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Syracuse Football: new Coaches + new players= new offensive identity?

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It’s never too early to crank up the expectations

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 Wake Forest at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yesterday gave us the first Syracuse Orange spring football practice with media availability. While you might not get to learn a lot by watching drills and hearing vague interview answers we did get some insight. Babers went outside his coaching tree to bring in Robert Anae and Jason Beck from Virginia to run the offense and it sounds like he’s trusting them to start things with their philosophy as Stephen Bailey from 247 reported

“Right now, we’re going with a bunch of stuff,” Babers said. “I have to be careful with how I say this because everybody, they want to know what the hell we’re doing. We’re starting with their stuff as the lead, but I think somewhere in there, there’s going to be a blend....”

Before he left John got some insight on the Virginia offense and a common theme was the adaptability of the coaches. We know that the Syracuse running game is in good hands with Sean Tucker but can the Orange find a consistent passing game throughout the 2022 season?

Babers mentioned that having a quarterback room full of dual-threat players makes it easier for the new staff to run the same type of plays no matter who is under center. While Virginia moved away from the quarterback runs last year we could see it remain a big part of the Syracuse offense in 2022.

The new coaches bring a new opportunity for players to elevate themselves on the depth chart so we’ll be watching the battles at quarterback and wide receiver this spring. Can some of the second-year players push the returning starters over the next month?

We learned that Syracuse will likely be without Chris Bleich this spring but the hope is that his latest surgery will allow to have a greater impact next Fall. With Bleich on the sidelines Josh Ilaoa and Kalan Ellis are getting a shot to run with the first-team offense. Hopefully the focus on offensive line depth in recent years gives the Orange a deeper unit that can still find success if a starter is out.

The next open practice will be Wednesday and we’ll hear from some offensive players while Friday gives media availability to the defense. We know Tony White’s group is experienced at linebacker and defensive back so the focus will be on the defensive line this spring. Can the Orange stop the run well enough to force opponents to become one-dimensional? A lot will hinge on the line’s ability to hold up blockers and allow Mikel Jones and the rest of the linebackers get to the ball carrier.