Each week, the ACC's head football coaches get together to answer questions about the previous and upcoming weeks of football. Obviously because this is prior to week one, most of today's questions were honed in on expectations for the season opener.
It's likely you're more focused on what Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer says each week. But if you're curious about the other 13 coaches and what THEY said to the media, you can check that full transcript out here. On to the most important, #hardnosed questions and answers, though...
On Adrian Flemming being granted a medical hardship waiver to be able to play this season:
"... he came back faster and stronger and everything looked good. I think he’s poised to have a good season he’s a big, stron g receiver and he also does the dirty things well. Good blocker, he can stay on blocks, he’s just got to make sure he’s keeping his hands inside but I’m really happy to have Adrian back and I’m proud of the work he’s done since his injury."
On Friday night’s attendance:
"I can’t control that. I hope the Syracuse faithful come out and then some. I think the community is excited about what’s going on. I know our kids can’t wait to put on a great performance for them against Villanova. The biggest thing is that I want to see our kids put on a great show for their fans and their team."
Translation: Show up to the damn game...
On preparation level for Friday night:
"We’re ready to go. I think the biggest thing is trying to have a little bit of calm before the storm. Right after I get off the phone here, I’m going to clean my office and throw some things away and get to a minimalist approach, which is really the same game plan we have. A lot of nervous energy, which is good. I know the anxiety level is high in a good way that they just look forward to playing some football and hitting someone other than each other."
Scott Shafer: Tidy, anxious, not a multi-tasker.
On Terrel Hunt’s Growth:
"He’s grown a lot. The proof will be in the pudding Friday night around midnight looking back and saying ‘how’d he play?’ I think the biggest thing with Terrel is that he’s a competitive guy. He has to take advantage of the progress that he’s made and throw the ball to the guys that are open and not force it down the field. He’s got the ability to carry the team on his back, but I don’t want him thinking he has to win the games for us. I want him to do a good job taking care of the things coach Lester talks about with him on a daily basis and just run our offense. He’s postured himself to do so.
Note to fans, bring pudding so we can get that proof on Friday.
On Ivan Foy working back into the starting lineup:
"I’m extremely proud of Ivan as a person. I think in the bowl game he weighed 326 lbs. He’s now at a lean 295 or something like that. Taking football away from him for a while so he can contemplate where he wants to be was hard, because you want to keep him around the team and all that but we decided it was in his best interest to take away what he loved so much and have him go to work academically and find a nice balance with where he is and where he wants to be. I’ve seen a ton of maturity from him in the last six months and I’m really proud of Ivan Foy and think he’s going to have a very good season."
Well count me among those no longer concerned about Foy. Thanks, coach!
On Adonis Ameen-Moore’s rise up the depth chart:
"His goal was to get under 235 lbs. and I think he was 233 yesterday. He’s had a great offseason. With Jerome Smith playing for us last season, he got most of the reps as our big back. But I think now Adonis has to take that role and I’m looking forward to see him to get to 30 yards and see him knock people around and drag them down the field. He saw an opportunity and put himself to work and I think he’s going to have an excellent final year here at Syracuse."
We know Ameen-Moore's no 'Rome, but encouraging to see he's gotten himself in shape to be a similar-type back. So if you're curious, that's why he's now No. 2 on our running back depth chart.
On defense preparing for Villanova:
"...The thing I like to talk to the defense about is earned plays. We want them to earn plays against us rather than giving them by making mistakes. So we’ve taken that approach, but we don’t want it to take away from our aggressive style on defense, but I think coach Bullough and the rest of the defensive staff has the boys ready to play."
On three freshmen [MLB Zaire Franklin, OLB Parris Bennett, CB Juwan Dowels] in the two - deep on defense, the decision to put them there and their expected contributions:
"The decision was that they beat out the guy in front of them. It’s as simple as that. Three very mature young men that love to play the game. As far as playing time, it depends on how many reps we get in the game and where we’re sitting, but I feel very good about all three of those young men playing for us on Friday night."
Something tells me that two-deep is shifting quite a bit from week-to-week, and these guys aren't the only freshman to see their names up there.
So plenty of insight from Shafer above. No real surprises, but good to know how some of these decisions shook out. He's not one to show concern to begin with, but he seems like he has them well-prepared for Villanova.
Anything else stand out to you? What do you wish Shafer had addressed? And surprised there wasn't a single #hardnosed drop? Because I certainly was...