Virginia Tech may be done with spring football practice 2016, however; someone is not done objectively covering it. Then, and only then; we shall let the no news is good news subjectively of the TSL sitzkrieg otherwise known as: any of the 129 D-1 football teams college name insert here:_________, off-season officially begin. For now however, the wheels on the omnibus of actually authentic things to still cover go round and round. As I’ve got at least another full spring football practice set of notes to type up and then probably a spring football practice wrap-up and regular season predictive article of sorts left to write. Maybe even two more sets of individual baller oriented practice notes at that.
Personally, this is not my favorite time of the sporting year. Logan Thomas is tall. Virginia Tech needs offensive-line help. Some peeps like the new revamped donator plan and some peeps don’t. (Yawn), or meh, or in other words… rain equals wet. And yah, yah, we’ve all been to this O&M off-season downtime B.B.Q. before.
I for one however hope to keep you in real news for longer than most; so let us take a look-see at some lingering spring football practice personnel odds and Ends and see what those with less than an Eye in the Sky may have missed…
Someone already pointed this out, though it keeps jumping out, so someone is gonna point this out again… this is a very handsy coaching style from the new regime. Lottsa use of hands on offense and on defense alike; with way more emphasis here on getting hands-on (your opponent) first; with lots of quick hitting drilling going on. Do you see a trend here yet? You blink with the new staff and the football may wedge itself in your facemask and make you look downright silly. Kind of like the old-school tennis or racquetball wall drill to help pass catchers learn to make snap adjustments off a hard to predict ricochet. This is a very fast-twitch oriented staff and your hand-eye-coordination needs to find its orange and maroon 20-20 zenith, and it needs to find it, stat! (p.s. Notice the hand/arm extension under coach Vice to finish-blocks, might draw a few extra flags here, though the hands-on emphasis is obvious indeed)
This could be me making too fine of a minutia point… however, it is curious to this old-athlete to see how even some of the stretching and warm-up sequences have changed, and what some might have me say regarding how they have actually: modernized or even downright evolved. Most interesting to see the ascesis; or Greek for exercising, emphasis that is now being placed upon the back/lumbar spine area, the core, and further upon agility or nimbleness driven stretching and/or outright warm-ups. Clearly “they have a plan”, and you can see how the little pieces fit the proverbial big-picture of quick hitting fast-forward football style of play to the proverbial Tee.
Woody sure is a congenial guy, saying all the right things, doing the same. You just can not have too many Woody Baron’s on your team folks. Every team needs a few downright Hokie civics driven Woody’s; a few jokers to keep the lockeroom loose, a few A+++ students, even a couple of party-animal keg stand funneling wild men to have a little good clean fun post uva. This may be a smaller senior class numerically, although I like what this senior class is all about. I like what they bring to the table from the inside out.
I’ll say this much for big Jon’ McLaughlin at right-Ot, he must like the even or right-handed side; as he sure looks more physically aggressive over there compared to the left. 6’5” 292 lbs. or finally converted into being a legitimate offensive-tackle senior year baller later, and you might just have a sneaky second or third team all-A.c.c. pick on your hands. And Jon’ is just that, a sneaky player who finishes his work at the last second or some might say at the echo of the whistle. I don’t know about you, though I for one like that kind of salty mentality in a kid who will keep right on hitting for just as long as the rule-book says you can. Not seeing any (lingering) ill effects of a less than good left-ankle turn to end the 2015 campaign. I am seeing a 400+ lb. squat, also seeing pretty good footwork here. Meaning: McLaughlin might be the most coach-Fu compatible inherited footwork offensive lineman of the projected starting five. If Jon’ does start at right-Ot that is; as my boy Parker may want a word with that. Although do recall that Jon’ is a cousin of former Hokies Orion and Cam Martin. And now learn that Jon’ had perfect attendance in K through 12 primary schooling on his way up! Can’t say I’ve ever read of that before. 12 seasons of schooling and 12 years of not missing a single solitary day! That’s a comer, that’s someone who does not put the “i” in quit. And this is a kid who can drink from my canteen any day.
Kinda refreshing to see that there are some scripted coach-Fu Qb keepers on what appears to be a half-roll at first | or in the form of a hot-read when the passing play is not there. Or in other words do not throw it up into the stands, unless you absolutely must, just tuck it and head north-south and see what you can get.
Someone wrote about the Tyrion Lannister sized Wr of the Virginia Tech wide receiving corps last time out… nevertheless, how refreshing is it to see a smallish though brackish 5’7” 161 lb. r-soph. guy stretching out, reaching out, and laying out, to make every single catch and then fight for every single yard after that? If that does not inspire you I don’t know what would? As football may indeed be a: game of inches and some people have height you will never see. Methinks C.J. Carroll long on heart.
I know the above pic’ ain’t 100% fair –what with Andrew’s dragging soleus injury on the right-side, although it does make a point… n’est-ce pas? (and yes, this may not be the only Mike-Lb that the human hammerhead shark or one #45, 5’11” 227 lb. bulwark Sam “bam-bam” Rogers does this too, this season. As guys who refuse to sit down in a bowl game with a fractured left-elbow tend to roll like that you know…)
Observe the pedagogy of the new line-of-scrimmage Wr release points. Someone has written about this prior as well. Nevertheless, its almost like Allen Iverson playing Wideout –as opposed to A.I. once upon a time dominating the Tidewater area as a can’t miss triple-threat Qb. Whole lotta moving, shaking, juking, jiving; with lots of head and shoulder tilt fakes and immediate subsequent attempts at misdirection. There is something finessing to be said here, as Harold Carmichael towering and physically overpowering line-of-scrimmage releasing techniques this just ain’t. Though it is fun to watch, and our Wr(s) will have a major jump on your Cb if/when one of these shake moves leaves your Cb at least a full step behind and suddenly a mere hitch-pattern leaves the scoreboard all lit up.
Also, fun to see Bucky getting some Slot looks and seeing some Se sets as well. Talk about a mismatch on the edge! Wow, as the opposing Lb’s do not have the moves/speed and the opposing Cb’s in no way, shape, or form, have the size/strength that Mister Hodges brings. So I’ll go ahead and say it here, first… coach Corny is gonna fully weaponize Bucky and make Bucky a pretty rich kid come June 2017.
For all the necessary and therefore expected changes, nice to see the long fabled Engelberger Drill has survived (for Coach Foster). Basically width of the field glorified series of gassers run without stopping in series that John used to run extra on his own time after practice had ended way way back in the perfect season national championship run day.
FREE the Bill Dooley “…sweep, style play”!!! Very keen to see the reconstitution of the simple toss-sweep reinserted back into the Virginia Tech offense. As this is your grandfathers’ jet-sweep sans the jet-sweep hand-off. And it actually gets there -to the edge- quicker when you toss-sweep to the same-side or play-side Halfback who already enjoys the pre-snap placement of a good yard and change of a head-start. I’m a big fan here. All you need is to block-down and then gain just one quality seal, scrape, hook or even a bone shattering crackback hit. Wonder if we have anyone oh say Bucky Hodges’ sized who might be interested in the job?
Virginia Tech=a NO major injury spring! Thank you Coach God!