We are in the midst of prediction season, as everyone with a keyboard is prognosticating the future of the Boston College Eagles. On Monday, we saw Brian's review of Athlon's Boston College preview. Now let's check out what The Worldwide Leader has to say. Well, not ESPN, but the company they outsourced to write it, because they are apparently too busy to do it themselves.
The preview itself isn't providing anything mind blowing for anyone who regularly follows BC football, but does have some interesting pointers that are worth noting. New offensive coordinator Doug Martin was interviewed for big parts of this preview, because he is expected to drastically change the landscape of this team.
Here is Martin addressing the change in scheming:
"The tempo of the offense will be a lot different," Martin told ESPN. "We're much more up-tempo, fast out of the huddle, perhaps some no-huddle parts to the offense also. Just a lot quicker tempo than what they played at, a lot more shifts and motions, a lot more diversity to the offense than what they've had."
Even if I have my doubts about the team, I have to say I am fascinated with this change in offense. We all know the deal with Rettig, three years/four OC's, but this year could be the biggest fundamental change in philosophy he has in any of the OC's. Can he make the quick decisions, change plays at the line, and move quickly down the field? And how much influence will Spaziani have on this whole process?
Quarterback: Blue Ribbon is very positive in their assessment of Chase Rettig, saying that he is a maturing QB who will be playing for a system that will adapt to his style. The most interesting comment in this section was Martin's assessment of Josh Bordner: "Josh is a similar quarterback [to Rettig], but with a little stronger arm."
Running Back: Martin stays non-committal about which halfback will be getting the most carries, but it appears that Rolandan Finch will be getting the bulk of the work this season. He is high on Tahj Kimble, and loves his versatility. Interestingly, Martin thinks that Kimble could line up as a receiver.
Receivers: Like all of us, Martin is clearly worried about the depth of his receiving corps. He talked very highly of Alex Amidon, and said that he could be the big play receiver this year. Martin and ESPN also spoke highly about the depth BC has at TE with Chris Pantale, Mike Naples, Jarrett Darmstatter and Mike Giacone all vying for major roles on the team.
Offensive Line: Once an area of weakness, Martin expects the offensive line to return to the old BC days of glory. With a year of experience under their belt, BC should be more of a cohesive unit and provide some stability that the offensive game sorely lacked last year. Plus add on some stud OL recruits (Wins Homer and Frank Taylor) and hopefully Rettig won't be spending most of this season scrambling like he did in 2011.
Defensive Line: ESPN doesn't seem as worried about the lack of depth here as many fans/blogs are. They mentioned that Mehdi Abdesmad had trouble last year adapting to American football, but is a very aggressive player. The key to the line will be Kaleb Ramsey, who tWWL feel could be an anchor to the line.
Linebackers: Kuechly is gone and Bill McGovern feels that Kevin Pierre-Louis could be the guy that fills his shoes and is on the verge of "stardom". Nick Clancy and Sean Duggan will be starting in the middle, and Steele Divitto will be providing a physical presence. ESPN thinks that Steven Daniels could get playing time this year due to maturity and extra year of play at prep school.
Secondary: Young. Inexperienced. Looks like C.J Jones and Al Louis Jean will be starting the corners, and that the safety could be wide open for Sean Sylvia if he wants in. ESPN brings up an interesting point, true freshman Justin Simmons could get starting time, because of his tutoring with former Maryland defensive coordinator Gary Blackney in high school.
Special Teams/Kickers: Spiffy Evans and Tahj Kimble will be returning kicks. Spaz wants more explosiveness out of the return game. Alex Howell could take over the kicking role if Nate Freese falters.
Final Analysis: "The 2011 disaster was a combination of a lot of bad luck -- injuries up front were unavoidable, and the turmoil on the offensive staff didn't help." Sounds like the coaching staff fed them that. ESPN wonders if BC can fix their offense 2011 will be a fluke and they will return to winning ways.