Monday, August 22, 2011
8/22/11--Interview with Joe from Soaring to Glory
Today we're lucky to have with us Joe from Soaring to Glory. Joe asked us a couple questions and we returned fire. You can also find this interview over on Joe's site, www.SoaringToGlory.com.
Joe: What is your prediction for BC's record for 2011?
BCD-W: 8-4 (+Bowl Game Win). For the 2011 season, BCMike and I feel that an 8-4 regular season record is probable. An 8-4 season isn't quite what we would like obviously, a 12-0 is ideal, but we feel that an 8-4 record is a dramatic improvement for a lot of reasons from the previous season. For starters, the schedule in 2011 is not even comparable to the previous. Especially the first couple of games with Northwestern and UCF, drastically overshadow last years Kent and Weber Grill State.
Having a new Offensive Coordinator, with a different gameplan (hopefully) and a unseasoned young line is the comprised of excuses for 2011. We feel Rettig will be better, our offensive game production HAS to be higher, right? And our defense will have some fall off on the line, but overall be just as strong.
We feel that our toughest games will be @ Virginia Tech and Florida State at home, and not only because the typical pundits pick those to be the favorites of their divisions, but based on our overall record against them and when they appear on the schedule. Some potential wildcards that will be relied upon this season that could sway this record one direction or another are Kaleb Ramsey, as we feel like he will be a leader that is needed on a retooled Dline. Colin Larmond, to be able to give us another deep speedy threat...and John Wetzel, to help anchor relatively young offensive line.
If these wildcards come through, our season could be even brighter. We truly feel that we are positioned for an even stronger 2012, but 2011 should be a definite improvement from 2010. And of course we added a bowl game win, for no scientific reason other than we are tired of losing them.
BCD-W: Joe, with a new system, a stable of very capable backs we are in a very different position than we have been in the past few years, what is your take on the Over / Under for Montel being the all time leading rusher for the ACC by the end of the regular season?
Joe: Well, before Montel was injured, I had pegged the odds at 75%. I figured, sure, he's coming off of a knee surgery, but he's the ACC preseason player of the year, and he managed to log over 1200 yards in a terrible offensive season last year where he missed time. Now, with revelations that he is going to possibly miss the first few weeks of the season, it just became a harder task.
The odds drop again in my opinion over questions regarding his long-term effectiveness. When you have two knee surgeries in less than a year, it's hard to imagine that there won't be some sort of residual effect. We all want him to come back as soon as possible and be a major contributor again as he has been in the past, but I cannot even guarantee he will be running at peak efficiency.
I put the odds now at around 50-50.
Joe: If you scan the 2011 commitments list, Boston College has some fine recruits coming in. Of the ones we assume will play as true freshmen, who do you think will make the biggest impact this season?
BCD-M: To me this is a fairly obvious one—ALJ. We actually drafted top break-out players in 2011 and Al was selected third. I think the other that might have a big impact from all reports at camp is Wujciak.
BCD-W: On Friday, Boston College hosted a media day to display the new Uniforms and Helmets. While I won’t get into how many stripes are required in a helmet, I will get into the Spaz demeanor. Spaz was banging on the table and stating his goals of winning the Atlantic, the ACC and going to the Orange Bowl. How did you like his new approach to the media? Do you think this is based on his overwhelming feeling that 2011 will be a success?
Joe: Well, I think Spaz needs this season to be a success, mainly because they fell completely flat last year with a light schedule, and some of the natives are restless. I’m sure he knows the characterization of himself from media and bloggers like myself (though I doubt he reads mine) as being conservative, vanilla, and anything but bold. To be honest, I like this new approach a lot.
I’ve been hard on the coach for the previous two years, but if this is him sincerely trying to turn things up a few notches, then I appreciate it. If this is an indication that he will be more bold and aggressive, then that’s exactly what I’m looking for, and I will give him another chance, because it's precisely what we need. The "we are what we are" mentality needs to leave this program and never come back. We need to see this kind of energy and swagger a lot more often.
His predecessor had it, and BC did alright, so I certainly think it’s a welcome change coming from him. If this is the start of a new Coach Spaz, then I’m all for it.
Joe: Boston College was, simply put, a disaster on offense last year. 109th in FBS in yards per game, 109th in points scored (18.46 ppg). We all know they’re not as bad as they played last season under that dreadful scheme. What do you think are some reasonable expectations for Kevin Rogers in his first season, given the pieces around him?
BCD-M: My expectations are that he doesn’t cause me to want to kill myself. That would be a step in the right direction. To me, the most criminal part about Goodnight Gary’s tenure wasn’t the unheralded turtling, it was the blindingly transparent and predictable play-calling.
First down we’ll go off-guard (two to three yards). Second down, we’ll go off-tackle (two to three yards). Third and five, we’ll run a short pattern about four yards deep and get stopped a yard short. It was just so predicable it got to the point where we were being shown nine men fronts CONSISTENTLY and *STILL* ran directly into them.
You have to believe that other DC’s that we faced last year circled the BC game with a red sharpie on the calendar hanging in the office and recorded it on DVR for future job interviews. That’s my expectation. My expectation is that DC’s facing us won’t use our game as a resume for future positions.
BCD-M: Everyone (especially us after this interview) is high on Rettig and hopes/thinks he'll start the next three years. If you're Spaz, how do you pitch QB recruits? Do you even go after QBs? How do you recruit top talent QBs without undermining the confidence of your sophomore quarterback?
Joe: Well, you have to bring someone in, even if just to fill out the roster. You’ve got Rettig and then Suntrup behind him, so all appearances are that the Eagles are set at quarterback for the foreseeable future, but you just never know. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t. This is a little bit of a tough situation, and I’m glad it’s the coaches’ problem and not mine. Hopefully the coaches will be able to sell what is a successful offensive scheme to new recruits, along with all of the other basics they reportedly pitch (like a solid program, good academics, “family” nature, etc.).
Rettig is already in a situation now where there’s supposedly a solid quarterback in Suntrup waiting behind him in the wings, so I’m sure he knows that having a steady stream of talent coming in and potentially vying for his spot is just the nature of the beast. He just has to keep going out there and doing what he’s supposed to do, and things will work themselves out.
Joe: Our defense had a very solid year in 2010, particularly in rushing where they were number one in the nation. The Eagles have lost men like Mark Herzlich, Mike Morrissey, and Brad Newman, but are adding some real talent in guys like Al Louis-Jean and otherwise return a number of starters. Generally speaking, what’s your outlook for the defense’s performance this year? Is it safe to say they’re heading for another respectable showing in 2011?
BCD-M: My biggest question is up the middle. The “Spaz” D relies upon two big DT’s stuffing the run up the middle and allowing the LB’s to clean up the tackles without having to take on o-line traffic.
I love Kaleb Ramsey’s athleticism, but to me he’s always been a rip-first type of player, which is great for DE’s but DT’s have to maintain their blocks first and foremost, then look for the ball and pursue.
Wesley thinks this is Kaleb’s break-out season and reports from camp have been that he’s looked terrific thus far at the new position. If he can successfully make the transition and become a dominant inside force, there’s no reason why this defense can’t be among the best we’ve seen at The Heights in year
BCD-M: Give me your top two players on offense that could play defense (and what position and why).
Joe: First, and I guess you could see it coming, is Ifeanyi Momah. Why not, he’s already done it before at defensive end for BC. His prior history indicates he played the position in high school as well, so it’s not like he wouldn’t know what he was doing. Do I think he’s better suited to be a WR, yes, but if he had to switch over, he could fit.
Second, I’ll say tight end Chris Pantale. He also played defensive end in high school and reportedly set a school record for sacks, so we know he can do it. He measures in at 6-6, 251 lb., which is right in the ballpark of the defensive ends we’ve got now. I think he would succeed here, but clearly we need him where he is.
We'd like to thank Joe for the back and forth banter. For more on Joe's take on the Eagles throughout the year, make sure to stop by SoaringToGlory.com and click on as many ads as possible. GO BC!