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The Rejuvenation Begins: Syracuse Preseason Camp - August 28th


I swore that when I started this blog, I would never, ever make reference to Nickelback.  Alas, I am now going to break that promise.

How the hell did we wind up like this
Why weren't we able
To see the signs that we missed
And try to turn the tables

Chad Kroeger is right, you guys.  How the hell DID we end up like this...with such little depth in key areas like the secondary.  Between the defections and some injuries, SU is scrambling to fill some crucial holes (that's what she said) with a little more than a week to go before the season.  One big area of concern...nickel back ( all comes together now).

"We lost Dorian, which was a blow because he would have played," [secondary coach John] Anselmo said Tuesday night. "He was playing the nickel. Now we have to wait until camp breaks and see what happens. That's open right now."

Expect that role to be filled by one of the highly-praised freshman, be it Philip Thomas, SHAMARKO Thomas, Rishard Anderson or JuCo transfer John Mark Henderson.  All are apparently still working through the transition from high school to college, and once they get it down they'll challenge the starter for playing time.

Hey, maybe they can insert Derek Hines in ther......oh right.

One player in the defensive backfield the Orange don't need to worry about is Mike Holmes.  Long considered one of the better players back there, Holmes is flourishing in camp and HCDM has noticed.

"He's a heck of a football player now...I've been saying that from day one. He can play safety. He can play corner. He's a leader. He works hard. He's more of a leader by example. He's a quiet kid. He's a great football player. I'm looking for great things out of him. We can do a lot of things with Mike Holmes."

Holmes has jumped between safety and corner in his time at SU so far and that's hurt his stability.  Anselmo and Marrone have secured Holmes as the staring free safety for the Orange and that's where he's going to stay this season.  For his part, Holmes is excited about the chance to play in Scott Shafer's defense:

"It's very fun," Holmes said. "It's more putting players in the position to use their abilities, to go make plays. He's not limiting your abilities with his schemes. I like that."

On the kicking front, very good new for the kingdom of Lichtenstein.  Young Ryan, who made the team as a walk-on, is now a scholarship player.  Given the amount of schollies laying around, it would have been criminal not to give it to him.  Both kickers got a chance to make some pressure kicks during practice yesterday and the results were...iffy.

Thursday, Smith got a chance to kick with backup holder Andrew Robinson and the second offensive line. He made a 30-yarder with 15 yards to spare, then had his next two tries blocked and a fourth kick hook badly left. Lichtenstein also unleashed a low line drive that may have been deflected at the line but made a couple others.

You've got a week, work it out.