Syracuse is a “Football Factory”?
One of the Confidential’s favorite reads is the Tuesday Morning Quarterback by Gregg Easterbrook on ESPN.com. Although harping on the same issues week after week can get tedious (we get it–coaches should not punt, blitz, pass, or switch jobs), there are usually some good nuggets scattered within the articles. Interestingly, his post-draft article almost suggested that Syracuse is a “football factory.”
His specific quote was as follows:
The Bills’ new head coach, Doug Marrone, is coming from NCAA football to the NFL. He had a college-style draft — using his picks on a quarterback, two wide receivers, a speed linebacker, two defensive backs, a tight end. Marrone didn’t draft any linemen on either side of the ball, using all ammo for flashy guys. At a time when speed dominates Division I football, a head coach coming over from a football factory may obsess about getting flashy guys, while taking the line for granted. Taking the line for granted is a fatal error in the NFL.
It is certainly plausible that the sentence describing head coaches and flashy guys was not directly addressed to Marrone and Syracuse. Still, it is kind of nice to even have some confusion as to whether someone meant that Syracuse was a football factory!
Although Syracuse had dark times during the G-Rob era (and by dark, we mean “bubonic plague” dark), Syracuse is a program that was above average from 1987 to 2001. Well above average, actually. Many players went from Syracuse to stardom in the NFL, including Rob Moore, Donovan McNabb, Marvin Harrison, and Dwight Freeney. It would have been a plausible argument during the 2002 NFL Draft.
2013? Not so much. But it is nice to have the discussion.
What do you think? Was Syracuse a football factory? Ever? Circa 2000? Or does one have to go back to the 1960s to make that argument? More importantly, what does the future hold for the Orange?