Steve Addazio's experienced team heads into spring with high hopes
Experience will not be a problem in 2018 for the Boston College Eagles.
With a bevy of starters returning on both sides of the ball, including almost every key contributor, this is a team that is set up to win now.
Although injuries have already taken their toll (more on that later), the Eagles should be fine to go through the spring with enough healthy bodies to give head coach Steve Addazio a good idea of what he has heading into the 2018 season.
What that looks like now is a bowl team. Still, the Eagles have a brutal schedule that awaits, so just how far this team can go is up for debate. For now, though, here are the things the Eagles will look to sort out this spring.
5 Storylines to Watch During Boston College's Spring Practice
1. EJ Perry's Development
When quarterback Anthony Brown went down with an injury near the end of last season, Darius Wade filled in with varying degrees of success. However, Wade is gone and Perry, a true sophomore, is now going to be running the show in the spring. Although Addazio is confident in Brown's ability to make it back on the field, Perry, a local native from Andover, Massachusetts, needs to show he can be a capable replacement if called upon.
2. Defensive tackle depth
The Eagles should be OK at defensive end, even with the loss of Harold Landry, a likely first-round NFL draft pick. However, the rest of the defensive line will need to find capable bodies to fill in. New addition to the staff, Antoine Smith, takes over as the defensive tackles coach, and the Eagles found a number of big bodies for that position in recruiting. However, they need to find players who can step in now, and that will be a big focus.
3. Staying healthy at linebacker
Although the Eagles had steady linebacker play for most of 2017, they simply could not stay healthy at the position. At one point during the Pinstripe Bowl loss to Iowa, the Eagles needed to move running back Davon Jones back over to defense, where he played earlier in his career. Getting former leading tackle Connor Strachan (above, right) back from an injury that caused him to miss the 2017 season will help, and the unit could be one of the strengths of the team.
4. Finding new cornerbacks
The Eagles had a good thing going at cornerback last season with Kamrin Moore and Isaac Yiadom, the latter who impressed enough at the Senior Bowl to the point where he could get drafted. Now, the Eagles need to find not only replacements for those two players, but also a little depth behind them. Right now, look for Taj-Amir Torres and Hamp Cheevers to get the first shots at starting positions. However, which players find themselves in the nickel positions and such roles need to work themselves out.
5. Keeping the stars healthy
The worst thing that can happen during the spring is see the team's true studs go down with injuries. That means players like running back AJ Dillon, defensive end Zach Allen, wide receiver Kobay White, tight end Tommy Sweeney and safety Lukas Denis, among others, need to come out of this spring healthy and ready to go. Dillon is probably the most important piece, as he is a legitimate threat to rush for 2,000 yards and even make a Heisman Trophy run.
— Written by Adam Kurkjian, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and is a reporter for the Boston Herald. He has covered the World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston Marathon and Little League World Series, among other events from the high school, college and pro ranks. Follow him on Twitter @AdamKurkjian.