As you no doubt know by now, offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson has missed the first three days of University of Miami football camp, and not many would be surprised if he were out again Monday for Day Four.
Al Golden seems to give his players chances to grow and learn from any shortcomings, but I suspect patience is wearing very thin -- and that has nothing to do with the funeral Seantrel returned to Minnesota to attend.
My updated story will be online later at MiamiHerald.com. No revelations. But coaches are obviously already making position shifts, or practicing different combinations, on the offensive line. I know Art Kehoe believes in doing that anyway, but I still think they're preparing just in case.
Golden said Jermaine Johnson is now playing tackle instead of guard (he's listed as a guard on the newest depth chart), and Jon Feliciano, who says he's still a guard, practiced yesterday at right tackle. Not sure about Sunday because the line just did blocking drills while reporters were there for our 15 minutes of viewing. Feliciano told us that freshman Ereck Flowers was practicing as the first-team right tackle.
D'ONOFRIO HIGH ON FRESHMEN CBS
I spoke with defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio today, and asked him to tell me the freshmen players who have really "jumped out'' at him.
"Good question,'' he said. "We have so many of them, which is good, and I'm trying to evaluate them all right now.'' Then he went on to name cornerbacks Tracy Howard, Vernon Davis and Antonio Crawford.
"Those three right now have stood out to me,'' he said. "The safeties have done a good job in Deon Bush and Rayshawn Jenkins, but the three corners have stood out because of playmaking ability, competitiveness and commitment. They are guys that really like football.
"I heard an interesting quote last night from Curtis Martin. He was talking about getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and he talked about Bill Parcells one time questioning, and saying, 'Just be careful that you understand the difference between routine and commitment.' He always thought of himself as a hard worker and I thought that kind of hit home with some of these guys.
"Routine is when the guys step in and they go to the meetings and they go to practice and they do what they're supposed to do. But commitment is when they do extra. These guys are willing to do extra questions. They're studying their books at night. You've got to kick them out of the meeting room. That's what I've noticed early on.''
MORE D'ONOFRIO REFLECTIONS
D'Onofrio, as well as Golden, want defensive tackles Curtis Porter and Darius Smith to take it to another level conditioniong wise. Smith already has dropped more than 35 pounds (to his current 324) from the beginning of last season's training camp. Smith said he'd like to lose at least another 10 pounds.
Porter, who had a severely injured finger last season, played in only the last two games.
"I think Curtis [Porter] right now, we're trying to see where he is conditioning wise,'' D'Onofrio said. "He has played a quarter of the season at most the last two years. He's a long way away from being where we want him to be and it's going to take a hard training camp.''
"Darius has gotten his weight closer to where we want him to be, but he's got another step to go. There are nine defensive tackles now in camp and they're all going to get opportunities. The picture is not clear there.''
Concluded D'Onofrio: "I need conditioning and the ability to make plays, those are the issues at the end of the day.''
SHAYON PROUD IN BLACK
Defensive end Shayon Green is wearing a black jersey that goes to first-teamers. He said "It symbolizes the starters and toughest guys on the team. It's unbelievable [to wear one despite] coming from two knee surgeries.''
* Outside linebacker Jimmy Gaines (foot) was limited again in practice
* Golden gushed about fifth-year senior receiver Kendal Thompkins, saying he had a great summer from a conditioning standpoint. "What I see right now is I see Kendal, who is a fast young man who is able to do that now for a 2 1/2- hour practice. That was never the case a year ago. ''
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN