ACC Coaches Talk Anonymously About Virginia Tech

Want to avoid coach speak, then let coaches talk about other teams in their conference anonymously.

In what has become a bit of an early August tradition, Athlon Sports spoke directly with from coaching staffs from the ACC, as they put it, "in order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2014".

Very few coaches will give an honest assessment of their own team, let alone another one on the schedule.

In reality, the coaches Athlon spoke with about Virginia Tech don't have opinions that different from the rest of Hokie Nation. What surprised me the most, no coach was critical of Virginia Tech's uncharacteristically underperforming return, coverage, and field goal units. Perhaps that's a nod of respect to Frank Beamer, one of the most well thought of coaches in the game.

It was transparent that Logan Thomas wasn't consistent, and consistent play from the quarterback is what could turn the offense around in a hurry.

"Logan Thomas was erratic."

"The key to greatness for any quarterback, collegiately and in the NFL, what you are looking for is consistency. The greats aren't running fast or electric all the time, but they are so consistent. Virginia Tech just hasn't had that at quarterback, though Logan's receivers didn't exactly help him all the time. They had a good bit of drops from what I understand."

"Thomas was not consistently performing at a level where he's dangerous all the time, and that's what they'll need from the new guy, whoever it is."

ACC coaches are skeptical of Virginia Tech's offense.

"I don't know what their identity is offensively, and I don't know that they do."

"I can't name a lot of guys on offense that really scare you."

French, Mason, and I have written at length that we don't fully know what a "Scot Loeffer" offense is, because last season was a bit of an anomaly. The lack of a running game, reliable vertical threat, and loss of Ryan Malleck before the season forced Loeffler to vary his scheme week to week, and rely heavily on Thomas to establish a ground game. Above all else, I think Loeffler wants to be balanced between the run and pass, and the output in the Miami game is the best example of that.

I was encouraged to see Carlis Parker at the top of the initial depth chart at split end. Parker is a speedy, tall, playmaker. Loeffler has proven capable of creating mismatches against defenses, but Tech needs playmakers on offense to take advantage of them. That was lacking last season. Parker grasping the nuances of receiver and pushing his way up the depth chart is a sign the offense is coming along. Tech needs its young skill guys to step up.

Finally, it appears that coaches throughout the ACC subscribe to the "In Foster We Trust" ideology.

"They suffered losses in the defensive front, but the defense is terrific."

And let's poke our heads in and take a gander about what a coach thinks about Virginia.

"I dont see them being much better."

Agreed.

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Comments

This is honestly my favorite article posted every year. It's a chance for all coaches to speak candidly. Not to mention, you see the true opinions on some of those bottom dwelling teams

For whatever reason, consistency just eludes Mike London. I thought they had their moments when they played extremely well. However, finding a way to win and be consistent seems to be a challenge for them.

Hoo's struck out back to back with coaches, both have been great recruitors but terrible coaches. Lucky for us because if they could do something with all that talent we might have lost the cup last few years with how bad we were playing!

Damn the Man! Save the Empire!

'01, Bravo Company, Hokies, Midshipmen, Lakers, Dodgers, Nationals, da Raiders.

Nah

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Fosterball

I wonder what would happen if we were playing a road game in Scott Stadium to end the season. In this scenario, not only is the Commonwealth Cup on the line, but a trip to the ACC title game on the line too.

Man..I wonder...

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

That was the case in 07.

Correy

2011 as well.

I think it would've been better if they were terrible recruiters and terrible coaches, then maybe we could have brought some of that talent to Blacksbug.

I'm man enough to admit that the Marines are in fact a department of the Navy...The Men's department. Shout out to all our men and women in uniform putting their lives on the line to protect this great country.

Some people spend their lifetime wondering if they made a difference, Marines don't have that problem

My job in the Navy was to get inside the mind of Soviet submarine captains and prevent them from sinking Gator freighters before they got to the beach. Try that with your M4.

My secondary job was captain of two MG crews in the gulf. My key ring is an M60 spent casing w/disintegrating link that I fired there.
Careful with that men's room comment, it's properly referred as a Head.

Thanks for your service, brother man.

Your sigline is correct, I also don't worry.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

You guys, with that back and forth, take me back to my days at Quantico...
managing the Dominos Pizza place there.
Legs to you both for your service, rivals on the same team, covering our lame 6's, far out of harms way back home.

A picture is worth a thousand words. A gif is worth a million.

Well coach, you keep prepping those small boys into big ones.
Without big boys we'd never be able to make Marines.
Then our 6 would really be a mess.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Well london could probably start by learning how to use timeouts.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

When you are in the midst of watching that Foster Defense, timeouts are the last thing on your mind. He was probably just busy taking it all in or wondering "Are they allowed to tackle with their arms? Should I throw my challenge flag at that incomplete pass?"

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"
-Bender

http://media0.giphy.com/media/6bTT8y6cyL4SQ/200_s.gif

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

One of the great comedic moments in cinematic history.

I hate it when people won't own up to what they state publicly. Guess they don't want fuel to the fire if they play us this year.

Damn the Man! Save the Empire!

'01, Bravo Company, Hokies, Midshipmen, Lakers, Dodgers, Nationals, da Raiders.

Coaches are in a fraternity. Get me a quote of when Beamer was ever critical of another team's coaches or players and I'll switch turkey leg counts with you.

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

Bingo. You never know when you mind need a reference or even a job!
These guys tip toe on eggshells when talking about other teams and coaches. That's why Logan was sort of open game...he's no longer there. Hard to speak bad about a guy that could come out and beat you in a few months. No reason for poster board material.

I'm a man! I'm 41!
Hokie thru and thru.

Get me a quote of when Beamer was ever critical of another team's coaches or players and I'll switch turkey leg counts with you.

Didn't take a shot at PJ a few years ago for encouraging chop blocking?

Twitter me

Come to think of it didn't he also criticize "coach" London's recruiting tactics in his latest book?

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Fosterball

That was Gray in his first year of coaching at Tech wasn't it. Then Beamer stuck up for his AC.

i searched.... i could not find him say 1 not 1 bad thing about anyone lol dabo he is not.

have another leg.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

Is it just me, or do most of the coaches in the front row look like noobs?

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Fosterball

I only noticed the guy on the far right as one nobody would know or recognize

NC State's coach looks like a noob in that bowling shirt.

1999 called. They want their shirt back.

That's the first time I've ever seen a Texan beat himself to the draw.

Maybe he should shop at the new wahoo emporium.

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Fosterball

London looks like he has no idea where he is. And Johnson looks like he is trying to stifle a fart.

#SamRogers4Heisman

Dabo seems to be enjoying himself as usual

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

You would too if your 2015 recruiting class was already in the top 5.

VTCC '86 Delta Derelicts, Hokie in Peru

Yup:
...the school announced that it had agreed to a new eight-year deal with its football coach, which will keep Swinney at Clemson through the 2021 season...that Swinney will be paid $27.15 million over the course of the deal, which would average out to roughly $3.4 million per season.

I'm a man! I'm 41!
Hokie thru and thru.

Dabo is cashing in on the work his assistants are doing. He is NOT worth 2 mil let along 3.

Even an erratic Logan Thomas finished his college career undefeated against UVA. Thats not bad at all.

And GT (never turning the ball over to them)

It's all about The VPISU
VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Also go Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

For a full list of recent QBs to go undefeated against UVA, I refer you and everyone else here to my signature.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Their young defensive end, a South Florida kid (Dadi Nicolas), hes a playmaker. Hes a handful to handle. He didnt start but played a lot. Really talented.

That statement was not anonymous, Pittsburgh Coach, Paul Chryst, must have said it after what Dadi did to his QB.

I cant name a lot of guys on offense that really scare you.

For me, this was the biggest issue with the offense last year and why I probably have higher expectations for the unit moving forward than many other fans. Even if Loeffler had every intention of installing a coherent offensive identity (and I believe he did) it probably wouldn't have been successful because the team just didn't have enough talent or experience to win one on one matchups.

There is no doubt in my mind that the offensive talent being brought to Blacksburg nowadays is greater than it was the previous 2-3 years. Once Loeffler has guys in place who can out execute defenders even when defenders know what they are trying to do, Loeffler won't have to try and surprise the defensive coordinator every week.

Now I'm not saying Loeffler gets a complete pass for last seasons showing. I'm just saying that I expect improvement.

I thought I read:

"Once Loeffler has guys in place who can execute defenders"

And that immediately took me to:

"Good answer. Good answer. I like the way you think. Im gonna be watching you."
kinneson

A picture is worth a thousand words. A gif is worth a million.

This needs to be up in locker rooms for the offense...and then have this attitude
http://i.imgur.com/BrSdZmh.gif

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

I give Loeffler a pass for last year, cause I cannot think of ANY coach who would have made last year's offensive unit look good. Not a single one. The OL situation was in complete shambles with zero depth and a starting unit made almost completely of converts from other positions. The WR situation was a mess with all of our senior level talent gone, and, while there was some talent there, it was all extremely young. Our RB situation was also thin, which was made even worse with a OL unit that couldn't block (nor had ever been properly taught how to do so). And then there was our QB, who had developed some of the funkiest fundamentals through the previous regime causing him to be one of the most erratic QBs we've ever had, but we had to play him cause there wasn't anyone who would play better on the team.

So yea, I give him a pass for last year. You can only do so much with a wasteland. Thankfully, we're seeing a very dramatic and sharp increase in talent offensively, so while coaches might not be able to name playmakers now, they will by the end of the year. As far as I'm concerned, we're now playing with Loeffler's guys, so the evaluation has begun.

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

He'll sleep better knowing he has a "pass".

Hindsight is 20/20...

But I wish he had done some things differently. Like insisting Edmunds received more carries.Edmunds was very productive towards the end of the season when given an opportunity but lost carries to other backs and Thomas. In terms of tactics I wish Loeffler had run more traditional zone-blocking, either from shotgun or from under center. Too much of a focus on a spread QB run attack at times, especially when that package didn't appear to be fully fleshed out with a complete complement of counters installed to attack over zealous defenses.

Again, its easy to say that now. But I don't think you can have an offense as ineffective as ours was at times last year and give the man in charge a complete pass.

I don't give him a full pass, but I give him some buffer against criticism because of many of the points Alum07 raised. There were a lot of moving parts last year, and with the roster in the shape that it was, it was going to be hard for any OC (and other coaches) to put together something truly coherent. I think the progress we see from last year to this year will be more indicative of what we should expect.

not to be a downer here but coming of a season in which he was horrible in auburn and i mean just horrible and then coming out and pretty much laying another egg for the 2nd year in a row at VT how many passes should a guy get?? im a supporter of him and the new O but i need to see a MAJOR change this year or we mide as well have o'cianspring back there pushing "ask corso" again on NCAA 2012.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

he was a bad hire at Auburn, they didn't have the personnel to run his type of offense.. that's not really all on Lefty either.. but I agree, if there isn't improvement this year, how much more time will he be allowed?

^ This. At Auburn, it was like, "Hey Scot, here's a ton of players who were recruited to play spread. Please suddenly make them great at a pro-style offense." Not gonna happen. At VT, it was like, "Hey Scot, here's a bunch of athletes that should be able to play a bunch of positions. Teach them to do something coherent."

Loeffler had good success at instilling a power running game at Temple. I know, not a powerhouse and not in a strong league, but given players who can play in his system, we will see results. I too expect to see improvement this year. His grace period, in my mind, was last year. He duct-taped that offense together. Now he's got more experienced guys and people recruited with a plan in mind. Now it's go time.

Agreed. The one positive the Scott Loeffler has on his resume is the line that says "Is Not Bryan Stinespring."

I've always thought that Loeffler and Grimes were a package deal. Then the best part of the package left after a year.

All of the "No other OC could have succeeded at VT" line is thrown around a lot. Obviously, we don't know that. But it may be true, thinking back at all of the Friedgen/Bible options we discussed before hiring Loeffler. Maybe there just aren't a lot of good OC's out there.

I get the zone-blocking but didn't most of those shotgun snaps go for 1-2 yds max? I got tired of those.

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Fosterball

Inside and outside zone from shotgun wasn't called nearly enough for the final quarter of the season. Edmunds and the offensive line really had a good thing going there when it was called. Just look at the roll Edmunds was on against UVA.

Having that going would have really complemented the Thomas-read plays as well.

My interpretation is that Loeffler's priority last year was to showcase LT and get him as pro-ready as possible before his eligibility ran out. This might be why there was more LT focus than perhaps some of us would have liked. I'm not suggesting he wasn't coordinating/scheming to win, simply that he had a specific job to do and that outside of LT it was all unknown variables on the offense. Loeffler often insinuated some of guys he had to work with weren't the kind of talents he'd recruit and we've seen the attrition to support this. Frank himself stated early on to the media (before the season even started) that Loefler's priorities were to 1) make Logan a better QB and 2) begin the rebuilding/reconditioning process on the offensive side of the ball.

Edit: also maybe why (as you suggested) you didn't see offensive schemes/packages fully fleshed out with a full compliment of counter, etc...

also once Malleck got hurt in practice he had to scrap his whole game plan right before the season. Injuries played a part last year as well. IMO he's got this year and next and if things don't start swinging our way again then maybe we should start talking about who's next.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

The one thing that always baffled and killed me is when they had JC run in between the tackles back to back plays just to get 1 or 2 yards when you had Trey or just bigger backs that could get you those tough yards easier. Running JC back to back made absolutely no sense.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

There was definitely a disconnect between Shane and Lefty. I think if Shane told Lefty who was coming in, he would have called more appropriate RB plays.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Something that wasn't given enough attention was Edmunds' hip injury. That slowed him down for a good month and a half. I see a lot of posts about wanting Edmunds to have gotten more carries because he "really turned it on" / "was very productive" / "seemed to come into his own" etc. towards the end of the season. The reason wasn't because of a drastic shift in Lefty's scheme, it was because the kid was actually healthy.

I think Lefty absolutely deserves a complete pass. You walk into that dumpster fire, with no deep threat, no healthy running backs, a QB with mechanics issues (and decision-making, although that was much-improved for the most part in 2013), and you lose your 2nd-biggest playmaker two weeks before the season starts. I would love to see an OC who would be successful in that situation. I doubt even Chad Morris could have done much better.

agreed!

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

A buffer against the carries thing is how many times did LT decide to keep on the option when he should have handed the ball off. It seemed like the middle of the season he kept the ball 90% of the time.

Youre right. Loeffler is now on the clock. He has plenty of offensive tools at his disposal.

Meanwhile TIMECOP has plenty of TOOLS at his disposal.

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Fosterball

First, as I type this, you're sitting on 4000 legs. Congrats.

Next, I think a lot of the inability to name a playmaker was due to the erratic offensive planning. Teams that set out to do the same thing every week and make you adjust to what THEY do - like Foster's defense - have much more identifiable playmakers.

Man, I hope we don't half-speed Bill and Mary this season...

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

I think a lot of the inability to name a playmaker was due to the erratic offensive planning

Or maybe it was that we didn't have any playmakers. When Knowles is getting beat out by FCS corners on deep balls, it's hard to put blame at the OC's feet for playcalling. The guys that could've made big plays (Trey, Malleck, Coles) last year weren't fully (or any) healthy and the healthy guys we had just weren't up to the task, until Stanford really started to come on at the end of last year.

Don't forget Byrn and his deliveries.

Also, I had forgotten about Trey's hip injury until someone mentioned above. I was mainly thinking about him.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Does it look like Cutcliffe has lost some weight? Duke better hope not. We know what happens when head coaches lose the gut.

I dont see UVA being much better,
Right on, coach!

dabo

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

I'm sorry but I absolutely cannot upleg a gif of Dabo Sweeney unless it's one of him upset.

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Fosterball

on a semi related note. Does anyone else think Dabo looks like Kip from Futurama?
kipdabo

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

on a semi related note. Does anyone else think Dabo looks like Kip from Futurama?

.

@VTimHokie85

CRAP! total typo! The joke is dead... all is lost!!!!!

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

I love this gif so much. It looks like the tiger said some snarky ass, Hatin' Ass Spurrier comment to Dabo, who proceeds to stare him down for a long time before snapping back to reality when I assume he realizes everyone is wondering what he's doing.

I know he is a coach of another ACC school; who personally ripped VT's hearts out TWICE in an otherwise great season, but Dabo is a funny guy. Anyone who can go media-jab-for-media-jab with Spurrier has some stones.

And this gif is great. It looks like he just discovered the tiger was there. Fantastic.

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

Dabo be like

I'm a man! I'm 41!
Hokie thru and thru.

This was actually TimeCop's assessment of LOLUVA

I don't see UVA being much better

--An Anonymous Mike London.

Ye Olde Treadmill Horse beat again.

And let's poke our heads in and take a gander about what a coach thinks about Virginia.

"I dont see them being much better."

...more syllables than fans at a UVA spring game.

 photo sexual-chocolate-out-o.gif

"I don't know what their identity is offensively, and I don't know that they do."

All part of the master plan - that way opposing coaches can't game plan for us!

Hey, it's a better strategy than the Stiney master plan of everyone knowing what's coming next.

Is it?

Yeah

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Fosterball

Maybe it was Stiney that made that comment...

Comment removed, as someone previously beat me to the proverbial punch.

This thread has made me feel lots of feelings. I feel a French diatribe coming on.

Viva El Guapo

Do it! Do it! Do it!

No seriously,

do it

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"If you watch TV news you know less about the world than if you just drank gin straight from the bottle."
-Garrison Keillor

This. I now have less hair than I did before reading some comments here.

Why does Mike London look like he didnt want to be there and his mind was somewhere else?

That's just the look of a coach who won ZERO games in the ACC last season.

@AMB4VT

this is me giving you an interwebs girl power high five for the A+ comment.

He was just trying to take everything in at his last ACC Kickoff weekend.

They were missing one for the photo, then realized it was him. Last minute wake up for the pic.

I'm a man! I'm 41!
Hokie thru and thru.

He's already thinking about future job options.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

He's still trying to figure out if he should call a timeout or not.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

Didn't anyone else notice Paul Johnsons comment on tech. Its clearer than the light of day. I

'll give you a hint its a rant about how awesome kyle fuller is at shutting down his entire offense and the option in general

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

More vids posted by TSL. I'm sure Andy will post some later, but this is already up and I like seeing the full interviews. All lot of talk ITT about identity. Lefty touches on that later in the interview. Says there is a plan this year and the players really like it.

What we want to be like, at the end of the day, is what you guys saw at Miami.

I liked that game!

Twitter me

Smiled the entire game....that hardly EVER happens.

@AMB4VT

What he says from about 11 minutes in onward I think sums up just about any questions as to why last year's offense wasn't as good as we might've wanted it to be.

Agree.
They did a terrific job duct-taping an offense together last year.
I just hope that they have the benefit of having the players that they want able to do what they ask so that we can see what Loeffler's vision is.

That's what I wanted to point out from the interview, and my take away as well. I keep reminding myself he has only coached ONE season. We all agreed when changes were made after '12 change wasn't going to happen over night. It would take several seasons to recruit the players they wanted and implement their system. I'm very happy with the progress so far, but we still need to give them 2 more seasons before we can really quantify the progress we've had.

Wait...

You left one of the comments out of the post -

All the other ACC coaches -

One of the most awesome things about Virginia Tech is that keyplay.com thing they've got going. Sure wish our fans were that knowledgeable and devoted.

self pat on back

"Hokie religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid." Han Solo

The art of being able to put your hands underneath center bahaha yes I'm 12. Also the blank stare/nodding when asked about how quick Brew is picking it up just shows me that SL is going to go with Brewer 100%. Also the next question and SL doesn't even let him finish it and goes mhmm yes sir!

I am excited!!!!!

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

And everyone with Buckymania better realize real quick that we are going to see a ton of Malleck (stick routes) and Cline (vertical) unless Bucky destroys everyone in camp.... The rest of my thoughts in my next piece #TEASE

Viva El Guapo

What do you mean unless

http://www.picgifs.com/reaction-gifs/reaction-gifs/confused/confused011.gif

Anyone who's 80 feet tall and can bench bress 3,000 oxen is predestined to destroy everyone and everything at all times.

http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/its-science-anchorman.gif

"Does it get any better than Thursday Night in Blacksburg?" - Reece Davis
"People who like to brag about how smart they are, are never as smart as they claim." - Colin Cowherd

Look forward to your piece. I don't Bucky to be high in receptions. I fully expect Bucky to be high in TDs/reception. I think he'll be an X-factor in the red zone. (Similar, but hopefully better, than the role DJ Coles played last year.)

Our jumbo package will be sick.

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

That's what she said

Can't WAIT!

Haha I can't see them being much better!

Touchdown Tech - Bill Roth