Despite all of the headaches and heartaches Boston College has gone through in recent years, senior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis said he only has one regret: That he doesn’t have two more years in the program.
Pierre-Louis has bought in to what first-year coach Steve Addazio and his staff have been doing in order to get the program back on track in Chestnut Hill.
“He’s very demanding,” Pierre-Louis said of Addazio. “He wants things to be done a certain way and he’s going to let you know that he wants things to be done a certain way. He respects his staff as well as his players, but he’s going to make sure everyone is in line to get done what his vision is. His vision is clear. He wants us to become what Boston College has always been in the past -- a tough, hard-nosed football team that’s going to play you for four quarters. He felt as though we had gotten away from that a little bit. He’s trying to reel us back in and get that reputation back for our program.”
There has been a major overhaul at BC this offseason, but it’s not just within the playbook. After a 2-10 season, the players have noticed the staff’s attempt to change the culture, too. In the locker room, the players are now split into position groups instead of by number. There has been a greater emphasis placed on leadership by the upper classmen, and the expectations for accountability have increased.
“Coach Addazio is clearly addressing some of the problems we had in the past years, which has mainly been a lack of leadership, from the older class, which is now my class,” said senior receiver Alex Amidon. “That’s something you will see different, is people being held more accountable for what is going on.”
Running back Andre Williams agreed.
“Absolutely,” he said. “In past years, we really lacked leadership and that's on the coaching level and on the players' level. This year, I feel like the seniors have taken it upon themselves a little bit more to make sure they take that leadership role so we don't end up in the same position we were in in years' past.”
Which is on the outside looking in at both the ACC race and bowl eligibility.
The program has been on a steady decline, missing a bowl game in each of the past two seasons. Whether or not Addazio is the right man for the job remains to be seen, but those within the program are thrilled to have a clean slate this spring.
“It feels great,” Williams said. “One losing season is bad and two losing seasons, it takes a lot of wind out of the whole program. I'm thankful that we were able to get a fresh start, and it feels like changes are being made now so we can really wipe the taste out of our mouths from those last couple seasons.”
It hasn’t been easy.
“The first practice, it was almost as though we were starting from scratch,” Pierre-Louis said. “It was chaos out there. It was almost to the point where it was a little embarrassing, because no one knew what the right calls were we needed to make, where we needed to be. As that practice got along and running, everyone started to feel comfortable and clear their minds and make sure they’re making the proper reads and calls. In the beginning it was kind of hectic, but towards the end everyone fell into place. We still have a long ways to go, but everyone is getting better.”