Boston College, after a revolving door of staff changes the last few seasons – and back-to-back losing years (6-18 record) – and a divide ever-widening on the recruiting trail between the have and have-nots in the ACC and college football…well, let’s just say it’s not going to be an easy fix for new coach Steve Addazio.
The once proud program is back to square one, and while spring ball might be no more than glorified tryouts at some schools, it’s an important time of transition from regime to regime in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
“I don't know how you could ever function without this [spring football],” Addazio said, going into his second-ever head coaching stint after two years at Temple, “especially if you're a new staff coming in. The growth is incredible. We have a lot of work to do. It's a new system, new communication, new verbiage, new techniques, new everything.
“But these guys are smart and they're attentive and it's important to them. That much I have figured our very quickly."
More on the Eagles…
2012 Record: 2-10 (1-7, last in the Atlantic Division)
Plays Clemson:Oct. 12, in Clemson.
Returning Starters by Position (18)
Outgoing Starters: 6
Offensive Leader: QB Chase Rettig – A three-year starter, Rettig has improved by leaps and bounds each season – passing for 1,195 yards (6 TDs/9 INTs) in his freshman year, 1,960 yards (12 TDs/9 INTs) as a sophomore and 3,060 last year (17 TDs/13 INTs) in three different offensive systems.
Defensive Leader: DE Kasim Edebali – The rising junior led the Eagles in tackles for loss (7.5) and had 1.5 of BC’s measly 6 team sacks last season. .
Key Issues This Spring: 1) Transition, again – Since former BC head coach Tom O’Brien left for N.C. State in 2007, staff changes, whether at head coach (3) or coordinator (6), have been constant in Chestnut Hill. Addazio returns 18 starters, but his biggest task is making the Eagles not only more competitive on the field but also the recruiting grounds.
2) Finding the ground game – The Eagles have finished 71st or worse in rushing offense since 2009, bottoming out last season at a paltry 90.9 yards a game. New offensive coordinator Ryan Day comes from a Temple program that averaged 201.2 yards last season (31st nationally). Injuries have held the unit back in recent seasons – most notably rising senior Rolandan Finch missing seven games (foot) in 2012 after leading BC with 705 rushing yards in 2011. Finding or rediscovering offensive stars is what’s keeping Addazio up at night these days. “I have to really focus on [the fact] that we have to be able to make plays,” Addazio said. “We've got to see what skill players can make plays. That is yet to be determined. Those are some of the things that are on my mind right now.”
3) New defense, new philosophy – For 10 years, outgoing head coach Frank Spaziani coached the BC defense, and for 16 years and four as a coordinator, Bill McGovern had a say as well. But it’s a new day and new defense for the Eagles. The swan song for the old regime was forgettable – 101st in total defense (456.4 YPG) and dead-last in sacks (.5 per game) in 2012. The latter, at least, will change under Don Brown, who left after one-year at UConn. His Huskies defense led the Big East in sacks (2.75 per game) and total defense (309.9 YPG), and he coached a top-40 ‘D’ in Ralph Friedgen’s last season in Maryland.
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