Friday Q&A: April 8, 2011

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Today’s questions and discussion revolve around Tech’s defensive scheme, how
good the defense can be in 2011, ACC point guard recruiting in 2011, as well as
an update from Will Stewart on the status of the “new TSL”.

1: Is there any evidence to substantiate the claim that Tech’s defensive
scheme is changing this year?

Chris Coleman: I suppose we’ll have a better idea after we see the first
scrimmage, and an even better idea after the Hokies get to knock some heads with
their first real opponent of the season. But yes, there is evidence to suggest
that a few things are changing. Nothing major or groundbreaking, but you can
expect some subtle changes.

Torrian Gray has taken over the rovers this year, and he is alternating all
of his free safeties and rovers at both positions. It sounds as if the Hokies
are playing left-side and right-side safeties during the spring, so all players
can get a feel for the responsibilities of playing on both the short side and
wide side of the field. In the past, this type of arrangement would not have
been possible with Jim Cavanaugh coaching the rovers.

Why is that important? If Antone Exum gets hurt, and Gray feels like backup
free safety Theron Norman can handle the rover duties better than backup rover
Wiley Brown, then it won’t be much of an adjustment for Norman to make that move
because he will have seen time at that position during the spring.

Overall, the whole operation in the secondary is more streamlined, and the
communication should be better. Is that a major indicator that the defensive
scheme is changing? No, it’s not, but it’s further evidence that the rover is
much more of a two-deep safety these days than an extra outside linebacker in an
eight-man front.

The big question is whether or not the whip will be more of a traditional
outside linebacker. I don’t see a whole lot changing with the whip position,
simply because the personnel is the same for the most part. Three of Tech’s top
four players at whip are below 200-lbs, and those guys simply can’t be
traditional outside linebackers for the most part.

I think Bud Foster believes that