A few weeks ago, Athlon sports had an interesting post that gave insight into what ACC coaches thought of each other. The idea behind it was that Athlon would talk to the coaches and anonymously post what they each had to say. Of course this was intriguing because they had ACC coaches talk about Boston College head coach Steve Addazio and the Eagles. Let's look at what his peers had to say:
"They're one of those teams that are real hard to read because on film, it's like they have a bunch of slow, unathletic guys running around but those guys are smart kids."
Not surprising, especially last year. Coaches saw a few athletes on the team (Jon Hilliman, Myles Willis, Tyler Murphy, Sherm Allston), but for the most part they were a slower team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. What I liked seeing is that other coaches see BC as a smart team.
"They don't do anything to get themselves beat."
Guessing this wasn't Jimbo Fisher, Dabo Swinney or any coach who watched the Pinstripe Bowl.
"The coaching staff there has done a real good job, and they've gotten better every year, so I imagine they'll continue to get better."
See that? ACC coaches also believe that the coaching staff the past two years have done a good job to help them improve.
"They're mostly a zone team. Before Steve Addazio they were 100 percent zone, but they've started to play a little more man. Their defensive coordinator loves pressure, and from a preparation standpoint they're probably the funkiest team we play because of how many looks they'll give you. It takes a lot of time and practice just to get ready for the different blitzes and stuff you see on film that you've got to get right."
There are a few interesting nuggets in this coach's comments. First, that the team mostly plays zone. That makes a lot of sense, especially if you consider what the previous coach had said about the lack of speed. If BC lines up man to man, what the personnel they had in 2013/2014, they would have gotten torched. Good coaching again. Secondly, "funkiest team" sounds like a perfect way to describe Don Brown, and given what he said during media day about being limited on what he could call due to personnel, it's only going to get funkier.
"Personnel-wise, nobody really jumps off the page from the front seven and they're nothing special in the secondary, but they do a real good job against the run and that will keep them in almost every game."
This may be the storyline of the year on defense in 2015. Last year we saw this clear as day: BC could stop the run consistently (except for Pitt), but struggled against the pass. However, the big change that may come is that BC now has more speed on the corners with guys like Isaac Yiadom and Kam Moore ready to jump in. But they are young, and prone to mistakes, so those results we saw last year may continue. But if the defensive front seven could put enough pressure on the QB, that may help that inexperience.
"They're starting over on the offensive line. They're still going to try to run the ball and be physical up front because that's Addazio's personality, but they were a pretty mature team last season."
Lots has been made about the pass/run ratio in regards to BC's play calling. Darius Wade is a different QB than Tyler Murphy, but coaches are expecting the run to still be a heavy part of BC's offense. Whether that is something that happens remains to be seen.