Tech Talk Live Notes for September 9, 2013

Jim Weaver

It’s big to get the indoor practice facility plans finalized.  When Weaver first arrived at Tech, the first thing he identified was that Tech needed a new indoor facility.  However, other projects took priority, so the indoor facility got pushed back.  They are finally about to get where Weaver wanted to get to when he first arrived.

A compromise was reached between the environmentalists and the athletic department/university.  Weaver is very happy with the way things turned out.

The indoor facility will be located on the eastern part of the current practice fields, right next to the football lockerroom building.  It will run from the door of the lockerroom building to the fence on the eastern side of the practice field.

The indoor facility will also be used by other sports.  There will be two grass fields that run east-west outside the indoor facility, and they will run 65 yards and 75 yards apiece.  They can also build one 100 yard field there.

The next step is the design phase.  The facility could be anywhere from $17 million to $25 million.  Rector Fieldhouse will also be renovated, and that is included in the total cost, as well as a indoor hitting facility for the softball program.

Weaver got a complaint that the new sound system was too loud.  He’s had complaints in the past from the lack of a good sound system.  It’s impossible to make everybody happy.

Weaver can’t change ticket prices when the game doesn’t sell out.  Then they would have to refund money to those who bought tickets at full price.

Weaver has tried to get VMI as a 1-AA opponent.  He always wants to keep the money in-state as much as possible.  Tech will play Liberty and Richmond in the future.

Weaver DOES NOT have control over the starting time of the Marshall game.  That is a television decision.  If ESPN picks up the game on one of their networks, they tell Virginia Tech what time to play.  That goes the same for every other school.

Scheduling is not as easy as it appears.  Tech works very hard at it.  Both Florida and Alabama have played Western Carolina in the past four years, and he doesn’t think it’s wrong that the Hokies play Western Carolina.


Charley Wiles

Wiles is really happy with the way the defense is playing.  They have a lot of experienced players who have had a lot of reps.

James Gayle and J.R. Collins are playing very hard and very smart.  Gayle is free mentally right now.  He doesn’t have to worry about whether or not to leave early for the NFL.  He has a combination of strength and speed.  Collins has flipped the switch.  He had trouble meeting all his obligations in the past, and that spilled over into his play last year.  They addressed his weight, and he’s a more disciplined person.  He’s rugged and physical.

Derrick Hopkins has come into his own.  Wiles doesn’t think there is a more productive defensive tackle anywhere.  He made a bunch of plays against Western Carolina.  He’s an experienced, strong, quick player.  Wiles wouldn’t be surprised if Hopkins got drafted somewhere in the fourth round.  He’s a really good player.  He has tremendous lower body strenght, and he plays very instinctive.

Wiles has great focus all along the defensive line.  They all had a great camp.  There is great senior leadership.

Luther Maddy is super quick and twitchy.  He is quick and he slips blocks.  If he can stay healthy, he’s a guy who can really make plays.

Wiles has been pleased with Woody Baron and Nigel Williams .  They proved in the Alabama game that they can play.  They are more than serviceable.  Tyrel Wilson is a good senior.  Dadi Nicolas can blow stuff up.  It’s a deep group.

This year’s Tech defense has no ceiling, especially with the leadership.  That’s where it comes from.  Kyle Fuller , Hopkins, Jack Tyler , J.R. Collins …lots of senior leadership. (Note: Wiles was noticeably excited when discussing leadership.)

Tech and ECU always play tight games.  That will be a loud, passionate stadium.  The weather will be hot.  It will be a big game for the Pirates.  They throw the ball around a lot, and their quarterback is completing 79% of his passes.

Torrian Gray and Bud Foster have done a great job against ECU’s passing game in the times they have recently played.  They want to throw it quickly, and Tech has done a good job of making the quarteback hold onto the ball longer than he wants.

Tech played their tails off against Alabama up front.  They played very physical and very fast.  Alabama is a great football team, but Tech played very well up front against them.  They stopped the run and the pass.  They have tackled very well over the first two games.

ECU will spread the field.  They will try to mix in the running game to help their playaction game, but they are mostly a shotgun formation team.  They have weapons, and they are a good offense.  Tech has to play a fast and physical football game.

If Tech is fortunate enough to stay healthy up front, they’ll get better, and they’ll be pretty good by the end of the year. (Editor’s note: I think Charley is being modest there!)

Tech recruits the best players available.  They don’t get caught up in measurables.  They look at their high school film a lot, and they use that to evaluate.  If it works out that they are 6-0, 260 defensive tackles, then that’s just the way it is.


Andrew Miller

Miller’s ankle injuries have come from guys rolling him up from behind.  He’s currently in a walking boot.  He’s in the training room three times a day trying to get it healthy.  He’s trying to get the swelling down and get the range of motion back.

Miller thinks the offensive line has answered a lot of questions in both run blocking and pass blocking.

There wasn’t any nervousness from Jonathan McLaughlin against Alabama.  He is a competitor and he battles the whole game.

Last season was unacceptable.  Everybody on the line worked hard in the offseason.  They did a lot of studying, and they hold each other accountable.

Jeff Grimes is a really good coach.  He helps you understand the defensive scheme.  If you stop before the whistle, that’s when you get into the most trouble.  He really emphasizes being the toughest offensive line in the ACC.

Miller said the offensive line meeting room is very focused.  Grimes makes everybody take notes the entire meeting.

ECU is tough front.  They have some tough players.  They play to the whistle, and the Hokies will have to do the same.  It will take a good week of practice and preparation to beat them.

The new video board is really great.  Players are looking up at it between plays to see what happened.  It helps to see what happened between plays.

Miller thinks he’ll be ready to play on Saturday.  He thinks he’s made a lot of progress since Saturday.  They’ll play it by ear, but he’s very confident.


Kyle Fuller

Tech had a good scheme for Alabama.  They have great players.  The Tech players had great technique and they stuck with the gameplan.

Fuller had a great pass breakup against Alabama.  You have to be patient and wait for the ball to get there to make sure you don’t interfere, though he wishes he had gone for a couple of picks during the game.

Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson are both great players.  He’s looking forward to seeing them develop through the years.  They have both picked it up very quickly

Kendall Fuller has always been good, but it really hit Kyle that he would be great when Kendall was a junior in high school.

Corey Fuller is signed to the practice squad in Detroit.  Vinny Fuller is doing well and being productive at life.

Fuller learned a lot from his older brothers.  Not just on the field, but being a good person and doing things right.

This defense can be as good as they want to be.  They still have a long ways to go.  They have to keep working hard, and they have to have good practice habits throughout the season.  They also have to stay healthy.

Antone Exum returning would be a big boost for the defense.  He has a great presence on the field.  Everybody is looking forward to his return.

When Fuller watches other football games, he finds himself watching the cornerbacks more than anything else.

The NFL is Fuller’s ultimate goal.  That’s what he’s always worked hard to do.

East Carolina will be tough.  He thinks back to his sophomore year and how close the game was down there.  The Hokies definitely have to be prepared.

Amari Cooper is the best wide receiver that Kyle Fuller has had to cover.  He has all the physical tools.

Kyle’s favorite uniform was the all-black uniforms that they wore against Boise State in 2010.  He likes the gray uniforms they wore against Alabama as well.


Frank Beamer

Beamer is happy that the new indoor facility got approved.  It needed to be done.  The location is going to work out just fine.  It’s very convenient.

The new facility provides a place for the quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs to play against each other during the winter months of January and February when the weather is so bad.  It will also be big enough to scrimmage, punt, throw deep balls, etc.

Beamer thinks it’s the last piece when it comes to facilities.  He’s confident that Tech fans will donate money and help them get it done.

Beamer thought Tech improved on Saturday.  The receivers improved their catching.  The kickoff coverage team was impressive.  They still need to get better on their punt block and punt return team.  Overall he thought they got better as a team.

Kalvin Cline played well on Saturday.  There were pluses and minuses to pulling his redshirt, but he gives the team some of the things that Ryan Malleck did in the passing game.  He responded well on Saturday.  He’s smart, and he has toughness and want to.  For next year he needs to get his weight up a little so he can be more physical, but he’s going to help the team this year as well.

Beamer thinks both Joel Caleb and Chris Mangus have a place in the backfield.  There are ways to get both guys involved.  They will both have a role with this team.

Joshua Stanford took a step forward on Saturday, and Beamer was impressed with Joel Caleb ‘s running.  There are some talented freshmen on this team.  They will get better and better.  That includes Sam Rogers , who is a very talented and tough fullback.

Beamer would like to redshirt Wyatt Teller and Parker Osterloh .  Obviously injuries can happen, but the goal is to redshirt both guys.  They are getting a lot of second team work right now.

Shane Beamer and Aaron Moorehead are on the sideline for games.  They are responsible for their positions and substitutions at their positions.  They get input at halftime with the rest of the offensive coaches.  Beamer really likes his coaching staff right now.

Tech has never played this many freshmen.  They missed in recruiting on some guys, and some other guys left the program.  However, they will be stronger down the road for having played all these young players this year.

Bucky Hodges is redshirting.  He’s doing “okay”.  He’s working on his throwing motion with Scot Loeffler.  He’s a great character kid with a good future.

Logan and the receivers both take blame for some of the interceptions.  They will keep working together and get it right.  Sometimes a wide receiver has to become a defensive back, and sometimes Logan needs to make better throws.  The more they work together, the better they’ll get.

It’s important to keep D.J. Coles fresh.  He probably played too much in the first game.  They have to find the right number of plays for him, so they can all be full speed plays.

Charley Meyer has to get his quickness back after his hamstring injuries.  It’s all a matter of getting him fully healthy.

The offensive line responded well when Andrew Miller went down, but they still missed him.  He’s a strong player and a mentally strong player.  He’s a valuable part of the team.

East Carolina is very good.  They have a lot of starters back.  They have talent and they are well-coached.  The Hokies will have their work cut out for them.  They really know what they are doing offensively.  They have scored 82 points in their first two games.

Monday was Day 3,209 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

13 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I sometime get tired of criticism, but I also get tired of hearing the “Hokie dokies” who somehow think that any criticism of our AD, Coaches, and team is off limits, mean, and uncalled for. There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, and I doubt if we would even have anew offensive staff, and scheme, had the “Hokie Dokies” had their way. Most of the criticism that I have read has been well founded, and our team will be better for the changes they have encouraged. The coaches and staff are paid a lot of money, and performance and accountability should always be on the table. And while criticism should be constructive, it’s necessary if you strive for excellence, and improvement.

  2. If I remember correctly, one of the original Indoor facility proposals required cutting about 30 trees……two years later we have a new plan that costs 25 million….UVA built their Indoor facility for a little over 14 million…..

    …..Did those trees cost 10 million?

  3. I for one have though Weaver has done a lot of good things for VT. Do I agree with all of them? NO, but on the whole he is ok in my book.

  4. The times may have caught up with (and even passed) Weaver, but the fact of the matter is, he’s right. You can’t please everybody. We unveiled a new, awesome scoreboard and sound system that was both impressive and needed, yet someone was still unhappy. What are you going to do? Let’s try to give some credit to the man for the great things he has done for Tech across all sports. For example, on the indoor practice facility, he’s not just thinking about how great it will be for football, but also leveraging the new facility to help other sports by improving Rector, etc. While I ultimately agree a time for change in the AD position is going to be needed sooner than later, let’s not crucify Weaver on every single thing he does/says (see above). The guy has done some great things for VT athletics and I, for one, appreciate it.

    1. I think Weaver has been a good CEO for our athletic programs. Very much a good steward of our finances. I am excited to see what new leadership will bring, especially in the hiring of coaches.

  5. Man it just does not appear that nuance occurs to Jim Weaver. I doubt the ONLY options are: 1) sound-system too loud or; 2) bad sound-system. He comes across in the notes as very dismissive and out-of touch. Also, the need to refund ticket costs as a justification for not instituting some form of dynamic ticket pricing seems like a straw man of a red herring of an argument.

    1. I agree about the sound system…a simpler or better response (and I’m basing this solely on the write up since I didn’t listen) would be something along the lines of “it’s a brand new system and we’re working on getting it optimized.” Since it’s too loud right now we have the option of turning it down, whereas in the past the only way to get it louder was to replace the whole thing.

    2. No, it’s just that some people are going to bitch, no matter what.

      Also, his argument about not reducing ticket prices is perfectly valid. It would indeed be unfair to those who bought them at full price and it would set a bad precedent for the future.

      1. It might have been good if they had released the extra tickets to students or set up some sort of a donation program for a worthy charity – Boys and Girls Club, veterans, etc.

        At the end of the day, the sell out streak is nice but doesn’t really mean that much.

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