Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz trying to cure Hurricanes of ‘virus’

CORAL GABLES — He is not a doctor, but Manny Diaz believes he knows one of the things that has ailed the Hurricanes’ defense in recent years.

There’s a “virus that’s inside the program still,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. The chief symptom is lethargy. He and the staff are “trying to eradicate” it.

Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. (Instagram.com/mattyports)

Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. (Instagram.com/mattyports)

In simple terms, Diaz said the defense isn’t working as hard as he wants them to.

He said Tuesday “we’re still a ways away” from playing as hard and consistently as he wants to see in the fall.

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“I think today the heat got to us a little bit,” he said. “I think we felt sorry for ourselves a little bit. But that’s what we want as coaches, because that’s what exposes what we call the virus that’s inside the program still.

“We can still choose when to be our best and when not to be our best. And that’s not all of them, but certainly some of them have that and that’s what we’re trying to eradicate as much as possible in these 15 days” of spring practice.

“Inconsistent is the best way to describe it. We’ll have good days, we’ll have good drills. It’s your typical spring ball, kind of back-and-forth with the offense. We’re trying to establish a standard of excellence, where there’s only one way to work.”

Told that fans want to know what kind of defense he’s going to run, Diaz said play-calling is immaterial if players can’t run and tackle well — if they can’t work hard.

“If there was a scheme that stops everything, everybody would run it,” he said. “I’m more concerned about how we play than what we play.”

 

 

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