Scott Shafer met with the media on Saturday to preview the upcoming 2015 season and Syracuse's opening matchup with Rhode Island. Here are the top four quotes from the press conference. Full video of the entire conference is at the bottom of the page.
Shafer on Seamus Shanley earning the starting right guard spot:
”He played well. He played better than the other guys at that were competing at that position. Early in camp, we’re like ‘boy he’s playing pretty good.’ Then day after day after day, his consistency was really high. Really pleased with and proud with the performance he’s put on tape at practice. Nothing more than earning it.
”That will be a battle, just like all positions, throughout the course of the season. There’s change agents there. There’s competition there. There’s always the ability to play more than one guy at any position including the offensive line and guard position. So hats off to Seamus. He’s done a really good job. I'm very proud of him.”
”Depth charts for me, especially on defense, it’s what’s our pool of corners. What’s our pool of defensive linemen. What’s our pool of linebackers that will play in this game. From one year to the next, sometimes it’s five linebackers for three positions, sometimes it’s seven. This year happens to be that all five corners can play. I really would not lose any sleep over which one’s starting. Really, it’s a competition but also a team effort in that room being a younger secondary.
”I know from my years if you have corners that can cover and be consistent in their coverage techniques as well as communicate to younger safeties, you feel good about it. I feel good about these five kids. So really, it’d be splitting hairs to say one thing or the other. They’re both very good athletes.”
Shafer on Kendall Moore moving back to tight end:
”I always felt like if it didn’t work out inside whether his body weight wasn’t where we wanted it to be or his learning curve, he could go back outside. Because the tight end position in our offense, we do different things with it and there’s some learning there.
”He’s always learned well. He’s very competitive and likes to put his pads to work. So I didn’t have a problem moving him around because he has a pretty good football IQ.”
Shafer on Rhode Island:
”For me, when you look at game one, it’s very difficult to predict a number of things. Especially when you’re playing an FCS school because you’re going to have agents of transfers coming in and that sort of thing. I saw they’re going to play the junior college quarterback is going to be their starter. I had a chance to watch the highlight tape from his junior college and everything we could find. He’s got a very good arm. Showed to have some escapability, which lends itself to probably having the ability to run the ball as well.
”So we have to be prepared for that. Coach Bleil will do a very good job with the offensive personnel up front and they’ll be on the same page. I don’t see them making a lot of mistakes. Coach Fleming is an excellent football coach. Pete Rekstis is their defensive coordinator. A guy I’ve known for years and years. Played for coach Tressel at Youngstown State. His kids play downhill. They run to the ball well. They’ll play physical football. They’re kind of fun to watch on tape to be honest with you. He’s got them playing hard.
”So I think, more than the personnel, the personalities of the coordinators, the people I know, probably forecasts what those groups will be. I know we’ll have a feisty Rhode Island team coming to the Dome on Friday Night.”
Video by Tim Ferguson