Doug Marrone tried to nip a quarterback controversy in the bud immediately following the West Virginia game. Unfortunately for him, the way he did only made speculation run even, uh, rampant-er. Here's Doug's explanation on why he pulled Paulus:
"During the course of the game, I was concerned about some of the questions I and some of the coaches were asking and how he was responding to it. ‘Why would you do this? Why would you do that?’ It’s just not characteristic of how my experience with Greg has been in the past, therefore I felt uncomfortable about the situation and made the switch, knowing that Greg will still be our starting quarterback."
Was Greg suddenly speaking in tongues? Did he momentarily forget the basic rules of American football? Was he concussed in some manner? Did he start diagramming how Syracuse was going to break the trap?
In all seriousness, is Doug trying to say that Paulus basically got overwhelmed to the point where he was no longer trustworthy enough to handle the offense? Cause that's what it sounds like.
So where do we go from here? All signs point to Paulus taking the first snap of the Akron game. The Saltine Warriors stand behind the decision and the need to give Paulus a little more time to prove himself once and for all.
You can't sign him, make him your team captain after two weeks of practice, then bench him after two bad games. Like it or not, he is the face of Syracuse football this year, and we have to stick with him. There have been games where he has exceeded expectations (mine anyway), and although the teams he had good games against are shaping out to be not as good as predicted, they are still division one football teams nonetheless.
Orange 44's John Brennan is thinking about how short that leash is on Greg Paulus though. Given what's transpired the last two weeks and the positive things we saw from Nassib, certainly we can still expect Ryan to see some PT against Akron or Cincinnati down the road.
I would want Greg to get a lot of snaps in that game. He shouldn’t be thrown to the sidelines and forgotten, just because we want to start planning for next year. Oh jeez, there I go. "Next year" is rearing its ugly head. Come on, John, we’re halfway through the season! And we don’t have a head coach who thinks about next year; he thinks about what it will take to win this week. Or next week if we have a bye. But who’s to say that Ryan Nassib isn’t the right choice to lead Syracuse to victory against the Bearcats?
As far as Tyler Dunne at the D.O. is concerned, the Paulus Experiment is over. Long live Nassib!
Paulus is a rent-a-player. He's here for kicks. He's gone after December. Nassib could be a long-term answer. Whenever Nassib's ability inched past Paulus', Marrone needed to make the switch. After a gruesome interception, Marrone did exactly that during halftime Saturday. And stopped there.
...Nassib gives the offense a fighting chance on third-and-long. He's more decisive and more direct. His ball has more mustard on it than any SU quarterbacks in recent memory.
And who doesn't like mustard?
The correct answer? Paulus still gets the nod against Akron but Nassib sees plenty of snaps. Especially if Paulus falters early. Greg has proven he can be a good quarterback but he's also let his nerves get the better of him. Depending on which Paulus starts the game next week, you make your long-term decision from there.