July 24, 2012
Sophomore running back Tahj Kimble finished third on the team in rushing yards last season with 156 yards on 43 attempts. He also ranked third on the Eagles with 568 all-purpose yards and second with 345 kick-return yards. He sat down with BC Athletics to discuss what the climate of the team is and what the team expects for the upcoming season.
How are the team's summer workouts (i.e. seven-on-seven drills) going?
They've been going really well. We've been working hard in the weight room and then after we do that we go out to the field for seven-on-sevens. It's basically a competition; it's just like practice but without the pads. So we've been going about it with that mentality. We've been working on getting on the same page: running backs with the quarterbacks, wide receivers with the quarterbacks, and tight ends with the quarterbacks. We're definitely getting our timing down, which is good at this point.
You are about to start your third preseason training camp at Boston College in August. What are you working on improving/fine-tuning in preparation for this season?
I'm working to improve everything, but most important is my legs. I know I need to strengthen my legs to improve my blocking and breaking tackles. I know that's what I have to do and the team has been doing the same, working on and improving upon our weaknesses. Before we started camp in the spring coach brought us in and we went through our strengths and weaknesses and what we need to work on. So, basically, now I'm putting in the hard work to get better as a player.
What are your impressions of new offensive coordinator Doug Martin (on and off the field, in meeting room)?
I like him! On the field he's an uptempo guy - he likes to get it going and doesn't like to mess around. He says, "Practice is like a game" and I feel like if we practice how he wants us to it will translate over to the game. Off the field he is a cool guy; every time he sees you he'll joke around. He's a good guy and I think he's going to really help the team.
Tell us about the running backs on this team ... what can we expect from each of them? As a group?
Andre Williams is the pounder, he's going to run you over. Deuce (Rolandan Finch) is a patient runner, so he will wait to see the hole and then go. As a whole, we've been working on a lot of things to try and add to each of our games. Andre has always been a power runner, but he's been working on a lot of agility-based moves. Same with Deuce, he's more of a patient runner, but he's been working on attacking. We've all been working on things that we may not do that well so we can become more complete players, and as a whole we are working to become a more complete stable of horses. And I can't forget about George Craan, too. He's an incoming freshman who's ready to play and we're just looking to add him to the stable.
And how about the offensive line...how will they perform in the new offensive system?
They played really well in the spring. We always work out at different times from them, but whenever I see them - even if it's just eating lunch - I'll go talk to them because I know how important it is for all of us to be on the same page with the new system. It's important for us to have a good relationship with them to help make things flow. They've been working as hard as anyone in the weight room. They have the hardest job on the field, but I know they're ready to go. And, while it's tough to single any one person out, but the defensive players have been saying the toughest guy to get by is Big Bob, Bobby Vardaro. All the offensive line guys are equal to me, though. They're all my guys.
Which player has surprised you the most this offseason? Who do you think is poised to have a breakout season?
C.J. Jones. I'm one of his roommates, so I was there throughout his whole recovery when he was hurt and helping him while he was recovering. He tore his MCL and his ACL and, in the past, I've seen that happen to guys and they come back and aren't as effective. That being said, I haven't seen people this far ahead and playing as well as he is this soon after his recovery. So, it's not really an improvement, but more of a surprise that he is where he is right now. As far as a breakout player, I'll say Al Louis-Jean, Jr. We talk all the time, so I don't need to say much about him. All I'll say is that everybody better watch out for him this season.
Year in and year out, what is the most difficult part of the offseason?
Just getting through it is tough. It's all mental - mind over matter. You have to have strong mind just to get through the offseason and then camp in August. What we love doing more than anything else is playing football and right now it's all about working out. Some guys get frustrated and they just want to go out and play, but without the offseason and preseason camp you would be nothing. It's more just getting through it mentally, not physically.
What part of this year's team do you think fans will be most surprised with?
The fire. Being around the guys every day, on and off the field - locker room, field, dorm room, classroom - every time I see someone from the team they're always just talking about football. We feel like we have been disrespected in the past. That being said we do have to go out there and earn our respect back. I feel like this year we'll go out there and get it, though. We're just ready to bring it.
As you aim to build on last season, particularly some of success the team had down the stretch, what sticks with you the most?
What are some team goals in 2012? We have a lot of goals, but when it comes down to it the main goal is just to win. Score more points than the other team. Defense won't let anyone score and then we have to go out and put points on the board. We've been working towards that - we're trying to get the team to the point where there are no individuals on the team. BC football has always been about that. We're a tight-knit group and we have to bring it closer together so we can win more games. That's just the main goal - win games.
You open the season with Miami at home...how do you feel about opening the season with a challenging ACC game?
I feel like we need this. Being around the guys I can tell there's nothing holding us back - we're ready to go. We've kind of been off the radar the past couple seasons. We try not to pay attention to what people say on the internet or on TV, but other teams are being talked about and no one is talking about us. People are talking about all the other teams in the ACC, so we have a lot of people to shock. I'm glad we're starting out against Miami, a team with such a historic background, because we will have a lot to lose and a lot to gain. We're definitely glad we're playing them first so we can shock the world from the beginning of the season.
- Interview conducted by Brad Fadem, Media Relations Assistant