"Sean Hickey's really done a very good job," said Marrone. "He's been solid and I think that's a credit to him because going into it, I was very concerned. I knew that Sean had the ability, big and strong, and we talked about it prior to as far as linemen coming in. Out of all the linemen we've ever brought in here, he's probably had the best ability to get on the field fast because of his strength."
Marrone gave credit to Hickey for how well he has been able to adjust to playing after being sidelined through his collegiate career.
"Going through those injuries, and really not being on the field, for him to come in and do the job he's done, I think that's very commendable on that part."
But, the head coach is not telling Hickey to let up any.
"He needs to continue to increase and get better, which when Justin Pugh comes back, that can create a very good problem for us."
Looking to the other side of the offensive line, Marrone provided his thoughts on Senior Offensive Tackle Lou Alexander thus far.
"I think Lou, at times, has flashed some good things," shared Marrone.
However, he is looking for more out of Alexander.
"…We need to get better consistency and less mistakes from him at that position."
As far as who the offensive line is blocking and providing holes for, Marrone shifted his focus to the backfield to speak on the running backs.
"I don't really have a great feel right now. I think there's some things that we're okay at. I think again there's some strengths to some of those backs, but I'm really looking for a little bit greater separation, someone to really take it," offered Marrone.
"I think today we took steps forward toward that. I'll be interested to see in these next couple practices in the direction we go."
The lack of separation so far at the running back position seems to have resulted in the redirection of freshman DeVante McFarlane, who has been practicing at strong safety up until today's practice.
"Obviously we moved Devante over there," Marrone stated. "I think that shows that there's not a great comfort level at that position."
Hear more from Coach Marrone from Syracuse's first open practice since their return from Fort Drum HERE.