Yesterday we got our first (and only) brief glimpse of the team during the preseason. We were able to watch stretching and only a couple of individual drills, so there’s not much to go on. Still, this should wet your whistle until we begin position previews this week.
LOLB, MLB, ROLB…What to Make of Tech’s New Defensive Designations
When we were handed a depth chart yesterday, one of the first things I noticed is that Tech’s linebackers aren’t called mike, backer and whip anymore. Instead, they are called left outside linebacker, middle linebacker, and right outside linebacker.
LOLB: Deon Clarke, Dahman McKinnon
MLB: Andrew Motuapuaka, Sean Huelskamp
ROLB: Ronny Vandyke, Anthony Shegog
In the past, Tech’s backer has always been aligned to the short side of the field, the whip has always been on the wide side, and the mike has always been in the middle. The new depth chart seems to indicate that will change this season. But will it?
I sort of have my doubts. Bud Foster was still talking about Ronny Vandyke and Anthony Shegog playing the “whip” spot, and I didn’t see anything in our extremely brief look at practice that would make me believe the scheme has changed. In fact, Foster made a point to say that the Hokies run more of a 4-2-5 scheme than a traditional 4-3 scheme.
So why the change on the depth chart? I can think of a few possible reasons.
1. It could be as simple as Pete Moris being an NFL guy. Moris was hired as Tech’s Director of Strategic Communications this summer. In other words, he’s their PR guy, and the guy who handles the media, press releases, etc. Perhaps he’s just used to labeling things in the old school way.
2. Recruiting. Tech has struggled to sign linebackers at times, so perhaps this is a way to point out to recruits that VT’s scheme is NFL friendly for linebackers.
3. Misinformation for Ohio State. Urban Meyer has spent the entire offseason coming up with ways to beat Tech’s defense based on what he saw from the Hokies last year, and in past seasons on film. One thing he would probably never expect is to see the Hokies run a scheme with true left and right outside linebackers. Bud could be just trying to mess with his mind.
In the end, I don’t think we’re going to see traditional left and right outside linebackers. I say that because the same depth chart lists the corners as left and right corners as opposed to boundary and field corners, and and I have a hard time seeing Bud going away from the boundary/field scheme. I think it’s all just misinformation for Ohio State.
Of course, I don’t know that for a fact. One of the questions we got asked the most in the offseason was what we thought Bud Foster would do against Ohio State this year. Heck, I don’t know. If I knew what Bud Foster was going to do, I would be getting paid a lot of money to be somebody’s offensive coordinator....
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