Brad Kaaya, Jon Richt, Mark Richt break down Miami Hurricanes backup quarterback race

[Practice observations from Day 9, D-line video]

[Watch Miami’s DL get after it on Day 9]

[Practice observations from Day 9]

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CORAL GABLES — Miami quarterbacks coach Jon Richt grades his quarterbacks every day on finite facets of the position. He scrutinizes every play. Did they mesh with the running backs on play-action? Did they carry out the ball-fake after they handed off? Did they make the right read? Did they throw to the correct side of the field? Was it a completion, a miss, a catchable ball, a drop? Are they throwing with power, with accuracy, with touch?

The standard wears No. 15 and often carries a 90 percent grade.

“I try to be perfect every day,” Brad Kaaya said. “As perfect as possible.”

He’s not always so, but he’s close enough for Richt and his father, coach Mark Richt. The Hurricanes’ starter, Jon Richt said, has “mastered” Mark Richt’s offense. That makes it all the more likely that Kaaya, who enters his junior season as both a potential first-round NFL draft pick and one of UM’s career passing leaders, could climb a lot higher in UM’s record books. Kaaya is fifth in yards (6,436) and needs 3,129 to match Ken Dorsey‘s program record. His completion percentage (59.8) is fourth. He is ninth in touchdowns (42).

The quarterbacks behind him are, well, not as accomplished.

Miami is still looking for someone to take over the backup role. Though redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier again worked as the No. 2 on Friday, the ninth day of camp, Mark Richt said not to read too far into it. He still hasn’t seen enough consistency. Richt said he wants to set a depth chart by UM’s third scrimmage of camp, which is set for Aug. 24.

Why hasn’t Rosier, the one of the backups with game experience at Miami, separated himself?

Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier throws during an Aug. 2016 practice. (Miami Herald)

Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier throws during an Aug. 2016 practice. (Miami Herald)

“Some of it is learning our system,” Jon Richt said. “Completely different feel. Completely different way to go. He’s doing a good job now of coming up. He’s got to be more consistent. That’s our big thing with him. We’re putting a lot on our quarterbacks, play-in, play-out, they’ve got to know what they’re supposed to do and what not to do.”

Rosier (6-foot-2, 215) has a strong arm and is mobile but coaches have said he tries to make plays with his feet he probably shouldn’t, rather than taking a sack or throwing away the ball.

Redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, Jon Richt said, is “one of the smartest guys we’ve got” and picked up the offense “faster than everybody else.” Richt said Shirreffs, a redshirt freshman, is “Steady Eddie. He’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing every play. He’s a very trustworthy guy.” Mark Richt praised his footwork.

Another thing to note: Jon Richt said the 6-foot-6 Shirreffs, a “big ol’ tall goofy dude,” is “actually our best athlete” among the quarterbacks. “He’s the most explosive, he’s the fastest. He’s the hardest worker in the weight room. That guy’s work ethic is unreal.”

Freshman Jack Allison he said, “has a great arm, a great release.” In the spring, Allison “was a high-schooler who should have been at prom. It looked like it out there. He was a little over his head. Jack did an awesome job of coming to work over the summer. … Now he looks like he should be out there.”

Though Jon Richt wasn’t asked about him Friday, Vincent Testaverde is still solidly in the mix. Like Rosier, Testaverde is smaller (6-2, 200) than Shirreffs and Allison (6-5, 200) but was a second-stringer at Texas in 2014. He played in one game, completing 15-of-26 passes for 116 yards and an interception against Texas.

Kaaya, who publicly challenged his backups last week, was asked how he sees the race.

“I’ve seen a little bit more consistency,” he said. “They’re starting to, I guess, go about their business in a better way. It seems like they’re studying more and getting some of their reads down more. Every once in a while I might see a them mess up or make a flat-out wrong decision. But it seems like they’re starting to get more consistent all across. I couldn’t tell you who’s the best out of all four or five of them, but from the group entirely I see a lot more consistency.”

Richt, the 26-year-old coach’s son who was a Buffalo Bills assistant last year, said Kaaya is “leaps and bounds above everybody else.”

“He goes out with confidence every play, knows where he’s supposed to go with the ball, and does what we ask. His footwork’s on point now. He’s doing what we want.”

Noteworthy: Mark Richt confirmed The Post’s report that tight end Stan Dobard is battling an ankle injury and that safety Robert Knowles has a hand injury. “He had something to do with his finger, it got jacked up a little bit,” Richt said. A source later clarified that Dobard has a right ankle sprain and Knowles has a right hand injury … Fullback Gage Batten‘s foot surgery “went well, but it will be a little while before he can practice.” Batten has a Lisfranc injury of his right foot.

 

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