Tech Talk Live is back on the air, and this year’s opening show featured AD
Jim Weaver, offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, John Graves, Tyrod Taylor,
and head coach Frank Beamer. They all talked about what a great summer of
preparation the Hokies have had, and how Boise State is going to be a big
(Note: Part of Jim Weaver’s segment was lost due to operator error. Apologies
- Weaver had another back surgery on June 29, but everything is going well
now. He’s working 5-6 hours three days per week.
- The last academic year was the best overall year for Virginia Tech
athletics. The Olympic Sports have come a long way.
- The new TV deal is very important for the ACC. It will mean a lot more
money, and it will be easier for athletic directors to balance the budget
and run the department in the black. It also helps with public perception.
It’s a 12 year deal worth $1.86 billion.
- Weaver noted that about 64,000 tickets have been sold for the Boise State
game. That’s a somewhat disappointing figure. FEDEX Field seats 88,000.
- The Chick-fil-A Bowl is toying with the idea of adding another preseason
game. One game would be played on Thursday night, and the other on Saturday
night. Jim Weaver would be very open to taking the Hokies back to Atlanta in
2011, as long as it’s for the Saturday night game. With the Boise State game
on a Monday night, he doesn’t want to make Hokie fans attend weeknight
season openers two years in a row.
- The Chick-fil-A Bowl is trying to get the USC Trojans for a preseason
kickoff game in 2011. Weaver would welcome another chance to play USC and
head coach Lane Kiffin.
- Stinespring likes where the offense is. He likes the players that are
returning, and he likes the nucleus up front.
- He obviously likes the backfield combination of Ryan Williams and Darren
Evans, and having Tyrod Taylor at quarterback is a luxury.
- Stinespring is concerned about tight end depth, and he’s concerned that
offensive linemen Nick Becton and Michael Via won’t get enough reps in the
preseason thanks to their injuries.
- Andrew Miller is holding up well at center as Beau Warren’s backup. That
could give the coaching staff the luxury of moving some players around when
Via comes back. Miller could potentially move to guard, or Via could move to
- Miller was a great high school wrestler who understands balance and
leverage. He has good footwork.
- There is no set timetable for Nick Becton’s return. They hope to get him
back in the next week or so. They have to be careful, because they don’t
want it to turn into a nagging injury. Turf toe can easily do that.
- The coaching staff felt more comfortable with Logan Thomas and Ju-Ju
Clayton this August. They both made progress. They love the upside of
Thomas, and he’s a big presence in the pocket.
- Stinespring has known Logan Thomas since he was a high school sophomore.
He knows what Thomas is capable of. He got an introduction to tight end last
week, but first and foremost he’s going to continue to develop at
quarterback. To put it in college terms, Thomas is going to major in
quarterbacking and take a minor at tight end. Either way, he needs to be on
the field a bit this year.
- Darren Evans was impressive in the scrimmage on Saturday. They ran him
more than anyone else, and that was by design. It’s important to get him
back in the swing of things.
- There is still no plan for David Wilson. He’s getting plenty of reps in
practice, and he’s working and running hard. They haven’t had a discussion
with Wilson about redshirting so far this August.
- Tyrod Taylor and David Wilson both called Stinespring on Saturday night
after the coaching staff graded the film. They both didn’t want to wait
until Sunday to know how they graded out.
- Depth is the major concern at tight end. Andre Smith is a terrific person.
He goes fishing with Stinespring’s kids. He’s also a terrific football
player. He’s got a future in football. He’s an outstanding blocker and he’s
worked hard to be a better receiver. Depth is a legitimate issue.
- Pass protection has been an issue, but it hasn’t all been the offensive
line. It’s a team game. Sometimes the quarterback needs to release the ball
quicker. Sometimes the receivers run the wrong route, etc. Curt Newsome has
done a great job with the line since he arrived.
- Over the summer, the Ohio State coaching staff visited the Tech offensive
coaches in Blacksburg. Stinespring and staff traveled to Morgantown to
consult with the West Virginia offensive coaches. Stinespring joked that it
was the first time he ever went to Morgantown and didn’t have to duck.
- Kevin Rogers and Bryan Stinespring are still good friends, and Rogers came
to Blacksburg this summer and met with Stiney. It was a very productive
three days of meetings.
- There are always subtle changes each year in the offense. It depends on
the personnel each year. Tech is a multiple set offense and a multiple
personnel grouping offense. Tech will probably rely on a couple of different
personnel groupings this year than they have in the past. In the past, they
have done more two tight end sets.
- The staff started looking at Boise State film in February. They went back
to it again after Spring Practice, and they put in a preliminary game plan
over the summer. They have their basic thoughts already formulated.
- Boise State is a terrific team and a relentless team. They return a lot of
good players. They are a very physical defense. They approach defense the
way Virginia Tech approaches defense.
- John Graves is now going for his third degree, this one in Human
Development. He would like to do something with the FBI sometime in the
- The team has been working really hard this summer. Coach Gentry really
pushed them in the weight room, and Coach Foster is pushing them on the
field. Everything is coming together as planned and they are right on
- Tech has plenty of good talent on the defensive line. The coaches do a
great job with recruiting.
- The #6 ranking is Tech’s highest preseason ranking ever. It’s a credit to
the program. They’ve been working hard for many years. Virginia Tech is used
to winning. The team is excited, but they’ve got a lot of work to do.
- The younger defensive tackles are accepting coaching really well. Kwamaine
Battle is a guy to look out for. He keeps getting better.
- The hardest thing for a young defensive tackle to learn is patience. You
aren’t going to be as dominant as you were in high school, and you’ve got to
just keep working hard and get better.
- When Graves was a young player, he looked up to Carlton Powell and Barry
Booker. They taught Graves a lot.
- With great preparation comes great confidence. The team has sacrificed a
lot since the end of last season.
- The offensive line is doing a great job. They’ve improved a lot. They are
getting a lot more aggressive. They seem to get better each day.
- Graves loves the new locker room. It’s everything you could want as a
- Opening with Boise State puts a lot of pressure on Tech, but great teams
respond when under pressure.
- Taylor just about lost his voice after the scrimmage on Saturday. He yells
pretty loud in the huddle, even though he’s soft spoken everywhere else.
- He’s very excited about the season. This is the most talented team that
he’s been on at Virginia Tech. Everyone is on the same page.
- Early in his career, he was more of a runner. He’s developed into a much
more polished quarterback over the last couple of years. It’s night and day
between now and when he stepped onto the field at LSU in 2007.
- Being the senior quarterback, a lot of people are going to look up to
Taylor. It’s important to lead by example, and that’s what he’s tried to do
over the offseason and into preseason practice.
- Overall, the offense played pretty well in Saturday’s scrimmage. The
defense played well too. There is plenty to learn from film work, but it was
a good start.
- Taylor thinks this team will have even more big plays than last year’s
team. They want to have five plays of 20 or more yards per game.
- His favorite big play from last year was the 80 yard pass to Danny Coale
against Nebraska, but the winner to Dyrell Roberts was a big one as well.
- Taylor goes in the new locker room every day, even though it isn’t open
yet. As a senior, he wants to get as much time in it as possible. The team
will probably move in after the JMU game.
- Playing a team like Boise State is a great opportunity to see exactly how
good the Hokies are. It provides great motivation for offseason workouts.
Coach Beamer believes in opening against top competition.
- The Tech offense has to keep improving over the next several weeks. They
have to continue to get on the same page and progress as a group.
- Cheryl Beamer is doing great after her fall. She’s shown a lot of
- Boise State has a big advantage because they are bring back so many
experienced players. Tech will be breaking in some new players, and that’s
always difficult against a top notch opponent.
- Beamer feels confidence in Logan Thomas and Ju-Ju Clayton. Over the long
haul, Thomas has great potential. The more reps he gets, the better he’ll
be. Being the #2 quarterback will be good for him.
- All of Tech’s quarterbacks are high-character guys. The Hokies are very
fortunate. Beamer also likes Ricardo Young and Mark Leal.
- For the first scrimmage, you look for great effort on film. The third team
gets more work than in the other scrimmages, so it’s a little more sloppy.
Overall, Beamer was pleased. It was a good first scrimmage. They’ll now
narrow it down to the two deep and work with those guys from now on.
- Andrew Miller has a lot of toughness to him. He’s been impressive. Logan
Thomas made some great throws on Saturday. David Wilson is also running the
- Defensively, Zack McCray showed some flashes in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Jeron Gouveia-Winslow continues to get better. True freshman Derrick Hopkins
had a good scrimmage. Telvion Clark has been good at mike linebacker. He’s
very serious about getting playing time.
- In the secondary, Beamer likes Kyle Fuller a lot. He’s got great speed and
he’s very smart.
- David Wilson has been impressive. Tony Gregory has been banged up a bit,
but he got back to practice on Monday.
- Lorenzo Williams got back to whip on Monday, and they are still waiting to
get Alonzo Tweedy back. Beamer thinks Jeron Gouveia-Winslow is getting
better with each practice. He’s also the personal protector on the punt
- At this point, they don’t know when Tweedy will be back. It will probably
be a few more days.
- Boise State’s playbook of trick plays is probably two inches thick, Beamer
joked. It’s a lot to prepare for, and it’s a concern, but Beamer thinks it
will help the coaching staff keep the players more mentally sharp.
- Boise State deserves to be ranked where they are. Every time they’ve had a
big game over the past few years, they’ve answered the bell. They are very
good. It’s no different than opening up against Alabama. The bottom line is
that they win football games.
- It’s a shame that Nick Becton is missing critical time. Andrew Lanier is
doing a good job in his place. Becton is working as hard as he can to get
back. Michael Via has had a pretty amazing recovery. He’ll be back soon.
- Jayron Hosley hurt one hamstring, then hurt the other. Beamer hopes he’ll
be back in a couple of days.
- Tech is in a unique recruiting situation this year because they have
limited scholarships. Beamer would have liked to have offered a few more
kids in Virginia this year, but couldn’t because of the limited
- The benefit of having a punter as the holder instead of a quarterback is
that the punter works with special teams all day. The quarterback wouldn’t
be able to get as many reps as the holder, because he has offensive
responsibilities as well. They need that holder to be really good.
- Chris Hazley has been really good this preseason. Beamer has confidence in
him. He’s been in the program for a long time.
- Zack McCray is athletic, smart and he’s got good feet. If he plays, Tech
will want him to play a lot. They’ll decide in the next couple of weeks
whether or not to redshirt him.
- The new locker room is unbelievable. Some players don’t want to go home at
the end of the day. It states the intentions of Virginia Tech football. They
do things first class, and they want to be the best. Putting that new locker
room next to the new basketball facility is very impressive. It’s impressive
that people would donate that much money in times of economic difficulty.
- Beamer also wants to build an indoor practice facility with a ceiling high
enough to kick and punt. He wants it to be built on the hill behind the
outdoor practice field. It’s inconvenient to move from the practice field
all the way to Rector Field House if a storm is coming. If Tech can get that
built, that would really make their facilities impressive.
- Beamer is surprised that Tech was picked so high this year since they lost
so many players off defense and special teams. That says something about how
much the program is respected.
- There are two major differences between playing in the Big East and the
ACC. Travel is much easier in the ACC, and there are more good teams because
there are more overall teams. Beamer sees a lot of ACC teams getting better
- This Saturday’s scrimmage at 2pm will be open to the fans. The team has a
lot to get accomplished this week.
Monday was Day 2,089 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.