Tech Talk Live Notes: Stroman Recaps Punt Return Touchdown, Fuente Praises Special Teams

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Tech Talk Live

Here are the highlights of Monday night’s Tech Talk Live. Cornerback Greg Stroman and Head Coach Justin Fuente were the guests.

Greg Stroman

Reaction to being told he would wear No. 25 vs. East Carolina

“I just had a huge smile on my face. I was honored to be chosen for that. Coaches told me, ‘Don’t play outside of your game just ‘cause you have this on. Just do what you’re supposed to do.’ The punt return team, we just came together and said that we had to the No. 25 in the endzone. That’s what we did.”

Returning kicks along with punts this season

“I love it. I feel like it takes practice. Coach Shibest, we catch punts and kicks everyday, a bunch. Practice helps with that. You just have to be confident back there.”

Confidence in return game

“I feel like things started to slow down for me last year and I think that’s what happens to a lot of players, once they play more. I felt like things did that for me.”

Playing defense exclusively

“It feels great. I feel like I just have to do my part on defense and just do what Coach asks me.”

Best trash talker in receiving corps

“I would say Isaiah (Ford).”

Greg Stroman
Greg Stroman (25) returned a punt for a touchdown against East Carolina last Saturday.

Justin Fuente

Taking advantage of bye week, not having an “off” week

“There’s a lot we can get done, not just as coaches but as players. We’ve got some good self-scout we do as coaches, evaluate where we’re at schematically and personnel-wise. Obviously we’ll have some practice, Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll have ‘get better’ practices, really good vs. good, some situational work, really get a lot of work for some of our younger players. Thursday, we’ll have more of a gameplan practice for North Carolina. Friday, the kids will lift and run. Saturday, they’ll be off and Sunday, Sunday evening, we’ll have a good normal Tuesday of a game week practice. As the week goes on, our coaches will start to go on the road recruiting, a chance to get caught up and see our commitments and see some of the younger players in the state.

Thoughts on win over East Carolina

“I was really proud of our kids, the way they played, the way they approached the game and prepared. We’re getting better, we’re getting an idea of what it’s going to take on a weekly basis. Doesn’t mean that we have it all figured out but it’s getting there. I’m getting more and more pleased with our dedication to details and that manifested itself into big plays in all three phases. It’s really cool to see, take Greg Stroman’s punt return for a touchdown. Adonis Alexander is on that unit. Obviously, Greg and Adonis and Brandon Facyson are competing for playing time at corner, but you watch them go out there all together on punt return, and you watch Adonis flatten his guy down and totally take him out of the play and Greg runs it back for a touchdown. Those are the things, your starting receiver Cam Phillips blocks a punt, those are the things towards team. Those are important plays. Those are the little things you have to have.”

Thoughts on environment in Lane Stadium through first three home games

“I couldn’t be more excited about our performances at home or the performances of the fans that come to the game. It is obvious that our fans come to be active. They come to participate in the game and help Virginia Tech win the game. They’re knowledgeable, they’ve seen good football. They know when to cheer, they want to affect the football game and that is a fun thing to be a part of, it really is. We just want to continue to build upon that tradition and continue to make it a tough place to play.”

Thoughts on Special Teams Coordinator James Shibest

“He was named national special teams coach of the week. People don’t realize, he is a terrific coach. He has won a national championship as a head coach in junior college, he’s won the national assistant of the year award, he has been a coordinator on special teams in the SEC, for me at Memphis and when we started at Memphis, we were not a very good football team but we were always solid on special teams, even when we weren’t very good. Just the master of fundamentals and teaching fundamentals over and over again. I’ve been hoping and wishing that everybody else would get a chance, that we’d go perform the way I know we can perform so everybody else can see that and appreciate that the way that I do.”

On failed trick play from Isaiah Ford to Chris Cunningham

“It was disappointing, wasn’t it? I said, ‘He can’t throw, but he sure can catch.’ We work on those things. The way we try to do it is, we have a group of trick plays and over the year we’ve accumulated them. We try to match them to the team we’re going to play and we just carry a couple into the game and find the right time. We’ve run it all year out of that look and had been carrying that particular trick play for weeks. I really felt like that was the time to do it. Coach Cornelson is not afraid to pull the trigger on those sorts of plays. He likes it, he believes if we’re practicing it, we’re practicing it for a reason. We actually called that same play at Memphis in the Ole Miss game. It’s one that we’ll put away for a while and maybe break it out again, but we’ve got some other ones, it’s not the only one we have in the cookbook.”

Jerod Evans (4) has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country in Virginia Tech’s first four games of the season.

Decision-making of Jerod Evans

“We have been pleased. I’ve been slow to praise. I also know that he has done a good job of valuing the football and taking care of the football. We haven’t had operational issues, in terms of running the offense and those sorts of things. He’s been efficient, probably as efficient as anyone in America. That’s a byproduct of a lot of things. In my opinion, that’s a byproduct of running the ball or the threat of running the ball, it’s a byproduct of being pretty good on the outside, staying in front of the chains and not getting in too many long-yardage situations where you see those mistakes and those big plays occur. Jerod has done a good job of not forcing the ball, taking what we’re asking him to do if it’s a little bit cloudy or he’s not sure, he’s not making crazy decisions and certainly valuing the football.”

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5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. wouldn’t have guessed Ford is the best trash talker. he seems very calm and quiet. I would have guessed “gods gift”

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