« Alonzo Highsmith one-on-one (with good news for A.J): Canes great who believes in his Hurricane son A.J. -- and believes in UM coach Al Golden. | Main | QBs still neck and neck. Who do you think should be named starter? Also: Howard Schnellenberger to make announcement at 4 p.m. »

Freshman Anthony Chickillo, starter in 3-4 scheme, has been what Canes 'hoped for thus far'

CORAL GABLES -- No recruit in Al Golden's first signing class came to the University of Miami with more hype than Under Armour All-American defensive end Anthony Chickillo.

Anthony Chickillo After four practices, it's clear Chickillo, a third generation Hurricane, is living up to it. He's already earning first team reps in 3-4 packages and impressing the heck out of defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio.

"I think Chickillo so far has done a really good job," D'Onofrio said Wednesday morning, before the Canes practiced in full pads for the first time this fall. "He is a freshman and we are throwing a lot at him, but if he makes a mistake, he makes it 100 miles per hour and he has not made a ton of 'em. He has played really hard and been rugged and been what we hoped thus far."

D'Onofrio said Chickillo, listed at 6-4, 248, came into camp weighing between 252 and 254 pounds and has done a good job creating a higher level of competition for the other veteran defensive ends around him.

"He is rugged, tough and plays with a great motor," D'Onofrio said. "It means a lot to him. He loves football and he is passionate and he studies. I have been real happy with him. When you inject a guy like that into your team and into your lineup, then all of a sudden that is a guy that isn't going to go away and that is a message to everybody else on the defensive line."

Right now, D'Onofrio said, Chickillo is at first team defensive end alongside Andrew Smith in 3-4 packages. He added that Marcus Forston and Micanor Regis are "interchangeable" at defensive tackle. D'Onofrio also mentioned Jimmy Gaines, Sean Spence and Ramon Buchanan are the starting linebackers in his front seven, but did not mention a fourth linebacker in his 3-4 package. It's likely senior Jordan Futch or Marcus Robinson would be the fourth linebacker in that package.

As for the installation of the new 3-4 package and the way players are adjusting to it, D'Onofrio said he thinks it's going well. "I think they're getting real comfortable," D'Onofrio said.

"I feel good about the returning players who practiced it in the spring. I feel like those guys have really taken some steps. When I look out there and watch most of the first unit go, I'm pleased with the communication. I think they're playing faster, more physical. I'm happy with the tackling. I'm more happy with the fundamentals. I think we're straining on blocks longer and guys are not jumping off blocks and I think guys are being more physical at the line of scrimmage. I think we're tackling particularly well in the secondary."


> D'Onofrio said the reason sophomore Jimmy Gaines is running with the first team at middle linebacker -- ahead of Futch -- is because of his "consistency and work ethic."

"I think he's outworked the guys behind him. At the end of the day, he's learned the defense, he's been consistent. He's gotten consistently better," D'Onofrio said.

"When you know what you're doing, you could play a lot faster. And that's the difference, not so much whether one guy runs faster or one guy is a little stronger or those sorts of things. I mean those things all come into play. But at the end of the day, diagnose it, react and play fast. Sometimes there's maybe there's guys with more hype. Maybe they run a better 40. But at the end of the day it's about production and making plays, not making mental errors, being able to be confident out there and run the show. I think he's continued to improve. He had a good spring and a good summer. He came back here and has continued to improve."

> Just because most teams rely on the middle linebacker to call plays doesn't mean that's the way D'Onofrio plans to run things. In fact, it's more likely senior Sean Spence will.

"Most people assume middle linebacker, that's the guy who has to call the defense, makes the adjustments," D'Onofrio said. "He doesn't really need to do that. I've done it both with the will [weakside] and mike [middle] linebacker. The experienced guy will be the guy who calls the plays."

> Asked which freshman he thinks could end up playing this season, D'Onofrio mentioned Chickillo and linebacker Denzel Perryman (Coral Gables), who is working behind Buchanan at weakside linebacker.

"I think Denzel Perryman is a guy who has flashed quite a bit," D'Onofrio said. "We recruited him and he was a highly rated player, but I've been really happy with his progress so far. Those are the two that's standout. There's other guys that have flashed. But those are the two that standout."

> Al Golden and his staff have created several new motivational tools to build unity (players driving each other to practice, team hotel during camp) and fire players up (soft tape highlights). The latest we learned about Wednesday are "Concentration Cards."' Gaines said players get a new index card with their goals to focus on each day from their position coaches.

"My card said 'Stance/Start, Be A Leader, and Play Like Nobody Can Stop You," Gaines said.

> Golden said he has the team's first scrimmage scheduled for Sunday with the second scheduled for Monday, Aug. 22. Golden said scrimmages will be treated like "game day situations."

"We'd like to get that one in and get a firm grip on our personnel and make changes and then settle in there for the next 12-13 days."

> Golden said the return of sixth-year senior Joel Figueroa has made it tougher in selecting a starting offensive line.

"Fig is really healthy and he's a guy we really didn't see in the spring. He's really bright, mature. He's been an incredible surprise for us and he'll have something to say who the five are," Golden said.

> Offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, who had back surgery, was released from the hospital Tuesday according to Golden.

> Golden said there is still no word on the hardship waiver Ryan Williams is seeking from the NCAA to be eligible this season, but he "will continue to get reps."

> Golden said the reason he sprints between drills with players at practice is because he wants to set "a good tempo."

"You do lead by example," Golden said. "It's heartfelt, honestly. We want a team that plays with energy and plays with passion and we have to display that ourselves."


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

Reading that Golden is running from place to place to personally view these guys, get in their head that they better hustle, is great stuff.

Golden has the chance of a lifetime coaching the Canes, and he is taking full advantage of it. i bet the kids at Temple miss him badly.

Golden seems like the real deal!!! I never realized just how lax Shannon was - pretty surprised about all the negative stuff coming out about his head coaching ethics, shame, because like me Randy bleeds orange & green...

goldens the real deal. like a butch/jimmy/howard hybrid. i hope he stays here but i have a strong feeling he'll be a 5 year and bolt for the nfl guy. but what else do you expect from NFLU? can't wait for sept. 5th... this years team will in no way resemble last years.

It's nice to get some insight from coaches beyond, "Guys are really flying around". Makes me think that Shannon didn't really know what he was looking at. I am hoping we are going to be pleasantly surprised with the quality of product on the field this year.

Great Stuff here! Anthony is a monster! Saw him play. 3-4? Oh yes! This defense to work needs speed, a big time goon in the middle, and very active and physical ends. We have all of that! It creates huge blocking problems for offenses, and gives the chance to blitz from everywhere. I really like the big changes that are happening. I believe a lot of teams are going to be very surprised with our Canes this year, especially the new attitudes! Go Canes!

It's nice to get some insight from coaches beyond, "Guys are really flying around". Makes me think that Shannon didn't really know what he was looking at. I am hoping we are going to be pleasantly surprised with the quality of product on the field this year.

Posted by: Golden for #6 | August 10, 2011 at 12:45 PM

He did not know what he was doing based on not releasing more info? Please tell me you are joking.. lol

I'm very proud with what Golden has done.

Shame on shannon for wasting his and our time at The U.

Hey shannon, Duke is not a hard place to play. They have never beaten us. Maybe you didn't know that. How you made it as a coach anywhere is beyond me.

Now we have someone who is accomplished, known for turning programs around (not tagging along with a program while it was doing well), and has put players in the NFL.

Golden, you're doing everything right. Thank you.

Sounds like the offense is flying a bit under the radar these days in the blogs. Hopefully that'll enable them to focus on execution and discipline without anything getting to their heads so they minimize turnovers and can score from the red zone more often. That'll be key to winning a lot, especially if we've got a solid defense to back them up.

I bet Manny and Susan had gotten out of reporting shape after dealing with Onionhead for so long. I'm sure even they have had to adjust to the Golden way. So much more to report on when a coach gives you meaningful information instead of a few overused phrases and blank stares before bolting the facility to go home and watch movies by himself.

[]_[] GO CANES []_[]

So far, Coach Golden is doing a great job. He told us at the beginning what he was going to do to make the U a better team and he is doing just that and much more. Treating the players like men instead of little boys at a football camp. To bad Randy did not have the same drive. He is a good person and was a great player but not a head coach. But he does and always will bleed orange & green. Go Canes....

202Cane....see post by 3G Cane. Shannon was a nice guy, not a lot going on upstairs.

30 minutes (add it up!) of excellent videos added to the post, as well!

Seeing the smile on Gaines' face as he sports his first team Nike black jersey, you can't translate that expression to blog words.

There has been nothing negative comong out of this camp, all positives. The Miami Dolphins players must be feeling pretty envious right now (except for that giant paycheck they get each week).

If Randy really did bleed ORANGE and GREEN he would have not been so laxed and coached the CANES beeter. He should have resigned after his first year when he knew he was not head coach material. GO GOLDEN, now if we can get rid of DONNA the Canes will be back!

All of the ACC hype is fsu, va tech, unc. Not really much attention given to US. Excellent! Nothing like the noles being ranked 5th and everyone else ahead os us, to motivate Golden and our guys. As things are going and listening to Golden everyday, he is, so far, a rock. I really like his demeanor, all business. Just like Joe Pa! He will not specify Team Goals, which is good, but I bet one has to do with kicking the sheeeeaaatte out of the ACC. I mean really being in better shape, physically and mentally and not just compete, but win. I really believe that we are going to see a speed and hitting Team up in Maryland right out of the gates. We will see aggresive penalties, not the lame motion no thinking stuff, and I believe that Golden will have a very firm game plan first game. Looking like a very good second Team in behind as well. Very key game for the work that our guys will have into it up in Maryland. Rip a Turtle! Go Canes!

Agree with markdrebin for months people here talked about how randy bleeds green and ornage,former cane, blah blah blah, gre up here, blah blah blah,was a player, boo hoo hoo. When he became coach he became a different man. he did not bleed green and orange. he did not make this program better he dis not try to bring the U back to glory. To be honest i think he caved in under Shannana-s liberal grip. She has been quoted (PLUM magazine) as saying thatshe is proud how hard it is for students to get into UM. My point being, that between the building of tons of medical buildings, and research and over seas programs, she has completely ignored the one common denominator that has linked Um to the population of south florida: The beloved football program. And she used her hand picked black man who se uncled tOm'ed in the process, to achieve her agenda of pu55ying the program mto the brink of near destruction. He of course wanted to keep his job, so what was he to do?

If it were up to that little troll, she would have nothing to do with the UM football program and would instead convert UM into a southern princeton of sorts, ok, with rowing and and lacrosse, and women's field hockey. She does not undeerstand UM football. never did. Couldnt even throw up a U correctly. She is like the cranky principal who goes around 'supervising the student body.

Why else would this not be true? How does a proud Um team lose 48-0 to virginia in thelast game at the OB? How do you explain no bowl wins since 2005?How do you explain 3 7-6 seasons and a 5-6 season in the last 5 years (one from Coker). I mean, the destruction of this program was nearly complete... Until someone had the wherewithall to hire Golden. I am 100% sure, that Shalala cringed and whined at the firing of Shannon. She no longer pursue her liberal socialist agenda, where if she had her way, you would give the national championship trophy to the top ten teams.

Thanks coach Golden for beginning to clean house.

I just hope that GOLDEN has the guts to stand up to SHALAYA. Personally I will not donate any money to the U until she is fired, if everybody would follow my lead and not donate until Shalaya is gone, then the trustees will fire her! Money talks! I do not care about grade point averages, I only care about National Championships!


Sound like we got a "REAL COACH" !! I hate those WHITE UGLY
PENN STATE type away JERSEYS. White top/Green pants are nicer !!

That was quite the rant, Welcome to the U. Someone's been having some Tea Parties recently. Don't you know Tea Parties are for little girls and englishmen? haha

Seriously though Shalala does great things for UM as a university but IMO she sees the football program as a way attract students more than the centerpiece of the school like at Bama or Ohio St. From a university perspective, though, it is definitely a good thing that its hard to get in to UM and she's doubled the endowment. Don;t see how you could be upset with that. Kids on campus love her too shes not seen as a cranky principal at all. Shes a politician so she's always schmoozin.

Football definitely isn't priority #1 for her and she doesnt have the best understanding of traditions (or else she wouldnt have signed on 25 years at Sun Life), but come on, socialist? How could anyone who's biggest responsibility is fundraising be a socialist haha

If Chickillo stays healthy he could be the kind of player that could give the "U" the shot in the arm it has been lacking over the last 4-5 years. Could be a leader like Vilma, Taylor, Reed and Dorsey used to be. Also, got to like what you read coming from camp Golden. Clean, precise, crisp, structured practices.

Shalala rebuilt the sports department at Wisconsin they suck until she hired Alavrez(football) and Bo Ryan (basketball). Nobody wanted the job after Coker ran out of Butch's talent that's why they settled on Shannon.

Andrew Smith does not get enough Props!! That kid is always killin the QB or at least bringin the heat. He's a playmaker.

If what I see is crisp blocking and tackling, an uptempo offense, someone to get the opposing QB when they run a QB draw or sprint out, cover the TE (a Dolphin problem as well) and we "TAKE IT TO" teams like Wisconsin as opposed to getting our butts kicked, I'll be happy with this year's 8-4, 9-5 bowl victory team.

We'll only go as far as consistent QB play, and i don't see that with our guys, but maybe they'll surprise us.

Finally, a message to coach Golden and staff: PLEASE keep this program clean IF POSSIBLE, hard as that is these days.
It starts with the young men we recruit. Give me high character guys over prima donna 5 star guys.

We've got a real problem if nobody can beat out Figs.

Figs played well at G 2 years ago. He's just not a tackle. at all. especially with a bad back

Canes for life. I was there for shalala and yes she hired Alvarez and he stayed at her house, but she was as pro athletics as much as she was pro Army ROTC, no she was against ROTC more than sports. You will see it was not for several years after her departure that Wis athletics came back. Only an observation from someone that lived through it.

All this talk about Shalala is making me want to VOMIT.

Stop......the mere sight of here makes me sick!!

Mr. Chickillo, welcome. I can't wait to see you grow and become an all-american. Lead the U back to prominence kid!

Umike. She is not a pretty picture but is a perfect beer stand

Wait a minute. In a 3-4 defense, unless the front three are just plain dominant, it means your linebackers really don't have to be that good. U don't have the linebacker strength to be experimenting. Somebody has to be run oriented and somebody has to be fast and smart enough to drop back. Seems like the 3-4 puts a lot of pressure on the LB's and that's the weak spot of not only the defense, but the team. Now I really haven't seen the new LB's, but still. If I were U, I definitely would not abandon the 4-3. Not yet.

Al Golden, CEO! Thats the difference between a coordinator and head coach. Look Randys' a homeboy got alot of love for him. He did leave the program in good shape with talent deep...just not a CEO. These practices match up with what they do in the NFL. We will be ready guaranteed. Shalala is a temendous president and anyone who understands what she's done with UMH, Sylvester, Bascom Palmer and The Med School would understand. Anyone who comments on her looks probably has a fat ugly girlfriend anyway or their GATESCUM. Undefeated in November. Understand? IT A CANES THING MF!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Welcome to the U: Hold on a second. There's a lot of blame to go around as far as how the program came to this. DS is not a football mind. U have wanted to be the Harvard of the South for years. The joke is U pay Harvard $$$, but...U know the rest.

UM needs a football guru, somebody who eats sleeps drinks football. RS wasn't altogether bad, and we all know he wasn't the cure-all. But losing that final OB game that just hurt and to UVA. Right now nobody fears U. It was never like that before.

The only people I see who can bring U back to prominence and fast are Butch and JJ.

To I am a Writer: I like the "high character" comment and I really want to believe that U can win that way. But U can't. U gonna have to have a mix of smarties and core players that just want to play football. Forget going to class, just give me the **** ball. How do u think U did it in the past?

I think the Hurricanes can be the Dolphins any day :)

Somebody tell me please? Why are we abandoning the 4-3? We have always ran a 4-3 defense!! Why the change? This is the first thing Golden has done that i question. somebody please explain to me why the 3-4? What are the benefits of it? I dont think we should abandon the 4-3!!!

Golden and the coaches are not abandoning the 4-3 scheme. The 3-4 is just a package that they are installing to keep people off their game. Besides most really good defenses use a 3-4 package, 4-2-5, 3-2-6, 4-1-6 along with their 4-3 base defense. So really I wouldn't worry about it, were are still going to be based out of a 4-3 only now with some imagination and different packages.

Chickillo is the real deal. A great athlete and person. Had a 3.5 gpa this summer. The guy runs like a deer and arrives in a bad mood. Already technically is as sound as anybody on the team.

Can't wait for the season to start.

Besides "cool cat" a gator clown, the ufelony trash has stayed away. The see the storm coming and already have run and hid.

Why are we abandoning the 4-3?
We aren't!

Must listen Arty …


Big Al is another day closer to Happy Valley …


heard him quote Randy’s mismUmblings… boy looked over heated … mUst be a U thang

Gonna listen to Jacory’s excUses now … should be rich.


damn canes are charged up A K

Great to hear about Chickillo and I am glad that Henderson's surgery went well. He needs to get red shirted and comeb back strong next year. The concern that I have for him in his career here at UM and for him personally in the future is that he is a big man 6' 8" and 340+. It bis going to be hard on his frame and back to play at a top level over years with having back issues. All the best to him though on his recovery. BTW: I see other people posting with the monikor that I also use, just letting them know that I am not trying to steal their username, I have been using it for years and have it typeset, so that way you can differentiate our post.

Well if isn't my old retarded buddy Bull Gator! Hey dummy how have U been? By the way did U ever get all that egg off your face from Shannon getting canned or those ridiculous predictions of how Shannon was going to finsh out the season blowing everyone out? I told U the "warrior" as U said was heading out the door. Now we have a real head coach and by the looks of things your Gators have the white version of Shannon running things up there in Canesville. Man do U have problems on your hands, I mean Muskrat wasn't even as good a coordinator as Shannon was and well now he's your HC. Man things are a lookin a little bleak in your area of the woods. But there is good news, well at least for us Canes anyway, we are heading back to the top while FSU just keeps our seat warm for us. I'lla see'ya later.


A post by our friend Mark Drebin:
I just hope that GOLDEN has the guts to stand up to SHALAYA. Personally I will not donate any money to the U until she is fired, if everybody would follow my lead and not donate until Shalaya is gone, then the trustees will fire her! Money talks! I do not care about grade point averages, I only care about National Championships!

Posted by: markdrebin

Wow, that has to be the most ignorant comment that I've ever read. You must be a teenager. Certaibly not a UM grad. I actually feel sorry for you. Hey, I bleed green and orange too. Never missed a game since 1978. Been thru the good and bad. But I would NEVER demean my alma mater by saying that all I care about is football championships. Your comment is disgraceful. I for one care about the absolutely incredible work Shalala has done in turning the medical school and hospital into one of the best, top end research universities in the world. And she deserves a TON of credit for making that happen. The reputation of UM as a top notch school for academics has been bolstered significantly under her tenure. Sure, she's had some battles with the football program. She going to do everything it takes for it not to become gangster U of the 80's or the Ohio States of today! Do you want that? Huh! If you do, take off your jersey right now. True UM lifers don't want or need your support or money for that matter. Yes, I want to win. I want to be in the top 5 every year again. I want to taste the glory again. But to do that, Golden and Shalala have to co-exist. I want Golden to win 5 national championships. But get this straight. Even if he's winning a ton of games, if he pulls a Jim Tressel here, he'll be GONE! And I'll be the first to bid him adieu. Go Canes!

I hope you all are right about Golden. The enthusiasm seems very premature, especially since none of us are allowed to see practices and the sports media are severely restricted.
Having played organized tackle football for 11 seasons, I am of the opinion coaching does not make players. The influence of coaching in football is OVERRATED and coaches are OVERPAYED.

I agree totally with George. The Shalala haters are obviously people who care nothing about the U. She has done a fabulous job for the school. Years ago when I would tell people in Ohio that I graduated from Miami, they would say "Oh, what a good school, and Oxford is a beautiful place." When I corrected them that I went to U. of Miami in Coral Gables and not Miami U., the same people would laugh in my face and start talking about "Sun Tan U." Forty years later, when I tell people I went to the U. they say "Good school, your lucky," and their not talking about Oxford, Ohio. I love Hurricane football, travel to a game every year, contribute money and have Media Guides from 1982 through last year. But as much as I loved those five national championships, they mean nothing compared to the well-being and integrity of the institution. Donna Shalala has been more than a good caretaker, she has taken the U to the next level. We couldn't afford to maintain the Orange Bowl - so please don't blame her for that. And as for politics, George Bush gave her the Freedom Medal for her work with Bob Dole on the investigation of the medical care of our veterans. What more do you want?

Ohio, I agree with you. Some people are never happy.

Those same people would find things to critiCize after a National Championship.

Chikillo dropped a huge steamer on the huge steamer Emmitt dropped on the Gatr Trash Maggot Nation.

Having played organized tackle football for 11 seasons, I am of the opinion coaching does not make players. The influence of coaching in football is OVERRATED and coaches are OVERPAYED.

Don't think i could disagree with this statement more. Everyone's entitled to his opinion but at higher levels of football coaching makes all the difference. I can understand in pop warner and even high school raw talent is more important but in D1 and then NFL everyone has talent.

You think Jacory wouldnt have been better if his coaches weren't calling him deep balls 12 times a game? Coaches make or break programs in CFB just look at what a run of 2-3 good coaches has done for TCU/Boise. Or 2 bad coaches has done for us. I agree they are probably overpayed but its a big money business at big schools and coaches are basically the CEOs

Coaching and play calling are two entirely different things. No one knows better as to which play to call than the quarterback, especially since he can, should and does get feedback from the guys on the field,which the coach on the sideline does not. I wish the coaches would let the boys play! But on the other hand, if they do that, they can not pretend they are making a contribution to justify their high salaries.

The same applies to baseball. I am sick to see coaches calling the pitches. One of my close friends is in the Hall and a Cy Young winner. He told me the only reason the catcher gave him signs was to find out what he was going to throw. Makes sense. Right?

See i think play calling and coach fall under the same umbrella. Coaches offer experience on what works better than 21 year old kids can. This holds true in practice also as far as technique and strategies go. There is also simply the need for an authority to coordinate. Gotta have that general or else you're running 22 different offenses and defenses.

I won't claim to know about baseball like I know football, but havnig someone with years of experience around the game and innovative ideas (even if not the athletic ability to execute them themselves) can only help develop the players who do have the talent.




1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.