The Coach's Show | Syracusefan.com

The Coach's Show

SWC75

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The coach’s show is on TK99, (FM 99.5) in the Syracuse area and can also be heard through Orange All-Access on the SU Athletic website. It’s 8PM Thursdays- or two days before each game, when they are not on Saturday. They have a link to their “Radio Mailbox” for submitting E-Mail questions on the SU Athletic website. You also can call in questions at 1-888-740-2873 or locally at 315-424-8599.

In past years it took sometimes weeks for a podcast to turn up on the SU athletics website, so I tried to do a virtual transcript of the show. This year I missed the first show and the pod cast was available the next day at this site:
http://www.suathletics.com/podcasts.aspx
This year I’ll start out by just summarizing the main points and referring people to the pod cast to listen to the whole thing. If the podcast starts appearing later- such as after the next game, I’ll go back to doing more of a transcript.

My Questions/Comments

“Coach, we’re searching for consistency. I wonder if it’s about talent. When we beat Nebraska in 1984, we then lost our next three games. When we crushed Penn State in 1987, we went on to an undefeated season. The 1987 team was a more talented team than the 1984 team. Maybe talented teams can overcome bad performances better than teams who lack talent. But then I see the Saints destroy the Colts, 62-7 and a week later lose to the winless Rams. They have plenty of talent. What is the key to playing football on a consistent level from week to week. And why aren’t we doing it?”

Coach Marrone

Matt said we were going into our second road game in a row and that in the Louisville game we had “a better plan than execution”. Coach said “We didn’t make plays offensively. I told the kids “You have to put it behind you, just like the West Virginia game.”

I called in my question about consistency. “That’s the universal question. It’s what everyone is trying to do regardless of talent level. The first key is preparation and practice, to get a foundation of doing things the right way. We have that. The second is leadership- what do the players say to each other when the coaches aren’t around. We have no problems there. Then there’s how things occur- I don’t want to make excuses. We just couldn’t turn the Louisville game around in terms of momentum or field position. Then there’s how we speak to the team. If you tell them we need to hold ’em to a 3 and out, they will be thinking of third down. We want them to focus on first down and then second down, etc. It’s the same on offense. If we get the ball on the 2, you don’t talk to them about going 98 yards. We want a good gain on 1st down, then a productive second down. We want them to play hard on each down.” Matt Park said “Play each minute, 60 times over.”

Coach did admit that the best two college teams he had been associated with were the 1999 Georgia Tech team that led the country in total offense and was second in scoring and Joe Hamilton was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and the 2001 Tennessee team that was #5 in the country and beat Florida in Gainesville. Those teams had enough talent that they might have a bad game and win by 14 points and people didn’t know they had a bad game because they won comfortably anyway. “We aren’t in a bad position When it clicks we will be a consistent team for a long time. We took some first down shots at Louisville and our receivers ‘won’ against man to man coverage better than they have all season. We have a pretty good running game and when the quarterback and receivers play well, we’re a pretty good team. No one wants to be consistent more than the players…unless it’s the coaches- or their families.”

They talked about the surprise snow storm and how it impacted the games last Saturday. Coach Marrone expressed his sympathy and concern for all the people who were out of power for so long. He remembered when Katrina hit New Orleans. They had generators but “those things only last 3 days”. They had to go to Indianapolis and practice in their new stadium, which hadn’t even opened yet.

An E-mailer asked about the relationship being the coaching staffs. There’s hasn’t been as much contact over their careers as you’d think. Coach Marrone’s career as a player ended before Coach Pasqualoni got here. Dan Conley played under him. Coach DeLeone’s first year was Doug’s last and he made quite an impression on him. He still can’t call him “George”, just “Coach DeLeone”. Coach DeLeone made more phone calls and wrote more letters than anybody on the staff to help Doug get his coaching career started. It was in 1985 that we started to use the trap/option plays that East Carolina had been using. Doug didn’t know how much of that was due to Coach DeLeone or Bill Maxwell, who was the offensive coordinator or Coach Mac himself. Doug played under 11 line coaches and the best was John Sandusky, Don Shula’s long time line coach, but he never saw a coach who believed in what he was doing and could get the players to do what he wanted better than Coach DeLeone. “You may question what he did but you can’t question his belief in what he’s doing.” Matt Park said he had had many conversations with Coach DeLeone and he was ”a bottomless font of football information.”

“But what does it have to do with the game? Both staffs are preparing their teams to play each other. The only thing that counts with Coach P is that he’ll have them ready to play.”

A patron at the Red Robin had brought a Cherry Bowl program to show the coach. How did it make him feel? “Cold. That was one of the coldest places I’ve ever been in. And I grew up a Lions fan. The game was inside. But as a player I wanted to get outside, for social reasons. That was just me at that time.”

A fan asked about utilizing Ryan Nassib’s running ability. “It makes defense more cautious. Against a man-to-man, nobody’s got the quarterback. We work on it in practice. Ryan’s a big, tough kid and wants to run like a fullback. We’re trying to teach him to slide….If you change too much during the year, it can create confusion. Once you set a foundation you can add to it and it looks like you are opening up the offense. We are always looking back to see what plays worked in what situations and what we can use against each team” (It sounds like it will be a trend- maybe it is for everyone- that we will be or seem conservative early in the year and use more and more of the playbook as the year goes on. )

Coach praised Dorian Graham for his continued development and said “Jarrod West is really coming on in practice. He’s right at the stage where he’s ready to come out.”

They went over the injury list. Ian Allport’s concussion will bring an end to his career. He’s going to stay in school and get his degree and he’ll still be a member of the team. We talked it over with him and he understands and is fine with it. You have to be careful with these things….We like our offensive line and are looking to red shirt Rob Trudeau and Ivan Foy. Chris Curtis was playing extremely well for us and he’s doing well. Sean Hickey is in the weight room all the time. Nick Robinson is doing a really nice job for us. They are big kids but not a lot of belly on them. They really move their feet and are strong and smart.”

Matt Park asked if in recruiting, do we look for the best 24 kids we can get or do we concentrate on certain positions? “the first year was different. We didn’t have much time and we just had to take the best kids we could get. Last year we filled needs. We still aren’t where we want to be at linebacker due to attrition. We focus on the defense first because that’s the quickest way to win games- to stop people. Linebackers and defensive ends are critical needs this year. After that it’s offensive playmakers.

A caller asked if a player loses his scholarship when he gets kicked off the team. Doug knew what he was talking about, (Marcus Sales) and said that for all students we have the external legal process and then there’s the University legal process where “the student can plead his case any way he wants”. he said he was proud to be part of a university that had such a legal process. “Everybody has to go through those processes. It’s difficult to say 1 + 1 will be 2. Its’ a very fair process.” He didn’t answer the scholarship question and made no mention of Sales or where he stands.

They had a trivia question- what was the last SU player to lead the Big East in rushing? It was David Walker, in the first year of the conference. Coach thought of Curtis Martin- the oldest player ever to lead the NFL in rushing in 2002. Doug was the Jet’s line coach and got the game ball for the game where Martin win that title and he keeps it behind his desk.

There will be no Doug Marrone Show two weeks from now because it will be Thanksgiving. An E-mailer asked when we’ll know Thanksgiving game times- people have to make plans. Matt said it would be Monday the 14th and pointed out that Coach Marrone doesn’t decide these things. Doug recalled Thanksgiving days in his house. The Lions and the Cowboys would be on and they had to decide when to eat dinner so they could watch both games.
 
Allport is a Senior this year. I wonder if they'll be a GA position next year for him?
 
A fan asked about utilizing Ryan Nassib’s running ability. “It makes defense more cautious. Against a man-to-man, nobody’s got the quarterback. We work on it in practice. Ryan’s a big, tough kid and wants to run like a fullback. We’re trying to teach him to slide….If you change too much during the year, it can create confusion. Once you set a foundation you can add to it and it looks like you are opening up the offense. We are always looking back to see what plays worked in what situations and what we can use against each team”

Thanks SWC. Just for the record- the 1st part of the quote was part of my question-i.e Wouldn't running Nassib a little make the defense a little more cautious about bringing pressure?

I missed the answer to my 2nd question-about the injury updates, so I'm especially happy you typed that. Wow-Surprised we didn't hear anything about Allport ending his career before. Too bad.
 
A fan asked about utilizing Ryan Nassib’s running ability. “It makes defense more cautious. Against a man-to-man, nobody’s got the quarterback. We work on it in practice. Ryan’s a big, tough kid and wants to run like a fullback. We’re trying to teach him to slide….If you change too much during the year, it can create confusion. Once you set a foundation you can add to it and it looks like you are opening up the offense. We are always looking back to see what plays worked in what situations and what we can use against each team”

Thanks SWC. Just for the record- the 1st part of the quote was part of my question-i.e Wouldn't running Nassib a little make the defense a little more cautious about bringing pressure?

I missed the answer to my 2nd question-about the injury updates, so I'm especially happy you typed that. Wow-Surprised we didn't hear anything about Allport ending his career before. Too bad.

As I recalled the coach agreed that it makes the defense more cautious. I didn't make a distinction in my notes as to whether that was part of the question or the answer.
 
As always, thanks, SWC. I like to think of these reports as "extra beer night." Just as I'm getting ready to stop working and go to bed, I find this on the forum. Perfect!
 
Matt Park asked if in recruiting, do we look for the best 24 kids we can get or do we concentrate on certain positions? “the first year was different. We didn’t have much time and we just had to take the best kids we could get. Last year we filled needs. We still aren’t where we want to be at linebacker due to attrition. We focus on the defense first because that’s the quickest way to win games- to stop people. Linebackers and defensive ends are critical needs this year. After that it’s offensive playmakers.
Paging Millhouse.
 

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