On this deserted road near my house growing up, there was an old Catholic school. The legend goes that a priest and a student had an affair and the girl got pregnant. Ashamed by this and unable to keep the baby, she gave birth to twins and tied them to a tree on a nearby road, leaving them for dead. The tree began to grow over the babies, in an attempt to take care of them. And so, whenever you drive past a certain tree near the school, you would notice a rather strange bump in it...a bump just about the size of two babies. If you went by at night, it's said you could hear the babies crying out even now.
The name of the road that tree was next to...Collier School Road.
This really has nothing to do with anything. It's just always the first thing I think of when I hear RB Averin Collier's name. And his name came up a lot in SU football practice yesterday:
In the goal-line session, Collier twice scored touchdowns. One came on fourth-and-goal from the 1. His other score came on a 2-yard run on the final play of scrimmage in which he sidestepped a diving tackle and flowed to his right through the hole.
"I've been very pleased with Averin," said Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone Wednesday night after practice. "A lot of times, I get a lot of questions about the other two running backs and I always make sure I mention (Collier) because, he's shown that he's progressing and developing into a player that can find a role on this team and be helpful to us."
In other words, just because it's all about Delone and Antwon on the depth chart, don't sleep on Averin. Else he'll tie your babies to a tree. Or something.
Of course the big news yesterday was that converted linebacker Dan Sheeran had left the team. Marrone kept to his policy of not commenting on people not on the team and so it seems the issue is done. Now, the question is, what's left of the linebacking corp and who's going to step up?:
|Donnie Webb's Orange Football Report: The Linebacker Shuffle|
Don't expect Cody Catalina or Andrew Robinson to step in and help out, they're still getting used to their spots at tight end. Both are doing a fine job of it so far and Marrone expects them both to contribute:
“I think Andrew is progressing well. Again, it's a position change, but he's a very, very professional type of player from the standpoint of how he handles his business. It doesn't surprise me that he's made some plays today and it won't surprise me if had a tremendous role for our team in some capacity, as long as he keeps developing."
"I think [Cody's] someone on the football field who has a very good, or I should say natural, pass catching ability. He's caught balls all over the football field. From that standpoint, it's been very encouraging and it's been encouraging the way he's been going after it as far as the blocking scheme. I'm encouraged with the development from Cody."
While Marrone's attention is all over the place, preparing every player, you could argue that his Sauron-like gaze is firmly affixed on the trouble-area-to-end-all-trouble-areas, the offensive line. For Doug, it's about breaking old habits and breaking them quickly:
"We all had these horrible stances. We all had to break them," offensive tackle Jonathan Meldrum said. "Coach Marrone is pounding into our heads we got to break these habits that we've formed in previous years."
He said Marrone has trained the linemen to keep their backs straighter and their shoulders back, instead of leaning forward and slouching. Meldrum said this is a departure from what the previous coaches taught.
The Greg Robinson Era...it keeps on giving.