Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer provided some updates for the media today, the biggest of which relates back to the all-important quarterback situation. As you'll recall, Austin Wilson got the start there last week, however, it was A.J. Long who seemed to get the majority of the snaps by game's-end (partially because of a head injury to Wilson in the second half). Shafer expanded upon the status of both players to the media today:
Austin Wilson has upper-body injury (surprise!?!). Won't practice today and is day-by-day (surprise?!?!). He's feeling better.— chris carlson (@ccarlsononSU) October 14, 2014
Shafer said Long and Wilson split reps last week. This week Long will get "dominant" amount of reps with the first team.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) October 14, 2014
Shafer said the staff isn't worried about overworking AJ Long. The freshman QB was limited late in preseason camp due to a sore shoulder.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) October 14, 2014
Shafer thinks AJ Long's confidence and "force" can be contagious for the offense.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) October 14, 2014
Shafer: Like's AJ Long's confidence. "His older brothers in the huddle appreciate that force. He's fun to play football with."— chris carlson (@ccarlsononSU) October 14, 2014
So, yeah: A whole lot on A.J. Long, which you should start getting used to. The dynamic freshman solidified himself into Syracuse's future plans on Saturday after an exciting performance -- even if those future plans don't start firmly taking hold until next season. We'd also figured Wilson was in tough shape after that hard blow to the head on Saturday, so this reconfirms that while adding him to a growing list of injuries for this Orange team.
The guys from Syracuse.com will be providing some additional updates post-practice today. If we're looking to hear more on Long's progression with the first-team offense, that's our next opportunity. One would think some emphasis will be put on his rapport with Steve Ishmael (already pretty great), while the reworked offensive line makes adjustments to protect for a quicker dual-threat QB.
Looking forward to more updates as the week progresses. Even if the "A.J. Long era" hasn't begun in earnest just yet, I'm sure we're all at least a little excited about what a full game's-worth of Long could yield.