Addazio Hopeful Approaching Spring Practice and 2019 Season
By Daniel Coates
Before the commencement of spring practice beginning February 23rd, Head Coach Steve Addazio took to the podium to set the tone for the upcoming season, and to address the media about the coaching and player changes in the off season. Addazio began his remarks with his usual energetic fashion, assuringly stating “our kids are ready to roll.”
The “head dude” surveyed both sides of the ball in his opening address. Offensively, Addazio recognized the loss of key offensive lineman— highlighted by draft prospect Chris Lindstrom. “Our level of offensive play at the line will not drop off at all… there is also not a better tight end group in the country.” Furthermore, Addazio vigorously defended his returning offensive players, highlighting rising stars such as Ben Glines, David Bailey, and CJ Lewis.
Defensively, one of the most significant losses to note is the departure of Hamp Cheevers, the star cornerback that was a ball hawk for the Eagles all 2018. Both Addazio, and later newly appointed defensive coordinator— Bill Sheridan— expressed their belief that Cheevers should have stayed another year to develop at the cornerback position and grow physically. Nevertheless, both wish him the best in his pursuit of an NFL career. Once again, Addazio examined the need to replace key players like Cheevers, Zach Allen, and Connor Strachan. However, he did give hope to the defensive situation by saying, “Yeah we’ve lost guys, but you keep moving forward if you coach and recruit properly.”
Proper recruiting is just what Addazio and his staff have done as of late. Highlighted by the commitments of four star recruits Sam Johnson, Patrick Garwo, and Kevin Pyne, the 2019 recruiting class is shaping to be one of the most talented groups en route to the Heights. As far as coaching goes, there is certainly reason to feel confident with the new appointments of experienced leaders. Mike Bajakian (new offensive coordinator) and Bill Sheridan (former linebacker coach, newly announced defensive coordinator) headline the new era of this program. Both bring NFL experience and elite success at the collegiate level prior to their time at Boston College. With the incoming talent and experience at the top, a new energy is tangible in Chestnut Hill.
With the changing year, players, and coaches, the goal remains the same— to win a conference championship. And although this goal seems farfetched with rivals such as Clemson, Florida State, and NC State gunning for that Atlantic Conference crown, Addazio reminded the media how close they were to the ACC Championship in 2018. “In the 10th game of the year, we were playing Clemson on Gameday for the conference championship… in week 10 we fell short of this goal.” The Eagles were in a position to make their goals reality, but Addazio and company could not capitalize.
Yet, another spring practice on the horizon fosters new possibilities. BC is entering their seventh season with Steve Addazio at the helm, and to say his tenure—in terms of approval from the Eagle fanbase—has been a roller coaster would be an understatement. However, Addazio has always taken a defensive stance when faced with criticism. That was on full display today. Addazio actually listed the amount of bowl appearances among the programs in the northeast since 2013, and Boston College was at the top with 5— along with Notre Dame, Penn State, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh. Additionally, he praised his own program by alluding to the 7 NFL Combine players BC produced this year.
These are all incredible accomplishments for the program. However, Addazio continues to justify his position in a blatant manner. The 2019 football campaign will be a defining one for him and this BC program. We have the rising talent and experience at the top required to be successful in the ACC. But will all the pieces fall into place under the “head dude?” The Eagle fanbase will have to wait and see — and spring practices will most certainly provide a window into the future on the Heights.