The First Bank & Trust Company Friday Q&A: Defensive Playcalling, Managing Redshirts, And Future Positions Of Focus

Chris Marve
Defensive playcalling will likely be turned over to Chris Marve in 2023. (Jon Fleming)

1) Do you think Pry will turn defensive play calling over to Chris Marve next year? After listening to him in a recent interview I think he is starting to realize that there is too much on his head coaching plate to be calling the defense. – Hokie MCPO

Chris Coleman: Yes, that’s the plan, and Pry has said as much. I don’t think his main reluctance is the actual play calling during the game. I think it’s more about teaching Marve how to lead the way when it comes to game-planning and putting together a cohesive strategy throughout the week, and then translating that into play calling during the game. If it were just about play-calling, I think he would have turned over those duties already.

If Pry somehow decides to not turn over play calling duties to Marve in the offseason, then that probably means that he didn’t see enough from Marve during the course of this season that he would feel comfortable turning over the keys. If that happens – and I don’t think it will – then that probably means that Pry made the wrong choice for defensive coordinator.

Assuming Pry does turn over those duties to Marve, then we’ll have different angles from which to look at next season…

1) How does the defense perform in comparison to 2022 with Pry not calling plays anymore, and perhaps not quite as involved on a daily basis?

2) Does Virginia Tech’s time management improve during games with Pry no longer focused on play calling?

3) Perhaps Pry would be free to take a harder look at the offensive side of the ball and what the Hokies are doing right/wrong there.

Even if the defense did happen to take a slight step back with Marve in complete control, if that frees up Pry to concentrate on some other things, then it could make Virginia Tech a better football team overall. But I’m not really worried about Marve. Maybe that’s just because there’s no evidence for him or against him as of yet. My bigger concern is coaching on the offensive side of the ball. Pry is a defensive guy, so that’s where he needs the most help. His No. 1 priority in the offseason has to be getting the offense going in the right direction through any means necessary.


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2) Why can’t the coaching staff have consistency on burning redshirts? Delane is starting and playing every down. Bryce Duke has played more than four games and he’s basically 2nd string kick returner and never playing running back. There’s no going back within him, so why not get him on the field more like Delane? I assume there is another example or two. – HokieJamie

CC: I suspect

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