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O'Brien Comments On Spring Football Practice

Senior-to-be Will Blackmon will compete as a wide receiver in spring drills.

Senior-to-be Will Blackmon will compete as a wide receiver in spring drills.

April 1, 2005

The Boston College football team will practice in pads for the first time on Saturday in Alumni Stadium after beginning spring drills this past Tuesday. Spring practice will culminate with the annual Jay McGillis Spring Game on Saturday, April 23 in Alumni Stadium.

Head Coach Tom O'Brien sat down Friday morning to give an update on the first two days of spring drills.

Q: What is your assessment of spring practice so far?

TOB: "For the past two days, we've placed a heavy load on individual drills, teaching both offensively and defensively. The first two days, we have to practice in helmets only, so there's more instruction going on that actual football, which will start this weekend."

Q: You announced that Will Blackmon will practice only as a wide receiver this spring. How is that going so far?

TOB: "I think he's a little bit confused right now. There are a lot of things he has to learn. I think we'll get a real good look at him once he gets comfortable and he's not thinking about what he's supposed to do. That's going to take a little time. Obviously he has talent when he has the ball in his hands. It's just a question of whether we can throw it to him and he can catch it."

Q: What about your quarterback situation?

TOB: "We're rotating everyone. I don't think we've thrown the ball the first two days, and our timing is off. But that's understandable because we haven't done it for so long. We've got a ways to go in that department, with all our quarterbacks."

Q: How is the defensive line progressing?

TOB: "Justin Bell has not practiced due to a sprained ankle, which sets us back a little bit. But that gives guys like B.J. Raji and Ron Brace a little more time in the middle. Al Washington is back, we know what we have there. We're looking for a couple of other players to step up inside. Outside, it's the same thing. We know we have Mathias (Kiwanuka), then there's a lot of competition going on out there at the end spots. But it's the same thing, without pads on, if tough to tell if anyone can play football."

Q: What's your schedule for next week?

TOB: "We're going to practice in pads twice this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. Then we'll practice Tuesday and Thursday next week, go out Friday in helmets, and then scrimmage on Saturday. We're trying to get as much teaching time in as possible. We'll be halfway through at that point, so hopefully we can learn a lot and then have a good start to our scrimmages."

Q: Any surprises so far?

TOB: "No real surprises, but I like the guys' attitudes. We put two good days together. There's been a lot of intensity. They seem to be enjoying themselves. There's been a lot of enthusiasm out there at practice, and that's good, but once we put the pads on and start hitting, we have to maintain that and keep getting better. So we've had two good practices."

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