The Boston College Eagles lost the bulk of their offense and key cogs on the defense. This season, young and unproven players will have to step up if the Eagles want to become bowl-eligible for the third consecutive year. At a press conference Thursday, head coach Steve Addazio and a handul o players were quizzed on a plethora of topics, including how the budding players are progressing through preseason practices.
With close to three-quarters of the roster freshmen or sophmores, Addazio said that "every day is a complete development day. Every day has a new set of challenges that seem to occur."
The offensive line, which the third-year coach admitted needs work, said that the guys up front is "still a work in progress" and that the coaching staff has yet to determine who the starting five will be. With only two offensive lineman with college experience "nothing is as clear as it was for our staff in year one (2013) or year two (2014). There is more talent on the roster from top to bottom, which makes it tough to decide who plays and who doesn't."
Addazio, who was the offensive coordinator at Florida before taking over the head coach position at BC, believes the offensive line will be really good, just not yet and that getting the offensive line ready for a tough ACC schedule will be as he said, a "huge challenge:"
"The good news is that in that not so distant future we will have one of the best offensive lines in the country. But no one wants to hear about that now - nor do I. They want to hear about what’s going on right now. So we are going to have to make the adjustments now. We used to be able to play a lot of the run game but we can’t do that right now. I can’t sleep right now trying to get that group of front to play at a high level. It’s going to be a mighty job. I saw some encouragement today [at practice], which was nice, but we have a way to go with that group. We have a ways to go.”
But the Eagles have a leader up front that, according to starting quarterback Darius Wade, as Harris Williams has been "the glue" for the inexperienced offensive line. According to the sophmore gunslinger, Williams "is showing all of the young guys how to prepare and how to be a good offensive lineman, how to go through film study and a lot of the different things that they wouldn’t have known. We don’t have anyone else with that type of experience. He’s definitely going to lead that group and he has definitely shown that he is our biggest leader for our team as a whole. We are really excited to have him back.”
Williams also spoke at the press conference and said that working with the new playesr has given him confidence and that "he is "teaching them and they are teaching me back. It’s been a great learning experience so far.”
But as a fifth-year senior, he understands that his presence will benefit the future of the football program at Boston College:
“I can see how, for the program, my being around today is helpful for the younger guys. I always have confidence in my coaches, so whether I’m here or not, the staff would have the guys ready. I’m just looking to make the best of this year.”
Senior wide receiver David Dudeck is "just trying to help wherever [he] can." And that competition among the players is really benefiting the team:
"One of the things our coaches stress is competition, and every day we’re going out there to compete and compete against each other. As an offense, we’re going up against a very strong defensive unit that’s showing us different looks, it only helps us get better.”
Dudeck said that "it all starts with game one," when the Eagles take on the Maine Black Bears on Sep. 5.