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Syracuse Football Practice: Competitiveness, Not Combativeness

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Tons of news, notes and updates from Syracuse Orange football practice on Friday and Saturday, so let's jump right in...


Ryan Nassib spent his summer trying to make sure he avoids a lot of those pesky sacks this time around...

"I took too many sacks last year. I worked on my quickness in the pocket, my ability to break the pocket and do whatever it takes to avoid those unnecessary sacks."


Prince-Tyson Gulley's mom came to town Saturday and the wounded warrior was absent from practice to spend time with her.


With all the issues going on surrounding Marcus Sales, the rest of the Syracuse WR corp need to keep their heads on right. Van Chew is among them:

"I have to have the mind set I’ve been having," Chew said. "Just go out there and just play. We’re looking to compete for the Big East championship and stay as a nationally recognized team."


Here ye! Here ye! Lord Beckett of Wales has returned to the kingdom. His personal issues are no more!

"I’m ready to go. My personal matter is over and I’m ready to get ahead of the season," Wales said on Friday at SU's media day. "I just had some personal issues at home that I had to take care."

Nick Provo isn't resting on his Mackey Award Watch Lis laurels, he's going to work hard on his blocking.

And you can officially start referring to Thomas Trendowski as Rudy, because I'm pretty sure this is a direct quote from the film (names changed):

"If every player gave us what Trendowski gives us, effortwise, everyone would be as good as they can be," Marrone said several weeks ago when talking about the team's walk-on players. "There’s a respect that Trendo has from everyone on this football team."

Cody Catalina won't be strapping on a helmet or pulling on the pads anymore for the Orange, but he is helping the coaching staff prepare the other TEs for this season:

"I’m going to do whatever I can to help Coach Hackett, because he has a lot on his plate working with the quarterbacks, calling the plays. I’m going to do everything I can to be an assistant tight ends coach and help those guys as much as I can."


The O-line is already used to seeing Doug Marrone's non-smiling face often. Now they're going to be inundated with it. Offensive line coach Greg Adkins will miss some significant time with a an undisclosed "medical situation." And so that means HCDM is in charge:

"The responsibility of coaching the offensive line now is with me," Marrone said.

Members of the offensive line know that means Marrone will be watching closely...but that's a good thing.

"He’s going to be hard on us, which we want," senior offensive tackle Michael Hay said. "We have a lot of expectations coming into the year, and nobody is going to push us more than him, you know?"

Starting left guard Zack Chibane wore a protective cast on his left hand during practice on Saturday. The junior has a slight fracture, according to Marrone, but will participate in full.


The linebacker position is going through some major sorting out and there's already been a couple moves based on the talent shown by some freshmen:

True freshman outside linebackers Cameron Lynch (5-foot-11, 223 pounds) and Oliver Vigille (6-3, 212) have shown enough potential to allow Marrone to switch junior-college transfer Siriki Diabate (5-10, 210) to middle linebacker, a move Marrone announced Friday.

Meanwhile, Lewellyn Coker has his hand bandaged (non-fracture).


#SHAMARKO is "doing a decent Delone Carter impersonation these days when it comes to huge biceps."

Special Teams

Shane Raupers vs. Jon Fisher is officially underway and Marrone expects this to be a heavyweight fight:

"The punting position is probably one of the most crucial competitions that will occur during this preseason," Marrone said.

Marrone also said there will be a battle for a long snapper spot between walk-on Eric Morris and scholarship frosh Sam Rodgers.

One spot not up for discussion is the placekicker. Ross Krautman is coming off a brilliant freshman season, though don't expect him to rest on that.

"It’s a whole new year. Everything last season is in the past," he said.

As for the post-season honors, he said, "It’s good to have, but I don’t look at that stuff. It’s all about the team."


So what is up with Greg Adkins, exactly? Marrone won't say, though he alluded to some kind of procedure on Friday:

"Greg was back here and when we reported to work was ready to go, and obviously a condition arose and now it’s a matter of recovering, getting better and coming back."

Marrone wasn't a big fan of the way things went Saturday. He saw a lot of combativeness, which isn't the same as competitiveness.

"I don’t know whether we’re waiting for pads, but that’s not an excuse," Marrone said. "We’ve got to be more competitive, and not as combative. You can’t get better that way."


The Syracuse University football team held its first practice of the preseason immediately following Media Day on Friday afternoon, Aug. 5, at the Carrier Dome.

SU Football Head Coach Doug Marrone talks about day two of preseason practice.