Sunday’s timeline of UM’s hire of football coach Manny Diaz
It appears the University of Miami football program has found its answer to intelligent, energetic, aggressive, fast-paced head coach and defensive guru Manny Diaz.
His name is Dan Enos, he’s the Hurricanes’ new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and judging by his first interview Monday on WQAM radio, he’s also intelligent, energetic, aggressive, fast-paced and ready to tackle UM’s formerly failing offense.
“I’ve never been a guy in this business that’s kind of done what everybody thinks you should do,’’ Enos told host Joe Rose, saying he knows his former No. 2 Alabama squad “is going to be excellent again next year,’’ but “the future with Coach Diaz’’ presents exciting opportunities.
Under the leadership of former UM head coach Mark Richt, a quarterbacks specialist who called the offensive plays in a mostly conservative, pro-style offense that, for instance, didn’t utilize pre-snap motions, last season UM finished 104th nationally in total offense (358.8 yards a game) — 112th in passing (167.3 yards a game) and 45th in rushing (191.5).
Alabama, with some major talent, finished sixth in total offense (522 yards a game) — sixth in passing (323.6) and 42nd in rushing (198.4).
Enos, the Crimson Tide’s former quarterbacks coach and associate head coach, told co-host Zach Krantz that his system will “go in different directions based on the personnel we have here.’’
“Good coaches can do things that best fits the personnel,’’ Enos said. “Obviously, there are going to be core things we do fundamentally within the system that we’re going to install and get up and run… Certainly with my experience, I’ve been with different teams that have different personnel groups. We have some talented tight ends and we’ve got some good wide receivers. We have to find a way to use those guys and implement them and get them on the field and do things that help use their abilities.”
“I think we’ve got a good young offensive line group. I think we got some good backs from what I’m hearing and investigating. I do think there are a lot of core pieces there.’’
That wasn’t enough detail for UM fans, who according to Krantz were inundating WQAM, saying not to finish the interview “without talking more about his offense he’s bringing. Frustration has set in over the last couple years with the offense. You’re coming in with a fresh offense, whether it’s spread, something sort of like the spread…
“They’re looking forward to whatever you bring down here. Any kind of sneak peek else you want to give the fans right now?”
Enos obliged: “I’ve been a guy that has always wanted to be multiple,’’ he said. “I have the philosophy of look complex and remain simple. There are certain things we can control as an offense. We can control who goes in the game — which personnel is in the game; We can control what formations we line up and how we get to them, whether we shift in motion or get an unbalanced or whatever; and we control when the ball is snapped.
“So, the defense doesn’t dictate any of those things.’’
Continued Enos: “I want to be multiple in all those areas. Let’s be different, let’s shift, let’s motion, let’s use our groupings, let’s go fast, let’s go slow, and do those things. I’ve always been wanting to do that — be multiple and give defenses things they have to practice against from week to week and get ready and get prepared for and spend time on.
“My background is really with the West Coast, which a lot of guys are and I think there is a West Coast element in a lot of offenses. But certainly with today’s day and age and the experience I have, the spread offense is certainly mixed in there big.
“At Alabama we just did a tremendous job with our RPOs [run-pass option] last year, so that was like a whole new world for me opening up, that avenue, and getting into some of the creative things we did with that. So, certainly we’d like to be very versatile.
“You can call it the “Spread Coast” or whatever you want to call it. We’ll get the personnel in here and figure out what we have, and then we’re going to hopefully get very creative in how we get them the ball.”
Enos added that deep throws— or what he told WQAM was “shots with answers,’’ are still a big part of his game plan.
“Absolutely,’’ Enos said. “You’ve gotta have shots, shots with answers. Not a one-man route, or a two-man route, where if it’s not there you’ve got to throw it away. But shots with check downs, with answers.
“Obviously in today’s day and age we can’t always predict what coverage we’re going to get or how the defense is going to react after the ball is snapped...’’
Pressuring the defense “vertically,’’ Enos explained, “is very important.”
“But always, I’m a big believer that you have answers to go to in case you don’t get the coverage you want you gotta check down. But play action, and there are different ways to do that.”
He also stressed “ball-handling” during his radio interview, and said it’s “something that has become a lost art a little bit in football — something I believe strongly in is the way quarterback fakes and handles the football when you’re underneath center or in the gun, or whatever you’re doing.’’
Keep the defense wondering, he indicated, because if they’ve got “bad eyes’’ and “you move ‘em with your ball fake, then you create space for receivers and you have the ability to take some shots down the field.’’
Finally, Krantz told Enos that WQAM was “getting texts saying, ‘Leave coach alone. Let him go recruit.’’’
Said Enos: “My wife just sent me a text, ‘Get out and go do something today. Find somebody.’