The ACC kicks off its preseason media days next week, which means we’re closing in on fall camp around the league. With that in mind, we’re looking ahead to the biggest questions coaches are likely to field at the ACC Kickoff and predicting the answers we’re likely to hear and taking a stab at the real truth behind the quotes.
First up, Boston College coach Steve Addazio.
Question: Who’s the starting quarterback?
How we think he’ll answer: No QB separated himself during the spring, so it’ll be up to Darius Wade and Patrick Towles to find an answer during fall camp. Don’t expect anything to be set in stone until shortly before Week 1 -- and maybe not even then.
How we wish he’d answer: There’s not much reason to bring in Towles, a transfer from Kentucky, if he’s not going to play, and Towles is clearly the more established passer. Given the limitations of the offense, let’s just get this question out of the way early and say it’s Towles’ job to lose.
Question: How much different will the defense look without Don Brown?
How we think he’ll answer: The core philosophy will remain unchanged, and BC expects to be one of the elite defenses in the nation again in 2016. After all, they're still Dudes.
How we wish he’d answer: Few defensive coordinators in the country were as valuable as Brown. Other coaches around the league have offered astonishment at what BC’s defense was capable of last year in spite of a truly brutal offensive output. Losing such a successful coordinator -- along with key contributors like Steven Daniels, Justin Simmons and Connor Wujciak -- can’t help but have a major impact on production, even if there is still plenty of talent returning.
Question: Is there any reason for encouragement on offense?
How we think he’ll answer: Outsiders may not have noticed the small steps forward, but the coaching staff is incredibly excited about the progress the young players on offense have made. Add to that a healthy Wade and Jonathan Hilliman, and there’s every reason to believe the Eagles can be competitive on offense this year.
How we wish he’d answer: Addazio’s best weapon is his optimism, and the guy would be enthusiastic about reading the phone book, so we’re more than happy to let him have his moment of positivity about an offense that offered little obvious hope in 2015. And yes, this year’s group should be better (how could it not be?), so he’s right to suggest improvement. Still, there’s limited production at the skill positions, and unless the offensive line improves by leaps and bounds, it’s still going to be awfully tough to score points.