Mario Cristobal assesses the play of the Miami defensive line, secondary this spring

Nick Schultz04/19/22
Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Miami head coach Mario Cristobal coached his first spring game with the Hurricanes on Saturday, and he came away pleased. After the game, he spoke highly about his defensive line and secondary, especially.

Cristobal said the two units have taken big leaps forward this spring, and he said it was a credit not only to the players for buying in so soon, but to the coaches for their jobs developing them.

“I think tremendous progress on both counts,” Cristobal said. “I think the secondary coming in was something you watched on film, you were trying to figure out, ‘OK, we’ve got some really good guys and we’ve got some ability back there. But something’s not matching up.’ … I think Coach [Jahmile] Addae, Coach [Kevin] Steele, all the guys that work with those guys. [DeMarcus Van Dyke], Terry Jefferson. These guys are really, really good coaches, and these guys bought into their style of teaching and coaching. And what you’ve seen is the unit really progress.”

Mario Cristobal on developing talent: ‘There’s no secret sauce or hocus pocus’

Cristobal pointed out some players who stepped up big in the spring game, including Cyrus Moss, a four-star recruit this year, according to the On3 Consensus. Chantz Williams and Thomas Davis also showed what they can do, and Cristobal said that’s a testament to their abilities both on and off the field.

“Up front, credit to Thomas Davis at 235 pounds,” Cristobal said. “All spring, man, he’s been a pain to block. Every time I turn around, he’s in the backfield. Really good player. I thought Chantz [Williams] did some really good things, as well. Cyrus Moss really flashed today. Credit to him. He came in at 199 pounds, he’s already at 212, 215. Overall progress. But you wish you had 15 more days, which you don’t. So what happens now? The choices and decisions of the players have to take that next step.

“We’ve got to grow up, we’ve got to be mature, we’ve got to understand that everybody’s got 100 days until day one. So what are we going to do with those 100 days? Because I know what we want to see. We want to see a team that plays with passion, with toughness, with physicality, with resiliency that can execute at a high level. And to get there, there’s no magic. Normally there’s no secret sauce or hocus pocus. Canes gotta get to work.”