Q&A with Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas

Syracuse's defense must improve this season

Newport, R.I. — Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas was on hand at Big East media day on Tuesday morning. Here’s what he had to say.

Thomas (right) makes a tackle

The Juice Online: What is your role going to be on the team this year?

Shamarko Thomas: I got to be a leader this year. I’m a senior and I know the defense. I know what the coaches want. Like (defensive coordinator and assistant) coach (Scott) Shafer, I know what he wants in his defense. My role is to be a leader and have our defensive backs balling out this year.

» More from Media Day: Syracuse players dismiss 7th place predictions

TJO: What are your thoughts on heading to Fort Drum the second week of preseason camp?

ST: It’s excitement, but kind of nervous because I’ve never been on a military base. My dad was in the military but I’ve never been through all of the stuff they’ve been through. I heard we’re going to be doing some of the stuff they do that I’m not used to, so I’m kinda excited, but nervous at the same time.

TJO: What should the SU fans expect from the defense this year?

ST: Versatile. Attacking. Fast. That’s what we’re striving for. Speed. (Our) defense is real fast, explosive, and (we have) some hard hitters. We’re built around playmakers. Preseason is going to show it. We start off on camp on Monday and we’re going to work hard and show you what we’re about.

» Related: Marrone indifferent toward SU’s final season in Big East

TJO: Is it going to be hard coming off a disappointing season like last year?

ST: It’s definitely going to hard. 5-7 is not where nobody wants to be, especially in college football. It’s going to be really hard. But all this offseason training and us coming together and putting in all of this work, it’s going to help us out a lot. The preseason is going to help us come together as a team and bond. That’s the big thing about all teams. When you win championships like Alabama, they bond together as brothers. That’s how you compete and beat teams you’re not supposed to beat.

For more Syracuse coverage, Like our Facebook page and follow us @TheJuiceOnline.

The Juice Online Discussion Forum

About Brad Bierman 708 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.