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Archive for the ‘Syracuse Football’ Category

LSU Shows Interest in G-Rob

Posted by Todd Kramer on December 5, 2008

Could Robinson (right) join Les Miles' staff at LSU?

Could Robinson (right) join Les Miles' staff at LSU?

LSU has reportedly shown interest in recently-fired SU head coach Greg Robinson.  Tigers head coach Les Miles is apparently interested in interviewing G-Rob for the team’s defensive coordinator position.

Robinson doesn’t deny the interest, but says it is far from a foregone conclusion that he will interview for the position.

“I don’t see myself having the ability to do something right now,” he said. 

Robinson added that he is worrying right now about helping his staff from SU find new jobs.  He also has said he has received interest from other schools as well

Robinson has experience as a defensive coordinator both at the NFL and college level, including two super bowl rings as coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 1997 and 1998.  G-Rob also served as Kansas City Chiefs coordinator, and before coming to Syracuse, Robinson worked under Mack Brown at the University of Texas.

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So, is it time to worry?

Posted by Matt Gelb on December 4, 2008

Daryl Gross is searching long and hard for the next SU head coach. (SU Athletics)

Daryl Gross is searching long and hard for the next SU head coach. (SU Athletics)

Chip Kelly was locked up by Oregon. Temple’s Al Golden said no. Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin. Auburn and Tommy Tuberville parted ways, creating another marquee opening. Randy Edsall continues to deny his interest as Connecticut’s season concludes.

So where does that leave Syracuse?

Well, Skip Holtz, Turner Gill and Mike Locksley are all still in play, theoretically. But, if Auburn pushes hard for Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, would Tech then go after Gill, the former Big 12 star? Certainly a possibility. And Holtz could be a candidate at Mississippi State.

Yes, the coaching carousel is dizzying.

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Was Chip Kelly Gross’ Choice?

Posted by Todd Kramer on December 4, 2008

That’s what Donnie Webb at Syracuse.com seems to think.  Kelly was nabbed as Mike Bellotti’s successor at Oregon yesterday, throwing at least some sort of wrench into Daryl Gross’ coaching search.  Gross had already spoken with Kelly and was scheduled to meet with him again this week — a meeting Webb thought was just a “formality.” 

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Donovan McNabb Weighs in on SU Coaching Search

Posted by Todd Kramer on December 3, 2008

 

Kevin Rogers

Kevin Rogers

 

He may not know the NFL’s overtime rules, but Eagles quarterback and former Syracuse great Donovan McNabb knows who he wants to replace Greg Robinson as Orange head football coach. McNabb is one of several SU alumni to voice an opinion to The Sporting News.  

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A farewell

Posted by Matt Gelb on December 2, 2008

Robinsons final press conference was, at times, worthy of this reaction. (Associated Press)

Robinson's final press conference was, at times, worthy of this reaction. (Associated Press)

Greg Robinson pulled a single sheet of paper, highlighted in green and orange. Why, people wondered, was he able to stay so optimistic through everything — the 10-37 record, the constant speculation and the perrenial losing. He attempted to answer that.

Defiant to the final moments of his tenure as Syracuse football head coach, Robinson read the plot of “The Little Engine That Could” to the 25 or so media members gathered for his final press conference.

“In the tale, a long train must be pulled over a high mountain,” Robinson said. “Various larger engines are asked to pull the train. For various reasons, they refuse. The request is sent to a small engine, who agrees to try. The engine succeeds in pulling the train over the mountain, while repeating…

Robinson then turned to his right and looked at Syracuse play-by-play man Matt Park.

“What did he say, Matt?”

“I think I can, coach,” Park replied. (Later, Park told me that was not rehearsed in any manner at all.)

“That’s right,” Robinson said. “Well you know what? I still think I can. I do.”

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SU Wins One for the Gipper

Posted by Todd Kramer on November 23, 2008

 

Head coach Greg Robinson and company celebrate yesterday's huge win

Head coach Greg Robinson and company celebrate yesterday

Say what you want about Greg Roinson as a head football coach, but throughout his four years as head man of the Syracuse football program, I have never heard anyone – from the players on the team, to athletic director Daryl Gross, to other coaches around the country – question Robinson as a person. And that’s why even the most bitter SU football fans should be happy for Robinson after the Orange’s 24-23 comeback win over Notre Dame last night.

 

For anyone who watched the game on national television yesterday, there was no question how hard the team was playing, and just how excited the team was to win. I’ve heard some people say they expect the Orange to play hard the rest of the way just to attract a potential replacement for G-Rob, but part of me honestly thinks the team was playing for its lame-duck head coach. Not necessarily to help him win his job back, which is out of the question, but out of respect for Robinson as a man.

“It really isn’t necessarily a surprise at all to our team,” Robinson said in his postgame press conference. “They knew somewhere along the line this team was going to do something special. This was an opportunity for them and they knew they had to make the most of it. I give them a lot of credit.”

Who would have thought coming out of this game the opposing head coach would be the one hearing the critcism? Charlie Weis, who started at Notre Dame the same year Robinson took over at SU, is starting to feel the heat after last night’s unthinkable loss. There’s a good chance if Weis didn’t have a $20 million buyout, he would be shown the door at season’s end.

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This Weekend Offers a Little More Meaning for SU’s Dantley

Posted by Todd Kramer on November 21, 2008

Adrian Dantley is the father of SU quarterback Cameron DantleyWith just two games left to go this season, and with a 2-8 record, there’s not much for the Orange to play for this weekend at Notre Dame, even if the Orange wants to make Syracuse seem like an attractive place for a potential replacement for lame-duck head coach Greg Robinson.

But for quarterback Cameron Dantley, the game this weekend in South Bend will certainly mean something.  Dantley is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley, who played his college basketball at Notre Dame under current ESPN analyst Digger Phelps. And, while Cameron expects his father to be rooting for him on Saturday, he admits it might be tough.

“He loves Notre Dame,” Cameron said. “It was a big part of his career. He loves the place. He had a great time when he was there and it was a big part of his life. He always has stories to tell about Notre Dame and what they’re doing now.”

Adrian Dantley averaged nearly 26 points a game for the Irish during his career. That is good for second in Notre Dame history behind Austin Carr, who averaged a whopping 34.6 points per contest.

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Top 5: Next Syracuse head coach

Posted by Matt Gelb on November 18, 2008

Counting down the candidates most likely to be the next Syracuse football head coach…

Randy Edsall could be telling the truth. We dont think he is. (Associated Press)

Randy Edsall could be telling the truth. We don't think he is. (Associated Press)

1. Randy Edsall, Connecticut head coach
Yeah, we know what he said yesterday. But that’s what the head coach of a team currently fighting for bowl positioning is supposed to say right now. He doesn’t want the Syracuse job opening to be a distraction to his team and staff and Connecticut. Fair enough.

Coaches lie, though, and Edsall is included. Disinformation is part of this whole merry-go-round, so Edsall remains the favorite. He coached at Syracuse for 10 years after playing as a backup quarterback. He knows the Big East. He has the recruiting pipelines. And this is the opportunity to fix his alma mater and with help from some donors, SU could reach his asking price of $2 million-plus. ODDS: 10-1

2. Mike Locksley, Illinois offensive coordinator
He’s young and he’s probably one of, if not the best recruiters in the nation. Locksley is reportedly interested in a head coaching job and at this point, he could be the best fit out there if Edsall sticks to his guns. He has constantly convinced the top players from the D.C.-metro area to go to Illinois and that’s enough credentials for us. The only drawback? No prior head coaching experience. But he’s ready for the gig. ODDS: 16-1

3. Turner Gill, Buffalo head coach
He fits the mold of Locksley, except he has head coaching experience. Gill has turned Buffalo, the perrenial doormat of Division I-A football, into a bowl contender. That in of itself is miraculous. But, as SI.com’s Stewart Mandel says, he might be overqualified.

It’s entirely possible Gill would be eager to jump from the MAC to the Big East. But here’s the thing: Gill can do better. Much better.

That being said, we think Gill takes a long, hard look at the Syracuse job. Still, he might be holding out for a return home to Nebraska and could just want to wait in Buffalo. ODDS: 25-1
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Count Edsall Out in SU’s Search for a New Coach…Or Should We?

Posted by Todd Kramer on November 17, 2008

One heavily publicized candidate for the Syracuse football head coaching position has removed his name from consideration. Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall – a Syracuse alum who this past weekend beat his alma mater by 25 – says he is not interested in the opening created by Greg Robinson’s dismissal.

You can read Donnie Webb’s blog for more, but here are some quotes Webb refers to from The (New London, Conn.) Day:

“There has been speculation in various media outlets that I am a candidate for the job. But with all due respect to my alma mater and the people at Syracuse, I am not interested in being a candidate.”

“I just want to continue to coach at the University of Connecticut and prepare my team for this week’s game against South Florida and the rest of our 2008 schedule. I don’t want this to become a distraction to my players or coaching staff as we move forward.”

I agree with Webb’s interpretation of these quotes that it still may be premature to count Edsall out. The quotes – especially the second one – sound like typical coach speak. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him backtrack down the line.

Edsall is a former backup quarterback for the Orange and served as Syracuse’s offensive coordinator from 1980 until 1990. The ties are there, but it will probably come down to money in the end.

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Greg Robinson fired; Jim Brown celebrates

Posted by Matt Gelb on November 17, 2008

Jim Brown played at Syracuse from 1954-56. (Associated Press)

Jim Brown played at Syracuse from 1954-56. (Associated Press)

Jim Brown made his displeasure for the Greg Robinson Era at Syracuse public last month when he spoke out against the beleaguered head coach on an ESPN feature.

Well, suffice to say, the former Syracuse legendary running back was thrilled at the news that Syracuse had fired Robinson.

“It’s a great day, because we have an opportunity to start anew and work together with the new coach,” Brown told The Daily Orange.

Brown is just one of many former Syracuse football players to express his anger at the current situation. Rob Konrad wrote a letter to Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross with a suggestion for head coach. Other alumni have done the same.

On Sunday, Gross made the inevitable official, firing Robinson, who is now 9-36 in his four years at Syracuse. It’s the worst four-year stretch in the 117-year football history at SU.

Oh, but don’t worry: Brown likes Robinson as a person.

“He’s a great human being,” Brown said, “but the program is headed nowhere.”

Well, after Sunday’s events, nowhere is somewhere.

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