It has been a roller coaster week for Miami Hurricanes football much like their roller coaster season. The latest on the head coaching search coming from Gary Ferman over at http://www.canesport.com is that John Gruden is CLOSE to finalizing a deal to be the Miami Hurricanes next head coach. To be accurate in reporting a press conference has not been setup according to Ferman, and a meeting between Miami’s AD Kirby Hocutt is scheduled sometime soon. All fans can do at this point is wait and see what happens, but kudos to Gary Ferman and Matt Shodell for providing timely updates on the situation.
The fan base is energized which is something that has not been apparent for almost seven years, but they key is going to be will these fans come out to the games and support the team? The answer to that is probably yes initially especially with a big name like John Gruden, but should Gruden struggle in year one and year two will the buzz run out? Would the seemingly unthinkable happen, Miami splurges for a big coach and staff, they struggle and the fans pull their support even on the mighty John Gruden? Provided all of this happens of course, it’s an interesting situation to think about and should make Miami football an interesting watch should Gruden become the coach.
There is another problem at hand because many consider this team a group of underachievers, and feel that it is brimming with talent ready to win a national championship. Despite what many seem to hold as truth, it does not seem that way on the field and many are blaming Randy Shannon for that. What if everyone is wrong? What if these players are not as talented as many people seem to think they are? There are many people who can run fast forty times and bench press a house, but being successful in sports is mostly mental.
All of the fumbles, interceptions, penalties, and missed tackles speak to these players not having any heart or mental toughness. Regardless of what people say it is difficult to coach or teach someone how to be mentally tough, and put their body on the line to make a play rather than taking the easy way out. Several players hinted at chemistry issues on the team, and a few said that they felt the team was lethargic in the locker room before the USF game.
Those comments speak to a big problem, if you have several players sensing the team is lethargic then why did none of them step up, be leaders, and put their teammates to task? Past Hurricane greats have done it, and you generally have outspoken leaders on every team who are your field generals. Kirk Herbstreit in an interview for the Miami Herald a few weeks ago said that the team had no leaders, and it was not all Randy Shannon’s fault. When you think about that statement and look at the team, it rings a bit true.
Jacory Harris is busy dressing up in crazy outfits and playing on Twitter, Vaughn Telemaque stepped up a few times to inspire the team, but it was not on a consistent basis. Leonard Hankerson seems to be more of the strong but silent type, and Brandon Harris never seemed to want that role either. If you go through player after player it will be hard to find one that was a vocal leader on a consistent basis for this team, and that is a big problem. The coach can only do so much no matter who it is, so if players like Adewale Ojomo sense the team isn’t emotionally ready to play he needs to speak up, otherwise this team will never realize its full potential no matter who the coach.
As this article was being written another update from the people over at Canesport http://miami.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1158672 if you do not have a subscription you won’t be able to see everything. But it seems that the Gruden deal being worked on hard by both sides and Miami really wants to make this happen. If it does not happen they are setting up interviews with other coaching candidates with Dan Mullen being mentioned as one of them. If Gruden does eventually come to roost that will be one of his biggest issues he will need to address, and it could be the difference between winning in year one or cleaning house.
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