As many of you know, today was 2011 Boston College Football Media Day. This was my first opportunity to actually act like a member of the press, ask players questions and sit in on Frank Spaziani's press conference. It was held in the dungeons of Conte Forum -- a place devoid of all cell phone reception -- so Tweets and text messages weren't going to go through.
There were quite a few big name reporters at the event: Amelie Benjamin and Mark Blaudschun of the Boston Globe, Jon Meterparel of WEEI and Brian St. Pierre. The former Eagles quarterback, who played as recently as last season in the NFL, will be manning the sidelines during Eagles football games this year along with Jayme Parker.
In an effort to milk this event as much as humanly possible, I will be unveiling some of the interview that I sat in on during the event. Those will include Chase Rettig, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Luke Kuechly, as well as a review of BC's new uniforms. Today we will focus solely on Coach Frank Spaziani's press conference.
As someone who has been a harsh critic of Spaz, I have to say I was taken by his energy for this season. He started off the press conference acknowledging the difficult schedule that lies ahead for BC. But he made no excuses, and made the teams goal clear -- not to be a mediocre team, but to "Win the Atlantic, the ACC Championship Game and the Orange Bowl." He sounded ready and confident to beat any of the difficult opponents. See fans, we are all on the same page here.
Right off the bat Spaz was asked about Chase Rettig, who many believe is ready for a break out season. The Coach continued to lavish praise on his young quarterback, saying that Rettig matured physically and mentally during the offseason. (Meeting with Rettig, I'd have to agree, but we shall save that for another post). He said it felt good to have the quarterback situation squared away before the season started. He couldn't answer the question about the health of Montel Harris, rightfully saying that he couldn't say if the running backs knee was completely heeled until he saw him in game situation. Could this be an issue as the season starts? No one is sure.
Spaz talked a lot about the great combination of experience and youthful energy the football team this year. He brought up sophomore WRs Bobby Swigert and Alex Amidon, who he said were tired and beat up by the end of last season, but are much faster and stronger this year. He also mentioned that Ifeanyi Momah had lost 20 pounds this off season as well. He seems to expect a lot out of his receiving corp this season. Take that for what its worth.
Spaz seemed kind of hands off about the offense, which makes me wonder if Kevin Rogers will be calling the entire game for the offense. Spaz did promise at the end of the press conference "that we will be better on offense" this year. We all hope so.
On the defensive end Coach Spaziani quickly defended his passing defense saying "one stat that matters is points allowed" and we have been in the top 20 in the country for the past six years. So it appears there will be no change in the blitzing, packaging schemes from years past. There was a question also about the lack of leadership now that Mark Herzlich was gone. Spaz said that there is no way to quantify what Herzlich meant to the team, but there are plenty of new leaders ready to step up (Kuechly and Donnie Fletcher).
All in all it was a pretty standard Press Conference, but I have to say I kind of dig Coach Spaziani now. Meeting the man actually changed the way I see him. Go figure.