TSL Poll: How Would You Grade Bud Foster’s 2015 Performance?

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How would you grade Bud Foster’s 2015 performance so far?  Please vote in the poll below.

How you would grade Bud Foster's job performance this year?

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57 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Recruiting misses for many years are unacceptable. I don’t believe this is Bud’s fault. The problem is at the top. It is not worth any more words. I love the man and wish him the very best. Let’s stop this kind of article; they are pointless. Recruiting, intensity, coaching decisions, time management. We all know the problem and hate the answer.

  2. To grade BF without being there every practice is unfair and filled with conjecture. Sometimes a coach can do his absolute best and it not transfer to the field. Judging a coach over a short period of time is filled with flaws especially taking into account the inexperience caused by injury that is out of everyone’s control. Changing philosophy in the short term in the middle of a season is disastrous. It is akin to changing horses in the middle of the stream generally someone will end up all wet.
    Going with a spread offense hoping to gain excitement without a defense leaves us where we are loosing by one point. IMHO that is not change and any excitement is short lived especially with a crowd that has already left according to some.
    IMO be careful what you ask for you just might get it. Coach FB and Bud have built a team with integrity that is the flag ship of VT. What ever happens that should be our number one goal going forward. Winning is great but winning at all cost is a ship sinking to the pits of hell.

  3. People need to stop ripping particular players. Yes, Moto is not having a great season. Neither is Dadi, or Clark40, or D Riley. They are not NFL players who are expected to do this week in and week out. Why anyone in The fan base needs to point fingers at a college kid is ridiculous. The Marcus Davis video a few years back is emblematic of this behavior, and it’s pathetic. Right now, our defense as a whole sucks. It’s awful. And yet, they only have up 22 points in regulation. Times aren’t great, but we can’t have a little class, and act like adults? At the end of the day, it’s just a game.

    1. Ia hate the that it’s JUST a game argument. If it was simply just a game, then we don’t pay the head coach millions, we don’t pay our players and give them full ride scholarships, we don’t pay $60+ for tickets each game, we don’t have a multi-billion dollar industry. College football is not just a game, athletes enter this limelight and get $ & scholarships and know the pressures and expectations that ensue (and don’t have to take them if they don’t want the ups and downs that accompany all this), and fans are entitled to have some accountability on all levels for money they invest in the program/business. Do we need to viciously attack players and pull apart their character? ? NO. But does pointing out deficits in personnel and performance unwarranted. ..it is well within the bounds of supporters, fans and donors. But tastefully and tactfully is a lot nicer.

      1. That’s what I’m getting at is the vicious attacks. I haven’t seen one specific player get put down so much, since Davis, hell I’ll throw in Glennon. there are a lot of young players playing right now. We want these kids to perform, and there’s a way to say things without discouraging them.

    1. That is total bs. For people to give FB such crap all the time and give a pass to Foster for a group he called maybe the best in VT history is ridiculous. That d-line was suppose to be so deep that we redshirted a 5* DT that could clog the run lanes, yet we get gashed up the middle all yr. A good portion of what is killing us is Defensive ends over pursuing on the zone read or coming in too wide on pass rush creating lanes for the qb to run. The fact that QBs have run all over us for several yrs now with no adjustments is laughable. Let us also not forget the stubbornness and personnel decisions that are killing us on defense. We just have to play Alexander over Frye because one good game early in the season (well we are getting what we are asking for now). Stroman is a freaking Junior that is athletic and jas been in the system for 3 yrs, now he is a jet sweep wr? Stroman goes from starting a game to no longer on defense? Clark was an all world, next great Hokie early draft pick cb last yr, now he is burnt toast? The tackling is atrocious, and I know we lost Fuller, but the talent back there should have been good enough to hold up. To the stubbornness….how about we mix in some freaking zone coverage to combat our terrible secondary play? How bout a qb spy? Do we have some other scheme besides line up man and play?

      1. The lack of zone is related to the inexperience. There is more experience required to run the zone concepts. Essentially they believe we would be burnt more often in zone due to botched assignments.

        It is probably time for Bud to reinvent his defense again. He needs to run some statistical analysis on our tendencies and how teams attack them and change some things to put offenses on the back foot again. That is obvious when we play teams that are familiar with us. We can’t be predictable when we don’t out talent the opponent by a large amount.

        It’s not all doom and gloom. The new staff is going to have some young but talented corners who have been baptized by fire this year. Settle will give Bud the ability to do some different things as well.

        Perhaps the new coach and staff will be the boost Bud needs to come up with his next incarnation of D.

        1. That is assuming:

          1- We have a new head coach next yr

          2- Bud is retained by a new coach

          3- Bud wants to stay if he is not the new coach

  4. I can understand to some degree our Def backfield under performing with the loss of Fuller and Reavis, but last year wasn’t much better either. The biggest disappointment is that by all accounts we had the #1 or #2 defensive line in all of college football, and Foster indicated he thought he may be coaching one of the best units he’s ever had. Somehow these studs either regressed or are getting manhandled and constantly take bad lines into the backfield. Or Foster is being passed up by offenses now(running QBs and/or big play set ups). Definitely “needs improvement”.

    1. I still wonder if perhaps our strength and conditioning has slipped a bit… Seems we ve been getting a little more manhandled at points of attack and maybe that s not just our player ability but their strength. I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere as gentry has seemed just universally accepted in Vt circles…thought?

  5. We do not have a middle linebacker that can get positioned, and make tackles. Bud’s system over the years has depended on that. Not Bud’s fault.

    1. There just has to be someone on an 85 man roster who can play better than 54. That is why I give Bud a low score this year. Maybe not an all ACC player, but someone who can just be average.

    2. This is Bud’s defense. He’s suppose to recruit high level players who play defense and he is the linebacker coach.

  6. In Bud’s favor, let’s not forget the potential stars that have been moved to offense to solve their problems.
    Not in Bud’s favor, with the drop off in talent, he hasn’t adapted his system to fit the talent. Also, an on going problem is he rarely subs line backers thus transition is always hard.

  7. I’m questioning the fact that TSL would run this poll. Everyone knows we have injury/talent issues at key, exploitable positions this year. Recruiting, which you accurately and eloquently talked about in a recent article, was not part of the question – but is likely the key issue with our D this year (and we’re obviously not as strong on D as normal). Unless you have an axe to grind with Bud, what good can come from this poll? Is TSL taking a “social media lobby” swipe at Foster? Maybe it’s just me, but this is pretty bush league from TSL.

  8. Bud is still Bud. If he has the right personnel he can provide a top ranked defense.

    Losing Fuller was a big hit but we also need to be nimble. When we see a weekness we need to rush forward and correct it. You can bet your bippy that the future opposing offensive coordinators we face will learn our weaknesses and will pounce.

    We are weak up the middle. I respect Foster and know that he must be working on this.

    #54 is a good athlete but our scheme needs to be tweaked to adjust.

    Bud needs to help out Coach!

  9. For some reason yet to be exposed, the players that were very good last season are not in 2015. Bud could be doing a great job but the returning players whether 1st or 2nd string are not the same players they were last year or the players they were after returning from an injury last season. ‘cept for Chuck Clark, he stands out.

  10. His history suggests that this is a personnel issue not a coaching issue. That said, he is partly to blame for recruiting misses at LB and D Line. So to say he is failing or needs improvement isn’t accurate since he doesn’t have the players to execute his system right now.

    1. D does well – Foster’s a genius.
      D doesn’t do well – Players are terrible.

      You can’t detach one from the other. Players have as much to do with success as Foster has with shortcomings.

    2. He IS failing precisely because he doesn’t have the right players nor the depth to spell anyone. As the DC he is responsible for ALL things defense. I give him huge credit for playing the biggest role in our rise to prominence. Without those defenses we never would have had any of these streaks. However, with the credit goes the blame. He’s the CEO of the defense and the buck stops with him.

  11. People keep point to recruiting… can they be more specific

    DT: Maddy, Baron, Williams, Walker, Settle, Mihota
    DE: Nicolas, Ekanem
    LB:……. Deon Clarke? RVD 🙂
    CB: Fuller, Facsyon, Reynolds, Alexander, Edmunds, Wolfolk (coming), Chuck Clark
    – we have Fuller and Facyson start playing as a true freshmen so in theory we didn’t need a bunch of CBs to play and “be ready” and might not have gotten many due to entrenched starters.

    Riley, Frye, Greene? They were not deemed losers recently. They were seen as part of a lot of options for Torrian Gray. See the TSL pre-season articles. Riley was part of a decent pass defense last year.

    Seth Dooley? He isn’t the problem. The starters are the problem unless you want depth that can play with Nicolas hurt.

    If the issue is LB and because we miss having Hand, just say that. But we have recruited great in the secondary and at DT. And Ekanem is a highly recruited DE. The issue is less about recruiting and more about injuries and either under-performance at certain positions OR have certain areas become not as good as we liked to think they were (Nicolas and Maddy were under-radar HS players……………..)

    The same thing can happen on offense. We love our under-recruited players who show flashes of brilliance on an average team……. We love our recruited walk-ons and 2/3-star players that show up. But if we are going to say recruiting, it would be good to be specific and show how injuries really put some good recruits into the spotlight a bit early.

  12. Like most sports there are different “game plans” to use as well as players with “different skill sets”. A good coach is able to match these up. I love the “game plan” Bud prefers to use and it has won us more games than it has lost. But right now he simply doesn’t have the player talent or at least experience to continue to use that same game plan. He needs to adjust and if he has done that I haven’t seen it. Now I am not a big football guru so I admit up front there are probably minor changes going on but not in the middle of the field.

    1. Amen to FarmVille Hokie comments. Bud is Bud. He is as good today as years ago. Just give him some more talented players and we’ll be singing his praises, as usual. Remember, he’s the coach, he can’t go on the field and the positions.

  13. My question all year has been: Where is the Lunch Pail Defense? This defensive team doesn’t look like any other Tech defense I’ve seen for a long, long time. I posted earlier that Whit needed to clean the house from top to bottom and nothing has changed my mind. Accountability is the issue for me and it starts with depth and recruiting. Coaches get the big bucks and are responsible. I am ready for change and it better happen after the season is over as far as I’m concerned.

  14. Defense has fallen short in comparisons to pre season expectations, potential & compared to previously foster’s top ranked defense.

    Key concerns have not improved YOY or through the season:
    * Run stop front 7 require too much safety/rover assistance in early downs
    * development of MLB (as its actually gotten worse as season progressed)
    * defense ends- little productivity with starters
    * use of depth across DL-. Last year Nigel Williams played well, he barely sees the field this year (granted Baron is playing well, but guys are getting limited rest during the games)
    *DE (until 3rd qTR last game) we saw virtually no rotation of players
    * liabilities– this is tough to write, but with Dadi’s hands injured, he can’t tackle & with Andrew Muto’s inability to correctly read, the defense has played many plays 9 vs 11. So it explains the high risk mentality, but I struggle that vinny minota and Carson lydon can’t play worse.

    DB’s hurt w/ injuries, expulsion, & youth have hurt, but agree use of riley, shekog, etc could have helped us some.

    This week, we need to address the MLB & DE, those two moves will help us greatly.

    Let’s go…Hokies!!!
    Beat those Eagles!!!

  15. It’s so hard to judge what’s going on. Injuries, yes. Less than stellar recruiting, also probably yes. But I also agree with the comments that Foster didn’t suddenly forget how to coach D. He has put top tier defenses on the field for years. I think recruiting has a lot to do with it, and we can’t assign all of that blame to Bud. Face it people, recruits are looking for flash, excitement and a potential path to the NFL (even if it is unrealistic for many of them). As the HC, Beamer sets the tone for the team, and that tone has looked and sounded tired for several years now. During a few of the early losses this year, Beamer looked confused, detached and unemotional. It was weird seeing him that out of it. Would Saban have looked like that? Harbaugh? As much as it pains me to say this, some people age better than others, and Frank – probably because of health issues – has aged exponentially over the past five years. He looks and sounds tired. It is impacting the team terribly. Better recruits are seeing that and seeing the result, and its not a positive impression. Think about the final years of Bowden and Paterno (even before the Sandusky revelations). Better recruits started turning their backs to even those lofty programs. This situation is not going to turn around until there is a new, more energetic HC. If Whit and the rest of the administration want to give Frank more chances to turn it around, the long decline is just going to continue.

  16. Like most polls: calls for answer with no option to cover extenuating circumstances.

    All American gone to injures, expected starter kicked out of school, little options at linebacker, too many Freshmen in secondary etc. The majority who rated him a D
    are unfair. Nothing wrong with his coaching or system(used by many top programs)
    that better more experienced players won’t correct.

  17. Gave him a B – mainly because there are a lot of “Because this or that” we are losing:
    Because we are thin at MLB (we are not grading recruiting are we?)
    Because we lost Reavis and Fuller
    Because Dadi has been hurt the entire year

    Things I don’t understand or agree with –
    Giving D Riley and Dw Green so little playing time…
    CB always plays back to the ball – this is just horsehockey~! But that is Grays decision.

  18. Not the simplicity of available answers fits the complexity of the situation. Do I think the defense is Average or worse – you bet. Do I think Bud Foster forgot how to coach between last year and this year? Nope. Do I think his system has been “figured out”. Please. That is a belly laugh inducing. No, Bud is still one of the best 3-5 D Coordinators in the country. Do I think Buds primary issue this season is talent/youth. You betcha. Is he partially responsible for that? Yep sure is. But nearly to the degree some insinuate. Our staff (until Grimes/Searels and Loeffler) has NEVER recruited based on position. People like to say ‘Bud should have recruited better LBers’. Actually no. That is simply not how it works at VT to this day. Whoevers region was recruiting the linebackers should have done a better job. Take a look at the regions where Bud recruits and tell me which big time Linebackers he whiffed on for the past 3 years. None? Yea. Thought so. So the real issue is that even our best recruiters (Shane/Stiney), in our most talent rich areas, have not been able to overcome the impending retirement of Frank. And there you have it the root of all this teams problems in a nutshell. Should Bud have jumped up and down and yelled and scream when we took 1 LBer in three years. Absolutely. And maybe he did. We will never know.

  19. Are we grading on a curve? Like compared to past Bud Ds? A “Bud” curve? Had to go C without the Bud curve. With the Bud curve more like D+/C- but that’s what you get when yer a defensive evil genius. Guess he’ll have to steal the moon next. (Thanks to those of you who get the moon ref)

  20. Always thought Bud would make good head coach. Situation with middle linebacker has made me change mind.

  21. Though the grades are A thru F (with all of their inherent meaning we might attach to them), I voted based on the definition of the letter grade. I don’t think many people would dispute that the defense needs improvement, so I gave him a D. Is if fair to give Bud Foster a D? I don’t know. Perhaps any other DC in his shoes would have done worse. Maybe some would do better. Whether it is the talent pool, game week prep, in game adjustments, in season adjustments, injuries, position coaches, all of the above, or none of the above, Foster is the DC and it ultimately comes back to him. Does this mean he’s a bad DC? NO WAY! But the 2015 Virginia Tech defense needs improvement.

  22. said D, but I’m really grading Bud & the defense collectively. He’s always gonna be an A in my book.

  23. To the extent that Foster owns the defense, had to give him the D. However, it’s likely that the D grade should have been given in previous seasons to a broader group that just Foster due to our lack of recruiting success (and lack of discernible good adjustments on this front). Foster may now be playing the right people in the right places based on what he has, but the cupboard is obviously pretty bare (see also: linebackers). The end of the Duke game caused flashbacks to our getting gashed by Aaron Rodgers.

    At the risk of being utterly redundant, I have nothing but love for Beamer and what he done for VT. I graduated undergrad in ’88, so I got to enjoy the amazing rise to relevance and a very respectable amount of time in that position. Hate to see things sort of fizzle out at the conclusion. Go Hokies!

  24. All I can go on is Bud’s performance over time so I said good. I don’t know exactly what the problem is this year but I’m pretty sure if Bud could fix it he would do so. He didn’t just forget how to coach and I don’t think he likes what he is seeing….So, to me, good with what he has to work with.

    1. The problem is…”what he has to work with” this year is totally Foster’s fault. It’s called poor recruiting.

      1. Can you be more specific? Fuller, Facyson, Walker, Settle, Mihota, Maddy, Ekanem, Alexander…. We liked Wiliams and Baron. Right? We loved Nicolas last year. Chuck Clark?

        As a defensive unit, can you be more specific?

  25. Foster’s performance or the defense’s performance given the youth? Part of my grade would be about choices. There have been things in his control like the choice to play the three freshmen or to keep playing Stroman (even if the initial start is on Gray). I think a major mistake was not playing Donovan Riley. I don’t care if the younger players were deemed more athletic with greater long-term potential. Experience matters and Riley (for example) did not kill the defense last year. Matupoaka is Foster’s fault as well. Whether coaching him or having to play him,

    That being said, I want grade Foster harshly for on-field mistakes by players or why the DL is not getting the sacks. It isn’t always the QB getting rid of the ball fast. But there is a difference between grading Foster and grading Foster’s defense.

  26. I went “no opinion” because the 2015 D performance is really based on how Bud did recruiting appropriate MLBs in 2012, 13, etc. His performance in 2015 is probably a C based on what he has to work with, but what he has to work with is a result of getting a F in recruiting that one position over the past few years.

    1. Oregon didn’t have a QB to replace Marcus Mariota, FSU didn’t have one to replace Winston. Recruiting misses happen to the everyone. Oregon could go from the playoffs to 6-6.

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