|Hurricanes already know new coach Randy Shannon is serious about discipline|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 04 August 2007 09:25|
It's all part of one general philosophy which players already understand.
``You can't mess up - at all,'' defensive end Calais Campbell said.
Forget the new offenses and defenses, which the 'Canes continued implementing Saturday morning when their first training camp formally began under the former defensive coordinator hired last December to replace Larry Coker as head coach. Since getting that promotion, Shannon's most significant move may be enhancing the commitment to discipline throughout the program, with the hope that it quickly translates into more success on the field.
No guns. (Break that one, you're off the team and kicked out of school.) No cell phones in class; if you get caught, all your teammates in that class will have their phones collected by Shannon and stuffed into one of his desk drawers for two weeks.
No hats in meetings. Open doors for women. No food in the training room. Turn in your books on time. Maintain a 2.5 GPA, or you're going to be living in a dorm room on campus, even if you're a senior with a lease on a nice apartment.
And if Shannon's phone rings after midnight with word that you got into trouble, plan on losing playing time.
``Everything that we've tried to accomplish as a team is about avoiding distractions,'' Shannon said. ``The biggest thing that always happens is you have distractions as soon as something happens that's negative. Now the team mind isn't focused on winning games. It's on what happened with a teammate. That's all the rules are for, to keep all the distractions down from what we're trying to accomplish so we can win games and do it the right way.''
Shannon is all about responsibility, and his basic theory is easy to decipher: Players who are accountable off the field will be accountable on it, too. He's rearranged the locker room so offensive and defensive players interact, instead of forming cliques by position - which they'd done in past seasons. He even has players policing themselves, because if one guy messes up, it's a safe bet that some of his teammates will be joining him for a dreaded early morning meeting with Shannon.
The agenda at those meetings?
``A lot of running,'' Campbell said.
Campbell knows the hard way. He was one of 31 players summoned for a running session by Shannon a few months back, a penalty for not turning in some school materials on time. Only five of those players - Campbell not among them - were still behind in their work for the following week's running session. A week later, Shannon only had to call two players.
``After that, it was zero,'' Shannon said. ``Problem solved.''
If only fixing the on-field woes were that easy.
Miami was 7-6 last season, fell out of the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in more than 100 weeks and needed an upset win over Boston College in the Atlantic Coast Conference finale just to become bowl eligible. The Hurricanes haven't won an ACC title in any of their first three seasons in the league, and are unranked by most national publications this season.
Shannon doesn't mind. That all falls under another of his rules: Worry only about what you can control today.
``It's making guys mature,'' offensive lineman Derrick Morse said. ``And on the field, it'll show.''
Notes: At least one player had cramped up during the hot, humid practice and two became ill during a sprinting session. The heat index in Coral Gables was 95 degrees at 9:30 a.m., shortly before practice ended. ... WR Leonard Hankerson and DE Adewale Ojomo still have not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, meaning they cannot practice. Shannon said the school is hopeful both situations will be quickly rectified. ... QB Robert Marve and WR Jermaine McKenzie were at practice and played catch with one another. Both were injured in a rollover crash last month and are out indefinitely, Marve with wrist and hand injuries and McKenzie with broken bones in his neck that will keep him in a brace through mid-October.