Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt showed a rare glimpse of frustration before the team gets ready for their second scrimmage of camp on Saturday. I talking to the media on Friday, Richt seemed to suggest that he’s not in a good place when it comes to confidence with the offensive side of the ball.
“Or I’m just not gonna have a whole lot of fun with you all anymore,’’ Richt said. “Right now I enjoy hanging out with you all, and everybody has got a job to do but I wasn’t too happy about how the thing ended, trying to do situational offense — one minute drill in particular.
“It looked like we didn’t coach one down.’’
Obviously with Richt being an offensive coach he’s going to be extra critical on that side of the ball. Though he didn’t mention the QB competition this shows his displeasure with the progress was in that aspect. Richt being a former QB, you can see that whatever they are trying to execute through the QBs isn’t working or at least wasn’t working late in the week at the level Richt expects heading into the second scrimmage.
You can understand Richt’s frustration as he was complimenting the progress of the offense last week. He clearly isn’t happy that progress hasn’t incrementally gotten better.
With all that said, it’s important to note that the offense is going up against perhaps one of the best defensive units in the country. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has a lot of depth at pretty much every position. They are aggressive hungry and competitive. Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated talked about the Miami defense in part of his column on Friday:
Miami has one of the best D-lines in the country, with a legit front four of Chad Thomas (11 tackles for loss last season), Kendrick Norton (10 TFLs), RJ McIntosh (nine TFLs) and Joe Jackson (8.5 sacks as a freshman last year) and there’s some studs behind those guys too. The linebackers are fast and fierce—keep an eye on sophomore Shaq Quarterman, who looks like he’ll be an All-America before he leaves Coral Gables. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has a lot to work with now. Last season his group was pretty green up front, especially the freshman linebacker trio, but it still ranked fifth in FBS in tackles for loss and 22nd in sacks.
One ACC coach last winter told me he thought Miami was the most talented team he faced in 2016. And this was a guy who had also faced Clemson.
Understanding Richt’s frustrations, you can certainly chalk up at least some of the hinderance of progress on the defense, which could demoralize the offense. Even the more polished offenses in the country would struggle with this defensive unit. Putting that into perspective is important however Richt isn’t going to let that slide clearly. He doesn’t want to even for one second allow the offense to believe that they can’t overcome a good defense.
Even with the question marks on offense, Richt’s frustration is actually a positive sign for the team as a whole. It shows that the expectations to win and win big are here now and that Richt wants the offense to have the focus to overcome adversity. He’s putting pressure on the offense to see how they respond. It will be interesting what happens on Saturday.