Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito met with the media on Thursday to discuss a variety of topics.
Q: How was it from your view as like the captain on the team?
Tommy DeVito: "It was fun. It was fun to finally be out there because I think we only had a day of full pads before that. Obviously I'm not involved with that, but I mean to have the O-line, and Ryan on the running backs, feel some contact, to see because practice everything studs so as soon as they tag off the play is dead so it was good to see the play extend a little bit and to see how some plays would play out being live. It was good because there's such an age difference between the older guys and younger guys, so the older guys kind of sit back and watch the younger guys and learn and help coach them. It's good to see."
Q: Coach talked about a little separation that he's seen, if it be the quarterback battle, running backs, people start to separate themselves. As you head into the second week, what are you seeing from the quarterback position as far as these battles are concerned?
DeVito: "You gotta keep pushing yourself every day, from day one to day two there has to be a jump mentally and physically on the field. Then from day one to day six there has to be a jump. Every day you have to get better and better because I think as of right now, in 15 days we will be traveling to Ohio so for me to hear that this morning it was very eye-opening, time is flying, camp is coming close to an end and this season's right around the corner so I'm excited to continue to push myself every day."
Q: So with these last 15 days, what's kind of on your mindset, what are you trying to improve on or what do you think is on the team's mindset, just things that you guys need to fix before heading to Ohio?
DeVito: "The tiniest details, with base stuff, even with all that, going back to what we did [on] day one install, continuing to be good with that and to continue to do that later on down the line. You don't want to install something on day one and then forget about it on day 15. You gotta keep doing it, keep pushing yourself every day, worry about the small details and it’ll all pay off in the end."
Q: What do you see from the offensive line in the first scrimmage and do you think this year's group is better prepared to mind, Dakota's out, you know what I mean? To be able to handle a full season?
DeVito: "It's different because last year with camp it was like a COVID camp I'll call it, like nothing was the same, the vibes were off, the meetings were different. So to be able to have that this year makes a huge difference especially with that group of being able to come together. And like I said before, with the younger guys and older guys, like there's a lot of people here so there's a lot of depth and a lot of guys that can get better and be able to step in if need be because ultimately that's the name of the game to stay healthy, so that helps."
Q: Where do you see growth in pass protection, anyone in particular jumping out to you that’s made some strides?
DeVito: "I can't say anyone particularly because they're a group. They work as one, if one person messes up, it's on the whole group. But to be able to have the guys come back, like to have Airon Servais come back again to help teach the younger guys, and just another year of playing under those guys like Bergeron, and Carlos, and Servais, like those guys who have been there before to have an extra year under that, and still have years to play ahead. That extra year of play makes a difference."
Q: Bergeron said communication he thought was an area they really got better at. I'm sure you're hearing what they're seeing when they're looking at the defense. Do you see that and as you go through team periods how they may be prepared for what's coming more often than last year?
DeVito: "The communication is a lot better I’ll tell you that. The only reason I'm laughing is because I live with Bergeron. We always mess around all the time about the Canadian-English barrier and he likes to play around all the time, but the communication across the board has been good between the quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and O-line."
Reporter: Tommy have you seen the way Coach Babers has attacked this year from the coaching standpoint? Is there anything different in these last four years that you've been here compared to this year?
DeVito: "No doubt. I mean attention to the smallest details. Not saying that he wasn't before, but just harping on it more. [He] doesn't just get on the players, he gets on the coaches and the training staff as well. It's not just us, we're a whole team, we're a whole family here at Syracuse and that's how it needs to be. It can't be the team doing well and the training room slacking off, or the weight room slacking off, it needs to be everybody. Everybody needs to be all in and that's where we're at right now. We need to keep building on it."
Q: How about your relationship with Coach Gilbert, being another year under the belt with him, how have you become more familiarized with this offense under him?
DeVito: "It's grown tremendously, because when he first got here we only had three practices in spring ball and then got thrown right into the season. So, we weren't able to really build the greatest relationship based off of the whole COVID thing because everything was via Zoom and all that other stuff so to be able to have a spring ball, and a full camp and all the summer workouts. To be able to grow and learn and understand what he sees and what he likes and what I see and what I like, and everyone else in the room that's how you build chemistry and it takes reps and reps and reps, so to be able to have that time helps."
Q: Dino said we're going to see some different stuff on offense this year. Every coach wants to have the element of surprise but, now that you've gone through most of camp how different is it? Is it just wrinkles or do you think it can be more significant than that?
DeVito: "I would say both. That's a very gray statement. I know coach doesn't like saying gray, but there's wrinkles and a lot and there's some things that are brand new, some things that we've done since their staff first came in 2016 or 17."
Q: You feel like you have more flexibility than ever based on personnel and matchup, week-to-week to do different things?
DeVito: "Well, no doubt yeah we have a lot of guys, like I said this is the biggest roster I think ever. I mean I'm sure that's the same way at every school. But to have so many weapons and so many different people on the team, and to be able to use certain people in different ways, it's really like a big swiss army knife."
Q: You talked about you only had 15 days before you board the bus to Ohio. What do you try and take in day in and day out, and what are you trying to relate to these younger guys to get them ready to say, “Hey fellas the season's two weeks away before you know it?”
DeVito: "I'm just going to tell them how it was when I was a freshman. Camp flies, it flies and you don't realize it because every day is like groundhog day in the sense of just you wake up, meetings, practice, film, workouts got that whole deal. So really to just enjoy the process, you know because for me I'm like 'Wow.' Just blink my eyes and I've been here this long already. It's crazy to me, so to tell them to just enjoy it. Pay attention to film room and learn from the other guy's mistakes because if you're a young guy and you're watching older guys, if they make a mistake you want to be that kid where the coaches know, 'Okay he learned from an older kid's mistake just by sitting back so imagine when he's in there and he may say he's going to be on a day one.' So that's something good and that's something that I try to harp on them and just keep helping them stay encouraged."