One final scrimmage was held this morning before the Boston College football team fully begins its preparation for next week’s season opener against Villanova. Head coach Steve Addazio, wide receiver Dan Crimmins, and running back Andre Williams discussed how the team has looked so far.
Building Trust And Blind Faith
Williams wasn’t sure about Addazio at first. He had a question for his new head coach after he was hired.
“When he came here from Temple I was like, okay, so you’re a head coach at Temple, stayed there for a couple years, now you’re a head coach at BC,” Williams said. “What’s in it for you? I asked him that, and he said, ‘BC is my end game. This is where I always wanted to be.’
“So, just looking at how he came in, it wasn’t like he was just all about the field, like let’s just go win some games and that’s going to look good on me. This is his home now, so he comes into the locker room and sees that his home is a mess, he wants to clean it up and he’s going to do what he can to clean it up.”
Addazio has literally cleaned up the locker room. It’s undergone renovations, which Williams say look awesome, and Addazio has said that’s only phase one.
The locker room renovations aren’t the only new addition. Addazio has also implemented a new tradition too, and his team has embraced it.
“In terms of just the Boston College Eagles, it just feels so much more authentic,” Williams said. “He’s making us learn the fight song. I’ve been hearing the fight song on and off for three years now. Still didn’t even really know what they were saying. Now I can tell you the fight song, I know what the words are. Our emphasis is that we’ve got to win the game so we can sing the fight song in the locker room. That really means something to us as a team. That’s our goal for the locker room.”
Williams’ running, especially, can either incite those cries of “For Boston” or keep them quiet. The starting tail back hasn’t seen many reps this preseason as Addazio has tried to keep him healthy.
“I want to keep him healthy more than I want to keep him fresh,” Addazio said. “He’d take 100 reps if you let him.”
Although Addazio has been impressed with David Dudeck and freshmen Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse, he still recognizes that Williams drives the power attack of BC’s multiple offense.
“The No. 2 is not close to the No. 1 right now, so the No. 1 a little rusty is still the No. 1,” Addazio said of Williams.
Williams doesn’t think any potential rust will affect him heading into the game with the Wildcats, and he understands Addazio’s strategy.
“I’m really happy that he’s treating us right,” Williams said.
He’s also been pleased with the play of the offensive line, especially Matt Patchan and Ian White.
“The term we use is blind faith,” Williams said of his confidence in the line. “I have blind faith that, you know, the hole is going to be right where it needs to be and I’m just going to go full speed, zero to 60.”
And even though Addazio sees a wide gap between his starting back and the rest of the players at the position, both he and Williams have confidence in Dudeck, Willis and Rouse.
“Tyler [Rouse], he’s real stocky and when he learns to lower his shoulder when he needs to he’s going to be a monster on the field. His style is a little bit similar to mine. Myles [Willis] has really good feet and he’s so natural in his cuts. They’re both going to end up being a really good combo.
“David Dudeck is a soldier. He takes a lot of reps and it doesn’t phase him mentally or physically, and he can play anywhere on the field.”
Malachi Moore Out
Addazio confirmed that sophomore defensive end Malachi Moore will not play this season.
“He’s not going to be able to play this season,” Addazio said. “He has a couple of issues that the medical people are working on that I’m really not at liberty to talk about but it does not appear that he will play this year.”
When asked about freshman that have stood out at camp, Addazio mentioned defensive end Kevin Kavelac’s impressive play so far.
Crimmins Grabs Starting Job
Chase Rettig’s tallest target got a vote of confidence from his head coach after practice.
“Danny Crimmins has completely worked his way into being a starting receiver,” Addazio said.
At 6-foot-5, Crimmins is the only BC wideout with significant size. 6-foot-4 freshman Charlie Callinan has missed some time in the preseason with an injury, Addazio said.
“I’ve got to be a physical receiver,” Crimmins said. “I’ve got to catch the ball in traffic. I’m going to have DBs on me, I’ve got to have strong hands.
“I think going up for the ball, that’s just something I was blessed with in my size and my leaping ability.”
Crimmins said even when he was growing up playing pickup football, it has always been natural for him to go up and grab the ball out of the air rather than letting it come to him.
While some coaches can keep things vanilla during camp, Addazio has intentionally made his offense and his defense use multiple sets throughout the preseason.
“I think the fact that we’re multiple on offense and the fact that we’re multiple on defense gets each other’s sides more ready,” Addazio said. “We’re not going to be shocked by a team that shows up with multiple offense or multiple defense. We’ve learned how to handle that.
“Our offense sees every look known to man and every pressure known to man.”
It’s given Rettig a lot to handle so far, with both the spread and the power run game, but Addazio said that he will down shift to a more finite game plan heading into week one. He thinks honing in on Villanova and shrinking things down for this game will help make his team sharp.
Addazio has been openly concerned with depth, but he’s pleased with the play of his starters, especially in a new offense.
“We’re very shorthanded on playmakers so when guys aren’t in there our level drops,” Addazio said. “But when our guys are in there we can make plays on offense and defense. We can.”
He said the team is a “pain in the rear end to prepare for” and Williams agreed.
“We’re really looking to tempo the defense,” Williams said. “We have a pretty unique offense where we’re going to be able to run the power game under center—one back, two back—and also we’re going to be able to run the spread game.”
Addazio On Game One
“Hey, game one? I’ve been around all kinds of game ones and all kinds of different teams. I’ve seen game one be—you come out and you’re ripping and snorting. I’ve seen you stumble and bumble in game one and then you come back and have a hell of a year. Sometimes people, I think personally, over-evaluate the performance of a team in game one. Here’s my expectation for game one: win. That’s it. It’s always been that way.
“I’ve watched too many teams over the past be, like, well we should win by this amount of points and then at halftime if that’s not happening there’s, like, other frustration everywhere. Game one is about one thing and one thing only. Win the game, because it’s going to get ugly. It’s your first time in the arena. It’s going to happen. That’s how I like to handle things game one. Just win the game. Don’t get all caught up in this stat and that number. I know everyone will and everyone does. You guys (the media) have to do your job. I get all that. But at the end of the day, just win is all that matters.
“And then improve week two and improve week three. And then, to me weeks three and four is where you start to see—unless injuries kill you—in week three or four is where you really start to see the personality of what that team is really capable or not capable of. That’s our expectation. We’ll get as prepared as we can for game one. We’ll play as hard as we can for game one. We’ll have no expectation other than win the game.”
Josh Bordner remains sidelined in a knee brace.
“It’s very concerning,” Addazio said. “Bordner getting dinged up is not a positive thing for us. We’ve got to get him back. He’s missed a lot of camp right now and we were really counting on him. That’s probably the biggest hit we’ve taken in camp.”
Mike Marscovetra and James Walsh are both competing for the backup job, but Bordner has not yet been ruled out for the Villanova game.
Addazio also said that fullback Jake Sinkovec, who had a breakout year in 2012, will be out a while and would not give a timeline for his return. Redshirt freshman Bobby Wolford has been moved from linebacker to fullback as a replacement for Sinkovec.
The team limited hitting today after a rough day of practice yesterday. The players have the day off tomorrow before beginning Villanova preparation on Friday and Saturday. Addazio said he wants to treat Friday like a game-week Tuesday and Saturday like a game-week Tuesday or Wednesday in order to get a little head for the opener.
“Friday we’re running around like crazy people,” Addazio said of the Villanova prep.
Captains will be announced in the new couple days.