Since there isn’t much Western Kentucky film to study, we thought
a special Q&A session with Phil Martin would be a good addition this week.
Phil talks about Tech’s developing passing game, gives his evaluation of
the true freshmen in the program, and offers up his take on where the Hokies are
as a team right now.
1) We know the receivers are young and TT is young w/ limited experience,
but other teams seem to have more developed/capable passing games with young,
inexperienced players in those positions? What is holding back VT’s
passing game — particularly the mid-range to longer downfield plays?
Phil Martin: I believe a couple of factors could be slowing down the
development of our younger receivers. First, most of the receivers did not play
the position in high school, and consequently the learning curve for those
players is greater. Because of Tech’s reputation as predominantly a power
running offense, the Hokies have struggled recruiting “name” wide receivers.
Not surprisingly, the current freshmen that have emerged as starters, Danny
Coale and Jarrett Boykin, played receiver in high school. Dyrell Roberts is
still adjusting and will likely see more time in the slot (the original plan) to
simplify his responsibilities. Losing Brandon Dillard (Achilles tendon tear) and
Zach Luckett (suspension) has forced Tech to use the freshmen receivers in the
more complex X and Z positions.
The second factor is the complexity of the passing scheme. Tech uses passing
trees, as opposed to the older set passing routes. Receivers must read the
defense for man-to-man or zone coverage (and recognize the type of zone being
used), as well as inside or outside leverage, and make sight adjustments in
their route. A specific play may have six (or more) options for a receiver to
break his route off depending on the coverage, and these reads have to be made
while running full speed. Opponents realize the inexperience of the receivers
and are making
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