Day One of the 2012 Syracuse Orange football practice was noted as running a bit longer than it was supposed to. On Day Two of the Fort Drum experience this week, it looks like the team is still running a little behind schedule. It might not sound like much but if you think about how SU struggled to get things going last season, it's not the kind of mindset that Doug Marrone wants his team to fall into.
"I thought it started out slow, and the pace picked up," Marrone said of the 8 a.m. session. "And that’s what we’re talking about with the team. We’ve done that in games, and it’s not acceptable."
"When I sit here and I keep saying we have a long ways to go, that’s part of our problem right now," he said. "We have to be ready to go right off the bat, and stay that way throughout four quarters."
Mistakes are something that slow down a practice and mistakes have consequences. No one is immune to either of those things and that includes Doug Marrone (via Nolan):
Marrone brought practice to a halt when he became confused about what came next in the session. So he made himself do a set of five up-downs – conditioning drills which involve running in place, dropping to the ground then getting back up quickly.
"I made a mistake. We hold the players accountable for their own actions, so if I make a mistake I have to hold myself accountable just like the players," Marrone said after practice.
In case you weren't aware, Doug is taking this whole "it starts with me" thing very seriously. (And drink every time he says it).
Another coach who is battling expectations head-on is Steve Morrison. He Who Replaced Dan Conley knows that there are always high expectations, no matter how long someone has been coaching or how long they've been with a team (via Bud Poliquin):
"The reality is that no matter where you are, there’s always pressure," said Morrison, who claims to be unaware of any bad vibe and, therefore, can’t possibly be affected by it. "If you’re an eight-win team, everybody is expecting you to get to 10 wins. If you’re a four-win team, the fans want you to get to six wins. That’s just the way it is.
"There are always expectations for improvement, and I think there always should be. So, does it shock me that people might be upset? No. Am I going to shy away from it? Not at all."
Some video of Marrone (by Syracuse.com's Frank Ordoñez)