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1) What is keeping Raheem Blackshear from being more effective? So far he hasn’t been the weapon we expected in the passing game, and he hasn’t been able to capitalize on the OL play. Injury? Missed out on critical practice time? – Grandin Hokie
CC: Blackshear missed at least 10 days prior to the start of the regular season. He only returned to practice the day before the season opener against NC State, so in effect he only got to go through a walk-through in preparation for his first game at Virginia Tech.
Because he hadn’t done any physical activities in at least 10 days, he wasn’t quite 100% for the NC State game, and he ended up hurting his hamstring in that game. That’s always the risk when you bring guys back and put them on the field immediately rather than easing them back into things. That’s probably why Justin Fuente was hesitant to throw Hendon Hooker into the fire for 70 snaps per game right away. If you have other players available, it’s probably not the right choice, and perhaps he regrets doing it with Blackshear.
Also, Fuente noted on Monday night on Tech Talk Live that Blackshear has also been cross-training as a defensive back at times. So in short, he’s been working at running back, wide receiver and defensive back, he missed a couple of weeks right before the start of the season, and he tweaked a hamstring in the process. Here is Fuente’s direct quote about the situation from Tech Talk Live…
“He is somebody that I think will continue to work in. He got slowed a little bit because he missed time. In the first game of the year, he was one of those guys that we hadn’t seen in two weeks, and he showed up the day before the game. We didn’t play him very much. He was wound up and ready to play, but we didn’t play him very much. Then, he was slowed by a hamstring. You know, one of those things when somebody misses time and gets hurt when they exert themselves a little bit. That slowed him the next week and so on and so forth. We’re slowly getting him back. He is one of those guys that has cross-trained. I don’t want to do that, but there could be a situation as we go through this, we may not have a choice. He has worked on the other side of the ball.”
I recommend reading our Tech Talk Live Notes each and every Tuesday morning. Fuente is always pretty open with Jon Laaser, and you’ll get more useful information than you would by simply reading press conference quotes.
So in short…there are lots of reasons Blackshear hasn’t quite broken out yet. Hopefully it’s coming soon.
2) On the Podcast you talked about the new defensive...
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