Ask TKP: What would make you feel like you read an outstanding 2019 Virginia Tech football preview?

French and I are putting our heads together and it makes sense to solicit the community.

What do you want to know about?

What should it go heavy on?

What should it skimp?

Are there any particular questions you want answered or topics you want to know more about?

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

What do you want to know about?

-JHam's expected impact on the safety play, cohesion within the defensive coaching staff as a result.

-Thoughts on Willis: Things he needs to improve on, things he does well, setting realistic expectations, etc.

What should it go heavy on?

-Analysis of on-field strategy, where we are headed offensively, defensively. Things that we saw last season that may be different this year.

-Focus on players expected to be major contributors.

-Schedule analysis by expected matchups/strengths vs. weaknesses.

-Whats an unexpected win or loss to look for.

-Coaching staff analysis by role.

What should it skimp?

-Making excuses for recruiting

-Pretending our schedule isn't garbage.

dilly dilly on the influence of the transition from nix to hamilton

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

We heard early from this staff that they wanted a stable of receivers so the offense can go up tempo when it is rolling. We haven't seen this yet. Is this the year the Fuente offense is realized?

The concern of things staying the same is only exceeded by the fear of change

Latest status on Bud. How's he doing?

Leadership in the locker room...who are the REAL LEADERS ON THE TEAM?

What is the real reason D-line recruiting appears to be behind other position groups?

More about our newest coaches. Strengths. What do H.S. Coaches and parents think about them?

Strength and conditioning off-season - who made the biggest strides? Any new "dad bods" who tanked?

Who are the most exciting new-comers? Who's about to explode on the scene? Best kept secrets?

What new dimensions of the playbook will we see this year? (Exp - will Ellis and Beck be great returners? Revolutionize our sweeps? Create break-away slant options in the slot?)

How (if at all) will our team be different? Faster? Bigger? Quicker? Slower?

Any common threads to watch for this year? New slogans? Nicknames? Interesting spring/fall camp stories?

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

Why does this schedule say loluva is at VT?

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

2015 ACC Football Information Guide

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

Musky right now

If like to see a three-year comparison on how Fuente has evolved the offense. Perhaps even four years with Beamer's final campaign. Same play or formation over three-four seasons.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

If you see these characters, they represent specific people (as of Oct. 2):

Palpatine (Fuente) || Vader (Hooker) (probationary)

If you guarantee is that we'll pick up Feaster

But actually I like what Chris recommended

Recruit Prosim

How much more creative can Bud be this year with his play calling? He had so much inexperience last year that he really couldn't do as much as he normally does.

Will the defense improve? Who on the D needs to improve the most? How f'd is the D if the line blows? Any chance to get back some of the standard we expect from Bud and Co. I believe the Offense will put up enough points to win if the D can be middle to upper of the pack in power 5 play. Anything else and we have a disaster on our hands that will have thekeyplay and fans on full meltdown.

Storylines. Trends. Off the field items which could affect the game. Reasons why each team will lose. Reasons why each team will win. Entertaining style and story format

It gives me Hope

Bud foster and analysis of other coaches.

Top 5 things to watch for in first 3 games

I'm just looking forward to candor and honest analysis, rather than the negativity or blind optimism we're hearing so much these days. Seems like 90% of TKP is either in the "Fuente better win big this season or he should be fired" or the "We're going to win 10 games because we replaced ECU with an FCS team" camp.

I'm confident we'll get a straight-shooting preview with French. So I guess what I'd really like is something that just makes me more familiar with our roster, unit by unit. For the first time in 25 years, I can't immediately tell you who most of our starting lineup (cornerbacks, safeties, defensive ends, and offensive line) will be. I want to know where we're weak and where we're likely to improve from 2018.

Finally, I'd like for it to have not a single word about 2020 recruiting, because that has zero impact on the 2019 season.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

An interesting point about the uncertainty on defense given that we are returning so much production. I think we were number one on returning defensive production per Bill Connelly's algorithm, which gives different weights to different positions returning production stats. That has likely shifted a little though with the loss of Watts because his methodology puts a premium on returning secondary production.

I think Farley, Floyd, and Deablo are the safest bets on the back end, so that leaves a corner spot open for Armani Chatman, Jermaine Waller, Jovonn Quillen, etc. because I have no idea. Does Deablo play at whip some like he did last year, potentially moving Tyree Rodgers, JR Walker into the fold? Do we see more Devon Hunter?

I think Ashby and Dax will be on the field, but it will be interesting to see what we do with Rivers, Ladler, etc. does someone like Chamarri Conner take over the nIckelWHIP? I have no idea.

DL I think House and Garbutt are safe bets, but will House even be ready at the start of the year? So that's a big question mark on DE opposite (I assume) Garbutt. Then DT should be interesting with Hewitt returning, plus a plethora of Incoming freshman and JUCO DT's. I've heard Dashawn Crawford might be a likely DT starter but who knows. Will a freshman take a spot halfway through the year? (Fuga or Kendrick's, maybe).

So I agree that in spite of what we return there seem to be a lot of question marks surrounding what the two deep will look like next season.

The returning production is what causes my uncertainty, since they struggled so mightily to, you know, produce.

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

Yeah, there is at least one article that thinks our returning defense is a liability not an asset.

It's probably the most work, but previews of how opposing teams play and the ways fuente/foster have attacked those styles in the past. I believe last season had a free article about Pitts Quarters Defense (could be FSU but used Pitt footage because same coaching line). Now that we have a QB that we have knowledge of it would be nice to show how he probably should be used based on his strengths. Defense would be more difficult since I think we can safely project where Ashby and House will be, but the other 9 might be tough.

A chart showing which players and coaches are team pie and which are team cake.

Otherwise, I thought Chris had a great list.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

What do you want to know about?

- List of things that Fuente and Staff need to do this year to build positive momentum to get back to a championship calibre team. Then next year (assuming this will happen again) a look back to see if / what was accomplished and what wasn't or should have been but didn't get done in 2019.

- Player Superlatives. Come on, these are funny. (fifth fuller probably great for this)

- Prediction of Breakout Players and those that might struggle. Give me some classic French on The Bench prediction with analysis of why.

- Get to know the Support Staff. No idea who most of them are. Maybe that's just me.

What should it go heavy on?

- It would be a lot of work but I would love to read more about players. Hobbies, some funny story, etc. Not all of them but some spotlights on some that aren't regularly talked about would be cool (ie. not Qbs)

- Game by Game Predictions with some gimmicky rubric. Every Annual season preview must have one. TKP should have it's own unique version.

- Bowl Prediction and Why?

- Coach grades separately for Position and Recruiting with small write-up for each coach.

What should it skimp?

- Hostility. I don't need to read contemptuousness in an annual preview. Something honest and quirky enough to be humorous would be perfect. EDIT: not saying you would. Rather that i don't really need any hot takes or comments like "recruiting this year is bullshit" or whatever.

- Anything that I can find in other previews that you aren't remaking in an interesting TKP way.

I just want to echo almost everything Fernley said.

List of things that Fuente and Staff need to do this year to build positive momentum to get back to a championship calibre team. Then next year (assuming this will happen again) a look back to see if / what was accomplished and what wasn't or should have been but didn't get done in 2019.

This - I love the idea of the post-season revisit. Create of list of key things that have to happen for key players, coaches, etc, and provide a reasonable expectation. Then, revisit and review at the end of the season. You could even craft it so there's weekly updates after each game (kind of like the basketball matrix)

Get to know the Support Staff. No idea who most of them are. Maybe that's just me.

Love this idea too. It would be super cool if someone could shadow the support staff, talk about their job(s), how they contribute to recruiting, game prep, etc.

- Game by Game Predictions with some gimmicky rubric. Every Annual season preview must have one. TKP should have it's own unique version.

- Coach grades separately for Position and Recruiting with small write-up for each coach.

Love this idea too, but assuming I have to pick just two given Joe/French's limited bandwidth, I'd take the first two over these two.

Twitter me

I think it would be really interesting if you guys could do a dive into the perfect players for the Fuente and Foster schemes. Maybe at each critical position explain why its critical, who from Virginia Tech's (or maybe also Memphis') past would be the perfect player for that position, who is trying to fill the role this year and what potential pitfalls they may suffer.

VT '17

You might as well skip anything that involves former Memphis players as I have no clue how they played and am not going to go back to find out. If Memphis players are mentioned, there would need to be a series of YouTube clips immediately following the mention for it to have value to 95% of TKP.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

That's what I envisioned, "Here is this Memphis player who was perfect for Fuente at X position, VT hasn't had a player like him in their modern era (1995+) and watch these 4 clips, Y Player is trying to do this job this year and while he is bigger/stronger he doesn't have the footspeed etc etc" but only resorting to using a Memphis comp if we haven't had that kinda player before

VT '17

This is coach Fuente's 4th recruiting season at VT. If he can't find system fits now, but could at memphis, we have an issue. I hope he is not out there looking for unicorns

Since it'll be a TKPC article, a membership would probably be required for me to have felt like I read an outstanding article.

Alas, that is not currently in the cards.

One with no excuses in it. I don't want to read about "attrition" or "off field issues" or "youth" or huge roster gaps. I don't want to hear it. Give me an actual preview of our defensive line that doesn't include "well things happened and that's why there aren't 5 all americans here"- don't want to read that nonsense. Give me a preview on our cornerbacks that doesn't make excuses for our piss poor recruiting there and play recently.

so, a preview that's light on review

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Call it what you want. I don't need to hear about Mook Reynolds and alien sightings. I'm over it. Manage the roster, keeps kids eligible, recruit DTs, win games.

a preview is forward-looking by definition

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

good, so let's stop talking about mook, hill, frank beamer's "cupboard" from 4 years ago, etc. I'm all for it.

when have you ever seen that in a french film preview, though

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'd like to know what was going wrong with the defense last season.
Was it people just out of position or something else?

And what we can look forward to as far as the offense this season.

Great question that will play out in 2019. When you are as bad as we were, I'm guessing its not all "young guys a little out of position". There is more to it than that.

I think a big issue left to go coach in the SEC...

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

i KNEW it was holmon wiggins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The good, the bad, and the X-factor.

Where are the strengths & why. What groups play well. Where will they have their biggest games.

The bad. Who needs t improve. Where are we expected to struggle. What games are expected to give us fits.

The X-factor. What could set the team on fire or break them in half. Where is the spark this season.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

I'd like an honest, realistic perspective. Tough love. I'm sick of the orange-and-maroon-colored glasses.

Leave out the "coulds" and the "ifs" and "potential."

Leave out the "coulds" and the "ifs" and "potential."

What does the content of a preview that doesn't touch on what the team could have the potential to do look like? That has to be at least half of it if we're going to touch on the things we suck(ed) at. Otherwise it's just a recap, no?

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

I guess the writer could be emphatic. However, previews are still opinion pieces which are made of more "coulds" than "wills".

The concern of things staying the same is only exceeded by the fear of change

Right, to be more specific we could have the potential to be awful again and that's fine to write about. I'm just saying that there need to be some 'coulds' and 'potentials' for the article to even be a preview.

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

I'd like to see a comparison of last years 2 deep vs. this years projected 2 deep. Add a grade and/or stats on how they played last year and how they are projected to play this year. For example:

QB's 2018 - Final Grade
Jackson B+, 575yds, 62.1%, 5-1 TD to Int, Run: 20 att, 61yds 1 TD
Willis B+, Pass: 2716yds, 58.5%, 24-9 TD to Int, Run: 113 att, 354yds 4 TD

QBs 2019 - Projected Grade
Willis A-, Pass: 3500yds, 62%, 33-10 TD to Int, Run: 100 att, 300yds 3 TD
Patterson C+, Pass: 300yds, 50%, 3-3 TD to Int, Run: 40 att, 150yds 5 TD

What are your thoughts on Fuente's job security?

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Lets talk about that post season. It can't help recruiting when every thread devolves into when Fuente is gonna get fired.

The concern of things staying the same is only exceeded by the fear of change

This is my favorite recruiting non-thing ever. Fans discussing the critical or unpleasant state of the program, or rather the idea not to better the program and not hurt recruiting. Recruits know where this program is at, they saw the upset loss to ODU, they know there are other programs with more momentum. That's why this season is important, not only for Fuente, but the entire program. Go win some games, then there is much less to be critical of. Go 10-2 this season and Fuente's job security, or lack thereof, off the table for a reasonable discussion.

My favorite recruiting myth is that - ECU/Liberty/ODU- series "help" recruiting... lolololololololololololololol. They hurt far more than they help. The uniform helps recruiting myth is even less bullshit than that.

My favorite recruiting myth is that - ECU/Liberty/ODU- series "help" recruiting... lolololololololololololololol. They hurt far more than they help. The uniform helps recruiting myth is even less bullshit than that.

Absolutely this- playing crappy teams gets you a bad loss- duh ODU... Recruiting on these games is bull. Play real football teams- lose to ND or OSU or Bama- who the hell cares. The best recruits want to play the most talented and exciting teams!! I keep saying this and people get pissed, but you play to the level of your opponent. If you lose to a great team, at least you were on the field with the best! Playing inferior talent doesn't help you to know "who" your players are- you don't know if they are great or if they only look good because your opponent sucked.

Maybe..... we shouldn't lose to ODU, ECU, and JMU?

Recruit Prosim

I can't speak to the entire internet but honestly I can't recall anyone on here arguing that playing those teams helps our recruiting, with the possible exception of discussion on whether the ODU game potentially provides some degree of exposure in the 757. Personally I'd tend to agree playing in Norfolk doesn't provide any tangible benefit for recruiting... but I also don't think anyone here strongly believes playing ODU is critical to our recruiting strategy. This strikes me as a "recruiting myth" that's more invented than reality in the first place.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Are you kidding? that was THE excuse for the ECU series for YEARS... yeah we play ECU 20 times, but it helps "recruiting".. Also when we basically signed an insane home and home series with ODU- most people played the "helps recruiting" angle there too to explain such a terrible deal.

I honestly do not recall people defending the ECU series because it helped recruiting. I won't dispute that opinions on the ECU series have increasingly soured over time and the series was generally looked upon less negatively earlier on, but my recollection is that fans were never particularly ecstatic about the series and it was mostly chalked up to lazy scheduling by Weaver.

Clearly you have a strong memory of this and I can imagine someone mentioning something along those lines at some point but I simply don't believe "the ECU series is good for recruiting" was ever a widely accepted sentiment.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I get where you are coming from but my point is that a season preview doesn't need to discuss that at all. In my opinion, there has been a disproportionate amount of discussion this off-season regarding Fuente's job security considering he likely has two more years to right the ship barring some huge dumpster fire.

The concern of things staying the same is only exceeded by the fear of change

It's honestly not something worth in-depth discussion at the beginning of the season, but in my estimation this is close to a make or break year for Fuente. Should he underachieve against this schedule, a hard look has to be made at the future of the program. At the macro-level, that's definitely worth noting in a preview because it provides backdrop and context.

Compare and contrast last years D-line and what they did well and their struggles, to what you see from the incoming JUCO talents. Is there any hope there?

What's
Important
Now

Madden-style player rankings for projected starters.

/s

Along with NCAA-style stat predictions.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

If you see these characters, they represent specific people (as of Oct. 2):

Palpatine (Fuente) || Vader (Hooker) (probationary)

With all the doom and gloom around here lately, I would like a realistic but positive preview.

There could be a separate negative one. But at the end of the day, I'm a fan. I want to know where things can go right.

You know we're trying to be realistic, not negative, right?

Recruit Prosim

First, I'm not saying everyone who is negative, isn't realistic. Second, by the same token, not everyone with negative comments on here has been realistic. There has been plenty of hyperbole on that front. Lastly, all I asked for was a preview that had a positive (but realistic) focus. I'm just a fan, it's the positive stuff that gives me satisfaction at the end of the day.

Hmm... are you sure you don't want a detailed discussion regarding how bad last year's loss to ODU was compared to other past losses, such as JMU, ECU, and Temple?

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Heavy on humor, sarcasm, and pop culture references. For example - this is a probably a make or break year for Fuente. As Whit said to the boosters at a recent event -

Um, half our team already disappeared into the portal, we've been in the end game for a while.

My pro-teams site does a position by position review. Slowly throughout the off-season. Going over what the team has lost, and gained. I don't think that's a bad strategy here as well.

What's
Important
Now

I've read how the coaches haven't trusted Willis to throw in the middle
of the field, but I remember a bunch of nice throws to Grimsley and Turner
on crossing patterns later in the season (UVA, Marshall). What type of
throws were they not trusting him on?

So, I think you have to identify the proper cohorts.

When were those throws over the middle? Almost exclusively:
*slant or post patterns
* on a traditional running down and distance
*off play action

When VT was in a 3rd and 6+- ie a clear pass pro situation, after the Miami game you will be hard pressed to find a target (or even Willis looking, frankly) in the middle third of the field. Defenses adjusted, and completions almost always came on 50/50 balls where Kumah/Turner/Keene vs UVA etc. made spectacular catches.

This is a preview- my first film preview of the season looks at Miami, UVA, and the bowl game to show how VT was sticking to vertical routes outside the hashes on 3rd and long, and how defenses adjusted.

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

We need to throw down the middle of the field otherwise it's like a shutdown DB taking away half the field, then we have to start working in sixths of the field and that's no good because people hat fractions.

So would you say that the coaches and the play calling were too predictable if they not only allowed other teams to figure out our game plan and adjust, but never countered back to exploit the defense's obvious cheating towards the outside/deep ball?

My criticism of the offensive staff is that they seem to script very well, but they are not the best at actually reading the game and making live adjustments and counters and eventually just turtle into ultra-conservative predictable play calling.

Almost like they want to be able to say they didn't force any errors so any potential loss wasn't their fault. The players should have just executed better.

But then sometimes they just do wildly reckless things when we don't need to like throwing the go route to Cam instead of just picking up the first down. So idk

Recruit Prosim

Are there any particular questions you want answered or topics you want to know more about?

Thoughts on shift from Bud's 4-3 system to more of a 3-3-5 look last year when he had Garbutt and Belmar being LEOs on the field side. Was this a preview of things to come to deal with spread O or was it to cover up for the other issues we were seeing on the back end? This was a lot different from the days of dropping the DE and bringing the Backer to fill in.

Had lunch with French today and discussed some preview pieces for the upcoming season. They will be legit. Hey also, join TKPC.

The question here is what did French order? Dry bread sandwhich, no cheese? A hamburger?

(add if applicable) /s

Burrito bowl, with barbacoa, corn, and white rice. Credit to him for telling me then people would inquire about this.

I got extra cheese.

and tomatoes. But no sour cream, guac, or cheese.

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

Monster! Think of all those dairy farmers counting on you for their next meal.

pit beef

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

OT: I saw on French's twitter that he's headed to Abingdon, dealing with his dad's health issues. Our thoughts and prayers are with you brother.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.