March 29, 2016
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Orange Nation is filled with madness as both the men's and women's basketball teams have made improbable runs to their own respective Final Fours. The Syracuse football team is hoping to feel the same madness next season by qualifying for a bowl by late November or before. Can it be projected that the 'Cuse will be in the mix for the New Year's Six? That may be a lofty goal, but the time is now to prepare and get this team ready to be a part of the conversation of a national program on the rise. For the past five weeks, the Orange have been doing just that. Establishing a hard nosed work ethic and an intense attention to detail under the Dino Babers' regime. By the end of the week, fans, players and the coaching staff will get the first taste of the fruits of their labor (no doubt a sweet orange!). There is much anticipation for the first version of #OrangeIsTheNewFast to take the field. In a weekend that will feature basketball in the Final Four, men's lacrosse taking on Notre Dame (#2 nationally ranked, ACC foe), the football looks to carve out it's niche and stake claim to one of the leading programs on campus. Here are some takeaways from this morning's session:
- Quarterbacks and receivers continue to maintain their on point status. Very few drops over the last few weeks indicates that all are on the same page. Although no specific mention has been made, it appears that Tyler Gilfus may have moved from quarterback to wide receiver. He was featured in an orange jersey today and was practicing with the receivers and not the quarterbacks as he is listed.
- The question was finally answered last week by Coach Babers regarding black jerseys for quarterbacks. Eric Dungey is participating fully in drills, but he has not been let loose completely for live situations due to his injury history last season. It is great to see him going full speed as he works on his skills, but also a welcoming site that the coaching staff doesn't want to take any risks and see it as a process to get him back to top form.
- Running backs and slot receivers worked with the quarterbacks today in a separate drill. This provides just a glimpse of the dynamic offense that the Orange will feature, allowing their backs to play multiple roles and work on the craft that is associated with it.
- The defensive unit and offensive line did much of the same routine today in practice. Defensive players worked on stretching and some light contact in kicking situations. The offensive line again worked on holding their stance and explosion after the snap. Position coaches play a strong role in other portions of practice that is not visible during media availability.
- More and more recruits appear to be attending practices. Stay tuned to other 'Cuse Nation reports on specific individuals and their visits.
Music: The usual Santana and Rob Thomas rendition, followed by an oldie but a goodie, Many Men by 50 Cent.
*Note: View the video playlist for more sights and sounds from today's practice session.