Friday Q&A: June 12, 2009

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In this week’s Friday Q&A, Raleigh Hokie and Chris Coleman discuss how
the Hokies will keep their expectations in check this season. They also
give us a brief insight on their view of Tech recruiting and player development.

We need more questions for future versions of the Friday Q&A. If
you’ve got a question you’d like to have answered, send it to [email protected].

1) How do you think that the coaching staff will manage the expectations this
year, given it is likely we will be favored to win 11 of the 12 games we play in
the regular season?

Raleigh Hokie: The key to managing expectations is to keep the players
focused on what they need to do rather than on what they read and hear. As we
have seen in the past, that’s an easier thing to accomplish when the team is
disrespected and has something to prove. It becomes a lot more difficult when
the team is put up on a pedestal, as is likely to be the case this season. Every
opponent will have the VT game circled, especially the in-conference opponents
that will love nothing more than to knock off the team that has won the
conference three of the last five seasons. Every ACC opponent will be carrying
the “something to prove” card when they play the Hokies this season.

Of course, the coaches know all of this. They have been through it before, most
recently in 2005. The lessons learned from that season (and others before) will
be a key to managing expectations better this season. Nothing beats experience,
and the Tech coaching staff has plenty of that.

The tough schedule is actually an asset that the coaches can use to keep
everything real and balanced, especially that tough grind in September. Nothing
will keep players grounded better than knowing they have Alabama, Nebraska and
Miami right out of the gate. Those three early games make it very easy for the
coaches to manage expectations through the summer workouts and fall camp. Just
turn on the film.

The job will become much more difficult if the Hokies somehow find a way to get
through that September schedule undefeated. The hype meter