QUOTABLES: Scott Shafer

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer met with the media to discuss his team's upcoming game against NC State.

On recovering from a physical game against Clemson heading:
“At this time of the season there’s always a lot of bumps and bruises so we curtail the amount of reps that we get in practice with regard to full physical content. Our practices are a little bit shorter and we up the walk through, run through type modes where there’s not as much contact. Other than that it’s just the kids working hard to get healthy through their treatments and that sort of thing.”

On quarterback AJ Long bouncing back from the Clemson game:
“He’s doing good. He’s such a competitor and a young man that’ll come back fighting extremely hard. He’s spent a lot of time in the office watching video on the Clemson game and then moving forward to studying NC State. So he’ll just work hard like he always does.”

On defensive back Brandon Reddish and where he fits into the defense:
“I’ve always liked Brandon. He’s a very good athlete but he’s also a guy who’s physical as a corner. He’s always been a good tackler and good at getting off blocks. It’s always a good thing to have a cover corner but I’ve always said there’s no such thing as a cover corner in our program, you have to by physical and Brandon is just that.”

On linebacker Zaire Franklin getting more reps against Clemson:
“He’s been playing sporadically defensively in between all of his reps on special teams. We had a couple drives there where our kids were getting a lot of reps in a row and we always try to rotate people in and that’s always been a big part of our plan, just depending on the count and the number of plays guys are getting. I think he came i n and did a good job. He made some tackles and did a nice job in controlling his gap integrity as well.”

On Keenan Hale having to walk away from football due to injury:
“It’s always hard to see a young man who wants to play football and then have it taken away from him for uncontrollable reasons like injuries. You really feel bad for those kids and unfortunately, one part of the game you can’t control is the frequency of injuries. Unfortunately for Keenan is that he’s had a lot. So, tough to watch him walk away but we try to make him stronger down the road. Dealing with tough situations through football as a youngster is always a great learning experience. Keenan will do very well for himself, he’s a great student and he’s got a plan for the future and I’m looking forward to watching him put that SU degree to work in the next five or 10 years.”

On the running back depth:
“I love these kids. We’ve got a great group of running backs who have done everything we’ve asked of them, not just running the ball or pass protection, but a lot of those kids have done a great job in the special teams. George Morris is one of them who has done a great job in coverage. He’s one of the better kick coverage guys that I’ve been around and he’s really caused a lot of havoc with his play for the return teams. So I look at as a good group of young men who are accepting of their role and working hard on it.”

On the rehab of injured quarterback Terrel Hunt:
“We just take it day-by-day with all those kids. He’s been in a boot, trying to just let it heal. There’s not a ton of rehab that you can do until the bone is healed up, so he’s doing well with it but I can’t predict when and the doctors can’t predict either. Four-to-six weeks is sometimes four, sometimes eight. It’s just one of those things where everyone heals at a different pace. He’s doing well, he’s getting around. He’s in a smaller-type cast now and out of the big boot, so I think that’s good progress. We’ll just have to take it day-by-day and week-by-week to see what the doctors say. The problem is four-to-six weeks doesn’t mean you’re ready to play, it means you’re ready to up your rehab.

When it’s all soft tissue you tend to come back a bit faster, when it’s a broken bone you have to wait for it to heal up and then go to work on rehabbing the soft tissue and adhering to a plan for the atrophy that sets in when you’re not able to use those muscles, so we’ll take it day-by-day and he’s done a nice job so far fighting through it mentally and I know he’s anxious to do things physically.”

On left tackle Sean Hickey’s game against Clemson:
“He played well. He really did. Vic [Beasley] made some plays on the back side where he was not getting blocked basically where you’re trying to hold him with a fake, but when it was one-on-one Sean did a very good job. He played above average and I’m really proud of how he played against one of the best player s in the country.”

On the ACC as a whole and the parity in the league:
“I think it’s a great conference. I think you do have a situation where Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, especially on defense and I haven’t seen Duke yet to study them, but I do think you have a little bit of top-heavy teams that are probably a little bit deeper with talent, especially Florida State and Clemson. The rest of us are in there fighting with similar personnel. There’s a lot of good coaching, a lot of situations where teams have the same issues that we have with teams having to juggle guys around due to injury. But I think the parity is definitely there and any given week anybody can come up with a victory and there’s going to be a lot of fourth-quarter games coming up as we finish up.”

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