The Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline originated from Beamer’s Restaurant in
Christiansburg on Monday night. Guests included offensive coordinator Bryan
Stinespring, athletic director Jim Weaver and head coach Frank Beamer.
Stinespring began the show by saying that practice this season has been the
best the Hokies have ever had. The team has been very focused, which has allowed
the coaching staff to better evaluate players.
Stinespring mentioned that Tech has been getting great leadership. He
mentioned Jeff King, Jimmy Williams, Xavier Adibi, Darryl Tapp, as well as
several other players by name. He said it’s a credit to those players that the
Hokies have practiced so well. He said Duane Brown has set a great example to
the team by moving to tackle. Darryl Tapp is another good example with his
willingness to play some defensive tackle.
Stinespring noted that the coaches have been impressed by Marcus Vick’s
work ethic. He devoted himself to the position, as well as the weight room, in
the offseason. He is also stepping up and becoming a more vocal leader. He is
doing everything right at this point.
Roth asked how the offense would change this year with a new quarterback.
Stinespring said that the Hokies would do what they always do…get the ball to
the players who are capable of making the biggest plays.
Stinespring said he didn’t like to linger on things for long, but the NC
State loss really affected him last season. He was disappointed in the
performance of the team. The staff started watching film of the NC State game
back in February. Thus far, the focus of practice has been on what VT does. Now
the Hokies are focusing on what NC State is going to do. He noted that like last
season, the Hokies would have to be at their best at the beginning of the
season. USC was a tough opponent last season, and NC State presents a great
challenge this year.
Stinespring responded to a caller who noted that VT had a good defense too,
despite all the recognition that NC State’s defense receives. He agreed,
saying he has to face Bud Foster’s unit every day in practice. He said the
coaching staff must put the Tech players in a position to win.
Roth asked Stinespring about Mike Imoh’s knee injury. Stinespring said Imoh
will be ready to go, and the practice time he has missed has been precautionary
only. He complimented George Bell and Branden Ore for stepping up and responding
when they had the opportunity on Saturday.
Stinespring was asked if he intended to rotate offensive linemen during
games. He said that has been a goal. Last spring, all a linemen had to do was
have a pulse to have a chance to be in the two deep. In August they have created
competition at every position, and that has helped the offensive line as a
whole. He went on to say that Duane Brown has a future at offensive tackle after
he leaves Virginia Tech.
Stinespring was asked about how much time he had to call plays after the
previous play. He said generally about ten seconds. The team always gave Randall
two plays, one run and one pass. Which play Randall called would depend on
personnel groupings and defensive fronts. Stinespring said he and the
quarterbacks get together on Friday to talk about play calling.
Roth asked Stinespring about NC State’s new defensive coordinator Steve
Dunlap, who is a former defensive coordinator for Syracuse and West Virginia.
Stinespring said he had an idea of what Dunlap liked to do, but at the same time
it would be very difficult to change around a defense as good as NC State’s.
He doesn’t expect much to change from last year’s game against the Wolfpack.
Stinespring said the offense moved the ball against NC State in the 4th
quarter last season, and that was a result of better play calling and better
execution. Protection settled down, the team picked it up, and wide receivers
got open. He also called some plays where the ball was delivered quicker as
A caller asked Stinespring if Marcus was more like Michael or Bryan Randall.
Stinespring said Marcus was just a playmaker. He has the opportunity to make
plays using his arm, legs and wit. Marcus can do some things that aren’t by
design and that you can’t teach.
Roth asked Weaver at the beginning of his segment about the rumored game
between Virginia Tech and Tennessee at Bristol. Weaver said he got an email from
a Bristol Motor Speedway representative last week that stated the speedway was
interested in talking to Weaver about the situation very soon. Weaver said that
both sides would not have to share the money made from that game with their
respective conferences. He said there is definitely something to the rumors.
Regarding west side construction not being finished on time, Weaver said the
school will decide on Thursday which contingency plan to adopt. He said they
recently learned that the “center section luxury suites on both levels will
not be ready.” The schools do have a plan for those suite owners, and they
will make a decision later this week.
One contingency plan is in place in case the West Side expansion is not ready
at all, but Weaver is hoping they don’t have to go that route. It is possible,
especially if Tech doesn’t get a certificate of occupancy.
Weaver says that up to 1,000 fans could be affected if the West Side
expansion is not completed. All of these fans are guaranteed a spot in the
stadium, even if they are not able to occupy the specific club seats or luxury
suites that they paid for.
Weaver was asked if the Lane Stadium lights will be operational for the Ohio
game on September 17. Weaver said the new lights will be a great addition to
night games at Lane Stadium. He said the East side lights will not be
operational for the Ohio game, but the West side lights will be operational.
Weaver was asked about weak out of conference scheduling. He said that
Virginia Tech is committed to playing one equity conference game per season,
which is different from what Auburn did last season when they went undefeated
but did not play for the national championship.
Roth asked Weaver about the team, and Weaver said the team has a lot of
potential. He said the team understands how good they can be, and last year
taught them great lessons about what good chemistry can do for a team. Weaver
said in the ideal world, he would like to play a couple of games before taking
on NC State. But at the same time, playing a good team in the first game is a
great motivational tool in preseason practices.
Coach Beamer said the team had six more days of preseason practice this year
than last year. They used the week to work on goal line formations, two minute
drills, and other special situations. He said the team is ready to go play
someone other than each other. It was obvious from watching the scrimmage on
Beamer thinks Duane Brown has the chance to be a very good offensive tackle.
He’s a little worried about how he does in his first game, but he has
practiced hard and well. Some people didn’t show intensity in the scrimmage on
Saturday, but Duane Brown certainly did.
He mentioned Branden Ore and George Bell as really standing out in the
scrimmage on Saturday. He said Ore just needs to continue to work and mature. If
he does those things, he has the chance to do some very special things in his
A caller asked how the Hokies planned to attack NC State’s blitz. Beamer
said he thinks they have some players that can do that. The wide receivers are
much more mature than last season, and the running backs are healthy at this
point. NC State will not sneak up on the Hokies this year either. VT knows what
to expect from the Wolfpack. They are a very talented team. Beamer said it’s a
big game for both teams.
Beamer said the kicking game will be important. It is important for Tech to
give NC State a long field. The defense can stop NC State from driving the ball
long distances, but they must prevent the big plays.
Beamer said this is a very important game. He said if you are going to
stumble, you need to do it early and then win late, like the Hokies did last
season. He then said he hopes they don’t have to worry about that after Sunday
Beamer was asked who the tight end of the future is, with Brown being moved
to tackle. Beamer mentioned John Kinzer, as well as Ed Wang and Sam Wheeler. He
also said VT will recruit a couple of tight ends this year. He said that Brown
had the chance to be a great tight end but has the chance to be an even better
Beamer said Macho Harris will play against NC State and will play more as the
season progresses. He will get better as the season moves along. William Wall
will play at some point this season, but maybe not Sunday. Cam Martin and Dorian
Porch will also travel to NC State. Neither is likely to play, but they both
have bright futures. Brent Bowden will also travel with the team in case he is
needed at punter.
When asked about the split end position, Beamer said David Clowney and Josh
Hyman have played very well. Josh Morgan also had an outstanding scrimmage on
Saturday (5 catches, 91 yards). Beamer said he feels very good about the split
end position and the wide receiver position in general.
Beamer said the game will be close in the 4th quarter. The NC State defense
will keep them in the game. He said on offense, they have the players to excel.
They just have to put it together. Beamer said NC State really concerns him, and
they have a chance to be very good this season.
Beamer was asked via email how to handle expectations this season. Beamer
said the most important thing is keeping the team focused on the present. They
have to focus on NC State. All the preseason writings are meaningless. Injuries
can come into play, and a team can have a game like the Hokies had at Georgia
Tech last season that could jump start their season. Overall, it’s very
important to concentrate on the first game.
Bill Roth brought up Jeff King’s work ethic, and Beamer noted that he was
very proud of Jeff. Beamer also said he was very proud of his seniors that have
graduated or are scheduled to graduate. Seven seniors have already graduated.
Danny McGrath, a junior, graduated in just three years. The players who have
graduated or will graduate at the end of fall semester will wear a sticker on
their helmet to designate their status.
Someone commented that Beamer seemed more relaxed this season than usual.
Beamer said he didn’t know, that the team had been working hard, the coaches
had been working hard, and everyone is just ready to play at this point.
A caller asked Coach Beamer about the instant replay system that the ACC has
implemented. Beamer responded that it will be good for college football and for
the ACC. Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr loves the Big Ten’s replay system.
Beamer joked that the offensive pass interference call on Josh Hyman against USC
last season would not be reviewable, and that it would still be a bad call. On
average, two plays per game will be reviewed, so it will not slow down a game
very much. Everyone wants the right call to be made, so this will help college
Roth brought up the point that the last time VT opened the season on the road
in a conference game was at Rutgers in 1997. The Hokies won all four of their
ACC road games last season. Beamer said there are some questions to be answered
because NC State has two new coordinators. This is a big game because NC State
is good and it is a conference game.
- Monday was day 276 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day
332 of Virginia Tech’s
continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 269 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the ACC