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Shannon: Consistency, depth UM's biggest foes

With critics like WQAM's Sid Rosenberg calling for his firing after Saturday's loss at Virginia, I asked Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon Tuesday why he thinks many people feel his team is underachieving. He gave me what I felt was a long, honest answer.

Randy Shannon "We just don’t have that consistency," Shannon said. "You used to watch defensive players play consistent. Every week you knew this guy was going to be there, make something happen. We’re just not getting that consistency right now and I don’t know why.

"It’s like one of the experts said to me the other day, ‘Everybody has their identity.’ A lot of people are trying to force this team to be something that was happening in the past. Everybody says you have all this talent. But Mike Irvin is Mike Irvin. Andre Johnson is Andre Johnson. Santana Moss is Santana Moss. You can’t compare those guys to anybody on our team right now. Everybody is trying to compare these guys to those guys. But why? Because everybody is hoping that’s what they end up being.

"Travis Benjamin is unlike anybody we’ve ever had here. He’s a thin kid that can run fast. I’m happy we got him and he’s doing well. But he’s not what everybody wants him to be. He’s not Santana Moss. Santana Moss was fast, thick, big – they’re totally different. Let’s talk linebackers. Everybody thinks Colin [McCarthy] should be like Dan Morgan. Two totally different guys. Body structure is different. Everything is different.

"When I was here as an assistant coach with Butch in 1995, we went 8-3. We had maybe five first rounders. The next year we went 9-3 again and had maybe 4 or 5 of them again. The next year, we went 5-6, didn’t have nothing. I went to the NFL and the next couple years we went 9-4, 8-3 and then 11-1. During that time, no matter how many first rounders we had, for some reason it just didn’t click.

"To me, it’s depth. We just haven’t been able to get there yet. If you look at our offensive line, we’re playing three freshmen – Jermaine Johnson, Seantrel Henderson and Linder. It’s crazy. They are pretty decent. They’ve given up maybe 12 sacks, compared to 35 when we had a bunch of veterans. Now, after them, it’s still a bunch of freshmen.

"We have depth at certain positions. You look at the guys playing well – like defensive backs. You wonder why they’re playing well. They’ve got somebody behind them that’s old, been here. You have a [DeMarcus] Van Dyke, Ryan Hill, Brandon Harris, you got some people behind them that is going to push them.

"Defensive linemen, it all depends on whose healthy. When we’re healthy, they’re all playing unbelievable. When somebody has to sit out two games, a guy has to add more. When you go 35-40 plays a game and all of a sudden you go up to 65, you’re just a different person. It's consistency and depth."


> UM could use a big lift from Georgia Tech (5-3, 3-2) tonight. The Yellow Jackets (5-3, 3-2) face Coastal division-leading Virginia Tech (6-2, 4-0) at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN in what amounts to a huge game for the Canes. If Virginia Tech loses tonight or next week at North Carolina (5-3, 2-2) and the Canes (5-3, 3-2) win their final three ACC games, UM will make it to the ACC title game.

"I'll be their biggest fan for the first time in my life this Thursday night," receiver LaRon Byrd said of Georgia Tech. "But we just can't rely on them, we still have to do what we have to do. We definitely know now, one more slip up and we're out of the ACC picture. We have to handle our business."

Since the ACC created a championship game in 2005, the winner of Thursday's game has gone on to represent the Coastal Division. Virginia Tech has done so three times -- 2005, 2007 and 2008. Boston College, which came to the ACC from the Big East along with UM and Virginia Tech, has played for the ACC title twice. The Canes of course have never played in the ACC title game. 

> When Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith transferred out before the start of the 2009 season, the Hurricanes were left without a viable backup quarterback. A.J. Highsmith, a true freshman at the time, played the role behind then sophomore Jacory Harris. I asked Shannon Tuesday if the Hurricanes ever bothered to look for a Junior College quarterback to bring in before the start of this season.

Stephen Morris "We tried," Shannon said. "But JUCO kids are hard to find unless they come out of high school already qualified or they transfer like the kid from Auburn [Cam Newton]. He went to Junior College [after Florida] and then came back. Those guys are easy to get back in because they have the credits. They’re just hard to find. Not too many great quarterbacks go to Junior College unless they transfer. It’s hard to find them at that period of time. We were in a tough spot because we were at the end of August when those guys left. We always bring two guys in the same class, but one of them ends up leaving. You can’t keep doing those things. The thing were trying to establish is some stability for the long run."

Just my opinion, but the fact Shannon didn't have a capable backup ready to go last Saturday was inexcusable. Had Stephen Morris been groomed as the backup from the get-go (especially since he came in early and participated in the spring, and Highsmith was going to be redshirted this season anyway), Morris would have been on the field right away once Harris left Saturday's game with a concussion early in the second quarter. Instead, the Canes had to wait through walk-on Spencer Whipple totally tanking it (not surprisingly) before Shannon was forced to burn Morris' redshirt at halftime. In the end, once Morris shook off the nerves, he and the Canes simply ran out of time trying to come back from a 24-0 deficit in a game they should have never lost to begin with.

FYI, Shannon said Morris, who ran the scout team for at least the first five weeks of the season, didn't start getting more reps with the first and second team until three weeks ago when Highsmith first hurt his wrist.

> One thing Shannon did this week -- as his team prepares to play in back-to-back noon starts -- was move practices from 6 a.m. to the mid-afternoons. "Everybody thinks our goal was to keep kids off the streets," Shannon said. "But it's the weather. The hardest thing now -- unlike when I went to school -- is we have thunderstorms now. When I was playing, it was just rain storms. We counted up, we might have missed 12 to 14 days [of practice]. Not in August, I’m talking during the season."

What Shannon means of course is that now -- unlike when he played -- there is more hi-tech lightning detection. Shannon said the school's radius for lightning is three miles wide.

"I’d like to put them under stressful situations, but we haven’t had no heat games until now," Shannon said. "It’s different and it’s hard [practicing in the heat]. When we went in the morning, it was fun, it was easy and you could get a lot of things in."

> The Hurricanes are among the most penalized teams in the country, ranking 118th of out 120 teams (only FIU and Troy State are worse) averaging 9.13 flags a game. But it's not the "aggressive penalties" Shannon says bothers him (he considers holding aggressive). It's the dumb lack of concentration penalties like jumping off sides, false starts and illegal procedures that are eating him up. I went back to the stats and added it up: UM has been flagged 21 times for false starts, 14 times for holding and 13 times for offsides. I'll have more on it in the paper Friday.

> Shannon said he can't put a finger on why the normally reliable Matt Bosher has struggled as much as he has the season (missing 3 extra points), shanking the occassional punt. "It’s just one of those things," Shannon said. "You work on him, work on him and he’s missing extra points. He hadn’t missed that all in his career. It’s just one of those things that happens – like a pitcher in baseball who can’t throw strikes. We work on it at practice everyday when everybody is tired. Last week, he punted the ball well. The week before, he was bad at punting. Last week, he shanked an extra point. That ain’t right."

> Shannon said his defense has been sorely missing senior defensive tackle Josh Holmes. Over the past month, Holmes has missed three of UM's four games with an undisclosed injury. "He really gets those guys going at defensive tackle," Shannon said. "He motivates the guys on the field and he’s the guy were really missing up front – big time. If you watch him on tape, he’s always in the backfield, causing some havoc, allowing a guy to make some plays. And he could play both spots. We’ve missed him a lot."


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It's almost gameday again.

Forget about Virginia, it's over, done, in the past.

Canes need to man-up and show what they have deep down.

Make Maryland pay a heavy price for the week of verbal beating you got.

It's time to play Cane football. Step up boys!!!

Shannon is the main one comparing people!

Vaughn T is the next Ed Reed is one that comes to mind...two totally different athletes!

@WestCoastCane....the time to play Cane football has passed....it started on 9/11/2010 and ended with a LOSS.

Was in Atlanta airport yesterday and saw a "Michael Irvin" edition of rosetta stone in the Rosetta Stone kiosk.

Sweet, now I can at least have an even shot at understanding what this guy is saying.


well there's plenty of other football teams you can go root for then...

Go Canes. One win at a time, until we win it all again.

I've been here a long time on your side, and i'll be here pulling for you Canes no matter what...


Dude, Irvin is freaking hilarious and gives some juicy bits of info about his playing days, the current NFL players, and the behind the scenes things of the Miami program...

You listen to Irvin, but ain't hearing Irvin....

I like RS. He's a real good disciplinarian. But he might be better DC. He needs a situation where he can focus only on one thing, like defense.

I ask U:

What would Jimmy Johnson do in a W-L season like this?

What would Schnellenberger do?

If Petrino comes to town, we're top notch offensively, but not good defensively. Is he happy in Ark.?


I thought he was building depths?

1) I believe in letting Randy have his time to try to deliver.

2) But honestly, even if Randy can't get past 9-3 each year, UM DOESN'T WANT or CAN'T SPEND MORE THAN $1-2million/yr on a headcoach.

So all you "FIRE RANDY" fans need to start saving your money and put it where your mouth is when/if the time comes to replace Randy-- help the U pay for a new coach (each year of that coache's salary).

If you want a top coach-- it will cost at least $3million a year. That means you fans and boosters will need to raise $1-1.5million each year to hire and keep that high profile coach.

Every "Fire Randy" fan here should step up right now and make a committment to The U for $5000 each year in football program support. Then you'll get that high profile coach you want...

It's just simple business folks...

I agree Joel, need an offensive minded coach who can score 50 every game!!

Do you honestly think that Oregon has THAT MUCH MORE TALENT THAN THE "U"?

I don't think so, it's all about coaching and game-day schemes and we don't have that dude!!

we never threw jump balls to Santana Moss, why are we doing it with Travis Benjamin?

@canesallltheway...good point...shannon even compared chase ford to jeremy shockey...and we know how that turned out...seems like he's the one making all of the comparisons...unreal!! at this point in the season, we need the young guys to start getting more reps at other positions besides OL (ie: lamar miller, asante cleveland, kelvin cain, etc)...i know shannon is old school, but he needs to quit playing favorites (the older guys)...let the young guys get on the field and show what they can do...ray ray needs to be starting alongside VT(even if he does get lost sometimes)...what's the worst that can happen? we lose another game? big deal...we've already lost 3...and what's the deal with jamal reid? players are getting tired of these "games" and will seek other places to play (ie: latwan anderson)...these young guys will learn the most with on-field gameday reps...they're not getting better standing on the sideline watching an inferior upper-classman get the most reps because he's got the most "experience"...in some cases, it's a good thing, but not when the under-classman is the better talent...

I will donate some meatloaf - I hope this helps.

another dumb statement. morgan and mccarthy two different body structure? really? theyre both 6'2 245. good one coach.

I thought, before the season Shannon said he had the numbers he was looking for except at Lb & T.E., now he thinks it because there trying to be someone their not or we expect them to be someone their not, thta's a good reason for lack of consistancy. How about putting someone in who wants to play week in and week out. Now, basically what he's saying is Benjamin is to frail to be consistant. If these guys aren't the body types you are looking for why not recruit those guys that are or get a new strength coach. How about recruiting a few stud d-tackles that want to play 60 plays a game, same with the linebacking situation. That's what you get when you recruit a bunch of tweeners., some times they play good and sometimes they don't. Sounds like a team I know!

What happened to the Bahamian player we stole from no one?

I heard Jack Del Rio is interested if he gets canned.

Let me just say that I'm have always been a supporter of Randy Shannon. But this year is unacceptable. You give ohio state a game but get blowed out by FSU, who barely beat boston college. Then were down 24 points to virginia??? That game reminded me of Wake forest last year. I mean know every team plays miami differently but I'm tired of losing. We need a coach who will make these guys accountable on the field. This crap just makes me mad. I'm sick of not getting top florida recruits. Im sick of losing to under 500. teams. Kirby needs to stand up to donna and bring change to this garbage. This is B.S. and if no one on here is mad then I dont know what to say.

Gents, what's troublesome to me is RS...says.."he doesn't know why"....there's no consistency. How about Whipple and the QB talking after every series? Review plays? what happened? QBs talking to WRs? The only time this team communicates, is when they are winning...then it's all fun and games. It is tough to see our beloved CANES struggle, and to see RS struggle - I like the guy. But something, I mean anything has to change! We all agree we have talent, but how do opposing RBs continue to gash us on a MISDIRECTION?? Pretty basic blocking scheme, but that FSU game ( I paid to see ) their RBs cut back every single time...and there were NO CANE defenders within 10-15 yards!! - A NEW ERA BEGINS SATURDAY....M-SQUARED - It's the Morris and Miller show! Let's support these young men! They are our future! GOD BLESS!

This was very enlightening.

This is the most he has said ever. ever. It was honest and I feel his pain. He clearly is as diconcerted about all of the mistakes as we all are. Bosher, penalties, interceptions. While he is NOT the cause of that stupidity, he clearly must be more vocal on the field.

As far as comparing players, There WERE skinny receivers at Miami. As far as I recall, Lamar Thomas and Thrill Hill were not huge.Roscoe Parrish? I mean Roscoe? He was a stud at Miami, is an NFLer, and is 5-7 175 soaking wet, holding a pair of 45 lb plates!

It's the Offense, stoopid. The scheme. I have never seen so many KILLED drives where we were driving , running the ball well, move near the redzone, only to be destroyed by a bomb or a silly int. NOT using Benjamin as a true slot receiver, using him on short screens, instead of throwing it deep to him.

Yeah what is it with Bosher? What is it with Bailey? Why are they so incosnistent- Have they started buying into the NFL draft hype?

FIRE RANDY... bla bla bla more excuses for why they are loosing... Saturday Shannon will take another beating at home... and for those of u who keep beleiving his lies good luck.. nothing will change under him.. we need change now F.. Randy shannon and his circus clowns

we are not going to spend any more money on this program until we get a better coach...randy is worried more about dancing on the field than winning the games... he is making these canes candy just like he is... We want the real U attitude back in our players..

another dumb statement. thunderstorms didnt exist when you played? good one coach.

Also we have the best little league in the country. Some of the best high schools in the country. Look at the kid vernon from duke, he is having a good year (gulliver prep). FSU on the rise, 4-5 star recruits, coach who makes his guys accountable. UF a program with a hangover from Tebow, 4-5 star recruits, coach who makes guys accountable. UM- NFL first drought, Lose to virginia, FSU blowout, No heart, Unstable, I'm sick of this love/hate relationship. If we don't win a acc title next year, I'm going to start a Fire Shannon fund. This money will go towards covering the money that kirby can't afford.

another dumb statement. were still building depth. really coach? what have you been doing?you said that same thing 2 years ago. good one.

more excuses that is all we fans are going to keep getting from him.. FIRE RANDY.... WE DONT NEED HIM... we want a team that will deliver every week not a fraud of a team who is only giving the U a bad name in college football

People dont spend ur money or go to the games to support a caoach who keeps giving the cane fans excuses week after week... FIRE CANDY RANDY and take JSKINNY with UUUUUUU

forget a tough practice in the heat... id rather have a fun and easy practice. good one coach.

can anyone think of a legitmate list of coaches that miami can offer or get? whether they are from small school to big schools.

yet again coach... youre the one comparing people. tmaq-reed, ray ray-sean, ford-shockey...

Didn't Randy go into the year touting all the depth the team finally had? The excuses are getting old!
The loss to VA last week was inexusable--just as deflating as the 48-0 rollover in the final game at the Orange Bowl.
Miracles can happen--if Va Tech can stumble against GaTech or NC we still have a shot
Go Canes!

Hey Randy, you mean to tell me you just discovered your team was inconsistent? Let me give you a few hints about the offense, you got 2 burners in Miller and Benjamin, why not figure out how to get ball in their hands about 15 to 20 times a game. It's ok to use your imagination. Coker had the same problem when he had Hester. On defense, how about being a little less predictable and start disguising some blitz packages. Also it might help if you'd let the qb audible out of a bad play and while i'm at it find one that can read defenses and doesn't lock onto his receivers.
Hey Manny since you don't answer questions any more how about doing a recruiting up date and give us a little heads up on what we might expect to get next year, especially at D-Tackle & LB. I know schollies are limited.

if g-tech wins tonight, we will all fall into the same trap as always - desperately hoping to win out to finally make our very 1st acc championship game...who would have thought?


I just read something from the bleacher report that says miami is 14-15 in ACC play.

"I thought he was building depths?"

"Was in Atlanta airport yesterday and saw a "Michael Irvin" edition of rosetta stone in the Rosetta Stone kiosk.

Sweet, now I can at least have an even shot at understanding what this guy is saying."


The above quotes are from the racist using other members screen names to spew his hate.

Not that the above needs explaining, but his comments suggest because Michael and Randy are black and former Hurricanes they don't have the intelligence to clearly speak English. The "building depths" comment is something he has taken out of context regarding a statement Randy made and has been posting it on Canes blogs for well over a year.

This is exactly how he starts his hate rants and the longer he is allowed to get away with it, the worse the racial hatred becomes.

The Canes bloggers on the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel had this dirtbag banned and that is exactly what the Canes fans on this blog should DEMAND of Manny and Susan.

i just cant even fathom how some of you arent fuming angry and just decide to sugarcoat everything...

BAN THE RACIST(and ur million other names)... go away. youre the most stupid, inept, delusional, retarded, idiotic, moronic, imbecilic, incompetent, dumba** ive ever seen give their opinions in my life. no one wants you on this blog. no one wants to hear about your MISSION to get some random a** person, (who everyone else ignores), banned. youre a loser and if anyones racist, its you. all you do is shout "RACIST!" to anyone who even slightly criticizes the direction of the program. get a life. dear god...

Let's make sure we are all rooting for Georgia Tech tonight...they win and we are back on track for the ACC Championship game and BCS Orange Bowl apperance.

Go Canes...and for one night...Go Yellow Jackets!

i feel like i care more about this team than the players do...

i feel like i care more about this team than the players do...

Posted by: let the young guys play!! | November 04, 2010 at 05:22 PM

yea i feel the same way

Posted by: BAN THE RACIST!!!!

UM read above - he said he's building depths. Also, have you tuned into the Michael Irvin Show? I can't understand a word he says. I have been to North Miami Beach were there are plenty of Russian immigrants who I can't understand - does that make me a racist?

Get a life. Put the energy into firing randy. He is the problem, it's year 5 or whatever he still don't know if he is building depths.

i can see it now...g-tech wins tonight...i get my hopes up for the rest of the season...and we lose to maryland on saturday...back to square one...like groundhog day...i really hope they prove me wrong!!


You really need to get a clue and while you are at it a life.

True Canes fans are not going to join you hating everything about the Canes.

But, more importantly, people belonging to the humanrace are not going to look the other way as some hate monger posts racial hate aimed at the Canes players and Coaches or for that matter anyone else.

You are not capable of being a college football fan as it only creates anger in you and the desire to tear down 18 and 20 year old...KIDS!!!

OK. Letz make sure we got our critisims rigght: we have no real true linebackers. The ones we got haven't blossomed, and RS was a frickin' linebacker.

We got talent galore, but something is amiss. This Chase Ford guy might be a bust. Aldarius Johnson where are U?

Right on "Canes Pride" and "Ban the Racist"!

The racist needs to go and you cannot call yourself a Canes fan if you standby while this animal calls our black players and coaches less than human.

Anyone that comes out dismissing the racist and attcking those trying to put a stop to his hate are at the very least NOT CANES FANS and are much, much worse than that.


dude im not hating everything. im a diehard who's frustrated with the direction of the program. im also frustrated with some of the people posting on here with their stupid crap. just takes away from constructive comments and creates clutter that no one cares to read about.

he didnt say anything racist. he said he needs rosetta stone to understand what he says. what does that have to do with race? its the truth. randy's grammar usage isnt the best... i dont agree with the irvin thing cause i actually think he's pretty well spoken. but randy... not so much.


C'mon man--you've got a guy directing racial hate at the black players on the team you love and you get mad at someone defending our players against this type of hate?

I'm not lecturing, at least I'm trying not to lecture, but if you love a team and they've lost every game and some low-life starts calling your players stupid and subhuman becuase they are black then that's the very moment that the win/loss record become irrelevant and we all come together to slam this hater.

lol... this is hilarious... there is only one common denominator with ALL the problems at UM right now and that is Randy Shannon! If you set your goals low you will probably accomplish them... but he can't even do that! So, now we have to set the bar even lower? UM isn't the old UM because the head coach SUCKS and we are ALL in a state of denial because we don't want to hurt Randy's feelings!? So, the bar is currently 8 wins. As long as Randy gets 8 wins per season Randy stays, right? I am sick and fa-keen tired of hearing that there is no talent at UM. What talent is there at Boise State? What talent is there at Stanford? What talent is there at TCU? The ONLY area UM lacks talent in is the head coaching position and that is it!!!


So now you have concluded those comments are not based on racial hate. Okay! Let's do this then, make those same statements in front of some of our black players or any other black person and get back to me on how that worked out for you.

It is becoming clear you are defending racial hatred (I hope I am wrong), which is stunning based on the fact that the Canes football team is made up of 75% black athlete's.

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