Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Season in Review: Biggest Surprises

We all had expectations for the season and a few players we thought might shine. However, I doubt any of us predicted the impact these three guys would have. Here are the biggest surprises of the 2014 season.

1. Sherman Alston

When he committed, Alston seemed like a nice player to round out the recruiting class. He showed good speed and smarts, but didn't project to a true position in college (mostly because of his size). Here was a New Jersey player that Rutgers didn't recruit. Yet as soon as he got on campus, the rumblings began. Addazio and his staff realized they had something. They just didn't know what he was. And with that they did what ever they could with him, using him on punt returns. as a WR and most effectively as a Split End getting the ball on jet sweeps. Alston proved most effective when he got a little bit of daylight. Once he got some space, he could use his speed and elusiveness to turn little plays into big ones. His breakout game was USC, but he drew attention anytime he got on the field. In fact a common complaint as the season wore on was that we were using him too often as a decoy instead of getting him the ball. Other players had bigger years, but Alston was the biggest bonus since so little was expected.

2. Justin Simmons

In August did you expect Justin Simmon to lead the team in tackles? The junior had a nice career prior to this season, but nothing to indicate that he would make such a huge jump in productivity. Simmons wasn't just a pile jumper getting lots of tackles. He saved the Wake game with a critical INT and also got to the QB when asked to blitz. Simmons also showed versatility as he split his time between corner and safety. He wasn't our best defensive player, but he was the guy who made the leap during a crucial transition season.

3. Aaron Kramer

An after thought who had never started a game, Kramer was thrust into the spotlight when Harris Williams went down against UMass. It seemed like our Offensive Line might crack, but Kramer played well against UMass and then followed the solid play throughout September. He might not have been as consistent as some of the other starters and had some tough games later in the season, but overall Kramer played well and much better than most of us would have expected.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Women's Hockey keeps rolling and other links

The Women's Hockey team cannot be stopped. Monday they took down Princeton. With the snow storm brewing, the stands were basically empty. Let's hope as the unbeaten streak continues, fans start to rally around the team.

ESPN thinks we need to improve our WR play in 2015. Even with a new offensive coordinator and some new talent, I don't see us every becoming pass happy.

Jim Christian and staff are pursuing German prospect Lukas Meisner . He would bring some much needed size to the 2015 recruiting class. At this point Christian can be selective with the class and only add players he really wants. I still expect a transfer or two to help fill out the roster next year.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Christian gets first ACC win

Something had to give. BC finally had a close game go their way. BC finally stopped a late collapse. Most importantly, BC finally won an ACC game. This was Christian's first in the conference and it was well deserved. Despite the problems down the stretch and missing Clifford, I felt Christian managed the game well and made enough adjustments for BC to close out the game. Here are some other thoughts:

-- Defense keeps getting better. Georgia Tech is a terrible offense and a bad team, but BC still looked better on D. They switched well. They helped well. Magarity shot out on pick and rolls and still recovered. It gives me hope once we get more talent.
-- Hanlan's shooting. He improved from the line and made some killer 3s. Let's hope his slump is over.
-- Playing through bad spots. BC couldn't make a basket early and allowed a 7-0 run late in the second half, yet held on. Holding on and fighting through those moments are critical as Christian tries to build a program and change the attitude.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Men's Hockey beats UConn and other links

BC needed a hat trick from Ryan Fitzpatrick Fitzgerald to beat UConn.

The NHL added Johnny Gaudreau to the All-Star game. Of course in Ohio they are making Johnny Football to Johnny Hockey comparisons.

The Women's Hockey team remains unbeaten.

Women's Basketball lost to Pitt.

I appreciate BC trying to get hockey hightlights into the Top 10.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Tweets of the Week


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Potential OC candidates

There are a few different ways Addazio can go with this new opportunity. He can promote from within and backfill the staff opening with hundreds of names. He can hire a first-time OC (like he did when he hired Day at Temple). Or he can hire a current OC who wants to come to BC. Most of Addazio's hires at Temple and BC have either worked with him in the past or had specific ties to the region or school. I expect this hire will follow that same pattern.

I don't know who Addazio will hire, but here are a group of names that might pop up:

BC Guys
(I don't think any of these guys would be Offensive Coordinator, but I could see them all come back as staffers if Addazio promotes Fitch.)
Jason Swepson
Paul Peterson
Dan O'Brien
Matt Hasselbeck
Paul Zukauskas
Brian St. Pierre

Friends of Addazio
(I don't think either of these guys would take the job -- for very different reasons -- but I bet Addazio will reach out to them.)
Kevin Rogers
Scot Loeffler

Guys who might want to be play callers
(The biggest appeal for some guys will be the title of the job and calling plays. That is the only way I see us getting some of these guys.)
Zach Azzanni
Brian White
John Hevesy
Billy Gonzales
Derek Warehime

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Day to Philly; Daz looking for new OC

The Eagles hired Ryan Day as their new QB coach where he will be reunited with Chip Kelly. This is a great move for Day and a critical turning point for Addazio.

Although Day spent most of his career at BC, he's been considered a rising star by many outside of Boston. In fact, I would say he was probably under appreciated by casual BC fans. Just look at most of the comments during his stint as OC. I liked Day from the start and appreciated his role in the Jags days as well as his contributions to the offense the past two years. He got a raw deal under Spaz and then hooked up with Addazio at Temple. Having Day as part of Daz's transition also helped the new regime since Day was so familiar with much of the roster. Our offense under Day was a good blend of Addazio's philosophy as well as Kelly's innovations all while adapting to unique rosters.

The timing on these things is never good, but now Addazio has to close out his recruiting class without one of his best recruiters and find a new play caller. The most obvious internal candidate is WR Coach Todd Fitch. He has playing calling experience and could run the same offense. But Addazio doesn't necessarily have to settle on an internal hire. There are plenty of guys who would want to come to BC, especially given the association with an Urban Meyer power-run offense. Being an offensive guy, Addazio will always have influence on the schemes too. I expect we will still be run heavy with spread principles.

Whenever Addazio leaves BC, Ryan Day will be a candidate to replace him. This move to Philly only makes his candidacy better. It gives him NFL experience and some distance from BC. Now if Addazio struggles, Day won't be associated with those struggles. If Addazio succeeds and moves on, Day can also position himself as the candidate who can keep the best parts of Daz plus bring his unique perspective.

I wish Day the best of luck and hope Daz makes a great hire.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hockey beats Merrimack and other links

In a midweek battle, the Hockey team held off Merrimack 2-1.

Stephen Gionta is sidelined with an injury, but is still getting attention from his hometown paper.

A new kicker is on the way. I will have more on him Thursday.

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