Doug Marrone got testy earlier today when a reporter seemingly got annoyed with him for ducking the quarterback decision.
Then he chose a quarterback.
Greg Paulus was named the starting quarterback of the Syracuse Orange football team this evening, which is interesting in itself (Who makes these announcement at 10pm unless you're trying to bury something?). The release came from SU Athletics and Doug Marrone did not include any comment. Marrone must have made his mind up shortly after speaking with reporters this afternoon, when he said:
"The moment I feel comfortable with the player that's going to win games for us, I'm going to make that decision," Marrone said. "And, I'm not going to wait."
What happened? Did Paulus leave a note in his locker or something? Did Nassib trip Marrone when they passed each other in the hallway?
So why issue this at 10PM? Just seems...odd. My guess, and it's merely that, is that Marrone was ready to make the announcement tomorrow, but that changed after word broke about the impending Meadowlands press conference.
Tomorrow SU will announce that it's playing three games in NJ, one of which is the game against USC, which was the crown jewel in the home football schedule for the foreseeable future. Every SU fan had it circled on the schedule. With the removal of that game, the money it would have generated and the attention it would have brought to the city, fan reaction seemed, well, pissed. By ensuring that the first thing folks will be discussing tomorrow is the Paulus announcement, now there's a positive spin in place to offset things.
That or it's all just weird, coincidental timing. Either/or.
Lots of people saying their shocked by this announcement. Consider me shocked at their shock. I don't doubt that Marrone wanted to be impartial and fair...but c'mon now, the deck was always stacked in Greg's favor. It was a lot easier to give the job to the hometown kid who was a high school football phenom and a newsworthy personality.
So what of Greg and his now-apprentice Ryan Nassib? Brent Axe sums it up by focusing on the one thing that Nassib has that Paulus doesn't...time. And while it does now seem like this was all preordained the moment Paulus decided to come to SU, there's something else to it that can't be discounted. The newsworthy-ness factor.
Let's be honest here, if Ryan Nassib was named the starting QB at Syracuse last night, it doesn't become "breaking news" on ESPNEWS as the Paulus story was.
And Brent also makes a great point that, QB-ability aside, Marrone hedges his bets a little better this way. In a sense, he's actually doing Ryan Nassib a big favor.
If Paulus "fails", Nassib gets to ring the bell.
It is really as simple as that folks.
If Paulus "fails" as quarterback, then, you know what, Doug Marrone tried.
Folks are gonna have fun with this tomorrow and that's fine. Syracuse fans need to accept how absurd this sounds as well. A guy who hasn't played football for four years and is best known as being America's version of an Italian soccer player just beat out every other guy on the roster to take the starting quarterback role. If anyone other team was doing this, we'd laugh to. So let it go. Revel in it. Enjoy it. Folks won't think much of us no matter who's playing QB. Might as well make it entertaining.
And if it just so happens that's he half the QB he was in high school and we win a game or two we weren't supposed to...all the better.