March 14, 2012

Offense Taking Shape

For the third time in three years, Chris Pantale and the rest of the veterans on offense are learning a new system Typically that means weeks of getting comfortable with the new offensive coordinator and getting used to the way he runs drills, practices, and of course just the overall playbook. According to Pantale, this year has a different feel to it because the players have already picked up the offense, even before the team holds the first scrimmage of the spring this Saturday.

"In the past few years we've been installing new offenses and usually there has been a bit of a learning curve and it takes a couple practices to get it under your belt, and to get the freshmen caught up. This year we've been adapting to the offense better than the other years when I've been around. There have been less mental mistakes and the practice just seems to be flowing," said Pantale.

Pantale attributes the positive flow of practice because of the pace and tone that new offensive coordinator Doug Martin has brought in with him. Martin's new style has also forced the BC defense to adapt a little as well.

"Coach Martin was adamant in the off season preaching that we better be in shape because his offense is high tempo, and I've noticed it so far. We run up to the ball, get ready and get set, and run a play. Then we run another play, one after another. The first few practices it seemed like it took its toll on the defense because over the past few years we weren't a high temp-high pace offense. It seemed like they were struggling a little bit at first when we were running one play after another. The coaches keep preaching it and we are adapting to it," said Pantale.

In the past few seasons, one of the biggest head scratchers has been trying to figure out why Pantale hasn't played a bigger role in the offense. At 6'6", 250+ pounds, with decent speed and good hands you'd think that Pantale would be a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses. For whatever reason, Pantale hasn't been utilized as effectively as maybe he could be. While Pantale wouldn't get away any secrets, he hinted that he might be used a little differently than in the past.

"There are multiple sets and a lot of formations in Coach Martin's offense," said Pantale. "This offense is big on formations and motioning. I could be in the backfield or I could be split out. Really anyone could be playing any position at anytime."

Aside from working with a new offensive coordinator, Pantale is work with a new tight ends coach. Sean Devine, who was the offensive line coach for the last few seasons has moved over to coach the tight ends.

"I like him because he's very detail oriented. He's very technical and preaches on the small technicalities, so we can run more successful plays. He's real big on going hard all practice and finishing every play. He's critical because he wants to get the best out of us," said Pantale.

As much as the spring is about shaking the rust off, it's mostly about the players getting better individually. Pantale says that he wants to be a dominating tight end is all phases of the offense next season.

"Look at a guy like Rob Gronkowski. He's a player that can do it all and is a weapon. I want to turn into a player that the offense can count on every play, whether it's making a big catch, or knocking someone over on a run play. My goal is to be an overall weapon on offense," said Pantale.

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