Sunday, May 22, 2011

2011 Position Previews: Quaterbacks

New season. New format. Instead of a digestible combo of factoids and opinions, I am going to write in a more narrative, free style post. As always, feedback is appreciated.

Have you ever watched 1984 Boston College-West Virginia game on ESPN Classic? Whenever its on, I find myself sucked in. I'll watch until the end as BC goes down on downs. I know how the game ends. I know BC lost. Yet all logic and rationale in my brain is turned off as a wait for Doug Flutie to change history. "I know they lost," I tell myself, "but it looks like Doug is going to do it..." Special quarterbacks will make you believe weird things.

Some schools get by on gimmick or a system. Some overwhelm you with waves of speed and talent. Neither has been BC's M.O. Our high points tend to be based on a group of kids coming together at the right time around the right Quarterback. That history is why I still have hope for the Spaz era. If we are going to rise again in the next season or two, I think it will be because of Chase Rettig and in spite of our coaching.

But I am probably pinning too much hope on Rettig. But the alternative is no hope. No upside. Prolonged boredom and despair brought on by Shinskie and Marscovetra. Sorry, I am a Catholic and a BC fan, not a nihilist. I need to believe. If Rettig isn't the answer, I am sure I will rationalize the upside of the next guy just to stave off the pain. "Maybe the time on the bench has changed Shinskie..." "I hear good things about Suntrup..."

Let me segue from feeling to a few facts that will hopefully inspire some positivity surrounding our quarterback situation. 1. This is the most experience we bring into a season without a senior starter in more than a decade. We are the only ACC team that has two quarterbacks with more than nine starts apiece. 2. Rettig attempted and completed more passes as a freshman than either Hasselbeck, St. Pierre, Porter or Ryan. 3. His completion percentage was within fractions of Shinskie's mark as a freshman. 4. Rettig was 5-4 as a starter.

The biggest unknown in all this is how Rettig or any of the other QBs progress under Kevin Rogers. How he works with our QBs and what he asks them to do could easily derail my "next big thing" narrative.

Although I welcome metrics and measurement in sports, one of the things I love about college football is that the development curve is so steep, severe and sudden, that a kid can blossom overnight. Who would have predicted that Flutie or Foley or Ryan would become what they each became based on their appearances. All you need is potential, opportunity and a spark.

Finally let me share a frustrating play from a frustrating and draining season.

Do you know why this play gives me hope? Because it all fell apart and Rettig kept fighting...just like Flutie did against West Virginia. The special ones always believe in themselves more than we believe in them.


mod34b said...

Interesting Video.

It does show Rettig is a gamer. Rettig wants to win. Good things.

But boy, Cleary looked awful on that play. Just too slow in that play for the speedy edge rusher.

If you look at the other side of the line -- Castonzo. Not only does AC's guy not get any pressure, AC is still blocking the guy as Rettig is jumping on the fumble 15 yards away. He keeps playing until the whistle sounds.

Joseph said...

Good point about AC. Richman looked good too.

mod34b said...

Yeah, Richman is kicking ass too. Spinney is doing his job well. But one weak link on one play and it can be disaster (like a fumble on your own 20 yard line).

Let's hope the Cleary episode is just one abberational bad play where a speedster got a jump,on him.

Line has some real talent coming back. Should make Rettig comfortable.

As an aside, I saw some mention on the ESPN ACC blog of a Duke guard just moved to Center who is on some kind of Center award watch list. What a joke. Duke.

I think Spinney should be good and will provide some needed cohesion and leadership on the line -- award list or not.

JBQ said...

In 1984, BC was 10-2 with close losses to WV and Pst and end up AP number 4 with a win in the Cotton Bowl. Very exciting stuff! I like Rettig. Again, Rogers has to be given free rein which does not appear to be the case. The team is boring. When Tennessee runs onto the "checkerboard", the entire state vibrates and there is a reading on the Richter scale. Flutie brought excitement and took the "thunder" away from ND. BC has a lot of work to do. I visited the BC campus a year ago and talked to athletic personnel on the first day of Spring practice. The mood was as "flat as the team when ND came to town" last year. There is something wrong.

mod34b said...

JBQ, while I hate to publiclly utter four-letter words, the something wrong is such a word: S-P-A-Z.