Boston College football opens up summer practices tomorrow, and of course there will be plenty to talk about as the team prepares for their opener in Dublin against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. What are some talking points to keep an eye on as the team works out? Let’s take a look.
- Quarterback progressions: There is no doubt that Patrick Towles is going to be the starter heading into the season opener. But what happens if Darius Wade comes out blazing in summer practices and Towles struggles against GT? The last thing BC needs is a quarterback controversy to start the season, but knowing that Wade is ready if called upon will be crucial for a healthy offense. What are we going to want to see out of Towles? Smart decisions. One of his biggest knocks at Kentucky was that he made some questionable throws that either killed a drive or even worse led to interceptions. Hopefully what we hear from practice are nice concise numbers, including lots of high percentage throws.
- Offensive line development: This is going to be a tough one to monitor, unless you are actually at the practices and scrimmages. But what we don’t want to see are recaps of the scrimmages that talk about Harold Landry/Kevin Kavalec having their way with the offensive line. Look for talk about running backs finding holes to run through and Towles having time to get rid of the ball. Those will all be good signs going into the season.
- Jim Reid vs. Don Brown: This has to be one of the most under rated story lines going into the 2016 campaign. How will BC’s defense adjust from one of the most dynamic defensive coordinators in college football to Jim Reid. There is a difference in style that needs to be accounted for, Brown was more pin back your ears and blitz all over the field, while Reid traditionally has been more straight up in his attacks. Even at his age there is going to be a period of adjustment for Reid, as Addazio has said he would like to keep his defense more in the mold of what Brown did last year. How will Reid react to this change in philosophy? It will certainly be worth watching this summer.
- Unknowns Stepping Up: Every year you can count on an underclassmen stepping up, or an upperclassmen taking the reigns at a position. We saw this with Ben Glines last summer (before his injury) and Will Harris in the secondary. Who will be that player this summer? Could it be Nolan Borgersen as a wide out (or Glines again?) Might it be Ray Smith or Noa Merritt on the defensive line? What about Ethan Tucky at linebacker? We shall find out soon.
- Injuries: The part of the summer practices that make you gulp, but is inevitable in football. Last year before BC even took the field we saw summer practice knock out tight end Michael Giacone and wide receiver Ben Glines. It’s going to happen again, hopefully not to a player that is crucial to BC’s success. Cross your fingers on this one.
What storylines are you looking forward to during summer practice? Leave your thoughts in the comments.