Tech Talk Live Notes for October 29, 2012

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Jim Weaver

This storm is like no other that we’ve ever had. The Hokies are expected to be able to fly out of Roanoke on Wednesday night. If for some reason they can’t, they will bus to Greensboro and fly from there. It’s very important for Tech to make sure all their teams can travel safely this week.

Weaver is very proud of the men’s cross country team winning the ACC Championship. It’s Tech’s first ACC Championship in that sport.

Tech’s graduation rate across the athletics department is much higher than the national average. The Hokies are recruiting the right kind of people across all sports. Tech even had a 100% graduation rate in some sports.

Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich has moved to Clemson. It’s rare that AD’s move from one school to another in the same league. It surprised Weaver a bit, but when you think about it, Clemson has the ability to generate a lot more money than Georgia Tech, so the move makes sense. When you are an urban AD, you often compete against urban attractions such as pro sports teams, or other big city attractions. Being the AD at Clemson is much different than being the AD at Georgia Tech.

There is a lot to play for on Thursday night. Weaver hopes the Hokies can come out fast on offense, defense and special teams. He hopes the Hokies can play the enthusiastic football that they are used to playing.

Jim Cavanaugh

The biggest thing Jim Cavanaugh does during the season is keep the recruiting paperwork off the desk of the coaches. All the film these days is through email. He’ll only send the film on to the coaches if he thinks the prospect is good enough. He doesn’t want to waste their time.

Tech is pretty much done with the 2013 class. Now they are focusing on the 2014 class.

Cavanaugh has been turned in twice by opposing coaches. High school coaches will call, and he’s not supposed to do certain things, but opposing coaches will accuse him of doing so. Such as last year when they got some kids from Richmond, “that bunch up in Charlottesville, they had something to say”.

Cavanaugh does a lot of eligibility clinics around the state. He has to be careful because people will want to come up and talk football, and he can’t specifically do that.

A big issue in recruiting these days is playing time. Most of these kids don’t necessarily care who wins a game between NC State and UNC, or between VT and UVA. They just want to see the depth chart at their position.

Tech does a good job of recruiting good kids with good parents, and they rarely change their minds late in the recruiting process. Sometimes there are academic issues, and occasionally a recruit will decommit and go somewhere else, but it doesn’t happen too often.

The hardest thing about recruiting these days is trying to make decisions watching sophomore film. That’s hard, but the recruiting process starts earlier these days. Some guys jump out at you immediately, and some guys don’t. It’s particularly tough with linemen. That’s why Cavanaugh likes to recruit a lot of tight ends. They are tall guys and they could end up playing offensive line.

Cavanaugh found John Graves by scouting a big lineman from Petersburg. Graves kicked his butt all night long, and Cav gave Graves a verbal offer at the end of the game.

Tech is pretty young at certain positions. You can practice and scrimmage all you want, but getting into a game is totally different. It took some guys awhile to adjust. Stuff happens in a game that doesn’t happen in practice.

Duke is a “pretty darn good team. They beat Carolina.”

The score of the Clemson game doesn’t show how close that game was. Cav has to be careful about what he says on the air, but he knows that all the Tech fans saw the game, and he referred to the questionable calls by the officials.

Cav remembers the end of 2003, when everybody had a “woe is me” attitude. The Hokies turned that around. Tech is 4-4, but they can still end up in Charlotte for the ACC Championship.

Lester Karlin

As soon as the Hokies unpack from one trip, they start to repack for the next trip. They get all the uniforms washed on Monday, or immediately after a home game. They never really stop in the equipment room.

Karlin will wash uniforms over and over again, and use different types of spray. That generally gets Tech’s white uniforms back in good shape, eventually.

The Hokies are working on some kind of an all-maroon combo. He can’t go into any details.

Karlin’s favorite uniform combo is all-maroon. The grass stains don’t show as badly, so they are easier to clean.

The VT athletics department has announced that they are sponsoring an auction to endow a scholarship in Karlin’s name. It’s a great feeling. He was shocked when it was announced.

To outfit a player from head to toe, it costs around $1500-2000. That includes all the warmup suits for Friday workouts.

The Nike relationship is fantastic. Tech tests new football equipment for Nike, and they get feedback from the players and send it back to Nike. Karlin generally gives the scout team players the new equipment to use during practice. They are basically like a Nike lab. They usually test new shoes and gloves.

James Johnson

The team is doing well. They are working hard and are in great spirits.

Cadarian Raines and Robert Brown are healthy. Brown is 100% healthy, but he is a little rusty from missing so much time over the summer due to his foot surgery. His timing is a little off, but he’s doing well overall. Raines is in great condition and looking really good.

Tech plans on signing four players during November’s signing period. They have commitments from two guards and two post players. They’ve added some big guards who can score. Johnson is excited about the class. They still have one scholarship to give, and they are probably going to wait until the spring.

Johnson wants to build the program up with freshmen who can come in and learn the system from day one. He did take Adam Smith as a transfer this year, but the Hokies will have him on the court for three full seasons after he sits out this year.

Johnson is going to hold on to that extra scholarship just to see what happens with the team he has this year. He wants to see how his players play before he decides what to do with that final scholarship.

Offensively, the players have bought in. The Hokies are going to be able to play fast this year. In the future, Johnson would like to be able to go with a lot of full court press and a lot of traps, but they won’t be able to do that as much this year because of the lack of depth. However, they will definitely trap in certain situations. He’s not going to let the depth change what he wants to do on the offensive end.

Tech will try to run a little more. They have fewer set plays in right now. He wants his players to think about running on both makes and misses. He’s held back on the set plays for now. He wants to make them hurry and find easy scoring opportunities.

Defensively, Tech will be a solid man-to-man team. They are going to sprinkle in a little zone here and there to try and keep certain personnel out of foul trouble. In spots they will get out and trap some in the full court, but they won’t be able to do it as much as Johnson would like this year.

Johnson has seen better leadership from Erick Green in spots. Being a leader is tough. Green never realized how tough it is. Johnson is expecting a lot from him this year. It’s something he has to do constantly, every day, on the court, in the locker room, downtown, etc.

Johnson was happy with the Orange-Maroon scrimmage. Both teams played fast, the way he wants them to play. He was excited to see that. Marshall Wood was very good. He shot the ball well, and he rebounded it well. C.J. Barksdale is in the best condition of his career, and he looked good. Robert Brown look very good despite missing some practice time.

Joey van Zegeren gives the Hokies some rebounding, shot blocking and size. Tech isn’t going to be running any set plays for him offensively, but Johnson believes he can develop into somebody who can do some scoring.

Tech probably needs to update their online roster. Marshall Wood is listed at 210, but he’s gained about 14 pounds since he enrolled in July.

Tech will have a closed scrimmage against the South Carolina Gamecocks this week. This past week, they had a closed scrimmage with Ohio University. Ohio went to the Sweet 16 last year. Tech hosted Ohio, and they will travel to South Carolina. Against Ohio, Tech played a 40-minute scrimmage game. Against South Carolina, it’s going to be a possession game. Each team will get five possessions on offense, and then switch it up. Then they’ll do 10 possessions, and then work on some other situational things as well. They will play zone and man, maybe five possessions vs. zone and five possessions vs. man.

Johnson can’t talk much about the closed scrimmage with Ohio, but he was pretty pleased. They had a couple of guys who didn’t play in the scrimmage, but they are going to be significant contributors this year. C.J. Barksdale and Marquis Rankin were held out. If it were a real game, both guys would have played. Tech played well against a Sweet 16 team that returned 96% of their scoring. The Hokies executed well. They’ve got plenty of things to work on, however.

When he went out onto the court for the first practice, it really hit Johnson that it’s his team. It’s his time, it’s here. He gets about twice as many emails now that he’s the head coach, and he tries to respond to as many as he can.

Bobby Cremins will be speaking at Virginia Tech’s tip-off banquet.

Antone Exum

Practice went well on Monday. The bye week went well. They understand the importance of the Miami game. The Hokies had Tuesday and Wednesday off last week, and started practicing again last Thursday.

Regardless of what Miami’s record is, they are a talented team. They have good players on both sides of the ball. Winning this game could mean a trip to Charlotte, so they know what is stake.

It’s very important to win the Coastal Division. They are 4-4 right now, but their goals are still in front of them. Nobody is hanging their heads. What’s happened in the past is in the past. They are looking forward to the Miami game.

At the beginning of the season, everybody knew this was going to be the key stretch. It’s the key stretch for a lot of teams. They don’t have any margin for error, but they are still in position.

Stephen Morris is a really good quarterback. He has a few years of experience. He’s mobile, and he really likes to get the ball to his receivers down the field so they can make plays. He’s more of a conservative quarterback than Jacory Harris. Harris was great at times, but sometimes he would play for the other team.

Exum feels like the secondary – and defense in general – played very well against Clemson. Clemson had a lot of short fields. The defense needs to get better in the red zone and hold teams to field goals. If the defense comes out with the same effort and focus against Miami, they’ll be fine.

Other teams are definitely going after Exum because he is a first year corner. But also, they are going after Tech’s corners just because of the scheme this year. Tech’s corners have had to play a lot of man coverage with no safety help this season.

Exum knew cornerback would be hard. He knew he would be challenged. Tech has been in so much man coverage with no safety help this year, which is something that the defense hasn’t had to do very much in the past.

Marcus Davis

Davis couldn’t imagine playing in a game that featured Monday’s weather. He thought the UNC game last year was horrible, but he couldn’t imagine playing in Monday’s weather.

Practice has been good this week. They had a few extra days, which helped. The defense really brought some intensity, which made the offense pick it up a little more.

Davis thinks the open date came at a good time. It game them time to refocus. Everything is still in front of them. They just have to go out and play.

Coach Beamer has been saying since last week that there is no reason to look back on what has already happened. They just have to move on and play Miami.

There are a lot of little things that have gone wrong offensively that have affected the offense as a whole. That has really affected the big picture. It has led to a lack of consistency.

Miami is pretty good in the secondary. They are familiar with several defensive backs who played last year. Overall, Miami is very young on defense.

The Miami game is a rivalry game. That’s how Virginia Tech approaches it. They consider it to be the most important game they have played thus far.

It’s very important to get to Charlotte. The ACC Championship runs through Blacksburg. Tech can still go to the Orange Bowl.

Going up against Antone Exum in practice makes for an easier Saturday for Davis. Exum is bigger and more physical than anyone Davis faces during actual games.

Frank Beamer

At this point of the year, Tech is still playing for the Coastal Division. This Miami game is a big game. The Giants were 6-6 at one point last year, and they went on to win the Super Bowl. After they beat Dallas, things fell into place for them.

Hopefully Tech can get all the pieces to fit against Miami. They have good players and they play hard. It’s going to be a challenge.

The whole team took three days off together. It’s been a long season with a lot of travel. Beamer wanted everyone to be mentally and physically ready for the stretch. All the preparation has been towards Miami, and Beamer thinks they’ve had good preparation.

There’s a real thin line in football between being okay and not being okay. They haven’t been okay in a couple of situations. They gave up a long touchdown against Cincinnati, and they’ve just been in some situations where they didn’t come through for whatever reason. Everybody is working hard. The players have stayed together.

Billy Hite listens in on the game each week with his headset. Beamer values his opinion on what took place in the game, and how the Hokies do things. He’s still involved in that part. He’s not allowed to talk during the games. He just listens.

Beamer doesn’t pay any attention to criticism during the season. He looks at the team, and instead of trying to find criticism, he tries to find reasons that they weren’t successful. Then he tries to correct those things, and hopefully they are successful the next time they play.

Beamer doesn’t like it when his staff is criticized, but he also realizes that people have a right to say what they think. That’s just part of the game. Beamer feels like he’s had a very consistent staff over the years.

Caleb Farris is practicing. He’s fighting, but he’s not quite 100% yet.

Miami is in the same boat as Virginia Tech. They are 4-4, but they can still win the Coastal Division. Both teams have played some young players. Anytime you are playing young guys, there are certain inconsistencies they have to get through.

Beamer is impressed with Miami’s talent level. Al Golden is doing a good job. They play really hard week after week.

Monday was Day 2,894 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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31 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Excuse Me OandM69 – I was there also at the Alabama game in 1969 and the Alabama game in Birmingham in 1968, Atlanta in 2009 and every Alabama game since 1963 and as much as I love the hokies (season ticket holder since 1973) and as great as it has been since 1993 – we need a change with the offense coaching staff – period. Think how great it could have been if we had not lost Ricky Bustle as our offensive coordinator. If we lose Bud we will all be crying the blues. Things have been good for the last 17 or so years, but you don’t rest on your laurels, or go back to the days of Dooley – you improve and move on.

  2. “Bobby Cremins will be speaking at Virginia Tech’s tip-off banquet.”

    Is this event open to the public? If so, how does one get tickets?

  3. Anyone else wonder if Coach Cav’s preference for recruiting TEs in high school because they can be converted into O lineman and because they “are tall guys” may be one of our issues? We’ve had issues on the OL for a long time. Maybe our recruiting philosophy there needs to change.

    1. I think we tried the short fat guys for a while and they either got hurt and never played or they got fatter and then didnt play.

  4. I hate how the offensive expectations are to be “okay”. The fact that we are either okay or not okay is about 99% of the problem. We need to demand excellence during games and then settle for being okay in some games…

  5. As frustrated as I have been this season, I really appreciate CFB’s attitude here. “Beamer doesn’t pay any attention to criticism during the season. He looks at the team, and instead of trying to find criticism, he tries to find reasons that they weren’t successful. Then he tries to correct those things, and hopefully they are successful the next time they play”. That is how you motivate your troops. You dont let them know you are down.

    But – YES, I want offensive change.

  6. “Beamer feels like he’s had a very consistent staff over the years.”

    Consistency does not = success.

    1. Coach Beamer’s got a point. That consistent staff has consistently produced Big East and ACC Championships. I think the one thing they’ve struggled to achieve is consistently getting better against other top teams. We’re kind of treading water in that regard. (typically its a close game that we lose) This season is a down year, first one in 9 years where we’ve got more than 3 losses.

      Obviously we all have high expectations, but those expectations are a product of the great job these coaches have done putting the team and the program in position to be successful, and to have the potential for greater success.

    2. Are you kidding me, we have won multiple ACC Championships, multiple Coast Division Championships, played in several BCS bowl games, and been highly ranked. Except for not winning a national championship which almost every other team has not done how can anyone say we have not been successful. We may be struggling this year but let’s not forget 17 years of success or take it for granite.

  7. “The Hokies are working on some kind of an all-maroon combo.”
    Now THIS is exciting news – those “maroon doom” uni’s were freakin’ awesome!

    1. Why can’t we just go maroon and white? Or white on white. I know the players love different combos……maybe they should quit worrying about their unis and get their head in the game.

  8. I believe ups and downs teach you different things. When the hokies are down we find out who our real fans are and who rides the bandwagon. You know who you are and we know who we are. Get off the bus if you can’t be there when the team needs you. Take your cheap shots, your know it all attitude and hit the road. Let the real Hokies drive.

    1. I consider myself to be a “real Hokie fan”. I think we need changes in the offensive coaching staff.

    2. Excuse me, son, but I don’t need your self-righteousness. Did your daddy parade for four years on the drill field before graduating in 1917? Did you grow up as a boy watching a rabbit-eared TV set on late Saturday afternoon to see if you could catch the VPI score on the College Scoreboard show? Did you read your daddy’s VPI newsletter to get the only account of what your heroes did from 500 miles away? Were you among the 42,000 in little ‘ol Lane Stadium in 1969 who saw the Gobblers give Alabama fits in their only ever visit to Blacksburg? You Enter Sandman bragging youngsters never heard a roar, a cheer like that day when the VT team came through the tunnel. Does your daughter have magna cum laude etched on her Virginia Tech diploma?

      Today, Wednesday, October 31, I am burying my 100 year mother, a 48 year widow of the first of three generations of Hokies she supported. She didn’t know much more about football than I know about cricket, but the TV was always on full blast when the Hokies were on so the sound would fall on her death ears. When she died she was about as poor as Job’s turkey, but she had her Virginia Tech afghan to keep her warm.

      It’s called emotional investment, son, and I don’t need a plastic cup filled with ice, cola, and Jack or Capt Morgan to wash it down with. I certainly don’t need you to tell me how to spend my Saturday afternoons.

      Sorry to filet you, son, but your timing could not have been worse.

      1. OandM

        Blessings and prayers to your immediate Hokie family from your extended Hokie family.
        Your passion for family and your Hokies is so very admirable.
        I was in Lane that day against Alabama (a school boy) and remember my folks’ unbridled excitement, perhaps that is what sparked my Hokie Pride. I too have been lucky enough to foster that feeling within another generation of recently graduated and currently matriculating Hokies.
        I can only hope that a lifetime of, burning Hokie Family passion, woven into your Mother’s blanket provided her not just with warmth but with comfort that only comes from others who know how to love unconditionaly.
        Many of us longtime Hokies have been through thick and thin. You (and yours) Sir are the reason “We Are Virginia Tech”.
        Please keep the faith and Godspeed to your Mom.

  9. The coaches should play the DVD of the 2003 Miami game. Since the 2003 season was difficult, the way the fans supported the team, and the team responded to a highly ranked Miami team was inspiring. Victory can be ours Thursday night!

  10. I graduated in 74 . I will take 19 winning season and bowl bids in a row compared to watching a whipping every week .

  11. So you make over 2 million a year but can’t take criticism?? does coach Beamer think that he and his staff are perfect football machines? Being a big time DIV I football coach in the U.S.A. making multi million dollars a year is a big job with a salary to justify the position. You take criticism and look for areas that need improvement..

    1. What does it mean to say “he’s had a very consistent staff over the years.”?
      Consistent at what? Consistent about what? Consistent doing what?
      Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s a poor transcript because it’s not a quote.

      1. If its not obvious that we’ve been “consistent” then you’ve not been paying attention. We’ve consistently won more than any program since 1995. We’ve had less staff turnover. Does that make it hard to change? Absolutely. But if we do want to play for a national title, I think w need offensive staff changes. I’m torn on Stiney because he’s such a great recruiter. I don’t know if he will take a demotion down to OL coach, but I personally think O’Cain has shown he’s a clueless play caller at times and Newsome’s OLs have consistently struggled

    2. Everyone , no matter their income level, enjoys being told how to do their job by people who have little if any expertise in their field. TIC. I believe that Coach Beamer typically responds well to criticism until it goes too far. When his coaches or players are attacked he will respond in kind. I would too.

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