The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday, August 22, 2005
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com
Monday night’s Hokie Hotline was the first of the 2005 football season and
featured Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, athletic director Jim
Weaver and head coach Frank Beamer. Foster talked about the defense, Weaver
discussed stadium expansion and an offer on the table for Frank Beamer, and
Beamer talked about the program and the offense.
commented that he is excited about the season. They had a great spring, the
majority of the team stayed over the summer to work, and the first two weeks of
practice have been the best that he has ever seen. He commented that the team
has great senior leadership and is anxious to help take the program to another
Foster has been pleased with the defensive tackles. Jim Davis was a big loss,
but Carlton Powell has played very well. Tim Sandidge has stepped up his game as
well. He has really pushed Powell this August. Jonathan Lewis has had a great
camp. Kory Robertson and Barry Booker are very talented and athletic, and they
are getting better.
Free safety is coming along well, and Justin Hamilton had a great week of
practice. Foster said that D.J. Parker has played well and has great speed for
the position, despite being a little undersized (5-11, 181). Foster said he
feels much better about the safety spot at this point than he did in the spring.
Foster said at first he was concerned about Aaron Rouse at rover, but he is
coming along nicely. He thinks Rouse could have a special season. He gives the
Hokies great speed and athleticism at the rover position.
Foster said the team was able to play more zone last year and still get
pressure on the quarterback. He said they haven’t been able to do that since
1999. Roth pointed out that so many key interceptions for the Hokies, such as
Keion Carpenter against Miami in 1996, have come in zone defenses.
Foster said the defensive end trio of Ellis, Tapp and Burchette has been very
disruptive. Foster said the Tech philosophy has always been to get speed rushers
on the outside, but now the Hokies are able to get speed rushers with size.
Foster also confirmed that Darryl Tapp will be sliding to defensive tackle in
passing situations. He said that it was a pleasure to coach unselfish players.
Foster said Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi have been playing very well, and
Brett Warren gets his vote for most improved player. He has improved in his pass
defense. When he first entered Tech, he had no concept of the passing game.
Foster mention that Hall has trimmed down to 235 and Adibi is up to 229. He
said Adibi has had as good a camp as anybody. Foster went on to say that between
Hall and Adibi, they have a chance to bring Tech a Butkus Award as they get
later into their careers. With James Anderson, Foster believes the Hokies might
have the best linebacker corps in the ACC. He is reminded of Jamel Smith and
Foster said he expects more quick passing from NC State, and more bunch
formations. He said he expects it to be a very similar offense to Virginia’s
under Bill Musgrave. He said they have a lot of skilled players, including true
freshman Toney Baker at tailback. He expects them to try and get their athletes
out in space. Foster said the NC State offensive coordinator, Mark Trestman, is
a former NFL coach and it is difficult to get NFL film. There will be a lot of
adjustments during the game.
Jim Weaver said they have set a date of September 1 as the date when a
decision will be made about the West Side Expansion. At that point they will
decide exactly how to operate during the first two games of the season. He said
they are developing “numerous contingency plans.” Weaver emphasized that all
home games will be played in Lane Stadium.
Weaver stated that it was fair to be optimistic that the stadium could be
completed on time. It was certainly an attainable goal. Weaver said the
reactions he has received from suite holders and club seat owners have been
totally positive. They understand that the situation isn’t the fault of
Virginia Tech, and that it’s still possible that all field side amenities
could be completed.
Regarding the playing surface in Lane Stadium, Weaver said that the white “Virginia
Tech” logo in the end zone will be trimmed with orange and maroon this year,
as well as the ACC logo on the field.
Weaver said that new parking spaces will not be necessary to complement
stadium expansion. The new West Side will add only slightly more than 1,000
seats. Weaver said that central administration decides the parking on campus, and
that only 50% of parking spaces are allotted for football parking.
Weaver stated that Frank Beamer has been offered a contract of over $2
million a year for seven years. Negotiations have been going on for months. “We
have on the table for Coach Beamer a package that averages over $2 million a
year for the next 7 years.” Assistant coaches’ salaries “are not affected at
this juncture. That was an issue that was raised by Coach Beamer’s
representatives about two weeks ago. We will analyze the top 15 or 16 programs
and we will make the commitment to compensate our people accordingly.
“We would like to get it done before the season starts, and we know coach
would like to get it done before the season starts. The analysis we were asked
to do will take a little time, so I’m not sure when we’ll get to the end of
the line, but we’re committed to getting there.”
Beamer agreed with Coach Foster’s earlier statement that this has been the
best two weeks of practice the Hokies have ever had. He said the players have
practiced very well and have maintained their focus. There have been no fights,
and everything has been very business like.
Beamer said the coaching staff has basically named the traveling squad and
filled out the special teams. Now they have to get things fine tuned. The two
minute offense, as well as cadences at the line have to get cleaned up.
Beamer said Sean Glennon will be the backup quarterback. Cory Holt will
continue to see work because he has come along, but right now Glennon is the
Beamer said Duane Brown will work at tackle a lot, and Reggie Butler will
compete with Brandon Gore at left guard. Ryan Shuman will move back to center
and he has a bright future there. The coaching staff loves Will Montgomery at
center, and Danny McGrath has played well also.
Beamer said the offensive line has been working hard and played better this
past week than they have in some time. John Kinzer and Jordan Trott are holding
up at tight end, which will allow Brown to stay at tackle. Ed Wang and Sam
Wheeler will be good players, but they are not quite there yet and they will red
A caller mentioned that Auburn ran 2:10 off the game clock in the Sugar Bowl
by kneeling down three time because the play clock doesn’t start until the
official spots the ball. Since Coach Beamer is on the rules committee, is there
a chance that the rules can be changed where the clock automatically starts
instead of waiting on the official? Beamer said no change is in the forecast,
and that the issue has been discussed before. However at this point, the rule
will remain the same.
Beamer mentioned that he was proud that ESPN came to Blacksburg to broadcast
practice. Beamer said he didn’t like to disturb practice, but it was great
exposure for the program. Since they were on national television, it gave the
players something to work for.
Beamer said Elan Lewis was playing very well in practice, but due to depth in
the backfield he will be redshirted. George Bell, Branden Ore and John Candelas
are doing well, so there is no reason for Lewis to play this year.
As far as other true freshmen who might play, Beamer mentioned Macho Harris.
He said Harris gets better every day and he is very talented. William Wall will
play as the fifth defensive end, and he has good ability. Sergio Render could
end up playing this year on the offensive line. Beamer said there will be some
very good players in this freshman class.
Beamer complimented his kickers, saying that backup kickoff man Jud Dunlevy
has been kicking everything out of the end zone. The kickers have been kicking
so well that Beamer has actually instructed them to not kick it out of the end
zone so the return teams can get some work. He believes that the Hokies have a
great group of kickers overall. Bart McMillan and Nick Leeson have been doing
well snapping the ball.
Coach Beamer said the staff has already begun breaking down NC State film.
The players were given Monday off because they have been practicing hard and it
was the first day of classes. The staff spent a lot of time on NC State film on
Beamer also said there would be an overhaul of the Pride and Joy team in an
effort to get more kicks blocked. He mentioned that Xavier Adibi, Darryl Tapp
and Josh Hyman will all be on the Pride and Joy team.
Beamer went on to compliment the wide receivers. Some of them still have some
maturing to do, but they are very talented. They are pushing each other. David
Clowney was moved to starting split end, but Josh Hyman came right back and took
the job. Jeremy Gilchrist is a young player who has also been doing some good
Roth asked Beamer about Jahre Cheeseman, and Beamer said he was going to be a
“really good player.” He can fly around the field and he isn’t afraid to
hit you. Cam Martin is doing well at free safety as well, but he will likely be
Beamer said that even though NC State has changed coordinators, the coaching
staff expects the defense to play the same. They will be aggressive and pressure
the offense. Beamer said he hopes the Hokies will be able to handle it better
than they did last season, when the Wolfpack registered ten sacks.
A caller asked about Justin Hamilton, and Beamer mentioned that he is very
dedicated and he is doing very well right now. He has good football sense, and
he will see playing time at free safety this year and he will definitely help
the team. At rover, Rouse has had a good camp, and Cary Wade had a great
scrimmage on Saturday. Beamer mentioned that cornerback Brandon Flowers would
hopefully return on Tuesday, and they are really counting on him.
Beamer was asked about the fullbacks, and Beamer mentioned that Jesse Allen
is a hard worker who has been put on scholarship. Carlton Weatherford is a
really tough player, and true freshman Kenny Jefferson shows a lot of promise
and should be really good.
At the end of the show, Bill Roth asked Coach Beamer about Marcus Vick. Coach
Beamer said Marcus is a hard worker and a good leader. He worked hard in the
offseason. He is working hard in the film room. He’s doing everything right at
this point in his career. He is a good person who made some bad decision. Beamer
said he hopes the story has a good ending.
Roth said that Marcus probably would have beaten Bryan Randall out last
season. Beamer said Vick is a very gifted athlete who can run and throw. Now he
is becoming a student of the game, which will make him a great quarterback.
Beamer also said that Vick enjoys competition, just like his brother. Roth
commented that Marcus seems to enjoy the pressure and spotlight.
Beamer said this week will be focused on “getting things down.” He said
the effort has been great, and that will lead to even better execution. He also
said he wants to settle on some of his special teams, and wants to continue to
get the snappers’ and kickers’ timing down.
- Monday was day 294 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day
348 of Virginia Tech’s
continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 286 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the ACC