Beamer: “We’re going to get better”

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"I firmly believe that what was wrong tonight can be corrected and we can be a good football team."
“I firmly believe that what was wrong tonight can be corrected and we can be a good football team.”

In his post-game comments to the media, Frank Beamer addressed the play of his special teams, saying that more veterans would be placed on the unit in future games. He also touched on a variety of other subjects.  Here is the full text of his comments, from J.D. Howell of ESPN Radio Blacksburg.

OPENING STATEMENT

I think defensively we played exceptionally well. I think if we’d have caught the ball consistently, it would have been a good night offensively.  I think special teams, when you start playing a lot of young kids, you play them on those special teams, that’s where it shows up.  We had three new guys over there on the right side.  I didn’t see exactly what happened.  It’s no excuse.  We’re going to evaluate our personnel.  Kickoff return‑wise, you know, the whole deal.

The good part about it is I feel like we can get better.  We can correct the things that wasn’t quite there.  We’re going to get those special teams better, consistently catch the football. It’s kind of like what I said in pre‑season:  what we got is a good defense, we got good kickers, we just got to get the other people around Logan playing better. I thought our offensive line hung in there tonight.  Pass protection, they did good against a tough, tough defense, tough pass‑rushers. I think there’s some positive things to take out of this game.  The points that we gave them, that shouldn’t happen in a ballgame.  Those were critical there.  But I firmly believe that what was wrong tonight can be corrected and we can be a good football team.

ON TREY EDMUNDS

I think Trey is going to be a terrific back.  He showed speed.  He’s a powerful guy.  Each and every week I think he’ll get better and better. First time he ever stepped on a college football field there tonight.  Pretty good crowd he stepped out there against.

ON SPECIAL TEAMS MISCUES

When you start playing young kids, that’s where you’re going to notice it the quickest.  We had a bunch of new guys out there on kickoff return, kickoff coverage, new guys on punt coverage.  But that’s not an excuse.  I mean, we’ve just got to play better.

WILL YOU USE MORE VETERANS

Absolutely.

ON THE DEFENSIVE LINE’S EFFORT

I thought we played well defensively.  Tackled well against good backs.  We got something to build on here.  We know what we need to work on so… I said this going in:  you play a team like Alabama, flaws, if you got ’em, show up.  I think a couple of them showed up there tonight.

ON TREY EDMUNDS’ 74 YARD TD

They kind of jumped us.  The kid made a heck of a play.  But we had a little something going, like you said.  Big turning point.

ON TREY EDMUNDS

You’ve heard me talk about Trey a bunch of times.  The kid’s got a lot of ability, made out of the right stuff, a great family.  I mean, he’s going to have a terrific future at Virginia Tech.

ON WIDE RECEIVER DROPS

Well, I just think it’s concentration.  I’ve seen D.J. Coles make a lot of tough catches.  Demitri, he has to go up and get it at the highest point.  Get Charley Meyer back in there, I think Charley, he didn’t play any tonight, but he’s a very dependable guy there. I’ve seen D.J. do it and Demitri do it.  It’s a matter of concentration and confidence.  We’re going to throw a lot of balls this week.

ON LOGAN THOMAS’ GAME

He made a lot of good plays, a lot of good decisions.  If we helped him out, you never know.  I don’t know how many dropped balls we had.  Then he keeps drives alive, you keep momentum alive.  Several of them are first‑down balls. But Logan is fine.  He’s a smart guy, competitive, the leader of this football team.  We’ve just got to help him out a little bit.  But I was encouraged by how our offensive line played tonight.  I thought against a good defense, they hung in there.

ON KEEPING ALABAMA CONTAINED

We finished up the year last year being a pretty good defense.  I was hoping we could pick it up.  We’ve got good defensive players, defensive coaches that’s been there a while.  Bud and the boys, I thought they played a terrific game.  I got a lot of respect for their (Alabama’s) offense.  I think they’re very good.

ON ENCOURAGEMENT WITH THE SECONDARY

Very. Facyson was another kid that played a bunch in there, two freshman kids with some height.  I think those two kids will get better and better, make us better on the back end.  I was really encouraged by that. Kendall, he’s a big‑time player and he likes the challenge of it all.  I think he’s got a bright future, too. When you bring as many freshmen as we brought, a lot of them played, you know, there’s a lot of good players there.  When we get them some experience, we’re going to be a good football team.

ON AVOIDING A LETDOWN AFTER BAMA

I think we’re a year older.  A lot of those guys were young.  We had a lot of time to get ready for Georgia Tech (last year).  We had a great game plan.  Went up to Pittsburgh.  They kind of got after us a little bit.  Pittsburgh plays a lot like Alabama plays. I think we’re a year older, more mature, more experienced, all the above.  I think we got some confidence at the end of the year how we played.  So, you know, we just got to keep working on that defense.

DID THE OFFENSIVE LINE IMPRESS?

I thought we hung in there in pass protection. They were bringing a lot of stuff.  When they bring it, it’s good people coming at you. Yeah, I thought we hung in there.  Couple runs in there.  We’ve got work to continue to do, there’s no question.  But for a group, a couple of them playing their first snaps, both our tackles, you know, I thought they hung in there pretty good.

ON THE DECISION TO NOT HAVE J.C. COLEMAN TRAVEL

We thought he was going to be okay. He kind of just got to a point. High‑ankle sprains. We didn’t know until about Wednesday or Thursday that he just wasn’t going to get there. We thought he might. But we felt like it would be better for him to stay home, get treatment, get it completely well so it’s not an issue. Hopefully he’ll be back next week.

ON TREY EDMUNDS’ WORK LOAD

Well, he got his share of work.  But Mangus came in and did a good job at the end, too.  We were just trying to get first downs.

ON ASSESSING THE SPECIAL TEAMS

Well, we just need to carry out our responsibilities on the kickoff.  We had a guy, a freshman, had him wrapped up.  Didn’t quite wrap‑up.  I think some of the other guys pulled off, thought he was wrapped up. All of a sudden down the sideline he goes. On the punt return, like I said earlier, three guys over there on the right side, first time they’ve been on that team.  Malleck was on that team, Vandyke was on that team.  But that’s not an excuse.  We just got to get better.  We know how to cover.  We just got to get our job done. I think evaluation.  Maybe we’re trying to play some kids, may need to get some more veteran guys that’s been in some games.  But this will be a good evaluation because they were going against good people. We’re going to evaluate it and get it better.  I can assure you we’re going to get it better.

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37 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I’m looking…I’m looking…Still haven’t seen it. Did I miss it?

    (Insert the Geico singing duo who ask how a Geico customer will feel–like, how good does a camel feel on hump day?)

    The first 26 years of coaching at Virginia Tech Frank Beamer has ALWAYS said the biggest improvemnt is between week one and week two. Frank, is it somehow different this year?

    How can it NOT get better, going from Alabama to Western Carolina?

    That’s okay…I’ll take 13-1

  2. I am so glad we use these marguee games to learn how to compete against the Marshalls of the world. After all, we know we can’t beat these highly ranked teams so why not just learn from it. Makes me want to plop down several hundred of dollars to travel to see us play one of these life lesson games.

    I wonder, if Boise State had the same philosophy when they played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

  3. Punt and kickoff coverage is not rocket science. You just can’t run down the field in a straight line and overrun the ball carrier. We’ve got enough coaching power to take care of this.

    1. Why do they have running backs on the kick off team? I still can’t figure it out. Do they ever practice tackling during practice? I heard Ed Reed say that when he gets a pick anywhere on the field he tries to run it back because the offensive guys don’t practice tackling. Get your defensive players on the kick off team and leave the offensive guys on the offense!

  4. Am I the only one not buying the more starters on ST’s argument?? This is a coaching problem!!! We go for two blocked punts and had no one to field the punt – giving up field position. Coaching decision. Do I need to remind you of the bowl game against Mich??!! I know we like to remember Coale not getting the call on the TD pass BUT the play of the game was the fake punt call. There have been numerous games where ST’s have let us down with blocked kicks, big returns, roughing the kicker, etc etc.

    1. I think it’s time for Frank to begin the next stage of his life. It’s time for Bud to grab the reigns. I think recruits relate better to a younger head coach nowadays. CFB got us to national prominence but we’ve been sliding downhill last few years. Hiring Newsome was a blunder that cost this program dearly. I know he wanted him for his ties to 757 high schools, but you could’ve just made him TE coach instead. Not so sound decisions from FB.

    2. This is the one game / one time in recent memory that I didn’t mind seeing us selling out to go for the block. While going for blocked punts has, for the past 7 or 8 years, more often than not, resulted in a roughing the kicker call, against Alabama on Saturday we needed a game changer. A blocked punt could have been a game changer.

  5. We may want to think about punting the ball out of bounds to prevent a return. On Kickoffs maybe we should do squib kicks. We don’t want to do this in every game but against an explosive team like Alabama it might not be a bad idea. I know it gives away field position a little but with our D playing that well I will take my chances.

    1. Well on the punt return for a TD our defense had not been on the field yet so at that point we did not know the defense was playing well or not. So what I think I am seeing is very good hindsight and applying what we saw during the entire game to prior than the defense even getting on the field.

  6. Practically speaking, we lost by more than we probably would have had we not spotted Alabama two easy scores on the opening kickoff and the punt return. So make it 21-10. Take away the awful route that left the DB as a sitting duck for LT’s pass and pik-six. Now it’s 14-10. So three big give-aways, and it’s a game. For me, it’s a toss-up as to how the team can do. This yet might be a very successful year, if the D maintains its strength, and the Offense and Special Teams turn it around. If not, a replay of last year, then lots more frustration. I’m an optimist.

    1. I tend to think that Nick Saban let off the gas a little bit. With those easy scores given to Bama, all he had to do was coast and not give anything away for the upcoming game against Texas AM. It worked out great for the Tide, but I’m not sure it would have been 14-10 had those 3 plays never happened. Like Beamer always says, things are never as good as they seem or as bad as they seem.

    2. I’m totally down with your breakdown. Obviously, the youth in the receiving core hurt us but, there were a number of opportunistic take-aways that made a big difference for Alabama.

      The Fuller brothers were awesome.

  7. Three new guys on one side never played on ST befor against the NO 1 team in the nation and just now figuring out you need more experienced players to shore up that side. Your kidding right.

  8. Lots of good stuff to take away from the Bama game. Offense line much better this year, defense is very good. If we can get a couple of wide receivers to catch the ball and run good routes, Logan will show better stats. Around this part of the country,
    (Chattanooga) all we see and hear is that Bama was rusty and sluggish. If they were, it just might be that Tech has a great defense and an O line with 2 freshmen that kept the Bama defense out of Techs backfield. T.Edmonds is the real deal. I’m encouraged about the rest of the year. Also, wish we could dump some balls off to some tight ends if we can get them coached up in time.

  9. Someone please throw it to Joshua Stanford. Let’s not figure this out 3/4 into the season as we did with Fuller……….come on man

    1. Stanford, like all the other receivers, needs to get OPEN before he should be targeted. Against Bama, in addition to dropping a bunch of passes, the receivers did a very poor job of gaining separation.

      1. Totally agree – it was more than just drops. Separation was a big issue. So was going up and fighting for the ball. These guys need to get tough – when you go against physical corners like they did on Saturday, they need to be just as physical and out-fight the d-backs for the ball.

      2. FB may consider bringing back Danny Coale to coach the wide receivers on creating space. It always astonished me how far the was away from the defenders. How’d he do that Frank????

  10. Since we don’t have any TEs left to coach up how about letting the TE coach take over special teams?

    Also, I wonder if they will consider using Kendall at WR if they can’t find anyone to step up?

    1. Aww, Sportn, you just want to be able to blame Stinespring! ; )

      Can’t wait to see what impact Charley Meyer is going to have when he gets on the field. It’s hard to swallow that the WRs were one of the team’s strengths just 2 years ago. I hope Coach M can get this group in much better shape by the time ACC play starts.

  11. frank ,walk-ons and second and third teamers just don’t cuy it against a team like Alabama. Hire a special teams coach and fix this meltdown.

    1. Frank has tried to use back ups and younger players to prevent starter injuries and to give them some rest. A lot of teams do this. For Frank to hire a special teams coach that would mean he has to fire someone. We are at the maximum allowed number of coaches.

    2. You don’t even need to hire a new ST coach (WHO would he replace, as we are at our limit on coaches). You solved the problem with your first statement, and you can extend that to say ANY team who is playing their best players on ST..

      Frank KNOWS this…..hell, Frank INVENTED this! Playing your best on ST is the simple definition of this Beamer Ball we get so sick of hearing about lately! Play your studs. Injury is a part of the game. It is a risk worth taking.

      THEN if you want someone else to coach our BEST players on ST, fine….

      GO HOKIES!!!!

    3. The assistants already play a huge role in special teams. Frank does punt block and punt return. Other coaches do kickoff, kickoff return, field goal block, field goal protection.

      Besides, to hire a Special teams coach, a current coach would have to be fired. You are only allowed a certain number of assistants.

      1. Thank you Chris…a lot of people just don’t get that. Which team made our best ST play? FB’s punt return team with KJ’s return

    4. Shouldn’t he know this given his résumé? Would love to hear his rationale behind playing so many walk-ons and third-stringers on special teams, not just coach-speak.

      1. It’s just not a simple equation. Ideally you want to play the young guys so you can get them some experience and evaluate them during game action. We used to play our starters but there are some downsides. One, it’s tiring running all the way down the field to cover punts and kickoffs. Two, not all starters want to play special teams or are even suited for it. The general consensus became play the young, hungry guys because they’ll give more effort. Generally that works, but obviously when you’re as banged up as we are you end up with a significant talent gap. It burned us and now we’ll definitely play more starters on special teams.

        1. Exactly, there are costs and benefits associated with both approaches. As helpful as it might be to have Kyle Fuller out there as your gunner on punt coverage, getting him hurt or having him gassed on the next offensive play from scrimmage could create more problems than you solve by having him out there for punt coverage. I’ll be honest, I would be very cautious about how we use starters on STs until we get into our convference schedule. The reserves need experience and we need as healthy and rested a team as possible for GT off a short week.

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