Q. Andy, you lost a lot of — like all your skill players, but at the same time you have a history of great offensive lines at Boston College, and as it turns out, three of you return. How big a factor can the three of you be in kind of the redevelopment of the Boston College offense?
ANDY GALLIK: That’s a great question. I think that when you look at last year’s success that we had in the run game, it was a little bit of both Andre and the system of us blocking scheme up front, having myself, Harris Williams and Bob Vardaro back is awesome because the starting experience we bring back, but at the same time we also bring Silberman from Florida with starting experience and we bring Seth back with experience, as well. What I said to a lot of people earlier was having five fifth-year seniors on the same offensive line, that’s something I’ve never been around, I’ve never heard of, and I think that’s really special. We all have that same burning desire to be great, and I think that we could do some really good things this year. Last season we had a great offensive line, as well. I just think that the potential and the ceiling for this offensive line this year is much higher, and we’re putting the work in so that it can pay off this fall.
Q. Head coach Steve Addazio is a fiery guy. What can you say about your relationship with him and how he pushes you guys with the attitude that he’s had?
ANDY GALLIK: Coach Addazio has been great. I think he’s the type of guy that BC has been looking for to be honest with you. He came into a situation that needed to be changed. There’s a culture problem at Boston College and he changed it. There was a mental toughness problem that he reversed, he instilled in all of us. I think the biggest thing was that he made us all tougher. There was a lot of problems in the past where guys would either give out during games or get beat because it was all mental rather than physical because the mental toughness wasn’t there, and now everything we do is built around just being mentally tough, just going about everything like a professional would, and that includes just from walking into our football facility, wearing what you’re supposed to be wearing, nothing that’s extra that brings attention to yourself and stuff, like your teammates and stuff like that. I think that Coach Addazio is just a fiery guy for a reason, because that’s the kind of mindset you need to have to get it into other people’s heads that this is how it’s going to be. This is how you’re going to do it if you want all the results that you guys are working for.
Q. Replacing tackles is always difficult, but the three interior linemen are returning. How do you go about helping out your right tackle and left tackle as you get into the season?
ANDY GALLIK: Well, Matt Patchan and Ian White are two special players that we’re going to miss a lot. Just like last year into this year we’re replacing two tackles. Fortunately enough this year the two tackles that we’re bringing in are guys that we’re all close with now. We’re like brothers, we hang out all the time, we do voluntary walk-throughs, extra film sessions, all that, so when it comes time to get the ball rolling come camp, the chemistry, communication is just all on the same speed and we’re all working together so that come Game 1 we’re all on the same page and that we can work as if we’ve been playing together for several years as opposed to just this one offensive line for this one season.
Q. Tyler Rouse is one of the guys that could end up replacing Andre Williams. Can you talk about any similarities or differences between those two guys?
ANDY GALLIK: Yeah, losing Andre Williams, he’s a special player, even more special person off the field. But I think that we’re very fortunate to have two young running backs in Myles Willis and Tyler Rouse, and speaking on Tyler Rouse, he’s a fast, straight-ahead, downhill, run-you-over kind of back, and I think he gets that toughness from growing up in Syracuse, believe it or not. I think that him and the flashy, shifty, speedy Myles Willis will complement each other really well, but I think in comparison to Andre, I think that’s kind of spot on with some things. I think their toughness and run-over mentality are right in the same ballpark. But obviously both of these young casts that don’t have that much experience that want to be good, they’re going to have to prove themselves this preseason camp to see where they go in the fall.
Q. Tell us about the quarterback position.
ANDY GALLIK: Tyler Murphy, when he came in, he’s a northeast guy, he’s from Connecticut, he fit in personality-wise with everybody. We’re all really close now with him. I was joking with some reporters earlier, he’s always baking us cookies and keeping us happy, keeping him off of his back during spring ball and such. But I think he adds a different dynamic to the offense that we didn’t have before, and I think because he’s a mobile quarterback there’s a lot more options for us in the backfield with all the speed that we have with the run backs.
Q. You really don’t leave the state of Massachusetts until midway through the season, October 11th will be your first road game, so how important is it for the defense, for the team to get out of the blocks early in the season knowing that you’re pretty much well at home the whole time?
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: It’s very important for us to get the ball rolling. We start off at UMass, and even though it’s an away game it’s kind of home for us. It’s nearby for us. I think it’s very important to see what kind of team you’re going to be within the first couple games so you can build and fix what needs to be fixed as you start to travel and go to places like Tallahassee and Virginia Tech. It’s going to be very important.
Q. You guys benefitted last year I think on the defensive side from having Andre Williams and an offense that controlled the ball and kept you on the sidelines. Andre is gone but the offensive line is back. Do you have the confidence that this offense can still, shall we say, hold its end of the bargain up and help you with time of possession some?
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: Definitely, definitely. I’m very, very confident in this offensive line and Tyler Murphy. He came in during the spring, and I’ve personally gotten to know him on and off the field, and I have a lot of confidence in him and the talent that we’re surrounding around him, and with the young guys that are ready to step up. Even though we lost Andre Williams and two linemen, we have a lot of fifth-year seniors on the offensive line, and young guys that are ready to step up that are very explosive and that can make plays in the open field.
Q. Looking at Steve Addazio, talked with Andy about that, what can you say he’s helped on the defense and kind of pushed you guys to be in his second year now?
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: As far as the defense with Coach Addazio, one thing that he’s helped us with is mental toughness. There’s going to be long drives where we’re going 10, 11 plays, and some teams, some guys might want to tap out, and that’s one thing Coach Addazio won’t let us do because he’s constantly harping on mental toughness for us. Besides mental toughness his energy he brings to the table is something that the defense feeds off of and that we want to go out there and express that to Coach Addazio.
Q. You had 65 total tackles last year. Do you have a personal goal that might be stat related?
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: No. Me personally, I don’t have any personal goals, but I want to play in Charlotte this year, the ACC Championship, and I speak on behalf of the whole defense and the whole team. The defense isn’t really viewed as one player, it’s 11 hats to the ball at once, and the defense plays 11 as one.
Q. As somebody that goes against offense at practice, tell me what it’s like to tackle Tyler Rouse and compare him to Andre if you can.
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: They’re very, very similar. I mean, besides the height, they’re very fast, they’re very hard to tackle. Tyler is very low to the ground so you have to get low to him. It’s kind of hard sometimes for a taller defender, but he’s got — he runs with power behind him, you can tell. He’s like a little bowling ball when you try to hit him. I’ve actually got the worst of it one time but then I got the best of him the next time. But I like that, though. He brings toughness to the table as Andre did, and that’s something that you’ve got to have if you want to run the ball.
Q. With the advent of the spread offense in the college game, cornerbacks are kind of on an island, but safeties figure out is this quarterback tucking it and running giving it off pick up a wide receiver? What’s your mindset back there and how do you make those decisions?
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: I think that comes in with game plan. Some quarterbacks that will play might not have the ability to take off and run, but as other quarterbacks may, and I think that’s something that as the Boston College defense has been able to experience more this spring with Tyler Murphy, because in practice for almost four years we haven’t seen Chase take off and run, but with Tyler Murphy, when he takes off and runs, he’s bound to get 20 yards, just taking the ball one time. I think that helps us. As the game plan comes in during the season that comes into awareness. If the guy can take off and run, the safeties are definitely going to be there to help.
Q. Who inside the ACC has challenged you from an offensive standpoint?
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: I look at every team as it’s a challenge. We go into every game respecting each team and knowing what they can do and what they’re trying to do, so I think every team challenged us in one way, whether it was watching out for the deep ball or whether a run-heavy team. I’d say every team.
Q. But not one individual that’s challenged you? That was the question.
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: No.
Q. Since Boston College joined the ACC, there’s been a history of defensive playmakers. Tell us about some of the playmakers we’re going to see on the BC defense this year that not only will stop drives but force turnovers.
DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS: I’d say the front seven is going to be a huge impact this year and the secondary. The secondary is going to take care of their business there, no deep balls, no big plays, and we’re going to make plays as well as the front seven is going to get pressure on the quarterback. We’ve got guys like Mehdi Abdesmad, Brian Mihalik, Josh Keyes, Steven Daniels coming in and forcing pressure onto the quarterback, hopefully to get some sacks and some fumbles.