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Scott Shafer & The Angry Inches

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If Any Given Sunday taught us anything, it's that whoever is directly responsible for the Dallas Knights uniform needs to be executed.  It also taught us that football (and life) is a game on inches. And no one on the Syracuse coaching staff understands that more than defensive coordinator Scott Shafer.

"We talk about trying to improve six inches on every play," Shafer said. "And if we get 11 guys improving with a six-inch mentality, that’s when all of a sudden you get a pass breakup that turns into an interception."

You can expect "how would you like to improve six inches on the next play?" to be the new pick-up line of choice down at Marshall Street now.

Nolan Weidner's piece on Shafer gives some insight into not only how Shafer views defense but also how he ended up coaching for Syracuse in the first place.  Origin story!

"When I was offered the job here, I talked to coach [former Indiana coach Bill] Mallory," Marrone recalled Friday. "He said, ‘I’m not telling you who to hire, but if you want to hire someone a lot like yourself, you need to talk to Scott Shafer.’ "

You can get up to speed by checking in with the folks covering spring practice.  The D.O. filed their report, Dan Lyons added his recap as did Dan Kelley.  The overriding sentiment? Defense looking good, offense finding its way and Sir Alec Lemon slowly but surely ascending to his rightful place.

Nobody in the Orange secondary has yet to come up with a way to slow Alec Lemon down. Lemon continues to look like the top-flight receiver Syracuse is going to need to replace the gaping hole that Mike Williams left when he quit the team midway through last season. He appears to be bigger and faster than he was as a freshman last season and he’s also displayed the ability to leap up and rip the ball out of the air.