It is hard to argue this point about Boston College coach Steve Addazio: He has done one of the best coaching jobs in the ACC over the last two seasons, taking a downtrodden program back to respectability in virtually no time at all.
But that does not necessarily mean that BC has arrived. Just look at last season, when the Eagles lost four games in the fourth quarter or overtime. The Eagles remain a work in progress, a young team headed into 2015 that still must learn how to win while breaking in new starters at two major positions – quarterback and offensive line.
With spring practice underway, Addazio is not quite sure what this season has in store. But he is confident in his players.
Here, in his own words, Addazio discusses the state of the BC program headed into Year 3:
“We’ve got to take the next step right now. I took a team that was 2-10, we’ve brought the team back to being a tough, hard, fighting competitive football program. We’re recruiting better, and we’re still building. I just graduated five offensive linemen with no juniors or seniors to fill that, so we’re really young. That’s why it’s going to take time to get this completely where we want it to be. We’ve done a really good job. We’ve got a great buzz and a great energy and a great excitement about our program right now. We’re winning and we’re bowl eligible and that’s great.
“But we’ve got to take the next step. This year, we lost three games on either the last play or the last drive of the game, and that would have given us 10 wins. Are we a 10-win team right now? No. In the first couple years, we’re anywhere from a four- to six-win team and we won seven in both of them. This year’s team is a lot like the last two years' teams. We have two recruiting classes in place. Last year, we brought in 32 kids, this year we brought in 26. We’ve got like 58 players who are first- or second-year players, so I love where we are.
“We’re still probably a year away from having a roster complete, so you have starters and backups and you’re balanced in your positions. A year from now, we’ll still be young. It’s all about how long it takes you to develop all these young players, specifically at this quarterback position and offensive line. Those are two beacon lights going off right now. Those are time intensive positions to groom. It’s very difficult to get those guys where they’re going to be in Year 1.
“But we’ve got good players. We’ve increased our team speed unbelievably and we have an unbelievable work ethic and a toughness in our program. There’s no doubt in my mind where we’re headed. When we took this job, I told you this was a four-, five-year deal. We’re ahead of schedule. We were in Year 1 and Year 2. Where does Year 3 go? Honestly I don’t know. It wouldn’t shock me if we were better, it wouldn’t shock me if we weren’t quite as good.
“I think Year 3 is a lot like Year 1 and 2. It could swing either way. But I know this: The right pieces are in place. Now it’s a matter of development and maturation. We’re on our way. We’re going to have a tough football team, a competitive, fundamentally sound football team.
“This is a place where the best can be brought out of guys, and the end result of that is when you multiply that across your whole team, I think you can find a way when you’re rebuilding your whole program to get six and seven and possibly eight wins when people don’t think you will.”