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First Responders Bowl: Steve Addazio And Players Speak

What did the coach and players have to say about the upcoming matchup with Boise State?

NCAA Football: Boston College at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday at Boston College, head coach Steve Addazio and select players talked about the bowl and their matchup with the Boise State Broncos.

STEVE ADDAZIO: We’re excited to get out to Dallas to play Boise, a storied team that has had a bunch of 10-win seasons and competed [for a] conference championship. Exciting football team. A team that’s got a tremendous history. And Bryan Harsin has done a great job out there and we’re going to have a chance to go out to a new venue, to a fifth bowl game in six years here and really let our team have a chance to develop through the bowl season and go out and try to get our eighth win.

We’re very, very excited about it, about the quality of the team and the opponent that we’re playing, and certainly excited about the bowl game and the venue that we’re going to be in, in the Cotton Bowl, all the great things that go along with that. Looking forward to it.

Q. It’s kind of like an exotic opponent, somebody you probably didn’t expect to see, maybe a Big Ten or an SEC team?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, I think you’re playing a team that has won a lot of football games. They’ve won three Fiesta Bowls in the last nine years and they are a very, very good, outstanding team. They’ve got some really, really good players and a tremendous back and quarterback, and they’re ranked in the top-25 in offense, top 30-something in defense. I think we’re playing a really, really good football team.

Something outside of a Big Ten or whatever match-up, but a team that is really good football team. I don’t know them specifically, I mean, I have not watched them or anything on tape, but I’ve watched them through the years when I catch them on TV and I know what their history is. So I think that’s a real good team. We got a quality, good team, great match-up and a great venue. That’s what’s important and that’s what we’re excited about.

Q. Are you happy to be playing in a potentially warmer climate than a year ago?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I’m happy to be where I can be. I mean, every time we have a chance to go play a bowl game, I’m ecstatic. It gives us a chance to spend another month around our team, and a chance to develop our team, and go play an outside [of conference] opponent. So honestly, like, I just love -- I love every bowl we’ve been to, to tell you the truth.

I find something exciting about every one of them. I think that’s part of the experience and part of the fun, so we’ve never played Boise, never really seen Boise up close and personal, so we just know very well their reputation and what their history has been. I’m excited about it, looking forward to it, yeah.

Q. Is getting an eighth win something you guys would talk about?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, I mean, we want to win our eighth win, we want to develop our team, we want to get better, we want to continue to grow. It’s all about development to me.

We had a lot of good things happen to us this year, a lot of new good things happen to us this year, as a part of our continued development. So now we get a chance to tack on another 15 practices on to that, and then we get another chance to play another opponent, and as you said we get another chance to get another win, which would be our eighth win, so those are all great things.

Q. What are the play calling responsibilities going to be like?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I think right now the plan is that Scot [Loeffler] is going to be back for the bowl game. He and I talked about it several times, but we’ll see. We’ll see how that goes. He’s got a job to do, too, but that’s the plan right now. But plans change, you know, things come up, stuff happens. I’m not really concerned about it. We’ve got really good coaches here, and there is a lot of input that goes in on both sides of the ball by a lot of people, including myself.

I anticipate Scot being here, probably when that dead period starts. That recruiting ends, right in there, the end of not this week but the end of the following week, something like that. That’s when we would really be hitting our most serious practices, going in, preparing for this game.

Before I walked down here, we were setting our calendar and working on that. So I’ve got to take a good, hard look at when the bulk of our real Boise practices begin, and I have got to make sure that all matches up. This weekend we practiced. Those were development. Next weekend we practice. Those are development. At some point after that they shift from development and they start to merge into Boise [preparation].

Q. What’s the experience like for the guys that will play in senior bowls?

STEVE ADDAZIO: It’s awesome, right? We have four guys going to the Senior Bowl. It’s tremendous. I don’t think any one of them were five stars. In fact, I’m pretty sure none of them were four stars. They’re just really smart, tough, talented, hard-working guys that have worked their tails off in this program, and now they’re going to the Senior Bowl.

That’s a great thing. I’m really proud of them, really happy for them. What a great opportunity! Will Harris, Chris Lindstrom and Tommy Sweeney and Zach Allen, and we’ve got several other guys going to other bowls as well, so I’m jacked up for all of them and I’m excited to watch them play in our bowl game. There will be some great moments in that bowl game with these guys. Last time they put on a BC uniform, and I expect it will be a great showing in Dallas. I’m jacked up about it.

Will Harris

Q. Is it intriguing to face an opponent you’ve never played against?

WILL HARRIS: Right, like Coach just said we’re just happy to find out finally who we’re playing and get a chance to go out and get our eighth win and compete at the highest level so obviously Boise State, they’re a good team, got a lot of wins under their belt. They play a lot of good football so we’re really excited. We just got the news today a couple minutes ago so we’re ready.

Q. What does it mean to have another chance at an eighth win?

WILL HARRIS: It means the world to us, because it’s our next game. For a lot of us, especially, my fellow seniors up there, means our last game putting on a BC uniform. Means the world to us and all the years that culminated up to this be point, it’s going to be really special. Our job is to prepare as best we can for this game and to come out as mentally and physically prepared as possible.

Q. Talk about getting the word on the Senior Bowl. Must be an exciting weekend for you. How did you react to getting that news?

WILL HARRIS: It was exciting, a chance to go out and compete with some guys around the nation, especially with my teammates who also got invited as well, so that was exciting. At the same time my priority is looking forward to this bowl game and getting prepared for this bowl game and making sure we have the senior leadership and we’re prepared for this game.

Q. Do you have any memories with the Cotton Bowl, Boise State, the Statue of Liberty play, specifically?

WILL HARRIS: I was a lot younger when I saw that the first time. But, yeah, they got a long history of making big plays in bowl games. It will be very interesting to finally get the film on them. I’ve never seen Boise State on film, just here and there on TV every once in a while so it will be interesting to break them down on film and get going on those guys.

Q. A lot of the senior leadership has come from the defensive backs going back to Justin Simmons and up to yourself. Is that something you think about? Did you learn a lot from those guys that you can bring into this?

WILL HARRIS: I did. I credit those guys all the time every time I talk to them and I’m appreciative of those guys and everything they’ve taught me on and off the field as far as technique and leadership on and off the field. I feel like that’s been my job especially as a captain, that’s been my job from day one.

I don’t plan on switching up any way I go about it, just plan on attacking each and every day as hard as I can. Trying to lead that team in the best way I can, just like I’ve done since day one.

Chris Lindstrom

Q. How do you feel about the match up?

CHRIS LINDSTROM: I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity. I’m excited that we have the opportunity to play in a bowl game against a great program like Boise State, playing in the Cotton Bowl, it’s going to be a great venue and I’m excited for our team to get our eighth win

Q. Give us the state of the offensive line. You came through all 12 games healthy. Where are you at right now?

CHRIS LINDSTROM: We have a great room. Everyone is healthy. We’re working with each other trying to develop the young guys right now so as an older guy, I know Baker and Sam and Aaron, guys who are leaving are trying to push the younger guys along so they can have a great team in the future. That’s what we’re trying right now to do as a room is develop those younger guys so they can be great BC offensive linemen and carry that tradition on.

Q. Your thoughts of getting to the Senior Bowl and having a 14th game this season? What does that mean to you?

CHRIS LINDSTROM: I’m very excited. Blessed to have the opportunity to play in that game and a tremendous opportunity and thankful the guys on our team are going to be there. First, before that happens, I’m trying to end my BC career, and as a senior class trying to do something special here and get our eighth win. That hasn’t been done in a while and that’s something we have set out to do this season, so we’re looking forward to it as a senior leadership, and as a team, and me personally, to go out there and attack this game and attack this bowl prep.

Q. The idea that you can compete in the ACC, does that make you feel like you can compete with anybody?

CHRIS LINDSTROM: We play in one of the best conferences in the country, but there’s great teams everywhere and Boise State is one of those teams. We haven’t been able to see the tape, but I think they’re 10-3, and that’s a lot of football games to win, so you’ve got to be a great team. To come in every week in and out like that means you’re a special team.

Tommy Sweeney

Q. Is Dallas a better destination that Detroit?

TOMMY SWEENEY: Different than Detroit. Like everybody said, we’ll play anywhere. Texas is a great spot, Dallas is cool, the Cotton Bowl is a very famous stadium. I think we played in the Cotton Bowl in ‘85, got a win there, so we have tradition there. Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Q. Chris talked about getting that eighth win and how that hasn’t been accomplished in a while. Is that something that’s on your mind, too?

TOMMY SWEENEY: Yeah, it’s the only thing, really, and the game is 25 days from now, 24, that’s the only thing that matters. Working together for a couple weeks now and we got that great opportunity to do so.

Q. Could you have imagined a better week, First-Team All-ACC, Senior Bowl, playing in Dallas, Texas, of all places?

TOMMY SWEENEY: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. A lot of cool things happening, very thankful for that, individually and for the team. I’ll worry about the Senior Bowl stuff after [ the bowl game], but right now I’m excited to go get this chance to win an eighth game here with the boys and finish this thing up at BC.

Q. Have you ever been to Dallas?

TOMMY SWEENEY: Yeah, I think I played an AAU basketball tournament there when I was in high school, but I didn’t see much of it. I heard it’s a pretty cool city, so want to check it out.

Q. Do you like all that other side stuff that comes with the bowl games?

TOMMY SWEENEY: Some of it’s pretty cool. I remember in Detroit we saw the Ford Museum. New York City, obviously running around the city is a cool thing you can kind of do. It’s cool stuff.

Q. What’s the best bowl gift you’ve gotten?

TOMMY SWEENEY: Best bowl gift? Good question. Last year we got to go to like a Harmon Electrics, which is pretty much speakers and stuff like that, so I was able to handle most of my Christmas shopping there.