Football

Shafer relishes opportunity to work with both offense, defense

After crushing and throwing out his cup of water before practice Monday, Scott Shafer walked toward the field for the first time as Syracuse’s head coach, not just a defensive guru.

Until that point, he spent the entirety of his 22-year coaching career on the defensive side of the ball. Now Shafer has a chance to spend time with the offense — a unit he once led as a college quarterback at Ohio University and Baldwin-Wallace College.

So far, it’s an opportunity he said he’s thoroughly enjoying.

“It’s a blast,” Shafer said. “It’s so different. It’s different because for 22 years I was just chasing those same kids around on defense and in the secondary.”

He moseyed around both fields during the 45 minutes of practice that were available to the media. Dressed in a white visor, navy blue windbreaker and tan shorts, Shafer spent time with all units, not just the defense.

Shafer said his natural tendency is still to veer toward the defense, but he’s doing his best to balance out where he places his attention. This spring, he said he spent roughly two-thirds of his time with the offense to get a better grasp on that side of the ball.

Said Shafer: “It’s kind of eye-opening to me because there’s opportunities to watch some kids I barely get to watch on the offensive side of the ball.”

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