Doug Marrone is the face of the SU football program, but his assistant coaches are the men behind the curtain, the invisible hands molding this program.
After watching the first two games, the name that first comes to mind is Special Teams Coach Bob Casullo.
He’s definitely the easiest guy to spot on the sidelines because of his enthusiasm, complete with emphatic face-to-face confrontation swith referees and his own players.
Some players respond well to that. Others don’t (and then 19 of them leave the program).
But the ones that feed off that will loyally stick by their coaches through their time with a program.
Now look to Rob Spence for more.
He’s been integral in installing Syracuse’s version of the Wildcat, better known as the “Stallion” or “Wild Otto” (personal favorite here at¬†The Fizz). Even if you’re not the quarterback slated to start for the Orange in the post-Paulus era, you may realize there’s still a chance to play because of the time Ryan Nassib is getting in that formation.
One of the biggest surprises when the first depth chart came out just over two weeks ago was finding freshman Alec Lemon as the starting slot receiver.
Even on defense there’s massive chances for opportunity.
True freshman E.J. Carter is starting at linebacker and a guy previously buried on the depth chart, Ryan Gillum, is making his way onto the field more and more.
Marrone even admitted just a few weeks ago he had been unimpressed with Gillum during the spring. It was the coaching staff being supportive of Gillum’s work that put him back on top.
The bigger point is there is opportunity for players under the Marrone system who are willing to work hard.
Marrone says “Don’t confuse effort with results.” And he is right. If you’re a player who isn’t getting looks from big time schools, but you can provide results, Syracuse might be a place for you.