Hurricanes Hold First Scrimmage of Spring
March 24, 2007
Coral Gables – The Miami Hurricanes held their first scrimmage under new head coach Randy Shannon on Saturday morning on the Greentree Athletic Fields in Coral Gables.
“This was just the first scrimmage,” said head coach Randy Shannon. “We don’t want to be ready to go or be in tip-top shape until the first game. And we want to play our beat game the last part of the season, so we’re on a steady move going forward. Guys are doing a good job, but we need to improve a lot. The defense did a lot of good things, and a couple of running backs made some nice runs, but now we have to finish it.”
Several field goals and an extra point were missed by new placekickers, but Shannon pointed out, “It was their first time; they’re freshman. That’s what people need to realize. They’re not going to be Olindo Mare or Adam Vinatieri. These guys have never kicked before. They made some and they missed some, but they’ll work to get better at it, and I think they will.”
With two starting offensive linemen not involved in the scrimmage due to injuries, which contributed to some inconsistent offensive performances at times, Shannon said, “We have some nicks, but I was just happy that nobody fell out. Every player rotated because they’d done a nice job in the strength and conditioning program losing weight. That’s most important – if those guys keep banging away, everybody else will see that, that there’s only six or seven guys for the whole spring, we can push to get better, also.”
Shannon did like the team’s chemistry. “Guys were high-fiving each other and jumping around and that’s what it’ll take to get things done. We need to keep focusing on that. We want to come together as a team and stay focused and keep competing and fighting to the end.”
The Hurricanes defense was ranked fifth in the country a year ago and seems to be a strength again this year. “They did well. They played the run game sometimes well and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes the quarterbacks did a nice job of threading the ball in there.”
About 1,000 fans attended the scrimmage. “It was good to see the fans and their support, but next week we start back and focus on what needs to be done. We’ll scrimmage next Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium in northern Dade County and it’ll be great for the community to come out again to see us.”
Here are some of the highlights of the scrimmage:
— Kirby Freeman threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to fullback Jerrell Mabry— Kirby Freeman threw a 60-yard non-scoring pass to Lance Leggett–Safety Lovon Ponder made an interception of Kyle Wright in the two-minute drill– Daren Daly kicked field goals of 45 and 25 yards– Matt Bosher connected on a 25-yard field goal– Kenny Phillips made a diving interception of Kyle Wright— Kyle Wright threw a five-yard TD pass to Brian McNeil in the goal-line drill– Wright ended the scrimmage with a 10-yard TD pass to Lance Leggett
TWO WEEKS UNTIL SPRING GAME AND BANKUNITED CANESFEST
The annual spring game and BankUnited CanesFest will be Saturday, April 7 at the Orange Bowl. The game begins at 10 a.m., and in addition to watching the 2007 version of the Hurricanes, fans will be able to select-a-seat and get autographs from their favorite players. Sebastian the Ibis and cheerleaders will be on hand to entertain fans, who can also purchase the latest apparel and merchandise. Gates open at 9 a.m.