Saturday, April 16, 2011

Offense Recap

It was an extremely chilly game today in Chestnut Hill, with an official game-time temperature of 46 degrees. Despite the overcast weather, we had a great day on campus, got to meet Matty Ice, saw a little baseball, and had breakfast with the football players. I was pretty impressed with both sides of the ball today, although I would have loved to see more fans come out and cheer our guys on. An appropriate quote from a BC alumnus '58:

"BC football is a lot like church; many show up late, and a lot leave early."

Offensive Recap

The offense won the game and therefore they get the first recap. I am going to stick to recapping the first team offense only. The only thing I'll say quickly about the second team is that I thought Bordner outplayed Shinskie for the backup job, although both played pretty spotty at times. I haven't seen a box score yet but I will update the analysis once it comes out.

Quarterbacks: Rettig was a little erratic today, but I though that the chilly game-time conditions really affected his ability to throw the ball. He had some nice progressions but I thought that he checked down a little too quickly at times. He really likes throwing the ball to Lars Anderson and will make the tight end his first read at times. He made a few really nice throws where he laced the ball impressively between two defenders, putting the ball right on his target's hip. He also missed some easy ones though, and he needs to hit those in ACC play if this team is going to be successful. He should have given up a pick-six late in the second half but the CB was trying to run for the end zone before his hands were secure on the ball and he dropped it. 

The two minute offense at the end of the first half was disorganized and Rettig consistently threw the ball to the middle of the field, making it impossible for his receivers to reach the sidelines. I didn't really get the impression that the communication was there on the two minute offense in order to call two plays at a time.

Offensive Line: Very impressed by the O-Line today. These guys could be the real surprise of the team this year. Wetzel looked very good at LT. He had tight end help for much of the day, but when he was asked to pull one-on-one duties with defensive linemen, he really did a great job of hooking onto his guy and not getting beat to the outside. At one point a d-linemen Wetzel was blocking batted down a pass but I didn't see him give up a sack or struggle to create movement on the runs. I was very impressed with how he got to the second level on the right side of runs going in that direction, a real concern of mine going into today. If I had one complaint, I don't recall Castonzo keeping his man so close to his body. I get the impression that it's better to keep some extension. If we have readers with O-line experience I would love to hear thoughts on that.

Harris got the start at right guard, as we've been predicting all week. I thought he did very well today but we didn't run the ball up the middle much so it was difficult to tell. I didn't see him give up any sacks. The rest of the guys seemed good but I didn't really focus on them too much. I saw Cleary coming out of the locker room and it looked like he gained some serious muscle. Mike C. mentioned that Cleary is now listed as a cool 300 in the program, which was filled with typos so take that with a grain of salt.

Wide Receivers: No complaints about the wide receivers. There were a few dropped passes but not so many that it stood out like last year. There were a few problems getting separation from the CBs. Yards after the catch were also a little limited, in part because Chase really seems to be most comfortable throwing on crossing patterns in the middle of the field. Swigert had a pretty decent day (I think I saw him have six catches) but I don't remember Coleman making a catch. Phillips hauled in at least one or two passes and I get the impression that we're going to start seeing more of him next year. We won't really know too much about this group until Larmond Jr. gets back. 

Running Backs: Very little to say here because Harris and Williams weren't out there full time today (I want to say that Harris was dressed for the first half but not the second. I had a difficult time hand-writing my notes with numb fingers). The most noteworthy portion of the running game was that Tahj Kimble looked pretty decent today. He showed the ability to both make a defender miss and to cut back when a hole wasn't opening up. I doubt that he's going to see playing time with three backs in front of him but RB is undoubtedly the most improved position at BC in the past four or five years.

Tight Ends: I was very impressed with the TE play today. Lars Anderson looks primed for a break out year. I was very excited that we ran two tight end sets today but was less than thrilled with the results. We only ran the ball out of those sets and when we did, the results seemed to be two or three yard gains. I thought that we could have gotten a little more creative there. The TE help on run blocking didn't seem to be consistent but our various quarterbacks seemed to love throwing to the TEs. If these guys can run block a little better this will be an extremely strong position for BC in the fall.

Fullbacks: The only thing I will say about fullback is that Lars Anderson spent some time there today. We had one pass play designed for him to come out of the fullback position and cut to the left as he went between the LG and the C. It ended up being a completion for six or seven yards and I thought it was a pretty nifty play. I hope to see more of it this season.

Overall: I was impressed with what I saw out there today, despite the consistent inability to score. Mike C. was less than thrilled, but his internet modem isn't working right now so his opinion doesn't count until at least tomorrow.

Next Up: Defensive Recap. We also plan to do a recap of the new offensive scheme's we saw and "Player X's" take on the new offense. I don't want to give it away but he loves Rogers.

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