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Since joining the Eagles, Steve Addazio has lived up to his reputation as a high-octane motivator.
Associated Press | File 2012
Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig says his new coach is “definitely different” as the Eagles work toward improving an offense that was 109th in scoring and 115th in rushing last season.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Throughout every practice, new Boston College coach Steve Addazio holds a competition between his offensive players and defensive players. Each unit accrues points for excelling in drills or making big plays in scrimmages.
Every day, a final score is tallied.
Every day, that score has consequences.
“The losers of the day, they’ve got a really bad ending, man,” Addazio said at the recent ACC Football Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C. “They’re doing up-downs every five yards for 100 yards. I mean, it’s ugly.
“The whole deal is to promote that you’ve gotta win. Losing’s not acceptable.”
BC’s athletic administrators apparently felt the same way. That’s why they fired Frank Spaziani after four downward-trending seasons and lured Addazio away from Temple to try to restore some luster to the program.
From the first day he walked in the locker room and barked at the players for leaving towels on the floor, the 54-year-old coach has made an impression.
“It’s definitely different from what we’ve been used to,” BC quarterback Chase Rettig said. “He’s a lot more passionate, a lot more enthusiastic. He gets involved with the teaching aspect of the game.”
A former offensive and defensive lineman at Central Connecticut State, Addazio started his coaching career at a Connecticut high school before stints as an assistant at Syracuse, Notre Dame, Indiana and Florida. He was the Gators’ offensive coordinator in 2009 (Tim Tebow’s senior year) and ’10.
Both at those stops and at Temple, where he guided the Owls to a 13-11 record over two seasons, Addazio gained a reputation as a high-octane motivator.
“On the sidelines in games, I’m really flyin’ around,” said Addazio, who could bench press 425 pounds in his heyday. “I want to make sure our sidelines, our players, they feel that energy, man. I think that’s really important.
“Sometimes you’re sore getting out of bed on Sunday morning, but the thrill and the exhilaration of the next game is coming right at ya. The season is a windsprint, man.”
The Eagles gasped to the finish line with a 2-10 record in 2012, leaving Addazio with plenty to fix. Defensively, BC ranked dead last among the 120 FBS schools in sacks and tackles for loss. The offense finished 109th in scoring and 115th in rushing.
It’s that last ignoble stat — a paltry 90.9 yards per game on the ground — that Addazio will try to improve first.
“I think you need a power component in the offense,” said Addazio, who inherits a bruising tailback in Andre Williams but not much depth at the position. “Whether you line up with three wide receivers, four wide receivers, flexed, closed, I believe you need that component. You get down to the goal line, you’ve got to be able to run the football.”
Last year’s Eagles rarely got close enough to the goal line to even try it. They averaged just 19 points per game. But the players are confident that the physical style of play — BC’s trademark during their years as an ACC title contender — will return under Addazio.
“He comes in with the same attitude every single day. There’s not a day that he’s down,” linebacker Steele Divitto said. “You really appreciate that because you want to feed off that energy as well.
“He gets the guys going. He understands that it’s tough being a college athlete, so he makes it the best experience that he can.”
Unless, of course, you lose the daily practice contest. Then it gets ugly.
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