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Shamrock Series: Steve Addazio's Press Conference For Notre Dame Game

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What did the head coach have to say?

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

On how the offensive line will be prepared for Notre Dame having faced tough defenses this season...

"We've played against really good defensive fronts. But we still have matchup issues. We have young guys matched up against first-round draft picks who are older guys. That doesn't go away. But we won't be shocked by it because we've played against it. But we've played against it and struggled with it, to be honest with you. So you still have to matchup. Our right guard [Chris Lindstrom] is a true freshman. I think he is going to be a heck of a football player, but he is 270 pounds against a first-round draft pick who is 290 pounds. Those matchup issues are there, but we've played against that all year and battled against it. So it won't be shocking. I'd like to tell you that we have played against some really good fronts. This one is really good. Louisville was really good. NC State had really good interior players. Clemson has really good defensive run. These are some of the elite defenses in the country. They are as good as anywhere in America. You can't play against better, if there is any solace to that. But this a really talented team right here."

On whether there is any similarities based on injuries between the two teams....
"I think the thing is they've had to go to a freshman quarterback who is surrounded by a lot of great players. They have some young linemen in there, but very talented offensive line. I've watched them. They have a first-round draft pick out at wide receiver and a stable of running backs. What I always say is this: It's easier when you have a bunch of good surrounding pieces, you can plug a guy in and you can make that go. When you don't have those areas of strengths then it's harder. We're young all over. We don't have a first-round draft pick right now at wide receiver. We don't have a veteran offensive line that is playing like that. We don't have a bevy of our backs right now. Our best back is out for the year. So it's not quite the same deal. Now this quarterback has done a great job, but he isn't under the duress that has been created for us. I think he is a really great football player and I like him a lot. I think he has poise. He throws the ball well and is a big, tall guy."

On playing at Fenway Park...
"I think it is exciting to be playing at Fenway Park. I walked over there last week and it's just such a cool venue. I'd much rather be playing this game at Fenway Park than flying out to South Bend. We're in our backyard here. It's like home. And it is a cool venue. It's different. It's a unique set up over there, but I think it's going to be a great atmosphere and an exciting place to play. I am absolutely excited about that."

On getting the offense back on track...
"We just have to get experience. That is really what it is. We've tried to simplify, we've tried to do everything. Last game we played, [John Fadule] threw the ball for 257 yards. There have been some spurts in both the last two games where you can see things starting to happen. We're not replacing one little piece, we are replacing all the pieces. It's not just the quarterback. The offensive line might be struggling. We have some young receivers who are super talented, but who may miss a block in the perimeter. It's always something along the way right now. We tried to simplify it. It's hard to get a guy ready to play quarterback three quarters of the way through the season with no training camp and no spring ball. No nothing. There is no bank. So you're trying to create bank while you are game planning. If you go too simple, and we're young to begin with, then you get handled upfront. You need to have some concept of how you want to attack. The minute you start doing that with these young guys and they have to digest all that, these are some guys right out of high school, they have a hard time digesting. Understanding defenses, understanding pressure and understanding what they are seeing across and then applying a game plan. It's a work in progress. It's going to be a work in progress."

On having played two top-10 teams already in 2015...
"All these things go into what I call a bank. Sometimes you are not ready to withdraw from that bank yet. You're just paying into it. Football is funny like that way. It's hard to say, ‘can't we get it going now?' Say it was just a quarterback issue and everybody else [was healthy], you had some veteran players in a lot of other places. You can overcome that. But when you have these breakdowns occurring in all three phases, because they are all just very young. Even a couple of the older guys we have on the offensive line that play a little bit have never played before. You see it in practice every day. You see the things that excite you and you get excited about, but it's a lack of consistency. That leads to a lack of execution. And then you have some 17- and 18-year-old guys going up against 21 and 22-year-old guys. And there are some physical things there. We've got guys who are 270 that will end up being 300 pounds one day. And then they are going to have that entire bank that they have gone against. And then that bank really comes back to you.


On the demeanor of quarterback John Fadule...
"He has to take another step. I told him today at practice that you go from just reading cards, free-lancing and making plays. And then you have to go ahead and make sure you have the play called. There might be a check involved. You have to have a motion going. You have other things going on. And, oh by the way, on a certain play, you have to have a great play action ball fake and then you've got to plant your feet in the pocket and throw the ball. Well, there is no longer run around and go make plays. You have some things that you have to do because there is timing and execution involved. He's got to take the next step there. He and Jeff [Smith] are working really hard. But that is a very unfinished product right now. What John does a really good job of, in my opinion, is that he competes and keeps his eyes down the field. He is able to create some plays. What he has to do a better job of is executing the mechanics and the fundamentals and the checks of the offense, because when you go against really talented teams like that, that free-lancing stuff will catch you real quick. I think Jeff has more time with that because he was taking more of these snaps earlier in training camp. Jeff has a good feel for all of that. So those guys are working very hard. But for John, the next piece of this thing is to play with good fundamentals and good technique and read your routes right and your progression properly. And not have preconceived notions of where you are going to throw the football. That stuff gets you in trouble. Those things are called turnovers. Interceptions. Fumbles. Things happen. We can't have that in this game.


On who benefitted the most from the bye week...
"Steven Daniels and Connor Wujciak were banged up pretty good. They would have had a hard time playing [this weekend]. They're going to be fine for this game. And those are two pretty big guys. I think Isaac Yiadom is going to be able to play in this game. I think Louie Addazio will play in this game. We had a couple of those kind of guys that were pretty banged up last week, but that will be fine. It's just the overall body feeling better with the week off.

"We had a pretty physical practice today, but I think that ends today. One thing I made up my mind on is that we're going to make our team as fresh as we possibly can for this game so they can really fight and compete."


On getting his players ready for the atmosphere of the game...
"This is going to be an interesting game. I'm not really sure how loud it's going to be [at Fenway Park]. I can't tell if this will be a situation where we will need to use a silent cadence. I hope not, but we have to prepare for it. But I don't really know the dynamics of the stadium or the size of it. That's a concern to me right now and I'd rather not have to deal with that.

"We've played against some really good football teams. We just have to make our plays on both sides of the ball and special teams. We've only really had one game where we really got physically whipped up front. That was the Louisville game. Now, we've been non-productive in other games but not whipped."

On the experience of playing at Fenway Park...
"I've been over there a couple times and I just love it. It's so nostalgic and it's got that old ballpark field. It's just way cool, and I don't know how anybody couldn't feel that way coming into watch this game—players and fans included. I think it's going to be really throwback kind of atmosphere. Obviously I'm guessing that, since I haven't seen a football game there. But I felt that way last year at Yankee Stadium and I think I'll feel that way here."

On the challenges of player development...
"Sometimes, you take a program over and you're playing with freshmen right away. What we tried to do is to take the best of the rest during the first couple of years and prop them up with fifth-year seniors and win as many games as we could. But our real vacuum is going to be now. We have 27 players who are junior and seniors. That's a lot. So who's taking that place? A bunch of freshmen.

"On the offensive line there should be six guys in their junior or senior seasons that should be playing their best football. But that's not the case. So that creates that vacuum where all of a sudden Aaron Monteiro needs to come out of Brockton High School and play right away. And Chris Lindstrom, who was about 16-year-old and 240 pounds when he came here, is playing and is up to 270 pounds and 17.

"Those guys are two examples and two guys who are going to become really good football players. But they are playing before their time. Another year from now, they might be a little more mature, but it's still before their time. In a perfect world, an offensive lineman is playing only in their last two years."

On the passion of the Boston College-Notre Dame rivalry...
"Only nine seniors out of over 100 players on the team have played against Notre Dame. They don't really get that whole rivalry aspect. That really struck me today after practice. They don't have a sense of the real passion for that game.

"I remember when I was coaching [at Notre Dame], there was a real passion to come here to Boston College and play. I remember the year Boston College came to Notre Dame and cut away pieces of the turf at Notre Dame Stadium when they won. This is one of those games that our young guys don't quite understand. So we're going to do a good job of filling them in.

"It's really a great traditional game. It's just cool. That's what I love about college football. Sometimes, some of those things, you just can't get away from. It makes college football unique. Then of course, you're playing it at Fenway."