For full quotes, click on the link provided here. The Eagles scrimmaged for the first of three scheduled intra-squad competitions on Saturday morning before the majority of us were probably even awake and having coffee.
Head coach Steve Addazio's overall impressions...
It was a weird looking deal for me today. There were a lot of yards in the process that were had today and a lot of plays, especially in the run game today. on defense, we looked like we were smothering and at other times, it looked like we were letting up these big plays...There was enough there to not feel completely awful. We are nowhere near where we need to be. There were far too many mistakes. We couldn't get lined up and we had a lot of illegal formation penalties. We were giving up far too many sacks for your offensive line right now. We have a long way to go...
It's not where you are today, it's where you grow from today and that's what I want to see. This is the first real measure. Let's see how we grow from here and get better and improve. Don't make the same mistakes now and each time we come out. Take coaching and fundamentally develop. That is what I am really interested in now. We set a bar and now we have to grow. Next Saturday, we have to look a lot better.
I'm not even sure where to begin. The offense made plays, but at the same time they made some major mistakes. The offensive line didn't play great, and illegal formation penalties aren't anything you want to see. Seeing the coach say "we have a long way to go" doesn't really give you the warm fuzzies that BC is going to come out of the gate as this major gang busters type team.
Defensively, it's good to see Daz describe the unit as "smothering" but troubling to see them give up big plays.
So I'm taking this spin on it - it's a good reality check after the first week of preseason. The coaches have real, tangible evidence of what needs to be fixed and can work with the team. That said, there's still some ways to go, and I think it's a good reality check that, with two more scrimmages plus Maine and Howard, BC is very much going to be an early-season work in process.
Addazio on WR Ben Glines...
Ben Glines stepped up today. He comes from a tough program [St. Xavier], well coached, and he is a guy that looks like he can help us. It's still early but he looks like he can help us. All camp long he has been that type of guy and that is what you find from scrimmage one that you can evaluate that first week of practice, which were mostly non-pad practices. You evaluate it today, so the chances are that we will be able to work with them.
There is not a single one of us that knew the name Ben Glines before this posting. The freshman wide receiver wasn't even on my radar among the Drew Barksdales of the world. But he's a name we'll need to really get to know.
Glines did a good job during the scrimmage establishing himself as a situational receiver. He was capable of picking up first downs on possession type plays, totaling six catches for 80 yards. Every single one of his receptions registered a first down. According to EagleAction's Eric Hoffses, he shows "no fear catching passes over the middle."
Speaking of Drew Barksdale, he got wide open 25 yards downfield and was underthrown by Troy Flutie. Flutie did get a measure of revenge later in practice when he converted a first down run on 3rd and 20, gaining 25 in the process.
One last note out of the scrimmage. Bobby Swigert, back from multiple knee injuries, was used as the holder on field goals, not as a wide receiver. Consider this a development in his story, but at the same time, let's use it as a developing story that may change over the course of the preseason and the regular schedule.
Addazio on Darius Wade...
[Darius Wade] needs to get better. He did some good things out there. A couple times he had no chance to do anything, so it was kind of difficult to judge it. He played fast today with his legs. He throws the ball very well. Today was a day where it was difficult to step up in the pocket and it affects these quarerbacks. The line play and the protection really affect the quarterback play. Quarterbacks can get a little bit jittery and their day-to-day can get distorted. He wasn't following through well today and that is a byproduct of the [line play].
Wade showed flashes of what will make him a solid BC quarterback. Taking all 70 snaps on offense, his offensive line did virtually nothing to help him out. They started picking things up as the day went on, but it's not a good sign that Wade struggled due to the play of the line.
Coach Addazio didn't absolve Darius Wade at all with his performance, saying he needs to get better. But where his struggles are attributable to the O-line is at least an identification of a wholesale problem. What worries me is that last part - I've seen quarterbacks have tremendous potential, and I've seen that potential turn into happy feet and trigger finger because they don't have any protection behind the offensive line. The line has to protect the quarterback to help build his confidence in mechanics.
Running back Marcus Outlow on the running backs...
The running back crew, we work so hard. Coach showed us a statistic before camp started, the first day we got in about how the running backs, we didn't lose anyone. There were zero snaps that the running backs lost last year because we're all returning. We're a big pride group and we take a lot on our shoulders and we know we have to help out our line. We know they're going to come around. We know things are going to get better, but for us, we're trying to focus on everything we do and everything we're working on is at 100% and try to take out the blemishes in our games.
Love the perspective in this quote. "Shake" pretty much said, "The offensive line is struggling, but we know they'll come around because we trust them and trust the process. But until they come around and everything's in sync, jump on our backs."
Here's what I love about the running backs this year. They brought back everyone. They're all talented. And they're all developing. That means this running back crew is literally that - a position crew understanding that it may be required at times to put the team on its back. If asked to do so, they can. And they want it really badly.
During the scrimmage, Outlow took a handoff, split up between the line, did a little shake and bake with a stiff arm, and went upfield for 54 yards. Jon Hilliman broke off a 30 yard run. It's really hard not to get excited about using that as the foundation.
Quarterback Darius Wade on the defense...
Naturally the defense is ahead of the offense at the beginning of camp. They definitely did good and we are excited how hard they push us because that is how we are going to get better during the season. We are getting a good look every single week and we are happy about [the defense] and it's all competition and we will continue to get after it.
I realize I've dumped on the offensive line to this point, but this is probably the best perspective I've seen. Wade states the obvious. The defense is very good and is ahead of the offense because they entered camp with substantial experience and chemistry. It's very good perspective, and it's a good way to dial back and take perspective heading into this week.