ACC: Jamie SIlva

Q&A with Jeff Jagodzinski

August, 20, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

 Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images
 Jeff Jagodzinski says some things are easier for him now that he has one year under his belt.

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- It is an absolutely perfect day here, about 77 degrees and sunny. I'm heading out to practice now, but first some excerpts from my interview with Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski Wednesday afternoon:

What have you learned about your team this summer?

JJ: They're a hard-working group of guys. They did everything I asked them to do. They stayed here both sessions of summer school. Our strength coach has put them through a workout like he's never put a team through before, just tougher, more demanding.

What was the biggest surprise of the summer, whether it was a player or a group that made significant progress?

JJ: Josh Haden did a really nice job this summer. Just being in the program since last January has really helped him. Actually, all of those guys that came in are going to have to contribute this year. They would've had a hard time doing it if they weren't here from last January.

Do you feel like your offense might be a little less one-dimensional because you're adding more of a mobile quarterback, more of a running game this year?

JJ: Let me point out something about our running game. Our short control passing game we consider runs here. Everybody was saying you didn't run the ball. Andre Callender had over 1,600 yards last year, total offense. He caught the ball ... every time he touched the ball he gained 10 yards. Now, do you want to hand it to him? Or do you want to throw it to him? That's our running game. I think that's skewed in the fact I'm not going to take it out of that quarterback's hands -- that would not be smart. But Andre still had close to 1,000 yards rushing last year. That was the best way we could use him last year.

Is Chris, though, a more mobile quarterback?

JJ: Oh yeah, we'll be able to use him in more play-action and movement type stuff more so than drop-back like we did last year, because that was not Matt's strength.

How much have you seen Chris develop as a leader, sort of taking ownership of this offense?

JJ: When you're never in that position, you can never blossom. [Offensive coordinator Steve] Logan and I were watching film the other day from his first spring scrimmage to where he is right now, it's night and day, just the way he takes command of the offense. Until you've done it, you haven't done it.

The same can be said, though, about his first season as starter, even though it's not like he hasn't played before.

JJ: He is a fifth-year freshman right now.

How much confidence do you have in that fifth-year freshman?

JJ: I've got as much confidence as I have in any starting quarterback. If he's your guy, he's your guy.

Is this an easier season for you because it's your second season?

JJ: As far as knowing what to expect it's a lot easier, and going through our guys knowing what I expect and how things are done the way I want the program to look, yeah, that was a lot easier. As a coach, it's a matter of getting the kids to buy into what you're doing and they did that early on last year and that's just continued.

How is the secondary looking?

JJ: To be honest with you, they are more athletically gifted than what we've had. As far as being football players, we're going to find out. But the guys that are taking Jamie Silva's spot are more athletically gifted than Jamie was. Jamie was an instinctive guy that made plays. We'll find out what these guys can do, [Marcellus] Bowman and Wes Davis.

Check back later for more on BC.

Three questions for Boston College

August, 5, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

 Andy Altenburger/Icon SMI
 Chris Crane finally gets his chance to start after playing behind Matt Ryan the past three seasons.

Again, my apologies to Boston College fans for not getting to this on Monday. The Eagles began practice Monday and there are a few questions still hovering over Chestnut Hill:

1. How long will it take for Chris Crane to become the quarterback the Eagles need?

It shouldn't take too long. Offensive coordinator Steve Logan has tailored the offense to suit Crane, and it's not as if he's a freshman taking his first collegiate snap. Crane has earned the confidence of his teammates, and several of them have said Crane would have been starting at any other ACC school had he not been behind Matt Ryan. If all else fails, though, redshirt freshman Dominique Davis is another option.

2. How effective will the running game be with a freshman running back and some youth on the offensive line?

This should be a season of learning for Josh Haden. He'll be running behind a line that includes two new starters, but his decision to enroll early so he could participate in spring ball will obviously help his progression. Check back later this week for his take on the situation and how summer camp has treated him so far.

3. Can Boston College still have one of the more potent defenses in the ACC despite losing five starters?

Absolutely. The Eagles were third in the ACC in total defense last season (329.4 yards per game), and there's a good chance this year's squad can be equally effective. While there were losses on this side of the ball, there were also gains. Junior defensive end Alex Albright is back after missing the final three games of 2007 with a broken forearm. It will also help to have to have senior Brian Toal back, too, and who knows, he might just help out on offense again. The secondary lost free safety Jamie Silva, but Wes Davis, who missed most of last season with an injury, is one of the candidates to replace him.