Examining Mook Reynolds' Role as Virginia Tech's Nickelback

Reynolds' versatility and Bud Foster's creativity has allowed the Hokies to matchup better with opposing offenses.

[Mark Umansky]

When Bud Foster announced Mook Reynolds would be Virginia Tech's starting nickel defensive back, and the nickelback would be on the field the majority of defensive snaps, I was instantly intrigued. We all know the whip's role has diminished, due in no small part to the proliferation of spread offenses, but I was somewhat surprised to see the nickel become part of his base defense.

It's obvious what the benefits of the nickel are against the pass, but I wanted to see how Foster would be able to compensate for a smaller player when defending against the run. With games against Tennessee and Boston College during weeks two and three, respectively, Foster had an early opportunity to see if his new starting nickel, Mook Reynolds, would be able to hold up against power running attacks. Virginia Tech ranks No. 2 nationally in total defense, No. 1 against the pass, and No. 15 in ESPN defensive efficiency. Early returns indicate Foster has successfully schemed a way to hide a third corner against the run, and maximize Reynolds' coverage skills against the pass.

Nickel Alignment

One of Foster's strengths as a defensive coordinator is his ability to make a scheme easy for his players to understand while making it look complex to opposing offenses. Foster knows that high tempo teams prey on defenses that are too complicated. His scheme has some basic rules for every position on the field which allows his players to line up quickly and communicate efficiently. The nickel is a replacement for the whip, therefore Reynolds is aligned to the wide side of the field. The field corner will align across from the outermost eligible receiver and Reynolds will align across from the inside "slot" receiver. When teams line up with a tight end to the field instead of a slot receiver, Reynolds will move closer to the edge of the line of scrimmage and look to provide run support.

These alignment rules have stayed true through every snap of the first three games. There are times when Foster will have Reynolds blitz off of the edge. When that happens, he will align himself normally and then creep in towards the line of scrimmage as the offense prepares to snap.

Mook Reynolds Against The Run

Foster has had to change his defensive scheme many times over the years to keep up with evolving offensive trends, and the move towards a full time nickel is another example of this evolution. While Foster's schemes may change on a season-by-season basis, his strategic goals remain the same. Foster wants to make offenses one-dimensional and predictable. He attempts to do this by taking away their run game. After he has placed teams in passing situations, he wants to find ways the to pressure the quarterback while also using a diverse coverage package to try and confuse a quarterback into making a mistake. This strategy has allowed Foster to field defenses which generate large numbers of sacks and turnovers.

Foster's golden rule is to stop the run. Any tactic he devises has to start with that premise and then he'll build everything else on that foundation. Staying true to this rule, Foster devised a sound scheme to hide the smaller Reynolds (6-0, 183) against runs in some instances, while also maximizing Reynolds' skill set (speed and aggressiveness) in others.

One way Foster has schemed around the nickel is to ask his safeties to become more involved in the box against the run. Foster can rely on Reynolds' strong coverage skills to cover for aggressive safeties, who in turn can use their greater size and strength to cover for Mook. The play below is a perfect example.

Reynolds is aligned in his normal position — to the field and across from the slot receiver. From this alignment Foster can play games with his defensive front while still maintaining sound coverage principles. On this play, Tech's in its Bear front. Notice the alignment of the safeties and the speed with which they commit to the run. Both safeties are within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and both attack downhill almost immediately at the snap. Mook's ability to match up with receivers one-on-one gives Foster the confidence to not give him safety support over the top. You can almost think of Mook as a de facto safety. If this play were a designed pass, one of those safeties would likely have man coverage responsibilities on the H-Back aligned to the field and the other would run a robber coverage to take away intermediate middle of the field routes.

There are times when Foster can't rely on safeties to do all of the heavy lifting against the run though. In order to keep his alignments simple for his players, he has to be willing to ask Mook to attack the run against certain formations. Reynolds has had success in these situations this year, due to his quickness, his agility, and above all his aggressiveness.

Here we see how Foster responds to an offense that doesn't put a slot receiver to the wide side of the field. Rather than move Reynolds over to the boundary, Foster stays true to his simple alignment rules and has Reynolds sink closer to the line of scrimmage. Mook is then asked to attack the run as soon as he reads it. Reynolds gets up the field and relies on his athleticism to evade, rather than strength to bully, the blocker. Mook forces the H-Back to grab him, drawing a holding flag that would have backed the offense up if not for Chuck Clark's forced fumble.

The play above is another instance of Reynolds being able to get around blockers in space and causing havoc in an opponent's backfield. Boston College OC Scot Loeffler overloads his formation with blockers to the field and Foster sends Mook on a kamikaze run blitz directly into the teeth of the run. Mook uses his quickness to get up the field before the pulling tackle gets a chance to seal the edge, leading to a tackle for loss.

Reynolds On The Perimeter

Modern college offenses rely on wide receiver screens and jet sweeps to complement their interior rushing attack by stretching defenses horizontally. Reynolds will be required to be strong on the perimeter as offensive coordinators try to exploit the presence of Foster's safeties in the box. Foster has to be happy that Reynolds has looked like a stud when asked to recognize, react, and defeat opponents' screens.

Foster has a simple strategy for defending wide receiver screens and sweeps to the field, use Reynolds to set the edge and funnel the play back towards his teammates' inside-out pursuit. As discussed before, Mook will already be aligned across from the slot receiver on a screen play. His responsibility is to recognize a screen, and attack the outside shoulder of the slot receiver trying to block him. This will force the runner up the field, into the backside pursuit of a safety. The likelihood of success is determined by how quickly and confidently Mook attacks the blocker.

Before the camera zooms in, we see Mook aligned over the slot receiver with Chuck Clark as the safety aligned to the field. A receiver motions from the boundary towards the field at the start of the play and receives a screen pass. You can see Mook get upfield quickly to set the edge and force the runner to cut into the alley. This allowed Clark to attack straight downhill. Mook does his job perfectly here, he doesn't try to do too much and make a selfish play. He stays in his lane, takes on the blocker, and relies on his teammate to be in position.

The same principles hold for an outside sweep as they do for a screen. Mook is still responsible for attacking the outside shoulder of the slot receiver, getting up field and forcing the play back towards the middle.

This is one of my favorite plays because it illustrates how unselfishly Foster's defenses play. Mook has his eyes in the backfield when Tennessee runs an inverted veer play. The back gets the handoff and starts running a sweep to the outside. Mook recognizes it, and instead of attacking the ball carrier and risking losing contain if he gets blocked, he turns and runs to get in position to set up his teammate. He knows that by bailing towards the sideline and engaging the blocker he's likely giving up a chance at a tackle, but he is trusting his teammates to fill the alley and make the stop. Ultimately the play results in a decent gain for the offense, but Reynolds' play helped prevent it from popping outside and going for more.

Foster isn't content to see Reynolds lazily engage blockers though. Foster wants him to react quickly and decisively enough to make big plays on the perimeter.

Above, Reynolds reacts to the screen in time to take a calculated risk that pays big dividends for Foster's defense. Mook cuts inside of the slot receiver's block on this play, breaking one of Foster's leverage rules. In the end, the confidence that Reynolds has in his ability to make plays results in a negative play for the offense.

Tennessee OC Mike DeBord had to have been confident that this play was going for a first down when he saw the Hokies' alignment. The safeties aren't in position to prevent the running back from catching the screen and getting up field, and the linebackers can't be expected to win the footrace to the edge against a faster athlete. Mook follows Foster's simple rules. He reads the screen play and gets upfield as quick as possible, all while attacking the outside shoulder of the blocker. Reynold's quickness and aggressiveness overwhelms the slot receiver and Mook ends up blowing up the play and preventing the conversion.

When Foster divulged the nickel/Reynolds would replace the whip in his base look, the were questions regarding the defense's ability to be stout against power rushing teams. Thus far, those concerns proved to be unfounded, and this could end up being one of the better rush defenses Foster fields in a while. Mook Reynolds' coverage skills allow Foster to get Chuck Clark and Terrell Edmunds involved in run plays, and Mook's eagerness to attack ball carriers on the perimeter reminds me of a young Kyle Fuller. Mook may not have the open field tackling skills that Fuller had (who does?), but his willingness to attack creates opportunities for big plays in the run game.

Mook Reynolds In Coverage

Now that I've gone over how Foster defends the run with a nickel on the field, this is why he bothered drawing up those plans in the first place. In my opinion, Virginia Tech has the most dynamic defensive backfield in the ACC. Having five defensive backs on the field who are all willing to attack ball carriers, and who are all capable of covering a team's best receiver, gives Bud Foster unprecedented amounts of flexibility. Foster then leverages that flexibility to keep opposing quarterbacks off balance by mixing in a wide variety of coverages and blitzes on passing downs.

I previously mentioned that Foster uses his safeties to provide run support in the box. This clip shows how Mook's coverage skills gives Foster the confidence to do so.

The play starts with both safeties within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and both primed to attack the run. Tennessee gives a play-action fake, and both Clark and Edmunds follow their keys and get downhill. Once they recognize it's a pass, we see them bail out to provide help on any intermediate middle of the field routes.

Mook is responsible for playing off-man coverage on the slot receiver. If the slot receiver runs a quick route to the middle of the field it's up to the linebackers or safeties to break up the play. If the slot receiver runs a vertical route, Mook is responsible for shutting it down. He tracks the receiver down the field and stays tight on his man without giving the referees a reason to throw a flag. This is exactly how Foster drew it up. He has eight men in the box, single coverage on the outside, and the offense still can't get a decent look because of Mook's exceptional coverage skills.

Foster also has the luxury of keeping his safeties back in passing situations. This makes things almost impossible for opposing coordinators, who have to find a way to get receivers open against tight man coverage and ball-hawking safeties.

On the clips above, Loeffler keeps seven men into block (perhaps incorrectly guessing a blitz was coming), and has three route runners. Foster runs a man/zone hybrid coverage scheme. His corners play tight coverage on the outside and he has Mook playing off-man coverage. The interesting bit comes with Terrell Edmunds playing a deep zone to the boundary and Clark playing a robber coverage to the field. BC QB Patrick Towles avoids the bait and doesn't throw the underneath route to the field, or the go route to the boundary, instead taking his chances with a shot downfield. Foster has called the perfect play and the offense has no choice but to roll the dice on a low percentage completion opportunity. Mook once again is in perfect position to defend the pass without getting close to pass interference.

Mook has the coverage skills and the mindset of a true corner even if he is aligned in the slot. When playing off-man coverage from the slot, Mook isn't content to just prevent the big play down the field, he wants to break on throws in front of him and try to make a big play. This should be a high percentage throw that the offense completes time and time again, but once again, Mook's aggressiveness and speed makes things difficult for the offense. Having a defensive back in the slot who prevents big plays but doesn't concede any easy plays to the offense is what gives Foster's defense the potential to be special.

Is The Nickelwhip The Future?

The evolution towards spread offenses occurred because of the creative ways offensive coordinators found to exploit the physical disadvantages "alley" defenders had against slot receivers. If a defensive coordinator wanted to keep a third linebacker on the field, he had to find a way to cover up the quickness deficit on the edge. If he choose to put a fifth defensive back on the field, he had to find a way to cover up the lack of size and aggressiveness of that defensive back. In my opinion, the main reason teams score more nowadays is that defensive coordinators have largely failed to answer the tactical question. Defensive coordinators seem more and more willing to play bend-don't-break defenses that rely on offensive turnovers and red zone inefficiency, than on actually applying pressure.

Soft defense has never been Bud Foster's mindset. He wants his defense force turnovers, he wants his defense to score, he wants his defense to change the game. In order to do that, Foster needed to come up with a way to get an athlete on the field that can cover slot receivers while also being stout against the run on the perimeter. Mook Reynolds is that athlete. His coverage skills give Foster the confidence to drop his safeties into the box. His experience as a corner also allows Foster to draw up exotic coverages that are difficult for quarterbacks to diagnose and dissect on the fly. It's not just his coverage skills that make Mook perfect as Virginia Tech's nickel, his fearlessness when attacking ball carriers on the perimeter is also key.

Bud Foster has said that his defensive group has a lot of potential this season and I agree. How well Mook Reynolds performs out of the slot will determine just how great the Hokies' defense can be.

Comments

YAIS!! Mason lives! Go on and keep dropping knowledge bombs on us.

I read this entire article thinking it was French until I got to this comment.

Welcome back Mason!

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Great read

Excellent piece of work here. I appreciate the in depth analysis that also is presented in a clear and easy to read format.

Lets GO!!!!

Great article. How do you see Mook covering if another team uses a "Bucky-type" (large body TE/WR in the slot.) You mention Mook's size, and given the two options for safety coverage (with Mook's off-man) or one on one, I'm curious.

We use Bucky's size to stretch the field; if an opposing player has 4-5+ inches on Mook, stretching the field, that could be a problem.

I am confident in Mook's coverage abilities against most athletes. If Tech does face an athlete that Mook can't handle, it'll be up to Foster to decide how he wants handle it strategically.

Does Foster want to be more conservative? In that case I'd suspect we'd see press coverage with Mook in the slot and give him safety help over the top.

Does Foster want to stay aggressive and stop the run? In that case I'd suspect we'd see more off coverage, with Safeties focused on stopping the run and providing underneath zone coverage so Mook can give ground and not get beat over the top.

Stop the run first, by playing a nickel defense?!

Whaaaat?

My mind is blown.
Great piece.

Subtitle: (This Is) How You Remind Me (of All Those Other Great DBs)

Are we the only Defense utilizing this "nickle/whip" hybrid?

More teams are doing the 4-2-5 these days, so no we're not. That being said we might be the best at it though

Saturday will be a good test on a high power offense

Great analysis. Seems to have great instincts for the ball. His coverage is cool too
the way he gets in front of the receiver.

Almost Cody Grimm type instincts. Bud is using Mook in a lot of the same ways except Mook is a lot longer. Those defenses were so good because Grimm allowed Bud to do most of the things mentioned in this piece. Tech has always been at its best on D when it gets production from that spot. That's why we hear Bud talking about "going back" to what he used to do coverage wise.

You can tell he's enjoying his job more than ever right now and keeps mentioning these guys are still green. Gotta love it. Thanks Mason

Grimm was interesting how he had those great instincts for the ball.
Great skill as a ball player. It's interesting how someone like him can
be a difference maker.

Foster met with Gary Patterson in the offseason. IIRC, TCU plays an 8 man gap defense out of a 4-2-5 look. For some reason, I don't think the DB's flip-flop to the field/boundary either.

I'm not saying Reynolds' role is textbook TCU, but I'd be surprised if Foster and Patterson didn't have some valuable takeaways from each other.

Finally, in the clips labeled 14 and 15, notice how many players in coverage have their eyes toward the LOS, something Foster referenced several times in the offseason.

There was a great write-up last year on TCU's defense. I can't remember where I read it, but it broke down a lot of what they do in their secondary. The most interesting to me was how their safeties make calls on each half of the field. They make calls independent of one another on how to defend their side of the field. In Mason's breakdown, he points out the unique coverage of Terrell in a deep zone to the boundary and Clark in robber to the field. I wonder if that will become one of Foster's takeaways from his visit.

I didn't know about the SB Nation article, but I was thinking it was Grantland on TCU's defense written by the guy who runs the Smart Football website.
So I guess there are multiple places looking at Gary Patterson's defense.

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

Glad to see you're still writing Mason! I'm sure you've been busy but these articles are super appreciated!

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

This is the exact type of article that makes this site the best.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Moooooooooooook!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Can we just dispense with the pleasantries and start calling it the ass-kicker position?

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Yay Mason is back!

Mook Reynolds is making this defense work right now. He's playing better than we have had a defender play in a long time. Like Cody Grimm, all over the field.

I take Mook Reynolds over Cody Grimm 10/10 times.

Maybe by the end of his career, but you don't take Mook today over a senior Cody Grimm. It's easy to forget that Cody was an All-American.

Mook is much more versatile and in coverage he is already light years ahead of Cody on his (Cody's) best day. People remember the highlight plays and the nine forced fumbles or whatever, but Mook is the whole package.

I disagree that Mook is light years ahead of Cody. Cody could cover, support the run and blitz. I believe that is the whole package. He did it for a full season while Mook has done it for 3 games. Give me a Senior Cody Grimm all day every day.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

He was not good in coverage.

yet he started for a NFL franchise as a safety? I'd pump the brakes on saying mook is even in cody's caliber at this point.

I love Cody Grimm, but he started because the guy in front of him got suspended for the season and he only got to even play a few games before injuries took his career essentially. Also, depending on Tampa's scheme, covering the slot and playing safety can be quite different. It's not really an argument that he was inadequate in that whip/nickel coverage at VT.

edit: I want to clarify that all these comments stemmed from my comment that I'd pick Mook over CG 10/10 times, which is from a schematic perspective. I am not trying to belittle CG, I believe my assessment of his coverage is correct, but overall he was an incredible playmaker for our defense. But if I had to pick one to have for our defense today, I want Mook.

I understand what you are saying, but even making a 53 man roster as a safety is nearly impossible if you lack coverage skills as you are suggesting. He managed to play in 23 games over 3 seasons, so to me that says something about his ability and he may have started one season due to the player in front of him being suspended, but he also started the next year as well.

^^^^^what he said.

You can't be "not good in coverage" and be a starting safety for an NFL team. Period.

Let's put it this way. Mook is playing the Cody position better than anyone since.. Cody Himself.

kyle fuller says hi, even if it was for only a few games. Dadi's whip play against PITT was also amazing. Mook is playing at a very high level. Let's just appreciate that and hope it continues IMO.

This^^

I think it's simply amazing that we have had so many great players on the defensive side of the ball over the years, and he may or may not be better than some or all the others, but I think we are in good hands with Mook and the future will be bright.

Dadi didn't really play Whip though. He just blitzed 90% of the time

I love Mook but Cody was a monster. He may get there yet but it's a little premature to put a crown on him right now.

"I'll put a quote here to distract you from my inane comment."-Me

Somewhere there is a HokieSports video where Torrian Gray tells Mook, "I'm not saying you're a punk, Mook, but Cody was a bad, bad man."

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Foster the tactician probably likes Mook's skill set more than Cody's.
Foster the football coach probably likes Cody's production more than Mook's, right now.

Cody Grimm could have never covered people like Mook can. Mook can learn be the playmaker that Cody was.

Mook's nick should be The Grimm Fuller.

Can. Not. Wait... To see him unleashed on Paul Johnson.

This nickname is Beard approved

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

I'd take a dude who lacked in coverage skills but picked off Carson Palmer and Drew Brees in back to back weeks in the NFL.

Mook dropped at least one INT last game if I remember right.

It is like picking between your kids. Can't they just both be appreciated?

The Dude Abides

Its been a few years now, you may not remember the plays Cody Grimm made. He was making plays that won us games on the way to ACC championships. He was one of the best. Mook Reynolds is playing very good right now and looks well on his way to being a star, but he has a long ways to go to accomplish what Grimm did.

ECU's O feasts on quick passes, slants, etc. A guy like Mook can disrupt that timing if he aggressively attacks the slot receiver. Could be the difference maker we need to slow down the ECU O.

Great article. Focusing on a single position really brings it all together. I hope the staff has time to do more of these at other positions as the season goes on. Even on more traditional positions to see how our new coaches and scheme is changing them, ideally for the better. GO HOKIES, BEAT ECU!

I would imagine having death backer Cody Grimm in Blacksburg has helped out Mook.

"Yeah, Cody (Grimm's) my guy. (He) had me watch his highlights a couple times. I look to Cody a lot, especially with my blitzes. I try to use my feet a lot, but I want to be able to destroy a block, get past the guy. Opened a lot of eyes with that. He's been teaching me a lot of techniques, a lot of skills I can use to help me take on running backs, tackles, guards, fullbacks, anybody. Cody (has) shown me little things. He had nine forced fumbles his senior or junior year. I'm just trusting the moves and everything he's teaching me."

"Death Backer" is probably the most badass term for a defensive position

#DBU

Death Backer University, where enemies enter and their souls taken.

Welcome to the Terror Dome.

Awesome write up Mason!

One additional point that the second video clip (vs BC jet sweep) displays perfectly is how the concept of spill and force makes the safeties job easier when the edge player executes it correctly. Mook has a spill call. How do I know? Watch the safety and mike linebacker; both immediately get wider than Mook. Mook comes up to the blocker squarely, and then (if you didn't know that the safety was waiting to the outside) he inexplicably bends his body inside. If he didn't know he had safety help, he would be losing contain. However, he has a spill call and wants to make the back go wide. The safety is predetermined to go wide. This is perfectly executed by Mook.

A big reason that the defense was so bad last year is that the edge players were too soft on force calls, or were very ineffective when asked to spill. They also busted assignments frequently, and too often when the assignments were correct, the alley player didn't tackle well. All of these elements look vastly improved, despite the occasional hick up versus Tennessee.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Last year, were the players asked to force the spills the DEs as we ran more traditional nickel players? It seemed like Dadi was constantly out of position leaving the alley player in no mans land.

Having a whip like player again, does that help Mihota/Ekanem out with their roles?

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

I don't think a whip "helps them out" as much as the DE's, linebackers, whips, and corners, wehn asked to be the edge player, help the alley players by being where they are supposed to be. Bud's defense is fluid. Yes, there are positions as we know them. There are also assignments and each defensive call features edge and alley defenders. This year, I have seen DE's, the backer, the whip, and the corners all playing a force or spill technique depending on call and formation.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Dadi consistently beat his man, and was consistently out of position to make plays. Here's how I imagined that happened.

1. Dadi got a lot of press, so
2. Every OL coach looked at a lot of Dadi film.
3. When OL go strength-on-strength with Dadi they look silly, but
4. Dadi's kryptonite is that he believes he can beat every OL on both sides at the SAME TIME -- he's so much better than you, he can attack your outside shoulder and still beat you inside. So
5. Every OL coach tells his OL, "Dadi is going to beat you. That's OK. Make sure he beats you to the wrong side."

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

Definitely right about the spill.

Chuck Clark on the forced fumble

"Everybody has a job to do. We had somebody on the inside so the ball had to bounce outside to me and I was just trying to make a play.

Excellent read, Mason! And thank you to Bill for the behind the scenes work of grabbing all the clips on such short notice.

If y'all have a Facebook account, would you mind sharing this. Word of mouth (via social) is a tremendous boost for TKP.

This get's a French Seal of Approval

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I imagine that looks something like this:

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

why would anyone put spoiled milk on a crest?

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I saw a cheeseless vegetable pizza at the grocery store yesterday. I said, Hey! It's a French Pizza. I'm glad it was just me and the 11 month old there because no one else would have gotten the joke.

That's an impressive 11 month old. Already reading TKP and knowing the insider quips.

We talk music and VT football on our rides home.

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

Raising em right.

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

I have a feeling that when Papa Reynolds reads this he will be most pleased and very proud.

That was a great read! I'll be watching Mook on a lot our defensive snaps this weekend.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

I'm glad the heir to Kyle Fuller has arrived

Mook is the Nickelback, Adonis is the Creed, and Facyson is the Kid Rock because that secondary is nasty

"Yeah, it do." - Mike Vick

If you're using Nickelback, Creed, and Kid Rock to describe your secondary, you probably lost to Richmond.

Nasty = Good in millennial talk, or so I was told.

Either way, I think our secondary is totally bodacious.

"Yeah, it do." - Mike Vick

To me, nasty will always mean these guys....

Great! ....Now Nickelback is cool. I just lost a whole set of insults.

We put the K in Kwality

http://www.thekeyplay.com/comment/454045#comment-454045

Exactly what I was describing in this comment. Don't worry about making the tackle, worry about making the play. Mook is doing just that by being sound in his assignments. Excellent write up Mason!

GIVE IT TO ME ROSCOE!

Great article, and just another great reason to join the Key Players Club!

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Good to see you back Mason! Great article!

OH MAH GAWD, OH MAH GAWD, ITS MASON'S MUSIC, MASON'S BAK, MASON'S BAK!

Great read by the way, thanks!

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Is the only time I will support someone wanting to be a Nickelback rockstar....

No, stop that!

Bad 4VPISU, bad!

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Someone used that gif on another one of my posts, and had to recycle here

Nicklebeck is a bunch of wannabes
Mook is an already been there/done that.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Thanks a million, Mason. Mook and Facyson are my 2 fave players on defense.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Anyone else read this and have to go back and count? I saw

Mason, Mook, and Facyson are my 2 fave players on defense.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Forgot million

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

nah, I just switched your period and comma in my head.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Mason's back!!!

As always, fantastic analysis. Now we wait for the obligatory, "Nice write-up, French" comment.

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

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Upvote for the Cesar Romero Joker.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

MMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK!!

The Dude Abides

Wow. Serious article. ESPN, eat your heart out.

ESPN? Who's that? Never heard of her.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Seriously, the writers on TKP eat the lunch of pretty much everyone at ESPN.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

But do they have cake or pie for dessert: discuss

The Dude Abides

They'll have what the SEC is having.

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

Fastest way to know the person doing film review is a true football nerd is when majority of the highlights are for relatively inauspicious plays, or don't even feature the player making the tackle. Good reminder that the great players show up for every single play, not just a highlight reel.

my analysis much better than"

We put the K in Kwality

I just want to get my hands on All-22 film for Tech, then I'd really learn something.

So what I gather is that Mook is going to feast this Saturday.

I imagine it will look something like this with the ECU fans looking on.....

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

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

If he does, I'm okay with Mook's new nickname being "The Kraken" too

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Kraken on Defense and a Dragon on offense.....ok.

This belongs on a t-shirt. No one outside of this website would understand it.

We put the K in Kwality

The shirt would have the Kraken wrapping around from the back to the side, tentacles converging and trasforming into the Dragon through the front.

We put the K in Kwality

It just has to be airbrushed...1980s style.

We put the K in Kwality

80s style? Rednecks returning from their yearly jaunt to Myrtle Beach would like a word.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Now just old on a minute.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Great write up! Mook's one heck of an athlete! He could have easily had two more picks this past Sat. Looking forward to seeing him keep making plays for the good guys!

VOR

We are not as good as we can be! I love this unit! The father in me is thrilled, but the Marine in me seeks total domination....lol. The way these guys bond off the field. The way they care about each other when the cameras are off! Hold onto you hats we may be in for a wonderful ride! When success becomes the expectation even when the world is on fire! When we get mission focused on every down! I hope you all see that it's happening! We're about to turn the corner! I like the O, I like the D!!!! I freaking love the TEAM!!!!!

Always love when Papa Mook comes around to comment. Give your young man a high-five for all of us. He's doing us Hokies proud.

In case anyone's wondering, this man has all the #sauces

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

He likes the D!!!

Sorry no one is immune.

I'm sure you must be proud. My dad never got to read a film review about me on TKP, or hear an entire stadium yell my name ~8 times a game. Make sure he knows there's plenty more where that came from if-and only if- he keeps this up. We do love us some Mook!

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them." L Corso

The USMC connection explains Mook's approach to his position:

Always attack.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

I cannot wait to see Mook unleashed on Georgia Tech a la Kyle Fuller in 2013. He will destroy them

Our motto bringing spirit true, that we may ever serve you

2013 my man.

Right, edited.

Our motto bringing spirit true, that we may ever serve you

2011 was fun too

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Fuck Attaochu

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

I love Atchoo. (Bless you) If he hadn't smacked Logan upside the head we were most likely going to lose that game.

Nah, no way. We had that sh*t locked up bruh.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

If your OC is Bryan Stinespring and you have to score points to win the game, nothing is locked up.

Really? I rather enjoyed his performance.

I can see Mook replacing Facyson at corner

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

At first I was like

and then I was like

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

Wait-are you serious??

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

...because Facyson is headed to the NFL?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Me, I took his comment as "after Facyson's senior year."

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

Oh thank you! *whew* def had me there.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Yes after facyson senior year. But thinking about it even now, mook is better than stroman or Adonis at the other corner. I know stroman got beat and Adonis is a long corner but I feel mook is much better in coverage. Not sure if Adonis could play Nickelwhip, or if there is any other option right now. I don't think we are great at depth right now so bud has to stick to what's working.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Don't forget Kalil Ladler will probably see some play time next year too!

"

We put the K in Kwality

Nah, no thanks. I'd rather watch replays of Mook's pic against TN than EVER watch a nickleback, coldplay or justin bieber vid (I won't even call it a music vid). Ever.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Did you see what I (poorly) added to the gif?

We put the K in Kwality

Yeah, I see that pretty girl in the background.