Bull Ring Arrives in Blacksburg

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The best news I’ve heard all spring was revealed last night by BeamerBall.com.  The Hokies are doing Bull-in-the-Ring sessions this spring.  This is something we’ve been hoping would happen for months and months, and I think it’s an important part of football at every level.

You can talk X’s and O’s all you want to, but in reality football comes down to a player physically beating the guy in front of him.  If he doesn’t do that, then a genius X’s and O’s offensive coordinator will look like an idiot.  Good offensive coordinators understand where football starts, and they know how to build toughness in practice.

I don’t think Bryan Stinespring was the greatest X’s and O’s coach in the world, but Tech fans have a habit (in my opinion) of blaming everything on his playcalling when in reality there are bigger issues.  What play could he have called in 2012 that would have worked when nobody on the entire offense could block anybody?  An outside run?  No, the wideouts and tight ends couldn’t block.  An inside run?  No, the guards couldn’t block very well either.  Throw a pass?  No, Logan Thomas was inconsistent, and the wide receivers weren’t good, outside of Corey Fuller.

Stiney’s problem wasn’t his playcalling.  It was the fact that the toughness of Tech’s offense slowly declined throughout the years under his leadership (and Curt Newsome on the offense line).  With three new coaches coming in from major programs noted for their toughness in the trenches, and with Frank Beamer’s renewed emphasis on toughness, it’s not surprising to see that these drills have made their way into Tech’s practices.

If you’re not a BeamerBall subscriber, but you want to get an idea of what Tech’s Bull Ring sessions look like, watch this video.

That’s a video of a Bull Ring session at Navy.  The Hokies are holding their session in the same style, with two guys in a circle, and the winner pushes the other guy out of the circle.  The big difference is that Tech seems to be doing it more physically (which is expected, as VT has more talent than Navy), and the players who aren’t participating are a lot more fired up than Navy’s.  In short, Tech is doing what Navy is doing in that video, only they are doing it with a lot more intensity.