Tomorrow, the Boston College Eagles will wrap up their spring practices with their annual Jay McGillis Spring Game which will begin at noon in Alumni Stadium (on ACC Network Extra). This yearly exhibition gives us the fans an opportunity to watch the new look team and get a taste of what will be coming in the fall. Of course, in many of these games the freshman aren’t all on campus yet, tackling it held to a minimum, and coaches don’t open up the playbook fully, but still there are some really interesting battles and storylines to watch for. Also they are splitting teams up by a draft, based on what I saw on line, so teams could be kind of arbitrary. But this is important for the team as there will be a ton of recruits on campus (if I find out names I’ll be posting them on my Twitter @BCHysteria) Let’s take a look at some angles that will make this spring game well worth watching:
1. Mike Bajakian: I’m going to say this right off the bat. If you are expecting a new system to be put in place with this new OC, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Bajakian is the fourth OC under Steve Addazio, and he is going to run Steve Addazio’s system. This isn’t going to be a spread offense, it’ll be much more of what we have seen in the past, because if there is one thing that Addazio likes, it is to be consistent and be physical. What will be interesting to watch with Bajakian is to look for the wrinkles he brings. Has he adjusted anything in Anthony Brown’s game? Does he have a different philosophy on how to approach third down? Little things like that will be the big differences between Bajakian and his predecessor Scot Loeffler.
2. The New Offensive Line: Stalwarts Chris Lindstrom, Jon Baker, and Aaron Monteiro are gone. It’s going to be up to Alec Lindstrom, John Phillips, Ben Petrula, and others to fill those gaps. The older Lindstrom is a big loss, and probably will be a Top 20 NFL pick but I don’t think it’s going to be as big of a drop off as many expect. There are still multiple players left on the roster who have some experience. But the question remains can the new starters fill in, and can they improve on the mindnumbing amount of presnap mistakes that plagued BC last season. That will be interesting to watch.
3. Anthony Brown’s Progression: Love him or hate him, Brown is going to be the starter in 2019. Between his offseason work with QB coaches, and his new OC, this game could show how he has matured in terms of his progressions and making his throws. Last year he showed a lot of inconsistencies, but with his first full (mostly) healthy year under him, let’s see how he has progressed.
4. Who’s Going to be Brown’s big and hopefully reliable targets? Obviously Kobay White is going to one of Brown’s go to targets this fall, but after that there are a whole bunch of question marks. CJ Lewis has shown glimpses, Noah Jordan Williams had a nice game against Holy Cross last year. And of course there is Ethon Williams, a true freshman who’s name has popped up a lot in practice reports this spring.
5. Kicking. A spring game is a glorified scrimmage, but one aspect that usually mimics game time experiences are the field goal kicks. Colton Lichtenberg has graduated, which leaves a void at kicker, and we haven’t seen a consistent kicking game at BC since Nate Freese back in 2013. Danny Longman and John Tessitore will most likely be battling, and I’m sure a lot of BC fans will be watching. On top of that, this will be the first year in a while that Jeff Smith hasn’t been involved in holding kicks. Wonder if that will effect kicking as well.
Other Positions To Watch
EJ Perry vs Sam Johnson for QB2
David Bailey’s progression at halfback
Who steps up at tight end with Tommy Sweeney graduating? (Jake Burt, Hunter Long)
Who becomes the leader on defense? (Max Richardson? Tanner Karafa?)
Food Of The Game:
Roast Beef’s from Nick’s in Beverly or Supreme’s in Danvers. There is going to be no tailgating at this game like always (sigh), nor will there be much in terms of refreshments, so be prepared to come to the game with something portable. I’m a North Shore guy, and I swear there is nothing like a hot roast beef sandwich from one of our local restaurants. Supreme’s has a soft spot in my heart, just make sure you order it a three way (cheese, mayo and sauce). Honestly, if you haven’t tried one of these yet, you really need to make that pilgrimage, it is truly a game changer.
Beer Of The Game:
Long Trail Ale: Just a nice simple smooth ale, made in Vermont. Not high in alcohol content, good flavor, enjoyable for a beautiful April afternoon in Boston.
Totally Necessary Rap Song Of The Game
Just a brutal week for fan’s of hip hop music, as they lost another star cut down way too early. LA hip hop star Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of his store front in another senseless murder. Even if you aren’t, Nipsey Hussle was one of those rap stars who was trying to do good, trying to help African Americans rise up from tough neighborhoods. Thanks for all the great music Nipsey.
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