When Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig takes the field to open spring practice today, he will be learning from his fourth offensive coordinator in as many seasons.
At least there will be some familiarity with Ryan Day, who was Boston College receivers coach from 2007-11, before leaving to join Steve Addazio at Temple in 2012. Day returned to BC when Addazio was hired, and both are now charged with trying to jump start the offense while easing their players into a new system.
Addazio said the staff plans on keeping as many alike principles and alike terms as they can. But even still, Rettig and his teammates have to learn an offense that will be different from the pro-style set the Eagles ran last season.
"The fact of the matter is I’ve talked to Chase and other guys about it, all these guys have ambitions to play at the next level, and that’s part of that, too. There’s a lot of turnover, there’s a lot of change," Addazio said in a recent phone interview. "A zone play is a zone play, and a quick game is pretty universal, protections are universal, six-man, five-man, seven-man protections are pretty universal.
"So it’s not too crazy. Sometimes it’s more formation, calls, that’s what it is more than anything else. How you’re reading coverages and progressions in the throw game. One thing here is our guys are very bright guys. And I think one thing we do very well here is pick things up pretty quickly."
Though Addazio has a history of running a spread-type offense, he insists he will not try to fit a round peg in a square hole -- and he wants to be able to establish the run first and foremost.
Whether the Eagles have the personnel to get that done right away remains to be seen, as they were not very good in that department last year. But they do have the luxury of returning an experienced quarterback who threw for over 3,000 yards last season with 17 touchdown passes.
So what does Addazio want to see out of Rettig this spring? Rather than discussing Xs and Os improvement, Addazio wants to see Rettig work on his leadership.
"Chase is a guy who throws the ball well, and that’s a positive," Addazio said. "That’s a piece, but the biggest piece is winning. At quarterback -- whether he’s a thrower, whether he’s a runner -- it’s kind of irrelevant. What’s relevant is he’s got it, and he’s got the ability to lead and find a way to win. What we’re working on right now is getting our seniors and getting our players at a position like quarterback, like Chase, to understand how important his leadership, his demeanor, his ability to drive a football team, how important that is.
"To me, the quarterback on offense, that’s huge. The linebacker on defense, those are the apexes of your team on both sides of the ball and those guys have got to have 'it.' Sometimes today, everybody gets tied into talking about this guy runs really well or this guy spins it really well. All those things are important but what’s really important is the ability to lead, the ability to win. Buying into that mindset is really critically important because we’re coming off two years that aren’t representative of what Boston College has been. We’ve got to make sure that we develop that kind of leadership."