The Syracuse Orange football team continues to work towards the opening game against the Louisville Cardinals and we continue to pull the news we can from the Orange camp. Steve’s keeping a close eye on the rotating offensive line but a few other positions are starting to come into clearer focus. One of those is the starting wide receiver group.
247’s Stephen Bailey has been keeping us all updated on what the open practices look like. From his reporting we think we know who Garrett Shrader will send out when the Orange get the ball in the Dome on September 3rd. It looks like Oronde Gadsen II and Damien Alford will be on the outside with Courtney Jackson and DeVaughn Cooper on the inside. That would give Syracuse 6’6” and 6’5” on the outside and that’s not a Jim Boeheim 2-3 zone but Robert Anae’s perimeter ballhawks. If teams are going to play single coverage on those receivers they will enjoy a significant size advantage and give Shrader an option to put the ball up and let them go get it.
In the middle Jackson and Cooper will bring their ability to create separation against interior players and allow the Orange to call more quick passes or use play-action and slip them beyond oncoming linebackers. One way to help your passing game is to find ways to design routes leading to easy catch and throw situations.
Oh and it’s not just the passing game that could benefit as a four-wide set like this means you could force opponents to add extra defensive backs and good luck to them trying to get to Sean Tucker with Chris Elmore clearing a path. Now if you’re not picturing Elmore hitting the second level with a 190-lb safety in his sights as Tucker totes the rock behind him then you aren’t really ready for football season......