Syracuse football’s biggest spring headlines have surrounded the surprising departure of players, but one former Orange tells The Fizz those cold, hard rules are exactly what has turned the program around.
“Discipline and a lot of tradition,” former SU defensive lineman Bud Tribbey says.“Marrone laid down the law and he brought a lot of discipline on the team and we really needed it.”
The Carrier Dome used to be electric for home games and the buzz of Syracuse football stretched further than the streets of Euclid and Comstock. Bring in Greg Robinson for four years, and the Loud House turns into Boo City.
Enter The Dougie: a man on a mission to make Orange football relevant again. The transition to the Doug Marrone era has brought SU from laughing stock of the Big East, going 9-36 overall and 3-24 in the league under Groobers, to a bowl-winning team in just two years. Last year season alone, Marrone led the Orange to eight wins, just one less than Robinson had in almost four full seasons.
Marrone is doing it his way, and if you don’t want to follow the captain’s rules, get off the ship. You don’t have to agree with it, but this hard nosed, zero-tolerance way of coaching is working. The coaching staff Marrone has assembled preaches the same message. The players are responding in a positive way to this method, and it’s what they wanted all along during the Groobers Error.
Earlier this year defensive coordinator Scoot Shafer said “A lot of them were hungry to be coached hard. Kids naturally gravitate toward discipline. They act like they don’t want it but they do.”
The kids that are buying into the coach’s system are receiving the dividends. As The Fizz noted earlier, Marrone has taken Robinson recruits and molded them into productive players. Marrone is making the most out of the talent he has by making his team understand what it takes to win, and the attitude that you need to make that happen.
Winning brings a different swagger and confidence to a team. You can see it now with the SU players walking around campus. No more of being labeled as the losers, no more heads down and being embarrassed for playing football at Syracuse.
“It makes you feel good and feel really proud to rock the SU letters on my jacket,” says Tribbey.
That defines the new atmosphere Marrone has brought. Winning is contagious, and the players feel it. Once that winning fever catches the fans, the wheels on the bandwagon get rolling and it’s hard to stop momentum of 50,000 crazy fans coming your way.
Posted: Dave Van Moffaert