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The Rejuvenation Begins: Syracuse Preseason Camp - August 31st

rejuvenation
rejuvenation

Syracuse football has captains.  Four of them to be exact.  And you probably could've figured who they would be:

On Saturday, Syracuse University put out a release announcing that defensive tackle Arthur Jones, tight end Mike Owen, quarterback Greg Paulus and punter Rob Long had been "elected" team captains.

Some of us were holding out a little hope that Andrew Robinson would get a nod as one of the caps but, alas.

Speaking of Jones, Bud Poliquin profiles him in his latest column.  Bud breaks out all the relevant references...Greta Garbo, Howdy-Doody and Pollyhanna...all to make the point that Arthur Jones is one happy guy.  A guy who's glad to be back in orange one more season:

"I came back here for a reason. I came back here so that I could leave as a winner. If I didn't think we could do it, I wouldn't have come back. Honestly. I would have said, 'The heck with this team. I've worked hard the last three or four years. I'm gone.' But I have faith in this team."

Now that the captains are set, the depth chart is (assumedly) settled and no one else is leaving the program (knock on wood), it's time to start thinking about Minnesota.  What's the #1 source of credible information to help Doug Marrone prepare for the Gophers?  Blogs, obviously.

"You're going through blogs. You're going through newspapers. You're looking at every single quote by every single player. You're looking at every quote by the head coach."

Excuse me while I comb my archives to make sure I didn't give away any secrets.  Probably shouldn't have posted our playbook.  My bad.  Regardless, Marrone sees the match-up with the Gophers as a...well, I'll just let him add the adjective.

"Minnesota is a good football team and it'll be a tremendous challenge for us."

Right.  Marrone gets a bigtime breakdown here courtesy of Donna Ditota, tracking his growth from young kid from the Bronx to quizzical young SU football player to head coach.  We even get the full story of how he met his wife, Helen, and how that sat with her father, famous Tennessee football coach Boots Donnelly.

"He talked to me about marrying my daughter and I simply said, 'I don't think that will happen,' " Boots Donnelly said. "I said, 'The girl's going to get a law degree and surely she has more sense than to marry a football coach.' But he did some good recruiting on her."

Football coaches can make anything sound football-y.

Doug Marrone -- excerpts from an interview

It's not just about Marrone now though...the assistant coaches get their say as well.  What do they think about what's going on and how do they plan to correct the transgressions of the predecessor?  First up, a guy who was here to see it in person, Dan Conley:

"Listen, the last four years around here haven't been very good...So every coach has a concern within the group he's coaching...

A key to our team's success is that my linebackers have to have success. They've got to be very productive. I mean, you can't spend much time being blocked if you're going to be making tackles, right? We need our guys to shed those blocks, to dip and rip. We need guys who can play fast and hard. We need guys who can get to the football. Are we a question mark? Sure. We have to prove ourselves. But we do have some kids with ability."

Dip and rip!  That's how I'd like to live my life.  Next, offensive coordinator Rob Spence talks about the progress he's seen on the practice field with SU's offense:

I think the offense is growing day by day. Very pleased with the players at this point in camp. They're productivity in practice and their execution has been very, very good and solid to this point right now. But obviously, you don't know until you play a game; you don't know until you're really in a competitive environment what you have. You measure that as you go.

And defensive coordinator Scott Shafer has some good words for the defense:

I'm really pleased with the attitude of the kids and the effort that's shown on video each day after we come off the field. It's been a nice long, hard camp. It's been a physical camp. And to see the kids begin to have a "bring it on" type of attitude is definitely encouraging.

Now, are we talking about a Bring It On: All or Nothing attitude, a Bring It On: In It To Win It attitude or a Bring It On: Fight To The Finish type of attitude?  Cause there's a big difference.