1...I agree, Jacory's stats were not very impressive but remember that in a inter-team scrimmage the coaches are all working together. So Coach Whip and Coach Lovett were in cahoots. I'm sure Coach Whip called in plays that he knew would not work well against certain defenses just to see how Jacory would respond.

#2...I agree, it would not be ideal to have Fig's first start be against Ohio St. but the only thing that can prepare you for a guy like Cameron Hayward is facing a guy like Allen Baily. FAMU will not make Fig that much more prepared. He either is, or he's not. In my opinion he is.

Hey Susan, sorry I killed your last name, I agree that he's good people and that his potential is sky high but I also stand by what I said. He definately should take a few pointers from you when it comes to interaction with the fan base. Look he's young and trying hard I understand that, so by no means am I being critical of the kid. Jeeez he's head and tails over what ss and pbp have. But It's night and day with the coverage between you & him thats all. Hey do you know anything about Latwan Anderson ?
Thanks Keep it up only getting started:)

Wonderful posts, everyone! Thanks, Michael (excellent). And LAZ, aes, Lefty, Mr. B, Jim (like the optimism!), RICK TRUTH SPEAKER, SC Cane, Gulfstream Blue (ha! three names -- sorry! :) ) Love the dialogue on here. I know I've left some of you out, but I really like all the posts, again, as long as they're not mean spirited. You guys all bring interesting points of view. And some of you are funny, too.

I just hope Randy can keep the spirits up for Mike James, Miller and Storm until next season where all three will get some good snaps.

For now, let the best back play!

Susan...just wanted to say I think it's great you comment back to us....even when people are putting your "feet to the fire" on some points. Were all human...we know your a Canes fan as well and want them to be successful. Keep up the good work!!

Susan: Re Jacory's numbers. FWIW, ESPN's Todd Blackledge, who watched the final scrimmage, said the receivers dropped a lot of balls.

Good job Susan...keep asking Randy those tough questions. There's nothing than turns my stomach more than homers like Don Bailey and Joe Rose.

Canesjunkie....you are missing the boat here. Her Article is showing frustration over the lack of information. If she keeps "asking those tough questions," Randy is going to keep giving her the Cold shoulder. That means, Mr. Tough Questions, none of her questions will get answered...yeah that'll show everyone.

This is football and he doesn't have to answer to her or even acknowledge her. This isn't your local political reporter just trying to dig up stories to make headlines. What do you think she is, an investigative reporter trying to solve the JFK assassination? If she p[sses him off, it serves no purpose for any of us. Listen to the interviews with Joe Rose and Don Bailey, Randy actually gives some information to those guys. He appears to at least trust them.

Come on man, don't be clueless. Leave that to the FSU and FU fans.

Ya--I agree they let ex. PENN State Q.B.
and "ANTI MIAMI" ESPN announcer into a
scrimmage ( AND A SPY !!)--TODD BLACKLEDGE.

He is still upset over the 1980 game when PENN STATE came into the O.B. #!and left defeated !!

He bad mouth "MIAMI" big time for many years but
has cooled down in recent years since Miami's
fall from the top. Big TEN "Ohio State" knows our
play book now !!! Todd Blackledge is not a friend of Miami !!

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