Both Syracuse and Minnesota coordinators and key players met with members of the media today over Zoom before the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl on December 29. Given that most of the time, Syracuse coordinators aren’t made available to the media, this was a rare opportunity to pick the brains of both new OC Jason Beck and interim DC Nick Monroe. Garrett Shrader and Marlowe Wax were the two SU players who spoke. Here are some of the key inklings the Fizz gathered from the press conference.
Jason Beck has been ready to be an OC
Yeah, it’s been something I’ve been prepared for and preparing for for a while. At Virginia, it was always a thing with Coach Mendenhall where if anything happened, I knew I was in a position to become the coordinator.
The way we’ve operated, worked together, it’s a change but not a huge change. I’ve been really involved with game planning, organization, all those things.
I’m different, so I’ll do things a little differently, but at the same time nothing too drastic.Jason Beck pre-Minnesota
Beck also noted he’ll still work directly with the quarterbacks (he was previously the QB coach), but he’s also looking for someone else to fill that position. I wonder what Eric Dungey’s doing right now?
The offense itself won’t change a whole lot
That’s where I say there won’t be a big change or anything very different because it’s been a situation where I’ve had a lot of input and have a lot of big imprint on what’s going on. Maybe in the course of a week of game plan, there may be something I’ve liked that he hasn’t, or vice versa. It doesn’t necessarily show up.
In terms of the overall structure and design, I’ve been so involved in it that, yeah, there’s not like this whole other thing being held back in any way that is going to now be unleashed.
If anything, it will just come down to maybe a play or something that I’d prefer and maybe he did not, it wouldn’t show up in the game plan that week.
Yeah, I mean, Coach Babers has a great background as an offensive play-caller, as an offensive coordinator, brings a lot of great ideas and wisdom to the job. I look forward to working with him going forward.
Yeah, he’ll definitely have input and an impact, help me as a coach. I can definitely say this past year I’m a better coach because of working with him and just the way he thinks about things and exchange that information. It’s improved me as a coach. Now with this as a coordinator, it will be definitely more of that.Jason Beck pre-Minnesota
So will Dino Babers be signing off on a play or two next Thursday? Who knows. Both Minnesota DC Joe Rossi and OC Kirk Ciarocca talked about the lack of “tendency” that new coordinators bring, meaning that the Minnesota staff doesn’t necessarily know what to expect from the Syracuse offense because there are no examples of Beck calling plays on film. Rossi didn’t expect much to change, and frankly, neither should Syracuse fans.
Nick Monroe also had some time at the helm
I’ll say this: it’s all about the guys. It really is. It’s all about the dudes out there on the grass. It’s not like it’s a brand-new thing for me at this point in time because there’s been many, many practices many times throughout our time together that Coach White said, Hey, you got this period or this period, helping groom me and getting me ready for this position to be in.Nick Monroe pre-Minnesota
Well, this is really good news for Syracuse fans. Tony White definitely knew he was headed out of town at some point in time, and White did his best to prepare a successor. That should warm everyone’s hearts.
Monroe is worried about the Minnesota run
Well, number one, they’re absolutely enormous across the board up front. They’re in a league where that is a traditional ground-and-pound, run your tails over rushing attack. They do it really, really well.
Their offensive line is ridiculously large and move very well. The thing that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen is all five of ’em in this season have All Big-Ten accolades in some capacity. That’s pretty impressive for all five offensive linemen, especially in a league with the caliber of the Big Ten.
Their running back’s an anomaly. He is really, really good. He may be, with no disrespect to anybody we played this year, the best one we’ve seen. They have two quarterbacks. They got the veteran, the younger kid, who is playing good football, too.
As we broke down when the bowl matchup was announced, Minnesota’s run game, led by 6th-year tailback Mohamed Ibrahim, is one of the best in the B10. Four of the Golden Gophers’ five o-linemen received all Big 10 honors. There’s no question that front against the SU D-line is strength versus weakness.