CHESTNUT HILL — Not every practice is going to have the same feel to it, and Wednesday's workout for Boston College at times felt a bit underwhelming.
But after a period where the coaches lit into the players a little, the Eagles pumped themselves up a little more and made some of the most spirited plays of the day.
The first two offensive plays off the break were a long touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony Brown to receiver Ben Glines, and a long touchdown run from backup running back Javian Dayne.
The two big-gainers seemed to light a fire in the players, and the latter half of the practice had a bit more pop to it.
"Yeah, we're just stoking the fire a little bit," coach Steve Addazio said. "Sometimes on a midweek practice, spring ball now, we are towards the end, it gets some guys a little tired. It gets . . . Honestly, it gets a bit mundane. So you've got to throw a few hand grenades in there and just kind of light it up a little bit. That's pretty normal.
"We've got Saturday's practice, and then we go into our last week. We go Tuesday, Thursday, and then play the spring game. So there's not much left. They've done a great job. There's been a great attitude and mentality. Overall, very, very pleased with our progress and what we're getting done. Today I knew would be one of those days where we would have to stoke the fire."
The Eagles come into the season with an extremely deep tight end room, and one player who has flashed a lot this spring is senior Jake Burt.
The Lynnfield native played his high school ball at St. John's Prep, but injuries have held him back a bit in terms of getting on the field. But right now Burt is getting a lot of snaps and doing well with his chances.
"He's doing a great job," Addazio said. "Jake's playing his best football, for sure. He's the healthiest he's been. I hate to jinx it and say that. He's a veteran, older guy that knows exactly what he's doing. He's worked, and developed, and he's just at the pinnacle of his game. So, really excited for him."
Burt is happy with where he stands, but is quick to spread the praise around to his teammates.
"I feel really good personally out there in terms of health and being comfortable in the scheme that we're running," Burt said. "But in terms of making plays, I think all the tight ends have done a great job of making plays. (Offensive coordinator Mike) Bajakian, coach Addazio, (tight ends coach Frank) Leonard put us in position to all make plays just in running 12 personnel, and running three tight ends n the field, two, three tight ends on the field at a time. I think it's been very dynamic for us, the way it meshes up with our run game."
Jelling up front
Even though the offensive line lost some experience, left tackle Ben Petrula points out that it is not necessarily young, despite the fact that right tackle Tyler Vrabel is a redshirt freshman. Petrula is going to be a junior. Left guard John Phillips will be a redshirt senior, as will left guard Anthony Palazzolo. Center Alec Lindstrom will only be a sophomore, but has plenty of game experience carried over from last season.
"We're an older line, just not a very experienced line in terms of starts," Petrula said.
Palazzolo is the poster boy for that, as someone who has waited his turn and had a great spring so far.
"I think Anthony's really stepping up," Petrula said. "He's been working his technique out as long as he's been here. I think now is his time to step in and really be another guy to fit in the line, and make us a great unit."
Petrula, who has been a fixture along the offensive line since his true freshman season, is no longer the young pup and will be counted on for his leadership, too.
"I think Benny, he's still got two years left here, but Ben's done a nice job, as has (center) Alec Lindstrom in leading," Addazio said. "And, of course, John Phillips is really the leader in that group. So I think it's so important to continue in that area, as well. I think it's an important area."
Petrula, who is moving from right tackle to take over the spot Aaron Monteiro held down for four years, downplayed the difficulty of making the switch.
"I played left tackle in high school and I trained left tackle during bowl prep last year," Petrula said. "It's a change, but it's the same stuff just on a different side. Just getting my sets correct, and getting more comfortable in my movements on that side again. It's really important for spring ball right now for me to do that."
With a few injuries at wide receiver, other players have been able to get some longer looks. One of them is redshirt freshman Jehlani Galloway, a Providence native who flew under the radar during the recruiting process, but has the look of someone who can help the team when he gets his shot on Saturdays.
"Jehlani's doing a great job," Addazio said. "He's got great hands, and he's a pretty smooth athlete. I think he and (true freshman receiver) Ethon Williams, they're exciting young players, and it's been fun to watch them. It's been good."