FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Taking The Next Step
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
The relationship between a quarterback and his offensive coordinator is often the most important one a QB can have, but Rettig has been without a consistent mentor as an Eagle.
“Would it have been better to have the same [offensive coordinator] for three years? Yes. But is it debilitating? No, it’s not that,” said head coach Frank Spaziani. “[Chase] is such a student of the game coming from his background in California. He’s adapted real well to it.”
Rettig agrees that it has not been the easiest job to transition from one coordinator to the next, but he knows it may pay dividends somewhere down the line.
“I don’t think someone would say it was easy,” Rettig said. “But it’s just … stability, it helps sometimes. Especially if you like the offense, because you know it cold. You know everything. I think it’ll be an advantage to me down the line because I had all these different offensive coordinators.”
The flexibility and creativeness available to Rettig at quarterback is a breath of fresh air for him, even if it is the fourth offense he’s learned as he goes into his third year on the Heights.
“I think the offense we run right now is great, so I’m happy we’re in it now,” Rettig said.
Rettig looked like he knew the offense pretty well in the opener against Miami on Saturday, but it’s not surprising given the close relationship he and Martin have built so far.
“I think it’s a real positive chemistry between them,” Spaziani said. “They’re on the same page. Doug’s demanding, and Chase likes to be pushed.”
Martin has been impressed with Rettig’s desire to learn as well.
“Chase wants to be coached. He wants to be a great player. When guys have that kind of attitude, it’s really easy to get them where they want to go,” Martin said. “I think we’ve got a real trusting relationship. I think he believes in what we’re doing. He’s adapted the offense very quickly. He’s in a really good place right now. It’s just a matter of getting the game experience in doing these things.”
“On any given day”
The time is now for Chase Rettig. Spaziani knows it, Martin knows it, and Rettig himself knows it. It’s time to make the jump. It’s time to play the 30 full minutes.
Rettig has all the physical and mental tools to take the next step in his progression as a quarterback. Martin sees intangibles in him that you can’t teach, and he believes that is a good sign of things to come this season.
“The things that are really attractive about Chase are that he has a great vision of the field, and you can’t coach that,” Martin said. “When the defensive line is coming at them, guys can either keep their eyes downfield and see what’s happening or they can’t. He’s one of those guys. He’s blessed with that ability.”
Martin also noted that Rettig lost 10 pounds in the offseason, and is in great shape thanks to the new strength and conditioning coach Mike Poidomani. Rettig’s improved agility and ability to move around in the pocket could also be a factor in him having a breakout year.
Spaziani has seen Rettig get better in the offseason, as he used his time wisely to step up his game throughout the spring and summer. Now it’s his time to show it.
“Chase has gotten better in all aspects of his game, in the laboratory that he’s been in [practice],” Spaziani said. “We’re going to find out how that’s going to translate. It usually translates. But I feel good about him. I’ll feel better when he steps up and zings it down the field and somebody catches it. I’ll say, ‘Ooh, yeah, there’s what we’re looking for.’”
There’s only one way for Rettig to prove the doubters wrong and erase much of the negativity that clouded over the program last season—win. To do that, he needs to play like the real Chase Rettig for the whole 60 minutes, every game.
“Last year, there was just a lot of negativity going on around the football program, just because we didn’t go to our bowl game, we didn’t continue the streak,” Rettig said. “We were a little bit younger last year, and some of the guys … we weren’t there to be a fourth quarter team, to keep us in the win column instead of the loss column. Guys are just anxious to prove themselves this year, and get back to where we were the year before and the year before and get back into a bowl game.”
Spaziani has faith that if the guys around Rettig help their quarterback out on the field by giving him extra time in the pocket and catching any ball thrown in their vicinity, that he will be able to make the jump.
“We give him the help, we catch the ball, we protect him—now he has to be a little bit better than good to make that next step,” Spaziani said.
Nobody wants a repeat of the 2011 season. Too much is on the line this season for BC, as the numbers in the win and loss column at the end of the season could dictate the future direction of the program. Rettig knows a lot of that is dependent on his performance, but most importantly, his ability to play a full game. To play a full season.
“Last year was really hard. I just thought we were better than our record implied,” Rettig said. “But on any given day, you just got to show up. Just play every down until the end of the game, till the whistle blows.”
Game One is over. It’s now 60 minutes for 11 more games. Only time will tell if Chase Rettig is prepared to find the consistency he’s been looking for. And if he finds it, Rettig will have taken his biggest step yet.