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Football Holds Annual Media Day

Aug. 6, 2013

Photo Gallery | Steve Addazio Quotes | Student-Athlete Quotes

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College football completed its second day of preseason practice on Tuesday morning and participated in the program's annual media day in the early afternoon in the Barber Room of the Yawkey Center.

Below are quotes from Head Coach Steve Addazio and select student-athletes.

Boston College is in its first season under the direction of Addazio and the Eagles' season kicks off against Villanova on Saturday, Aug. 31 at noon on ESPNNews. 

Click here for tickets.  Season ticket packages start at $150.  There are 25 days until kickoff against the Wildcats.

Following an afternoon of team-related activities, the Eagles will welcome Stalin Colinet `97, a member of the 1993 Carquest Bowl team as well as the 1994 Aloha Bowl team, as their featured speaker this evening.  Colinet, a team captain who earned the Bulger Lowe Award for the best defensive player in New England in 1996, was a third-round selection of the Minnesota Vikings and played six seasons in the NFL.  He is one of eight members of the Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and will be recognized at halftime of the team's Oct. 5 game against Army.

Opening statement:
"Alright, so day two in the books, you know? Another day like yesterday - no contact, no pads. I just tried to run down the film quickly before I came in and then I met with the staff just briefly, and I still feel like these guys have pretty good retention. In the midst of the install we're in, there's not a tremendous amount of mistakes which is good. We have a lot of work to do. I don't act like everything is great, but I'm just saying that it's amazing in year one of a program. There's usually a little more lag time in the beginning of preseason camp because you're trying to pick up where you left off in the spring. It's not really ingrained, but to the kids' credit, they've really worked hard and they've done a great job with retention so that's been good. Of course we put the pads on - I believe it's tomorrow - we have that whole five days acclimation thing. Then we have a couple days of that, and it's gradual into pads and then into contact so tomorrow the physicality starts picking up when the pads go on. The physicality of that picks up, and when the physicality picks up it brings out more footwork mistakes and problems because you add contact in there. It's another component, but so far so good, and I like the attitude of the team and I like where we're headed."

On the conditioning of the team:
"Excellent. I think Frank Piraino did an excellent job of getting this team ready to go. But you know, it's day two. What you worry about is just the - as they start getting tired and start breaking down - terms of the injury rates. You're looking this time of year at hamstring pulls and things like that, but so far so good. We've had our share of pulls but not now."

On day two at Boston College compared to other programs:
"The retention, as I said earlier, has been great. It's a tribute to the guys here. I think we have some really intelligent guys here that really have done a great job with that. Chase Rettig is amazing. As I said to people before, they asked `what's it like to have that many coordinators?' That's the good and the bad news - and the good news is that you learn to assimilate information really quickly and he's a really bright guy. There's no issue there. That's not really been an issue yet, and that's great. These kids have worked really hard, obviously studied hard and have done a great job. I'm really pleased with that piece of it. Now, it's day two and installation keeps growing every single day. So how are they going to - my question to them after practice was `how are you going to handle day four and five installation?' Fatigue is setting in and you're in the physical contact. Your body's beat up and then you know what happens? It's the old saying, `fatigue makes cowards of us all.' When you get tired, things start falling apart on you and that's part of toughness. You talk about physical toughness and mental toughness and you have to learn how to fight through that. That's what camp is, that's what training camp is. It's the ability to learn how to fight through - mentally and physically - the fatigue factor in camp and still get better every day. Usually mature guys, older guys, do better with that. So we've not hit that yet. You could ask me that question three days from now and I'll give you the honest answer. I may say, `hey it's great,' or I might say, `I'm not happy.' But right now, I think they're on schedule from that standpoint. But we're talking about touch football right now so put that where it belongs."

On senior QB Chase Rettig as a leader:
"He's been great. He's done a great job with it. He's really one of the guys, but yet he'll challenge them. And he's held himself accountable. I really believe it's not about Chase. I really believe that it's sincere with this guy that it's about the team. I think that our seniors really want to win for Boston College and want our team to have success as opposed to it has to be great for me, it's my senior year. I'm not saying - everyone has a little of that in them - I see it as a guy who's done a great job of wanting to have success for his team. So I'm really happy with that, and I like it. Like I say to you, I say to them, it's easy to be a great leader when the sun is shining and it's 70 degrees and everything's going pretty good. It's not as easy when you're beat up and you're tired and its 97 degrees and you've had about enough and you're in day 13. Then we'll find out how good our leadership is. Well, I'm hoping it is going to be good. I don't have the answer to that right now, but it appears to me that it's been good and I like the attitude and I like the mindset. I think the intentions are all great and I don't think that's going to change. It's just - everything is a learning process and you learn how to handle that. It's my job, our job, to put them in those stressful situations to create stress to learn how to handle stress. Stress from fatigue, stress from hard coaching, we really get on their case really hard, and why? Because it's really intense when the game is on the line and it's fourth-and-one, on the road. It's not a pleasant thing and you need to learn to train for that. I could make it zippity-do-da every day but that wouldn't really help them get ready, that's not my job. We try to create those situations and we'll continue to do that. When I see the right opportunity as we head down into this thing, I'll turn it on pretty good when I can to start to really see if we can maintain our composure, our toughness. It's all part of training camp."

On the offensive line contributing to the balance of the team:
"It's huge. I'm really pleased with how the o-line is coming together. Hopefully we can keep them all healthy. Sometimes you get dinged up in camp and you start breaking it down but I'd like to maintain the five, six, seven guys in there and watch them grow. They've done a good job. I was teasing Ryan Day- I told him this is a really tough day for me, you know- day two of practice and we threw the ball at the ones 29 times and we ran it 20. I said `I don't think that's ever happened to me in my life.' But we have good balance, I just want to make sure we always be 30 run, 29 pass. But it's great, we balanced it out pretty good today and I think the line is developing well, and I'm really pleased with that. Just on a side bar, I know you didn't ask me the question, but so far I like the young backs. It's a big concern for us - our depth at running back - and I like the young backs so far, so that has been a pleasant deal."

On Matt Patchan's adjustment to the team:
"I think Matt's really done a great job with that. He has a lot of experience. He's been through a lot both team-wise and personally, but he's got a lot of ability and he's done a great job of kind of being just one of the guys, keeping his mouth shut, working hard and not trying to come in here and - just working, just working. It hasn't been an easy path for him but I think he's really enjoying it here. Listen, we've got great guys here. These are great guys at Boston College now. This is a very welcoming locker room. It's a very welcoming university, and it's what makes it great. You have guys like Matt come in here and they notice it right away, it's like wow. My son notices that. They come in here and they're like, `wow, this is a great group of guys.' That's a good thing. We have to go win some football games, but we have a bunch of good guys."

On the culture in the locker room:
"I think the culture of good people - as I said welcoming, that's good. I think the team concept of not being fragmented, that's come a long way but it's still a work in progress. Do you know what I mean? What you don't want is a bunch of little cliques. So the seniors have done a great job of trying to embrace this whole - it starts within your unit, like tight ends grabbing a bite to eat together. That kind of stuff started happening which is great. It's not hard to lead great people in that direction because that's really fundamentally what they want. They just seem to have fragmented and cliqued out a little bit. Now they're coming back in together. Steve DeOssie came in here and spoke to our team the other night and did an unbelievable job. He talked about three things. It's amazing. I had no commentary with him coming into this thing. I said, `Steve you can say whatever you want to say.' But he talked about toughness. BC has to be a tough football team. He talked about being a team, accountable to each other, really important, and having an edge of being able to be on top of your assignments and using your mind. Those are three things, and we talk about those three things, but it was really cool to listen to him talk, whether when it was when he played, he just keeps coming back to those three things. So to answer your question in more detail, everything is shaping but I still feel like we haven't been put in enough stressful situations in training camp to really test that mental, physical toughness yet. Those other pieces are getting back and are coming along. We have great kids, but we also have to make sure that we're tough. Steve talked about that last night. I'm searching for the right way to say this - it's great to be a good guy, but you have to have that real competitive side too. What's beautiful is when you have a great person who is a viscous competitor, right? That's what you're always striving for and that's what I want us to be. A group of great people, but when it's time to compete, within the rules, you compete as hard as you can compete. And finding that balance is critical. It's hard to assimilate that."

On the ups and downs of the senior class:
"While we had two seasons that nobody wanted to have, we've all been there, but it was only a couple years ago that we came off a 12-year bowl run. Twelve consecutive years of bowl games - eight consecutive winning bowl games in those 12 games. It wasn't 10 years ago. It wasn't seven years ago. It was two years ago so that helps. These guys do have experience with having that success and going to a bowl game. They know what that tastes like a little bit and that's a good thing. It helps. When you're trying to make sure, when you're trying to get back to the whole culture understanding that not winning is not acceptable and nature is human nature, over time things set in, and we have to redirect that."

On the aggressive defense:
"Everybody would have a different philosophy, they'd answer that different, but number one, beyond a doubt, if you can't play defense, you're not going to win. That's my opinion. That's our opinion. Now, how do you have to play defense? We want a staff that's an aggressive, get-after-you staff and we want an aggressive get-after-you scheme. Coach Don Brown is that way by nature and that's why he's here. There are liabilities with everything you do. There's a positive and a negative with everything you do but we're just committed that that's the way we want to play. There's no misunderstanding on this whole football team. We talked about it just two nights ago. It's all about the defense. If you don't play defense, you're not going to win. So it centers around playing great defense. You better be great at special teams, and I'm a big believer that your quarterback has to play really well. Now there are other things, we have other things in our plan to win, but those three things really need to happen. We are going to be aggressive on defense and I'm sure that we're going to get hit with some big plays, and we're going to get thrown over our head a few times - hopefully not too many - but we've made that decision. We're all in. We're all in. We're going. I want this team to have that mindset. In special teams, we're going to be very aggressive. There's going to be fakes. There's going to be a lot of things going on here. On defense we're going to go after people and on offense we're going to go after people. We're not going to be three yards and a cloud of dust or something. You know people think is that going to happen? It's not going to happen. There may be times in the game when that happens. You've got to close the game out, wind that clock down and that will happen. All I care about is winning. Some people get caught up in how you win, like style points or something. All I care about is winning, so whatever we have to do during the course of that game to manage that game to win - we've got to win as many games as we possibly can win."

On how the backup quarterback will be decided:
"Productivity in camp. You've got to watch Josh (Bordner) move this team in training camp. We'll get in those competitive situations. Once we get the pads on every day they'll be some - and of course there will be a scrimmage on Saturday - and you either move the team or you don't. I'm glad if you complete 92 percent in seven-on-seven. I really don't care about seven-on-seven. I want to see you move the team when you're getting hit, so I'm going to judge that and evaluate that. Obviously we hold Chase accountable to the same standards, but he's coming in as the starting quarterback right now so we're going to protect him a little bit more. Some of the other guys, we probably won't protect them as much. We'll throw them into the fire a little bit and see how they go and find out who's going to take those spots. You find one guy standing up. There's been plenty of times in history right here at Boston College, all of a sudden a guy for whatever reason gets in there and does so good he doesn't give it back to the other guy. It's all there. It's all open. Nothing is forever, but right now Chase is the starter. Right now I think Josh is battling Mike (Marscovetra) for that second spot and the second spot could always become a first I guess, but right now that's out mindset for sure. We have a clear path on where we're going."

On aggressive in-state recruiting:
"I told you when I came here that we're going to recruit, we're going to recruit, we're going to recruit. And I'm going to head that recruiting and we're going to drive it every day. In training camp we're going to talk about it every single day. That's what college football is. We can't go draft people. You have to recruit them and you have to build your football team. In state, it starts right here. We have really good football in the state of Massachusetts, some really good high school football programs. It is really important to Boston College that we work inside out. We've got to dominate here and then we have to expand. We've talked about how we would expand, but it's important that - I believe that there has to be a tremendous amount of pride in Massachusetts about their division one football program. The premier eminent division one program in Massachusetts and New England is Boston College. Every kid growing up around her should feel that and it's our responsibility that we make everyone - fans, alumni, high school programs - feel terrific. So how do we do that? We make them feel like they're a part of this thing and we take care of our state. That's the philosophy and that's the mindset, and I think that's the way you have to build it."

Don Brown described two Massachusetts products - Manny Asprilla and Sean Sylvia - as animals. How does that speak to the mentality of Massachusetts players?
"I think that speaks to the mentality of Don, right? I mean those guys, they love football. They are football guys. They remind me of some of the guys in the history here like Jamie Silvafor example, one of those guys. I always bring it to mind because I played with his dad in college and I recruited him when I was at Indiana, but no one recruited Jamie. Last minute they offered him here and he came here and he became a really good football player because he was just a baller. So for Donnie I'm surprised he didn't break out the `dude' on you. Those would be dudes, right? They're ballers. They're just kind of guys that love football. They play hard, and they might not be the fastest or the biggest but they're those kinds of guys. Those kinds of guys are right out amongst us in New England and they have a great appreciation of New England football and Boston College. Here you need to recruit intelligent, high character guys and develop it. Those are examples of two guys who are really developing. You wouldn't put them as necessarily five star candidates, but who cares? They're going to be good football players. That's what you need in the end."

On if the team is moving in the right direction:
"I don't think there is any question. I just think that it is hard for me to sit here and predict to anybody the rate of how this is going to move this program. And in my mind, I don't know if you really asked me that, but in my mind it's just every day we're going as hard as we can go, and I believe the arrow is going that way. Ultimately I see this as a great path. Is that one day, eight months, two years? I really don't know the answer to that, but I know the answer to this. We can recruit. We can develop. We've got this wonderful place, Boston College, and there's absolutely no reason why, with work ethic and time - the needle is going to move. We have some serious depth issues right now, and why I keep saying day two is because it's real easy, as you know - three, four, five, six guys down - happens quick. All of a sudden you're dropping down fast. We don't have tremendous ability to put too many other guys up there and that's just - it is what it is. I'm not going to slow down the practice, the physicality of practice. I'm just not going to do it. Not because I'm stubborn, but just because I know we have to get the philosophy here the way we want to get it. But I also know that the liability is that could lead to lack of productivity. We just have to go, have a little faith, and hope we can stay a little healthy too. We need a little help there. We don't control that. We do to a degree, but we're not going to turn into a soft football program. We can't do that. That would be a total disaster so that's not happening. We'll just take guys who aren't ready to play and make them play as hard as they can and that will come back to us one day. That's the mindset but I am very excited with the quality of people we're working with, the quality of coaches, and I think for this short period of time I've been pleasantly encouraged by all those things coming together. And you'll know from me that I'm not going to paint this picture that I don't believe in so that's where I am today. I don't know what tomorrow brings, or the next day, I really don't. But you check with me and I'll let you know."

On if bowl eligibility is a goal:
"Yes, absolutely. We are fighting for that. Win the opener, get bowl-eligible. Absolutely. This football program has got to get back to a bowl game. As I was talking about earlier, rattling off 12 years of bowl games, that's a bar and that's a bar we need to be at and climb from so we're in a footrace for that."

Senior quarterback Chase Rettig
On his senior year:
"It's gone by really fast and now I have to slow down. I can't take practice, every rep, all the games for granted. I don't think the younger guys will realize this now, but later they will realize what the seniors feel. They will realize there is a lot to put in to what you get back if you want to be successful. College football is great and it's awesome to be a part of. We are so lucky. You take it for granted sometimes - how lucky you are to be in the fraternity of guys who play college football. You go home and how many guys are playing in college in your hometown? It's nice to slow down and experience it with the guys. It won't be like this, you have to take advantage of it. The younger guys will realize this when they're older."

On taking it day-by-day:
"Going into my last year, the thing I am trying to tell the rest of the team is that we need to take the circle off the home opener and put it onto tomorrow, and then the next day and the next. We need to slow it down and we need to execute. We have to get ready both physically and mentally. We have to keep getting better together as a team and ultimately, that will bring us success.

On winning this year:
"I just want to win and go back into the locker room after the game and celebrate wins. I don't want to be outworked. It just feels so much better when you know you overcame something to get a victory or you busted your tail to get a victory."

Junior defensive back Sean Sylvia
On the new, attack-style of defense:
"It is definitely a change from last year. The aggressive play fits our style now and we are comfortable with it. [Defensive coordinator Don Brown] did a good job styling it. At first we were kind of tentative with it, but once we got comfortable with it and bought in, we started clicking. It's been a good thing so far so we will see when we put the pads on."

On the goals for the season:
"The goal is to win game one, first of all. That is the goal that we have all had and it's been instilled by Coach Addazio all the way down. Win game one and then get bowl eligible. Those are going to be our goals and whatever happens after that, happens."

On defensive backs coach Kevin Lempa:
"He's a good guy - a really stand-up guy. He is really personable and you can always talk to him. He's a really good coach and teacher. He is always there to answer any questions. He's a players' coach. He related to a lot of us and we really love him."

Senior defensive end Kasim Edebali
On playing for Steve Addazio:
"He's an emotional guy and I mean that in the best way possible because there's not a lot of people who care that much. When I have a good play, he's the first one that's on me and says `good job Kasim.' But if I do mess up, he's the first one to criticize me and encourage me to do better. The way he does it with every single player and develops a relationship with them, and just really pushes them to be the best they can and maximize their potential- that's working with Coach Addazio."

On playing for Defensive Coordinator Don Brown:
"Intense guy. His philosophy is to play aggressive defense and you can tell. You sit in a room with him for an hour and you're ready to play aggressively. He loves aggressive football and he coaches it the same way. I can't wait to play for him."

On setting an aggressive tone:
"The way the play calling is, the plays that we run, the way we practice, everything is just aggressive. We come together before practice as a defense and just get hyped and ready to compete. It's really aggressive."

Senior wide receiver Alex Amidon
On this upcoming season:
"Compared to my last three seasons, it's going quickly. People are learning quickly. There aren't many mistakes on the field which is pretty encouraging. It's good, I'm liking it so far."

On the difference in the team compared to previous years:
"It's a little bit (different). It's all kind of bits and pieces of things we've done throughout my career here. Throughout that time we've tried a bunch of different stuff. Coach Day was part of the offense my freshman and sophomore years so he broke me in to terminology and things we've done before. There was some new stuff, and it's cool to learn new stuff so it's a little bit of both."

On Head Coach Steve Addazio:
"He brings so much energy every time he talks. Any time you interact with him it's just full of energy. Every time we have a team meeting I come out ready to play a game. He pumps people up for sure. He pumps me up."

On taking the names off of the jerseys:
"Good. Actually I like that. It's just emphasizing one of his main coaching points, which is team. That's how we are going to win games- teamwork, toughness, stuff like that. That's just one of the things, if you don't have names on the back of your jerseys you're less inclined to be selfish. So it's not about you, it's about BC. It's the name on the front of the jersey, not the back."

Senior defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey
On who made the biggest strides in the offseason:
"I'd have to say Mehdi Abdesmad. Him moving into the inside is going to be a big mismatch for their guards. He's long and quick. A lot of practices he pretty much took over. I'm excited to see what he can do."

Senior linebacker Steele Divitto
On the first two days of practice:
"The first two days are really just fundamentals. You just want to see guys flying around with high energy. They're more like learning curve days. They've been going pretty well but we will see how we do when we get into the grind."

On being picked last in the Atlantic Division:
"We use it as fuel. What do you expect? We were 2-10 last year. I think this team is pretty talented and we have a chance to do really well. We use it as fuel in the offseason. That's where we're at until we prove otherwise."

On the new defense:
"It's a lot of fun. Every single snap we're attacking. It's a little different from what we're used to, but I think we've made a great adjustment to it. Part of it is the mindset which is to come downhill. It just takes time to develop but I think we're making pretty good strides."

Junior center Andy Gallik
On the first two days of practice:
"I'm really excited about the group. This is probably the most athletic and strongest offensive line I've been around. Matt Patchancame in and hit the ground running. It was like he's always been here and he's done well. We've been working really hard together, and we're really close both on and off the field."

On running the ball more:
"We're a lot better at gap schemes just because of all the blitzes they run at us. We don't care if it's zone or gap, we love running the ball. We got away from that a bit last year, so we're excited to run the ball a lot more this year."

Senior running back Andre Williams
On the opening of camp:
"It's great to get back to football again. Everything is feeling real new right now. We have a new staff and everything, but I'm the veteran now so it is up to us to foster that team cohesiveness and stay together for the season."

On the teams' comfort with the coaches:
"It definitely feels more comfortable. I think the biggest part of the feeling out process was taking an introspective look at ourselves and realizing that we weren't that disciplined of a team. That was really the thing that they pushed in the spring and into the winter - to foster discipline on the team so we can move in the right direction."

On being a leader:
"Part of it is leading by example and making sure you're doing the right things and then they'll follow behind. They'll see that you're in a position of power and you're doing the thing that you're supposed to be doing."

On learning different offenses:
"I think it's been good because people on the next level will say that this guy is adaptable and he can pick up a new offense fast. I'm just trying to get out there this year and show them how well I can do that."

Senior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis
On the team's progress:
"I feel as though this group as a whole is starting to carry the torch. This year going forward, as a group, we're building together and starting to learn where we're strong and where we're weak as a whole. We're definitely making progress forward. We want to get back to where BC used to be and play hard-nosed football, and be guys you really don't want to play against for three downs."

On the preseason polls:
"We have a huge chip on our shoulder but at the same time we haven't proven anything else. We proved we belong where the rankings have put us, but now it's a new season, a new day, and we're going to keep moving forward and show all the doubters that we're a new team. Everything has been changed around, players and coaches, and we're striving for a better tomorrow."

Senior offensive lineman Matt Patchan
On adjusting to his new team:
"All of our teammates here are great guys. Every one of them received me very well. I feel like I fit right in with the guys and it has been a very easy transition for me in that aspect."

On his experience with Coach Addazio:
"Playing the offense back when Coach Addazio was there really helped me out a lot with the learning curve here so I feel like I'm already at that level where I can work on little details in practice and build by technique. As coach says, technique will take you home."

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