Tate Martell working at wide receiver

First, we find out who was named the starting quarterback, then two players who would have seen significant playing time (CB Nigel Bethel, Jr. is the latest) decide to enter the transfer portal. What’s next, Tate Martell moving to wide receiver? 

Well, yes.

When the Canes’ announced Jarren Williams as the starting quarterback on Monday, the first thought for a lot of fans wasn’t to say congratulations to Williams on winning the battle. It was, “so what does Tate do now?” On the College Football Daily podcast, 247 Director of Scouting Barton Simmons said Martell should give take a shot at wide receiver. 

It seems as though the idea may have been on Martell’s mind as well. 

The New Wide-Out in Town

W.G. Ramirez, a Las Vegas-based sports writer sent out a tweet on Thursday that said Martell “former Gorman QB and three-time national HS champion Tate Martell is expected to try his hand at wide receiver.”  

Nothing was confirmed at that point until yesterday evening when The Athletic columnist and Miami Hurricanes beat writer Manny Navarro sent out a tweet that said: “Have been told by a #UM source today was the first day Tate Martell experimented with playing wide receiver at Miami.” Thursday’s practice was completely closed to media by Miami.

Minutes after the Navarro tweet, Miami Herald columnist Barry Jackson tweeted this, “Martell taking WR snaps in tonight’s scrimmage, am told.” The Canes’ held a scrimmage last night at Hard Rock Stadium (pray for no injuries).

None of us know yet if the move is permanent or if it is just an experiment, but this could be a great move. 

He Looks the Part

Martell has posted some pretty fast 20-yard shuttle times in the past and is very athletic. He has even been seen in the past running routes and catching passes from other quarterbacks. 

I can see Coach Enos drawing up some special packages with Martell playing both quarterback and wide receiver. 

It’s almost like Ryan Tannehill is back again. But not really.

Although, guys seem to have a bit more success switching from quarterback to receiver. Some notable names: Julian Edelman, Antwaan Randle-El, and more recently guys like Josh Cribbs and Terrelle Pryor. Could Tate Martell be next?

In just 7 days on August 24th, Miami opens up its season against the Florida Gators at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. It’s showtime! 

 

Follow us on Twitter @jazzsantana and @5ReasonsSports for all your Miami Hurricanes news.

Check out the 5 Rings Canes podcast for exclusive insider content.

Go Canes!

Kalen Ballage

Kalen Ballage rushing full speed towards Dolphins starting RB job

Kalen Ballage is getting a rare opportunity with Kenyan Drake down with an injury. The Dolphins are going to need a running back, so he’s responding to the call by making play after play. His speed and acceleration caught the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off guard both days they held joint practices, resulting in several touchdowns. That level of production does not go unnoticed, and it’s clear head coach Brian Flores is enjoying noticing them.

“Oh, I saw them.” He said during his Wednesday press conference.

It makes sense that Ballage is pushing himself with Drake out. At the start of training camp, he was the one who worked with the starters, only to eventually be overtaken by the Alabama speedster as the days went on. It appeared that Drake was ready to lock down the starting job, at least until these joint practices with Tampa. All of a sudden, he, QB Josh Rosen and WR Preston Williams are getting chances to work with the starters after being stuck under the veterans.

“I think young guys have to be able to come out here and make plays.” Ballage said Wednesday. “This (isn’t) college anymore. It’s not high school. In my opinion, age doesn’t really matter. I think you just come out here and if you can ball, you can ball. I think that’s a big part of it.”

He’s doing a good job of impressing the coaches, and those touchdown runs included good execution across the board. That’s precisely what coach Flores is looking for in his players.

“They all work together. It’s 11 guys.” He said. “If you put 11 guys in and they execute their responsibility, you’ll get a good play. Kalen did a good job of making a guy miss, and that’s how you get long runs, receivers blocking corners and secondary players, and that’s how you get long runs. It takes everybody.”

At this point, it’s impressive that Kalen Ballage is able to do as much as he’s doing. The Dolphins offensive line is an absolute mess, so these touchdown runs are a testament to the home run capability Ballage has in him. It also acts as a demonstration for what the offense itself is capable of.

“It’s something that I’ve always known.” Ballage said. “I think that it gets the best athletes and the best talents in space, gets them the ball and kind of puts the rest on us to make plays. I think that that’s something that’s real important.”

Ballage’s opportunity to showcase himself stands to last a while, especially since Kenyan Drake has to wear a walking boot for an undisclosed amount of time. While coach Flores isn’t really concerned, indicating Drake will be ready for week one of the regular season at the latest, it doesn’t bode well for Drake with Ballage running full speed towards the starting job.

Kalen Ballage has had his struggles, but they appear to be past him. Back in college, he felt extremely underused. In his rookie season, he sat behind Drake and veteran Frank Gore. He appears ready to take charge, and he has a chance to prove it on Friday.

Canes Junior, Derrick Smith enters transfer portal.

Surprise News: Smith Enters the Portal! Depth at Safety Not a Concern.

The portal strikes again. Yet this time, this one was a bit of a surprise. With just 11 days away before the week 0 game against that team up in Gainesville, junior safety Derrick Smith tweeted yesterday that he is no longer a member of the Canes football program and has decided to enter his name in the transfer portal. Smith was thought of as a significant contributor this season in the secondary.

Smith was Showing Out!

Smith started his career at safety and then made the move to striker last season. With Romeo Finley’s return and the emergence of Gil Frierson, Smith made the move back to safety. He showed tons of promise in camp and was on track to get plenty of playing time. That looked even more apparent after a strong showing in the Canes first scrimmage. 

 In a recent article by Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald, safeties coach Ephraim banda was quoted as saying “You know, I think he did a really good job in the off season of spending a lot of time in the meeting room and just getting extra work”. Coach Banda also went on by saying “I think he improved in the weight room and really dedicated himself in that area and really bought into [strength and conditioning] Coach Feeley.” 

 Why the Sudden Change?

With all that being said, Smith was going to have a hard time unseating Amari Carter and Gurvan Hall as the starter. Those two have had really good training camps and have solidified their starting roles. That ultimately may have been the deciding factor in Smith leaving. 

 The other factor may have been the recent arrival of USC transfer Bubba Bolden. The highly touted transfer and former high school teammate of Tate Martell and Brevin Jordan, comes in late, but with high expectations. It seems as though Bolden has been able to come in and catch on quickly. 

My final theory could be, the strong push this fall by the infamous Robert Knowles. Could he have been threatening Smith for his playing time? I have a feeling we will be seeing him on the field a lot (biting my nails as I write that). 

 The Future Looks Bright!

Although the transfer comes as a surprise to all of us, especially the timing of it, many do not seem to be too concerned. With guys like Bolden and even freshman Keontra Smith, the depth at safety looks promising. Look for Keontra to now play a bigger role as a backup and on special teams. 

What does concern me, however, is that more and more kids are transferring at the first sight of adversity. Sure, the Canes have benefitted from the transfer portal, but it has also hurt them. One thing is for certain, entering the portal does not guarantee you a starting job anywhere. Chances are, you will have to fight for your spot anywhere else you go. What the portal giveth, it can also taketh away. 

 

Follow us on Twitter @jazzsantana and @5ReasonsSports for all your Miami Hurricanes news.

 

Check out the 5 Rings Canes podcast for exclusive insider content.

 

Go Canes! Read more

Manny Diaz leading the culture change

On December 30, 2018 the Hurricane program was flipped on top of its head.

The head coach, Mark Richt, retired abruptly after 3 seasons and a 26-13 record. The 2018 season of his tenure was very dark, coming off a 10-3 season the previous year.

The Hurricanes had high expectations that they could not meet. Many factors went into this such as; bad QB play, the offensive coordinator’s play calling was terrible, and the team stopped believing in Mark Richt.

Miami then turned to Manny Diaz 18 days after he had taken a head coach job at Temple. The job Diaz has done is already exceeding expectations. He’s bringing back the Miami culture and has rejuvenated it.

The main reason why is because Manny Diaz understands what it takes to coach the Hurricanes. It is by far one the hardest jobs. It comes with many expectations, as well as distractions for the players who go to the University Of Miami. Diaz has brought new energy, swagger, and belief in the program, hence his hashtag in recruiting #TNM ( The New Miami) .

Players committing left and right shows that they believe in the Diaz culture in Miami. This is a real turnaround that brings back the Miami Hurricanes every fan loved in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. I think Miami has the right guy, a young coach with energy.

Most importantly he understands the Miami culture, because he’s born and raised here. He also went to the U so it’s  a match made in heaven in my opinion. Hurricane fans gear up and watch Manny Diaz culture change. Let him work his magic through the good and bad during his coaching tenure.

Miami Hurricanes – Is Offensive Line Biggest Question Mark?

It has been an exciting and clarifying week for the Miami Hurricanes football team.

Thankfully the clarification has kept Hurricanes social media, especially Twitter, in mid-season form.

 

Manny Diaz named Jarren Williams the starting quarterback on Monday to much celebration and debate.

Now that QB1 is finally out of the way, the focus shifts back to other position battles.

Hopefully offensive line coach Butch Barry can find the right formula before August 24th. Barry is in his first year in Miami after being on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff last year.

With the regular season set to open in less than two weeks, an important group is still coming into focus.

 

The once dominant offensive line at Miami has been mired with inconsistency for several years it seems.

Plenty of talent has been available, but cohesiveness and stability in the group has been an issue.

Corey Gaynor will be the starting center and developing chemistry with Williams will be crucial.

Gaynor improved as last year progressed and hopefully the redshirt sophomore can continue to grow and anchor the line.

Donaldson Moving Left?

Navaughn Donaldson impressed in 2018 and was asked to do a lot by the previous coaching staff.

He showed versatility as he started multiple games at both right guard and right tackle.

Standing at 6-foot-6 and listed at 345 pounds, he helped lead many massive gains on the ground last year.

His strong work continued in pass protection as well and Miami was better in the six games he started at right tackle to start the campaign.

Donaldson’s ability and willingness to shift along the line gave him valuable experience and he will need to be a force inside again this season.

He may end up at left guard which will be important since the blind side spot is still a question mark. The former freshman All-American is perhaps the most talented of the group.

Shuffling Deck Continues

Left tackle is an interesting spot to predict to say the least.

Freshman Zion Nelson from Sumter, SC has put himself in the mix for a starting role.

After putting on over 50 pounds, Nelson has transformed from a low rated prospect to a contender for the most important spot on the line.

His path to the Miami Hurricanes program was not direct, only a last minute de-commit from Appalachian State sent him to Coral Gables.

The fact he is in consideration for starting left tackle shows his dedication and ability.

Nelson will have to hold off Tommy Kennedy, Jr., a redshirt senior grad transfer from Butler University.

Kennedy signed with the Hurricanes in December, 2018 and was at the time projected to be the future starter at left tackle.

However after a lackluster spring his role is uncertain.

The step up in competition may be a factor for Kennedy.

Need the Right fit for Right Side

On the right side of the line the tackle spot there is also a question. Kai-Leon Herbert and John Campbell have both been getting reps with the ones.

Campbell, a redshirt freshman, was a highly rated recruit from Orlando and is listed at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds. He appeared in four games last year for the Hurricanes.

Herbert is a redshirt sophomore who played at American Heritage in Plantation. A consensus four-star prospect out of high school, the former Michigan commit changed course. He could slot in as a swing tackle or backup at the guard spot as well.

Cleveland Reed is another to watch in the guard race, the 6-foot-3, 313 pound bruiser was another highly coveted prospect out of Fort Meade, Florida. He had offers from top programs such as Clemson and Ohio State.

Scaife Adds More Versatility

Rounding out the candidates on the right side is sophomore DJ Scaife. Like Donaldson, Scaife played extensively at both guard and tackle in the 2018 season as a freshman. He projects more as a natural tackle which would allow Reed or Herbert to drop inside to guard.

Scaife was the starting right tackle in the Pinstripe Bowl and is the frontrunner to hold down that spot again this season. Given the lack of experience at other interior positions his versatility may be needed as the season wears on.

 

Predicted Week Zero Offensive Line

LT: Nelson

LG: Donaldson

C: Gaynor

RG: Reed

RT: Scaife

 

The Hurricanes really struggled to score points last year.

It will be imperative that Barry and OC Dan Enos get this talented group to be a cohesive unit. Especially with an inexperienced quarterback under center.

Follow us on Twitter @SportsWaveDave and @5ReasonsSports for more great Miami Hurricanes news.

Check out the 5 Rings Canes podcast for exclusive insider content.

It’s all about The U!!!

 

Dolphins-Buccaneers Joint Practice Notes DAY 2

DAY 2

– LB Terrill Hanks comes off limping. Looks headed to the locker room. Something happened during warmup.
– Devante Parker and Kenyan Drake have been added to list of non-practicing players today.
– Hanks back out during stretch. No locker room.
– Fitzpatrick working with the 2nd stringers during warmup. We’ve moved back outside for whatever reason.
– Second string OL still Prince at RT, Fuller RG, Reed C, Holden LG, Sterup LT
– Orchard back with the 2nd string during warmup. Couldn’t see if Ledbetter was with him. That seemed rotational yesterday, anyway.
– Patrick Graham running some drills for the DEs.
– Charles Harris just shed the sled dummy so hard it almost hit Graham, “Oh damn Charles, you can throw it at me I’ll take it.”
– Perriman beats McTyer in 1v1.
– Godwin beats Xavien Howard in the end zone.
– Jomal Wiltz gets a win, Jalen Davis gets a win, overall, brutal 1v1 session.
– Kenny Stills and Fitzpatrick connecting with each other on 2nd unit.
– BIIIIIG run Ballage. Showed hella speed making that angle disappear. TD
– Preston Williams as gunner on punts. Defeated by the double.
– Preston up again as a gunner. Much better. But not as competitive as Armstrong or Wiltz.
– Headed inside. Monsoon breaks out, outside.
– Jesse Davis with a pretty good rep on Nassib.
– Jaryd Jones-Smith with a good rep as well.
– Isaiah Prince is responding today.
– Pit drill goes the Fins way today.
– Jaryd Jones-Smith is getting work in place of Jordan Mills at LT on 1st unit.
– Mike Evans a TD over Eric Rowe.
– Irwin open in the end zone. Fitz missed him.
– Preston Williams back on punt returns now. Why not?
– Preston Williams finally flubbed a punt return. Not bad for first try.
– First string defense stuffs the Bucs offense while the first string Miami offense nicely executed three in a row. Short pass to Ford, Ballage gain, and a tough catch thru a hard hit by Hurns.
– Rosen’s first string work was very decisive. Quick reads. Quick throws. Sharp.
– Bullet over the deep middle to Isaiah Ford by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
– Nick DeLuca with the pick.
– Kalen Ballage takes a RB screen to the house. He plays and looks fast.
– Jaryd Jones- Smith remains with 1st team.
– Chris Lammons still with the 1s. The first string D just allowed a huge in to the perimeter. – Rosen hesitated on a pass to Stills, not on the same page.
– Ryan Fitzpatrick a nice tall one for Brice Butler. Looks good running those square ins.
– Rosen failed to pull the trigger on a rollout last snap of goal line, first string work. Stills was open for a beat. He knew it.
– Jerome Baker breaks up a 50:50 ball in the end zone.
– Preston Williams al.ost makes a highlight catch on a fade in End Zone by Fitzpatrick. Had it. Couldn’t finish.
– Tweet: One of the biggest storylines here is Jaryd Jones-Smith stabilizing the line somewhat by stepping in for Jordan Mills at LT.
– Anthony Johnson of the Bucs just finished up team portion by catching a touchdown over the middle with Torry McTyer in trail.
– Rosen all day to throw. Took too long and threw a near pick trying to get it to Preston Williams.
– Mike Evans with a big catch over Xavien Howard that could’ve put him in the end zone.
– Touchdown to OJ Howard. Over Bobby McCain.
– Ryan Fitzpatrick just barely overthrows Brice Butler on a deep ball.
– Trent Irwin couldn’t get much separation on Sean Bunting there. Ran an out and Fitzpatrick threw it just wide.
– They just ran the same thing. This time connected. Other side of the field.
– Fitzpatrick begins to cook in the hurry up, Flag down. Walks them back.
– Fitzpatrick another no look pass to Nick O’Leary off the scramble. Big play. Big conversion.
– Aaron Monteiro let up a sack on 2nd down. That’ll hurt.
– Fitzpatrick getting a free play with 0:00 on the clock. Hail Mary. Incomplete.
– Fitzmagic pulls one out of his hat by finishing scrimmage with a bullet to Trenton Irwin just over the goal line. Fit between so many defenders the ball looked like it apparated.
– Nick DeLuca has sacks two practices in a row out here. And a pick. He’s got something.
– Cornell Armstrong saw that the whole way, breaks up and nearly picks off a pass in the end zone on the out.
– Rosen appears to get whistled for a sack and didn’t like it. Hurried into next play and holds ball forever. Finally dumps to Ballage.
– Minkah Fitzpatrick steps in front of a pass for the pickoff. Jerome Baker nearly got there on the speed rush.
– Practice Over

Practice MVP’s: Jaryd Jones-Smith, Kalen Ballage.

Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.

Dolphins offensive line

Dolphins offensive line in desperate need of improvement

The Miami Dolphins offensive line seems to be in eternal purgatory. Year after year, coach after coach, the one constant is the Dolphins offensive line failing to protect quarterbacks or open holes for running backs. Numerous first round picks, expensive free agents, all for naught. The Dolphins offensive line can’t get it together no matter who they acquire or what they do.

Surely there’s some secret, some reason for Miami’s inability to field a strong offensive line. Is it the scheme? Is it bad drafting? Michael Deiter, is the Dolphins 2019 third round pick. He’s supposed to be a solid guard. So far, however, he’s struggling to keep up with the speed of the NFL. He has moments where he looks solid, and then falls on his face. Obviously, it’s still very early, and Miami will continue to develop Deiter throughout the season.

And the Dolphins seem willing to be patient.

“I think every experience they have is a good one.” head coach Brian Flores said of Deiter and fellow rookie guard Shaq Calhoun. “Every time they see over, under, diamond, odd, double mug, mug in the b-gaps – every time they see that, it’s a good experience for them and one that they can hopefully learn from and then the next time that it comes up, they know how to handle it. I think these situations for those guys, specifically the young guys, but really the entire line working as a group, this is good.”

Tuesday’s joint training camp practice acted as a learning experience for the entire Dolphins offensive line. Tampa Bay’s defensive line is solid, and features a familiar (and just as hard to face) individual in veteran defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

“He was doing Suh things.” Dolphins left tackle Laremy Tunsil said. “Everybody knows what Suh does.”

What Suh does is not hold back. He pulls no punches. Suh went after the young guards, giving them hell and showing them what it means to face an elite lineman.

“He’s a very good player, and I’m sure he’s got even more in the tank at times.” Deiter said. “Just having the opportunity, like the first snap, I look up and Ndamukong Suh’s standing there. It was kinda like, ‘that’s Ndamukong Suh. Are we sure that we’re ready to do this?’ It’s still football, he’s blockable, but he’s really, really good.”

Deiter admits that he feels he did some things well, but there were also a lot of things he did really bad. There’s still a lot he needs to clean up, and that’s going to take time. That also goes for the entire Dolphins offensive line. They need to be physical, like coach Flores wants of his team. That’s the entire point behind them adding a fullback to the roster, and the offensive line needs to be embody that philosophy.

“Just keep working. That’s the main thing.” Tunsil said. “It’s all new guys up there. People are playing different positions – Jesse (Davis) at right tackle, then we’ve got two rookies in there. Just keep improving and we’re going to come together as one. We’re going to watch this film later in the afternoon and get it down, improve our technique, improve our fundamentals and keep working.”

That’s all well and good, but the fact remains that the Dolphins offensive line can’t find a way to handle the basics of blocking. Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo got so fed up with rookie right tackle Isaiah Prince that he forced the longtime Ohio State starter to stand in a corner for ten minutes. How bad do you have to be to get put in timeout by your coach?

“He’s a fiery, high-energy coach.” Flores said of DeGuglielmo. “I think we have a lot of coaches on this staff with that temperament. He, like myself, gets worked up at times. I think we all do for good and bad plays. That’s a good thing. We’re trying to stay on them, on the players. We try to help them improve and get better. Really, that’s on a play-to-play basis. I love hearing ‘Guge’ out there coaching his guys.

Miami wants to develop these young players. They want them to succeed in 2019. Success now means greater success in 2020, when the Dolphins actually start pushing hard again. Rumors of a trade for pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney (unfounded rumors) have fans excited. Trading for him would be a waste of draft capital, but he would be a huge free agent splash in 2020. The Dolphins will have the cap space to sign him too.

But if the offensive line doesn’t get its act together soon, all pretenses of not trying to tank go out the window. If Miami is serious about wanting to try and win every game, which coach Flores swears up and down they are, the line must improve.

Dolphins-Buccaneers Joint Practice Notes DAY 1

DAY 1

– Nice morning, for now. Ominous clouds promise some noon-ish nastiness. Humidity been ridiculous here last couple of days. Can’t even open my front door without having a hand towel.
– Chris Grier and Dan Marino among the onlookers today.
– TJ McDonald, Reshad Jones, Walt Aikens, Raekwon McMillan, Andrew Van Ginkel, Jakeem Grant, Chase Allen, Quentin Poling, Robert Nkemdiche, Cordrea Tankersley, Kiko Alonso OUT today.
– Isaiah Prince got made to stand on the corner.
– OL Coach GOOGS (Dave DeGuglielmo) being hard on the rookies. Made one to stand on the corner. “You don’t listen. Tired of talking to your ass.”
– Jordan Mills is still at LT in Indy Drills. Seems like he might start his 2nd game there this week.
– Godwin beats Eric Rowe on 1v1. on a fade. Follows up with a short catch.
– Godwin catches a short curl on Xavien Howard.
– Sam Eguavoen near pick…
– Tyrone Holmes stoned by Dotson. Wilkins gets nothing on #65.
– Godchaux pretty competitive with Ali Marpet. Beat him clean on 2nd rep.
– Charles Harris with a good rep on Boozer.
– Orchard has nothing for #67.
– Vincent Taylor good bull rush on #75.
– Akeem Spence and Dewayne Hendrix with ugly reps.
– Donovan Smith is beating up Dewayne Hendrix.
– Overall impression, I know from watching lots of All-Star work that pit drills favor the DL. But this didn’t look like it.
– Kalen Ballage with a nifty run up the middle.
– Rosen Sack. Blown block.
– Rosen, deep miss to Parker.
– Mark Walton beat in pass pro. Rosen sacked.
– Fitzpatrick working with #2’s now……
– Nice RB Outlet to Gaskin.
– Refs blow play action pass dead on Fitzpatrick. Sack.
– Preston Williams working with Rosen and 1st team.
– Strong reps from Kalen Ballage here.
– Nice Protection leads to a BIG pass from Rosen to Parker down the left sideline.
– Preston Williams with a sweet route and catch on the break.
– The 2nd team OL is awful.
– Kalen Ballage having a big day.
– 11v11 here.
– Good protection for Fitzpatrick. pass intended for Ballage, batted down.
– Gesicki with catch in the flat, for a 1st down. Deiter allowed pressure on the rep.
– Fitzpatrick to Parker on a sharp in-cut. Good pass.
– Fitzpatrick under pressure, over throws Stills on deep post.
– Preston Williams and Brice Butler working with the 1st team, some today.
– Fitzpatrick with good feel for floating to the best passing lane, Hits Ballage in tight coverage, but he can’t hold on.
– Kalen Ballage with another one. Getting a lot of work today.
– Fitzpatrick too tall for Ford on the end zone fade.
– Bucs offense is moving. Two in a row underneath to Breshad Perriman. Rowe in coverage. Godwin works on Rowe…XAVIEN HOWARD INT. great jump on the ball.
– 2nd unit in.
– Rosen, No huddle. good time, good protection. blown dead. Sack. Quick out to Hurns. Rosen holds it forever again…sack again.
– Blaine Gabbert doing Blaine Gabbert things. Sack..Nick DeLuca
– Moving to indoor facility due to lightning.
– 2018 1st round pick for the Bucs, Vita Vea is not practicing.
– FG work now.
– That is a 1v1 drill. The WR is supposed to win a majority of them.
– Fitzpatrick in Goal Line. Nearly picked off by Kentrell Brice.
– Hargreaves stops Parker’s fade route. No connection to be had.
– Brice Butler gets called for P.I (push off) in the end zone. Caught it though.
– Mark Walton sweep. TD
– Josh Rosen TD to Laird, who swept out the backfield while Rosen pulled the defense in.
– Godwin beats Eric Rowe for a TD.
– TD to OJ Howard on a quick out. Needham late in getting over.
– Lots of Yellow here. False Start on Bucs. Then Jameis Winston throws the Fade to Brate anyway, catches it on Wiltz. Flagged for a push off.
– Andre Ellington, diving TD catch on Jalen Davis.
– Missed throw to end practice, tried to get Hudson on the quick out, but give Hartage credit for hustling out there.

SOUND AFTER PRACTICE:

BRIAN FLORES- Flores talking up Ledbetter a bit after being asked, but makes it a point to improve the consistency.
BRIAN FLORES- Asked about DE position, signed Nkemdiche and rumors about Clowney, Flores insists the guys we have are doing a good job. Every player needs to improve.
BRIAN FLORES- “Sometimes, you don’t know where he is.” Expressed skepticism about teams avoiding Xavien Howard in coverage.
BRIAN FLORES- Every team has its core identity and you’re gonna run that. About 50% of what you play in a game is stuff you ran last week. (Pushes back on the idea the practice was “basic” so as not to give away things to the other team)
BRIAN FLORES- On if they’re developing a core identity. Absolutely. As you start to get more live-ish, your core identity takes shape.
BRIAN FLORES- Fitzpatrick has been one of the best mentors Rosen has had in the sport. Been selfless. Ability to identify things is special.

JOSH ROSEN- He’s gonna absolutely fight his balls off. (Rosen on Fitzpatrick still competing to start despite being selfless and a mentor)
RYAN FITZPATRICK- “Having been on 8 teams this has happened to me more than once.” On seeing familiar faces in the room.
RYAN FITZPATRICK- Fitzpatrick mentions that in teaching the other QB’s, there are experiences and insights he can given them, but also scars that have developed from mistakes made, that he doesn’t want others to make.

Practice MVP’s: Xavien Howard, Kalen Ballage.

Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.

Miami Hurricanes name Jarren Williams QB1

Is Williams the Best Choice as Canes’ QB1?

The dust has settled, just a bit. We all know by now that Jarren Williams has won the starting quarterback position for the Canes. He beat out the once thought to be the next big-time quarterback in N’Kosi Perry and the highly anticipated Ohio State transfer Tate Martell.

“We believe we can win with all three guys, however, we feel like Jarren has the greatest upside due to his passing ability, his instincts and his determination.” – Coach Manny Diaz on new Canes QB1, Jarren Williams.

Williams will see his first real action as a college quarterback on August 24th in Orlando against the top ten ranked Florida Gators. That’s a tall order for the redshirt freshman out of Central Gwinnett High School in Georgia.

Coming out of high school, Jarren Williams was a standout quarterback ranked as the 77th overall prospect and #5 Pro-Style Quarterback in the country. He improved every year at the high school level as a passer, culminating in a senior year that saw him throw for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also ran for over 500 yards.

Under the Radar?

So why was it such a surprise to many that he got the nod? Maybe it was all the hype surrounding Tate Martell that made people forget about Williams? Maybe it was some saying that Perry has the most experience and needs to start? Was it the bad taste he left in everyone’s mouth when there were rumors swirling of him wanting to transfer? Either way, make no mistake about it, Jarren Williams, in terms of pure passing ability and skillset, is the best quarterback on this roster. He can make all the throws with precision and is very accurate on the deep ball.

Personally, I believe it was always a two-quarterback race: Williams and Martell. I think Williams ultimately won out because of his accuracy and because he took care of the football a little better than Martell. My conspiracy theory is that people closest to the program may have seen N’Kosi as part of the problem regarding last year’s team. Too many antics on and off the field may have cost him a legitimate shot at QB1. Oh, and don’t count Martell out just yet. I still expect to see him on the field in some role this year.

At the end of the day, the question still remains. Did the Miami Hurricanes make the right decision at QB1? Will we find out in 12 days? Maybe. But when the dust clears and those pads get crackin’ on August 24th, I don’t care who is behind center, just win!

Regarding the backup situation, Coach Manny Diaz said the competition is still going on to see who serves as QB2 behind Williams. Now all that’s left is for Jarren Williams to show them why they chose him as the starter.

Preston Williams header

Why did teams pass on Dolphins’ Preston Williams?

He goes by the unicorn.

But there isn’t just a solitary reason why a player of Preston Williams’ talent was available to the Miami Dolphins after the draft.

Our Chris Kouffman (@CKParrot) called this when the Dolphins signed Preston Williams, gushing over his tape. And even as Williams flashed on the Davie field, day after day, other media types compared him to former Dolphins camp mirages at the receiver position.

He’s not.

He’s real.

Pro Football Focus gave him the highest grade (93.0) on the entire team in the preseason opener against Atlanta. And it’s clear he’s not just making the team, but could eventually emerge as a starter.

So how the heck did the Dolphins get a crack at him, without picking him in any of the seven rounds.

Kouffman’s thread today is instructive.

Click below and read it all.

Kouffman will be credentialed for Five Reasons Sports in Tampa for the Dolphins’ joint practices against the Buccaneers this week.