Virginia Tech’s New Defense: What Could Change, And What Could Stay The Same

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Virginia Tech, Justin Hamilton
How much will the Virginia Tech defense change under Justin Hamilton? (Jon Fleming)

Virginia Tech Defense: What I Think Won’t Change Much

Base 4-2-5 Personnel and Scheme

We’ll talk more about the finer details of coverages and run fits later, but in the big picture I don’t think what you see on the field will look too different from what you saw last year. On most snaps, there will be four d-linemen types, two inside linebackers, a nickel who spends most of his time aligned to the field, and two deep safeties. And for each of these guys, I bet you’ll be able to draw gap and fill responsibilities that aren’t too different from what you’d see in the veritable old 4-4 defense.

The terminology will definitely change, and I wouldn’t be surprised if keys and reads also change. It sounds like the linemen will have more responsibility to identify and react to different blocks, and that might change how the second-level guys fit and fill around them. Maybe Hamilton throws in a full-time stand-up end, he renames the whip spot to “assassin” like he did at UVA-W,