EA Sports NCAA '14 is out in stores, and one of the coolest new features is the ability to play as a variety of former NCAA players, including Heisman winners. To help promote the new game, Boston College legend Doug Flutie graciously talked with BC Interruption on the phone about the new game, Boston College football, his charity work, and the progression of Chase Rettig.
BC Interruption: You are one of many previous NCAA featured in EA Sports '14. What makes you excited about being featured in this game?
Doug Flutie: Here I am at 50 years old, and there is a video game with me on it, kids are playing video games in NCAA '14. You can see me alive and well, and relevant. It's kind of exciting from my standpoint because I haven't played college football in 30 years, and yet there is NCAA '14 that has me out there, and connected with kids. You can play as me in Ultimate Team and Challenge mode, and put Doug Flutie out there on whatever team, and line up Barry Sanders, Bo Jackson or Herschel Walker as the back, it's pretty cool.
BCI: Awesome! Glad to hear that being in these games has been a good experience and helped you reconnect with a younger audience. A dedication to realism is another hallmark for NCAA '14. What are some of the ways the game is even more realistic this season?
Flutie: NCAA '14 is all about realism this year. Each team has a very realistic play book, whether it's the spread, or option. The game models a true NCAA playbook. Also the stadium, cheers and music is also realistic.
BCI: Now talking about the current quarterbacks in the NCAA. Who are some of the quarterbacks that have impressed you recently in college football?
Flutie: Johnny Manziel would have to be number one, no doubt about it. He came along as a freshman with pure athleticism, stole the show, and is a phenomenal passer. You realize he is a great passer, his athleticism overshadows that. Tajh Boyd over at Clemson is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Braxton Miller, Aaron Murray at Georgia is one of the best drop back guys. A.J. McCarron at Alabama, I mean he has proven that when everything is on the line, and there is pressure, that he can carry that team by throwing the football.
There are a number of guys around, Marcus Mariota in Oregon, has a different style where he is going to be running a little more than he is throwing. The pure athleticism of some of these guys is amazing. Devin Gardner, I'll tell you what, he is always been athletic, and has a big arm, I've been down on him before. But what I have heard about him so far from Michigan during the offseason is that he is really improving and getting the ball downfield.
BCI: Let's switch over to Boston College, there has been a new coaching staff this offseason who have brought a lot of excitement back to BC football. The fans, recruits and players all have seemed to jump aboard. What are your thoughts on the new staffs work so far? Have you had a chance to talk to Coach Addazio yet?
Flutie: I had a chance to talk to Steve when he first got the job that first week. The number one thing that jumps out at you is his attitude and approach and the energy he brings. The school needed a shot in the arm, and Steve is the right guy. He is a fiery guy, not afraid to get in your face, a little bit loud and flamboyant. BC needed that. He worked the teams tail off this offseason to see who wanted to be there.
Things had been in a passive mode, Spaz had been there a while, and they needed that shot in the arm.
BCI: Chase Rettig is now entering his third full season as a starter. What are your thoughts on his potential this year as the BC quarterback?
Flutie: I talked to Chase Rettig a little bit, and I'll tell you what, Chase has a great arm and he's athletic. He's a quality quarterback who has had a bunch of offensive coordinators and can't get comfortable in the system. Is it fair to him that one offensive coordinator quit, and then the tight end coach took over? It was a mess. I think he's finally in an offense where he can be successful, and the crime is he only has one year to do it. It's just a shame there.
I don't think this year is about the talent level. We have got some guys, we have some different receivers and backs, and skill positions, we will be fine. It's more about attitude and approach.
BCI: Will you be attending some BC football games again this season?
Flutie: I don't think so, because of my weekend commitment to my job, working with NBC covering football, mostly Notre Dame. I usually get to one or two games, but I don't know how the schedule is going to work out this year. I am looking at the schedule right now, and the one weekend I know I have open is September 14th and BC will be at USC. So that won't be happening.
BCI: Charity has always been a big part of your life. Does the Doug Flutie Foundation have any other events coming up that you would like to let BC fans know about?
Flutie: In the fall, October 20th, we have a road race in Natick, a 5k for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation. We just finished our golf tournament. I am very proud of the work we have done for the foundation. When we started my wife and I thought it was going to be local, but it has turned into a national thing.
BCI: One last question and then we will let you go. Do you have any predictions for the upcoming season for the Eagles?
Flutie: You know, last week I was looking at the schedule, and if they can go .500 it would be a hell of an achievement. I definitely think we are going to see a different team this year. They are going to be a competitive strong team.
Last year from a talent level they played Notre Dame tough, they hung with Miami. The most talented teams on the schedule and they matched up with them but due to a mistake or two they would lose.
This year It ssn't about the talent level, it's going to be the attitude, and Steve has them going in the right direction. Shooting for a 6-6 season.
BCI: Agree with you there. Okay, well thank you for talking with us today Doug.
Flutie: You bet:
Make sure to check out NCAA '14 by EASports, available in stores now.