Over at Syracuse.com (I feel like we need a nickname for them. The Mothership is SBNation.com, so it'd have to be something else), Nate Mink ran five important questions by Syracuse Orange football coach Scott Shafer. And while he didn't always get intriguing answers, asking the questions themselves seem to reveal some key concerns and learnings that SU football is taking into 2014.
Correct me if I'm wrong but, Doug Marrone leaving-side, SU football has seen a lot of consistency in its assistant coach ranks. Shafer and Hackett were Marrone's lieutenants for most of his time and the assistant coaches shifted a bit but was never much of a mutiny. So it's not really an issue that comes to mind too much, but, yeah, do we know if any SU assistants aren't returning in 2014? If so, Shafer ain't saying...
Shafer was non-committal about retaining his full staff a few days before flying to Indianapolis for the AFCA National Convention, which wraps up Wednesday. He said the only certainty was "you really never know."
A longtime assistant himself, Shafer isn't going to stand in the way of anyone who sees a better opportunity crop up, which is how it should be. Hopefully they decide that the best opportunity is to keep making their name here.
On the many injuries that plagued the Orange players this season, Shafer was equally vague, saying "a couple kids went home and had some things done." So there's that.
One of the big things SU fans want to hear about is who is going to step up and replaces folks like Jay Bromley and Marquis Spruill and Shafer does seem to go out of his way to mention Donnie Simmons ("He looks like Dwight Freeney") and Eric Crume, noting in his usual Shafer-esque way, "On paper we look a little bit ugly, especially inside, but the next guy in."
Check out the whole interview to read about Shafer's thoughts on practice schedules and what he thought his best coaching job of the year was.