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Football

Things Have Already Changed

For Marrone, football is his life and this team is truly his. There are specifics that back it up:

“It isn’t what I didn’t get done. It’s that it’s not finished.” – Groobers.

(Editor’s note: Just dry heaved.)

While that great quotation was one of his parting words after the four-year disaster tour in Syracuse, the good sound bites are not all completely gone yet.

As Doug Marrone was asked yesterday what about Greg Paulus makes him so good, the response, “Because he’s a winning quarterback.”

“Why?” the reporter continued.

“Because we want him to be,” Marrone said with a straight face.

In fact, I was the only member of the 20+ media crew in attendance to laugh at the response from Marrone.

Marrone is not fully trained yet in the media game to give completely canned and vague responses. There is a certain joy to be found in some of his very blunt and pointed answers.

Once you’ve been to a few pressers over the years, it’s obvious when someone is giving a real answer and when they are simply wondering what’s for dinner when they get home.

But the other thing that you take away from Marrone’s comments is that football is his life and that this team is truly his.

It may be a small reason to cling to while trying to find areas this team can succeed, but there are specifics that back it up:

> Jim McKenzie told me there were times under Groobers where the players wouldn’t understand why certain plays were called. Now, he says Coach Marrone gets into practice with him and shows why there’s a certain way to do things.

> Multiple players have spoken about buying into the Marrone system. The first chapter of the ’09 playbook includes a history of the 1959 Nation Championship team. The players had to do group book reports on it during the summer months.

> The team believes in their first-year quarterback enough so to make him a captain. (He even came into the football cafeteria yesterday after the media was done chowing down to find some leftovers. He left unsatisfied.)

All of this may turn out completely off the mark if Minnesota lays the smack down this Saturday, but it does show growth.

Marrone has more control of the program in eight months than Groobers had in four years.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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