Friday, April 22, 2011

BCDraft Special: Interview with Boston College QB Chase Rettig

The Jay McGillis Memorial Spring game is in the books and Eagles fans are eagerly looking forward to next year.

We are very pleased to bring you our interview with BC's Chase Rettig, the starting QB for the Eagles.

Chase was very kind to give us an extended interview, so we will likely break it up into two or three segments.

The interview was conducted over the phone and then transcribed. A few grammatical changes and paraphrasing was done here, but for the most part what you read is how it went.

We hope you enjoy the interview and want to thank Chase for his time, he's a great kid and someone you don't have any problem rooting for. I think we can all agree the Eagles QB position is in good hands now.


BCDraft: Welcome to another BC draft interview, today we have on the phone with us a very special guest, the starting quarterback of the Boston College Eagles, Chase Rettig. Chase, how are you doing today?

Chase Rettig: I’m doing fine, thanks.

BCD: Great, well thanks for joining us today, I know a lot of Eagles fans are looking forward to this interview. We have a lot of questions for you, so let’s get going!

BCD: Being from California, many BC fans who follow recruiting were worried you might not pick BC because of the weather as it’s not exactly Southern California-type weather. How did you enjoy your first Boston winter, and did you think that the weather had any impact on whether or not you chose BC?

CR: You know, actually the first time I came here and visited was in the summer, and it was actually a really beautiful day—so I loved it. Committing and then coming here early for my first winter, it was obviously a little bit different [than I was used to]…I probably didn’t have the right clothes packed. I spent my whole life living in Southern California where it’s sunny most of the time. Coming in I just had to adjust, once I was here I had to get some different clothing. Probably shoes and stuff were the biggest thing, I had to get some boots, but after my first winter, people helped me [acclimate] to the winter here. Next winter will be a different story, I’m ready for it.

BCD: Not exactly flip flops all year ‘round in Boston, eh?

CR: [Nope]

BCD: So let’s talk about last season, it was a little bit of a rocky ride from bottom of the barrel of losing five in a row to turning the season around with a five game winning streak, to finishing the season off going to a bowl game vs. a top 15 opponent. For diehards like us who follow the Eagles closely it was a little nuts. What was it like from a team perspective, from inside the locker room. Was it crazy for you guys as well?

CR: You know, it’s a lot different when you’re in the back seat [compared] to when you’re in the front seat. From my experience in the back seat, I thought we had a pretty good summer ball, pretty good camp. I thought that the team was still trying to figure itself out from the year before given the different coordinators [we’ve had in recent years], going through different quarterbacks changes, and so on; so I think [as a team] we were still trying to figure out our identity. We had some really great senior leaders last year, you know guys like Alex Alright, Herzlich, DeLeon Gause, from the O-line: Claiborne, Lapham, and obviously Castonzo, they were able to keep us together when I was in the back seat I think that helped us in the beginning of the season. We had a tough loss to Virginia Tech, then that’s when things started going in and out about me potentially coming in and being the starting quarterback and that’s why I came in early is to compete and get a starting role at BC. Being in the front seat, you know going through, Notre Dame was tough for me, it was obviously my first game probably the most amazing experience I have ever had, walking in on the first drive 45k people looking over your shoulder, you know I just felt like I was waiting my whole life for that experience. Once the game started and as the game continued I felt more and more comfortable. We had success on one drive, then the next series I get taken out because of injury, which lead to me not playing in the next game either. That was a great experience for me, so when we lost to NC State and we were coming back for FSU, we knew we had pieces of the puzzle but things weren’t going right for us. So when we played Florida State that was the turning point for us in our season, even though we didn’t win. We should have won that game and we let that one go….great atmosphere down there. Some of the older guys were down there two years ago and had beat them on their homecoming, it was sort of a proving point for us. We came out there and played pretty well, executed pretty well, and even though we didn’t win the game, it was something to build on going into the next week. We unfortunately then lost another close game, but you could tell that the guys were getting a little more amped and [clicking] more and you could just feel the transformation of the team. Going into those next five games that we won, it was that leadership I talked about earlier and team camaraderie and just us coming together as a unit, and we knew we had to get to a bowl game again, we weren’t going to let anything stop us or get in the way of that.

BCD: It was definitely evident that the team came around, great to see. I can tell you that from a fan’s perspective ND is a fun place to be when you win as well, from being there several times and winning most of those times, it’s really a treat to hear the “We are BC!” chant echoing in the belly of that stadium as the fans exit.

The big ups and downs last year, let’s talk about the pressure. How much pressure was it? Obviously you want the opportunity and you spoke of how you wanted that starting role, but how tough was it for you to have so much pressure on your shoulders to step up and be that solution that the team and fans were looking for?

CR: […] Pressure happens when you don’t know what you’re doing, and I felt like I was prepared pretty well going into each game, but sometimes [maybe not as much as I wanted to be], or maybe the defenses were giving us some looks we weren’t expecting. So, it was tough when things weren’t going right. But, I felt like the guys in the huddle and some of the older guys were pushing me, [helping me], they had my back—so those feelings overcame any feelings I had of the pressure getting to me. I felt like the team was riding on me, so that was a good feeling.

BCD: Montel is a great player, and finally it seems starting last year that he was the focus of a lot of the media. Do you think the media’s focus / other team’s focus on him helped remove some of the pressure from you as well?

CR: Having Montel definitely takes some of the pressure off of me, I mean—he’s an amazing back! Last year, I just wanted to win every game we were in, it didn’t matter to me who was getting what attention or anything like that. He certainly deserves a lot of media attention, I just don’t care a lot about that. In many of those close games we had a great running game so he definitely helped take a lot of pressure off of me.

BCD: As I’m sure you saw on a prior interview we had with Kevin Rogers, the fan base is really, really excited about Coach Rogers coming in, putting a new spin on the offense…from what I’ve been able to read from most of the guys, yourself included are really amped up about the new offense. Want to talk about that a little bit?

CR: Sure, I think all of the QB’s have really taken a liking to Coach Rogers, we learned so much over the spring period and we still have a couple more chances to keep growing as an offense, I think the guys have picked it up and we are really progressing as a team. Our offense is going to be what we make of it, so if we keep this up we’re going to get a LOT better, and we’ll be a lot, LOT better when it comes to the season. I think everyone is really excited. You can tell from looking at our numbers from the scrimmages that we might be a little more aggressive/not as conservative, but that’s on the players and what we can execute. I know Coach Rogers wants to implement as much as he can. We can be as explosive of an offense as we need to be. We can run the ball, we can pass the ball, all of those pieces are aligned and ready for us to put it all together.

BCD: BC has been very fortunate to have some outstanding WR’s come through the program in recent years from Rich Gunnel, B-Rob (Brandon Robinson), Tony Gonzalez, etc., however BC hasn’t always been known to be a great recruiter of WR talent according to the recruiting pundits, but now you seem to have a stable of wide-outs to go to from Alex Amidon, Jonathan Coleman, Shakim Phillips, Bobby Swigert, all of these more than capable, good WR’s to go to, but now I think the biggest recruit of all has to be the return of what I think is one of the stars of the ACC, WR Colin Larmond, Jr. Can you talk about your WR’s and what it’s like to get Colin back?

CR: I definitely agree with you 100%. This Spring, we all got together as an offensive unit we knew what we had to do this Spring and this year. You can totally see a different attitude and mindset with the receivers, everyone working really hard in practice and we want to be able to throw the ball for a couple hundred yards each game, and receivers make big plays. I expect receivers to make big plays. All of those guys have really stepped up Momah, as one of the older guys has taken leadership quietly, and pretty much all of the receivers have stepped up this spring. I think everyone is waiting for Colin to get back, everyone knows how athletic he is. He can be a big play maker for us, we’re just looking forward to everyone being healthy and everyone coming back.

BC fans should expect big things from their receivers this year.


Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 to follow!