Steve Addazio Weekly News Conference Transcript and Video

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Steve Addazio Weekly News Conference Transcript: Sept. 4

BC opens 2017 home slate   Saturday vs. Wake Forest

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STEVE ADDAZIO: Great thing about being 1-0, we’ve got a chance to be 2-0. Got a good road win. We’re opening up ACC play, starting here with Wake Forest at home, really good opponent.

We’ve got a lot of respect for their program, always have. I know Dave Clawson very well. I know what kind of coach he is. We’ve played him now; this is going on our fifth year. They’re going to be a well put together, well-prepared football team. So this will be quite a good matchup here at home, which is exciting, and we’re looking forward to it.

We’ve got a big week of preparation ahead of us, but as I said earlier, it’s always nice to be preparing with a win under your belt than the other way around, as 60-some-odd teams are right now.

We’ve got a lot of work to do. We took a lot out of that game, a lot of things that we can work on, and we’re excited about where we’re headed. Any questions?

Q. Now that you have week one in the books, can you explain in your mind what was the competitive advantage of holding on to your quarterback decision until the start?
STEVE ADDAZIO: I just think you never know exactly what that competitive advantage is. There’s just no advantage to saying it. I guess I’d look at it like that. What would we have gained by saying something? I don’t know what we’d gain by not, but I know we wouldn’t have gained anything by saying something. We knew what we were doing. There was no mystery on our end. So it’s not my obligation to let the world know what we’re doing.

I think it was important, under the circumstances that we had — you never know what is going to affect your opponent in their mindset, when you sit on the other side of that. Like, well, maybe I’ll do this, and maybe I’ll do that. Whether you’d be right or not, you don’t know that. But I’m just saying, with no decision from us, it’s hard to make a decision on the other end. With the decision for us, you can make decisions on the other end.

What are they? I don’t have the foggiest idea and really don’t care. That’s why.

Q. The second one is how is Jon Baker — I know he came out that one play and came right back in. It was a tight spot you were in having to put Lindstrom in for him, loses his redshirt.
STEVE ADDAZIO: He’s prepared to play. Yeah, he’s prepared to play. So he went in, did a great job on that play, and that’s where we roll.

Like I said, today’s Monday. We don’t really have the full extent of where we are on any health matters right now. Usually, we have a better feel for that when I release an injury report at the end of the week. But my hope is that we’ll be at full capacity.

Q. Jon left the field and came back.
STEVE ADDAZIO: He did, yeah, finished the game.

Q. Another big turning point appeared to be when you took Lazard out and put Lindstrom over to right tackle and Phillips over to right guard. Why did you decide to make the decision at that point, and is that a lineup you’ll use going forward?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, we just roll. We said going into the game — yeah, I think I did say that. We’re going to roll those guys. We’re going to play with seven guys. Our goal — we ran 91 or 92 plays. We have to roll these guys. It just has to happen.

So we decided right from the get go — in fact, we really were going to play Petrula, and the game got tight and all that, and we didn’t put him in the game. But our full intent was to play Petrula and roll him as well. So you can count on seeing all that happening. That’s going to happen. We’re going to play anywhere from six to seven to eight offensive linemen and actually wish we had gotten him in the game. I’m kind of upset that didn’t happen because that was our plan and intent.

Like a lot of things sometimes, when things get real, real tight, you start to stop the rotations. We played A.J., but our intent is to play him, obviously, a whole lot more than we did. So you can count on that as well. That will happen.

Q. You mentioned too you have over 90 plays in the game. If that was the average for the whole season, it would have been better than Baylor, which was No. 1 last year. Is that the kind of level you want to go at in every single game?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, we’re going to push it. Obviously, that’s going to be dictated by how many times you can get first downs. You get three and outs, you’re not going to ratchet up very many plays. That’s part of the deal of that whole thing. One thing we were able to do was get first downs. What we had a harder time doing was sustaining some good drives. We had some good drives that failed due to penalties or due to some drops.

What’s hidden in there — and that’s fine — is that we had a few opportunities to really — we gave away 100 yards of offense that way. It’s Game 1, but that’s got to change because we want that back. Usually, you have a chance to run 91 plays, that’s the opportunity to generate more. That’s what we’re trying to do is generate more offense, and that will all come. That will all come.

We played against an opponent that was pretty good.

They’re going to win a lot of games, both sides of the ball. That’s the thing. At their place at 9:30 our time at night, went on the road, a freshman quarterback — a lot of things were there in place, and to be able to overcome all that, we’re only going to grow. That’s going to help us.

I’m so much happier that it went that way right now sitting here with a win. If you don’t sit here with a win, you’re not. But we’re sitting here with a win, and that win only builds you. It only builds you. Cake walks early don’t help you at all. They just mask whatever little issues you have, they mask them, and then they come out when you face a good opponent.

Q. The 42 throws, that’s — to your team — I think you’ve only thrown more than 30 like three times. One, how much of an adjustment was that even in calling plays on the sideline, just watching — I’m sure Scott was (indiscernible). For you, how much of a different philosophy was that?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Everybody thinks like that, my philosophy is just run the football. That’s not accurate. I’ve been saying that, but it’s whatever. My philosophy is try to do what you have the best chance to do based on the players you have. That’s always been my philosophy.

We’re finally at a point where we have some receivers, guys that can run and guys that can catch. We’re throwing the ball pretty well right now. So that’s encouraging to me to want to be able to utilize that part of our game plan.

But to throw it just to throw it, in the last few years, it really hasn’t been — wouldn’t have been the right thing to do based on the talent, you know. And we’re — my goal, our goal was to have an offense where we would have more balance and where we would be able to attack people the way we are right now. Ultimately, this is what I wanted — where I wanted to be. But you got to get the personnel right. Otherwise, what are you saying?

Not to go back — we have this historical conversation a lot, and I probably bore you with it — but year one we did what we had to do based on what we had. Year two, we certainly did what we had to do based on — I can’t tell you about it. I don’t even know what that was. We’re playing with a walk-on freshman quarterback at one point. I can’t explain that to you. And we lost our tailback. Last year we formulated to where we started to piece together where we wanted to head, but we were too young then. And now we’re back to where we want to — kind of got the pieces. Now we just want to develop it.

It’s all about one thing right now, improving now. Get it better. I was really proud of the way Anthony played, did some really fabulous things. But there’s a lot of growth there that has to occur right now. With a little bit more growth there, which he’ll get because he’s a real ball guy — and Darius, both of those guys. There’s a lot of meat on the bone right there, I’m just telling you, in the throw game.

I would say to you that the one piece — I think I said this right after the game. I felt like we should have run the ball a little better than we did inside the tackles. We’re fine with our perimeter game, but inside the tackles, that’s not good enough where we were. But that will improve as well because we’re trying to get both of them up here right now as opposed to, like, boom, right here. But that’s all going to come. That’s all going to come. I’m excited about that.

Q. Can you talk about the secondary and just how, both in the pass and run defense, how they seem to be able to step up and make plays, breaking down passes and then stopping the run as well, and lending support to the linebackers.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I think we have a veteran secondary. We had a couple of issues during the game.

I think that they were 2 of 15 on third down. That tells you something. It also tells you about the level of — you know, the hidden deal in that game, it’s not going to show in the stat line. The hidden deal was the amount of times he was hurried and hit, which led to 2-15.

We didn’t — there were several times they were max protecting, getting two-man routes, and the ball was — quick game, ball out immediately, really making it hard for us to, per se, get the stats on the sacks. But the hits and the hurries took a toll, and at the end of the day, what are they on third down? They’re 2-15.

Now, we let up a couple of big plays, and a couple of big plays really, really hurt us. It was a couple of big plays, and it was a couple of humongous penalties that kept, for example, the one big drive, the 16-play drive alive. So I think we’re working well together as a defensive unit right now complementing each other, and I think the goal is to just alleviate a couple of big plays, which we’ll do.

You know, kind of take away, sort of speak what they’re giving us, you know. And I thought we managed that piece of it really well.

Q. And in terms of kind of seeing the Northern Illinois offense first, how does that kind of translate those same styles, what you’ll see with Wake Forest? Are there going to be kind of little differences you’ll need to adjust to?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, there’s a little bit of difference. I’ll tell you, I thought Northern — they do a heck of a job. I mean, schematically, that quarterback was a tough, competitive guy. He could hurt you with his feet. He stood in there, got the ball out. He took a lot of hits. I thought they did a great job. I thought he did a great job.

I think where I’m going with that commentary is I think Wolford is that kind of guy. He’s a real, tough, gamey, take a shot, deliver the ball, can hurt you with his feet kind of guy. That’s where the similarity is.

Schematically, are there some — yeah, there’s some, but a little bit different football team. But they have a similar kind of quarterback. This kid was bigger, but I love Wolford now. I think that kid’s as good a competitive kid as there is out there, and I really think he’s a heck of a football player.

Q. There were a lot of weird week one results, where a lot of teams, favored teams lost, underdogs coming up. How much of weird outcomes do you see in week one? How does it help you moving forward just to get through the first week?
STEVE ADDAZIO: As we said here before, that’s what week one is. Week one, if you notice, like when you play a solid opponent on the road in week one, it presents a fair amount of challenges. It really does. More than just a passing glance.

So I think what you see is you see some — I mean, we saw teams struggling week one that were playing at home. You know, you don’t have a great beat on everybody yesterday, and things can step up on you. I think sometimes if bigger teams are playing smaller teams, it’s not the same as when you’re getting ready to play a conference opponent that you know. There’s a lot of little factors in week one.

And sometimes little things have to be worked out like how do you measure this, right? I think I said this earlier. When you play an inferior opponent, really inferior opponent, and you just kind of have your way with them, your issues don’t — I don’t care who you are. Your issues don’t really show up, and you feel pretty good about what you got done, and you don’t attack heavily the problems because you don’t really see them, and then that can really get you in week two and week three.

Whereas we had a great look at some of the issues we had where some of the problems came up. We attacked them right away, and we’ll spend all week ironing those things out. What does that mean in the big picture? That can only help you. You don’t want to get confronted with that with a better opponent week two because, if you’re playing a good opponent and they stymie a little bit, that usually can cost you.

So I think, you know, week one is full of all of this, and that’s why you have a lot more upsets in week one. Probably still have a few in week two. And then that thing will start to smooth out a little bit in week three.

Your goal is to make huge strides of improvement. Barring injuries, you’re hoping to make really good improvement from week one to week two, and in order to do that, you’ve got to be highly motivated because you know you need to. You follow me? If you feel like maybe, hey, we’re okay here, that’s when I think it can rise right up and bite you hard.

So I’m thrilled that we have plenty of stuff out of that game that we know we’ve got to get better at. I mean, that’s great. And the kids know it because sometimes that’s the other piece of this. They feel pretty good, and it’s like whoa. But we have their full attention, full attention, which is a good thing.

Q. So I just noticed your receivers had ten carries in the football game. Is that the perimeter run game until the between the tackles gets established?
STEVE ADDAZIO: No, just period. We want to stretch the field right now, horizontally and vertically. In fact, I really felt like we probably needed a few more vertical throws down the field in that game. So we want you to defend us horizontally, vertically, and interiorly. Otherwise, what happens is you start getting these blitz-a-thons on you. We want to defend them. We want people to defend the whole field.

So that’s a very — that’s a very important piece of our attack right now. That’s not some game plan thing. Defend the field, and here are the different ways it’s going to come at you. The formations may change, schematics, just because that’s game planning and stuff like that. But philosophically, we’re going to attack every quadrant of the field, in the run game and in the throw game.

That’s — you know, I’ll sit there today and go through that grid and make sure that, as we game plan, we’re threatening every quadrant of this field right now and are actually going to do it. I think in the past people would feel like we don’t have to worry about this, we don’t have to worry about this, we don’t have to worry about this. Well, that’s not really the case right now. I say that, if they saw anything in week one, they saw that.

Q. And I just heard your comments after the game that you weren’t happy with the kicking game out of camp. Was Colton just a hunch?
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah. I wasn’t thrilled during preseason camp. Just we grade everything. So I mean, the facts are the facts that there wasn’t a great amount of consistency there. But Colton graded a little better in field goals, and ultimately, I had to make that decision. That’s the decision I made. It proved to be right week one. That doesn’t matter anymore. Now we’re in week two. So we’ll see what week two brings.

You know, it’s kind of like a lot of these decisions sometimes. Sometimes they’re easy, sometimes they’re kind of gray, and sometimes they’re really hard. We made a couple of really tough decisions in week one, and in week one, it looks like they were probably fairly accurate. But as you guys — I’ve been doing this a long time — know, week two is a whole new set of groceries. So we’ll see what we do great, and we’ll go from there. That’s all you can do.

Here’s the beautiful thing. There’s a lot of potential out there right now. It’s very easy to see. You’re talking about young guys, older guys, guys that can make plays, both sides of the ball. There’s athleticism. There’s speed. There’s talent. There’s quarterbacks, which is that critical apex of the whole team that has to happen, that have that ability. So that’s pretty evident now.

Now you’re just a work in progress, trying to develop your football team, plain and simple, like everybody else, and hope to God that you stay as healthy as you can because that can really shape and affect you pretty hard.

Q. Colton graded out better last year at Georgia Tech.
STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, you got it. Sometimes you get to the point where you say to yourself, you’ve got to pull the extraneous things out, meaning whatever shaped you, and say here’s the body of work, here’s the grades for the body of work. That is real criteria. Roll on the real criteria. Otherwise, it becomes subjective, and sometimes I think that’s when you can get yourself into trouble a little bit. Other than you also have to have some gut feeling too.

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