Manny Diaz: Miami Hurricanes quarterbacks are playing too slow

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 08: Tate Martell #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes breaks free on a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 52-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 08: Tate Martell #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes breaks free on a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 52-3. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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One of the changes in the Miami Hurricanes offense in 2019 is that head coach Manny Diaz wants a faster pace and to better utilize the speed on the roster. Through the first three weeks of spring practice Diaz said his quarterbacks are playing too slow.

Former Alabama quarterbacks coach and Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos was brought in to facilitate the Miami Hurricanes offense utilizing speed on offense in everyway. Manny Diaz wants Miami to play faster and use the speed the offense has at the skill positions more frequently.

Diaz spoke to Zach Krantz and Joe Rose from the Miami Hurricanes flagship station WQAM on Monday morning about how the QBs are performing this spring. He wants his QBs to think quicker and not think about where they are going to throw the football when they are at the line of scrimmage.

The QBs job at the line of scrimmage is to shout out the snap count, any assignments and the play. It’s not known if Enos will allow his QBs to call audibles. Many coaches at the college level limit their QBs from audibilizing. All three Miami QBs played with a slow pace during Saturday’s scrimmage than they had in practice.

That’s to be expected. Players were now facing a more legitimate threat from the defense. With each step, the speed of play quickens which makes the QB think more often thus making them a bit more hesitant. Diaz told Rose and Krantz that all three QBs vying to be the Miami starter need to speed up their thoughts.

"“We’re all still playing slow … all three of [the quarterbacks] are still playing slow and what I mean is by playing slow, it’s not to be unexpected. You get out there and all of a sudden, you could see the way we came to the line of scrimmage was slower than at practice. Why?Because we’re thinking about where to go with the ball instead of just naturally knowing…you drop back and what’s happening? Your drops are slower [and] when your drops are slower, your mind is slower and so, that’s really, really what it’s about.It’s just getting that position to speed up the train of thought. Because, to be honest, all the guys, physically, can do it. All the guys can make throws and do the things we want them to do to win the game. But ultimately at that position, you’ve got to be able to think it through. You have to be able to get the ball out.”"

None of the three Miami Hurricanes QBs have asserted themselves as the starter yet. Many thought that Tate Martell would come in and make a clear statement to the starter. He is thought to be the most talented of the Miami QBs overall. Jarren Williams has been and is the most accurate. N’Kosi Perry is the most experienced.

Rose asked Diaz if the Hurricanes will head to summer training camp with the QB job wide open. At this point, it would be shocking if that’s not the case. One of three QBs would have to be significantly better than the other two in the last two scrimmages this spring to make a move to be first on the depth chart.

"“It would be interesting to see if somebody made such a move…We have six practice opportunities left. … Day after day, one guy may poke his nose in front then the other guy pokes his nose… It’s all just mental right now.And so, yeah, would somebody jump out there and run away with it in the next two weeks? That’s possible. But there’s a real good chance it could go into the summer.”"

Diaz’s answer was effusive and impartial. He clearly wants someone to jump up and earn the spot. Privately Diaz and Enos seem to prefer Martell. Williams and Perry are Richt guys. Some might even say Perry was an Al Golden recruit after committing to Miami during his tenure, but signing when Richt was hired.

Williams is the more pro-ready QB. Perry gained experience last season in six starts while Williams and Martell have none. Martell seems to have the intangibles to become the starter. He has been reported to be a better leader, more adept in Enos’ offense and understands the terminology.

Each of the three Miami scholarship QBs working during spring football has strengths. One of the QBs pulling ahead will depend on a lot of factors. We will learn a lot the next two Saturdays with the scrimmages open to the media and the public.

Seeing the signal callers in game situations will provide us with a better idea which of the three might have nosed ahead. No matter what happens the next two Saturdays the QB battle is almost definitely going to last into August training camp.

Next. Miami football players should listen to Nick Saban's advice. dark

Special thanks to Christy Chirinos of the Sentinel and Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald for transcribing the Diaz’s interview with Rose and Krantz.