The Eagles took Shea Field for the 4th day of summer camp on Thursday. Here are some notes from practice.
-BC received some good news on the injury front as starting defensive end Mehdi Abdesmad was back at practice. Abdesmad was not practicing at the beginning of the week, and Steve Addazio was noncommittal for his status for the opening game when asked about the injury. The coach was much more upbeat about Abdesmad today saying that he is "full go" and "absolutely" will be ready for the opener.
-Wide receiver Bobby Swigert is "doing great" according to Addazio but the coach wasn't sure if his wideout will be ready for the opener.
Swigert just started running on the field for the first time since he injured his knee against Notre Dame during his junior season. The wide out says that he is learning to use muscles that he hasn't used in almost two years as he runs against air. Swigert said his history of injuries has been frustrating but he loves football too much to quit.
-Addazio said wide receiverHarrison Jackson is "ahead of schedule" but won't be ready for the beginning of the season.
-Addazio confirmed that Harold Landry is coming off of minor summer knee surgery. Addazio said Landry "looks great" but isn't rolling yet.
-Wide receiver Shakim Phillips remained sidelined with a "minor" injury. The staff is playing it ultra safe with Phillips who is essentially the only speed threat at wide receiver.
-The media was allowed to watch about 30 minutes of practice on Thursday. The offense played a little sloppy with some dropped passes and missed blocking assignments. Addazio spent a good deal of his press conference talking about the desire to get a higher level of productivity from his team during practice. The coach is concerned that the team might be practicing too long right now and wearing out by the end of practice which is usually the scrimmage portion.
"I'm going to go back and look at our schedule and I want to tweak how long we are on the field. I told the team post practice that I want quality not quantity. I want to pull back the quantity to get better quality, but then we all have to hold ourselves accountable for that quality. Sometimes at the end of practice---which is really the time when you are trying to play the game-they are so gassed that we have no level of execution. We have 9,000 individual periods and group periods and by the end they are just too tired," said Addazio.
A few notes on how the offense looked:
-It was the first glimpse of freshman running back Jon Hilliman for most of the media on Thursday. Hilliman looked as advertised on one play, albeit against the second string defense. Hilliman took a run off the right tackle and was met on the outside by a linebacker. Hilliman juked left faking a run to the inside and absolutely blew the doors off the defender as he ran to the right and got to the outside.
-As mentioned, the offensive line had a tough practice. The first string offensive line was as expected. The second unit was:
-The wide receivers had a tough day with a handful of dropped balls at the end of practice. On a positive note, Charlie Callinan continues to make plays on the outside and looks to be solidifying a spot as a starter.
-Darius Wade made a couple of nice plays with his feet. One run would've been an explosive run of over 20+ yards if the coaches didn't whistle the play dead.
-Addazio (pictured above) took part in the "Ice Bucket Challenge," which is aimed at raising awareness and funding for ALS. This event has been going "viral" as participants dump a bucket of ice water over their heads to bring attention to the deadly disease. Former BC baseball player Pete Frates was diagnosed with ALS in March at the young age of 27.
Jerry York, Luke Kuechly, Matt Ryan, Doug Flutie, Andre Williams and Mark Herzlich are some of the people in the BC community that have taken part in the challenge.
To learn more about Frates and ways to help in the fight against ALS, visit www.petefrates.com.