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Miami Hurricanes

“Dream” Hurricanes job already too big for Manny Diaz?

Matt Zemek

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Maybe he should have stayed at Temple. This doesn’t mean Manny Diaz won’t work out as the Miami Hurricanes’ next coach, but it does mean that his career might have been better served by taking a less pressure-packed head coaching job to familiarize himself with the workings of the industry before taking over the Canes.

I am reminded of Luke Walton taking the Los Angeles Laker job – his dream job – at a very early age, when all the pieces were NOT lined up for him to succeed in that position.

Think about it: If a given coaching job is your dream job, do you want to take it at a very early point in your career, when the stars aren’t aligned and failure is more possible, thereby meaning that your dream job is likely to never lift your career to a championship-level height?

If you love a specific coaching job so much, wouldn’t you want to take that job at a point when you know you can make it work, when you KNOW you can put everything in order and do a job exactly the way you intended?

Walton loved being coach of the Lakers so much that he took the job right away. We all saw what happened. Walton did not last very long at his dream job. He didn’t win anything at his dream job.

He is now in Sacramento.

Walton wasn’t wrong to WANT to be coach of the Lakers, the job he dreamed of having. He was wrong to TAKE the job at a point when being Laker coach was extremely hard, an uphill battle in a dysfunctional situation.

Can we say the same for Manny Diaz? I think so.

He has roots and connections in Miami. The place is a spiritual and cultural home. Of course this was the place Manny Diaz was meant to coach. No one disputes this.

However: Was this the right time to take the job? He could have gone to Temple for two or three seasons and learned how to be a head coach. Yes, it is fair to point out that Diaz saw Mack Brown, Dan Mullen, and Mark Richt – three good to great head coaches – ply their trade up close and personal for several years.

I won’t engage in revisionist history and say Diaz hadn’t paid enough dues before coming to Miami as the head coach of the Canes. He paid his dues

I did, however, wonder if Diaz was ready to apply the various lessons he had hopefully learned.

Well… the early read in Year 1 is that he hasn’t.

It isn’t even close… not after listening to Diaz on the Miami-based Joe Rose Show from Monday.

The first question Joe Rose asked Diaz elicited this response right out of the gate:

“We’re four plays away from being 7-0,” Diaz said.

Oh no.

Oh God, no.

Please, no.

He WENT there?

Yup – he went there.

He really did. Right away. Directly. Immediately.

You never play that rhetorical card. You never tell your players or fan base that repeated failures are somehow acceptable or a sign of hope.

Let’s be clear here: One loss marred by an improbable play or a terrible call can be the subject of legitimate what-ifs or maybes or postgame litigation. What Diaz is guilty of, and what many coaches before him are also guilty of, is saying that a season full of highly flawed performances is very nearly a great season.

You don’t do that in general. You DEFINITELY don’t do that at a program of stature, a program where winning at a high level is expected.

At Georgia or USC or Michigan, or several similar programs, you don’t say the sun is shining or that prosperity is just around the corner when there’s a tornado a mile away and the sky is a very deep black. Fans don’t like losing, but they don’t like being sold a bill of goods even more.

No one can look at this Miami season and credibly say that the Canes are very nearly a great team enjoying a great season. Sure, they have played a number of close games which could have gone the other way, but they have played those close games – and lost them – against mostly bad teams.

Not Florida, no, but certainly North Carolina and Georgia Tech, and realistically Virginia Tech as well: Miami was a double-digit home favorite in that game.

Imagine if the ACC was any good. Imagine if Virginia Tech was 2016-level Virginia Tech, or 2008-level Virginia Tech.

Imagine if North Carolina was as good as the 2015 team which won 11 regular-season games.

Imagine if Georgia Tech was as good as any of the Paul Johnson teams which made the Orange Bowl game or at least won the ACC Coastal title.

Miami would not have been playing close games this year… because it would have been smoked.

Manny Diaz might learn a lot from Year 1 and come roaring back in Year 2, but by using the “few plays away from being 7-0” card, he shows he isn’t learning a whole lot right now.

Spending two years of coaching graduate school at Temple might have been useful… but we don’t live in that world.

A dream job could still have a happy ending for Diaz, but the start to this job has been a nightmare.

Matt Zemek is the co-editor of Tennis With An Accent with Saqib Ali. Matt is the lead writer for the site and helps Saqib with the TWAA podcast, produced by Radio Influence at radioinfluence.com. Matt has written professionally about men's and women's tennis since 2014 for multiple outlets: Comeback Media, FanRagSports, and independently at Patreon, where he maintains a tennis site. You can reach Matt by e-mail: mzemek@hotmail.com. You can find him on Twitter at @mzemek.

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Miami Hurricanes

Former Bucs- Hurricanes TE Winslow pleads guilty Monday

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With his retrial on felony rape charges about to begin Monday in San Diego, former Hurricanes All American and NFL TE (including with the Buccaners) Kellen Winslow II accepted a guilty plea deal from San Diego prosecutors on two more of the charges against him.

Winslow was in court Monday afternoon, as prosecutors and his defense team told the judge that he agreed to plea, if the six other remaining serous charges against him would be dropped and he could avoid a longer sentence.

TMZ had the details from the San Diego court Monday evening:

Winslow had been previously convicted in June on four counts of rape and other sexual misconduct charges involving multiple women. The jury deadlocked on the eight remaining charges that were brought against him and a mistrial on those was declared. However, prosecutors exercised their right to retry the 38 year old Winslow on those remaining counts.

The guilty pleas Monday involve sexual battery on a 54 year old unidentified woman, who claims Winslow raped her in his Jeep in 2018.

The other count involved a 2003 accusation that Winslow had raped a then 17 year old San Diego High School student at a home during the summer, while he was a prominent 19 year old player at the University of Miami.

Winslow is a former All American tight end from the Miami Hurricanes from 2001-03 and played 9 seasons in the NFL, including three with the Buccaneers from 2009-11. He was the sixth overall pick by the Browns in the 2004 draft and is the son of former Chargers great and Hall of Fame inductee, Kellen Winslow.

After his rookie season Winslow suffered a horrific knee and leg injuries in a motorcycle accident in a Cleveland suburb mall parking lot. He was unable to play in the 2005 season, because of the injuries.

Winslow played three more seasons for the Browns before being traded in the 2009 offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange for a second and fifth round picks, the Bucs acquired Winslow and gave him, at that time, the largest contract for a tight end in NFL history with $36 million over six seasons.

In his first season in Tampa Bay he set the Bucs single season tight end receiving record with 77 catches and 884 yards. He led the team in receptions again in 2010, as the Bucs finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. In his final Buccaneers season of 2011 Winslow finished with 75 receptions in a dismal 4-12 year.

Winslow had been facing life in prison, if convicted on all 12 counts. However, it is believed with the plea deal and the total now being six convictions/guilty pleas, that his sentence will be somewhere between 12 and 18 years on the charges.

Winslow will be sentenced in February.

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Florida State Seminoles

Canes take rivalry game with shutdown of FSU

Abbey Radeka

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Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

This long-standing rivalry provided an opportunity for two teams evenly matched teams to bring home a win to salvage a below-average season. It would provide a good momentum shift for the Canes or the Noles to head into the final few weeks of the 2019 season with.

FSU/Miami is always a hard fought matchup regardless of the state of each program but today, Miami wanted it far more in a 27-10 win.

As we wrote earlier today, the Noles and Hurricanes have both been bad for stretches of 2019. Inconsistency has killed both teams and would play a huge part of this game.  The winner will be whoever has the most consistent offense.

And that’s exactly what it came down to.

In the first half, Florida State was not only playing against the Canes but also against themselves. They had 8 penalties for a total of 60 yards, which halted any attempted of offensive momentum for the Seminoles.

The defense, who in recent weeks have been much improved, wasn’t bad overall. However, they gave up a couple of big passing plays that resulted in touchdowns for Miami. If you have to place the blame on one side, it was the offense, or lack thereof.

The real issue for Florida State remains the offensive line. They allowed 9 sacks on Alex Hornibrook and James Blackman and didn’t create any holes for Cam Akers to produce on offense. OC Kendal Briles attempted to call creative plays with Akers running the wildcat to set up their single TD drive.

It was Briles’ effort to compensate for the lack of protection on the line, however, it wasn’t enough to produce more than one solid drive down the field.

The most glaring difference between the two programs today was that Canes QB Jarren Williams had time to throw down the field, while Hornibrook didn’t.

Florida State went into the game as a very mediocre football program with a opportunity to garner an important victory at home, but remains a poorly coached, mediocre program with a long way to go to get back to relevancy.

Credit to Miami, who’s now won three straight in the FSU series. They came into the game with the same record and similar issues to the Noles, who left with a hard earned win.

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