Sports

Brian Monroe enjoys huge improvement this season

With so much talk lately about the ineptitude of the football team’s offense, and how strong of a defense it has, I wanted to take the opportunity to praise an unsung hero.

He is a player that was ragged on so much as a freshman that no one thought it was possible he could do what he has done in the first four games. Brian Monroe has been just as valuable to this team as anyone on either side of the ball for the ‘Canes, and we rarely hear about it. The only time fans cry out a punter’s name is when he is doing a terrible job, as his name was called out a lot a year ago.

Punters and kickers are a lot alike. They are cut from a different cloth than the other positions on a football team. They have to have nerves of steel and be perfect 85 percent of the time in order to be considered good.

Monroe came in replacing Freddie Capshaw, who was well liked and respected by the Hurricane faithful, except for one punt against Florida State in 2002 that everyone will always remember. He struggled mightily last year, which everyone remembers well. If he wasn’t shanking it off the side of his foot, it was getting blocked, and if he wasn’t getting enough leg into it, it was a low line drive. He definitely didn’t handle the big stage the way we all wanted him to.

With field position such a critical part of the game for a team with a struggling offense, the special teams game was one the Hurricanes rarely won. Monroe averaged only 35.7 yards per punt last year, with a long of 56 yards. He only pinned teams inside the 20-yard line 11 times and had only three touchbacks. He didn’t just struggle; he really struggled.

This season, we rarely hear about Monroe because it is as if he woke up and remembered why Miami recruited him here to punt. Through the first four games, he is averaging 40 yards on his punts with a long of 60 and has already had 11 pins inside the 20-yard line.

It goes without saying that good punts lead to good defensive stands on the field, and it is not a surprise that with Monroe’s great numbers, the defense has great numbers. If he is able to pin an opponent inside the 20 two to three times a game, our defense will continue to be unstoppable. It’s not shocking that our defense has given up only one touchdown in four games.

Monroe went out and hired a personal coach over the summer, something that Head Coach Larry Coker was very proud of. We all knew he had better kicks in that leg. He showed it to us on kickoffs and in the pre-game warm up.

People say to me during games that Monroe “is due for a shank.” Not this Brian Monroe. This Brian Monroe will continue to do his job, to the point where he’ll continue to be an unsung hero on the 2004 Miami Hurricanes.

Doug Kroll can be contacted at d.kroll@umiami.edu.

October 8, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

University of Miami head golf coach Patti Rizzo announced the 2018-19 schedule, featuring nine tourn ...

The Canes are well represented across the nation this summer with players competing in each of the t ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.