Almost Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all of you.
I listened to Joe Rose's WQAM interview today with ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit, and he readily admits he's a Randy Shannon supporter.
Herbstreit thinks UM players have to step up and take more responsibility for their insconsistent play this season. He said he thought Jacory Harris would be more of a leader, and that he is surprised at what has transpired this season. He said he can't figure out who and where the leaders are on this team.
He does not believe Shannon should be fired, but did say "some adjustments, maybe tweaking the staff" needed to be done. He also said Shannon needs to "continue to go out and recruit players who understand about that tradition they have at Miami.''
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN
"I’m a huge fan of Randy’s, and I have been. I like how he handles his team behind closed doors and the discipline and the things he tries to instill in his team. but I don’t know, I was shocked by this year, I really was. I’m not necessarily caught up in wins and losses. You’re going to win some games and lose some games. Obviously it’s a disappointing year for them to be sitting, at this point, with this record [7-4]. And moving on from here, you wonder where they go to finish up the season. Hopefully 8-4 if they can end up winning their last game.
But beyond that, I look at this and I think, ‘OK, the team hasn’t always played with passion. The team hasn’t aways played with discipline.’ It’s very easy to blame Randy. He’s the head coach. I’m sure, if he had a press conference, he’d be the first one to take that blame. But I think it’s easy to say, ‘Fire Randy Shannon.. Move on.’ I don’t think that’s always the answer. I think trying to make some adjustments, maybe tweaking the staff, is maybe an answer; trying to continue to go out and recruit players who understand about that tradition they have at Miami.
But I can understand the frustration because this is his fourth year and that’s the thing. At that point is when you want to see the improvement. You always have to keep in mind that Jacory Harris surprised me a lot this year with not becoming the anchor or the rock of the team. the one thing I think that’s missing on the field – and it’s easy to blame coaches when things don’t go well, but who are the guys on that field that give you a feeling that there’s great leadership and this team is being self-policed at times? if you look at championship teams, not just at the U, but around the country. There’s accountability on the field. Coaches can stand up and down, scream and do all they want.
At the end of the day you have to have accountability in the locker room when the coaches are gone and have players that care about doing the little things right. And they play and they care about winning. This team has not always demonstrated that to me and that to me isn’t necessarily just a coaching problem, it’s a leadership issue on the team. I really thought Jacory would be that anchor and that rock. It started early in the year with twittering and just being kind of silly and just showing some immaturity and not really focusing on doing what it takes.
I don’t know. I don’t follow the team that close to be able to really know who that guy is. Who’s the leader of that team? I won’t sit here and tell you that Randy Shannon needs to be fired because I think this team can still win with him as a head coach, but I do think that they need to take a serious look in the mirror and make some adjustments to what they’re doing and the professional manner in which they approach the consistency that it takes to be able to win week in and week out, because think of how they played against teams like Pitt, Clemson early in the year when they were on a roll, and then to play the way they did against Florida State – that’s just unacceptable to have that kind of effort and that kind of emotion in a rivalry game.
That has a lasting impact on fans’ views of how the season went. And then to lay an egg at Virginia, it’s just a lack of consistency. The fans want to blame it on Randy Shannon and the coaching? I can understand their view. I look at the players a lot in college football, too. And I think it’s easy to look past them because being that they’re kids. But they’re 18 to 23 years old. They need some of the blame themselves. And I just don’t sense that there’s a great deal of leadership on that team."