Tech Talk Live notes for September 22, 2014

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Torrian Gray

The team has problems as far as penalties, turnovers, lack of execution, etc.  The coaches are really hammering home that they have to be more detail oriented to fix their problems.

This team is talented enough to beat Ohio State, but if they don’t pay attention to detail, they are obviously capable of losing to anybody.  They have to be more detail oriented.

Gray is upset the most about the big plays allowed by the defense.  The 4th and 15 play really bothers him.  They need to do a better job of putting that game away.

Tech had some busted coverages when GT was motioning.  The defensive backs didn’t communicate well enough.  They have to get better there.

One of the toughest things to do in football is to play the deep ball.  If the DB is even with the WR, he can look back for the ball, but you can’t look back if he’s behind you.  That’s something they have worked on a lot in the last week.

You like your odds on 4th and 15.  That’s the play that bothers Gray more than any play this year.  They have to stop that play.

Desmond Frye had a successful surgery.  They hope to get him back in the spring, or perhaps the end of spring.  It’s frustrating to go through that as an athlete.  Gray had a career-ending injury when he was in the NFL.

Western Michigan has a big back who is very impressive on film.  The Broncos are rushing for almost 280 yards a game.  They are passing for nearly 240 yards per game, so they are a big challenge.

It’s not about who Virginia Tech is playing.  It’s about fixing their own issues.  If they do that, they will be a good football team.  They can beat anybody on their schedule.

Brandon Facyson hasn’t had any setbacks, but the staff was expecting him to progress along.  He hadn’t practiced in the spring or most of fall camp.  For whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out that way.  He is as frustrated as anybody.  He just isn’t moving the same right now.

As long as Donovan Riley and Chuck Clark stay healthy, Tech will be ok.  Gray is very happy with Chuck Clark.  He is a true sophomore, but he’s physically gifted and he’s coming along.  He’s mentally sharp.

Gray expects big things from CJ Reavis in the future.  Anthony Shegog is a r-freshman who is a talented guy.  They are both playing free safety right now.

It’s not the easiest thing to have a big recruiting weekend after a loss.  After a win, everybody is happy.  It’s a lot harder to be positive after a loss.  You have to bounce back quickly and show those guys a good time.  They had some positive outcomes despite the loss.

Shane Beamer

Frank Beamer is under the weather and couldn’t make Tech Talk Live.  He has watery eyes and could barely talk after a full day of work.  He sent Shane to take his place on the show.

There is such a thin line between winning and losing.  Tech hasn’t played clean football.  If you have penalties and turnovers, you aren’t going to win many football games.  The Hokies have to stop beating themselves.  They haven’t done a good job of that the last two weeks.  They have to be better as coaches.

Tech is doing things a little differently with how they address penalties with their team this week, though Beamer didn’t go into details.

The substitution penalties result from a lack of communication on the field.  The Hokies have a lot of different personnel groupings.  They have words and signals for each grouping.  It was the same last year, and they didn’t have the issues then.  They didn’t communicate well on Saturday, for whatever reason.  They have to do a better job of that in practice as well.  It’s embarrassing as a coach for that to happen so much.  It should never happen.  They are addressing it this week.

The tempo doesn’t have anything to do with the penalties.  Three times it was a receiver who didn’t come off the field, and one time it was a running back.  It’s a lack of communication.

Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams are the top two guys right now.  Trey Edmunds has been practicing well and they got him into the mix a little on Saturday.  They have one particular run play that Williams and McKenzie are not comfortable with right now, and they used Edmunds and Coleman for those runs on Saturday.

At one point, Shai McKenzie banged up an ankle and came out, and another time he looked gassed so Beamer took him out.  On the play where McKenzie was gassed, Marshawn Williams immediately fumbled.

McKenzie and Williams were a little bit wide on their inside zones, and because of that they missed a couple of cutbacks.  However, they were good overall against Georgia Tech and they have good patience.  Ideally Tech doesn’t want to throw the ball as much as they are.  They want to get the running game going.  That would help Michael Brewer quite a bit.

Tech has thrown passes this year with Michael Brewer under center.  They do a self scout every week, and they try to break tendencies each week.  Brewer never took snaps from under center until he got to Virginia Tech, and it’s not as simple as it sounds.  However, he’s more comfortable when he’s not under center, of course.

The wildcat with Bucky Hodges is in the gameplan each and every week, but it just didn’t get called against ECU or Georgia Tech.

Deon Newsome has a bright future.  He has explosiveness.  He’s a strong guy in the weight room.

Tech has to clean up the little things.  They have to pay attention to details.  They have great kids on the team.  It’s an awesome group of guys.  They are hungry, and they are eager to improve.

Beamer thanked the crowd for being so loud on Saturday.  They made a impact on the recruits who were there.  He’s sorry they got let down with the results of the game, but the team is working hard to get back to where they need to be.

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10 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. ‘They have one particular run play that Williams and McKenzie are not comfortable with right now, and they used Edmunds and Coleman for those runs on Saturday.’

    Wow, how important is it to run that one play that our two starting running backs aren’t comfortable with? To me that just doesn’t sound like elite level coaching. It highlights tendencies of the play, making them easier to defend and even less successful.

    I do not yet see the evidence to say Shane Beamer is a good running back coach (or bad), I hope this changes in the future for the good. I do see the evidence to call him a good recruiter for VT. Fair statement?

    1. IMPROVED RUNNING GAME:

      With weaker linemen who can’t hold blocks, and young runners who might not find the right hole, you adjust to early straight T football (Auburn ran a “version” of this in their power running game last year):

      – QB under center; spread formation.
      – Hand the ball to the back, already running full speed at (or near) the line of scrimmage with the “hole” specified for back and linemen focus.
      – Results = back at full speed, quickly hits the specific hole; linemen open hole quickly with initial “power” block; “uncovered” tight ends/center/guard gets block on line backers at the same moment runner gets at the line of scrimmage; ball carrier is 5 yards down field before safetys can react. Plus it is not a difficult structure change and it really simplifies what young players have to remember.

    2. On the contrary, GT was surprised by the Trey Edmunds plays. Every time he has played this year, he has been in to block.

  2. Wow, Western Michigan is averaging 520 yards of offense per game! And a well balanced attack also. They don’t sound like pushovers.

  3. Shane does a great job on the show IMO. He took accountability, explained some things that directly addressed the RB rotations and went out of his way to thank the fans for being into the game and creating a great atmosphere for the recruits, going so far as apologizing for our play

    1. The infatuation with Shane Beamer on the message boards is embarrassing. Shane Beamer is a fine coach, a great recruiter, and a great representative of VT. I don’t see any negative to having him on our staff.

      People looking for a scapegoat for this year’s team need to look back 4-5 years ago at our recruiting. Not at this year’s RB coach. It’s just stupid.

      1. Absolutely. Shane is a good coach. The running game issues are due to years of poor OL recruiting. The RBs and the RB coach are getting an unfair share of the blame.

    2. Too much of the blame on Shane for the woes of the running game are coming from people who don’t understand what the game plan is, what the play choices are, what *should* have happened vs. what actually happened, etc. Unless someone who negs on Shane is also wearing a headset during the games and is in on the coaches’ meetings, then don’t pay any attention to them. It’s all conjecture. We do have much better coaches than a few years ago, but it takes a while to turn things around, especially with so many young players. Unfortunately, though, the Hokies seem to have a systemic problem of needing a severe gut-check every now and then that forces us to re-evaluate and get back on track. That is a more undeniable fact than any “fact” that Shane is a bad RB coach.

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