The Coach's Show |

The Coach's Show


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
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:

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’ve gotten off to 0-14, 0-7 and 0-10 starts in these last three losses. We’ve scored 34 first quarter points all year and 82 in the second quarter. We seem to have a pattern of opening the game trying to establish the run but not being successful and falling behind, then going to the pass and suddenly we’re moving the ball and scoring: but can we catch the other team? Why not come out attacking the opponent through the air, use the pass to set up the run and make the other team try to catch up to us?”


Coach said that “this off-week has been a little different with 3 straight losses. It’s very important to become bowl eligible. We have to get back the edge we had against West Virginia. We’ve practiced well prior to these games but not played well. We have to execute at a high level all the time. In practice, there’s a big drop off between the first and second teams. During the season the #1 offense doesn’t practice against the #1 defense very much. We are going 1 vs. 1 during this bye week . It will help with things like tight window throws. When you go 1 vs. 1 all eleven players have to perform at a high level on every play.”

Matt Park made a reference to Bear Bryant who said, “I want to find out who the quitters are in practice, not in the games.” HCDM said “We don’t have quitters on this team. But we don‘t want to have a false sense of security. That‘s why we are switching to 1 vs. 1 drills.”

I called in my question about the way we were starting. Coach said that some of it, (the low scoring output in the first period), is that we have been deferring possession until the second half. We were going to take Steve’s advise and accept the ball. Then we lost the toss but they deferred. We search for balance and a big key was that after gaining 9 yards on the first play, we had two runs and couldn’t get the first down. The next play was going to be a pass. “No one ever complains when you go down the field and score. There’s no excuse for not getting first downs, especially in third and short.” We’ve tried passing early but it was hard to get the quarterback into a rhythm. We started running to get the quarterback rhythm, (?!?), We want to balance running and passing when we get into that rhythm.” He also said that in the early plays they like to try different formations and personnel groups to see what the other team will do in response.
Matt Park pointed out that the first 15 plays are scripted, as a lot of coaches do. HCDM said that they are scripted for balance, not skewed one way or the other. ”They are based on two things: what we’ve been doing well and what the other team is doing- how they line up what the ends are doing, (he gave several other examples of what they look for).” “Players know these plays. You don’t expect mistakes on them.”

Matt brought up the weekly luncheons at PJ’s. What the coach says there “is not sugar coated”. Coach said he understands the fan’s frustration and “believe me, the players and the coaches are frustrated as well. It’s very difficult for young men to face adversity. You have to rely on your upperclassmen and our upperclassmen have faced a whole lot more of it than this. 55 kids- freshman and sophomores- have not. You can’t teach them how to do it on the field or the weight room. You have to look at life and the challenges it brings. And you tell them that how they respond to this will determine how they respond to the challenges of life. It’s discipline and structure that gets you through these times- you don’t do it by testing the discipline.” (A pointed comment- Philip Thomas was not directly mentioned on the show.)

“Am I upset- who’s not upset? But I’m excited because this is what separates you- it takes a lot more courage to live than to die.”

Matt asked what they’ve been working on in practice. “On offense- ball security- catching the ball, making sure our timing is correct, getting more physical up front. By that I don’t mean getting upset, I mean getting more leverage. On defense disengaging- getting off the blocks, tighter man-to-man coverage. On special teams- lane discipline, where to avoid kicking the ball. Be violent at certain points. We’ve been working on one with run blocking, pass protection, the backs hitting the hole. We are dissecting everything, taking everything back to the foundations and building, it. Doing the little things right makes you more consistent.. I told the players that the coaches weren’t going to beat them up. We’ve got hard-working guys who understand that. It’s been a business-like practice.”

The Cincinnati game will be played on Thanksgiving weekend, (it will be a Noon game on ESPN2 or the Big East Network). “The kids will have their parents up. It will be a family weekend.” Coach said that Zach Collaros was the best player in the Big East and the new back-up quarterback, “Munchie Legaux”, who used to be a wide-receiver and made along run against Tennessee, where they have very good team speed. “Cincinnati is more like West Virginia than they are like Connecticut or South Florida.” He said they won’t necessarily play the same system, although it helps that Legaux played a half vs. West Virginia. But it’s hard to game plan against them.

They talked about the NFL. Doug grew up a Lions fan, despite being from the Bronx, (don’t tell the Kaiser!), and his best friend is the Lions special team’s coach (I googled it: Danny Crossman), so coach will be rooting for the Lions vs. the Packers. He said that “it’s a small world but I don’t have a lot of friends on the opposite sidelines. They talked about Doug’s old team- the Jets, who play Denver on a short-turn-around. Doug recalls that when he was in the NFL, they didn’t even take a day off in this situation or look at films. They traveled to the next city on Sunday and got into their hotel. They might get 4-5 hours in a room to prepare. They had shorter practices, in helmets but with no hitting. “You don’t realize that it’s so much more violent in college, (I assume he meant in the NFL than college). You have to watch out on the sidelines and the hitting in the game is unbelievable.” Matt asked about Tim Tebo. HCDM: “In that league, it’s about winning. Nobody’s going to question you as long as you win.”

A caller asked what the impact of the “lengthy and frequent TV time-outs” were on the team. Coach said “If you are playing well you want to get back out there as soon as you can. If you are playing poorly maybe you could sue the break. Also, in September in the Dome when it’s hot, a br4eak can be good, although I trust the conditioning of our players. As another famous coach once said ‘Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” (That’s attributed to Vince Lombardi but also to George Patton.) Doug noted that the TV official, (the man in red), will grab his arm when 20 seconds are left. Coach looks for that because he doesn’t want to tip his hand as far as personnel or formation too early.

Matt asked if Coach Marrone had been following the early success of the basketball team. Doug said he’s been very busy but that his wife, who ahs become a big SU basketball fan keeps him informed. He did say that when he attends games, he likes to sit under the scoreboard. He aid he meets Coaches Boeheim and Hopkins and some of the players all the time in the hallways and “we’ve got the best bunch of coaches in terms of getting along. Of course I’ve been to more schools than most of them, (since they are mostly alums whop have worked here a while).”

(It should be noted that the subject of the allegations against Bernie Fine hit the wires after both of the coach’s shows tonight and was not mentioned in either one.)


Nunzio Prophet
Aug 14, 2011
I thought there wasn't a show tonight b/c of the bye. Thanks for the write-up and asking the question I wanted to hear. I liked the question better than the answer. I'm also getting weary of hearing about the 55 young guys we have. We have plenty of experience on offense.


Walk On
Sep 17, 2011
Would you describe the drop off of talent between the 1st & 2nd teams on top 10-25 teams, as minimal?


He also said that in the early plays they like to try different formations and personnel groups to see what the other team will do in response.

No No No No No. Have a gameplan going in and then attack. Do not try different things and then formulate a plan. This is exactly why we struggle the 1st Q. Because we have no plan.


Living Legend
Aug 28, 2011
No No No No No. Have a gameplan going in and then attack. Do not try different things and then formulate a plan. This is exactly why we struggle the 1st Q. Because we have no plan.

Sounds like we surely do have a plan. Sounds like it's a plan that isn't terribly well suited to this bunch of players.

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