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Scott Shafer Pleased With Syracuse Player's Attitude & Camaraderie Despite Adversity

Scott Shafer stopped by the weekly ACC coaches teleconference to talk about his team during the bye week. Here's what he had to say...

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

On how the "next man up" mantra really work in a season full of adversity and injury.

I think the kids have fought hard through some tough times. We couldn't predict that we'd be dealing with that many injuries at this point in the season. Playing our third, fourth string quarterbacks in what's really a decimated offensive line, I've been proud of the way the kids have fought hard to step up. We've had to simplify some things.

But the attitude and camaraderie with the kids has been great. They've all had each other's back as we've worked through the tough times. It's a great learning opportunity for all of our kids. We just look forward to hopefully getting a couple of guys back this week as we move into the Pitt game.

But the kids have been good. I've been pleased with the way they've worked hard to focus on the things they could really work to improve upon and not worry about the things outside of our realm. I've been pleased with their attitude, and more than anything, I've been pleased with that camaraderie.

On the future of the Syracuse QB situation.

Well, trying to look at the silver lining, we learn a lot about kids when they get on the field. For all three of those kids to be freshman eligibility and to get out on the field through some difficult circumstances, we've had the opportunity to see what they can do and how they react to the pressure of playing in it a college football game at a young age and also doing it with an extremely banged-up offensive line has really given us a chance to measure where they are.

I've been pleased with all three of the kids and the way they've taken on the opportunity to get on the field. Unfortunate that A.J. [Long] went down and Austin [Wilson] went down, but gave us an opportunity to see how Mitch Kimble could do. I thought in his first game played he did a nice job. Two weeks prior to that, he was running our scout team. For us to throw him to the wolves a little bit there in the Duke game against the No. 22 team in the country at the time, I thought Mitch did some nice things.

So we found out a lot about some kids that maybe we wouldn't have known, game experience and composure in those situations. We probably wouldn't have known as much without having him in those situations. So that's the silver lining side of it.

On the value of a guy like Cameron Lynch.

Cam does a great job...he's a well balanced young man and has great things going for him in the future outside of football, as well as his dream of playing in the NFL. His personality is contagious to his teammates. He's just one of those guys that does things right daily, and a great example of somebody that models the way and backs it up with also being outstanding on the football field, but also in his academic and his community involvement. So he definitely makes any coach's job easy.

On when he's going to appear on Cam's Cam.

He's knocking off all the big names before he gets down the list to us guys that are kind of way down on the food chain. I know you've already been on. You're at the top of the list. I'm just waiting to see. Maybe I get a shot or maybe I don't, but either way, I know Cam will make the best decision.

On the bye week and what he's looking forward to.

Well, it's a short window. The bye week for us -- every year bye weeks are different because where you're at in their schedule. For us, coming off a nine-week stretch, we're the only ACC team that had a nine-week stretch without a bye. We're dealing with trying to get guys healthy, but we're also going on the road, seeing recruits, and moving in the direction of setting up all of our visits for all the kids coming in during the winter recruiting process. It gives us a chance to focus in on that side of things a little bit.

As far as scheme-wise, you're still playing with the same cards in the deck right now. So there's not a lot of change agent there that goes into a bye week. The one thing we can do is we can spend a little bit of extra time looking at Pitt as we prepare and we have some light practices moving forward. So it's a way to kind of get an extra Tuesday, an extra Wednesday practice before we get to actual game week Tuesday, Wednesday.

More than anything, I think it's trying to get kids healthy in the situation that we're in right now, and also taking the time to try to continue to coach and teach the kids playing quarterback that are all freshmen how to look at things they may have struggled with earlier in the season, and moving into the Pitt game, trying to be a little bit quicker and sharper with understanding what the coverages and fronts look like.

So less to do with just the scheme, and more to do with the identification of getting us in good plays or getting us out of bad plays, something that's extremely important for our three young quarterbacks.

Check out the full transcript here.