After SU ‘s 1-3 start to the season, only one win in eleven months, this is the low point in Doug Marrone’s tenure. Talks of the hot seat fired up after the dreadful loss to Minnesota, and it left Syracuse fans searching for answers.
Marrone has seen better days on that Carrier Dome sideline, and The Fizz decided to find out what Orange community was thinking about the 4th-year head coach. Fizz Radio brought you a special “Marrone’s Mission” Saturday, and talked to former Syracuse players, analysts and fans. We discussed Marrone’s game management, the odds of whether this team can make a run to a bowl, and why the Dougie always feels the need put the blame on himself.
Here are the best quotes from our roundtable.
“I like [Ashton Broyld] a lot. It’s tough for a freshman to get into that grove especially with the type of offense [Syracuse] is running this year. Honestly, I would like to see him a little more in that slot role, in that playmaker role in the slot.”
“[The Doug Marrone hot seat talk], it’s definitely ridiculous. He has a pretty impressive resume, especially considering where the program was when he took it over. Just his second year into his term, he took us to a bowl game. Not only did he take us there, we won it. We were on the verge of winning the Big East. We were one game away from taking us right back to a bowl. It’s a tough start to this season even considering [SU has] one of toughest schedules in America.”
- Antwon Bailey, Former SU running back; 1st Team All-Big East last season as a senior. 3,015 all-purpose yards in his Syracuse career.
“I don’t think [Doug Marrone] necessarily should be on a hot seat yet. People really don’t understand how far the last regime drove this program into the ground. And to get them to the point, where they are now, to be competing—think about the losses we’ve had this year. They’re all losses that we inflicted. They weren’t like we got beat, we haven’t been beat really yet this year. We’ve found ways to loss the games.”
- Damien Rhodes, SU running back from 2002-2005; 5th in career all purpose yards (3,972), 7th in career rushing touchdowns (24) in SU history.
“I think it might be tough with one guy (Jonathan Fisher) doing one thing and another (Riley Dixon) doing the shorter punts. But if that’s what they’re good at, they got to understand what their role is on the team, and helping out, and just focus on what it is they’re supposed to be doing. I could imagine that being tough because if you think about the situations, you may only punt four or five times a game, and each one might only punt twice. It’s kind of tough to get anything rolling that way I would think.”
- Rob Long, 3-time All-Big East punter at Syracuse.
“I think that publicly [Marrone] has to [put the blame on himself] because he wants to protect his players, and I understand that. I don’t think that he lets them get away with a lot of stuff just because he takes the brunt of the blame. That’s the right thing for a head coach to do. But, the problem becomes, if it keeps being Doug Marrone’s fault, and Marrone keeps taking all the blame, then we have to look at Doug Marrone…If he keeps saying that ‘it’s my fault, it’s my fault,’ and they keep losing games that they shouldn’t, what does that say about the Head Coach then?”
- Damon Amendolara, 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, Founder Orange Fizz
“[Marrone] doesn’t like [the losses]. Any football coach in America, I don’t care if you’re at the smallest D-III school in northern Idaho, they’ve got egos. They’ve been winners, they’ve probably been winners as players, they’ve obviously succeeded early on in their careers as they’ve moved up the chain to where they currently are. Here’s a guy who came back to attempt to rescue his alma matter, the program that had slipped into the abyss, basically, and the guy is frustrated. He’s looking for answers.”
- Nolan Weidner, Syracuse football beat reporter for The Post-Standard
“This offense is starting to move in the right direction. This offensive line, it’s not often you can pick up somebody four or five games in that is going to make your line better, and that’s how it worked out with Justin Pugh. This team is going to live and breath on its offense…What they’re good at is that they got a senior, 5th year QB, who makes quick decisions, who’s confident, he’s got three good receivers to throw to, and if this team is going to get to that six win plateau we all think they can get to, its going to be with that 500 plus yards a game of offense.”
- Brent Axe, Host of “On the Block,” weekdays from 2-6 on The Score 1260
“[Marrone’s] got answers. Are they being executed? I’m not sure. And I don’t know that I’m fit to evaluate decisions during the game, but I know that he has an explanation for every decision he makes. Obviously the most recent one that we’re talking about, he would tell you right now that they want that play call back on the second and goal from inches against Minnesota. That was bad. If they had a chance to choke that back right now, they would. But I would give him pretty high marks (overall).”
- Matt Park, Play-by-play voice of the Orange on the Syracuse IMG Sports Network.
“I would actually say that short of going 1-11, I’m reasonably sure Doug Marrone comes back for another year. And I know 2-10 is quite a low number to think of, but I just think Dr. Gross, the committee that brought Doug Marrone in here with some of the biggest and brightest alumni we have, all of these people have a lot riding on Doug Marrone, and they are going to wait until the last possible moment before they decide he’s no longer the guy for the job. I think short of an epic catastrophe he’s getting another year out of this at least.”
- Sean Keeley, Founder and Editor of Nunesmagician.com