As Fan Unrest Grows, Justin Fuente Says He 'Can't Control the Perception of Other People'

Calls for Fuente's job are growing, but the head Hokie says he hasn't listened.

[Mark Umansky]

The calls for Justin Fuente's job have become downright deafening in the wake of the beatdown the Hokies suffered against Pitt this week. With a few weeks left in the season, Justin Fuente says he isn't listening.

"I haven't listened to one thing," Fuente said Monday, when asked by reporters if he'd heard any of the noise coming from the fan base. "I don't know anything."

That being said, Fuente said he is cognizant that it's "nice to coach at a place that values football, and there's a lot that comes with that." Working somewhere like Blacksburg where football is the main event will generate high expectations, and discontent when the team underperforms, as the Hokies have this year.

So Fuente allows that "nobody's happy with the record," which at 4-5 leaves Tech needing wins against Clemson and UVA just to get back over .500 on the year. And he says "nobody likes what we're doing" right now, particularly after looking inept on offense and defense alike against a Panthers team the Hokies were favored to beat.

But Fuente isn't willing to engage yet in a more robust reckoning with the fact that large swaths of the Hokies' faithful have lost confidence in the current regime.

"I can't control the perception of other people," Fuente said. "What I can do is do the best job i can do for all of our players...Our staff is working diligently, our players are working hard under very difficult circumstances."

Indeed, much as he did in the immediate aftermath of the Pitt game, Fuente emphasized the difficulty of becoming too frustrated about this year's results given the challenges thrust upon the team during the pandemic. He dubbed 2020 the "hardest year to have a team improve," given the lack of bye weeks until now, the challenges assembling a full squad to practice due to Covid concerns and the all-conference schedule the team's played (Liberty excluded).

"The young people that touch our program, the precautions they're having to take, the stress of not knowing whether they'll get to play and we'll be able to play, combined with all the things going on in the last nine months in our country, you can't help but be more understanding," Fuente said.

Still, Fuente doesn't want to throw out all of what he's seen this season as some sort of Covid-inspired aberration. Sounding very much like a man who expects he'll still have a job next year, Fuente said he hopes to learn some lessons from this strange season.

"We'll take a great look at how we tried to practice, how we tried to adapt to it, what we do meeting-wise and schematically," Fuente said. "Some of it we'll hopefully throw away and never use again...But I don't think it would be wise to just wipe it off the board. Emotionally, we'd like to wipe it off the board. But in terms of your routine and practicing, I think it would be wise to take a look at it all."

Fuente said he's already directed his staff to use the open date to review "every single play, every single scheme that we've run, all the film" and provide a report back to him about a path forward later this week. But he doesn't want to put too much pressure on the players ahead of Thanksgiving, holding only a handful of practices this week โ€” and he's not giving them strict orders to stay in Blacksburg for the holiday, despite moves by other coaches to do the same.

"I'm not going to lock them up...I'm going to encourage them to understand the importance of how they act or what they're around, but I'm not going to force them to stay here or go home," Fuente said. "In my mind, they have sacrificed plenty, and they deserve an opportunity to go home if they're in the region and can do it safely."

Opting Out Worries?

It's difficult enough to keep players engaged in a lost season in non-Covid times. But with the pandemic throwing even bowl season into doubt, Fuente admits that it will be a challenge to keep the team motivated.

Thus far, however, he said there have not been an elevated number of players interested in opting out of the season. It should be noted that several players appeared to dispute his assertion on Twitter after the press conference concluded, but Fuente said he had not seen an influx of requests to skip the remaining two games after last week's disappointing result.

"I'm sure there's several guys on our team who wished they played more or played better, but our guys have done a great job thus far," Fuente said. "We have had that conversation with a few guys before. The first question is: is this Covid-related or playing time related? And making sure if it is Covid-related that we do a good job of addressing their concerns and diagnosing it, having those conversations with their families too."

Ordinarily, Fuente would be able to point to Tech's long bowl streak as a reason for the team to rally and try to pull off the unthinkable, as the Hokies would have to knock off Clemson to ensure a six-win season and a bowl trip. But the NCAA has said it's waiving that standard this year, so there's no telling just how the various bowls will hand out invites after the season (or even what those games will look like, safety-wise).

"We really haven't talked about it all," Fuente said. "We just don't have much control over it."

A QP Clarification

Among the more puzzling moments against Pitt (in a game full of them) was when Quincy Patterson came in for Hendon Hooker immediately on the heels of Tech's biggest offensive play of the day thus far, a 38-yard pass to James Mitchell.

Despite the excitement surrounding the long pass, the drive sputtered just on the edge of field goal range. Patterson completed a single pass, but was otherwise ineffective, leaving fans scratching their heads about why Hooker didn't stay in the game.

Fuente said there's a simple explanation: the starter hurt his elbow on the previous play. While he did say the coaching staff wanted to play Patterson more as a general rule, he said Hooker was simply unable to stay in the game on that drive.

"He had an issue with his hand, hit his funny bone or something, I think that's why that ball was so low (to Mitchell)," Fuente said. "It took some time to get his fingers back feeling good."

Comments

Fuente said he's already directed his staff to use the open date to review "every single play, every single scheme that we've run, all the film" and provide a report back to him about a path forward later this week.

this..........doesn't exactly inspire much confidence within me

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

Shouldn't take very long with the amount of plays we run haha

Can't spell DBU without Bud

Um...why wait until after 9 games? Shouldn't a good caoch/staff do this after every game?

We put the K in Kwality

It's our first bye week of the season

I was as expecting "he's been out recruiting" /s

We put the K in Kwality

Meanwhile in the film room:

3rd down QB run ... looks good, on to the next play
4th down QB run from the shotgun ... nothing wrong there, fast forward to the next drive

LOLOL... you know whats sad? You're probably not far from the truth.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

LOL, and meanwhile other programs are like - 'Let's see what the Machine Learning algorithms recommend for our offensive and defensive game plans this week, and get an update on the GPS data to see how we're practicing and who's getting healthier.'

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I assure you, no one is actually doing this.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

I'm pretty sure we're using the Catapult GPS system or similar. However it hasn't really been publicized that I can recall. I saw it mentioned in one of our S&C staff's profiles.

https://hokiesports.com/staff-directory/marc-lewis/3468

FSU was early on that GPS tracker bandwagon and Jimbo credited it + analytics with keep key players injury-free by avoiding over-repping them during their title run

I assure you, most top-level programs have hired analytics teams to crunch a lot of this data for them, to see what kind of trends are lurking below the surface. Those that aren't are falling further behind.

I don't think any opposing team needs a data scientist to figure out our plan on 3rd down and anything.

The health monitoring device the person above posted about is pretty cool, but I have to insist the idea that most teams are using advanced analytics to make play calling decisions, is more hype and bullshit than anything else. It's always a red flag when you ask someone what/how they're doing it and the answer is something vague about algorithms or finding patterns.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

They obviously don't have some computer nerd sitting in the booth with a program that spits out a playcall that is then fed to the field, but it's ignorant to believe that there isn't any role in advanced analytics in building a gameplan or selecting a specific set of plays that are more likely to work against your opponent in certain situations. Good coaches will take the analysis that's handed to them and use it as a information tool, an addendum to the scouting reports and film study that they've likely been doing.

addendum to the scouting reports and film study that they've likely
we hope they've
been doing. FTFY

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

Yes. Exactly. Precisely why I hedged my bets with that statement.

Okay, sounds great in theory. And you know a team that's actually doing this? As someone who actually works in the industry, I am very doubtful college football teams are at a level of analytical maturity to do any of that. Frankly it's an industry inundated with woo and hyperbole; you see organizations projecting more analytical maturity than they actually have all the time.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Corn's analytics tool.

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

We just need to execute better.

Hey, to paraphrase FU, "we have run that for years and years in those situations and it has worked great, why would we change or expect it not to work?" Well, maybe b/c every person knows you are going to run it.

Yeah I mean it's at least acknowledging play call may be part of the problem even though he wouldn't admit it in the postgame

I could swear this is why Jerry Kill was brought in last year....

I thought we "don't change coaching based on results." ?????

If they don't consider that the play calling was a failure, re-watching them will be a waste of time. They need to be open to the truth... bad play calls, bad read of Pitt's defense, not taking advantage of what they were doing.... Gee, that sounds like what Pitt did to us.

I know it's easy to be an arm-chair coach, but COME ON', Man! I'm not being paid to do this, they are.

False. He can control perception by being a more successful head football coach.

Actually he can control the perception. What he can't control is how it is received.

We put the K in Kwality

Focusing on the positives... I think he's doing the right thing letting the players go home. This must be exhausting for them, a quick mental health break must be nice.

Twitter me

Yea, up until they do what kids do and decide to hang out with their old friends and 1/4 of the team gets sick and puts us even more in the hole than we already are.

We're better when we have 20+ players out anyway. Let them do whatever they want.

lol this is the sad truth, we were playing way better earlier in the season

We have to think other teams are studying the films of our early season success and scheming against it... and we don't adapt or change it. Are we even studying our opponents' film for their weaknesses? It doesn't seem so.

The rumors going around last year about Kill and Corn butting heads because of Corn's unwillingness or inability to study film really seemed farfetched at the time, but right now I could believe just about anything.

If they are studying our films and the opponents defense, explain the crappy play selection we use. Pitt took what we gave then and continued to march down the field and score, over and over. We went to a one play hope, then punt.

I'd like to think they are putting in the effort with signs of progress, but they are making the extremely hard.

"I can't control the perception of other people,"

True enough, but you can affect perception by the way you handle adversity. May I suggest that you take what you have done so far and try the exact opposite, Coach.

Also, firing Cornelson even 2 years too late might help some fans accept that you at least realize that something is wrong and care enough to act on it.

I disagree with your first section but then agree with the second.

He can control perception by giving fans SOME sort of access/insight into the program. There's never going to be confidence in someone who keeps this level of secrecy with this amount (or lack of) success.

I have said it many times- he either makes Corny pack his office up and keeps his office for probably 2 or more years, or they'll be asking each other for help packing offices at the same time, soon.

Warning- Filter lost.

"Look at this... This is just spectacular.... These people are losing their minds"

"nobody's happy with the record," which at 4-6 leaves Tech needing wins against Clemson and UVA just to get back to .500 on the year

Minor correction - VT's record is 4-5, and with 11 games this season there are no .500 records on the table (unless one of those games gets cancelled)

unless one of those games gets cancelled

Dont you get my hopes up

And let's be serious...beating Clemson now that Sunshine is back?

Well, not sure if you've been following the Clemson/FSU drama, but the whole team was on a flight for someone for a few hours who had COVID. It's possible we play Clemson without certain players and/or the game gets canceled.

Twitter me

Clemson could beat us with the waterboy!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Dude, they got Bobby Boucher too?
.
Waterboy

Go Hokies!

mama said...

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

I'm not confident Clemson is applying contact tracing like other schools are.

Pitt just bitch slapped us with its second string. Clemsons practice squad would kill us!

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

I would be shocked if the Clemson game is played. They put 31 up on Pitt the first quarter, so I could see us using the Covid 19 card to save face.

Thanks! We'll get that fixed.

"He'll get after ya"- Frank Beamer, repeatedly.

In this season, it is possible, beat Clemson, cancel UVA. Anything is possible this year.

Because they beat us last year, I think we got a chance of getting the W. Maybe by an unfortunate turnover by them, like in 2018.

Because in 2020, we beat the teams we lost to in '19, and vice-versa. If the pattern holds...

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

Tone deaf much?

We put the K in Kwality

I was willing to listen to the COVID "excuse" early in the season, but this team's problems are the same as in season's past. Slow starts on offense, sloppy tackling or lack thereof, getting out-coached, and on and on.

There was a brief point in Fu's tenure where many were comparing VT to Clemson...now it's VT to loluva!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

There was a brief point in Fu's tenure where many were comparing VT to Clemson...now it's VT to loluva!

Twitter me

I would love to see a breakdown of scoring per quarter in the last three seasons. 1st Qtr I would guess is at least 75% less than 2nd and 3rd Qtrs. 4th is skewed due to end game mechanics.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

From a program that pretty much isolates it's fanbase nowadays, why would that comment surprise anyone

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: โ€œGuys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.โ€ - David Teel Tweet 2018

Can someone give me some tangible examples of this other than Fuente being a robot in press conferences? Everybody says it as a gripe with Fuente, but I'm just not sure what it means.

I'm definitely not saying that it isn't the case, I just don't have the perspective to know any better. What is some access that other teams give to their fanbases that we're not getting?

1) lack of press access to practice
2) no public scrimmages in the spring or fall
3) less and less access to players and coaches through the tenure
4) reduced practice footage on social media
5) non-existent engagement with fundraisers and HokieClub functions and doesn't communicate his vision for the program to the masses
6) I personally watched Fuente sit in the corner saying nothing while Bud did all the talking with the supposed best running back recruit to take an official visit in Blacksburg during his tenure. That was the biggest red flag that he can't evangelize the program and his vision for it.

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

Oh that's all? /s

Appreciate it. Hokies are basically the only college team I follow (and more closely now in the last few years since I graduated) so I didn't really have a good comparison point.

Ohhhh do tell more about that last point ๐Ÿ˜ณ

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

I don't remember the year, but it was probably '02 or '03. I lived on Green St. and heard a few whistles over at Lane one afternoon during the week. I moseyed over there, walked right into the stadium, straight to the bleachers and watched an informal practice/scrimmage. Beam didn't give two shits b/c there is nothing to hide when you suck or don't suck and even the smallest advantage is outweighed by less engagement. This was not something he was promoting, it just was.

Funny (not so funny) aspect of it though, there were at least 10 players out of practice for whatever reason. They were all in the stands too, right near me, and probably 5 had Pitbull dogs with them. This was when Marcus was still around and before Mike's issues, obviously....

I remember seeing Suggs walking two pit bulls in foxridge.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Lol, that was the culture then and now we kind of know why.

I will say one thing though, and maybe this will irk peeps, but that accessory represents a degree of hard and toughness that this current program sorely needs. I am not saying players need pitbulls to win, but we are missing ruthless "dogs" on the field across the board in addition to savvy football players.

This program is soft; ref Pitt 2018 and 2020 and many other games under FU. Recruiting "great, smart kids" is wonderful but, I will paraphrase CC on TSL podcast who referenced a convo this week with a former player, "you need some dogs that are borderline (crazy) to even it out and add nastiness to the team." In the early 2000s, we had 2-8 guys flying to the ball, piling on every damn play, and looking to remove heads. Now, we cannot even arm tackle average guys on average or FCS programs.

Terror Dome - too embarrassed to even think that now. How far do we have to fall?

I believe you are right. The program was built on being a toe over the line of nasty. But, under the current rules of football, I dont think it can be replicated. As far as being soft now, I think it is just synonymous with being less talented. The defense does not have that across the board speed we learned to love. The offense isnt smashmouth, and probably never will be again.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

There are plenty of ways to still hurt folks in football, legally, and there are many teams that play hard and tough across the board, even in the Coastal division. For godsakes, there is always talk about BC and Pitt being tough football teams. How about the Yellow Jacket's O-line under Paul Johnson? I am not saying the 2000 D can be replicated in the exact same way again, but to a degree those personas, perceptions and physicality can through different means.

Justifying piss poor tackling and lack of pursuit due to targeting emphasis and lack of talent is an excuse. Less talented teams perform well and are known to be tough outs each week, regardless of ability. It is about commitment, excellence, and a coach that drives your ass to it.

Agreed. You can coach toughness by demanding your players play hard, and you can recruit tough players. It is great to have star players, but you gotta have some ass kickers also. Guys that want to hit, not have to hit. Tech is currently teaching grab ass football, and consequently getting pushed all over the field. Our defense is small, and passive.
Fuente could right this ship with a QB coach to teach how to run a passing game, a new strength coach to get these players bigger, and a d coordinator that can push the players to be tough . maybe Hamilton is the guy on defense, it is just early. But somebody has got to teach the QB how to pass without gimmicks.
Maybe fuente can right the ship with a wholesale change of philosophy. Teach tough football, and demand tough players. Recruit tough players, not just star receivers that dont pan out. Vice obviously understands how to recruit his lineman, now push the other coaches to do their jobs and get players that can grow with the team. And by grow, I mean get bigger. Tisdale is a real talent, and has the skills to play linebacker. But he is no bigger than a high school linebacker. He must gain some weight to showcase his talent.
This offense is good, and could be great with a real QB that can throw receivers open. The defense is in a tail spin, and needs some serious help . move some guys around and give them a chance on defense, he'll they couldnt do much worse than it already is.

Indiana thinks 2020 has been a great opportunity to improve

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Sounding very much like a man who expects he'll still have a job next year, Fuente said he hopes to learn some lessons from this strange season.

I'm not donating another dime to this athletic department, or attending another football game, until he's gone. I know my donations don't move the needle, but I also know I'm far from the only one who feels this way. If Fuente's back next year, prepare to see an empty Lane Stadium for the foreseeable future.

I'm with you on that.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

Hope he can learn those lessons and put the knowledge gained to good use somewhere else next season. See ya!

Donate money and earmark it for other sports outside of football. Support wrestling, track, volleyball, baseball, softball etc etc and other teams. They can still use the donations.

I think there are enough serious rumors out there to know that he lied when he said there haven't been additional opt-out conversations. He's said as much earlier in the year, and we've had a few since then (albeit, not as many as some teams)...

But fuck it - kudos to him for not throwing guys under the bus. The players are where they are, and he knows where they stand, and he's not going to bad mouth them as they go. Outside the Sports Illustrated article, there are still a lot of guys speaking out on Fuente's behalf because he helped them find landing spots even after they left the team.

This kinda goes back to what I said after the game. Fuente isn't a bad guy, but he is incredibly measured in how he approaches things. Weirdly enough, going after the question on playcalling was really the most emotion I've heard him give in a press conference, positive or negative, in quite a long time. That mentality is helpful if you're winning, or have a history of winning. We can meme the hell out of Bill Belichick's "On to Cincinnati" press conference because he earned it. Fu never earned it, never opened up, and now when things are careening towards rock bottom for the first time in the bowl streak era, its too late.

"I haven't listened to one thing," Fuente said Monday, when asked by reporters if he'd heard any of the noise coming from the fan base. "I don't know anything."

...

"I can't control the perception of other people," Fuente said. "What I can do is do the best job i can do for all of our players...Our staff is working diligently, our players are working hard under very difficult circumstances."

I know its been said before, I know I'm just preaching to the choir right now, but this right here is so close to absolutely nailing what is wrong with this program that it bears mention.

Justin Fuente created this. The first thing he did when he got here was put a steel curtain up around the program. He barred fans from practices. He limited media availability of players and staff. He openly bristled with reporters. He distanced himself from the fanbase, refusing to embrace the social media revolution that was giving unprecedented access with other schools. He closed the program off from the outside.

So to now hear this man say that he cannot control how others feel about the program. Well, you know what, he's absolutely right. He cannot control it, because the very first thing he did when he got here was to absolve himself of any ability to try and influence it. Any kind of competent PR would have at least helped in mitigating the situation we have on hand right now, but that was never in the cards.

And now he has to pay the price for that mistake.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

So true.

The most vexing thing about it is the first year-and-a half of his tenure were lauded. ACC COY in '16--fans, media, and outsiders were largely in consensus that he was a great hire and VT was destined for success.

This was the time to build up goodwill and stoke up the fans and donor base, literally all JF had to do was open the doors. Yet he went totally the other way with this evasive, aloof approach that was purely counterproductive.

And now that the team is struggling on the field and there is a seemingly endless string of off-field issues, the fans are supposed to hold out support because you say you are "working diligently?" Ok....good luck with that.

Add to that that 10 months ago your little publicity stunt with Baylor left your own Recruits (Saunders) tweeting at players trying to figure out wtf was going on. That's some perception for you--so spare me the hard-working, good guy, loves his players routine.

Absolutely 100% accurate. And the recruiting debacle is a whole other question

God is a hokie during football season...that's why the leaves turn maroon and orange!!!

History may show he's a great coach but right now he's clueless on how to be a head coach or face of a program.

He's 100% focused on the players and his coaches with a complete disregard to the other factors that make a big-time football program work. If he doesn't gall to a coordinator job, he's probably best suited for a HC job where basketball is the primary sport that drives the AD's revenue (i.e., Michigan State, Kentucky, etc.)

I'm sure there's several guys on our team who wished they played more or played better, but our guys have done a great job thus far

Just curious to who that would be? The players who have regressed under this staff, the freshman you need to start for your team due to said players regressing, the transfer portal players your staff has failed to bring along, or is it the players who YOUR staff can't scheme around because they don't have a football IQ higher than one that should be coaching on a flag football league team? We hear this every game, every year - "they guys wish they would have done better"

Quick.... Someone please tell the master deflector and bender of truth that Covid isn't uniquely a VT issue!!! All the teams and all the players have to deal with! His numbers were high in July! Now he wants folk to believe its Covid.... and he talks about leadership๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™‚๏ธ Yep, thats it, thats how its done. Keep excuses in glass bottles with the label.. "In case of emergency brake glass". Stand up! Eat your failures and Grow! Own your own mess thats what honorable people do. Make the changes that you think need to be made before you burn VT to the ground! I LOVE that place through all the good and bad and it breaks my heart that you CAN'T or WON'T LEAD.... Man, he can't be in my foxhole!!!

I'm still around pulling for the HOKIES! I put my name on them to get some guys to come there! VT is bigger than a coach, it bigger than some bad feelings! My love for the HOKIES will ALWAYS out weigh the minor negatives! I want what I've always wanted.... TO SEE the HOKIES WIN! I watch from home or in a tree stand๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ One man can and NEVER will tarnish what I feel for dem HOKIES ๐Ÿฆƒ!! Its been a rough ride, but it is what it is. I look past the lies and negativity because everything thats hidden will be revealed๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ I dont say much because it would be like talking bad about my mother!๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. So, I keep watching and wishing. The HOKIES are family and where I'm from its Family over everything thing and you can put that on you kids (side note: That ebonic statement shows the depth of my love being the same as the depth of love you have for your kids). I don't want those who recruit kids who use this language , but don't understand it to get the wrong idea!๐Ÿ˜‰

Always glad to see your posts. You have insight into the program that none of us do and your love of VT is unquestioned.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

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

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

Always appreciate you coming around!

On the TSL podcast today, Will Stewart made a heartfelt plea to Hokies everywhere - "This isn't Justin Fuente's program. This is your program. He'll be gone one day, but all of you will still be here. You are Virginia Tech. Keep cheering, keep supporting..."

Not a direct quote, but close. These are the types of things we all need in moments like this.

Is coronavirus over yet?

Good to hear from you! Hope all is well with you and yours.

I believe that FU has lost most of us. Very sad. But there is always fishing!

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

Amen brother

If it ain't orange, it better be maroon...and if it ain't maroon, it better be soon!

Fuente wants to evaluate all of the plays, but refuses to even consider a change to play-calling duties, or change his ways with specific regard to QB runs in long yardage situations. He said so on Saturday night.

I pray that his stubbornness to change will make Whit's decision an easier one.

Tech Talk Live has been brutally painful to listen to. They are serving up softball questions and he still has no jazz. Eyeore is more emotive. Top it off he keeps grabbing his nose as he talks and doesnt seem to know where the camera is when he talks.

Do they post recordings of them anywhere? I know I shouldn't listen but I really have to hear it.

Edit: found it.

Get yourself a beverage or 6 before hitting play

I was out driving and tried listening to the radio feed and it was so bad and cringey I had to turn it off.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yeah, didnt help that they would have him answer one question then go to commercial, one question, commercial, repeat rinse cycle. He had to know what questions were coming and he still looked and sounded lost.

He sounded broken almost to me and I sympathize for that reason but the questions were crap a kindergartener couldve handled easily. That said I do feel for the radio guys having to call this garbage then ask the same questions week in week out because there is so little to talk about thats good.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I'm at a loss of words here. Tone deaf is about as close as it can get. He's gotta go. He's probably already lost the locker room for the last two games, and doesn't even know it.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I wanna tell Mooks story so bad it hurts๐Ÿ˜ซ

I miss Mook

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

He was a hell of a nickelwhip. He was very willing tackler in the run game, could be used on those Bud designer blitzes (BEAST in the second half of the Arkansas game), and was good in coverage. I actually think Conner has done a good job filling that role last two years, but Mook tended to stand out on some talented defenses.

What's stopping you? That he's still head coach for 2 weeks? At this point, it's water under the bridge.

Maybe I think differently, but if VT did my child wrong, I'd have something to say. Ike Whitaker's dad spoke up. He didn't appreciate Beamer publicly, but 2 years later, when Ike nearly died killing himself, Beamer and John Belein saved his life. Ike's dad had nothing but praise for Beamer after that.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Imma tell it all tomorrow. This liquid in this mason jar is something else!

I can't wait to hear this!

I hope Mook is well. I do miss watching him play. Grew up in Burlington so I watched him from the high school days!

Can we give this guy an honorary TKPC membership?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

jray,

Tell it! He has been gone a while. Do you think he would mind?

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

If Fuente's staff is evaluating every play then I hope Fuente is evaluating each staff member...

Now that everyone is done laughing, none of this moved me. Maybe a good call on letting the kids go home for their break.

So does Shane go to USCe?

Did anyone else notice we are on the front page of 247 for lowlights? Let me know if I should drink for repost

https://247sports.com/

Hokie Club member since 2017

No need to drink for a repost, but it might be good to just drink...

Who's going to show them how to evaluate plays now that Kill isn't here?

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

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

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

No one, apparently.

No kidding, the "reviewing every play" seems like a pretty useless exercise when we have already established that 2/3 of our Offensive Coaching Staff has no film breakdown skills.

Moreover, if nobody has figured out by now that the Offensive playcalling is repetitive, stale, and incredibly predictable, I hold out very little hope that they're going to have a sudden epiphany at this point.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

Probably a good thing that they turned comments off:

Hokie Club member since 2017

Its a pretty good indication you've lost the fanbase when you have to turn off the comment section of your head coach's weekly press conference.

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

Well, Fuente may not be paying attention, but at least we know "someone" is.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I don't understand why you put "someone" in "quotes"

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Just an FYI I'm pretty sure they have comments off on most of the videos. Not sure if it's all of them, but I've seen it on several. I think it may have something to do with the videos being tagged as "Content for Kids" or something along those lines. I know I can't minimize the video on my phone and let it keep playing because of that tag. It is dumb to have comments turned off on anything though, just wanted to point out I don't think it's new.

They didnt turn off the comments on Tech Talk Live and it was brutal, also comedic, seeing Fuente talk while hundreds of angry comments rolled in. You could tell Laaser could see all the comments from where he was sitting just by the look on his face while he sludged through asking questions.

We need to have the same "tweeting a recruits" rule but about calling for a coach to be fired. I agree 100% with TSL, even though Fuente should probably go, this negativity is having a horrible impact on recruiting and team morale. It will make it that much tougher for the next guy and probably hurt the job search

They're highly-paid adult men. If they take tweets personally, I don't want them.

What I do want, is a coach that will own up to his mistakes. And correct them, wherever practical.

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

It's not about the coach's feelings it's about the impression on recruits and other coaches who might want the job

So we should pretend as a fan base that everything is fine because croots? Every team in the country is does this when if a coaching change is imminent and its not at all comparable to tweeting @ croots.

Didn't see the coaches part. Yeah I don't think the public voicing distaste for a coaches results is turning any coach we want away. Its a public facing job managing PR is part of the job Fu is pretty bad at the PR stuff.

(add if applicable) /s

Remember when we used to laugh at other fan bases for this though? Also losing games doesn't obligate anyone to go blow off steam on twitter lol. We can save that for people like the shaved head guy who crashed the Hunter commitment

Uhhh....no offense to Joe and the wonderful folks that make TKP possible, but if you believe that what is posted on here is having any tangible effect on Recruiting or VT being able to attract a new Head Coach (if Fuente is even fired) you are living in a strange world.

Recruiting is bad because Our Staff, led by Fuente, has had a poor approach from the start. We've burned bridges (Capehart, Goode), been big-dogged, and at this point have simply bottomed-out. Any chance we had to rekindle some Recruiting momentum would have been due to having a breakout year on the field in 2020 with a Veteran-filled Roster of Fuente's guys. We're 4-5 and lost to Liberty---if Recruits aren't interested at this point, its likely because they have some common sense and see a ship that's taking on water and struggling to float.

As far as a New Coach, any coach who would even bother to read a Team's Fan Board (again, no offense to TKP) or much less use that to make a decision about taking or not taking the job is too weak-willed to even be considered IMHO. P5 Head Coaching is demanding (with only a few exceptions) no matter where you are going. There are going to be significant expectations, if for no other reason than there is a significant amount of money involved. If you don't think you can take the pressure of a Fanbase, you shouldn't be looking at that job in the first place. Whoever we do (hopefully) hire will likely be intially welcomed as long as he takes an approach of involving the Fanbase which would be a major improvement over his predecessor.

The other factor that has to be reasonably considered is that Fuente, directly through the way he has handled the Program, has bred some of the negativity. As others have astutely stated, he pretty much painted himself into a corner where the only thing he could do to curry favor was Win....he hasn't done that. When have a Belichick-style attitude, you best produce Belichick-style results or people are going to turn on you quickly.

I'm talking more about on twitter and instagram. If you listen to the TSL podcast, they make a good point that anything a recruit sees if they go to @HokiesFB is "we suck" and "fire coach" that 100% has an effect on recruiting.

To a lesser extent whats said on TKP matters because what's said here sets a tone for what people say on social media.

if this were true, Fuente would have recruited a top 5 class in 2016. Everyone, I mean, EVERYONE, was singing him praises as the next VT head coach. ESPN endorsed the transition. Everyone on TKP was pretty happy with the hire. The first season looked pretty promising. If recruits really paid that much attention to TKP and ESPN we would have had a lot more top rated recruits coming in. Your logic, not mine.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Pretty absurd to think the effect of positive vs negative social media presence would be equal and opposite. Positive is the default, it's normal, negative makes things worse.

To be fair, negative is the normal for social media of ~.500 teams with greater expectations.

I wonder what they think about Tech getting their asses kicked by Pitt, or choking against ODU, losing to Liberty, not having a single blue-chipper in the class, etc...? I bet they think Tech sucks (because right now it does at football). These kids aren't dumb. They see it. Their parents see it. Their coaches see it. The fan reaction to it doesn't change the situation at all.

Joe runs a great VT website, we run a VT podcast. I can't speak for Joe, but the fact that people cover this team with so much effort should show how much dedication to the program there is. All of us, posters, listeners, fans, donors, sponsors, etc. spend countless hours putting together content, commentary, and reaction to this team. I can personally speak to how hard it is to speak ill of this team in a public medium, but I would rather that and be honest, than to lie through my teeth and worry about recruits. It is not a fun balance, but I do think if you look across whatever medium you choose to ascribe to, the common denominator is hoping the best for VT, VT football, recruits, and their future ahead. As for coaches, I care about them on a human level, but none are panhandling on a sidewalk should the program go a different direction. Even the lowest paid are building a very solid resume with a well known program that will help them for years ahead. Those are the ones we should be most worried about, but I never saw anyone throwing fits over any of us taking unpaid internships with the hope it would help us in the future.

@hokie_rd

Lots of good points with this post

VT '10--My avatar will flip, when things are right at VT again.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

Romanes Eunt Domus

Yeah he CAN control losing to sunbelt online schools though..

Some of this is objective and some is trash from immature kids - period.

I'm not defending Fuente and especially how we have not used our offensive weapons effectively in specific situations.

What am I saying is the former players who Are still saying Fuente is a cancer and can't let it go years later. Either put up or shut up about it.

I'll say it - they did little to zero upon transferring. Not exactly helping their case. Two, they are non-specific. If they have some big thing that incriminates the staff in some way why not say it? Why? Because there is nothing to say - they are just mad at their situations and can't articulate anything

I will also say this - I disagree with how CJF handles the media, access and how he communicates his passion outside of the team. I'm not sure he is the guy and I have been a guy who has defended him - much to my dismay.

However, I don't think all this former player nonsense means anything other than some kids couldn't make the adjustment from Frank. It's unfortunate as some of them were good players (ex Kumah) who left and didn't fulfill their potential.