Our Favorite Players: Michael Brewer

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Brewer in the afterglow of the Ohio State win.
Brewer in the afterglow of the Ohio State win.

Last season, Michael Brewer’s productivity ran hot and cold. He was great at times, such as in the Ohio State game, and he was bad at other times, such as against East Carolina (completely cold in the first half) and Georgia Tech (two fourth-quarter interceptions, one of which was returned for a TD).

Brewer was thrust into a tough situation. He arrived in Blacksburg in the summer and was named Virginia Tech’s starting QB just a few weeks later. He was expected to lead an offense laden with freshman skill players and a so-so offensive line (on its good days), while only knowing part of the playbook.

And then he started getting pounded over and over, as linebackers and D-linemen got plenty of free shots on him. Brewer was listed at 6-0, 200, but that’s being generous, and he was often blasted by guys like ECU’s Zeek Bigger, who was listed at 6-2, 228 and was on a dead run, unblocked, when he drilled Brewer early in that dismal loss.

It actually started earlier in the season, when Brewer scrambled up the middle against Ohio State and was hit simultaneously by three or four defenders, bending him at a not-so-funny angle and leaving him writhing on the turf.

As Ohio State players celebrated the knockout, Brewer dragged himself up off the turf and stayed in the game. We were told after the game via email that Brewer was beat up so badly that he couldn’t even bend over to carry his bag to the bus after the game — he needed help from then-equipment manager Lester Karlin.

Then Brewer got blasted early in the game against ECU, as things like this happened way too often:

Michael Brewer

In that ECU game, TSL poster VTChip observed the following:

brewer_cookie_toss

Brewer struggled to play consistently for most of the season, and the gifted passer we saw early on against Ohio State came and went at random, leading many of us to suspect that he was hurt. The coaching staff denied it mid-season, of course, but we’re told by more than one person that offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler is excited about Brewer’s potential in 2015 for two reasons: (1) he knows the full playbook now; and (2) he’s healthy … which implies that he wasn’t last year.

So we tabbed Michael Brewer as one of Our Favorite Players for 2015 for a lot of reasons, but mainly because he is one tough son of a gun. He’s no Jim Druckenmiller or Logan Thomas, size-wise. I was over at Tech last Friday morning, and Brewer came out of the Jamerson Center with Charley Meyer and walked right by me, and I was struck again that he’s not that much taller than I am … and I’m 5-9 on a good day.

Brewer took hits that would have killed me last year, and he kept going, even as the interceptions and losses mounted, along with fan criticism, and it would have been easy to become frustrated. I’m sure he was, but he kept quiet and kept playing, even-keeled.

We also like him for another reason: He was spotted at 7-11 recently in his F-150 with Wyatt Teller in the passenger seat and a kayak in the back. Gotta love a QB from Texas who drives a pickup truck and goes kayaking with the baddest offensive lineman on the team.

Oh, and here’s another: we love this pic of Brewer talking smack to UVa’s Quin Blanding after tossing a touchdown pass to Cam Phillips in last year’s Commonwealth Cup win — woof, woof!

Michael Brewer, talking some smack to Quin Blanding after Cam Phillips' 36-yard TD catch.
Michael Brewer, talking some smack to Quin Blanding after Cam Phillips’ 36-yard TD catch.

Hopefully, Brewer will stay healthy this season and get to have the kind of gunslinging year that leads to lots of yards and lots of wins.

That wraps up our ten Our Favorite Players features for 2015. We plan on doing the list every year, and while some guys from this year’s list will carry over, there’ll be lots of new entries next year. For the full list of all ten players … click here.

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14 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Throw in the quote vs UVA to his OL on the sideline:
    “If you guys keep pushing forward, I’ll keep getting up”
    There was little doubt on that sideline after that…we were going to win…even after UVA’s unlikely go ahead TD

  2. VT’s bookend regular season WINs vs OSU and UVa were just tremendous and they were led by MB – he stirred the drink and others followed for sure chugging what he was stirring. Stuff in between was a total mixed bag of defects…and are gone now. The W vs Cincy in bowl was a big step in the right direction – especially for JC and line blocking! OSU come to Bburg but be prepared to put you hat in hand at the end! GO HOKIES!

  3. The clip from the Ohio State game was from every play of the game last year. So I decided to watch every snap on YouTube because I haven’t watched the game since I watched it live last year. It only took a half hour or so. I’m not going to get into all the specific observations I made because 1) there were so many and 2) I don’t pretend to be qualified enough to make any outstanding or earth shattering observations about specifics of formations, play calling etc (I’ve been watching football since I was a kid but there are obviously people on here that have played the game or studied the nuances of the game way more than I have and can break things down much better than myself). All I have to say is, after watching that game, I’m way more confident about our chances in the opener in Blacksburg this year than I have been throughout the off season. I know it’s two different teams and there are so many new variables and this is a new season. And Ohio State is the defending national champions. And they’re the #1 team in the country. And we’re 16 point dogs, etc, etc, etc. They may be a new team, but so are we. And we’re HEALTHY. And WAY more EXPERIENCED. I’m certainly not a PATT and I’ve certainly had my fair share of criticisms of the team, the program, recruiting, etc at various points. But I honestly believe we have a better than 50% chance of winning this game (just to put a number on it). Again, maybe I’m just crazy and can’t wait for the season to start. But we’re gonna shock the college football world – and Ohio State for the second year in a row.

    1. I’m definitely with you on the confidence for OSU @ VT this year, but I think our chances of winning are on par with what they were last year. At OSU we had going:
      FOR US:
      – So many new players, not much for OSU to prepare for (especially since fall practices were closed to public/media)
      – OSU’s QB situation
      – (Hindsight that no one could have predicted) OSU apparently had an identity problem within the team that was quickly straightened out after they lost to us
      AGAINST US:
      – no home-field advantage
      – a perennially successful and storied opponent in OSU
      – Hokie penchant for blowing big games
      – many new, young players

      This year, in Blacksburg, some things have changed, but I feel the overall chances of winning are the same. We have going:
      FOR US:
      – BIG home field advantage
      – a defense poised to be the nastiest in the nation
      – Bud Foster
      – more experienced offensive play makers
      – overall healthy team
      – a (supposedly) better offensive line
      AGAINST US:
      – talent level is still arguably lower than OSU’s
      – OSU is thirsty for revenge
      – OSU man-handled their last few opponents (minor point)
      – reigning NCs
      – Hokie penchant for blowing *any* game (see 2014)

      And yeah, I think the number is below 50% to be fair and honest. But as a Hokie I’ll say it’s a 70% chance!

  4. I’m really curious as to what kind of smack Brewer was talking to to Quinn.

    Also, does not speak well about Leal that no matter how bad Brewer was that they didn’t pull him.

  5. Hope he’s learned how to and when to use the feet first slide. Gotta love the “tough” but also gotta have the “wise”.

  6. Good article, thank You. I just hope his passing gets better because that is his downfall . Can’t blame the OL for his vision or arm strength. VT needs that improvement to win. And You right , he’s one tough kid and has fit right in at VT.

    1. As Chris writes in the article — being healthy and knowing the playbook more completely should improve his efficiency as a passer.

  7. Numbers-wise bad season, but Michael Brewer was a total warrior on the field. I think a few times watching him get drilled I fell on the floor and got up a lot slower than he did. If the O-line and RB(really important) can stop those full speed assaults on him. He will make the throws. Think about what he did. Even in games we lost, not all, but most he played his best when he needed to. In the bowl game, I commented after Clarke destroyed Cincy’s QB that Brewer probably said I’ve been hit harder. My buddy said Brewer was hit harder than that every quarter that game and still got up. That was an exaggeration, but not by much. Brewer is one tough SOB. If I could I’d follow him into battle.

    1. I think of Henry V, of Brewer, once more into the breach!!
      He will have his soldiers follow him.
      May he come out of a few games with a clean shirt with a better line and running game.

      GO HOKIES BEAT osu!!!

  8. Love it! You could have also mentioned that the touchdown to Cam Phillips against UVA came after his shoulder had popped in and out on the UVA sack and TD.

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