Press conferences can frankly be a lot of words with only a few nuggets buried beneath. At the least, there are a few words often worth heeding from the many. So here is my condensed version of Tuesday's press conference, taking some paraphrases and a few quotes to hit on the highlights...
BC Coach Tom O'Brien
On the UConn game
"Our guys thought it was just another football game coming int. But I am happy with how we responded, and we played well in the second half. We won the game, and that's the most important thing."
"We know they are very explosive on offense, where they are returning most of the nucleus. All reports indicate that they may have a more talented and athletic defense, as well."
Do you watch Stanford, Florida or San Diego Chargers film for offense?
"We have looked at all three. But they can't do everything..."
On expectations to the downside with Chris Lewis out
"It probably will have some impact. Anytime you start a freshman, it's a fact that it's going to be his first college game. There has to be a drop-off, I hope."
"It's been a long preseason, but a fairly productive one... The learning curve has been fairly steep."
On Boston College
Impressed with defensive frontline and offensive line. Called DT Goodman "as impressive a player as I've seen." "Very physical." "Run extremely well." Noted that QB St. Pierre can tuck ball away and run, praised receivers for ability to run after the catch.
On Kyle Matter
Stressed more than once that Kyle is "intelligent" and has a "great understanding" of the offense. Says he has "responded very effectively" since the news Friday that he will start at BC. "Some guys crumple under pressure; I thought he stepped up."
On the rest of the offense
RBs can "help settle Kyle down." Sees strength in a "variety of receivers," which he intends to use "in a variety of sets." Overall wants to "keep people off-balance" with the offense, though keeping it clean.
On the defense
They may be young and filling in the shoes of graduated starters, but the "replacements have played football before." Singled out the defensive interior, including OJ Oshinowo, who can play. Sees "five or six guys who can play," which helps not just for this game but throughout the season. Julian Jenkins "has really made an impact this preseason. LBs are "aggressive" and talented. DBs are new and "they have never been hung out to dry before." "Depth is a bit of a concern (there)."
On special teams
Likes Sgroi and noted the improvements he and Tom Quinn have achieved already in footwork this camp. Eric Johnson "has really made great progress." Noted particularly that moving him away from placekicking has really helped. The overall philosophy for special teams is "try to get the best players on the field." "Critical point is running fast in all facets" - both return and coverage units.
On first game anticipation
As a coach, "the older you get, the more mature you become... My task and role is to encourage and support the guys." For the team, "they are at the point right now where they are tired of hitting the guy across from them." "Though we have some young guys, we have a mature people on this team."
On BC's offensive response to a young Stanford defense
"I think they'll run the offense... I doubt they will step outside what they do.
On Stanford injuries
Cited the obvious ones for Caleb Bowman and Josiah Vinson, but says overall in good shape with some guys having "bumps and bruises." "We tried to be intelligent in the preseason... I think the off-season training has paid dividends so far."
TJ Rushing will be early on involved in "some substitution packages" and "special teams packages." Frosh O-line is "coming along," but "bigger guys take longer" to be ready to play. Cited Jon Cochran and David Beall for great progress, but nobody is "ready for prime time."