Steve Addazio is spending the week finalizing the deal on his new $1.4 million home in the Needham area. Ryan Day is spending a few days with family and friends in New Hampshire. Don Brown is making the move north from Connecticut with visions of blitzes and sacks and quarterbacks on their backs in his head. Billy McGovern is adjusting to a downsized role as the Eagles linebacker coach. Chase Rettig is home in California, pondering another coaching change with perhaps a change in offensive philosophy as well. Josh Bordner is back in Maryland, wondering what a new year will bring with the coach who recruited him in charge of an offense that would seem to be ideally suited for his talents.
Yes, it is relatively quiet at Boston College this week as we move away from the disaster in so many ways that was 2012.
But by next Wednesday when all leaves and family gatherings will officially and unofficially end, the Boston College football program will be up and running–and you can use that word in so many ways–towards what Addazio, BC’s new football coach, hopes will be not only a turnaround, but breakthrough season.
The numbers of 2012 don’t look much better in most cases now then they did each week as BC was staggering to a 2-10 season which was filled with as many self-destructive moments as highlights of the Eagles’ opponents doing their jobs.
Other than Maine and Maryland, there were relatively few happy times in the Eagles’ locker room following games last season.
When new BC Director of Athletics Brad Bates took over in October he watched and evaluated the football program for 7 weeks and then made a change–firing Frank Spaziani and hiring Addazio from Temple.
Addazio proceeded to bring Day, a former BC wide receivers coach under Spaziani who was the primary recruiter of Bordner, the Eagles’ 6-foot-4 inch, 221 pound back up quarterback, as his offensive coordinator. He lured Brown, a former UMass and Northeastern head coach who turned a passive UConn defensive unit into an attack force this season. He kept McGovern, the Eagles former linebacker coach and defensive coordinator, on staff for his coaching ability as well as his recruiting links in New Jersey.
The message that Addazio and his staff, who will now hit the road for the final month of recruiting, have sent out in not so subtle terms is that the Eagles could be more aggressive on defense than offense, where the key to success is running, something the Eagles did not do very well at all last season.
In fact, they were horrible, combining for barely 1000 yards as a TEAM, with Andre Williams leading the way in a ground attack with 584 of BC’s 1086 yards.
Conversely, Rettig, carrying most of the burden of the offense and a more wide open style under new offensive Coordinator Doug Martin (Rettig’s fourth in 3 years), threw for a career high of 3055 yards. But in 467 attempts,Rettig threw for a relatively average total of 17 TD passes.
In comparison, West Virginia’s Geno Smith had 490 attempts this season and threw for 4004 yards and 40 TD passes. Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib had 448 attempts for 3619 yards and 24 TD passes.
One of Rettig’s harshest self criticisms this season was an inability of BC’s offense to convert red zone opportunities into points.
Rettig is in a tough place. So is Addazio and Day, whose offensive philosophy is in more in line with Bordner’s profile as a QB who can run AND pass as opposed to Rettig who uses the run as a means of escape.
Adding to the dilemma for the coaches and for Rettig is the lack of both depth and quality in the BC running backs. Count on Day and Addazio to have an offensive bent to the remainder of their recruiting season, with an emphasis on getting running backs into the system as well as quarterbacks who fit the style of offense that Addazio wants.
Rettig is too far down the road in his academic career at BC to give up the value of a BC degree by bailing out now and it would require sitting out a year and bailing out on his teammates. Rettig is not that type of person.
If he somehow redshirted next season and stayed at BC, he could get his degree by next January with accelerated class schedule and then have one year of eligibility left to play at whatever school wanted him. Call it a graduate study in NFL football, something that Seattle Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson parlayed into gold when he graduated from NC State with a year of eligibility remaining, transferred to Wisconsin, where he took the Badgers to the Rose Bowl. Wilson is now the starting QB for the Seahawks as a rookie and may very well take Seattle to the Super Bowl.
No matter what decision is made, it figures to be an interesting spring football session for BC as Addazio and the Eagles get acquainted with each other.
Christmas is over, and recess for BC soon will be.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.