Miami Hurricanes DC Manny Diaz shows defense who’s boss

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 29: Daniel Jones
DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 29: Daniel Jones /

Unhappy with the effort the Miami Hurricanes defense giving in practice on Thursday Manny Diaz made his players sit by a chain link fence and shout “I’ve got to get this to work”

Diaz has elevated the Miami Hurricanes defense to become one of the best in the country for the second straight season. The Hurricanes were third in the country in tackles for loss and first in sacks this past season.

Diaz is tasked with rebuilding the defensive line and the depth at cornerback this season. Getting the defense to continue to play with intensity and giving maximum effort on every play and in every game is something the Diaz instills in his defense. The foundation for that begins every spring.

Thursday’s lack of effort was reportedly only occurred on a few drills. Diaz made the player look him in the eye say “I’ve got to get this to work” wait about one minute get up from a squatted position and repeat the phrase. This went on a few more times before the punishment ended.

Some of the players acknowledge they were slacking. Cornerback Trajan Bandy said that the defense “Just didn’t have a good day”  Linebacker Michael Pinckney took a more positive approach that it brought the team closer together.

"“It’s a team bonding thing. Just resetting the standard.”"

Diaz began the practice of making the players sit when he became the Defensive Coordinator when Mark Richt was hired. Diaz spoke about the hard work the players that are remaining from 2016 put in.

"“There’s not a bunch that went through that initiation process of when we became what we became…There’s some guys who have hopped in on the ride and sort of enjoyed the fruits of the labor of some of those who aren’t here anymore. It’s just to get them to understand that we didn’t get good on accident. There were certain things that we had to do and had to establish to play defense the way we had the last two years.”Live Feed Miami footballCould Texas A&M Football Fans Outnumber Hurricane Fans At Miami?Gig Em GazetteMiami vs. Miami (OH): How to watch, odds, injuries, weather, series historySaturday BlitzTexas A&M Football: Schedule Preview - MiamiGig Em GazetteMiami football: Could 2023 put Mario Cristobal’s future in danger?Saturday BlitzFSU football: Fans react to Miami's new offensive coordinator hireChop ChatFSU football: Fans react to Miami's new defensive coordinator hireChop Chat"

Miami has to replace four of their top six defensive linemen and two of their top three cornerbacks entering 2018. They will be very inexperienced at defensive tackle and cornerback. Diaz spoke about the young guys having to step up this fall.

"“Everybody when they’re recruited wants to play, and all of a sudden an opportunity stares you eye to eye and some guys blink…So you’ve got to be careful what you ask for. We’ve been telling guys that there’s opportunities to play early here, and we weren’t lying. They’re finding that out now, and sometimes it’s the hard way.”"

Battles between returning players who haven’t gotten a chance in the past and a talented Freshman class will be interesting to watch throughout the rest of the spring and in training camp this summer.

Mark Richt’s recruiting classes have improved in each of his three seasons in Coral Gables. They 2016 class was ranked 22nd nationally, 2017 was 12th and this year’s class was eighth. Richt has done a great job upgrading the talent and depth.

Next: Miami Hurricanes need CBs to get up to speed in a hurry

The Hurricanes need to continue to see the young players perform. They will especially need new players to step up at defensive tackle and cornerback this fall.