Countdown to Football Frustration

Next Frustrating Hoops Victory

Next Lacrosse Annihilation

The Starting 22

To say the news coming out of Lampe has been spotty this summer may be one of history's great understatements. That and Hitler was a shady character. One of the two; it's a fine line I suppose.

Time to look at my projected starting 22 I suppose.

WR Tim Lane [Jr. - 6'2", 212]

OT Kurt Falke [Sr. - 6'6", 287]
OG Jason Greene [Sr. - 6'6", 300]
C Steve Franklin [Sr. - 6'5", 321]
OG Ryan Durand [RFr. - 6'5", 320]
OT Quinn Ojinnaka [Sr. - 6'5", 297]
TE Joe Kowalewski [Sr. - 6'4", 262]

QB Perry Patterson [Jr. - 6'4", 242]
RB Damien Rhodes [Sr. - 6', 217]
FB Breyone Evans [So. - 6', 234]

WR Rice Moss [So. - 6'2", 195]

Knee-Jerk Notes
If you're taking over a program that has trouble running the ball effectively against physical defenses and has trouble throwing the football against any team that fields 11 players, what's the first thing you do?

Install the West Coast Offense, of course.

This is going to be bad. Real bad. Like worse than the secondary bad. Perry Patterson cannot throw the football. Neither can Joe Fields. And Matt Hale is a Canadian, so he's not even invited to this conversation.

They say that when a team has two quarterbacks, it has no quarterbacks.

Well, SU is just cutting out the middle man.

Get prepared for a new low in passing efficiency and a new high (or low if you will) in interceptions thrown. Given the ability of Patterson and Fields in a pass-oriented attack, I would project SU's +/- turnover rating to be somewhere around -9 by years end.

And that's after considering the number of fumbles SU's defensive front seven should cause.

Where's Dee Brown to take snaps when you need him?

If Coach Robinson is bright, he redshirts Bruce Williams and Lavar Lobdell this season. Unless those two guys can walk into camp and be legitimate 1 or 2 receivers, there's no reason to walk these guys down the Johnnie Morant Turnpike.

Tim Lane and Rice Moss have all the physical attributes to be special receivers, it's just a matter of getting onto the field and gaining some down-to-down experience. With the size they have, there's no question they can eliminate some of the accuracy problems that plague Patterson. Behind Lane and Moss are JJ Bedle, Quinton Brown, and Landel Bembo.

Wait, let me rephrase that.

Behind Lane and Moss are three Matt Glaudes. It's just a wasteland depth-wise at receiver. Bembo and Brown were just atrocious when the ball came their way last season and Bedle has none of the physical attributes you'd expect from a major divison-1A wideout. There is no question that Joe Kowalewski and Damien Rhodes should see more passes than these jamokes, and if they don't, get those vocal chords ready for some old school booing.

Speaking of Damien Rhodes, he should be the only skill position player to receive All-Conference honors this season. Finally taking the role of showcased running back, Rhodes is poised for a 1,500 - 2,000 yard season, even in the West Coast Offense. Behind Rhodes is the capable Tim Washington and maybe rookie Boonah Brinkley. If Breyone Evans can play anything like Kyle Johnson did a few years back for James Mungro, Rhodes will put together a very special year.

Up front, Syracuse looks loaded with a lot of senior talent. Franklin, Greene, and Ojinnaka are all respectable lineman and will manhandle their defensive counterparts more likely than not. Even though listed as a center, Justin Outten may see some time this year at offensive tackle if Kurt Falke does not work out. While not spectacular, the offensive line should put together another respectable lunch pail season.

LE James Wyche [Sr. - 6'6", 267]
NT Tony Jenkins [So. - 6'3", 293]
DT Kader Drame [Sr. - 6'5", 284]
RE Ryan LaCasse [Sr. - 6'3", 255]

SLB Kellen Pruitt [Sr. - 6'4", 226]
MLB Kelvin Smith [Jr. - 6'2", 238]
WLB Jerry Mackey [Jr. - 6'1", 241]

LC Tanard Jackson [Jr. - 6'1", 189]
SS Dowayne Davis [So. - 6', 186]
FS Anthony Smith [Sr. - 6'1", 187]
RC Steve Gregory [Sr. - 5'8", 188]

Knee-Jerk Notes
The front seven for the Orange should be very good this season.

The Orange has a load of senior experience up front, but is riddled with a lack of depth. LaCasse and Wyche are legitimate All-Conference performers and have the potential to wreak havoc like Freeney/Thomas did just a few years ago. With LaCasse's speed and Wyche's freakish size and balance, opponents will have a tough time choosing which pass rusher to double.

Inside, there are more questions. Drame has all the tools to eat up the run on a consistent basis but has yet to show it. Jenkins has done little during his tenure and very well may cede his starting position come the start of the season. At 293 pounds he is slightly undersized to play a Ted Washington style nose tackle and slightly overweight for playing as an agile zone blitzer. If Jenkins fails to make an immediate impact, Chris Thorner, a 313 pound junior, may take over the starting duties.

Outside of these five players, there is very little to note as to depth. Eugene Brown is a giant question mark for the season, and even if he does play, he has not shown any ability in his three years on the hill to make any plays of significance.

At linebacker, Syracuse has an incredible load of talent, especially at the Mike linebacker. Jamar Atkinson, Jameel McClain, Tommy Harris, and Vicenzo Giruzzi all will battle for playing time this season and are all able to make the big play. Coach Robinson has said that he'd like to keep his starting linebackers on the field, but with the amount of depth he has at the linebacker position, it seems ludicrous that he'd leave spent linebackers on the field when there are able bodies on the bench.

There is no question that Syracuse will once again field one of the country's worst secondaries. It's going to be just dreadful. There is a very good chance that Connecticut and Louisville will pass for over 400 yards against this motley crew. Break out the Odor Eaters because these guys stink.

Steve Gregory thankfully returns to the secondary this season and should pass DeAndre LaCaille for the starting spot on the right side. Gregory may not pick off a lot of passes, but with his speed should close quite nicely when he gets beat and the safety fails to rotate over. On the other side, Tanard Jackson looks to be penciled in. Thomas Whitfield and Marcus Clayton will show up for practice, but should not tote their helmets onto the field. They are both terrible and at any other major program would be relegated to passing out parking passes.

Anthony Smith was a nice player last season and should provide the same type of production this season - consistent but never spectacular. At the free safety position, there are more question marks. Donta Herrod is an intriguing player at 5'11" and very well may take the starting slot from both Reggie McCoy and Dowayne Davis. However, all three players are very inexperienced and will no doubt make me want to take their lives at some point during this painfully long season.

0 Responses to “The Starting 22”

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link


  • Air Your Grievances

  • This About Sums It Up

  • I am less smart for having read your blog.
  • - Anonymous Georgetown supporter.
  • You are an idiot...
  • - Anonymous Nunes/Magician Reader.
  • Congrats on not being very good at what you do.
  • - Anonymous ACC supporter.
  • You are a dweeb, my friend. Grow a backbone.
  • - Anonymous UConn supporter.
  • ...vacuous, asinine, and mind numbing...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • Honestly, just admit that you are pathetic...
  • - Anonymous commenter.
  • You just don't have hoops experience.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • Leave the journalism to talented people. Brian is just another hack and another fair weather fan.
  • - Twitter commenter.
  • A bad blog about Syracuse athletics.
  • - UConn Fan on Twitter (after winning NCAA).