The Spring Thing

Spring practice is a time for the player and coaches to work on building a foundation for the upcoming season. It's a time to mix and match players at different positions and see where players fit best. <br><br>

Evaluations can be done without the worry of coaches and players making all the adjustments that take place in games. The coaches look to see which players are eager to be coached, improve, and learn the mental part of the game.

Head coach Paul Pasqualoni says he and his coaching staff try to get players to not only learn their position, but to also relate that to the big picture of a team concept. And with that kind of teaching, Pasqualoni hopes the spring will serve as a measuring stick of what the team can accomplish when the season rolls around.

"The spring is a time to see how far we can come," Pasqualoni said.

But, as is the case in most springs, the Orangemen have holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Players will be forced to step up and make up for the loss of the graduating seniors.

Offensively, the replacement process begins with the signal caller. With R.J. Anderson gone, one of four quarterbacks will have to step up and fill the void left by Anderson's absence. Sophomore Perry Patterson and junior Xzavier Gaines have the most experience out of the bunch. Patterson appeared in six games last year, while Gaines appeared in one. Patterson looked bothered by a sore knee last year after suffering a torn ACL. However, he brings the most experience to the table. Sophomore quarterback Matt Hale was around to learn all the plays and terminology last season, but never entered the game. Then, there is Joe Fields.

Fields is a new Syracuse recruit from Texas. A lot of hype has surrounded him, with some calling him the best quarterback the school has recruited since Donovan McNabb. Fields, having graduated high school in three-and-a-half years, enrolled at SU in the winter and will participate in spring drills. There are some that think Fields may end up winning the starting job by the fall. But Pasqualoni has not made up his mind as to which player he will go with at quarterback.

"Everyone will get an equal opportunity to show what they can do," Pasqualoni said.

Edtior's Note: On Monday, we'll take a look at the runningback position.

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