When Manny Diaz was hired as the Miami football head coach he stressed that he wants the Hurricanes to play “Fast, physical and violent” and to have fun. Add toughness and maximum effort to what Diaz will be looking for during spring scrimmages.
Manny Diaz has repeatedly discussed changing the culture in the Miami football program since assumed the reigns of the Hurricanes on December 30. This will be a critical spring for the Hurricanes as offensive coordinator Dan Enos installs his offense and the Miami defensive players get used to the new defensive coordinators.
Ephraim Banda has been promoted to co-defensive coordinator to replace from Diaz after he ascended to head coach. Blake Baker comes in from Louisiana Tech to share the duties running the defense. It’s a big adjustment for the players to learn how to communicate with Baker and Diaz. The defensive system will remain the same.
The Miami football team will have its first scrimmage on April 6 at the Soffer Indoor Practice Facility. It will not be open to the public or the media. Their one open scrimmage in South Florida will be at Traz Powell Stadium on April 13. The final scrimmage and spring game is April 20 in Orlando at Camping World Stadium.
The game in Orlando will serve as a dress rehearsal for the August 24 season opener against Florida in the same venue. Diaz likes the idea of the new coaching staff getting to simulate a road trip before they take on the Gators in Miami’s most difficult opener in over a decade.
Also, even with the news that the Rolling Stones are postponing their concert at Hard Rock, Diaz says plan is still to scrimmage in Orlando and treat that as a dress rehearsal for the season opener.
— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) March 30, 2019
Diaz told Christy Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel what he expects in the scrimmages.
“What happens in a scrimmage is now, you’re going to find out what our guys really know. The coaches will be on the field, it’s a game situation and you don’t have that sort of little bit of training wheels which you have out here in a practice setting,
So, that’s a big part of the scrimmage. But more than anything, what I want to see when we scrimmage, is I want to see our style of play. Again, I don’t imagine that our execution’s going to be perfect. Of course it couldn’t [be]. It’s the first time some of that stuff will be debuted on that type of stage.
But what I want to see is strain. I want to see toughness. I want to see guys that are playing as hard as they can play and look like they’re having as much fun doing it as they possibly can. If we get that, then we can certainly fix all the details and the schematic stuff.”
There are many key positions to watch during the scrimmages. Quarterback will be the position most of the media and fans discuss. The overall play of the team and as Diaz said, style of play is most important, especially during the first scrimmage. Even though Diaz was part of Mark Richt’s staff he has installed a different culture.
Diaz’s background working for ESPN as a Production assistant has him interacting with the public more on social media. That connects with his current players and recruits. Diaz has the perfect makeup to be a head coach. His culture preaches to play hard and still enjoy the moment on the field.