Lunch With The Players

On Wednesday Boston College held a for the media to spend some time with the players in a casual atmosphere. This is not mandatory for players, but all are encouraged to attend if they are not in class. Eagle Insider was there to pick up a few things about the 2009 Eagles so far.

On Saturday, Billy Flutie snagged a 26-yard pass from David Shinskie in the third quarter, making him the only current Eagle to throw for a touchdown and catch a touchdown pass.

During his time with the Eagles, Flutie has been an everything-man, playing all over the field on offense and on special teams, highlighted by a memorable play against Maryland on November 29, 2008. Flutie, serving as the holder, executed a fake field goal play and threw a touchdown pass to Jordon McMichael to put BC up 21-7, helping push the Eagles toward a second consecutive berth in the ACC Championship Game.

Perhaps partly due to this play, as well as Flutie's legendary bloodlines, the spring season was abuzz with rumors that Billy Flutie was considered an option at quarterback as the Eagles struggled to find a starter for the fall.

"I got some snaps at quarterback, and yeah, I was excited about it," Flutie said. "But we went out and were able to recruit some guys at the position."

"I'm still an emergency guy if anything happens [at QB]," he added.

But Flutie feels that finally, after serving the team all over the field, he has found his role on the team as a wide receiver.

"I've found my niche on the field as a fourth receiver," Flutie said. "I'll play all over the field to get into the game and do my part. I want to help out wherever I can."

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Freshman linebacker Luke Kuechly was thrust into a starting position on Saturday as the Eagles' thinned linebacker corps took another hit with the injury of Will Thompson. Kuechly responded by turning in an eye-opening debut performance, registering seven tackles, including six solo tackles.

"Thompson is getting better, and we hope he'll be back as soon as he can," said Kuechly, adding that specific details about his return are still unknown.

But thanks to the guidance of Thompson as well as some of the veteran members of the defense, Kuechly is prepared to continue to start for BC.

"The learning curve was tough in the beginning," said Kuechly. "But the upperclassmen really helped – everyone on the D, really, but particularly [Mike] McLaughlin and Thomspon," he said.

"They made it easy for me to get into the flow… I'm a lot better prepared now than I was at the beginning [of camp] because of their help."

Like the rest of his teammates, Kuechly knows that the heat will be turned up as the Eagles face tougher opponents in the coming weeks.

"We looked at the film of the Northeastern game and obviously it was a lot of fun, but we've got a long way to go," he said.

"The opponents are going to get stronger and faster. I'm gonna have some jitters, but I'll be ready."

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Dave Shinskie showed up to the media luncheon wearing a fresh, black Boston Bruins t-shirt.

"Are you a hockey fan, Dave?," asked one of the gathered reporters.

"Nah, I just love Boston now," he said with a grin.

Shinskie has adjusted well in his early days as a 25-year-old BC freshman, impressive in his maiden voyage with a 7-for-10 performance, throwing for 110 yards and a touchdown. He also appeared poised in the pocket.

After a year of watching two starters struggle under center, that's all BC fans are really looking for. Shinskie hopes that he'll be able to deliver.

"Things went well," he said. "We had a lot of things to work on, but they were small things to iron out."

Shinskie is battling the lingering effects of a broken rib suffered in training camp, but he says he is doing better than expected.

"The ribs feel fine. It was good to get a couple hits out of my system," he said.

A more vexing battle for Shinskie is his battle with Justin Tuggle for the role of starter. While Shinskie and Tuggle have a good relationship off the field and support one another, Shinskie does not hide the fact that he wants to win the starting position outright.

"It's up to the coach," he said. "Obviously, I'd like to be the starter… but competing every day makes you better."

Responding to a question about whether the unknown quarterback situation is a motivator, Shinskie laughed and said "well, I'd rather know."

As of now, Shinskie is unsure whether or not an official starter will be named before BC's ACC opener at Clemson next Saturday afternoon. For the Kent State game, Tuggle and Shinskie will continue to share snaps, with Mike Marscovetra and Codi Boek likely to get some looks as well, similar to the Northeastern game. But as of now, it's anyone's guess what the game plan will be at QB against Clemson.

"[Tuggle] and I have different styles, so there's a chance that one could go in on a passing down, one could go in on a running down," he said. "But I'd like to be the guy."


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