For me, the 2016 football season couldn’t come fast enough. After all of the yelling, screaming, arguing, debating, and overall crying following the debacle of last year, I couldn’t wait for preseason training camp to begin.
The preseason is one of the simplest, most pure things about the sport. There’s something sublime about double-sessions, conditioning drills, workouts in the blistering summer sun. After months of inactivity, it’s a clean slate, and nothing beats the first time you get to put on a helmet and shell and go head-to-head with a teammate.
It’s not meant to be fun, which is exactly why it is. The preseason is about coming together as a team, with more intense workouts. The coaches are just as sweaty as the players, all of whom are going through grueling moment after grueling moment.
The conjecture of the offseason starts turning itself into reality. Names on depth charts became labels on helmets. Things are a little bit more serious because there’s a real objective at stake. There’s a game on the horizon, and while the road has always been leading to it, it kicks into high gear because the offseason is gone. The preseason is here.
AJ Black laid out some storylines to watch heading into camp. I’ll lay out some additional things to watch, kicking off the preseason with a typical weekly kickoff you’ll grow accustomed to seeing throughout the year.
Preseason Storylines (A Few Good Men Edition)
“Airmen Cecil O’Malley and Anthony Rodriguez, what exactly were these guys going to testify to?” -Capt. Ross
“Unless I’m mistaken, they were both going to testify under oath that they had absolutely no recollection of anything.” -Lt. Kaffee
“Strong witnesses.” -Capt. Ross
“And handsome too, don’t you think?” -Lt. Kaffee
I don’t think it’ll ever be fair to make a comparison between the offenses of last year and this year. There’s a new QB on the roster, a new offensive coordinator on the sidelines, and it makes everything feel like there’s a whole new approach.
I don’t necessarily think it’s fair to compare anything the team does this year to last season. With all of this change, it’s impossible to try and project anything based on last year.
The biggest thing to watch is the new chemistry of the new faces. AJ talked about the offensive line’s improvement, but I’ll take that a step further. None of the names we’ll be talking about were even on the radar at the start of last season. So that should be an indication that a complete overhaul happened. The comparison simply isn’t there.
“My feeling is that if this case is handled in the same fast-food, slick-ass ‘Persian Bazaar’ manner with which you seem to handle everything else, something’s gonna get missed. And I wouldn’t be doing my job if I allowed Dawson and Downey to spend any more time in prison than absolutely necessary because their attorney had pre-determined the path of least resistance.” -Commander Galloway
There’s a tendency at the beginning of the year to start predicting how the season will go. Will BC win three games? Five? Eight? Nine? 15-0 and national champions? Can they upset a few teams along the way?
If there’s anything we all can learn from last year, it’s not to look too far ahead. After going to bowl games in 2013 and 2014, everyone sought to figure out how BC could break back through a glass ceiling and score a postseason victory.
We all forgot something, though - the games actually have to be played. And while it’s good offseason debate to figure out how BC might fare against UConn in November, there’s still a season’s worth of games to be played.
Everyone seemed to forget how long a football season really is and how many variables really do come into play through 12 games. We can look ahead as writers or analysts or fans to think about prospective scenarios, but the line between hypothetical and reality will change thousands of times between now and then.
“This is a sales pitch. It’s not going to be won by the law, it’s going to be won by the lawyers.” -Lt. Kaffee
Games are always won inside the lines by the players. The players that play the best in that situation, in that scenario - they win the games. You don’t have to be the most talented team or even the best team for that matter. All you have to do is be able to win in that situation on that day. You do that once, you move on, and you figure out how to do it the next week.
Preseason is kicking off. Boston College football is back.