The hard work starts now for Eagles

August, 6, 2013
8/06/13
6:24
PM ET


NEWTON, Mass. -- The fall semester is still weeks away, but Tuesday was a work day at Boston College.

If there was any doubt of that, Steve Addazio’s wardrobe at the team’s annual media day erased it.

The new coach, two days into his first full training camp with the Eagles, arrived at his news conference in the Yawkey Center looking like it was just a pit stop on his way to the gym. Clad in a maroon BC T-shirt, a pair of black BC athletic shorts and sneakers, it was clear that the first order of business was working with his players on the field now, and everything else takes a backseat.

“So far, so good,” he said. “I like the attitude of the team, I like where we’re headed.”

Addazio praised his players for their retention of the information the staff piled on them during the spring session, and said he believes they have made progress on their goal of becoming a team-first organization rather than the fragmented groups he said they were at the end of 2012’s 2-10 season.

But the coach also repeatedly cautioned that it’s still very early to know anything for sure. The Eagles haven’t even put the pads on yet. That will happen by the end of this week, with the team first going to shoulder pads and helmets and then full gear before the first scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday morning.

Once camp really gets going and fatigue starts to set in, Addazio and his staff plan to put the players into as many adverse situations as they can to test the players’ mettle and prepare them for the 2013 season as best they can.

“That’s what training camp is, it’s the ability to learn how to fight through, mentally and physically, the fatigue factor in camp and still get better every day,” Addazio said. “We’ve not hit that yet. You might ask me that question three days from now and I’ll give you the honest answer. I might say ‘I feel great’ or I might say ‘I’m not happy.’ ”

As for the team’s immediate goal, Addazio left no doubt.

“All I care about is winning,” he said. “Some people get caught up in how you win, in style points -- all I care about is winning. Whatever we have to do in the course of the game to manage that game to win, we have to win as many games as we possibly can.”

Senior quarterback Chase Rettig echoed that sentiment

“I don’t care if I don’t throw a pass in a game,” Rettig said. “I just want to win. I just want to go back into the locker room after a game and celebrate, have the coaches happy.”

Rettig said he wants to get the Eagles back into bowl contention in his final go-round in Chestnut Hill, after missing out on the postseason as both a sophomore and a junior.

Asked if it would be realistic to expect BC to be able to get back to a bowl game in 2013, Addazio cited the program’s recent history -- going to a bowl in 12 straight seasons from 1999 to 2010 -- as evidence that it is.

“Yes. Absolutely,” he said. “We’re fighting for that: Win the opener, get bowl-eligible. This program’s gotta get back to a bowl game. That’s a bar that in my opinion we’ve gotta be at and climb from. So we’re in a foot race for that.”

But the coach also admitted there are no guarantees that the script can flip so quickly.

“It’s hard for me to sit here and predict to anybody the rate of how this is gonna move this program,” he said. “In my mind, it’s just every day just going as hard as we can go. And I believe the arrow is going that way.

“Is that one day? Eight months? Two years? I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know the answer to this: We can recruit, we can develop. We’ve got just this wonderful place in Boston College, and there’s absolutely no reason why, with work ethic and time, this needle’s [not] gonna move.”

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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