Boston College Football Practice Report No. 1
Eagles open preseason camp in the state-of-the-art Fish Field House
|CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – After a wave of positive momentum throughout the off-season, the Boston College football team returned to the practice field for the first official practice of the 2018 season Friday. The Eagles practiced in the new state-of-the-art Fish Field House for over two hours in helmets as the NCAA’s five-day acclimatization period started.
The Eagles will wear just helmets again Saturday before wearing helmets and shoulder pads on Sunday and Monday. Following an off day on Tuesday, BC will don full pads for the first time on Wednesday.
Head coach Steve Addazio addressed the media following practice and was pleased with the team’s energy and effort.
“The older you are, the more strengths there are, the quicker you hit the ground running and looking more like you should look,” said Addazio. “Usually it takes a little time and you build into it, but we were fairly efficient today.”
The Eagles had the services of just about the entire roster during Friday’s practice as only redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Elijah Johnson was not a full participant as he recovers from injury.
BC continues preseason camp Saturday morning inside Fish Field House.
News and notes: A pair of former Eagles were in attendance Friday as former offensive lineman and St. Joseph’s Regional head coach Augie Hoffman along with former fullback J.P. Comella watched from the sideline … redshirt sophomore punter Grant Carlson tested the height of the Fish Field House ceiling (69 feet) as he routinely was driving punts 40-45 yards … redshirt sophomore quarterback Anthony Brown was a full participant along with graduate student Jon Baker at center. Both players are recovered from knee injuries … BC’s veteran offensive line from left to right of Aaron Monteiro, Sam Schmal, Baker, Chris Lindstrom and Ben Petrula was the first grouping up front for the Eagles … sophomore quarterback EJ Perry hit redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kobay White in stride on a deep post during team work … Perry looked comfortable under center with several nice throws on the day … sophomore running back AJ Dillon looked the part of an every down running back, showing great hands as a receiver … senior wide receiver Elijah Robinson made two tight-rope, sideline receptions during 7-on-7 work.
Select Quotes from Head Coach Steve Addazio
On the tempo of day one:
“The older you are, the more strengths there are, the quicker you hit the ground running and looking more like you should look. Usually, it takes a little time and you build into it, but we were fairly efficient today.”
On the health of the team:
“The only guy that’s not practicing right now is Elijah Johnson. He’s still rehabbing. He’s in route to get there, but he’s the only guy who’s not good-to-go right now, but everybody else is cleared to go.”
On quarterback Anthony Brown:
“He looks great. He had a nice first day today. He’s a competitive guy. He has a lot of body gestures if his throw is not right and he’s got to lose all that. It is what it is, man. You’re coming back and it’s day-by-day for everybody. Just go to the next play and get ready to roll. We’re kind of easing him back as well. I thought he did great. He’s on top of everything.”
On practicing in the new Fish Field House:
“[The players] were jacked up. We started practice and the sound system was absolutely incredible. The music was going; the videoboard was up and it was just a big-time atmosphere. You can’t help but feel great. A couple of former players were here today and they were taking this all in with big smiles like, ‘this is unbelievable’. This is a big-time facility. This is as nice as you get in the country right here so our kids were in awe. They loved it.”
On simplifying the first day of practice:
“What we try in day one is keep things vanilla. On defense, we’re not running blitzes and pressures and movements and twists. Just kind of playing base, playing zone coverage. On offense, keeping it kind of vanilla. Let everybody focus on their fundamentals. We keep that going for about two days and then little-by-little start installing some more sophistication on offense, defense and stuff like that. It’s not about, right now, the offense trying to get over on the defense or the defense trying to get over on the offense. It’s about team development early on in training camp. We have such great cohesion here on our staff that it’s easy.”
On the buzz surrounding the team:
“We talked about it in the spring with our team. We want to take the next step. How do you take the next step? What is the next step? We have to look at how we can improve to take the next step. First of all, we have to own our identity. That’s number one. Number two, we have to attack the areas that we needed to fix from a year ago and we have to systematically go about attacking them. One of the things that we started in the spring, which we’re going to pick back up here, is sudden change. What is a sudden change? All the situations that arise, you’ve got to win those. We have a series of things that we feel like we have to improve. We’re trying to take all the things that we have identified as things that we need to improve and we are systematically attacking those. The whole team can say, ‘okay, this is what we worked on, this is how we got better at it and this is how we’re going to take another step’. There’s a lot of pieces to that.”
On veteran leadership of the offensive line:
“[Chris Lindstrom] and Jon Baker have the most starts under them here. We’ve got seven guys that have got 10 starts. I just think the leadership up front, what you’ll see happen sometimes if you’re not veteran up front everything else just kind of falls apart, but that isn’t going to happen with these guys up front. They know what they’re doing. Then you have the leadership and the mentality of guys like Chris and Jon. They really drive that unit. That’s why it’s so critical. It all starts up front. If you want to have a good football team, it starts up front and of course, your quarterback is an integral piece of that. He’s got to be a great leader and a guy that’s time-tested. We have these pieces in our football team right now.”
On new NCAA redshirt and clock rules:
“[The redshirt rule is] the most significant rule change. Last year, I played EJ Perry for a few plays. That never has to happen again. It’s all about player welfare. Because now you can play a younger guy and it’s not going to cost him a year over a quarter, a half, a game or whatever. That to me is a huge rule change that I think is a real positive. One of the tougher rule changes after you score a touchdown is the clock. Especially if you want to go for two. You’ve got to get the attention of the officials for where the ball is placed and the clock is already going.”
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