The two biggest criticisms of Boston College Coach Frank Spaziani after the loss to Army on Saturday was that Spaziani didn’t work hard enough, didn’t know how to coach and should have been fired immediately after he got off the bus when the team arrived back at The Heights on Saturday night.
And that Spaziani should be ashamed of himself for “throwing his players under the bus” when he suggested that the breakdowns were because of lack of execution, rather than preparation.
Both criticisms are ridiculous. Here’s why.
Let’s start with the coaching aspect.
BC was beaten by Army team that ran all over the Eagles’ defense. The poop you heard was that since Army was a one-dimensional team, even the coach of a Pop Warner level team would be able to stack the defense against a team that didn’t pass.
Listen to the words of BC middle linebacker Nick Clancy after the game.
“We knew what our assignments were on defense, but we just didn’t execute them,” said Clancy. “We knew what we had to do and we didn’t do our job well.”
This was Spaziani’s “throwing his players under the bus” comment. “It’s not like they (Army) did anything we weren’t ready for,” said Spaziani. “We just didn’t execute on plays.”
Some critics have the perception that Spaziani strolls into his office around noon, leaves around four and plays video games while he is work.
Spaziani’s day begins at around 5:30 a.m. in the office and he doesn’t leave until after dark. The coaching staff worked on preparing for the Army offense. They ran option play after option play during practice.
The coaches, led by defensive coordinator Billy McGovern, explained what the options for the QB on the pitch were. They had the LBS’s and the DBs in position. They told the players what was coming before the plays were run. They studied tapes of all of Army’s previous games
Poor coaching?. Lack of preparation?
Consider this example.
You move into a new home, which is a five-minute walk from work. You tell the real estate broker who sold you the house how convenient it will be for you to be able to walk to work each day.
He or she tells you that is great, but there is one quirk about the location. Every day at 8:30, it rains for about 10 minutes on the route the new buyer is going to walk to work. He shows you weather patterns from the past 4 months, where it has rained every day. He shows tapes of the past week with a time frame that show it raining at 8:30. You are told that you can either bring rain gear or leave 10 minutes earlier or later.
The next day, you leave your new house at 8:30 with no umbrella, no rain coat. You walk for about a minute and it starts to rain and you are soaked.
So do you call for the weatherman to be fired? Do you yell at the real estate broker for selling you a bad house.
BC was prepared for Army. They knew the plays before the plays were run.
And as for the charge of throwing players under the bus?
These are not kids in kindergarten. Many of them already have their degrees and are only months away from the real world where there will be far worse things tossed at them than a few words of criticism.
Now if you want to criticize the coaching staff for the conservative play calling (three straight runs by Andre Williams), if you want to yell at them for the breakdown which caused a delay of game call in that final series which forced punter Gerald Levano to take a few steps further back in his own end zone, fair enough. Those are valid.
But not working hard enough. Bad coaching preparation?
That’s pure BS.
The problem that BC has right now is not hard to fathom. It is not good enough to win while making mistakes. Not against Clemson. Not against Army.
You can argue about why BC is not getting better players and talk about the lack of recruiting skills by Spaziani. But it is not that simple. BC has quality players, recruited by Spaziani–anyone remember a linebacker named Luke Kuechly, who was recruited by Spaziani’s staff?
Chase Rettig? Alex Amidon? Those are ACC-BCS quality players. There is talent in the pipe line, on campus now. Maybe not enough.
BC faced Army without three starters, including two defensive linemen and a linebacker, which is the heart of the run-defense. The back-ups used were not experienced enough or good enough to stop plays they knew were coming.
The die has been cast about Spaziani’s future. It is a numbers game now. BC needs to win 7 or 8 games this season. The over under on the total number of wins this season is probably about 3.
So get a grip. Stop the yelling, stop foaming at the mouth and let the season play itself out with a new athletic director and probably a new football coach.
With the right people running the show, it will get fixed. And if BC does start to fashion a miracle by beating Florida State on Saturday and goes on a run which does produce 7 or 8 wins, Frank Spaziani will still be the same coach, doing the same things.© Copyright 2012 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy