On Thursday, Boston College defensive coordinator Tem Lukabu held a press conference to talk spring football and the work of his players. Here are some of the takeaways from his comments.
1. Youth is No Longer An Excuse: One of the biggest critiques of the former administration was the constant reliance on the "youth" narrative. Press conferences would be filled with coaches talking about how a position would regress because they were young, or that a group needs to continue to develop. Not anymore. Lukabu hit this head-on on Thursday. "
"To me, that's the beauty of our program. We have a true program. The train just keeps rolling along, regardless of who the people are, regardless of what jersey numbers are out there. It's still about 'for the team.' It's still about 'tough, love, compete.' The message has not changed. It's just different people doing it now. The expectations have not changed. That's why I feel confident we'll have success.
Are we going to miss those guys? Yeah, we're going to miss them as people, but the reality is that's how it goes in a real program. The next man up has to be ready to go and that's the feeling that I'm getting right now."
2. Transfers are Acclimating: Boston College's defense brought in three transfers this offseason. Defensive lineman Khris Banks, linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley and safety Jaiden Lars Woodbey. According to Lukabu, they are learning about the culture and where they fit in. "At first, it's all about your actions. If they know I'm about my business, if I'm about that action boss, now I can get on guys. So far, so good. I think those guys are on schedule to do that."
3. Playmaking needed. While sound fundamentals are clearly a focus, a bigger one this spring is playmaking. This means finishing plays, whether it's a sack or getting the football for a turnover. This was an issue last year for Boston College as there were countless plays where defenders were there to make a play but couldn't finish. Lukabu wants to see that change. "It's all fun and dandy to be around the ball, but when it's you and the ball, you and the quarterback, you got him in your arms, you gotta get him down on the ground. We're trying to take that evolutionary step, I guess you would say."
4. Colgate will be an important game for Lukabu. The Eagles kick off their season against Colgate at Alumni. This will be a special game for the defensive coordinator who was a starter for three years for the school. "It's a little freaky and weird, but I am excited. That place shaped and molded me for a lot of what I am today. It means a lot to me."
5. Mobile Quarterback Issues Look To Be Fixed. Boston College's defense had some of their biggest struggles in 2020 against mobile quarterbacks. Lukabu thinks he knows how it needs to be addressed. "It's all about fundamentals. A lot of the issues we had against certain guys like that, we didn't do what we were supposed to do. You give them a little bit of credit, but a lot of those issues are fixable and they will be fixed."