By Eric Hoffses
This Saturday will mark the first time this spring that the media and most fans can catch more than a few minutes glimpse of the 2016 Eagles. While the spring game is often known to produce some wacky positive and negative results that are often blown out of proportion until summer practices heat up, it can be useful in offering a peek at how some individual players and units are coming along. Here is who I will be keeping an eye on this Saturday.
There were a lot of reasons that BC averaged only 110 yards per game through the air last year, but there’s no denying that the team played 75% of the year without a quarterback who was a threat to throw the ball more than 20 yards down the field. Towles has an absolute cannon for an arm and it will be exciting for fans to watch him in person.
Now not to go Mr. Negative Boston Sports Radio Host on everyone, but there is a reason that Towles was available as a transfer and not penciled in as the starter for Kentucky last year. Throughout Towles’ career he has been inconsistent with his accuracy and decision making. The clip below which contains footage from his game against South Carolina last year shows just how many peaks and valleys that Towles can travel through each game. There are some legitimate NFL-level throws on this clip mixed in with with some passes that would get Towles benched in college. Can the BC staff bring out the best in Towles?
The Offensive Line
This is the most obvious selection right? If you had to divide up the blame pie for the struggles of the offense last year the big guys would have their fair share of the pie for sure, so all eyes will be on them for Saturday to see if there has been some progress. The expected unit for Saturday is:
Addazio has been very open that in no way is this group set in stone as the group for September. If nothing else, some of these guys should feel a little pressure in knowing that 5th year graduate transfer Jimmy Lowery will be arriving on campus in a few months. Usually these more well-known 5th year players don’t commit without getting some sort of assurance that they are going to have a better than average chance at being given a starting job.
Near the end of last year I heard an announcer make an obvious but accurate point that BC hasn’t really had a 1,000 yard threat at receiver since Alex Amidon graduated. An even better point might be that BC hasn’t had a 400 yard receiving threat since Amidon left, as in the last two years Josh Bordner had the most receiving yards with 346
Maybe the most important component missing from BC receivers in the last two years is that the Eagles haven’t really had a receiver to go over the middle and make a tough 3rd down catch like Amidon so often did. Sure there has been a guy here or there that’s been willing to do it but there just hasn’t been a sure handed receiver that could do it.
Even though Glines was a true freshman last summer he looked like someone that at least had the potential to fill that role. In the first scrimmage, Glines made 6 receptions all of which went for 1st downs and looked like the slot receiver that BC has been missing. Unfortunately he broke his collarbone a few practices later and we never got to find out if he could be the dependable third down wideout.
Like Glines, Sweeney is another candidate that could add some life to the BC passing game. Last summer, Sweeney was by far the best receiving tight end on the roster, but less than average performances as a blocker kept him on the bench instead of on the field more most of the year. There’s no doubt in my mind that if Sweeney gets some targets on Saturday he will get the attention of BC fans. I’ll be paying attention how he does blocking though because to Addazio, that is more important than being a good receiver.
Behind the scenes there is a TON of chatter about how good this kid looks. He has the potential to be the home run threat that BC hasn’t really had since Sherm Alston showed flashes of big play ability in 2014. Let’s see if he can match the hype on Saturday.