Five Takeaways from Jeff Hafley's Tuesday Press Conference
Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley met with the press on Tuesday to talk about the Eagles upcoming matchup with the Clemson Tigers. It was a shorter presser than usual but he did have a lot to say, here are some of his takeaways.
1. Travis Etienne is one of the most under rated players in college football.
Hafley talked about the offense, and gave a special nod to Clemson's running back. "The way he runs, he just looks like he's on a mission constantly. I saw it first-hand last year while watching them on tape," he explained.
2. He believes that Trevor Lawrence has improved from last year
It is incredible to think, but he believes that Lawrence, who ended last year with 3655 yards, 36 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, has improved. The current Heisman favorite has "I think the biggest thing I've seen from the quarterback is I think he's greatly improved from last year. The way he plays in the pocket, I think it's better. He sits there. He reads things. He goes back late and sees things late and makes throws. He's got such a live body. He's a twitched up big guy who can run and throw. He's a really good player."
3. Hafley sees the college run game creeping back into the NFL
The NFL has always been a league of adjustments. Seemingly for the last decade the teams have focused heavily on the passing game. But BC's head coach sees the pendulum swinging in the other direction. He talked about the college run game coming back to the league, pointing out the play of the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. Part of the reason is to protect the quarterback. "You really can't get your quarterback hit as much because you pay that guy so much money and there aren't a lot of them. Those defensive ends and linebackers are very fast."
4. The names may have changed, but Clemson's defense will be elite again
Stars like Isaiah Simmons have gone to the NFL, and linebacker James Skalski will miss the game, but the Tigers still have plenty of weapons on defense. "He's (DC Venables) got a ton of juice. He does a lot, down three, down blitzes, plays quarters, middle closed. They're really good up front. The two tackles just from first glance seem like really good players. I know the rookie #11. He's going to be a big time player. #47, the middle linebacker, just looking through and watching. He's like your old school traditional middle linebacker, he sees it. You can tell he's a smart kid, well coached. #13 and then the other defensive backs I think #16 and #26 are good. They're well coached. He gets creative and has fun with them, and he lets those guys play fast, because they can hit it."
5. The offense continues to be a work in progress.
Hafley continues to stress that the offense is still building each week. Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. is piecing together his pro style offense, and adding new elements each week. He explained that the various staff members have added pieces from their experience, but the COVID-19 outbreak has made it challenging to get the scheme put together. He did conclude that he has "got to give the offensive guys a ton of credit for the limited amount of time with the packages that they've been able to put in."