Diaz: "More Meat On The Bone" Than We Showed

The Miami Hurricanes finished 7-6 last season; new coach Manny Diaz explains why he expects better results in 2019

Tiki and Tierney
August 01, 2019 - 5:18 pm

After spending three seasons as Miami’s defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz will try to return the Hurricanes to national prominence.

So far, he likes what he sees.

“It’s been remarkable,” Diaz said on Tiki & Tierney. “I don’t know if I’ve ever at any point in my career already practiced six times before the calendar hit August, but we’re six days in. I love the energy and the competitiveness that our team has showed. That’s really been our major point of emphasis this entire offseason because I don’t think that we were a team that always competed week in and week out a year ago. We’re trying to sort of rebrand ourselves and, in a way, rebrand ourselves with what has always won at Miami here in the past.”

Miami appeared to turn the corner in 2017. The Hurricanes finished 10-3 and reached the Orange Bowl. Last season, however, Miami finished 7-6 – its fewest wins since 2014 (6-7).

Still, the days of Miami contending for national titles weren’t long ago.

“I don’t have to come in and invent something,” Diaz said. “There’s been a playbook left wide open here at this school of how they’ve had success in the past – whether it goes into recruiting, whether it goes into way that they practice, the way that they run in the offseason, the way that they lift – and it’s our job as a coaching staff to hold our players accountable. . . . I suspect that there’s a little more meat on the bone than maybe what we showed a year ago.”

While Miami is known for its “Chain Gang” defense, fans are curious to see which quarterback wins the starting job this season. Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams are all in the mix.

“We’ve got three guys that are really competing at a high level,” Diaz said. “It’s been fun watching those guys get more and more comfortable in the system. We’ve got a good old-fashioned QB competition. We’ll have to make our assessment on who is going to be the guy.”

Miami opens the season against Florida in Orlando on Aug. 24. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET.