Steve Addazio made his return to the ESPN Coaches Film Room on Monday night during the telecast of the National Championship between Clemson and Alabama. During the National Championship, ESPN offers viewers a variety of viewing options across its platform of stations. It ranges from the regular telecast, to a "homer telecast" with former Alabama and Clemson players, to an "ESPN voices" channel (which is basically a stoned Bill Walton interacting with a subdued Jay Bilas along with Michelle Beadle and Keyshawn Johnson), to a game telecast narrated by Paul Finebaum and a cast of SEC commentators. The ESPN Coaches Film Room is the by far the best option for serious football fans as it broadcast six coaches at a table breaking down game film as the game went on.
Addazio was one of those coaches in the film room and by far offered the most comprehensive X’s and O’s breakdown of any coach. Addazio was specifically outstanding at calling out offensive line play and was often able to explain what happened on the play with just one live viewing of the play. BC’s coach definitely has a future career in TV if he chooses to go that route.
The other interesting part of the film room is that the coaches are able to comment how they would handle certain situations depending on score, time, down and distance, ect. It really gives the viewers insight on how a coach would react to certain situations which were posed during a given game. Some of Addazio’s opinions were:
-On two separate occasions in the first half Clemson faced a 4th-and-1 and a 4th-and-2 in Alabama territory. Addazio said both times that he’d like to see Clemson run the ball. Host Brian Griese challenged Addazio a bit and asked if Addazio found it appealing that All American wide receiver Mike Williams had one-on-one coverage on the outside and a big play might be available on 4th. Addazio acknowledged that the match-up was appealing but said it wasn’t worth the risk of giving ‘Bama the ball at the 40 yard line if the pass goes incomplete. The response wasn’t totally surprising, but Addazio hasn’t had a receiver at BC like Mike Williams so it did provide insight that Addazio is still more of a run-first coach on 4th-and-short even if he did have unbelievable outside weapons.
-Down 14-0 in the 2nd quarter, Clemson faced a 3rd-and-10 at the Bama 39-yard line. Griese asked the coaches if this was 4 down territory. Addazio responded, "Ahhhh, it’s 14-0, you’d like to take 2 downs and get it to 4th-and-2 or less. It would be nice to get three points on the board." That seemed to indicate Addazio would go for it faced with 4th-and-short but anything else would be a field goal or punt.
-Clemson had a rugby style punter that gave the Alabama punt returners fits all night. The punter and Clemson’s entire special teams unit would move in one direction and then the punter would kick a low punt in the opposite direction. The result was that the Tide could never return the punt because the return man was not on the right side of the field to return the punt that would bounce around and roll forward before a return man could pick it up. Addazio appreciated what the punter was doing but was concerned that the punt was easy to block or would even have trouble clearing the blockers on the line of scrimmage. "It’s dangerous when you kick opposite on a rugby. You are kicking across your body and it’s a low trajectory kick. You really need to have a talent to do that." In the same breath Addazio acknowledged that it was frustrating going against a rugby punter because you really need two return men to field it, but then you expose yourself for a fake punt.
-Clemson was punting from its own 25-yard line with 30 seconds to go in the half. The question was posed to the coaches if they were ‘Bama would they setup for a return or try and block the kick. Without hesitation Addazio said he would put on a punt block. "You can really block those rugby kicks if you know they are coming….If you’re a surprise rugby team it’s hard but they’re not," said Addazio. In short, don’t expect a rugby punter at BC anytime soon.
-By now we all have seen how Clemson scored with one tick on the clock to win the game. When Clemson faced that down with only six seconds left and down by three, Addazio pulled a "Madden" and said he would kick the fielld goal and play for overtime. Sound familiar Pats fans? He also had a strange comment about the extra point after the TD where he said Clemson shouldn't kick it because there was only one second left. Another coach reminded him that the time does not run on an extra point try.
Of course the night wasn’t without some humor from Addazio as well. The BC coach was a big hit on social media for saying his favorite beverage was milk after the other coaches gave beer/hard drinks as answers. Also, Addazio’s breakdown of what the BC coaches eat each week was trending for a while.
Addazio also got some laughs for not being shy to eat pizza on live TV as well.
There are so many lasting images from tonight. For me, it's Steve Addazio eating pizza while Dave Doeren blows his nose into his mic. pic.twitter.com/VKt27sV1Od— Prescott Rossi (@PrescottRossi) January 10, 2017
Steve Addazio’s eaten at least 4,000 calories during this game.— Michael Bruntz (@michaelbruntz) January 10, 2017