Addazio: Practice not up to 'standard'

August, 26, 2013
8/26/13
3:53
PM ET
NEWTON, Mass. -- Steve Addazio was not happy, and he let his players know it.

The coach lit into the Eagles at the conclusion of practice Monday for what he deemed an unacceptable performance.

“I wasn’t particularly satisfied with today’s practice,” Addazio said when he held his first regular Monday session with the media shortly after. “I didn’t think that today’s practice was up to the standard that it should be. We’ve had a lot of good practices and not a lot of ones that I would say were below the standard but this one was certainly, in my opinion, below the standard of what it needs to be.

“I need to get back up, watch the film and dig into what we need to do to make sure that’s righted, because we certainly wouldn’t be where we want to be if we were playing a game today.”

Asked what was lacking, Addazio said it was across the board.

“The intensity level wasn’t where I thought it should be, and I just thought we made too many mistakes on the practice field,” he said. “Perfect practice equals perfect play. If you think that you’re just gonna get it on Saturday because you want to, it won’t happen.

“You’re ready when it’s clean. If it’s not clean, you’re kind of rolling the dice a little bit.”

Coming off a 2-10 season in 2012, the Eagles can’t afford to gamble in their preparation.

“We feel like for us to be successful we have to play really well as a team, which means we’re accountable and playing clean as a team. And when I say clean I mean mistake-free,” Addazio said. “We’re not gonna be a team that even though there’s several mistakes out there, one great player kind of brings you home on it. That won’t serve us well. We need to play across the board with high execution.”

The Eagles are technically in their third day of preparation for the opener against Villanova, where in a normal week it would have been the first day of prep. Addazio said that sometimes those middle days of preparation, traditionally Tuesdays in a normal week, can be the hardest.

It’s possible that was the problem for the Eagles on Shea Field on Monday. But whatever the issue was, Addazio is determined to remedy it.

His players understand where he’s coming from.

“I think he’s just trying to emphasize the point that it’s game week and people need to get going and make sure no one is taking their foot off the pedal,” senior wideout Alex Amidon said of Addazio’s post-practice message. “We’ve gotta keep on climbing until right up to that last day. It has to be 110 percent every day.

“He’s saying, ‘You play how you practice and you win the games right now.’ That’s his message,” Amidon said. “Don’t come out and think you’re just gonna play differently on Saturday. What you do out here is going to show up on the field.”

While some might be tempted to write off Villanova, an FCS program, and assume a BC win, Addazio sure isn’t. He’s determined to set the right tone for the opener, and for the rest of the season.

“Why am I harping on this? And why are we talking about this?” he asked rhetorically. “Because I said from the beginning, I think for us to have great success, we’ve gotta be a real team. And that’s gotta be an advantage.

“So I focus and concentrate and talk and drill on this a lot, because I’m trying to increase our level of that. That’s our way of gaining an edge. And that’s why it’s so important to me right now, and that’s why I get disappointed if today wasn’t as high as it should have been because I know that has to be our edge.”

Asked if he thought the Eagles were close, Addazio said there have been times they’ve looked pretty good. But Addazio wants them to look that way all the time, not once in a while.

“My mindset is always, ‘OK, guys, just like a game, that one there that happened today, that’s gone forever.’ And if that’s as good a teaching moment as I can get, that’s great,” he said. “That’s what I want. Games are fragile. Before you know it, you’re sitting in the locker room. You either sang the fight song or you didn’t.

“Don’t let ‘em get away. They get away real quick -- find a way to not let it get away from you. That’s something we’re training.”

It was only a Monday practice, and there are three more days to correct mistakes and prepare for the first opponent of the season. So any takeaways need to be tempered somewhat.

But if one thing seems certain, this early in the season, it’s that Addazio means what he says when he says he will not tolerate mistakes.

“Maybe in another way it’s a good teaching moment,” he said. “There’s no redos. We live in this world of redos. ‘Oh, my bad. My bad. Can we do it again? Can I get another chance? Can I have one more chance?’ No. No, you can’t. You get one. It’s over. Move on. You can’t get it back anymore.”

If the coach has his way in 2013, the Eagles will make their chances count. He’ll surely let them hear about it if they don’t.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.



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