Sunday, April 19, 2009

Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo.

It seems like recently, we have to have some sort of controversy here in Orange-land.  It wasn't more than a few days after Jonny's decision to declare for the NBA draft that a new issue has come about, not about a player leaving, but of one possibly joining the fray.

That player, as you all know, is Greg Paulus.

Greg Paulus has been the (or, more recently, a) Point Guard at Duke for the last few years, a decision reached after much deliberation on whether he would play basketball or football.

Paulus, a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy here in the Syracuse area, was the #1 rated Quarterback coming out of High School, and was highly sought after by Notre Dame, among other big name schools.

Once it was determined that he would play basketball, and not football (a decision many have lauded as a grave mistake), many assumed that he would be a Syracuse lean- a local kid staying in the area to play for the great Jim Boeheim.  However, legend has it that when informed that his son would backup incumbant Syracuse icon Gerry McNamara, Mr. Paulus said that his son "wouldn't backup anyone" and that his son "can do better than Syracuse".  He then went down to Duke, and we all know about the last four years, the last of which he was benched during the season and received far fewer minutes in Coach Krzyzewski's rotation.  

Obviously, we are now four years past this, and we are looking at a completely different sport- football, with a brand new coach, and a less than stellar Quarterback situation (I like Nassib, but I don't think he'll be any kind of star this year).

I present to you- the Greg Paulus debacle:

The Good:

Paulus was obviously a highly touted, local Quarterback prospect, far ahead of Nassib, Dantley, A-Rob, Charlie Loeb, or anyone else who will be on the roster come fall.

He has apparently been throwing with his brother over at UNC (I'm sure he receives a standing ovation every time he steps on that campus), and Packers scouts have said that his arm strength looks great for someone who hasn't played in four years.

He is getting looks from other big name programs, namely Michigan (though they deny everything) and Nebraska.

He would put us on ESPN every week, just because of who he is.  We would get Gameday coverage every Saturday, and that can only help a rebuilding program.

He would not cost us a scholarship for more than one year, and we have plenty to give due to the attrition we've seen this spring.  Taking a flyer on him wouldn't really cost us anything.

Boost in attendance?

He has a relationship with other CBA players on the team, notably Lavar Lobdell, his favorite target in High School.

He fits Marrone's system.

It would give Nassib/Loeb/Whoever another year to develop.

The Bad:

I have a few major gripes with bringing in Paulus (aside from the aforementioned history we have with him and the rest of the Paulus clan).  

It's been stated that Paulus wants a starting job- oviously.  However, he cannot just show up on the Hill and expect to have this handed to him.  He will have to outplay the other Quarterbacks, and he will have to earn the job.  We can't put a player out there just because of his name or what he was in High School.  Right now we have two players on the roster (one who is playing TE) who have started entire years as Quarterback of this University, and another who is the heir apparent to the job after a surprising Spring.   I have no reason to believe that Paulus is a bad kid or anything, but if he comes here expecting to start, and doesn't win the job (Marrone isn't handing starter spots to anyone on this roster), we don't need to hear more badmouthing about the University.  If he wants to come play football for us, he's going to be one of the guys on the field and the lockerroom.  The media can hype it all he wants, but Paulus has to be a sterling teammate.  Again, he never had any problems at Duke, and I've been told he's a good kid, so I'm not too concerned here.

My bigger concern is that he hasn't played the position in four years.  Quarterback is probably the most cerebrally demanding position in all of sports.  People have doubts when a Quarterback changes systems- Paulus is attempting to take not only his first college snap, but his first competitve snap of any kind in four years.  He has had not studied film, read a defense, or anything else that goes into the mental part of a Quarterback's game in four years.  Even True Freshman were just playing football the fall before, albeit at a lower level, but they have been in the swing of things at the very least.  Paulus hasn't, he's been on the hardwood playing a game that couldn't be any more different from football.  The arm may be there, but mentally there is no way he is ready for Minnesota, Penn State, UConn, Rutgers, West Virginia, and the other teams we play- and even if he showed up tomorrow I'm not entirely convinced he could pull that off.  Nothing against Paulus, but he would be doing something I can't recall anyone else doing after that long of a break from the sport.  

The Ugly:

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.  Who knows how much longer we can use those great Photoshops?


On another Orange note, congrats to Katie Rowan, Christina Dove, and the rest of the Syracuse Woman's Lacrosse team on their (shared) Big East Championship, with an excellent 12-3 (6-1) record.  


Thanks for is now 4:17, and Georgetown still sucks!

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