Tech Thoughts: spring practice observations

The Virginia Tech Defensive Line:

One Wiley Coach!

Virginia Tech football is done for spring and is officially into the sitzkrieg or so-called 1940’s “Phony War”, which we of the prognóstico all deign to call the off-season.

The great Hokie Nation has seen this yawning festival of a movie before —whereby all real news tends to be bad news and no news is good news. C’est la jeu or such is the game itself in instantaneously gone frenetic first-mover social-media fueled attention centric ethos terms. Here however we take our time and then try to time things accordingly, because if something is worth doing it is worth doing right. So back to some real live O&M football we now return and on with 2017 spring practice we go… in defensive front-4 terms.

Dt looks petty dang Settle(d), at least to me….

Dino Bear FIGHT

Health permitting of course, because if Coach God and health itself suddenly become unsettled, all bets is off at Defensive Tackle (Dt), here.

That caveat being firmly said, if/when Walker and Settle remain good-to-go solo, upright, locked, cocked and ready to rock for the 13 game duration. That R.A.T.T. caveat I authored above makes no never mind whatsoever; as that and fifty cents will get you one third of a cup of coffee. So let us all hope that Dt1 (Settle) and Dt1a (Walker) do retain their ability to play mobile, agile and hostile football upfront in 2017 for coach Wiles.

Because if they do? There are not many Atlantic Coast teams that can stake much of a claim to a better starting 1-2 punch at Dt than Virginia Tech football can.


To say that Tim Settle is loaded for bear is unfair to the lifespan of, well, bears, everywhere. It does not matter if it is brown, black or polar, as a total F’n beast such as Tim Settle does not discriminate. He is in a word: “mauling”, good; as this is the very first spring I would favor him over Wyatt (Teller) if they had to go to war head-to-head on the boards or in Lombardi’s famed nutcracker drill. As Tim looks so freakin’ bold at the moment that he looks like he’s ready to enter the Jurassic Fight Club arena and grapple with a real live Arctodus simus, -which is considered by Wiki: to be one of the largest known terrestrial mammalian carnivores that has ever existed —or basically the prehistoric grandfather of bears everywhere.

I don’t wanna fight ^that^ thing, and you don’t wanna fight that thing, although Tim Settle might could go low-man-wins and actually fight that thing. Seriously, well, almost seriously, as the whispers say that even though Tim is tipping the Toledo’s at approximately the very same scaling as late last season; they say that he has converted some bad or flab-mass into even more grizzled powerhouse or bear-fighting right-mass. As the maximum circumference of his quads+hammies=thighs, is wider than my waist! Damn yo’, because if that is true, bet the over on Tim make opposing G’s (and C’s) momma’s cry this upcoming season.

A.E.P.might wanna intern a powerhouse such as... this!
A.E.P.might wanna intern a powerhouse such as… this!

Walker on the other hand is not quite so bully looking rotund. More the quintessential prototypical Foster stop-unit Dt in metrical one-gap terms. 6’2”, 282 lbs. of sloped shoulders with quickness, and more strength than you’d expect. A kid that coach Wiles has been known to say plays with a lot of shoulder. Yes, Walker has had a history of dings and dents; that date all the way back to high school ‘ball. Though he was also 24/7’s 25th ranked Dt nationally coming out of high school for a reason(s). As it is reasonable to say that his 385 lb. bench is pretty dang good, as this is a strong kid upstairs and down. And yet to be honest, he looks like he’s not fully filled out or filled in as he looks like he could hang another 5-8 lbs. of right mass to his giraffe like long-necked game; maybe even more tonnage than that. Walker has some gap-busting burst to his Saturday’s and he seems to have a nose for the ball or for backfield (TFL, tackles for a loss) type stops. Walker may not be quite as settled, although not many wanna take this r-junior year Bethal grad’ for a stroll, either.

So Virginia Tech is set at starting Dt, health, or Coach God wiling. These two should keep the slowly improving and final year Mike-Lb (A.Motuapuaka) and the emerging star at ‘Backer that is Tre.Edmunds pretty dang clean and that should allow both Lb’s to muck opposing offenses’ right on up.

After those two… and to keep it real here, I’m not concerned, I’m pretty dang concerned. As in-game experience, learning-curve acumen and raw size or displacement in naval seafaring terms basically all fall off of an O&M cliff. Consider this if you are already objecting… after the big-2 at Dt and one right-sized (299 lb.) back-up: the next biggest was a relatively mere 252 lbs. this spring. And one of those two looks nearly like an inflated Wr in person or more like a home position Will-Lb or weak-side-De. This suggests one major 2017 defensive theme to me… risk. As coach Foster needs to get such a handsome albeit a thin starting-4 defensive-line off of the worrisome gridiron and onto the virtually always safe bench A.S.A.P. This improves in-game production and saves long-term late season wear-n-tear. As I would not die of shock if our 2017 run-fit softens or wilts a bit from September to November for it {sic: for the lack of Dt, depth}.

Defensive-End (De) however looks pretty bad at the moment -due to injury- and Coach God willing; hopefully it looks pretty damn solid come wvu.

As I really like the blend of the top-3 De’s… thing is… after that? We are in a world of hurt at De if anything happens to those aforementioned top-3, or namely to Vin-Disel, Hill or Gaines.


Recall all the hand-wringing last off-season from the rest of the Virginia Tech football coverage media about how Mihota could not play well in space. LOL…

This from the total space-cadet never worn a jock journalism/communication safety first, second, third and last keyboard-Qb majors themselves. Someone who has actually suffered this terminal contact sport… told you that big Vin’-Diesel was the next Jimmy Whitten and recall that big-Jim was the first -and the final- Virginia Tech footballer to ever knock a tooth outta Hall of Fame coach Beamer’s mouth! That’s what this kid basically is… hell-bent for leather; or maybe even the new Bennie Wolf. (recall: Bennie’s truly off the charts legendary fame for threshold or playing-in-pain).

Now recall that big-Vin’ soldiered one through not one, not two, three different shoulder injuries last season before the third one finally -some might even have me say: “mercifully”- ended his  2016 Crusade. As you gotta be a true Believer to play that long on what amounted to two bad shoulders, the right-one of which being the one that got hurt a third and final time. (on a deflected/batted pass of all things –which tells you just how (bleeped) up that shoulder truly was in the first place). Nonetheless, that’s the thing about true Jurassic Park wild men like Jimmy and Vinny, their give a (bleep) is basically, broken. And yes it is true, there may be more purely physically talented De’s in the Atlantic Coast conference… just ask the Florida State and Clemson rosters. Though for my 3¢ in the game of life —I’ll take big-Vin’ vs. the run, and I’ll also take Vinny in any bar fight at the Double Deuce vs. any of these pretty-boy chip very highly touted De’s. As I’d actually bet real live cash that Mihota and his 6’5”, 269 lb. hockey-hair sparks those mitches right on out; and quick! As anybody who balls at the power-conference D-1 level from a place called Massaponax can straight fight. Even if Vin’ is one of the nicer guys in person off-the-field you’d ever wanna meet. (Kinda the new John Graves who always has more time than anyone else seemingly does to play with your kids). 55 career tackles, 10 TFL and 4 sacks all agree, as does Vin’s 385 lb. bench and his 425 lb. squat. And this leaves me wonder if this 2017 Jimmy Whitten might just become the Jim Davis Dt/De combo’ redux as well? As electrical engineering major Vin’ played some Dt for us when he first got here –double shoulder health permitting, of course. Now mix in three passes defensed (in zone-blitz; where Vin’ is shockingly good); one kick blocked, and four more Qb hurries and you’ve got a sleeper 3rd or maybe even 2nd-string all-A.c.c. performer on your hands.

This must be real bad for this to *do*, this. : (

6’3”, 252 lb. r-sophomore Houshun Gaines (and Alexander) are basically all that remains of the lead-pipe hit you over the head with the same Vince Hall street-fighter mentality at Virginia Tech.

Gaines is the best run/pass ‘tweener combo De in a while although he was of course arrested off-field for marijuana with none other than the aforementioned and likewise ruckus loving Alexander himself.

As these two are two pure skirmish type players and their special-teams blindside hits -legal, or fringe legal- fluently assert all the street cred’ you can handle to this. Gaines plays from a very sloped downhill 3 or 4-point stance off the edge giving him something of a yesteryear Deacon Jones type highly leveraged set-up look. As I like his (potential) abilities to be an edge collapsing De from this stance; as any pinch technique seems au natural to him. Also like his natural power and build; now that all being said, here’s hoping he passes his off-field and testing alike; as this kid can truly help at De. With his ability to spell Mihota and Hill alike; and this depth chart itself needs to post some net-Gaines at De like a dead man needs a coffin.

6’4”, 246 lb. r-sophomore Trevon Hill might just be code for an impoverished man’s William Wall; or better yet, more like a Marvin Gardens or Tennessee Avenue one. As do recall that he had a monopoly on recruiting rankings coming outta high school including being listed as high as the 4th weakside-De in the, nation! That does not suck; neither does recording 37 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss (T.F.L.) which included 3 sacks and four quarterback hurries on top of that. Though here is what I like and I like it a lots, as Mister Hill -kinda quietly, actually- anted up a whooping 47% solo-stops of his aforementioned 37 tackles in totality. That’s a kid with a nose for the ball or legitimate individualized play-maker on the come; all the more so when you crunch that he did all of that while mostly playing back-up minutes and getting the start a mere 14% of the time! As a lotta football teams would love to have a caddying problem like that.

Another curious tidbit -for those of you with a 20-20 Eye in the Sky- is thus… did you ever once see the vastly more athletic Hill drop-back in Zone Blitz? As a shallow flood-zone drop from what was once known as the Stud-De spot? I neither; and this tells us how much they favor him off the edge in pass-pressure —and it also tells us just how much they trust the less nimble Mihota in pass-defense al-la the zone-blitz. (Which is quite interesting for a guy that the never balled traditional brick-n-mortar media labeled as: “does not move well in, space”; though I tangent)…

Or in other words, if Hill is doing all of this last year; in his first year of real live action; a year that some said may have come a year premature… what is he doing as a r-senior Dr come 2019?!? Did you will notice as well… that Hill seemed to ante up and kick in a full notch or two on the bigger stage under the spotlight of national television? “Stars shine” as one coach used to put it to me; and someone who kicks it up a notch on the bigger stage is someone who feels inherently comfortable -if not right at home- out in front of everyone on the same. I like that in a former Stud-De, and methinks we are all gonna love a kid who put up a staggering Corey Moore ‘esque 24 sacks in one single high school season.

The back-ups…

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As that’s about how much trust I can industrialize here in the second (and third) string(s) | a neverwasbeen Mike, ‘backer now hand in the dirt first time ever De (Minor)?  A true Will or weakside-De (Belmar) who looks like Christopher “kid” Reid of House Party fame; meh… I’m just hoping that Fullwood (great football name) or Hewitt emerge as the third Dt. That’s basically code for six deep and that is good enough health A.K.A. Coach God permitting. Though this does hint at one more thing to the outside the box in meta-analysis in me…

Foster does not need to see this front-line out on the field for any longer than it has to be. This conspires to hint at a possibly more aggressive fighting posture from Bud Böck this campaign if you ask me; and if I were a 2017 Virginia Tech football opponent?

That is exactly what I did not want to read.

R.A.T.T.: coach Wiles' 2017 dLine letter-grades out as a what???

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Virginia Tech dLine=A starters, a lowest possible C— back-ups.




V.A.D.A. approved


12 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. LOL!
      Hell to the no!

      Anyone remember my Lounge story about walking-up on a bear at age 13?
      In adult waders, with a rod and tacklebox in hand.

      I really shoulda been, food.
      God Bless my Guardian Angel.
      I’m betting that is the only reason I was not, attacked.

      Oh I’m the one on the far side of that rock.
      Already running. Just like Punt Returns –I gots chase speed as I’m much faster when being, chased.


    1. Smokey and I agry.

      A mad momma bear protecting those cubs would not hurt; either.


  1. Awesome starters, like top 10 in college fball, but really NO depth. What makes that even more worrisome is Wiles and Bud WILL rotate. We pretty much play 4 DTs and 4 DEs all game. It’s just the way it’s played around VT. The backups will get significant reps even if the starters go injury free.

    1. KRAZY how they will rotate upfront; even liberally.

      And yet they nearly never ever give the Linebacking corps a blow.
      They fight the distance. The whole entire 12 rounds.

      I’ve never once understood; that?

    2. They may rotate, but there is no way they rotate both DT positions at the same time. I’m willing to bet right now that one of Settle/Walker will be in next to a backup. I can see a rotation of [Settle/Walker], [Walker/backup], [Settle/backup], but zero [backup/backup].

      Same goes for DE. I don’t see both Mihota and Hill coming off the field at the same time.

  2. The kids have character: they won’t let Walker/Settle/Mihota down.
    Give ’em an “A”.

    1. I gave ’em an “A” myself.
      I’m pretty high on the starting-4.

      Just need a little spot-rest help and they will be very very good.


  3. Nothing like a reading about the Hokies from B’Street while he’s enjoying those white puffy clouds flowing over the Mtn in the River East…. One thing for sure, would hate to be a the blocking sled lining up against Big Tim, as those legs=POWER!!! Never underestimate the benefits of the free flowing LBs because of those two big DTs pushing the LOS into the backfield; those free floating hitters are the catalyst for Bud’s success. B’Street’s crystal ball prediction Foster’s will be UBER aggressive is a great insight. Still believe we’ll see a man named Edmunds on the edge with a Shegog in the backer in passing situations; regardless incoming freshmen DL have an excellent opportunity for early playing time… as their 10-15 snaps a game could prove beneficial to our starters!!!!
    Can’t wait for V2… Unleashing the Backer….
    Let’s Go…Hokies!!!!

    1. ha-ha yah.
      Tru dat.

      I was Blessed to be up there running the top and radio hills and Jay’s property once again last week. IN the M.Grubb made famous clouds. Nothing like breathing clouds. Nothing…

      Returning to our regularly scheduled program, now…

      …yah; this ain’t Bud’s first rodeo, either.
      He knew what I typed before I did. He (Bud) can not stand a buncha plays this year.
      Gotta do something about that;something, …aggressive!

      And 10-4.
      Tim’s quads+hammies are nearly, unique.
      He’s loaded for mastodon and bear; literally.


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