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Friday night: Jacory's arm went numb but should be "OK", and Golden's overall assessment

Here's what I transcribed from Al Golden's teleconference this evening:


How is Jacory doing?

I think he’s doing OK. What happened on that play was he took a shot to the upper biceps. I don’t know if he hit a nerve or something but his arm went completely numb on him for the last two plays. But I think he’s OK.


So he can practice pretty much fully once that starts?  


You said you wanted more efficiency in the running game on first and second downs to avoid third-and-long. What are you seeing right now that’s causing the problem?

Some of the issues are we had a couple false starts in the game and you get behind the 8-ball there. There are a lot of things we have to improve. No. 1 is our blocking and No. 2 is Lamar has just got to hit singles. He’s got to hit it up in there. We’re dancing a little bit too much. Maybe we’re trying to do too much at running back but we’ve got to just press it a little bit more, trust the scheme and trust the blocking. Right now we’re trying to do too much with the running game

Is Lamar’s shoulder OK?

  I think he’s OK. I don’t know what he did on the third-and-[3] and fourth-and-[2] plays. He came out of the game and he got banged up in some capacity and came out of the game. But everything I’m seeing on the injury report is that he’ll be OK.

How did the defense do generally?

Ultimately when you give up those kind of ex plays that we gave up it’s hard to overcome. When you get something for nothing it makes it really, really hard. Clearly we didn’t get enough pressure on Rocco, the Va. Quarterback; We didn’t do a good enough job getting off the field on third down, they had the ball the entire third quarter;  we have to do a better job getting off the field there. The explosive plays were just too much to overcome, really was. That part of it was disappointed. I was disappointed in our tackling and I was disappointed in the ex plays we gave up. Another thing is we had a fake field goal that led to points and we have a roughing the punter that leads to point and then we have a late hit on the quarterback that leads to points. Those are hard to overcome, too.

 In the four games you lost you only forced two turnovers and five sacks. How big of a factor is that?

  I’ve been saying it all along. I don’t pull any punches on who we are right now, especially on defense. If we don’t take the ball away, play really good red-zone defense and get off the field on third down, it’s going to be hard for us to win.  We’re trying to build, we’re trying to grow, were trying to move forward, but if we don’t take the ball away it makes it really hard right now.

 Again, just disappointed in the overall play of the team, not just the defense, the overall play, and that falls on me.

 Lamar has a heavier workload than last year, with a third of the season to go. Is it getting to him?

 I think that’s fair but if you recall I said he really didn’t start understanding or appreciating or recognizing how important it is to be in incredible condition as an elite tailback until after spring ball. You’re not talking about somebody who has been working out on an elite level in the offseason for two or three years. You’re talking about really May, June, July and August. It served him really well. I’m glad he made that approach, but I’m certain now he understands what we’re talking about in terms of your body being your biggest investment especially at running back and the things he needs to do to prepare himself for that.

 I’m concerned about everybody’s health. It’s seven straight games and then a short week. I was concerned about it. I was concerned about transitioning from Georgia Tech to Virginia and concerned about our health and our fatigue.

 The final long touchdown play for Va, it seemed like Jimmy Gaines was one-on-one, was he supposed to get help on top?

  If we don’t get pressure on quarterback it’s hard for anybody to hold up there, let alone Jimmy. They really had a great call on there but we didn’t get any pressure, we didn’t get anybody in the quarterback’s face and the longer that play goes the harder it is for Jimmy or any safety to defend. That was a tough one.We had a blown assignment on the screen that went for one and a clearly we had a safety out of position on the pitch pass so three explosive plays and hard to overcome them. (8:40)


When you looked at the play, did it appear to you that Olivier got blocked into the quarterback?

  I don’t see the TV copy so obviously you start to hear somebody saying this or what perception and reality is. We watched the tape and on the sideline view (Olivier) he clearly got blocked and pushed from behind, No. 1. And No. 2 you can clearly see him trying to turn his upfield shoulder at the last second and there’s actually probably a half yard between his helmet and the young man’s knee. So I was convinced that it was not intentional and I wanted to make sure we did our due diligence here. I brought him in and reviewed it with him and I’m confident that there was no intent there but Olivier does play hard. He made a hard turn to the quarterback and he did tell me he was trying to avoid him up high because he could see the kid start his windup. But I do know there was a push in the back. I know there was an attempt by Olivier not to go for the kid’s knee with his head gear. That was clear. If that is portrayed differently or if there’s an angle that shows differently I’ll have to examine that.

 We know you’re focused on process but do you worry how this team holds it together with long ACC odds and throughout the last third of the season?

  don’t because it’s Year One. We’re trying to fix long term problems in the short term and that’s the challenge of our staff and for me as the head coach and for this team. There’s still so much to play for and we are playing a lot of young guys mixed in with the veterans. We need the seniors to continue to lead and stay focused and improve, and obviously they are. Sean Spence is playing well, [Jordan] Futch is probably playing the best football of his career, I think Jacory obviously played well yesterday, Travis Benjamin, Harland Gunn, Tyler Horn. So, a lot of the seniors are stepping up for us and playing well. We just need some of the young guys to step up and understand, we have a long way to go. We’re not where we want to be yet. We fight back, we don’t quit, we’re competitive but we’re not consistent, and that’s what gnawing at me today. I want to build a team that is consistent every day, that practices consistently, that has the same approach and plays the same way. There were too many lulls in that game for us to be consistent.

 How much does two extra days of treatment when you’ve gone seven straight?

It’s huge. We’re not doing anything with them at all Friday, Saturday, Sunday. They’ll just take care of academics and get rested. I was nervous going into the game. I knew we were going to face a downhill running attack with two really good running backs, a big offensive line. I was concerned how we came out of the Georgia Tech game. I was hoping and praying we’d be able to hang in there and get some stops. But clearly we gave them explosive plays, we miss a field goal, we fumble on the 12 and we miss a fourth-and-1 on the 13 and that’s the difference in the game despite all the easy plays that we gave them. 

 Could you assess the plays of the safeties and the cornerbacks?


At safety we’re not where we need to be. Clearly JoJo [Nicolas] is playing the best for us there. He has been consistent both in his ability to operate the defense and the way he’s playing and leading. We’re not disciplined enough and we keep giving up explosive plays on the back end – the pitch pass for one. We had a blown assignment in the secondary on the screen. I believe it was the first quarter that scored  a touchdown. We’re not consistent enough there and obviously we need to improve. Our tackling is inconsistent as well. At times Vaughn [Telemaque] and Ray [Armstrong] really tackled well, but there’s still too many times where we don’t execute the way we need to.

At cornerback?

We’ve got to get [Brandon] McGee over the hump now. He’s doing so many things better. He’s becoming more reliable. He’s just got to become to the point where he’s dependable and frees it up and starts to make some big plays for us, some interceptions, or some big tackles, or some caused fumbles. Those types of things. He’s maturing, he’s improving but we really need him to finish strong here in this final stretch an clearly we need from Mike Williams, we need more from [Thomas] Finney and we need more from [Lee] Chambers at this point in time.

Duke is ranked 22nd nationally in passing offense. They have two big-play threats, in  Vernon and Varner, from Miami. How concerned are you with that?

 I’m concerned about everything. My focus here today and tomorrow will be making sure we’re taking care of the things that we need to take care of on our end.  I’ve watched all three phases of Duke here today. But our attention will go squarely on Duke on Sunday. I’m concerned about it all. I’m concerned about every team we play. I’m mostly concerned about making sure we have a team that adheres to the preparation, the process and understands what it means to be consistent and play consistently game in and game out. We have not done it yet. We just have not. That was the challenge for the team this week and we didn’t bring all three phases for four quarters and that’s why we end up on the 8-yard line and falling short just by a little bit again.

 Are their spirits down?

 I hope they’re down right now. I do. I hope they feel badly. That’s the kind of culture we want. We want it to hurt. We don’t want it to be easy to lose. WE don’t want that .500 mentality where it’s OK to lose. We did too many things in that game.. we don’t miss a field goal or we don’t fumble on the 12-yard line clearly the game is different. We’re kicking a field goal to win. The same thing with the fake field goal and roughing the punter. We go from having a chance for an ex play blocked punt to roughing the punter and giving them a first down and points. We’re just trying to develop consistency and that starts with my approach to staff and we want that from the team as well.


The offensive line play?

I would say that [Harland] Gunn, [Tyler] Horn and [Brandon] Linder played really well. Seantrel [Henderson], that was probably the most he’s played – I think it was 43 reps. That was the first time he got back to kind of a normal game for him. Not full game, but probably three quarters. But we gave up three sacks and we just didn’t block as well as we need to block. It’s not just the O-line, it’s the tight ends and running backs hitting their aim points and getting positive yards.

 When you look at last night’s loss, do you look at it as a setback for the program or is it part of the growth process and the big picture?

 It’s part of the growth process. I’m not even going to deny that. I’m disappointed but I’m not discouraged. We’re just not consistent right now. We understand the impact that penalties and mental errors and special teams have on the game last week and we protect the ball and keep our penalties down and do a really good job on special teams.  And then we turn around this week. I’m trying to develop a consistent team here. I don’t know if they don’t know how to handle success right now. In a short week we were just trying to keep them fresh and develop some momentum and just keep them focused on the process but I just didn’t do a good enough job. I just did not do a good enough job. We just had too many mental breakdowns in that game to win.



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You're right the answer is no and there are reasons for this so we should evaluate all of them before we send him to the chopping block. Let's look at this scenario...How many OC's had he had to deal with up till this point? More than any other QB currently on the roster I believe plus it doesn't help to be fighting with your OC (whipple) on the sideline during games. In highschool at Northwestern he was allowed to check down and up until this point of his college career, he hasn't been allowed to do that until fisch came into the picture. He does have great #'s but to compare him to Dorsey is impossible. Look at Dorsey's weapons of choice plus Dorsey was a brain, a real smart QB throughout his career. Dorsey had excellent accuracy as well, not the strongest arm but he knew when to throw it so the receiver would be there right on time. So accuracy, brains, and timing were Dorsey's biggest weapons alongside the receivers he had to throw to.

I like that Harris has come together and put something positive on the field for us but it's just too late. If he had another year then I would say lets see but I can't say that in this case. He'll go undrafted and float around in the practice squads or play in canada at best. Maybe the arena league with T.O. to throw to, who knows.


All I'm saying is if you or anyone is gonna give an evaluation on something or someone make sure you mention every variable in the equation. The glass is half full and empty in other words.

If Golden and Co. had gotten here a year earlier, what a sight that might have been? hmm

Worked otu in a gym where several of the linemen workout this past summer. I was surprise when I benched 365x4 and none of them could do it one time.

They definitely need a strength coach as i weigh only 255 pounds and no juice in me .

Itcdolphin - funny you would say that because I agree entirely that yelling at players isn't the only way someone can be a leader. I think that Harris has a quiet leadership that the team buys into and respects.

Only reason I said that is that I DID read your post - the one where you said Dorsey was a great leader because he got in players' faces.

On youtube as of today Golden after practice. Within the first 30secs of the clip he's already talking about players need to be stronger and that'll be another year in the weight room. There you have it.

youtube - titled "10/31/11-Al Golden"

Well euclohpyptus it's great that you read, because then you might read the entirety of what was written, because right after that there was and mixed with the players. So when you take everything written you get the entire context. Harris sits by himself and does not mix with the o, nor does he get in their faces. You see a good leader knows when to do those things, so thanks for helping to show he is not a good leader.

A lot of people here on these Canes blogs have problems with me being as passionate as I am about me favorite team. That I have too much rah rah rah in me and what have you. All I have to say is that if we had more of that in all of us, we would have a better turn out and better outlook with hurricanes football. Imagine if we all would get as psyched up as I do (not saying that all of you don't just go with it) showed up to all home games, travel when you can, and really try to look at the team with a positive outlook what would our fan base look like? Now I'm sure that there are plenty here that show up to all home games and what have you. Great we need more of that because what there is now isn't enough. Thursday night said there was 40,000+. Sorry but it didn't look like that to me. It was pathetic, really pathetic the turn out that I saw. I know I come off as a crazy fan typing with caps a lot and everything else but does it really bother people that there is someone that cheers for their team as much as me? I was part of the WEZ crew that were some of the nastiest fans you could come across. If you wore another teams colors, you had stuff thrown at you. Plus you couldn't do anything about it because a cop isn't gonna arrest a whole section of people. Sorry. I know those actions aren't tolerated at Joe Robbie stadium but you get the idea to some degree. In the end I'm just a hurricane fanatic to the bone no less. Someone talks garbage about my team I don't mind reminding them of the place, simple as that. Right now is the time for other teams to enjoy the limelight. That's the way it has been historically with the Canes. Canes were great in the 80's and then died off in the 90's due to the pell grant situation which brought suspensions. Then towards the end of the 90's they started to pick things up again and then went undefeated and won a NC, again. Then the following year went to the NC game again only to get screwed at the end by a ref who later admitted to making a bad call and had to move from his home due to death threats. Guess he pissed off the bookies in Vegas. We had some decent seasons after 2002 and then came the randy period where really nothing was done at all. Now is the Golden era and we'll see, if we're patient, where this will take us in the upcoming seasons. Nobody knew that we would get hit with suspensions literally a couple weeks before our first game. Take away the suspensions and we win that "mary land" game and very likely the kstate game as well. That puts us at 6-4 this season going into the duke game. Right now there are a few things that the team needs to do to get back to the top. You can call it out in any order you like....

no particular order
1.strength coach
2.randy's guys gone
3.start looking to the future and playing younger guys
4.bring in players that want to be here
5.recruit the hell out of the state of miami
6.guys with chips on their shoulders, hungry players!

U get the idea.

GO U!!!!

Sorry typo, not 6-4 meant to write 6-2.

Itcdolphin - I get what you're trying to say, when you see them pan to Harris on the TV after a drive he's always off in his own head.

I just don't think that makes him a bad leader or less a part of the team, if I had to guess I'd say he probably gets along with the majority of players better than Dorsey did.

I'd go so far as to say that his rapport with the team and his leadership qualities are probably the ONLY thing Harris has going for him and will be the reason that it's him and not Stephen Morris finishing out this season.

New strength coach and saying goodbye to randy's current seniors (I wish Travis and Sean weren't seniors) and this program turns around big time.

If anyone hasn't taken a deep look at the current roster and sees who's a senior and who's the kid right behind them, you'll see a more promising team that has already a year under it's belt with this new system and staff. I like those odds better than the ones we have had this year. Don't you?

Go U!!!!!!!

And while I'm at it


AHHHH haven't said that in a while.

If u compare the start ofthe season with how defense is playing now, its better and better than any I can remember scheme wise. We will work on pratcing plays that they se to counter blitzes. U wil see at duke how good we are

duke is going to chuck it 50 times against Miami. They will use bubble screen after bubble screen till they are blue in the face. Oh- Thats right they are blue in the face. But mark my words. they will throw to Vernon and varner 50 times. Miami has to send the kitchen sink, bc their QB is actually quite accurate.

We need to pound the you know what with the running game, control the clock, and wear them out. I wouldnt be surprised if they surprise us like Bethune did. Watch out.

Miami loses to Duke (which I doubt, although I never thought theyd lose to UVa), I will be gone off this blog, and seriously buh bye. Its not like Va Tech losing to james Madison, bc they then ran up an 11 game winning streak. Or Michigan losing to App state bc they stunk worse than we do. And because UM is already only 4-4. geezus. There was a time... not too long ago, that losing to Duke was as far fetched as putting a man on Jupiter. Seriously. I am getting nervous already.

If the 2011 Duke game is deciding whether or not you're going to be a UM fan you should have jumped off board long ago.

another year of playing JH hurt..and sitting, what I think, is a capable QB..

@ MH

agreed. Time to focus on the future and not make the same mistakes that randy did. Play Morris.

Go U

First we needed a new coach, then a president, a stadium. Now we need a new DC, oh yeah lets not forget new players. Then we will be straight. Bah humbug. Why can't it be that bigger public university( lower test scores and admission) has stolen and adapted to Schellenberger style of recruiting. Most inner-city kids in the 80's went to HBC's(Historically Black Colleges) see Walter Payton, Jerry Rice. Today's public Universities copying Miami and letting those kids in their schools, especially the Florida kids. Miami started a tradition that the bigger universities are adapting to now. Miami is trying to become the Harvard of the the south. Higher admission and test scores leads to lower football talent. So if you fans can not understand that. Maybe new coaching, stadium and players is not the problem. Maybe we need new FANS.

@ Swaggalikus

The fans are still the same. The only things that have changed is the school. Raising the schools admissions higher than what the NCAA demanded of us after the pell grant situation in the 90's. That's on Shalalalala. She has tried to keep up this idea of a "Harvard of the South" but those on the board are so closed minded that they can't understand that a university such as harvard could never exist here in miami. Not with downtown, south beach, brickell, new casions popping up, etc.... This is a party town. This is a football town on top of that. Howard knew that and brought in everyone that was leaving to other schools and created a dominate dare I say "family-team" of local players that all knew one another from being teammates of playing against each other's schools. He brought the community together while the school director is slowing tearing the community apart from the team. You say we need new fans but really we need our old way back. This new way that shalalalala has tried to portray is not the Miami way and the Miami community knows it. She's not a local so I can't expect her to understand that. We lost Kevin Grooms, top broward athlete, who was dying to be a Cane and couldn't qualify. The standards need to be dropped back down to where it was before shalalala got here. That's what allowed all these great players from the 2000/2001/2002 teams to play for the Canes and keep our tradition in the national spotlight. I miss our OB but it's gone. So forget about it (tear). I want to give the new coaching staff the same amount of time that I gave candy randy so I will not criticize them until the end of next season. All that randy had his hand in should go though and that does mean his recruited senior players (except travis and sean) and strength coach swasey. He's weak plain and simple. We need a real strength coach.

Other than that you made very good points.


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