University of Miami football coach Al Golden spoke live on ESPN’s SportsCenter late Tuesday morning, indicating that sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya’s growth coupled with a wide receiver group that he “wouldn’t trade for anybody” will help the Canes overcome the departure of some substantial offensive talent.
Going through ESPN’s “Car Wash,” which gives guests the opportunity to appear on a variety of shows on TV, radio and digital media platforms, Golden started his day in Bristol, Connecticut, at 10:25 a.m. on SportsCenterU, proceeding to the ESPN Front Row at 10:50 and then on to SportsCenter with anchors Chris McKendry and Jay Crawford at about 11:30.
When asked by Crawford whether he thinks this is a “must-win year for you and your program,” Golden said, “I don’t get into all that. From our standpoint, we want to win and we want to win right now. Our team has done everything we’ve asked them to do. We’ve got great leadership right now…
“It’s not going to be easy, we know that.”
Crawford mentioned to Golden, whose Hurricanes finished 6-7 last season, that UM has to go “all the way [back] to 2006 for your last bowl win. Why will this year be different for you?”
Golden mentioned “great focus” in the offseason, with “very few distractions. Very quiet, very workmanlike. That’s nice for coaches.
“We have a veteran quarterback, as juxtaposed with a year ago when we were going into the season with a rookie. And we have a veteran defense coming back for the first time in quite some time — 25 of our top 30 coming back and we’re excited about that.”
The coach said Kaaya was in “dramatically better condition than he was a year ago” and that he was “much more comfortable in the system.”
As for the running back quandary, with all-time UM rusher Duke Johnson headed to the Cleveland Browns, Golden said the Canes “don’t want to go backwards in that department” in terms of production.
“It may not be one guy, but we’ll let the competition play out.”