One last round of updates for Syracuse football prior to this week's spring game. And... it was actually a pretty busy Tuesday of information.
As always, plenty to be found on the Twitter feed of Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey, so definitely check out the updates there. But we I.D. what we felt was most important from the day:
The spring game will be... much less of a game than we'd like.
That's a bummer right off the bat, since a lot of Syracuse fans (this one included) had really wanted to see what Tim Lester's new offense was going to look like with full game speed. Plus, given the do-or-die lens of this coming football season, you'd imagine the Orange football staff (Coach Scott Shafer, et al) would want to use Saturday to impress fans at least a little. Instead, we'll get a glorified scrimmage with no score and no clock. As Syracuse.com's Chris Carlson said yesterday, "who needs excitement when you have Syracuse football?"
Terrel Hunt gives some insight into why last year's offense was awful.
The above is just in case you missed this morning's piece. Also in the same line of thinking, this quote from Omari Palmer:
Omari Palmer called last year's offense "god awful" and "despicable."— Nate Mink (@MinkNate) April 1, 2015
Aaron Roberts is putting himself in position to start.
Definitely check out Nate Mink's piece, linked to above, on how we got here. But based on his body of work this spring, the redshirt freshman could very well be the starting right guard for Syracuse both on Saturday and going into summer. Roberts told people when he signed with SU, "I'm coming to play, and by the end of my career at Syracuse ... people are going to know my name." We're one step closer to that coming to fruition.
Over 70 percent of the offense is already installed right now.
That's a big positive for a team that needs to get back on track offensively. We won't see much of that progress during the spring game, unfortunately. But nonetheless it's a positive sign that things could improve a lot this year based on Hunt's lengthy comments about changed attitudes and a better comprehension of roles. Expect more downhill running, a better use of personnel and more defined route-running as a result.
Terrel Hunt is helping the defense avoid tipping coverage.
This could pay dividends for the young, inexperienced group back there. It could also mean that Hunt is getting better at downfield reads, etc. and that's why he now has the ability to provide that insight. Overall, a good sign that the team's different units are able to help one another out, and hopefully the defensive backs can take those notes into the offseason so things are improved (compared to last year) once camp starts.
Rob Trudo is out for Saturday, while Brisly Estime will play.
Estime was seen practicing in drills yesterday and will suit up for the spring game, which is a positive considering how much time the H-back missed last season with injuries. Trudo, on the other hand, is back doing light drills but will not play. I understand the thinking there: Estime needs the reps, while Trudo is our best offensive linemen and thus, the rest is probably best for the high-ankle sprain.
Big focus for Luke Arciniega is health.
Apparently it's still a concern just how much Arciniega can stay on the field, so Shafer told media that they'll be some snap management applied to him this year at defensive end. Luke was under the weather and was not present at practice yesterday. Will be interesting to see if they use him at all in the spring game.
Apparently don't read too much into the depth chart right now.
Because according to Shafer, it mostly just reflects "competitive spirit." That's expected to a point, but you can't help but read into some of that early, especially when Syracuse is either very young or very thing at a few positions. The fact that the spring game is not really a "game" at all hammers that point home as well. Will be good to see the team practice a bit, but otherwise, we can't really get a read on this fall from Saturday. Just consider it a baseline for what we'll see come camp and going into September.
And that's a wrap in terms of important notes from Tuesday. Not a large collection of updates, and most of the important stuff was confined to Hunt's comments. But still, good things to know going into the spring game/offseason.
Annoyed by Shafer sort of killing off interest in the spring game by announcing it as a "scrimmage" in advance? Wish they'd make it a little less "vanilla?" Hoping that (likely) miniscule spring attendance doesn't kill off what's left of a fragile fan base psyche? Weigh in below.