OK so the point of my post is this: SU players have been leaving the team since Marrone took over. Here's a (partial) list:
Parker Cantey, Chaz Cervino, Nick Chestnut, Mike Mele, Darnell Pratt, Frank Satterfield, Austin Wallis, Trey Fairchild, Michael Kay, Lamar Middleton, David Legree, Matt Reid, Terrell Harris, Dan Sheeran, Elon Mitchell, Jeremiah Harden, Romale Tucker, Zary Stewart, Dan Collier, Daniel Bailey, Derek Hines, and Shane Raupers.
Take a good look, cause that is a LOT of names. The roster got very thin, very quick. We needed walk-ons. Who among you had heard of Ryan Lichtenstein? Besides his mama and hs coach, I dont think any of us had. OK, now without these 20+ athletes we managed to win as many games as we did all of last season. We got respect from other teams (partial list):
"'Syracuse looks like a pretty darn good football team to me,' Paterno said after looking at SU's 23-20 overtime loss to Minnesota. 'Maybe they weren't so good last year, but this is a different year. This is a different kind of football team. They hustled and made some plays.'" (Nunes)
"Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly said 'I think Doug (Marrone) has done a terrific job of teaching his football players to play hard. That was my concern all week. We banged that drum as hard as we could. I thought we came in and it was business-like in a sense. We got our job done and we want to get the heck out of here.'" (Nunes)
"What I saw on film against Minnesota, Northwestern, Maine, every game, even Penn State - Penn State's a good football team and Syracuse gave them a pretty good battle - is young men straining and playing hard." - Bill Stewart of WV (Nunes)
"...and obviously Syracuse is going to continue to evolve and I've been very impressed. Doug's done a tremendous job with getting the team to play with an outstanding attitude. They're playing hard, they're playing fast, and you can definitely see the attitude that Greg Paulus has brought to this team and they're definitely playing at a whole 'nother level." - Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern (Brent Axe)
"You watch the tape, and they’re playing the game the way it should be played" Jack Cosgrove of Maine (Nunes)
"'I know (Coach Marrone) is proud of his football team because they played extremely well,' said Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster. 'They played their hearts out and their fans really did a great job supporting them.'" (Webb) and man back when the fans supported us, those must've been the days huh?
K, that's a lot of stuff to say a simple thing: No one denies that we're getting better. Really.
We lost a lot of people. A lot. Some graduated, some quit. Marrone has more or less told us that the players on his team will work hard, everyday. They will respect their teammates, their university, and their community. If they violate these rules, they won't play. Now some players, some really decent players, have violated team rules and Marrone's rules have applied. Like Mike's previous violation of team rules, this latest one has resulted in suspension and worse. Another player has (maybe? I'll assume he's gone for now) been added to that list that I wrote at the top. He is/was NFL caliber in talent but how does this impact his draft stock? Not my concern. What I am concerned about is the question of who will step up and fill his spot in the depth cart. I am not concerned about the players on the field, they will give it their all, every game. The ones who were not ready for that are gone. And if they misbehave off the field they'll face the consequences. This is a different team and they need our support, the odds are stacked against them. This is not a Quest for Toronto, this is a quest for respect and the Orange have earned that from me so far.
Stay Classy Orange