East Carolina Eye in the Sky and your Tech Thoughts

Today’s word of the day is… shrift


#3 walking the Pirate plank, 1o1...
#3 walking the Pirate plank, 1o1…


noun, Archaic

  1. The act of shriving.
  2. Confession to a priest.
  3. Absolution given by a priest.
  4. Virginia Tech’s defense played like shrift!

Well, actually they tackled like (bleep) and man-o(n)-man, did the Boundary-Cb get dogged all the way out or what? Sure looked to me like someone(s) at East Carolina did their Ohio State film-study homework after all.

And this one less 2 gift-wrapped Pirate scores could have been worse men –make no mistake here…

So come sit under the learning-tree… I assure you, there is plenty of room and I need all the help  -after watching this film- that I can get; and we shall confess Virginia Tech’s sins together.

3Q 3:53 remaining:
I gotta admit, this reallllllllllly blisters my ass! Let’s see, the tale of the tape reads thus:

Ken Doll 1o1...
Ken Doll 1o1…

Ken Ekanem: 6’3” 248 lb. r-junior, and a 3rd-team All-A.c.c. De


James Summers: 6’3” 2o9 lb. transfer 3rd-year 3rd string Qb!

Ahhhhhhhhnhhhhhh, ok, whose gonna win this battle when Ken gets both hands and arms on this scalawag substitute Pivot?

Big bad Ken and his 36o bench press, right? ‘rong! As this was a soft, softer, softest tackling effort. It really was a clipboard breaking or film projector smashing moment men. Ken, I’m sorry to have to say it, though you son got pipped by a little squirt of a back-up Qb. This one was not about technique, as the Summers kid from E.c.u. simply wanted it more; as in much more! Dang yo’, just dang.  (segueing___)

 “Grab! Grab! Grab! Everybody grabbing! Nobody Tackling!
Vincent Thomas Lombardi

PEACE-out form tackling!!!
PEACE-out form tackling!!!

Yah; I mean, pretty damn much.

As since half past when did we become such a handsy team as tacking goes? Looks like we are trying to get to third-base all day long after the senior prom in breaking tape. That prolly won’t cut it on a dry day, and that certainly won’t cut it when things get wet. Though how did it come to this? (so to speak)

And does this remind you of anything else? Or should I type of anything past? As it sure reminds me of ~2011 or approximately when someone wrote Will and F4EHokie to tell them that Virginia Tech was ripe for a fall. 24 up and 19 down later and you see what I mean.

Though do understand this, Magic Johnson may be retired, yet he’s still here; and he’s still right, try as you might, “…you can’t have fun without the fundamentals.” And -of ALL THE THINGS- it is the defensive, and I’ma gonna repeat that one sports-fans: it is the defensive fundamentals that are wanting. The offense may not be textbook perfected, at least not yet, though you have to give the offensive coaches a 4 round lead on the O&M coaching scorecard that currently reads: 40-36 on boxing’s 10 point must system after the first 2015 four rounds. When was the last time you scored a pressbox fight in the Virginia Tech’s offense’s favor so blatantly ahead of the Virginia Tech defense? Since half past Don Strock? Or me neither? Take thy pick…

Now all that harangue being brandished, and without getting too defensive, here is what I’ma really seeing on stop-unit film…

  • 1o2nd vs. the run Nationally, with 3 all-A.c.c. pre-season down-linemen upfront; that jus’ ain’t right!
  • 90th in Red Zone Defense.
  • 118th in fewest penalties per game.
  • 119th in fewest penalties yards.

VT game stats week 4

And here is what I’m not seeing on tape, brief and direct… textbook tackling, textbook leverage downfield in coverage (in particular on hip-turns) and a generic lack of Qb hurries, pressures and sacks. As the East Carolina film-room graduate coaching assistants musta forfeited their minds trying to keep track of Pirate Y.A.C. (yards after contact) and the coverage/leverage or lack thereof, and likewise lack of Time To Throw metrics are a self-fulfilling chicken vs. the egg kinda argument. As each one is begetting the other and each one is only making the other, worse. We do not hit and wrap up, as this is a very hands first tacking stop-unit on film. “Grab, grab, grab” and we are either getting beat long with precious little Qb pressure, or we are flunking pass-protect geometry on 1 or 2 second throws and suddenly it is backyard 2-hand touch-football tacking gone “deja vu all over again.”

Make no mistake here gents, this is Bud’s 2nd or 3rd worst defense after 4-games, ever; and Bud has more work to do on his hands than he has had in well over a decade.

And guess what –during the month of October? We face two of the top-3 defenses, or four of the Top-17; in the Nation!

Think about that one gents; you do the maths.

meow catch
Bart’s favorite candy-bar… Butterfingers.

4Q 8:55 remaining:
Why did Cam Phillips cut uphill or vector himself to his left and therefore have to run up the slope of the midfield crown on this one?

MEMO to Cam: always run to the pylon as your cut will give you a brief edge even if you are in a speed disadvantage, as only you know where you are going. Always go downhill, you just might have scored down slope.

4Q, 4th-n-2 to go, 1:52 remaining:
“God’s Gift”. When you young man are that brazen to actually pay someone to ink that up on the back of your triceps? You young man really do need to be brazen enough to make this clutch-catch. Maybe if it had hit you in the triceps you would have caught it, instead it hit you in a bad place, it hit you in your hands.

That said, this was a Major League throw from b.Motley with the post-season for seam-heads just around the corner. I did take note of this, and you should too, Motley put the pressure-packed throw right no the money. only God’s gift short-changed him.

2-2 overall at 4Q 0:oo or 8 games remaining:
Do you see my point now, men? Just way way way way too many cutsie little things going on out there from this football club right now. Not huge huge things, just little stupid things.

We just gotta wear a “MY TIME” watch on national TV vs. Ohio State. We’ve apparently forgotten how to form-tackle, OK.Drill or politically incorrect Bull-in-the-Ring Drill be damned. Or in other words there is just too much facebook look at me social media on this football squad right now; and just not enough Mallack or Teller’ites. Not enough (Sam) Roger(t)’s thesaurus or synonym flavored tough ballers, hitters, stickers, meanies. Where are our v.Hall lead-pipe hitters? Where are our J.C. Price  defensive leadership sledgehammers?

Or in other words again -and God I hate to have to ask this, again… however; have we gotten soft all over again? Or is this what happens when you (now) only practice 3.5 days per week?


Tech Thoughts:

After reading this pay side post from someone…

named, COACHVT asks:

Q. “What would be your solution??? (to Frank and the football program’s slide)

You are a man in the know so to speak. We all know the program has slipped. Do you think Frank can turn it around? Curious what you think….”

That is such a damn good/hard question, I elected to do a C&P from TSL.com’s Subscriber Message board to here. So here goes…

A. I’ll take the 2nd question 1st: can Frank turn it around? I doubt it.

There, I said it. Though how does that automatically make the next hire; better?
(as methinks peeps is missing this in their uber change-agent rush to Beamer-o-cution judgement)

I don’t really have a Summa Cum Laude solution here coach.
I just don’t. (that’s the sort answer, here is the long…)

Because it is my macro point-of-view…………that one does not exist.

Frank timed 3-cherries straight across. Over and over and over and over and over. Like no other! No initially downtrodden coach I know has ever even come close to this! To Frank’s enormous 1st-ballot Hall of Fame credit.

Accordingly, I know plenty of A+++ coaches who view Frank as the luckiest coach; ever.

  1. He timed the big east and a slipping Miami just right.
  2. He gets into the A.c.c. and timed a still slipping Miami, Clemson and F.s.u. just right again.
  3. He timed his Special Team’s revolution just right.
  4. And he timed or hit several mega star power Qb or Tb jackpot guys on O just right.
  5. (ditto keeping Foster around over on the defense for a very long time)

I  see NO NO NO way in the world anyone can (now) even remotely compete with Frank’s sense of timing. I just don’t.

Coach if you ask me (…and you did)?

I just do not see how to better or substantially improve any of that now that the Tidewater is filled with out of state recruiting poachers. And Whit’s liberal spending penchant is not gonna make any purchase on that once in a lifetime O&M perfect storm sense of timing.

That may not be what yah’ll fine TSL pay gentlemen wanna read; though you tell me –how it is incorrect?

This new found lack of tacking and coverage is more so a function of what?

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In Summary:

roller coaster VT
“What goes up…”

“Where you stand is where you sit.”
-Miles’s Law-

And as things stand now? I would not advise standing up until this Hokie ride has come to a complete stop.

As someone opined during Intermission @Purdue, this is one helluva a tough team to peg. As every single game left on the 2015 docket is clearly up for grabs.

And that very same someone owes all of you some accountability for such a piss poor prediction last week.

Prolly my 2nd or 3rd worst one ever.
I apologize.

As this Hokie football roller-coaster ride is far from over. Hold onto your butts, and take some O&M Dramamine. Hell, (sic) might wanna O.D. on it.

As I admit it, I’m just not sure how shrĭfty this season is gonna get?

Are you???


Virginia Tech=28, East Carolina=35




32 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. You quoted Magic. I’m reminded of what His Airness once said (regarding his shoes…but it works metaphorically), “You’ve got to feel comfortable with the equipment that you are participating with.” (yeah…he went to UNC). Isn’t that the crux of our problem right now?

    1. Our dazzling array of Nike threads?

      “If you don’t look good you can’t play good.”
      -Dikembe Mutombo-

      Did that help???
      ; )


  2. Recruiting is the major problem. WVU recruits better offensive talent than VT. . It is not a given that post Beamer VT will be worse.

    1. we liked Lawson, McKenzie, Williams, Ford, Phillips, Teller, McLaughlin, Gallo…. Hodges and Malleck are suppsed to be super talented! And we think Sam Rogers is the best player in football..im mean VT.. I mean among former walk-ons…. so we have offensive talent…………………

      1. All are good players, yes, but none including Ford and Phillips have game breaking speed. We need some true quickness, shake, and speed on offense – Tavon Austin type players. They are out there- in Florida. WVU finds them. I question if VT is looking.

        1. I (now) see what you are saying.

          Yah; the best Beamer O’s have that 1 electrifying masking agent at Qb or at Tb.


  3. I’ve been saying Frank got lucky since a long time ago. He is closer to Mike London than we all realize thanks to Bud’s defense and some masking ballers on offense doing things all on their own.

    1. A lot of programs got lucky. FSU won off the ACC being weak when it was FSU and the 7 dwarves. Anyone in the PAC-10 was benefitting from the USC sanctions. Ohio State doesn’t have a strong Michigan any more to challenge it. Or too many other big 10 schools being decent.

      Miami had talent so I don’t buy the they benefitted from too much. It isn’t luck. And to say he benefitted from certain QBS. well Texas benefitted from Vince Young. ALL programs benefit from hitting the jackpot with certain players.

  4. TOTALLY agree with Beamer being lucky and I said the same 4 -5 years ago. Much of what he has done is smoke and nirrors. He caught the ACC at exactly the right time.

    1. So Beamer’s And VT’s success during his tenure is due to luck and his coaching during his time period is similar to Mike London? Sometimes I think when people type things when they are angry, they fail to read what they type.
      Whether you are a coach or a CEO, if you are presented favorable circumstances it takes a keen leader to take advantage of the situation, develop paths to achieve success such as: start a “lunch pail” mentality for the program filled with 2 & 3 star athletes, realize that no programs paid much attention to special teams and make them equal in importance to offense & defense, develop a loyalty within the coaching staff and players that is truly a family atmosphere.
      So to say that his 20+ years of success at VT is somehow due to luck that even Mike London could have done is beyond comprehension.
      Coach Beamer’s problem is like many successful Coaches & CEOs. Events have changed over the last 10 years (recruiting, offensive rules / emphasis, players) so being comfortable in what made him successful, has decided not to adapt and reinvent.

    2. Well, and allow me to say………………that that (luck) is NOT his fault.

      Kinda like m.Jordan pwning a buncha ok though never quite all-time teams from the West in the Finals all those years.

      The real point is………………….how can anyone have better timing than Frank?

      AND……………..this has artificially INFLATED everyone on TSL’s ceiling.
      (which has some height, though ain’t quite *that* tall)


  5. Good write up.

    I would say you can pin luck on many successful coaches (timing can be everything – Meyer post LSU w/ Saban being top of mind) but the fact is Frank won and won for 15 years which lil’ ol’ VT was not supposed to do (in the Big East, ACC (down or up), or in big bowls) – hell of a run. He unfortunately came up short more often than not on the largest stages which probably mars his legacy as truly great and allows others (programs) to dismiss/minimize his success as overrated. Most of which never won at a high level for more than a few years at a time.

    However, he built a foundation which gives us a chance at future success with the next guy, but of course nothing is guaranteed as this article points out.

    1. Good pensive post.

      There just are no gar-ron-tees going forth.

      NO entitlement, (as I’ve seen on TSL as well); either.


  6. Frank needs to close the indoor facility until further notice. These Hokies need to tackle each other outside a little bit this week.

      1. and so the difference between this year and last when we were singing the praises of maddy, marshall, baron, ekanem, Nicolas, Clarke, clark, etc….

        it isn’t just because they hit once a week. They were supposedly solid and good last year

        1. Yah; I’m not sure?

          BIG disconnect here for me.

          (other than…………did I bleep-up and overvalue all of them?)

          Or was it I undervalued Boner and Jarrett???


  7. The defense needs to get in the mud and beat the snot out of each other. The defensive coaches need to adjust to their personnel, not what they wish they had.

    They are soft.

    VT football is over unless a new hire can use the honeymoon period to cleanup in the Tidewater, and actually win. Remember, this was a mediocre team with Tyrod Taylor.

    And the ACC should start cancelling every AAC away game. Their refs cheat. F’ em.

  8. Make sure to add some pepper to balance all of this salt. Reads like bag of vinegar & salt crisps.

    Roller Coaster team means coaching makes a huge difference–penalities, and getting those extra yards (offense & defense).
    Coaches it’s time to earn those pay checks. A Bit Cliche but team needs some hunger…. where’s the eye of the tiger???

    Let’s Go…Hokies!!!
    Beat Pitt

    1. Tough to watch that tape and say E.c.u. did not WANT this one more.

      Getting beat on Talent is all you can do.
      All coach God allowed.

      Getting beat on efforting is on the individual.
      And no one else.


  9. It isn’t lack of experience or lack of fundmentals in the sense that they have been coached and it is coming from veterans. It must be that some are not as coachable as you would like. And that cant’ be blamed on the coaches.

    1. I kinda think it is all 3.
      Stroman and a few are too young.

      Health is not helping (Fuller).

      Fundamentals look bad on breaking tape.
      WHERE is Eagle Drill (for learning hip-turns in coverage) when we need it?!?

      And this does not strike me as the highest pigskin I.Q. crew I’ve ever seen; either.


  10. IMHO money will not make VT a successful football program and the jury is still out on the basketball team. In f’ball you must control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We do not make this happen on the def. and have not consistently for the last several years. Has spilling plays “to the free tackler” taken away gang tackling? If a player is still up and no whistle others must arrive and arrive with bad intentions. I cannot help but wonder if to many of these young men were not taught to form tackle in high school and got away with arm tackles because of superior ability or strength. If there is not a brown spot in the seat of the backs pants your intentions were not bad enough.

    1. Has spilling plays “to the free tackler” taken away gang tackling?

      Now THAT is an interesting one.
      Does make some sense.

      Though his system almost disallows gang-tacking via assignment.


  11. I was there and I told a friend the 2 drives after VT was up 14, we played a zone against what was ECU 2nd string QB preseason and they drove 2 long drives into the wind ,rain with guys wide open . SL strategy to play conservative after the lead and make ECU go long field in that environment is what I would have done . You don’t turn it over and let them back in easy . However that changed momentum and it took us till later to finally get going again . I am done going to games not worth it . We rarely win big games early in the season and Frank is the guy the teams who want a out of conference quality win want to schedule USC , Alabama , Boise, LSU. His record in those type contest speaks for itself . The rest of the year key to me is how well the offense continues to play because SL has put this offense together even recruiting his own players in a bunch of cases . Because when you talk about Franks replacement and that needs to happen. I am like you who do we hire ? If the offense ends up having a good year and if we don’t spend a fortune on a coach then SL may bot be a bad choice . I doubt others agree but if Frank stays until 2016 that gives SL 2 more years with the offense but I like the direction we are headed there but will wait for more data points . I am not sure we can go compete for the big names if not maybe we grow our own, maybe he is already here . I am impressed with the O so far considering everything performing way better than I thought they would very few TO . SL is doing what his mission was move the ball few TO and scoring when we get the chance.

    1. I too have just begun to warm to the SL big whistle idea.

      And he can recruit, as well.


  12. Just a follow up . I think we have the right guy in Whit to make this transition and he needs to do it.
    ECU , WVU , Pitt , BC . those are schools we should be better than because we have had stability in the staff and in conference and in the case of ECU more of everything . Yet we have arguably been no better than any and maybe a little worst . We may not be able to be Bama or OSU but we can be a WVU or Boise ect. We can be a very good regional team . There are also other factors that have helped Frank the demise of UVA and UNC not being able to get their crap together . The rest of the year will be interesting because every time I think we have maybe turned a corner last year OSU this year Perdue we crap the bed the next week . There is lots of football left so we shall see.

    1. It is that very volatility (Purdue vis-a-vis @E.c.u.) that tells me something is way way off here.

      May not be something in front-of-the-scenes either.
      That’s too much clinical variability to account for via pure or simplistic X’s and O’s.


  13. Success is almost always, in large part, a mater of timing. If that’s luck, so be it. No reason to apologize or see it as somehow cheapened.

    The truly lucky coaches, however, are those whose school name recruits for them.

    That said, CFB’s failure (if he has one) was not capitalizing on the mid 90’s – mid 00’s success by doubling down, no tripling down on recruiting. We had the chance then and failed even to try. We lost by default.

    That said, I think VT’s football program could yet see its best days. We will not start from the bottom (as did Frank) when we hire another HC. We are still a name synonymous with college football.

    We need a good HC who understands coaching genius is a matter of recruiting genius. Nothing more, Ever.

    We need a HC who can recruit like nobody’s biddness, and who demands excellent recruiting from every single coach. No exceptions, not even…

    Thought provoking stuff here, man. Thx. I’d like to make a suggestion. The pics are helpful, but not great. Any chance you could insert video instead?

    1. If I insert the A.c.c. video I am on the hook with them for how I use it.

      Then tend to ignore screen captures.

      So I like my wiggle room here.

      And yah; the next guy does take over better than Frank did from Bill (Dooley).
      No doubt.
      That can’t hurt.


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