August 31, 2007

Cronan: a nine-win season?

Eagle Action is proud to have Peter Cronan back for another season. A former All-East linebacker and 1976 ECAC Player of the Year at BC, Peter went on toa successful career in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins from 1977-1985. As the longtime radio analyst for BC football, Peter will provide his insights each week on the progress of the Eagles throughout the 2007 football season.

R.R. Marshall: Peter, Boston College football kicks off a new era this Saturday with the start of the Jeff Jagodzinski regime at the Heights. Can you tell us from what you've observed what differences you've seen in the team thus far?

Peter Cronan: I certainly did get a lot out of watching Tuesday's practice. It was very spirited and it gave me a taste of this coaching staff in action. It was very up tempo, high energy, push-push-push, high productivity session with lots of plays and lots of reps. It had a very pro feel to it, as Coach Jagodzinski has brought in a lot of the things the pros do in terms of organization. For example there was a long, thorough session on special teams kicking field goals and punting, and then kickoff and punt returns. The sessions on offense and defense were very physical with high intensity, and if they can maintain that level of intensity (and they will wind it down as the week goes on) into the start of the season they should be ready to go.

One of the first things that struck me was the physical conditioning of this football team. Guys are a lot lighter, but more importantly the weight they lost was around their waists. There's not a whole lot of sagging around the linemen's belts any more. It's very noticeable with the offensive line and in a different way with the defensive line. B.J. Raji and Ron Brace collectively dropped 80 pounds and still weigh in at 325 each, so that's a pretty fair anchor for the interior of your defense. That weight loss should show up in their ability to go for longer stretches, and this tandem inside is as good as I've seen in all my years at BC. Jason Loscalzo, the BC strength and conditioning coach, had a great line for them:"If you're going to come back fat you won't like your life and you probably won't have a job!" To me that's the perfect line to illustrate Jag's perspective that conditioning will not be an issue with this football team.

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