Syracuse Orange head coach Dino Babers had his first big chat with ESPN's Andrea Adelson. Dino talks about his plans how he's going to evaluate players, what it's like coming into a new situation, and plenty more.
The one that caught our eye was the way Babers says he plans on meeting with his players:
"We have weekly meetings and we call them ‘The State of the Union' since we are so close to DC," Babers said in a recent conversation with ESPN.com. "I don’t stand in front of them and lecture them. They get to ask questions to me about the program, questions about the rules, questions about the offense, the defense, the kicking game, so they can settle their mind so they can put their best foot forward in the spring.
Dino. Dino? Hey, Dino...
It's okay. He's new. Just wait til he finds out the Statue of Liberty isn't down the road.
Anyway, what else did Babers have to say?
He's evaluating players on what they do, not what they've done.
Rather than watch old game tape from the last several seasons, Babers opts to judge each player on what they do on the practice field, how they grasp his coaching and his scheme.
"So many times when you come in December, it’s all about your recruiting class, your recruiting class and you don’t get to spend any time in front of the core of your football team, which are the 65 guys who already decided they’re coming to Syracuse. It’s important to give that team the respect they’re due. It’s also the reason why I try to keep a clean slate."
Babers thinks his staff will give the players something new to motivate them, but it's up to them to do something about it.
"They’re hungry," Babers said. "They want to win. They feel that what we’re bringing in may give them an edge. It doesn’t guarantee we’re going to win. It doesn’t mean we’re going to win tomorrow; it doesn’t mean we’re going to win today but I think they understand that it’s different, and that different might be good."
So does that mean they have embraced different?
"I believe they have, but ask me after three or four days of spring ball," Babers says with a laugh.
The value of bringing so many of his Bowling Green staffers with him to a new job.
"If you want to start a job fast, you have to try to keep the continuity there," Babers said. "That’s the only way you have a chance to jump-start it. If you’re trying to teach new coaches the system and you’re trying to get coaches to figure out what the head coach or the defensive coordinator’s all about, that takes time and while the coaches are trying to figure themselves out, the players don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t have any direction."
The only question now, is...do the assitants know that Washington D.C. is like six hours away or do we have to have a sit down with all of them?