Hey, let's check in with the Syracuse Orange football team and see what's what. Cool? COOL.
First up, what of Wayne Williams? Talk of the beefy defensive tackle has been all about his conditioning, or lack-thereof. How's that going anyway?
"Wayne knows that he still has a long way to go before he gets to the standard expectation level of the team," SU head coach Scott Shafer said, "but he's done a nice job and he's had steady improvement."
(This is the moment when you realize you should just be thankful that part of your job doesn't entail your boss keeping the entire world up to speed on what shape you're in).
It is a little weird reading the article and seeing the way the coaches and his teammates talk about him. Reading between the lines, there seems to have been some genuine concern that Williams would even be able to hold his own out there on a football field. Doesn't sound like he'll be 100% ready to go anytime soon but at least he'll have a shot so long as he keeps doing jumping jacks.
Meanwhile, how about an up-and-coming guy who will probably see some playing time? Well then let me introduce you to safety Darius Kelly, who is geared up to make an impact, this year or next.
"He's a guy that I think has the potential to really take it to the next level in terms of his performance," Reed said this week. "Hopefully we can take that into next season. Hopefully all that work he's put in pays off this season. I think it will."
"He's a pretty good blitzer, and that's one thing we ask that position to do," Reed said. "We may have corners who are good cover guys, but maybe they're not as good blitzing as Darius is. We want to have that total package."
Finally, it looks like everyone forgot to notice that Syracuse brought in a preferred walk-on named Cole Murphy to compete as a kicker for the Orange this season. He joins punter Evan Jakubowski, who is in the same boat as a punter.
His strength is power, nailing a 50-harder and recording 57 touchbacks for Valencia last season. His accuracy — Murphy made 6-of-9 field goals as a senior and 10-of-15 in his high school career — is his main focus for improvement.
"The one thing that I really do need to work on, though, is kicking straight balls," Murphy said. "That's the one thing as a kicker that you always have to do is hit straight balls. Sometimes mine lean right or lean right a little, so I've got to always work on that, and I'm sure every kicker does.
"The power is there. I've just got to get the fluidity down."
Just keep the fluidity in your kicks and not in your hands on Thursday nights and you might just get a shot, Cole.
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