Hurricanes offensive coordinator Thomas Brown likes depth

Offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown after Tuesday's practice. (Matt Porter)

Offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown after Tuesday’s practice. (Matt Porter)

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Hurricanes offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown spoke to reporters after Tuesday’s practice, as the team prepared for Florida A&M (6 p.m. Saturday, ESPN3.com).

We also heard from quarterback Brad Kaaya and wide receiver Braxton Berrios. 

A few highlights:

* What are the strengths of Miami’s offense? “I hope we have a lot,” Brown said. “That’s the plan.” Brown expects Miami’s offensive line will “be on the same page;” have a “very reliable” quarterback, four quality running backs, depth and versatility at tight end, “and even receiver-wise, have some guys who can make some plays one-on-one and be explosive down the field.”

* Will Kaaya try to get everyone a touch on Saturday?

“I wouldn’t say force the ball to them, but it’s important just to work out any kinks we have and see where certain playmakers are, see who can do something with the ball,” Kaaya said.

* Berrios has plenty of confidence in the offense. Asked what the ceiling for the unit is, he said:

“I don’t think there is one. I think if we do the right things, if we execute, we’ve looked really good out here, and we’ve looked good especially in the past week and a half, we’ve come together, we’ve really meshed and I don’t see a ceiling. It all depends on us, how well we execute, how few penalties we make, how few turnovers we can give them.”

* Asked about the reasons for two depth chart decisions — tight end Chris Herndon starting over David Njoku and running back Mark Walton starting over Joe Yearby — Brown said “it’s always an ongoing competition,” but Walton was more consistent. He said the two (and Gus Edwards) will be used. He didn’t address the tight end part of the question, but both Njoku, Herndon (and Stan Dobard) will be used.

* He doesn’t believe in a “third-down back” because he wants all his running backs to “finish and run the ball the same way,” Brown said. “When it comes to a game of inches, one-on-one in the hole, every guy that we have better be running full speed and behind his pads.”

* Will freshman Travis Homer help this year? “I hope so. He’s done a really good job of coming out every single day. He’s a very intelligent football player — a very intelligent person, period.” Brown said Homer, from Oxbridge Academy, will “make his hay” on special teams to start, and has worked himself into the conversation for the travel team as the No. 4 running back.

* Fullback Marquez Williams can catch the ball a little, Brown said, but “his main job is going to be moving linebackers.”

* Brown’s responsibilities include organizing the offense, helping to install the offense on game weeks and on game days, help call plays. Running the offense will “be a collective effort” that includes all the offensive assistants, Brown said. “We’re all kind of putting our stamp on it.”

 

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