Back in March, the Fizz published a post called “Scott Shafer Is Officially On The Hot Seat.” Some readers were frustrated with the statement, but 2015 is clearly a make or break season for Syracuse’s head man.
If the Fizz saying Shafer’s job isn’t secure isn’t enough, this week Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated wrote that Shafer is under pressure because of the way last season unfolded and the fact that he now has a new boss to answer to in Mark Coyle.
A repeat performance of 2014 and Shafer is certainly out the door. A 5-7 season where the Orange shows promise against the likes of Clemson, Florida State and LSU might still not be enough to keep Shafer around if Coyle wants to go in his own direction. That’s the reality.
Many Orange fans get defensive when these stories come out. They feel like the media is already writing off a football coach who two seasons ago led the Orange to a bowl victory.
Most writers aren’t saying that Shafer has no chance to succeed and will definitely be fired (although some are). What most writers are trying to get fans to understand is that it’s going to be an uphill battle for the third year coach. Making Syracuse relevant again is a tough task.
In 2014 Shafer gave the keys to the SU offense to George McDonald, got burned and how he’s suffering the consequences.
For all the flack he gets Shafer is a solid defensive coach (SU was a top 30 D1 defense last season). His defense is young this season, but if anyone can get the unit to perform it’s SU’s head coach. On the offensive side, if Tim Lester puts Terrel Hunt and the SU offense in positions to put points on the board, the Orange may very well find itself in bowl contention thanks to an easy start to the schedule.
Shafer could definitely work his way out of this corner. The people who deny that he is any corner right now just don’t understand football and the one’s that say he has no shot to come out of this are not being fair to Shafer. We don’t know exactly how this season will play out, but what we do know this: whatever happens will define Shafer’s time at SU.
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Posted: Connor Morrissette