I used to work for a guy who would help me and other employees focus on the
important issues by asking the question, “What keeps you up at night?”
In other words, what’s the most important thing you worry about, and what’s the
most important question to answer? With that spirit in mind, I looked up and
down the VT football depth chart and asked a pertinent question about almost
every position on the team. I don’t have the answers, mind you; the 2006
football season has the answers.
I’m an O-line guy, a firm believer that building a good football team
starts with a solid, cohesive, deep offensive line. Having said that, I see
clearly that the most important single player on a football team is the
quarterback (duh). This has never been more blindingly apparent than the last,
oh 13 years with the Hokies, as Maurice DeShazo shined (1993) and struggled
(1994), Jim Druckenmiller surprised (1995) and then did the heavy lifting
(1996), Michael Vick exploded (1999 and 2000), Grant Noel muddled (2001), Bryan
Randall floundered (2002 and 2003) and then coalesced (2004), and Marcus Vick
played flawless football and then flawed football (2005).
That sentence, one of the longest ever constructed by yours truly on TSL,
omits Al Clark, the only VT quarterback I can think of during the Beamer Bowl
Era whose performance is difficult to analyze because he was working behind
makeshift offensive lines in 1997 and 1998. Because of the “Whiff of
1995,” when the Hokies signed zero offensive linemen, Clark operated behind
lines that were short on depth and were cobbled together from O-linemen and
former D-linemen. Clark also had a mediocre to bad group of receivers to work with — in 1997, when Shawn Scales went down with an injury, the Hokies were left with almost no decent wide receivers, and fullback Marcus Parker wound up leading the team in receptions. In any event, Clark definitely had almost no support.
Anyway … let’s get back on track....
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