Syracuse football roundtable: Key storylines, what SU needs to make a bowl and under-the-radar players

first_img2. Syracuse will reach a bowl game if …C.L.:  … You stop asking me this question. I don’t know whether SU will. It’s easy to fire off hot takes about how Syracuse is a fringe bowl team, but the reality is that no one has seen what this team will look like within the schemes that Babers rolls out. The secondary struggled last season, but it will be playing within a new scheme. Although the offense should improve, it is also playing in an entirely new scheme. I find it unlikely Syracuse makes it to a bowl but it could with a few breaks going its way.J.M.: … It wins six games. And for that to happen, a lot will have to go right. Eric Dungey will have to emerge as one of the top passers in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Dontae Strickland and Jordan Fredericks will have to lead a consistently good rushing attack. The defense will have to master the art of bending, but not breaking. And that’s just the beginning of the puzzle. But that’s not going to happen. Success this year should not be measured by a bowl game appearance or win. Four wins should be good enough.M.S.: … Nope, I couldn’t even think of a good joke to put here. Babers himself has said give this team a year to get its feet under them in his tenure, and I wouldn’t consider it an underachievement if SU won four games this year. Right off the bat there are four losses to top 20 teams, and the rest are toss-ups, if that. I will say if the defense pulls the wildest trick out of its back pocket, maybe the Orange pulls off a miracle and wins six games. But I don’t see that happening.John Williams | Contributing Photographer3.  Who is a dark horse player that could step up for the Orange?C.L.: Sean Riley. Generally, Syracuse’s depth isn’t great. That should give Riley a shot at playing time at inside receiver when Syracuse subs off Brisly Estime or Ervin Philips. Riley is built in the mold of those two players, and he definitely has the speed to replace them without much of a drop off. We’ll see whether his skills are up to par, but I tend to think Riley will fit in well.J.M.: Syracuse is going to run through a lot of players because of its pace, which leaves plenty of options for a dark horse. My pick is Riley. He’s the smallest player on the team, but Riley earned plenty of praise and looks throughout training camp. He has the speed and agility, but a breakout year will depend on how refined his route running and catching ability are. Expect to see Riley at inside receiver plenty when Estime or Philips need a blow.M.S.: He’s a dark horse now, but won’t be for long once people get to know him. Maryland grad transfer Amba Etta-Tawo will start at wide receiver for the Orange and likely be Dungey’s secondary target behind Steve Ishmael. Dungey has vowed to stay in the pocket more which means more passing. And it’s the team’s second receiver who may get the most looks if teams are honed in on Ishmael. Etta-Tawo is fast and big, and should make a name for himself early. Comments Published on August 30, 2016 at 9:42 pm Related Stories THE SPREAD: From Texas to Syracuse, Dino Babers brings the Baylor-style offenseTHE CHOICE IS YOURS: Run-pass option plays key role in Dino Babers’ Baylor-style offense Syracuse’s season kicks off on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome against Colgate. Dino Babers will make his Orange head coaching debut as SU begins its 2016 campaign in search of its first bowl game appearance since 2013.With the season just days away, beat writers Chris Libonati, Jon Mettus and Matt Schneidman answered three questions about Syracuse.1. What is the biggest storyline to watch in the Colgate game?Chris Libonati: Will Syracuse get Villanova’d? I personally don’t think they’ll have to grind out a win over the Raiders like SU had to against ‘Nova in the 2014 season opener, but I think that’s the worry this week. Colgate has a solid run game and teams that can grind down opponents and play keep away are effective against faster-paced teams. That said, I don’t think that’s the way the game will go. If Syracuse does get “Villanova’d,” I generally don’t think the rest of the season will be headed in the right direction.Jon Mettus: Tempo. Tempo. Tempo. Just exactly how fast is this offense with these players? And how good will it be? A great performance against Colgate has to be taken with a grain of salt. But a flop is major cause for concern. This team is going to rely heavily on the success of its offense and a bad performance against an FCS team in Babers’ first game would signal a long and painful year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMatt Schneidman: The biggest storyline to keep an eye on is if Babers’ offense can open eyes as much as it’s been advertised to be able to. Is Orange really the new fast? Even if it’s against Colgate? To squelch any doubt about whether Syracuse’s players can fit into his Baylor-style system, SU will need to trounce Colgate through Eric Dungey and the passing game. Players have been saying all camp “you’ll just have to wait and see” when asked about how fast the offense is. Well, the time is here. Now let’s see it.MORE PRESEASON COVERAGE:Dino Babers’ first in-season press conferenceSyracuse’s Week 1 depth chart before its game against ColgateSyracuse football roster updates Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

NFL free agency news: Landry Jones latest ex-Steeler to sign with Raiders

first_imgThe move marks the second backup the Raiders have signed to compete behind starter Derek Carr in recent days after the team added Mike Glennon. Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron were already on the roster, though McCarron was cut and later signed with the Texans. Related News Larry Fitzgerald steers clear of Cardinals QB questions JuJu Smith-Schuster tweets support for ‘true leader’ Ben Roethlisberger Antonio Brown will have another familiar face on the field in Oakland.The Raiders have signed longtime Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones, the team announced Tuesday.center_img We have signed QB @LandryJones12: https://t.co/ST3XDUZej0 #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/RqhXTDs2Y2— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) March 26, 2019“Landry Jones is a guy that’s started and won games in the league,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters at NFL owners meeting, via The Mercury News. “He can help us with Antonio’s transition, as well. ‘What’d they call this in Pittsburgh? Why did he convert his route and do that?’ So there are some really interesting side things that Landry can bring to the table, also.” Jones, who turns 30 on April 4, has appeared in 18 games (five starts) over his career since being drafted by Pittsburgh in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He also had a brief stint in Jacksonville after signing with the Jaguars in October following an injury to Blake Bortles, though he didn’t see action in 2018.Jones has completed 108 of 169 pass attempts for 1,310 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions for a passer rating of 86.2.last_img read more