🤓🪄♾️on March 14, 2023, 1:39 PM | 74 comments
We did it! We made it to Spring Ball! I'm going to post the embeds here and I'll update my takeaways from the coordinates this evening when I get a chance to look over their portions of the press conference. For now here's what the head whistle had to say about the staff changes, new faces, and beginning of spring.
- Bowen was almost named QB coach last season after Glenn interviewed for OC elsewhere. Said that the players have seen this change coming for a while.
- Pry noted a lot of familiarity with Crook through Pry's father's ties to coaching throughout WorstVA. Met with Crook recently at conferences and he was the first choice for the job. Said that SEC and B12 coaches also interviewed.
- Pry's Pry-orities: Run the Damn Ball, rush the QB, snap the damn ball.
- Brought in hand to hand combat expert to improve QB rush.
- 17 new scollys with 7 upperclassmen. Pry says it's been good attrition and addition this off-season and he is happy with the elevated level of competition.
- Starts with saying the offense needs to establish an identity. He thinks we got closer to having one at the end of the season.
- Bowen's focuses for the O this season are tempo, vertical attack in the pass and run game, and physicality. Stressed throughout the presser that it takes all 11 being physical and knowing their role to be successful.
- He brought up analytics repeatedly, but this one was interesting to me. There is a 93% win ratio for teams that beat their opponent in protecting the football and creating explosive plays.
- Felt like he was missing day-to-day things not being in the QB room, but noted he did touch base with the QBs daily and split his meetings to be available during QBs meetings. Feels like being in the QB room everyday will help improve the offense schematically and the confidence of his QBs.
- Bowen mentions something that Pry also brought up after the conclusion of last season. They both feel like we installed too much too early and did not focus on football 101 or tempo enough early on.
- Bowen wants a triple threat QB. Says we need a better run game to open up RPO and play action, but also a QB that can run and take advantage of an 8+ box when the run game is clicking. (this tidbit among a few others makes me feel Bowen is hyper-aware of some our issues last year)
- Defense needs to establish mayhem: hair on fire, tackles for loss, sacks, ball disruption.
- Hate to have such a short breakdown for Marve, but it was a short Q&A and he is a concise man. He makes it clear throughout the presser the most important thing for the defense is that everyone is relentless.
- Excited that his position change will allow Bowen to work with the "guys that pull the trigger"
- Likes TE because there is action every play. Feels that he has a good idea of what the OC wants since Bowen coached the position last year.
- Wants to improve Wright's blocking and route running to make him an every down guy.
- Snap consistency. Snap consistency. Snap consistency.
- Sounds like punt return is set as Tucker Holloway? Spring is an open competition for kick return mentions Jaylin and Ali.
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I hope we get some insta/snap/whatever videos of these sessions.
Instead of getting us Uncle Rico as QB coach, they're bringing in Rex Kwon Do as the hand to hand combat expert!!
Yea, but do you know who wants a roundhouse kick to the face when he's wearing those?
Lol, was a hot mic incident on the live feed that was edited out. Sounded like someone on Zoom. ***Loud NSFW language!***
Lol, wow good editing on the staffs part. I wondered what the hold up was on getting Pry's portion posted.
Pry handled it like a champ, lol. Reminds me of a few years ago my boss struggling to get his camera working on a huge Zoom meeting and yelling "goddamnit!!!" about as loud as humanly possible, not realizing his mic was on.
Pry is able to make me legit excited for the 23 season following the worst VT season in 30 years. Pass the kool aid, Brent.
Build everyone up with awesome words and vision and off field moves just so you can drop them further when the on field product isn't significantly better.
It is too early in the offseason for that kind of negativity, sir.
Lol I have a lot of faith in Pry in the long term but I don't have a lot of faith in a certain vocal part of our fan base to give him the chance and I just see all of these positive quotes and changes turning into fodder before they're actually able to move the needle.
We'll be improved this year but not enough to satisfy a lot of people oblivious to the state of the program.
Literally what you just did above.
I mean their signature does say:
yeah this whole sarcasm/in jest statement really didn't come through very well on the message board.
Sorry to everyone.
I feel like something was missed here...
Must not downvote for opinion.
This is the time of year to be hopeful. BB and Football.
To clarify this isn't my particular view just how I'm sure people will frame it when we're not suddenly a 10 win team in 23.
Luckily, there's nothing sudden about us not being a 10 win team.
I'm not sure luck has much to do with that. Unfortunately.
But yeah, expectations should be in check.
So set the over/under at 9?
This is why I come here.
Thank you for putting this together for us...really appreciate it!
I'll be honest, that's the first time I've really listened to coach Bowen (I wasn't aware OCs were allowed to speak with the media) and I like him. I've been really hard on him because our offense in his first year was poop but I genuinely hope he figures it out quickly. I'm still skeptical, because I think it's unfair to him (or anyone with limited OC exp.) to be thrown into the mess that we had in Blacksburg and expect him to be successful. I do think he has a mountain to climb but he just might be able to do it. I liked a lot of what he had to say. Now if he can just get that output that he wants (or something closer to it) on the field I'll be a lot happier.
As many Pry breakdowns as I have done, I have only listened to 1, maybe 2 Bowen Q&As. He really sounded sharp throughout this conference and I wish him the best for his and our sake. Seems like a guy whose mind is moving 100mph, I hope he can slow it down when needed and get things moving in the right direction.
So glad they're taking the initiative to humanize the OC this early in the season
They need to start showing pictures of his kids or something, make him sympathetic as a person. If he doesn't have kids, maybe he can get a puppy.
Pretty sure his wife gave birth at the start of season last year. Might've contributed to how bad our offense looked last year.
I think the same thing happen during Scott Loeffler's first Season as OC? Pretty sure I remember there was a running joke that he was subsiting on 2 hours of sleep and an endless supply of coffee that season.
And at least we aren't trying to dehumanize the OC, as Whit said we needed to do in his 2020 presser. /s
Speaking of poop....IIRC, he and his wife had a baby during the season - that certainly had to have impacted his stress level and the time & energy he could devote to getting his arms around that shit storm of an offense.
Babies...they'll get after ya, after all!
yeah, being a father to a 1-year old child I can definitely appreciate the stressors that come with being a parent to a newborn. Hopefully they have a lot of family support and he can really shine this year
Interesting tidbit on Glenn...sounds like the speculation that there may have been some discord between Offensive Coaches last year might have legs.
Hopeful that that means a more uniform vision and scheme this year, whether that means more successful remains to be seen.
I didn't interpret it as 'discord' - rather, it just seemed like Glen wanted to go back to being an OC, and he got an offer that 'he didn't interview for' because he has a standing relationship with Saterfield.
In the full version of the answer, Pry goes on to say that Bowen had been "very involved" with the QBs particularly "down the stretch" last year. And then goes on to say "that's been coming," (i.e. Bowen taking over QBs).
Its certainly reading thru the tea leaves a bit but I don't think its a stretch to say that Bowen clearly taking a more active role as the season went along (and went along poorly) indicates that he and Glenn were very possibly not on the same page with QB play.
Combining that with what we saw on the field only strengthens that notion.
Yeah the more that comes out, the more it seems that possibly Glenn and Bowen didn't really see eye to eye on the QB position and there were likely changes coming. It's possible Glenn was really set on Wells and developing him, and you see Bowen immediately go lock up Drones single-handedly in short order without Glenn. Bowen went and got his guy, and now he's directly coaching his guy as QB coach. Really easy to read the tea leaves that the previous incarnation of this staff may not have been the best fit together as far as alignment. Wondering if this extended to OL as well.
Good point, it was definitely a bit odd when Pry described how Bowen jumped on a plane to Waco and there was zero mention of Glenn being involved. Maybe he was to some extent, but clearly all the credit was given to Bowen.
Re: OL issues, it's certainly hard to know what exactly the working relationship was. I think it is notable though when ND came calling, the rumor mill was that Rudolph was offered a raise here. That would indicate that there was certainly hope to retain him. For Glenn, there was no similar mention.
My view on Rudolph is mostly that he used VT as a stopgap, always knowing he planned to move on in pretty short order. A nice payday at VT for a year seemed better to him than riding down with a sinking ship at UW.
We tried to keep him and he parlayed that counter to ND initial offer into being the highest paid OL coach in the US. He is making more than most OC and DC's.
I've seen this sentiment regarding Glenn and Bowen and it seems off-base. I don't know whether Glenn and Bowen were congruent, but they both specialize in RPO offense. Maybe they would have disagreed on the how to run an RPO offense in 2023, but whatever they ran in 2022 wasn't an RPO offense. So, it wasn't a clash of philosophies in 2022, but trying to run an offense that both the OC and QB coach didn't know how to orchestrate.
And while Bowen deserves all the credit for bringing in Drones, he is the prototypical QB that has given Glenn a lot of success. Glenn was OC at GSU for 3 years prior to becoming QB coach at VT (and QB coach at Western Carolina for 6 seasons prior and at App. St. for 3 seasons). You should look at his QBs, their stats and highlights and you'll see zero QBs that play like Wells. For example, at GSU, he had 3 different starting QBs in his tenure: Dan Ellington, Cornelius Brown IV and Darren Grainger, each a dual threat with arguably better running skills than passing.
So, I just don't buy that Glenn was dead-set on Wells and that he couldn't mesh RPO concepts with Bowen. His 10+ years of coaching QBs suggests otherwise.
For reference, here are the highlights of Brad Glenn's first game at GSU against Tennessee with Dan Ellington at QB:
Great post - this is exactly how I feel.
Pry references his "five fundamentals". Anyone know what they are?
Where did the coaches go for their recent retreat?
I think they are:
He talks about them here https://www.youtube.com/live/EGzuq_CW0K8?feature=share
Wrong. I had a 1 on 1 with him recently and he said they are:
That was 2016-2021
ACC Defensive MVP
Math checks out, let's fucking go!!
1. Collect the underpants.
Very positive press conference. Glad to hear from bowen and others.
Extremely excited to hear that snapping the ball in time given is a top priority, I just couldn't get my head around that issue last year. Bowen presser was very informative, and hopefully he is the guy we need in charge of the offense. Pry is a confident guy, he is energetic, and hopefully can translate these good qualities into wins.
I just want to say listening to Pry, Bowen, and Marve, I really like these guy, the make it super easy to root for them. The speak like they have a plan and then explain the steps in their plan and the outcomes they want.
I was so happy to hear Pry start off with talking about WBB and what they've done so far. He gets the bigger picture. I really hope they do well this year.
They are absolutely likeable. I hope they win because ultimately that's how they will be judged in this industry. Plus, we could all use a good football season. It's been a while.
Bowen can coach. Probably good to have the OC in the QB room. But who teaches the QB fundamentals, foot work, throwing mechanics, mesh points etc..... This takes some very specific skills. Maybe they have someone else on staff to do this? Seems like a place you might want to have a specialist.
It's been said elsewhere but Drones has his own QB coach, much like any blue chip QB does they get one around 8th grade. It's not really Bowen's job to tweak throwing motion or hip movement but more to convey the scheme to the QB and tailor an offense to his skillset
At this point, many P5 starting QB prospects work with their own private QB coach for fundamentals like that. Looks like Drones already has one since they called him out online for signing with VT, not sure about others on the roster.
This article about how private QB coaching was suddenly exploding in popularity is 7 years old, and already at that time 1/3 of P5 QB prospects with a chance to start (well, data from 45 out of 65 schools, but 33/90 QBs) were working with private coaches.
It's comforting to hear that moving TyBo to QB coach was the plan all along as opposed to a back-up plan because they couldn't find a QB coach. It's interesting that Pry almost named him QB coach when initially hired. I still think, overall, it's not a good move, but I'm willing to let this experiment play out.
There is reason to believe that it can be a good move. Glenn was not a mechanically sound QB coach and so I honestly don't there will be a huge loss in that regard. And it's obviously super beneficial to have the QB super aligned with the OC to run his vision for the offense. And it is clear that Drones came to VT because of TyBo, so if he can continue to recruit high end athletic QBs to run an RPO offense, then maybe having TyBo QB coach is better than a traditional mechanic savvy QB coach.
I mean, VT has tried the QB whisperer route, but he ended up a requesting his QBs to be a bulldozer, throw fades, and run predetermined option plays; he also benched a Heisman-caliber talent. So, why not try TyBo.
Exactly how I feel. Tech Lunch Pail said that there only two active OCs who were named QB Coach for the first time (without ever coaching or playing the position) at the P5 level: Brian Ferentz and Kendall Briles. Let's hope this plays out (on the field) much more like Briles than Ferentz.
I guess 4/5 star QBs these days all have their own personal coach who they work on technique/mechanics with. When LT announced he was working with George Whitfield (I know, regression, but the guy has a good reputation), we all thought that was the most amazing thing ever (again, before he regressed in 2012). It seems like that is now the norm. Apparently Drones has his own guy too.
I'm hopeful that this works, but I think it depends more on the QB's that we bring in as opposed to the QB coach. Yes, there will always be room for a coach to step in and improve and correct things, but the more football I watch, the more I am convinced of certain things.
1. Throwing accuracy cannot be taught. A coach might make minor improvements, but this is a talent issue. You got it or don't got it.
2. The hardest thing for coaches to evaluate when looking at and recruiting QB's is how they will develop between the ears. 15-18 year old kids' brains (this is the ages that they're going to be evaluated and recruited) are going to operate much differently than a 20-23 year old (the contributing years for a college QB). This is why you see so many kids who have talented arms flop. Kids at the P5 level can't rely solely on their talent, they have to have the right mix of talent and brains.
3. Related to #2, the best college QB's are usually junior/senior level kids. If you have a freshman/sophomore QB, you're likely not going to win championships. Maturity matters.
4. High-end QB talent will make coaches look like mensa-level guys. Lower level QB talent makes them look like unemployed coaches.
I think the key will be how we recruit the QB position and manage the QB room. That's the key to bringing Hokie football back from the current dark age.
I think I agree with you at a high level, but would argue some of the finer points:
This I just disagree with. Pat Mahomes and Josh Allen are two guys off the top of my head who got significantly more accurate over their playing careers. Pat Mahomes was freak athlete in college, but he was not able to throw a ball into a tight window.
If you want to look purely at college careers, just look at Tyrod Taylor - in 2008, I would wince every time he threw the ball. By 2010 I was confident that he could make any throw we would ask him to do.
That said, I do believe that in any given season, there are very few 'good' QBs out there. Maybe 15ish guys (at most) in FBS who can truly elevate a team, followed by 50-75 QBs who are pretty much interchangeable. I really think the difference between the 20th best QB and the 70th best QB is just the talent surrounding them and if the scheme fits them.
I feel like this bullet directly conflicts with the first bulletpoint? Anyways, from a strictly accuracy standpoint, this is not true. Clemson won both titles with an underclassman at QB. Two of Bama's three titles in the CFP era came with an underclassmen at QB. Cardale Jones was an underclassmen when OSU won the title. UGA, LSU, and 2015 Bama are the only teams that won titles with Jr/Sr QBs in the CFP era - Bama and UGA had NFL talent at skill positions as well as tremendous defenses (Stetson Bennett was surrounded by the best statistical defense in the sport's history). LSU was such an outlier for so many reasons.
Which brings me to my point - maturity and experience are different, and a minimum level of both maturity and talent are needed.
When you look at great college QBs and their coaches/OCs, you see that either (a) the QB has the talent to make an immediate difference, (b) the QB can develop over time, or (c) the QB never develops/never had the talent/never had the support (coaching or surrounding talent) to make it.
To your larger point about how much control Bowen has on QB growth - I think it depends heavily on the player. Just like in any professional setting, sometimes your job as a leader is to get out of the way and let your employee shine. Other times, you have to coach them up. In both situations, you want to surround them with the right pieces. I think the move to Bowen signals that we are going to chase talented QBs, and put them in positions to succeed. He proved he can do the former when I landed Drones. Let's see if he can also do the latter.
Finally, the one thing you failed to mention is the talent around a QB. A good line and decent skill talent can make any QB look great (See Thomas, Logan 2011 vs 2012, and Jerod Evans in 2016). No QB was going to look good in this offense last year. This year... there is hope.
I think there are two types of accuracy, that innate ability to throw the ball which isn't taught and then all the other stuff that happens in a game that can affect the actual accuracy statistic. If that makes sense. Can you throw the ball into a tire at 40 yards? Can you throw the ball into a tire at 40 yards while moving backwards to avoid a sack are really different. You can get playes to plant their feet or know that throwing while moving backwards is going to change their throw and it might be a little short so they pull it down if they don't have the strength and there is a defender short of the reciever.
The 2nd type is really the mental part of the game that allows players to improve their accuracy numbers by stopping dumb decisions. Some of that can be taught through repetition, some is just natural growth and expirence.
It's like golf, sure I can sit on the driving range and put ball after ball 300yards straight ahead of me, but you go to the course and it's different, there are dog legs, you start pulling your head up, you rotate you club head so that you slice big time, lots of issues not seen on the practice field that are often more mental that physical.
I think the former can def be taught and developed. The second cannot imo. But if you can do the first, you're easily good enough to play qb at most schools
The biggest exception is Josh Allen. The guy completed like 56% of his passes at Wyoming and now is an NFL MVP candidate. He actually learned how to become a more accurate QB. An absolute mystery of a QB development story.
UPDATE/EDIT: I forgot bar addressed this earlier in the thread.
Well he did understudy to Tyrod. He had to pick up some improvements.
Interesting thing about Josh Allen: apparently he was still growing when he was drafted. There's a theory (I think coined by Andy Staples of the Athletic) that because he hit a growth spurt so late in life, he had more room to grow as a QB than most players do upon being drafted.
You make some good observations. I think you're right, re Mahomes, but I'd argue that there are always going to be statistical outliers...the dude is just a freak! I think there are QB's that improve on their accuracy, but is it necessarily due to coaching, or is it because they adapt to the game better? Which leads me back to the maturity issue. I don't disagree that maturity and experience are different, my point is that generally, the older a kid is, the more mature he likely will be, and that influences how well he processes information during the game. Maturity, experience, & talent are kind of a three-legged stool.
I think you're right about us looking to chase talented QB's. It's obvious that we need to upgrde the talent level at the position, and Bowen looks like he may be able to do that.
I didn't address surrounding talent on purpose, because I wanted to confine my comments to the QB position. I couldn't agree more that surrounding talent is crucial, most importantly on the OL. It's difficult for even the best QB to make a throw with 280 lbs. of defensive end draped all over him. I think that excellent line play is the most important component of a great offense. I think this is where the difference between the 20th & 70th QB is made. The top tier difference-makers at QB will be evident in most cases, but the surrounding talent (especially OL) can make the average to above average quarterbacked team very formidable.
I agree with you, there is reason for optimism. Crook impresses me as a good hire, and that may be what gives Bowen some room to grow as an OC.
Basically, you're asking is the player making technique changes that contribute to increased accuracy, or if they are just making smarter throws (because they better understand the scheme)?
You see athletes in all sports make technique changes in their careers - Nadal changed his serve and forehand in the late aughts to better compete on faster surfaces. Lebron overhauled his post play in the first third of his career, and later tweaked his shooting mechanics so he could better shoot the three. I'll use the Tyrod example again - you can't convince me that his technique didn't change from 2008 to 2010, resulting in a tighter spiral and a more accurate ball.
Unless you can show me some irrefutable data, I'm just going to have to agree to disagree.
Only counterpoint I have is that Mike Leach believed that you can't teach accuracy
Russell Wilson was a shortstop....
That's a pretty good counterpoint tbh. Leg.
I know about dual-threat QBs, but what's the third threat he's looking for?
In the interview he was talking about someone that can beat you with his arm, his legs and his brain (smart).
We are recruiting EGOT QBs only. You gotta be able to act, sing, and dance to play for PryBo.
/s, what gthunter said is correct, "We want a QB room that can beat you with their arm, their legs, and their mind."
One that can pass, run, and play tight-end. Traditional hokie quarterback.
It is the way.