First scrimmages of pre-season training camp are like first exhibition games in the National Football League season. They are merely stretching exercises. Coaches get their first look at live action. Players flex their muscles and then it is over and the routine of training camp will then kick in on Monday.
They are quickly forgotten.
If BC coach Frank Spaziani had his way he would have several days of camp and then bring in another college team and hold some combined drills and then hold a scrimmage. It would certainly freshen things up and to see BC and UMass working together for a few days and then hold a limited scrimmage would add some excitement to the drills.
But that is not likely to happen any time soon.
What I was looking for on Saturday night at Alumni Stadium at BC’s first scrimmage was to get a sense of what the BC offense will be under new OC Doug Martin. Of seeing how the offensive line–bigger, perhaps better and, if you listen to the Eagles across the board who have worked under the direction of new head strength and conditioning coach Mike Poidomani, noticeably stronger.
Not surprisingly, the pitchers were ahead of the hitters at the start (the defense looked sharper than the offense), with the first series dominated by running plays, but then that changed. RB Andre Williams, who will be one of the keys in the offensive game plan showed some flashes of speed and power he displayed as a freshman two years ago. Holes started to open.
Anyone who was expecting a smooth efficient 80-yard offensive march would have been disappointed. But as the scrimmage progressed, the offense did get better. QB Chase Rettig looked sharper, the offensive line threw crisper blocks. And yes, they did score a TD when Williams went off left tackle for a two-yard score.
It wasn’t that long ago that the offense didn’t score a TD in the first scrimmage. And it just happened to be Matt Ryan’s senior year. Of course, by the season opener, Ryan and the Eagles were ready and made it to the ACC title game.
So what happened Saturday was not a big deal. Just a start. Not great. But not horrible.
It must have been a tough week of non-contact drills at the Heights, 9 players were on the sidelines with red crosses on their jerseys. Tight end Chris Pantale broken bone in his right foot) was the only player on the top of the depth chart missing. Pantale said it was a freak accident. “It felt sure on Tuesday,” he said. “And then it got worse. I had it checked out. I have to decide what the best option, either have surgery right away or wait and see how it heals without the surgery.” Offensive line opened with Andy Galik at center, Ian White and Harris Williams as the guards and John Wetzel and Emmett Cleary at tackle. LB Kevin Pierre-Louis was doing his best Luke Kuechly impersonation, showing up on almost every tackle in the first series. With injuries to the tight ends, BC coach Frank Spaziani did some mixing and matching on his depth chart, using 6-7, 285 pound offensive tackle Dave Bowen as a tight end. RB Tajh Kimble was one of the players wearing a red cross and did not participate. Duece Finch did play and showed some flash with a 17 yard dash up the middle…DE Dillon Quinn was active up and down the line of scrimmage…Kicker Nate Freese was perfect with 3 field goals in three attempts from 30, 35 and 25 yards.
Eagles will begin two-a-day sessions on Monday, with scrimmages set for Wednesday and Sunday…
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.