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Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Q&A with Jeff Jagodzinski


Posted by ESPN.com'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.