DAVID WANG GIF -- ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED +100G

Most of the staff are video game geeks (except maybe BCO and French, they might predate modern gaming), so we were pretty impressed by David Wang's Call of Duty skills. I personally played Modern Warfare 2 with a bunch of other bloggers and struggled most of the way. Anyways, as soon as I saw the following, I alerted Box who concluded a GIF was necessary.

He never disappoints.

Preseason Practice: Media Day and Pads

Tech football held a two-for Saturday, media day followed by the summer's first practice in full pads. Before the Hokies hit the field, the Frankinator addressed the media. By my account, the bullet points were:

  • Regarding backup quarterback Mark Leal, "We got a lot of confidence in that guy."
  • "Our offense works against our defense a lot here in preseason."
  • "Our biggest thing at tailback is figuring out which three, or which four we're going to work with. And get them the reps." At this point, Holmes is the frontrunner.
  • On the possibility of Trey Edmunds moving back to defense, "He's got all he can handle right now, trying to learn tailback."
  • Deon Clarke doing a good job at linebacker.
  • Regarding the significance of Tariq Edwards' injury, "That's a concern. With Tariq you got some good players, good depth at linebacker, without Tariq you're just a little bit short."
  • "Toughness about Logan, it's going to be there. Play smart, but don't change the way a guy plays."

This picture is always my favorite (via HokieSports.com).

White Effect Helmets

These are the helmets that will be worn against Austin Peay on September 8, 2012.

The picture via @vt_football, BeamerBall.com, and @chriskidd42.

I bet I know what McKayla thinks, but how do you guys feel about them?

Preseason Practice: Notes on Notes

The Million Dollar Man Corey Marshall worked with the first team at defensive end, and Zack McCray, "got a lot of reps at tackle during the team period (offensive vs. defense) next to Kris Harley on the second-team unit." French predicted less snaps for J.R. Collins this season, Marshall working with the ones would seem to corroborate that a bit. Because of how deep and versatile the d-line is, we should probably use the phrase, "on the field first," instead of, "starter." There will be a lot of rotation during games, and a lot of personel groupings tailored to the week's opponent.

Of his freshman receivers, Caleb and Stanford, LT3 said they're, "raw ... but they have a chance to be great." Caleb might be a little behind Stanford at this point.

French on the Bench: Defensive Prognosis

Unlike the Hokie offense, the identity of the defense is clear. Attack, control gaps, funnel the ball carrier to where you want him to go, get after the quarterback, and use that pressure and disguised robber coverage to turn the ball over. With 9 returning starters and numerous experienced backups back, Tech fans anticipate that the Virginia Tech defense in 2012 could be one of the best on record. Will the Hokies have a dominant defense? Let's examine how we can expect the Hokies to perform this season.

Defensive Line

The strength of the Hokie defense coming into fall camp is the defensive line. The Hokies return 7 experienced players, except for Zack McCray, all have had some starting experience. James Gayle, JR Collins, Derrick and Antoine Hopkins, and Luther Maddy have all proven themselves as dependable starters. Backup Corey Marshall demonstrated explosive pass rush ability on the inside, while Tyrel Wilson and Zack McCray both stayed in regular rotation with more reps down the stretch of the regular season.

Preseason Practice: Camp Opens

The players practiced in helmets and shorts, so no pads were popping, but there are some things to note. First however, everyone smile for football!

D.J. Coles and Tariq Edwards moved around, "gingerly," and didn't practice much.

"I'm concerned," Beamer said. "When you come out here and you're not able to work full tilt … we've got three weeks here and we'll see where we are. I know Mike Goforth has a plan on how much work they should do and so forth. But they're two quality players who can't do things full tilt right now."

Edwards said his leg is better than expected, however he'd ballpark his health at 85%. Foster was, "discouraged today by his inability to run." Andy Bitter noted, "The pain is no longer in his shin but rather his knee. It's most evident when he makes cuts."

French on the Bench: Pass Coverage Basics

The start of fall practice marks the beginning of the 2012 season. One thing starts, another ends. Today's post on pass coverage completes my overview of Foster's defensive system.

First let's cover some basic, but unique terminology:

Whip It

Whip backer is arguably the most important position of Bud Foster's defense. More often than not, the defensive scheme tries to push ball carrier to the Whip, the free-hitter setup to make the play. Whip also has responsibilities in pass coverage. The position requires a player who can tackle in the open field, is athletic enough to drop back in coverage, and above all else is football smart—a kid Foster can trust. Finding a do-it-all player is no easy task, so it's no surprise Tech has struggled since 2010 to replace Cody Grimm. So far, corner back Kyle Fuller has been the best option at Whip over Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, Alonzo Tweedy, and the recently departed Nick Dew. Fuller's already said he's going to bump down from corner to Whip against Georgia Tech. Going forward, the Hokies need a more permanent solution, and they need Fuller manning down a new-look secondary.

Last Call For Hokie Tracks

This is the last edition of Hokie Tracks for the foreseeable future. Players report Monday, practice begins Tuesday. There will be actual football things to cover (yay!), and more substantive posts focussed on the upcoming season. I liked talking about non-Tech football things during the offseason, I think some of you might have too, if you're one of those people and a story, picture, whatever, catches your eye, share a link to it in the forum to get a discussion going.

This might be an actual copy of the Frankinator's to-do as two of the first three items involve special teams. What stood out to me was Beamer's praise of sophomore Ryan Malleck.

"I think Malleck is the (most complete) guy right now," Beamer said. "Martin has certainly got some toughness to him. Dunn could become that. He could certainly become a threat as a receiver. Now, if he improves his blocking, he could get there. (Duan) Perez-Means and Redman, they've got some opportunities there, too. I think Malleck is kind of the one that's the most complete right now."

French on the Bench: Bud Foster's Gap Defense Part III

French on The Bench continues. Today, a look at some of the pass rush and blitz packages utilized in Bud Foster's Gap Defense

As discussed in "A Look Back at the Hokie Wide Tackle Six Defense" , Virginia Tech rose to defensive dominance running an 8-man front which allowed the Hokies to blitz from multiple angles. A trademark of those pre-2004 defenses was a speedy defensive end lined up significantly wide, outside the shoulder of the last man on the line of scrimmage (tackle or tight end), at a 45 degree angle pointed towards the quarterback. The whip or rover lined up inside to protect the gap. This look allowed the Hokies to use all the linebackers as blitzers, yet they could get significant pressure from the speed rush of elite ends, like Cornell Brown and Corey Moore, while dropping back linebackers. The result was never-ending tackles in the backfield, sacks, and when things were not going so well, forced deep passes.

Perhaps nothing exhibits this attacking 8-man front better than Corey Moore's legendary "Welcome to the Terror-Dome" performance against Clemson.

1:36–1:47

Pages