MIAMI (AP) — James Coley came to Miami to be the Hurricanes' offensive coordinator. After the team's first scrimmage of the spring, he sounded more like an English professor.
"The plays are developing," Coley said. "Now we've got to put that period at the end of that sentence."
Translation: The Hurricanes are showing plenty of promise, and yet plenty of work remains necessary.
The Hurricanes held their first of three planned spring scrimmages on Saturday, running plays for about 90 minutes. It was the first open-to-the-public display of Coley's offense since he switched sides of the Florida State-Miami rivalry, after spending five seasons as an assistant and a coordinator with the Seminoles.
Quarterback Stephen Morris threw for a pair of touchdowns, one of them coming during red-zone situational work. There were more than a couple dropped passes, and Morris was intercepted on the last play of the scrimmage. But Coley seemed more than satisfied, saying he can see how the plays are developing.
"I love it. I love it. I love everybody," Coley said. "From the players to the strength coaches to the assistant coaches, the kids, they give it their all. They're hungry. They want to win. This is a team that's got a lot of potential. I'm thrilled."
Coley is one of only a handful of new faces on the offensive side of the ball for Miami, which would have played in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game last season as the Coastal Division champion if not for the school self-imposing a second consecutive postseason ban because of the scandal involving a former booster's actions that sparked a still-unresolved NCAA investigation.
When Miami opens the 2013 season against Florida Atlantic, it's possible that as many as 10 of the offensive starters will have also started a year ago. Coley, a Miami native, came home after Jedd Fisch left the Hurricanes for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The offense has changed somewhat, but many elements of the language have stayed the same, a move designed to make life a bit easier for players.
"The biggest thing was, he made the adjustment for us," Morris said. "He really made himself available for the players and he was really able to make this offense so understandable for everybody so we could pick it up and play fast. He's always there to talk, too. You can text him at any time of the night, day, he always responds to you. He's just a loving guy."
Miami coach Al Golden said he was satisfied with the day.
"I'm excited about where we are," Golden said. "We've got a long way to go — a long way to go. I've learned to be careful around here. We had a good first scrimmage, that's it. We've got to learn from it and move forward."
One loss Miami may have endured during the scrimmage was defensive lineman Dyron Dye, who left on crutches with a lower leg injury. Golden said he was concerned about the potential severity, and more tests on Dye were expected either later Saturday or Sunday.
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