Players prepare for Dino Babers’ new offense with revamped conditioning

first_img Published on April 1, 2016 at 3:17 am Contact Chris: cjlibona@syr.edu | @ChrisLibonati Jordan Fredericks had never seen so many teammates throwing up. More than five or six came out of station drills to get rid of the contents in their stomachs, including Fredericks.“It might’ve been the first time in football that I’ve ever thrown up three times a day,” Fredericks said. “I just kept throwing up. It got (running backs) coach (Mike) Hart mad, but I felt like I was getting in shape.”The Syracuse running back hadn’t even taken much time off during Winter Break before coming back to Syracuse. He had wanted to take a week off after coming home, but his mother set him up with his personal trainer in just a handful of days.“Yeah, I was hurting, too,” offensive lineman Omari Palmer said. “… We came from a team that was huddled up every time to no huddle. That was hard. You gotta do extra stuff, run extra, eat right, just live properly outside of football.”At 11 a.m. Saturday, SU will put its rapid-fire offense on the Carrier Dome turf for the first time at Syracuse’s annual spring game. When co-offensive coordinator Sean Lewis and Syracuse’s staff created the hashtag #OrangeIsTheNewFast, it became a recruiting tool, but it’s also a message of how SU plans to play, if its offense having the namesake (Baylor) of one of the best quick-strike attacks in the nation isn’t clear enough.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd while the offense’s logistics — its routes, blocking schemes and how it runs — might be a focus on Saturday, the work to shape players into the offense has been intense.The offense new head coach Dino Babers brought to Syracuse is supposed to require the players to be conditioned at their best. After running 63 plays per game (127th, second to last, in the country) and about two per minute in 2015 under head Scott Shafer and offensive coordinator Tim Lester, the players will be gears in an offensive machine that ran 83.7 plays per game (seventh in the country) and about three plays per minute at Bowling Green in 2015.“I’m like, ‘Wow, this is some official stuff,’” Fredericks said of the intense workouts. “You know you don’t expect that to happen to you. You think you’re in shape, and it wasn’t just me.”After Babers was hired, he changed around the football program’s training staff in addition to cleaning out the coaching staff. Will Hicks, now an assistant director of athletics for athletic performance for Olympic sports, had only handled the football team under Shafer and past coaches. Hicks shifted to only Olympics sports once Babers was hired. Players said they received the new training staff’s workouts when they returned to campus in January.While Babers did his part in getting his players in shape — he and his staff had soda removed from the vending machine — Palmer has adjusted his routines. On lifting days, the offensive lineman will lift twice for an hour apiece. Those workouts are followed by 15 minutes on the elliptical. Other days, Palmer will run a mile and a half and try and finish it in under 12 minutes. Instead of going home for Spring Break, Palmer decided to get some extra work in with Sean Edinger, the newly-hired assistant director of athletics for athletic performance, by hanging back in Syracuse.SU running back George Morris said the new training staff’s workout centers on explosion more so than the workouts under Shafer’s training staff. But when asked to point to specific drills, Morris said he’s still adjusting to the new workouts.“Honestly, there’s a lot of names, and I’m still learning,” Morris said in early March. “Every time we work out there’s a new one each day, so I’m still trying to learn the names.”Fredericks came into the offseason trying to cut weight and add muscle at the same time. Since working out with Edinger, Fredericks said his squat has increased about 150 pounds to nearly 500. The rising sophomore running back came into this spring seven pounds heavier than he was listed on last year’s roster.Babers has said the linemen in front of Fredericks will have to drop weight. Palmer, who is listed on the 2016 roster at 321 pounds, played in 2015 at 305 pounds. The average size of a lineman at Bowling Green last season was about 299 pounds. Even with a bit elevated weight, Palmer said he feels like he’s approaching the best shape he’s been in.On Saturday, Palmer will be able to put that to the test in pads during Syracuse’s scrimmage. For the first time, the new offense will be on display and so too will be players’ revamped conditioning.“Everything is fast,” Jordan Fredericks said. “Everyone needs to be in tip-top shape.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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