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So Much For Thud Drills

There was a lot of man-on-man action yesterday in Syracuse football practice.  The hits came often and they were hard (nh*10):

The biggest hits were all delivered by members of the secondary. In addition to [Max] Suter, Mike Holmes, Dorian Graham and walk-on safety Ryan Ahern all handed out punishing tackles of wide receivers. Holmes laid out Donte Davis along the sideline on the third play of a full-contact scrimmage between the first defense and first offense in the last half-hour of practice. 

Two plays later, Suter laid out [Mike] Williams.

Welcome back, Mike.

"It felt good. I'm a football player. I's like 'Welcome back, Mike.' That's what I told him in the locker room, 'Good hit.'"

The offense responded with a flurry of their own.  The spread offense that we've been hearing so much about began to rear it's pretty head and the results were solid:

It was a signature play of the Pat White era at West Virginia. The Mountaineer quarterback once ran for 247 yards on 15 carries against Syracuse in 2006 pretty much running one play.

But there it was on Monday at the Carrier Dome. And this this time, it was the Syracuse University quarterback running the "read zone." It's an option play out of the spread formation in which the quarterback rides the ball with the running back as a fake, then pulls it out and runs in the opposite direction the play is flowing.

Ryan Nassib is getting the hang of this new-fangled offense and he's having some fun with it so far:

"I didn't think I had that in me," Nassib said. "When I got out there I was like, 'man I can do this.' I think I got lucky on a couple of them but it was fun. I think I'm pretty mobile. I can get out there and run a little bit and get the ball out on the run. I'm not afraid to pull the ball down and run and get those extra six yards if need be."

Over at the running backs, Averin Collier is on a whirlwind "hey, remember me?" tour and he's starting to get noticed by the other RBs.  And Doug Marrone:

"I've seen someone that keeps working hard. He's developing himself and becoming part of the mix and has the ability to step on the field in some type of role for us."

"Some type of role for us."  Not promising, Averin.  But it's something.

Some other news and notes:

  • Middle Linebacker Mike Mele is back and practicing...Donnie Webb
  • Doug Marrone's high school coach came to practice

SU football players talk about intense, hard hitting practice
Syracuse football practice video 04/06/09