« Seantrel Henderson story takes another strange twist | Main | Seantrel Henderson was involved in car accident before returning home for friend's funeral »

D'Onofrio: Veteran corners need to be careful about how many days they miss

Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio hasn't been shy about paying compliments to his crop of talented new cornerbacks. He also hasn't been afraid to yank a black jersey from one of his veterans and hand it over to a newcomer.

Thursday, D'Onofrio continued to hammer home that message by saying he wouldn't be afraid to start a first-year player in the season opener at Boston College Sept. 1 and by taking direct aim at the work ethic of senior Brandon McGee.

"I just need Brandon to be consistent," D'Onofrio said when asked to discuss why freshman Tracy Howard took the black jersey from McGee three days ago. "I need Brandon's effort everyday to match his talent. I need him to give every ounce. Again, he's a senior and needs to perform at that level.

"We can't come out here every day and have a pep rally and strike up the band. You got to be responsible for you. I can't try to light a fire under you everyday. You got to be responsible for that fire. He's done some good things and gotten better. But the challenge is to be the same guy everyday."

McGee, the only cornerback on the roster with a college start under his belt, hardly seems worried. In fact, he seems to think the only reason he lost the job was because he missed a day because of a stomach virus.

"It's just a grind. It's camp. Things change weekly. I'm not new to this," McGee said. "I missed a day of practice because I was having some issues with my health and now I'm bouncing back, feeling better. I just keep making strides from here. It's going to take care of itself."

> Sophomore Thomas Finnie, who also lost his black jersey earlier this week to junior college transfer Ladarius Gunter, missed three consecutive days with an ankle injury before returning Thursday.

Golden seemed encouraged by the fact Finnie fought to get back on the field quickly.

"He's one of the guys you have to go to the trainer and say, 'Listen, he's going to tell you he's not hurt, but if he's limping, he's hurt,'" Golden said. "Thomas has got a great work ethic, he's tough, so hopefully he'll be ready to go."

Still, D'Onofrio said missing practice hurts and had a direct message for Finnie and McGee.

"You should be careful about how many days you miss," he said. "You don't want to go out of the huddle because you don't know who is coming in."

MORE NEWS & NOTES FROM THURSDAY

> Golden said Gunter, who is the starting boundary corner, has made a big turnaround at camp.

"Ladarius started off really poorly, I mean really poorly. So much so that by day three, he was third team," Golden said. "But he did not give up, he just kept studying, kept preparing, had a great attitude. I think anybody around the program would say the last three practices he's been really, really good. So hopefully he'll continue; he'll develop some consistency."

Gunter said he's dropped a handful on interceptions throughout camp and is mad at himself over it. Gunter said along with Finnie, freshmen Antonio Crawford and Nate Dortch are working at boundary corner. He said Howard, McGee and freshmen Larry Hope and Vernon Davis are working at field corner.

> D’Onofrio believes there is good competition at defensive tackle between Curtis Porter, Darius Smith, Olsen Pierre, and Luther Robinson. “I think those guys have separated themselves,” D’Onofrio said, “and I think we need to have some other guys step up from there.”

With Corey King out, D’Onofrio said he is looking for someone to emerge from a group of Jalen Grimble, DeQuan Ivery, Jacoby Briscoe and Earl Moore. “I need some more depth to come from that group,” D’Onofrio said. "We got to be able to have six to count on."

> Defensive end isn't a spot D'Onofrio has a whole lot of confidence in right now beyond Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green.

"Right now we've got [Kelvin] Cain, [Dwayne] Hoillett and [Tyriq] McCord behind Shayon [Green]," he said. "Shayon can also go an play in Chick's spot. We're working Jelani Hamilton, who is coming on. We've worked [Jake] O'Donnell, Ricardo [Williams] at that position. I kind of like the tackle position. But I'm trying to find more guys to count on out of that group. Some will rise out of it. When you have seven or eight at end and seven or eight at tackle, eventually it will flush out. But right now it hasn't.

"We still have players at both spots and we're looking to see who are going to be the next guys on the plane when we go to Boston College."

> D'Onofrio said he's not looking for Tracy Howard to be a leader, even though many of his teammates say he's already showing flashes of that. "Tracy is just going about his business and he's doing the job," D'Onofrio said. "All I know is he's coming out here and playing well. He studies the game, he works hard."

> If Seantrel Henderson (concussion) isn't ready to go for the season-opener, look for freshman Ereck Flowers to get a chance to start at right tackle. Offensive line coach Art Kehoe loves him.

" He's a freshman, but he's not really a freshman because he came in January," Kehoe said. "He knows the system... now he's starting to figure it out. He's being aggressive, jumping cadence more and he's finishing plays more."

> Golden wouldn't say if he's decided when if he'll announce who has won the starting quarterback competition (Aug. 13th or Aug. 19th) even though many players have said Stephen Morris is the favorite over Ryan Williams. Golden and D'Onofrio said coaches are still installing the playbook and evaluating what players can do in those plays. The team's first scrimmage is Sunday.

"They'll both get reps with the ones on Sunday and then we'll sit back as a staff Sunday night, Monday night and evaluate it," Golden said.

> Freshman receiver Robert Lockhart continues to draw praise from Golden. Lockhart caught a pair of touchdown passes in practice Wednesday.

"He's faster than we thought he would be," Golden said. "We knew he had a great vertical and ball skills, and that's what attracted us to him, but he's faster than we thought, which is a great benefit because we never had him in camp... We have to continue to learn. We're asking him to do a lot, but hopefully he'll continue to learn. He's very talented. We're excited about him."

> Golden is confident junior strongside linebacker Jimmy Gaines will be back out at practice Friday. Golden, though, said Gaines wouldn't play in Sunday's scrimmage and be transitioned into his spot next week.

"Jimmy's been getting reps, we've just been protecting him," Golden said.

Comments

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

If Kehoe is comfortable with Flowers then so am I. Big season for THE U!!

Tough to see some defensive players already nicked up this early.Regarding McGhee....he never was near as decent a player as he thinks he is.Very underachiever.Funny he s not aware of it.I do know he s lacked confidence as a player for 3 years.He s also been toast for 3 years.He s supposedly fast but gets outsmarted by other teams offenses quite regularly.Hope Howard starts over this maybe barely average player.Also surprised the defensive ends have not stepped up in terms of back up depth.That s a serious concern right there alone.D Onofrio will be getting blasted if he fails to develope defensive depth again this year.

If only Mr. Five Titles and his multiple IDs would just take a couple days off then this place would run much smoother

@Jojo bro I agree with you on Brandon McGhee. He costed us the Maryland game last yr. And he has been getting beat like he stole something. I don't care for him too tough. I told my brother a month ago that Brandon McGhee was going to loose his job to Tracy Howard. I'm not surprised at all and to Ereck Flowers good job man continue to do what you do bro. Keep Jimmy Gaines where he's at all those linebackers we have they need to make some noise. D-Line need to make some as well. L.Gunter bro I like ur attitude yes be mad about dropping picks. You need to get them every chance you get because no team deserves a second chance on the field if they tend to make a mistake. That's what Miami needs some interceptions this yr. We need alot of them so keep them coming.

Echo

I forget to mention Lockhart. Sounds like your trying to take someone's position. This is what I like to hear. Improvement!!!!!! This freshman class isn't playing around. Hey susan any word on Malcom Lewis,De'mauri Jones? I can't wait to see Lewis go off this yr I know he's going to have a blast on Brandon McGhee in practice. That's what I would do if I was a coach I would allow Mcghee to cover a Freshman in practice and if he gets toasted then he's surely sitting on the bench with no playing time.

JO JO and Tally Cane (same person different IDs)
Dont act like you are really Cane fans because any Miami fan would know that his name is spelled McGee and not Mcghee
His name is D`Mauri and not De`mauri
The least you could do is make an effort even though youre not a Canes fan

jo jo and 850: McGee also got burned vs FSU. Idont care if he's a senior or whatever. If you cant bring it every single play in practice, how can we fans expect he will bring it every play in a key game? He falls asleep one play against say, FSU and Bam! Touch down. He neds to be a leader by example and for the DC and others to have to point that out brings me again to what many have said: It all boils down to those me-first overstarred overhyped overrated Miami NW recruits and other Shannon recruits from 2006-2010. They all thought that by putting on the U helmet that the starting job was automatic. They all got a rude welcome when season in season out they realized that even so-called slow kids from Wisconsin can play ball- and play ball they did. All over their cocky 305 a55es.

I'm not sold on McGee. He might be overrated. And Gaines gave up some big and small plays last year. Finnie deserves a shot. U gotta like Kehoe and the comments about arriving in January and "cadence." Hey Art, man, if you're reading this, what exactly is "cadence?"

LB: I dunno. I like Cain. But are U getting the best of Cain's ability at DE? There's a lot of ways to use Cain at LB. He's got the height and speed and ain't afraid to hit. At DT somebody has to step up.

But, hey, the OL could emerge as the strongest segment of the team, if SH starts kicking butt.

Prediction: Morris makes HM All-American.

HM=Honorable Mention. The success of this team comes around to Defense.

Love the sense of competition that our coaches are placing on players. Who ever is the best will start and play. That's the way a championship team is created. Can't wait for Sept. 1st to get hear.

some good news, football is back...now let's stop all the talking and please SHOW US WHAT YOU GOT against BOSTON COLLEGE...They came down here and schooled us in the home finale last yr...much like the Maryland and VA games...more physical and QBs had all day to throw. NOT SURE WHO SAID IT, But I too agree...if the def and off lines can be tough, tougher than last 5-6 yrs...we could progress...but PLEASE no more getting pushed all over the field by teams with undersized linemen that have more heart and determination. I am looking forward to seeing Dnezel Perryman make a big stride towards MLB of the conference this yr...he has the desire we have not seen from that position in yrs. GOD Bless all of my CANE brothers and sisters!

Something is telling me this team is going to be better thans last year. J. Harris cost us a game or two, sorry to him, but he is gone now. Still this team is going to more talented, we just need to plug that defensive line!

Something is telling me this team has all the makings of the 2001 team

With the Canes rep. they must know the ref's watch one side of the line of scrimmage only. Tough to play your heart out and bad calls turns mo against you.
GO CANES

Relieved that receivers are stepping up, they leaned heavily on Streeter and Benjamin last year.

Which is the receiver who went to high school with Howard and supposedly helped swing him? Not Lockhart...

Something is telling me this team has all the makings of the 2011 team. Except that the secondary is worse, so are the receivers and running backs, and the D line too. If all the freshmen come in and contribute at an all star clip right away then we will be able to improve on last years results.
Too bad we don't have a stud freshman QB to put pressure on Morris. I still think we should roll out a team with as many freshmen as possible.
Good thin our punter is awesome!

Come on football!!!!

Something is telling me that if this blog didn't exist you would have no reason to get up in the morning.

What were []_[] saying ??

That you are a Gators fan who has taken the time to learn how to make a 'U' symbol on the keyboard and should be ashamed of yourself.

Found him - Malcolm Lewis, big bodied dude.

I'm thinking that Benjamin's going to be harder to replace than Byrd and Streeter but that dude Dorsett has some wheels.

So you changed your name to 850 tally cane you are some hot garbage be original.lol

They should move Dyron Dye to DE. He could add some competition to the DE group.

I love it when they wear those cut off shirts..amazing bodies.

Keeping the spirit of 'Ole Beano alive.

Morris will lead the canes to two championships and two heismans.

Heck, why not.

HA!!!!! Resorting to childish tactics, i see. Not a problem, see if I care. pillow biting culero. I love when culeros get beat down with the metal in Jamaica. Piece by piece

NO wait, I retract that previous statement. NO VIOLENCE = NO AGONIZING PLEAS FOR MERCY. I'm sorry, go in peace brother. i'm sorry.

or sister

I've got a spare tix to San Fran...who's with?

We can even stop by dj williams old stomping grounds

ohhhh the wonder

Capital E is irrelevant. I'll let Satan rip you into pieces, your homosexuality. HA!!!!! culero

deloUsinalcane you crack me up.. I really think you are funny..
Not funny in a bad sense but Henny Youngman funny..Older, cackling, and always stirring. Take my 'Canes please take them but leave the 2011 team. I'll keep those guys, and "Good thin our punter is awesome!" Freshmen yea yea yea..bring them out.
I love it..
Your team with as many freshmen as possible are going to be rolled out.
Question is though are YOU ready?..
Thanks for a laugh.
Go 'Canes Always

6 wins, maybe 7. Mediocrity at its finest.

is davon johnson still on team also what position this year go dj

Good work Manny , I like all the information you've provided in this column, keep up the good work

Al: J12 costs UM a game or two last year? Don't 4get it's a TEAM sport. TEAM as in players and COACHES!!!

Cool cat when will you ever get that jacorry will go down in hitory as UMs worse QB?

Worse UM QBs:

1-JH
2-kyle wright
3-crudup
4-kirby freeman( at least he beat FSU)
5-frank costa
6- kenny kelly

Posted by: UGoCane

Glad I was able to lighten up your day.
I hope you are right with the all freshmen team. I am more than ready for this season.
The punter is All ACC, remember, don't diss him.
Henny Youngman must be a fossil if he is even alive, so dude give me a break, couldn't you find someone a bit younger?

"You should be careful about how many days you miss," he said. "You don't want to go out of the huddle because you don't know who is coming in."

Mark, good thing you put quotes around one of Curtis Martins statements during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech but why not just treat the team to the entire speech, which is in the top three of most inspiring I've ever heard.

I'm gonna pray for the person that steals handles and make comments to separate have real cane fans at odd with each other. It must be pretty sad to live yor life for foolishness.

oh ok. You're right. very correct you are tallycane

the real emilio

You forgot Ryan Collins

Golden simply wants his guys playing with "instinctive"fierce competitiveness and smarts. Sounds like too many still need external motivation. He wants a team full of crazy men coming at opponents with the wrath of death. Re: Brandon McGee, only his 40 time is impressive. He plays at 4.6 speed in games, get beat as often as cake batter and couldn't tackle a dummy. When you make decisions to replace guys fast and permanantly, guys get the picture.

As an investigator, we skake our heads at NCAA Human Behavior rules violations. Many of their rules ask young men to sacrafice the very things all students and working citizens strive for, money, material items and association with those that have. With knowledge of Nevin Shipiro's case the NCAA could have very well been victim to his investment schemes since major institutions, astute and wealthy business men and investment professionals were all swindled by Nevin and associates. From my position and intimate knowledge of this case and more importantly the psychological tendencies of individuals like Nevin Shapiro, the NCAA is allowing their organization to further the distruction of a fine educational institution, athletic programs and young men. Nevin is an egotistical social misfit that used his wealth to in a sence to "own" and befriend guys that throughout his life had rejected him. Upon his arrest and subsequent rejection by all his perceived friends his only recourse was to use the "one" organization that could and would assist him in his revenge act, The NCAA. The NCAA is the one and only enforcement agency that would punish his victims for being victims of a high level con man. That they, the NCAA, would be the only and I mean only agency to punish victims Nevin Shapiro's schemes is a down right disgrace! While the SEC, FBI and Justice Departments are diligently working to prosecute him and collaborators and repay many of his victims, the NCAA has spent thousands of hours assisting Nevin further his distruction of lives. Shame on them!

TAMPACANE

Well said about B.McGee. I've been saying it forever, he simply gets burnt on everything. If his 40time is the only thing he has going for him then make him a return man and leave it at that. With T.Finnie, L.Hope, V.Davis, L.Gunter, T.Howard, A.Crawford, N.Dortch, K.Jackson, J.Tolson, D.Johnson and some others are enough back there.

Guys that can play either safety or corner are..
R.Jenkins
D.Bush
K.Rogers

Make McGee a WR/PR/KR and leave it at that. He can't play corner and has proved that time and time again. He got the position by default not effort. He says that he's "seen this before" but this time he won't get that spot back. Senority means nothing to Golden and it shouldn't anywhere. Best play and that's it.

GO CANES!!!!

go away emilio

yankee go home

It may be to early to pass judgement on D'Onofrio however he has not lived up to his billing. To say a player must be careful of practices they miss could lead to an injured player playing hurt not to lose their position and really become injured. D'Onofrio, until you prove YOURSELF be careful how you criticise young people.

I hope Ray Buchanan is healthy Perry man was a beast last year so it makes spence lost not tuff. But if ramon B can play like he shuld be(top 3 lb in 08 class). he gives us nice corps. good lcuk tracy. START THE FRESHMAN GOLDIE

The comments to this entry are closed.