It’s Time to Start Questioning Steve Addazio

Source: It’s Time to Start Questioning Steve Addazio

*Disclaimer: I know that no one cares about BC football, but I do and need a forum to rant. This blog is for me more than anything else.

Boston College has the potential to have an elite football team (men scream in protest, women faint, babies start crying). I know; it’s a bold statement. After all, this is a program that had just 2 wins in 2012, and has since had to claw its way back to national relevance. BC hasn’t had an 8-win season in 6 years and hasn’t really been competitive in the ACC in nearly a decade. But it’s not due to a dearth of talent. On the contrary, the 2015 Eagles are chock-full of athletes, who, under the right direction, could be prolific. So why is it that a former ACC powerhouse has to struggle to eek out a 3-point win against Northern Illinois? Two words: Steve Addazio. In his 2+ seasons at the helm in the Heights, Addazio has helped to slightly revive a program that was reduced to smoldering rubble by his infamous predecessor Frank Spaziani. However, despite moderate success, his tenure thus far has been marred by inconsistency and underperformance, leaving the BC faithful (all 12 of them) to wonder, “what if?”

Let me be clear, Addazio is by no means a bad coach. I’ve seen my fair share of headset-wearing scrubs on the BC sideline over the years, and Addazio isn’t one of them. He’s a great motivator, unbelievable recruiter, and the perfect mix of enthusiastic and psychotic. That being said, he’s a long way away from the likes of Nick Saban or Urban Meyer. Yes, BC has reached a bowl game the past two years. Yes, we beat USC and nearly took down illiterate famous Jameis last year. But, we also suffered uncharacteristic, backbreaking losses (Colorado St, Pitt) that derailed a promising season. We finished just 1 game above .500 the past two seasons, concluding each campaign with a bowl game loss. This is respectable when you look at the position our program was in just 3 short years ago, but it is not in line with the level of talent that we possess. We hired Addazio on the premise that he would help to restore the glory of the 2000’s to BC football, and turn us into a legitimate contender in the ACC. So far, all he’s done is downgrade the program from dumpster fire to a controlled wastebasket burn. Here are the three reasons why I believe Addazio hasn’t been able to elevate BC to the level of national powerhouse:

  1. Conservative play calling

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I’ll try to keep this brief because thinking about BC’s offense gives me peptic ulcers, but play calling is the crucial flaw of the Addazio offense. Big Steve energized the BC community a year ago with the promise of an up-tempo, high-octane ground and pound offense. And we saw the great potential of this offensive style against USC. The Trojan defense had no answer for our quick, option offense. Yet despite the overwhelming success of this creative game plan, Addazio time and time again reverts back to the conservative offense that has come to mark Boston College football. Through 4 games this season, we haven’t seen anything but safe, predictable play calls. We run it up the dick two out of 3 plays every offensive series, forcing our inexperienced quarterbacks (more on that in a second) to throw the ball. And more often than not, we find ourselves punting from deep in our own territory. We must be the easiest team to game plan for in all of Division 1. I think we literally run 4 plays, none of which are creative or the least bit effective. And I’m not asking for Addazio to reinvent the wheel here. I don’t expect us to bust out flea flickers or the Statue of Liberty every other play. Just vary it up once in a while. Run the ball to the outside. Run an end around. Send Sherman Alston deep on a wheel route. Throw the ball more than 5 times a game. You know, stuff that football teams do.

  1. Indecisiveness

This point mostly pertains to the quarterback controversy between Troy Flutie (yes, that Flutie) and Jeff Smith. For those of you who don’t like to waste 3 hours of your life, and therefore didn’t watch Saturday’s game, Addazio’s offense featured a rotating door of these quarterbacks, as the two switched off every other drive and occasionally replaced each other mid-drive. This inhibits the offense from developing any sort of rhythm, and is a direct detriment to cohesion. Addazio is only creating confusion and instability by refusing to name a starter and instilling him as the permanent head of the offense. Additionally, I don’t even know why there’s a controversy. Addazio has said from day one that he likes to run a spread offense with a mobile quarterback. Troy Flutie is a pocket passer with a decent arm. Jeff Smith runs a 4.3 40. It remains to be seen if the latter has any sort of arm, but the inability to throw has never stopped a BC quarterback before. Yes, Flutie had the touchdown pass, and looked solid at times throwing the ball. However, like Darius Wade, he just isn’t a great fit for the system that Addazio wants to run. The fact that Addazio had Flutie out there running the option with Smith on the sidelines tells me that he’s either clueless, or wants to see Flutie killed. Smith didn’t look great by any means on Saturday, but he’s more athletic and makes the most sense in this offense. He forces defenses to keep a spy on him in case he runs, which opens up holes for Hilliman and Rouse to work. Addazio needs to man up, make a decision, and see what he has in Smith.

  1. Lack of adjustments

I’ve already touched upon this to some degree, but it bears repeating. Addazio is unwilling or unable to deviate from what he knows. Two weeks ago against Florida St., BC went into the half only trailing by 7 to a top ranked opponent. The offense had been stagnant and predictable, unable to move the ball past mid-field in the first half. Shockingly, running up the middle every play behind an inexperienced offensive line doesn’t work against actual football teams. Now, any other coach would have gone into the locker room, and re-evaluated the pregame strategy. After all, what did we have to lose? We were heavy underdogs, no one expected us to win, and yet we found ourselves in a position to potentially pull off a major upset on national television. But instead of taking risks and trying to win the game, Addazio stuck to his guns and continued the ground and pound offense. And you know what it got him? An injured quarterback and zero points. Part of being a coach is having the ability to adjust on the fly and play the type of football that you need to play to win. Addazio doesn’t seem to have this ability.

I know this comes across as a harsh condemnation of Addazio and BC football, but I actually strongly believe in him as our head coach and am excited about the direction that the program is going in. He’s turned a bunch of guys into dudes, generated national publicity for the program, and reinvigorated a dejected bunch of Superfans. I just feel that he doesn’t fully utilize all of the talent on the roster in a way that would make BC a national contender. We have the potential to be great. The pieces are all there. We have the number 1 ranked defense in the country. Let me repeat that. WE HAVE THE BEST DEFENSE IN THE COUNTRY! Yet the offense continually drags us down and prevents us from reaching our full potential. So until Addazio decides to get serious, rectify the offense, and start playing big boy football, we have another few seasons of 7-win ball and Meineke Car Care Bowls to look forward to.

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