March 8, 2016
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - As the Orange began Week 3 of Spring Practice the efficiency and fludity of the morning session is most apparent. It seems like just days ago the Spring season started, and the only protective gear noticeable were the helmets, either an orange or blue shade. But, full pads have been the routine for the last two weeks, as scrimmages have been sprinkled into the schedule both in the later portions of practice and on the weekends. There is clear growth over the last 14 plus days, and it is starting to show in a more prodominant fashion. Here are some takeaways from the morning session:
- Although practice begins before media availability, the warm-up was shorter today and like clock work the players and position coaches are immersed in drill work. The routine is less drudgery and more muscle memory, as players and staff know their roles and attack each rep with veteran-like effectiveness.
- Eric Dungey (2) looked much sharper today during passing drills. Less arrant passes for the entire unit, but Dungey seems to handling the new pace well now after a couple weeks learning the basics of the speed of Coach Baber's offensive system. The verdict is still out on Mahoney (16), Culpepper (15) and Gilfus (19) as to the length of their learning curve and future role with the team.
- Receivers continue to look strong. Kendall Moore (87), Jamal Custis (17), Steve Ishmael (8) and even Cameron MacPherson (90) have all looked strong in their route running. There must also be an emphasis on hand strength and focus, because few passes are dropped. Most of the turnovers in passing drills are attributed to the quarterbacks and their sporadic inaccuracies under duress in these fast-paced drills.
- The defense stretched mostly this morning, however did display agility in some of their drill work. Defensive backs laid on their backs about 10-15 yards opposite each other, with their helmets serving as an invisable perpendicular line. When the whistle blew, one had the ball and had to get up and attempt to run 10 yards unscathed. The other player had to get up and find them to make a "two-hand touch tackle."
- Overall, a short segment this morning but things appear to be running like a well oiled machine with schedule, work ethic and attention to detail.
- Music Update: Always begin with Smooth (Santana feat. Rob Thomas), but today's second selection was Poetic Justice (Kendrick Lamar).
Note: View video playlist for further explanation regarding the sights and sounds of this morning's session.