Last week, we learned all about Syracuse Orange football's "hybrids" and that offensive coordinator Tim Lester almost installed his scheme mid-season. As we've become accustomed to, however, a new week means a new update or two from SU's OC. This week, we finally get a little more information on the Orange passing game.
In another informative piece with Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey, Lester talks about the SU passing offense and the West Coast concepts he'll be installing -- a stark contrast from George McDonald's old read-option styles. Using Terrel Hunt's experience as the as the key to it all, the team has already used the offseason to install simple, identical routes. And the redshirt senior quarterback understands that his ability to pick up the new offense will be integral to this attack. As he told Bailey:
"It's going to all be on my shoulders, and I'm fine with that. I'll take the success and I'll take the failure."
Hunt being so critical isn't lost on Lester, either. He's working directly with Hunt on how the West Coast concepts are installed. From the piece:
Lester and Hunt believe the concept-based approach is much easier to understand for the quarterbacks and receivers. Rather than memorizing dozens of plays, Lester said the team is using only five concept families: Smash, Stick, Hi-Lo, Drive and Vertical. Each concept features a handful of route combinations that utilize tight ends (hybrids/Ys) and running backs moreso than most other passing schemes.
... And that's just scratching the surface on an extensive and thoroughly-prepared piece. Talking to Hunt, Lester and Bobby Acosta, Bailey walks us through a ton of elements of the offense in detail, breaking down the installation process, progress withe the receivers and more. While it Hunt's taken time to get the intricacies of the offense down, the results are an intense knowledge of what he's working with now, and a confidence in what needs to happen in order for the Orange to succeed. The QB's also praising the work of his teammates, who he claims are catching on quickly -- in particular, Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips.
While most of the other notes we've heard from Lester have featured a mix of questions and answers, this appears to be the most detailed look yet into what exactly this offense entails. And you know what? I like what I'm hearing. Obviously the most important results will be the ones on the field, but this sounds like SOMETHING... which is more than we could say at any point during McDonald's tenure. Given everything at stake this season, it might be time that we give this offense -- now with actual definition -- a shot.