Q&A with Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times

first_imgOne week after climbing back from a 22-point deficit only to fall short in the final minutes against Northwestern, Syracuse faces what could be its toughest challenge of the season when it takes on No. 2 Southern California at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, as part of New York’s College Classic.Last season, the Orange traveled out to California and lost to the Trojans 38-17, but this year, USC is far better and one of the favorites to win the national championship. The Daily Orange caught up with USC beat writer Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times to discuss some of the main storylines heading into the weekend and examine what to expect from either side.The D.O.: Doug Marrone has said that his team needs a perfect game to really keep up with Southern California this weekend. How has Lane Kiffin been billing this weekend’s game?Gary Klein: He has been building Syracuse up as a team that has obviously the leading passing offense in the nation after the first week, and I think, more than anything, he’s trying to guard against USC looking past Syracuse based on what happened last season having played them, and the fact that USC has been such a hyped team through the preseason. … I think he’s taking every chance to get his message out that Syracuse can be a formidable opponent and the Trojans better not look past them.The D.O.: If Syracuse does decide to sling the ball around like it did last week against Northwestern, how does that match up against the back seven of the USC defense? Is that a strength of the Trojans’ defense so far this season?AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGK: USC’s back seven was regarded as a strength going into the season, but after one game, it’s hard to tell just how good they are. They faced a quarterback from Hawaii, Sean Schroeder, who had never thrown a pass in a college game, and they intercepted two passes. The big question for USC had been their defensive line and just how well it was going to play because there are so many new players, and one of their starters was out. They were able to get pressure, cause some turnovers and create some havoc, so they were encouraged by that.The D.O.: One of the ways Syracuse was tested last week was on special teams. The Orange’s punt coverage was not very good on multiple occasions, and USC has some of the most talented returners there are in college football. Is that an area where USC feels it has a distinct advantage?GK: I’m not sure that they necessarily feel they have an advantage, although it would certainly appear that way. Since Lane Kiffin has arrived, with John Baxter as his special teams coach, they spend as much time, it seems, working on special teams as they do working on offense and defense. Whereas before, special teams during the Pete Carroll era were more of an afterthought, if you will. This is something that is very, very important to them, and they work on it extremely hard. … They’ve obviously seen the film of what happened to Syracuse, and Syracuse is going to take pains to fix those mistakes, but I’m sure USC is looking forward to going up against those units and seeing if they can have some success.The D.O.: It wasn’t difficult for Doug Marrone to pick out players on USC that his team needs to focus on because they are the players that everyone has been talking about. But did Lane Kiffin identify any particular players he wanted his team to focus on?GK: Most of the talk at this point has been about Nassib, the quarterback, since he had such a big day. I know Syracuse has a receiver (Alec Lemon) that did not play in the last game who is a big part of his attack. They are thinking that he is probably going to come back or counting on the fact that they have to play against him. Those are the headline guys at this point. Comments Published on September 6, 2012 at 3:04 am Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13 Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Related Stories Q&A with Josh Walfish of The Daily Northwesternlast_img read more

Shafer demotes McDonald to wide receivers coach, promotes Lester to offensive coordinator

first_img Published on October 6, 2014 at 11:21 am Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ Syracuse quarterbacks coach Tim Lester will take over as offensive coordinator for the Syracuse football team and offensive coordinator and associate head coach George McDonald will be demoted to wide receivers coach, according to an SU Athletics release published Monday morning.Pete Roussel of 247sports.com first reported the news Sunday night, anonymously, and the Post-Standard’s Stephen Bailey confirmed the story Monday morning.“I’ve made the decision to change roles to use our staff’s talents together more effectively. Coach Tim Lester will call the plays and coordinate the offense moving forward,” Shafer said in the release. “He, George and the offensive staff will continue to work alongside one another striving to improve our offense together. George will continue to coach our receiver unit.”The Orange offense under McDonald had scored just three touchdowns in the past three games – all losses. After SU’s 28-6 loss to Louisville on Friday night, McDonald took full responsibility for the offense’s struggles.“Like I said, everything starts and ends with me in terms of how this offense produces and what it’s doing,” McDonald said after the game. “And right now the offense isn’t good enough and I have to do a better job of finding ways to make sure that we can put points on the board.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBoth McDonald and Lester joined Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer’s staff in 2013 when Shafer, then SU’s defensive coordinator, took over when Doug Marrone left for the Buffalo Bills. Lester was the head coach at Division III Elmhurst College at the time and worked as the quarterbacks coach at Western Michigan from 2005-06, when Shafer was the defensive coordinator for the Broncos.McDonald coached alongside Shafer at Northern Illinois as a wide receivers coach from 2001-03 and was the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at WMU, working with Shafer and Lester from 2005-06. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Mitch Trubisky in trouble as Bears are reportedly interested in Teddy Bridgewater, Nick Foles

first_imgFlorio says the contract numbers for the free agent quarterback “suggest that Bridgewater would be installed as the No. 1 option in Chicago.”UPDATE: NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports it’s unlikely Bridgewater lands with the Bears.Not expecting Teddy Bridgewater to land with the #Bears. Other QB options in play there.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 16, 2020Bridgewater has had an interesting career; a first-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2014, he suffered a devastating knee injury during a team practice in 2016. Bridgewater sat out that season, and played sparingly in 2017. The Vikings declined the fifth-year option on Bridgewater’s contract, making him a free agent in 2017.MORE: Tracking 2020 NFL free agency moves, rumorsBridegwater signed with the Jets, but was traded to the Saints before the start of the regular season, where he played sparingly in 2018. He stayed in New Orleans, signing a 1-year deal to play in 2019, and he ended up starting a stretch of games while Drew Brees sat out with injury. Bridgewater started five games, going 5-0 in that stretch.According to Spotrac, Bridgewater’s market value is $21.5 million, which would rank 16th among all quarterbacks. In other words, that’s starter money. If the Bears ended up signing Bridgewater, it’d be ridiculous to pay him that kind of money without making him the starter.There’s also the fact Ryan Pace, GM of the Bears, used to work in the Saints front office for 14 years.Teddy Bridgewater has many allies in Saints football ops, including head coach Sean Payton. Have to think Bears GM Ryan Pace somehow tapped into those resources with his former team.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) March 16, 2020Bears running back Tarik Cohen was live streaming on Twitch when he saw the news. He responded at first saying, “I don’t know why y’all think the Bears are going to sign Teddy Bridgewater.” He later responded by calling Trubisky his “dog.”Interest in Nick FolesFormer NFL GM Michael Lombardi reports the Bears have interest in Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles.Hearing from a source Bears trying to get involved with trading for Nick Foles. Bears are all over this QB market.— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) March 16, 2020Not only does this report add a new name in the quarterback mix, but it doubles down on the fact Chicago is indeed looking at other quarterback options. Whether it’s Bridgewater, Foles or someone else, expect some sort of new face to arrive in Chicago to give Trubisky some competition. In 2017 the Bears traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Mitch Trubisky second overall, ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Just three seasons later, Chicago may be giving up on their first-round quarterback.According to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, “talks are underway” between free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Bears. Florio adds that this likely won’t be a situation similar to last year for Bridgewater where he was signed to be a backup option. Interest in Andy DaltonSource: #Bears are focused on acquiring Andy Dalton or Nick Foles – both veteran quarterbacks who have played for either Matt Nagy or members of coaching staff. There’s a sense in the organization that Mitchell Trubisky should be forced to compete for the starting position.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 16, 2020What’s next for Mitch Trubisky?It’s likely the Bears would just keep Trubisky for this season if they do move forward with Bridgewater. He’d be a reliable backup at an affordable price ($9,327,591 cap hit). He’s only under contract through the 2020 season. Chicago has a fifth-year option for 2021 if it wants to exercise it, but that’d be a surprising move if the decided to give Bridgewater starting QB money.Trubisky has been disappointing since taking over as the Bears starter in 2017. After starting in 15 games in 2019, Trubisky only finished five games with more than one touchdown pass, finishing with 17 total on the season. He had more games (7) with no touchdown passes at all.He’d likely land somewhere as a backup quarterback option as a 2021 free agent, but unless he shows something else, a signing of Bridgewater could signal the end of Trubisky’s starting career.last_img read more

‘Transformation of Facilities at Freeport Tops Economic Development’

first_imgVice President Joseph N. Boakai has said that mass transformation of facilities at the Freeport of Monrovia is paramount to the economic development of Liberia.The Vice President pointed out that the Government has been following up on the projects, which he said are “very encouraging” and lauded the good working relations between APM Terminals and the National Port Authority (NPA.)Ambassador Boakai made these remarks recently when the incoming managing director of APM Terminals, Mr. George G. Adjei, paid him a courtesy call at his Capitol Building Offices in Monrovia.VP Boakai underscored the importance of the Port of Monrovia and emphasized that the mass transformation of its facilities will result into economic prosperity for the nation.For his part, Mr. Adjei, who has served his company in several capacities before coming to Liberia, thanked Amb. Boakai for the warm reception and disclosed that phase two of the projects is the pavement of the Monrovia terminal yard and the construction of a new head office.According to Mr. Adjei, the projects, costing US$34.5 million are expected to start in March of this year and will be completed in 23 months.He further disclosed that his company also has interest in the development of the port of Greenville, but was awaiting official invitation from the Government of Liberia to submit a proposal, which he said is in fulfillment of a new strategy of developing multiports to handle general cargo, mineral and petroleum products as well as oil handling and storage.The APM Terminals new MD, further noted that his company was aware that government is under pressure to deliver on social programs and that his company will continue to partner with the GOL to achieve those objectives as well as live up to the commitment as enshrined in the agreement between APM Terminals and NPA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more