Syracuse Football Practice Recap: 2nd Weekend

via media.syracuse.com

So much to catch up on. First, a quick update on Saturday's scrimmage.  According to Dave Rahme, it was a fairly vanilla experience with the coaches concerned about injuries.  The defense dominated early but the offense figured out how to get some things done after a while.  It's progress...

QB

The maturation of freshman QB Johnny The Kinder continues.  He received the highest praise possible from starter Ryan Nassib over the weekend:

"John’s a tremendous athlete. He’s got a strong arm, quick feet and extremely fast. He’s doing really well. He’s coming along and getting a good grasp of the offense."

Pretty sure it goes Purple Heart, Medal of Valor and then "Being Called Tremendous."

As for Nassib himself, he made it clear that SU has a very specific goal in mind this year, especially the seniors:

"The seniors, its not an option for them to go four or five years without a bowl game. That's our goal, that's what we're doing" says Nassib.

RB

So much for concerns that Delone Carter wouldn't be back at full-strength:

SU Football: Carter Running at Full Power

Player of the day on Saturday?  Might have been Prince-Tyson Gulley, who had a couple great runs and scored two touchdowns.  Of course he also fumbled, but such is freshman.  Marrone seems pleased.

"Tyson Gulley did some nice things today."

WR

So what's the deal with Marcus Sales?  After Mike Williams, he was the 2nd-leading receiver on the Orange last year.  Now all of a sudden he's 4th on the depth chart and fighting for space with a walk-on?  What gives, HCDM?  In a word...consistency.

"We need more consistency out of him," Marrone said. "He’s in that battle for that (fourth) receiver position with Dorian Graham and Cody Morgan, and right now Cody Morgan has done a nice job. So that one will be open.

Don't forget about Steve Rene also.  He caught a few balls in the scrimmage and none of the vets competed in the 4th spot did much to impress.

Van Chew bruised his ribs recently but is expected to be back in practice today.

OL

Is Zack Chibane the starting left guard? We won't know until we know but in the meantime Chibane is working towards that goal.

"This is kind of a fast thing that happened," Chibane said. "I started off as a center in camp… I really haven’t had time to focus on anyone else’s game. My goal after spring practice, My goal was to become a starter."

LB

Ryan Gillum remains off the field as he gets checked out for an injury.

DB

#SHAMARKO returns! And not a moment too soon. (Kevyn Scott will be back as well.  Yay Kevin).

Mike Holmes is getting mentally-prepared for the season ahead at cornerback.

"Cornerback is all technique and confidence," Holmes said. "You have to be 100 percent confident in your technique, and confident in yourself to play cornerback. You have to have a short-term memory. You’re not going to win them all."

"A lot of corners, when you’re out there one-on-one, it’s kind of scary," he said. "You’re going to be man-to-man a lot more, and you’ve got to be quicker, with looser hips."

Special Teams

Herr Lichtenstein took the weekend off.  Not because he had a hot date (not that I'm saying it's unlikely he had a hot date), but because he needed some time off to rest his weary leg.  He only took one kick on Friday and then sat out the scrimmage of Saturday.

"We’re going to rest him," head coach Doug Marrone said. "Sometimes you (overwork) your leg. We’re going to rest him, because if we keep him out there and it stays fatigued we can never get a true evaluation. We’d rather just bring him in, rest him up, get him ready and then go out there and let him kick and compete."

As for The Kraut, he's taking advantage of Lichtenstein's absence but don't expect any roster swaps.

"Ross has a very good leg," Marrone said. "Ryan has done it for us, so we know what he can do in a game. We don’t want anyone to lose their starting position because of injury."

As for the kick returners, even though Gulley and Rene have been getting a lot of looks, the smart money seems to be on Holmes and Graham getting the nod.  And visions of Jason Sehorn are now dancing in my head.

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