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The Rejuvenation Begins: Syracuse Preseason Camp - August 13th

Looks like someone's got a case of the dropsies.  Actually, looks like a lot of someone's got a case of the dropsies.

"The one thing I was disappointed with today was at the receiver position," Marrone said. "We’re dropping too many footballs. Outside of Mike Williams, I need to see more separation at that position - who is our No. 2? Who is our No. 3?"

Doug Marrone was not pleased with his receivers on Day 3, though it thrills me to no end with how nonchalantly Doug mentions Mike Williams' greatness.  As if it's a foregone conclusion that he's already back in top shape and en route to a 30-TD season.

Who is Doug's #2 and #3?  Donte Davis, Da'Mon Merkerson, Marcus Sales and even freshman Alec Lemon have their work cut out for them to step up at this point. 

One group that's quickly moved from weakness to strength is the tight end position and one player who seems to have stepped it up in particular is Mike Owen.

"Mike Owen does a tremendous job, he is stretching the field better than he did in the spring, that is a fact. I’m comfortable with that," Marrone said. "He has gotten much faster. From where he was last year in the spring, not throwing out the exact numbers, he is two-tenths of a second faster, which is big on the football field. I’m excited about him. He has worked extremely hard. There is a maturity and a leadership quality about Mike."

Doug also says he sees tremendous ability with Nick Provo and Cody Catalina and, from the standpoint of where they can all play, he sees tremendous opportunities at H-back, fullback and receiver.  Tremendous.

In the backfield, it looks like there's a new competitor in the mix.  Mike Jones seems to be making a name for himself and breaking through the three-headed hydra of Carter-Bailey-Collier:

"Now you have four players there that are going to compete," Marrone said...I've played with three backs in the backfield. I've played with two backs. I've played with one back. I like the ability of being able to put our best personnel on the field. With the competition we have at that position, I feel that it'll be very easy for us to figure out who the best players are, because the competition is so high."

Jones and Collier are also seeing lots of time fielding kicks along with Max Suter and others.

Marrone didn't stop his praise with the offense. He also had some nice things to say about defensive players as well:

"Mike Holmes, I've always felt was a tremendous player."

Dave Rahme mentions how the new regime is changing the way Syracuse players practice.  In particular, a very specific and very daunting test they all must pass:

The test came during "finals week," a five-day trial that ended the voluntary summer workout season. Each day featured some combination of lifting and running and each player's attempt to surpass ambitious goals set before the summer began. A new addition was three 400-yard "gassers" designed to test a player's endurance - and his will.

"These players have never had to experience anything like that," Luther said.


The team will continue to practice as-is until Friday when Marrone plans to bring in the pads and kick things up a notch. In the meantime, check out the Photo Gallery on the day.