Doug Marrone reviews Syracuse spring

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone met with the media on Friday to review recently completed spring practice and look ahead a bit to the fall. A few tidbits from the session:

  • Overall, Marrone said he was happy with the progress of the offense this spring and really liked the way the defense came together despite having to replace several starters. The strengths of the defense, he said, will be the defensive ends and safeties. Defensive tackle is still a question mark, and he said it would be manned by committee.

    "Who steps up and gets 30-to-40 snaps a game?" he said. "Or does everybody get 20?"

  • Sophomore Mario Tull has been moved from linebacker to running back. Linebacker is a thin position for the Orange right now, but Marrone said Tull had little chance to play there. He is excited about two incoming freshmen linebackers this summer, and they'll get a serious look for playing time.

  • Beckett Wales, listed as the team's No. 2 tight end before leaving school in March for personal reasons, is expected to return this summer. Marrone said he and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett have been in contact with Wales.

  • Marrone said the team came out of spring healthier than it has been in a long time. Interestingly, he said there are fewer small injuries like hamstring pulls and ankle sprains, and he thinks that is because the team is training differently. When he first got to Syracuse, the focus was on adding strength. Now that the players are stronger, he said, they are doing more football-specific drills, and he thinks that is helping to avoid injuries.