It’s time to turn the page on 2016 and take a look at the upcoming season, starting with spring football which is currently practicing under the bubble on campus. We all have questions about the direction of the team, but what are some of the biggest questions heading into spring football. Here are my top five.
5. Offensive Game Plan Adjustments: We talked about this already on the site, but Addazio and Scot Loeffler have already said that they plan on implementing more of a faster tempo offensive, something we haven’t seen out of this current coaching staff (minus a half of the bowl game). Are the coaches committed to this? They have already said that they feel the offense is further along than any other spring thanks to the bowl practices. Or will they find that a QB works better in a slower more deliberate scheme. Certainly the news coming out of BC so far is that tempo is working fine, but at this point I’ll believe it when I see it.
4. Replacing The Defensive Leaders: In the past two years Boston College has lost basically the heart of their defense with Steven Daniels, Connor Wujciak, Justin Simmons, Matt Milano, Truman Gutapfel and John Johnson all graduating. While there is certainly a ton of talent still left on the defensive side of the ball, the question will be which player steps in to lead and be the anchor of that defense. Could it be Harold Landry, easily the most talented player on the team, but is he a leader? Or maybe it’s Connor Strachan or Ty Schwab both seniors who have been playing for four years. Someone is going to need to step up, and this spring might give us a glimpse who that player or players will be.
3. Can The Offensive Line Continue To Gel: When evaluating the offensive line it’s pretty simple: 2015 was a disaster, and 2016 was an improvement, but certainly not acceptable for an ACC team. There were flashes when they looked good, but they were plagued with mistakes. Transfer Jimmy Lowrery is out, but the rest of the crew should remain the same. Hopefully the addition of Elijiah Johnson and the continued maturation of Chris Lindstrom, Jon Baker, Aaron Monteiro and whomever else steps up will make the line click for the first time since 2014.
2. Running Back Fill Ins: No matter what changes Addazio and Loeffler make to the offense, the running game is still going to be an integral part of whether they can move the ball or not. There are some exciting new players coming to the Heights that will need to fill in the roles left behind by Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse. Jon Hilliman clearly wasn’t a 100% until close to the end of the year in 2016 averaging 2.95 yards a carry, so hopefully he will be able to be a more effective every down back. Davon Jones certainly showed glimpses of being an effective back as well. But the most interesting option could be true freshman Travis Levy, who enrolled early and is already on campus. Could he inserted into the rotation quickly? We could see this spring.
1. The Quarterback Battle: Far and away this is going to be the story to watch this spring. Darius Wade and Anthony Brown. Addazio opened up his spring press conference by talking about how Wade is the current starting quarterback, but again this seems like a fluid situation. Both of these quarterbacks could give BC different styles of offense. Wade while mobile, is no where the scrambler that Anthony Brown is, but on the other hand Wade may be more polished at this point given that he has spent more time on campus and has faced college opponents. This is going to be very interesting to watch, and certainly gives a reason to follow the spring game.
Were there any other big questions you have about the spring? Leave ‘em in the comment section.