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The Case Against Steve Addazio

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It is time to move on

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

There are rumors abound about the future of the Boston College football program, and whether head coach Steve Addazio will receive a 7th year as the head coach. His tenure has certainly been marked by periods of ups and downs, but as we will see below, it is in the best interest of the program to move on.

Let’s start with some positives. Addazio has been a very good talent evaluator. He has been able to hit the recruiting trail and find a lot of diamonds in the rough that have become excellent players at the Heights. Guys like Isaac Yiadom, Tommy Sweeney, Justin Simmons, Zach Allen, and Michael Walker were all under recruited players who all had great careers at BC. Not only was able to get those 3* type players, but he has brought in some solid higher ranked recruits like Connor Strachan, Harold Landry, and AJ Dillon.

And not only that, but they are motivated when they get here. The recruits and players buy into his system quickly. Also you rarely hear a player or former player be critical of Addazio. Players usually leave the program feeling proud of their accomplishments, and are quick to come back for games.

Now for the negatives:

* Throw Game: We are now on Year 6 and we have yet to have a consistent “throw game” (a lovely Dazism). Certainly Anthony Brown took a major step in the right direction, and had a solid season, but in the big moments of some of the biggest games, the throw game was MIA. It feels like the play calling and route running is bad as well as we see tons of one yard screens that go nowhere and routes that are well short of the marker.

* Kicking Is 120th In Country Over His Reign: Again Year 6, and we have yet to have a consistent kicking game. For a coach that wants to drag opponents into the fourth quarter to win, it’s mind blowing that we have yet to find a kicker who can kick a 30 yard field goal or an extra point. I still strongly believe this isn’t just the kickers fault either, this is a snapper and place holder issue as well. We have had multiple guys at all three positions, and at least 3 different coordinators and the results have not changed.

* The Up Tempo Goal Line Offense: When this is working it can be a thing of beauty. And the last two seasons it has had moments where it has looked great. But when it comes off the rails, and goes “off schedule” (another lovely Dazism), it’s like watching a trainwreck going in fast forward. And when the offense is derailed, this type of offense is tailor made to ruin whatever defense you have going. How many times in the past two years have we seen BC go run, run, pass, punt after a terrific defensive stand? And this happens multiple times a game, at breakneck speed, which then leaves our defense gassed and eventually they cave. It’s an archaic, and frankly a bizarre system.

  • The Excuses: Every year it is the same thing, youth, injuries, youth, injuries. We listened to him talk about depth all year this year, and what did he blame Saturday’s loss on? Injuries. Every team battles injuries, look at Northwestern, they just won their Big Ten division on like their fifth string running back. And they are team, with a similar profile, that should be built just like us. Yet they win the big games, and BC loses them. Saying we can’t use the next guy up and still compete is a tired and old excuse.
  • The Playcalling: BC ran the ball on 1st down around 75% this year, and that number is similar to past years. Coaches should put players in the best position to succeed, and if opposing defenses can just sit on the run, how are guys like Jonathan Hilliman and AJ Dillon expected to do well? Plus, it doesn’t do either guy any favors when you run them consistently 35+ times a game, NFL scouts look at that, and worry about the wear on the tires. Finally, you have to look at how he does in tight situations. To Daz’s credit he has improved in two minute drills near halftime, but when it comes to the end of the game, he tightens up. It’s clear to see, he gets conservative, and throws his aggressive philosophy away, and plays so that the defense can win them the game. Which is a smack in the face of logic, especially when you can win the game with a play.
  • The Results: Look I can say whatever I want about the coach, and some of it may be subjective. But here are the objective stats that you can’t ignore. Over six years Steve Addazio is 38-38 with the Eagles, he is 2-4 against BC’s rival Syracuse, 1-13 against FSU/ND/Clemson, 1-16 against ranked teams, and has a losing conference record. Sprinkle in that he is 1-3 in Bowl games and you have below average results in just about every metric you can think of.

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Steve Addazio brought Boston College back from the epic doom and gloom brought about by Frank Spaziani, and for that BC fans should be grateful. It has been nice to see BC ranked, going to bowls and even having College Gameday return to Boston College. But the results speak for themselves. It doesn’t matter if the ACC is red hot, or if they have a huge down year like in 2018, Addazio’s ceiling is a seven wins. Athletic Director Martin Jarmond has to look at those results, and ask himself “Is this the greatness I want, and the legacy I want to leave at BC?”. If the answer is “Yes”, go ahead, leave Addazio as the head coach. But if he is serious about improving BC Athletics, and I truly believe he is, this offseason is the perfect time to move on and bring in new blood into BC Football.