March 3, 2016
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Each morning session the Orange begin with variety of drills that is often repeated from practice to practice. Some might question the repetition, but in a sport such as football you can never get too many reps even if the drills are unchanging. But, just when you see things over and over and think the routine is unchanging, that is when Coach Babers and his staff will throw in a new wrinkle for the players. Today the offense kept to the script for the most part, but the defense broke down into stations and worked on some of intricate skills of the various positions. Here are some of the takeaways from one of the last days of Week 2 of Spring Practice:
- Trey Dunkelberger (91), Kenneth Ruff (45), Hernz Laguerre (58) and Jake Pickard (99) all worked on edge rushing scenarios using a green football on a pole to represent the line of scrimmage. Technique was stressed by the coaching staff as to the proper angle for making contact with the offensive lineman and driving him back towards the quarterback.
- Kayton Samuels (52), Steven Clark (72) and Chris Slayton (95) were about 15 yards away from the above group working on exploding out of a fixed stance towards the tackling dummy sled. Again coaching staff was seen stressing power and a strong push at the line.
- Quarterback and receivers drills appeared a bit rusty today. From both prior and current observation, it seems that players at both positions appear to get very caught up in the speed of the drills and lack the focus to refine their skill set. With six months before kick-off this is something that will surely be refined, and in top form come training camp.
- Offensive drills at the skill positions very much resemble lay-up lines in basketball, however after some throws to loosen things up the expectation is #OrangeIsTheNewFast (fast, faster, fastest with precision). Unfortunately, today there were more drops and errant throws than usual.
- The offensive line continued their own line of scrimmage technique. Today's drills included the use of snap count and the pace was more based on game speed than simply technique driven.
- Overall the coaching staff never lets up. There is no berating to be had on the field, but they certainly never allow a player to take a play off or go through the motions. This style is certainly a welcoming site for Syracuse fans, who are looking for nothing but the best from Coach Babers and his staff. Also, players know that they must be accountable at all times.
In other news...
- Again the music was loud and uptempo, as practices always begin with Smooth - Santana feat. Rob Thomas. Hip hop immediately follows and today's additional song came from Kanye West (Jesus Walks), in case you were scoring at home. The defense wore white tops with blue helmets, and the offense came out in all Orange from head to toe.
*Note: View entire video playlist for sights and sounds from this morning's session.