Q&A with RB coach DeAndre Smith

CuseNation.com caught up with Syracuse running backs coach DeAndre Smith to discuss the running back situation in camp thus far.

Q&A with Syracuse running backs coach DeAndre Smith can be found below.

Q: Is there like a certain swagger that comes with that (playing fast) for the program?

A: Well, I actually kind of like the fact that we can go fast and the guys are picking up the signals really quick, they know what they are doing. They are executing at a level. So at that standpoint the swagger is that we are really locked in on what we are doing. And those guys can really go as fast as possible to make plays.

Q: Has the preparation changed for the running backs in turns of what you guys are doing?

A: No runs are still the same runs, basically what I do is give them a little ownership on the signals and what makes sense to them. I learn what they like and I give it to them. It’s a lot easier for them to recognize what to do when they made a decision. So we haven’t had any new runs. Again it’s those guys picking up the system. A high rate of speed is really the fun part for me.

Q: Is it nice, that the older guys are learning something new and the new guys so they all learn together?

A: They all learn together. Tyson Gulley is learning just like Ervin Philips is learning. And really, all guys learn differently. Ervin Philips who I mentioned is a really smart kid. He picks up on it really easily. Other guys take a little longer to do. So everybody’s a little different and we just find out what works.

Q: Jerome was kind of your pound guy last year, who’s taking that spot now?

A: I’m really hoping that Adonis does. I don’t have any problem using George Morris. Naturally you would think that Adonis would be that guy because he’s a bigger, physical kid. He gets downhill. I am expecting him to be that guy and take that role.

Q: With the offensive, does that mean there’s more carries for each person or is that less time for the guys out there to stop?

A: I’m hoping to use more guys and we will go fast because we want to keep the heat going and we as a staff have decided that we can throw any of those plays out there and we will be fine. I like the fact that I have access to 4 to 5 guys I can throw out there and the faster we play the more plays we will have and more reps we get and it gets out from everybody in the end.

Q: Have you seen PTG take leadership?

A: He’s a more vocal leader than anybody and he’s working at it. His actions are actually matching his words. It’s good to see.

Q: Is it weird you think for him to be competing with the guys and teaching them at the same time?

A: No it’s part of the leadership role. They have had great role models and backs here in the past. It’s his turn to step up and be that way. He’s comfortable that he will make a lot of plays for us.

Q: What are you looking for to have someone stand out?

A: Well you’ve got to make plays. The biggest thing is you got to know what you’re doing, the guys have to make plays and on a consistent basis. More than anything it’s consistency. Can you make a play and at the end of the day you have to protect Terrel Hunt. And if they can do that they have a chance to really play for us.

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