Tech Thoughts: … the Fu-view part II

When the Fu’ talks you, “listen“!

Virginia Tech football head coach Justin Fuente had a lot to say, when he wanted to have a lot to say. And when coach-Fu’ does not wanna talk about something(s); it is his predator steely shark-attack eyes that let you, and all of Amity Island know, to get outta that line of asking, STAT. As make no mistake here sports-fans, coach-Fu’ has a real live uber competitive dorsal fin that he keeps submerged (publicly) way more often than not. And suddenly you can see why he enjoyed such instant -just add coach- credibility or cachet or what textbooks on Power call: “referent power”, when out on the Virginia Tech practice field’s and game-day sideline. This guys a killer; instantly critical intensity, he may even be the best proverbial switch-thrower as a coach I’ve ever seen at any level of competition.

The Hokies are only a fortnight away from opening (official) preparations for a certain particular rival from the People’s Republic of the 3o4. However, here is what The Fu’ had to say; including a 2017 Qb1 sweepstakes update…

When the rest of the never balled media got finished with: who’s your Qb? How do you replace all those Wr’s? And the staple softball likes… someone followed up with this one…

Q. I recall reading from Andy Bitter than you said you were more comfortable with your Qb(s) and less comfortable with the other skill guys surrounding them at the end of spring practice. Can you explain what you meant there for us?

A.We were bad at making the average play on a consistent basis.

Now that’s a direct quote folks, verbatim, from him, not from me. Now some of that may be from the Wide Receiving corps dings-n-dents this past spring. Some of that may just be from breaking in all that new leather at Qb, Wr, on the right-side oLine; musical chairs at Tb1 and even more so as a three-way jam of an acoustical guitar gone unplugged at Qb1. However, that’s a pretty damn candid admission and therefore a pretty disconcerting statement regarding the more basic Fu’fensive plays. At least that’s the angle I got upon asking follow-ups. (Some of which were agreed to be kept quite). Nevertheless, suffice it to say, that the 2017 spring practice O was misfiring on some of the more basic Fu’fense plays; at least at times. The single shot read type plays, the rocket screen out in the flat to give the line-of-scrimmage a much needed east-west Fu’fensive horizontal stretch. The always politically incorrect slants and hitch patterns, the single read version of the read option itself. Scripted things where the football MUST got there; right now; this time; in order to set something up somewhere else, typically further down the field later on. These need more reps and more work, and quite frankly they need a Pivotal settlement statement at Qb1 so that the rest of the O can start to settle-in, then begin to settle-down and then begin to actually take shape or form, if not outright gel. Although that may take a bit more time as the latest Qb1 G2 or intel’ hints.

Already in, Maroon.

As Coach-Fu’ spoke much more effusively regarding two Qb’s than he did one Qb last month. The two Qb’s he had more to say about were Hooker and Bush.  Most often the two Qb’s most of the media has anointed as being in more of a Qb2/Qb3 scrum than in the Qb1 lottery itself.

Regarding AJ Bush: coach-Fu’ had this to say… said his arm can make every throw in the book. The Fu’ was noticeably hyped up regarding his speed (not velocity which indicates a vector or direction); big on his run-game fit; most pleased with Bush’s attitude and work ethos which had both been viewed as questionable post-Nebraska and his JuCo stint. Said that Bush got his JuCo playbook right before practice began and that Bush never fully digested the same as his underwhelming JuCo passing numbers went. Though he (coach-Fu’) did say that they had found that Bush was “less experienced” than they had thought (or hoped), coming in. And coach-Fu’ thoroughly declined to elaborate on that. It is however worth mentioning that the only Qb on the roster on coach-Fu’s much vaunted: Leadership Council (for players only) is none other than the 6’4” 219 lb. r-Jr. year AJ Bush. Now I’ve never heard of a Qb2 much less a Qb3 being your only Qb on that, {sic: Leadership Council}. Though coach-Fu’ is a different sort of coach and therefore I sorta have to suppose that there is a first time for everything. Though that’s a squirrelly one by me; and all that from the most physically ready of the top-3 Qb’s who only won a AAAAAA, that’s a six-A title his senior year at Atlanta Georgia’s Norcross and only won the extremely coveted Elite 11 (Qb) Golden Gun accuracy challenge. So go fig’ on all of that…

Regarding the 6’4”, 196 lb. t-Fresh., Hendon Hooker: who only passed for 6,o27 total yards with 55 passing TD’s and then only rushed for 2,975 yards with 48 TD’s on the ground scholastically. While only winning back-to-back North Carolina state football titles, and only being named the football Player of the year for the entire state of North Carolina his senior year. Then only being named the M.V.P. of the state championship game after only scoring 36 points his ownself and then only scoring more than 1,000 points his senior year in basketball while being a three-time All-Metro conference basketball selection. Coach-Fu only had the following to say… he said that Hooker may have been a bit oversold by the traditional print media for his spectacular and eye-popping Spring Game. He went out of his way to make the point that that was only one of 15 practices and/or scrimmages that they had to evaluate. Nonetheless, he did say that Hooker was (already) and exceptional leader. Someone else has written that there is a little bit -and possibly more than that- that there is at least a little bit of street swag’ in Hooker’s game. Like a credible ‘rong side of the tracks kid who just has that eye of the tiger gleam; and you’d do really really well to not grab said tiger by the tail. As Hooker reminds someone of the Michael B. Jordan so aptly played Friday Night Lights character (one: Vince Howard). As this is a very serious kid to only be in his rookie year of voting; much less his first year of college football itself. And it would appear that coach-Fu’ would agree here, making the intensity of Coach-Fu’ and Hendon Hooker a likes attract or a homogeneous matched pair indeed. Coach-Fu’ also praised Hooker’s arm strength, although he had more to say about Hooker’s run-game. Which left one feeling that Hooker is the best run-fit at the moment; IF, coach-Fu’ and coach Corny wish to chart a ground assault tract this upcoming campaign.

Regarding the seemingly lead Qb at the moment, or the inherited Joshua Jackson, a 6’1”, 211 lb. r-Fr., the 9th best dual-threat Qb in America according to ESPN in 2015 and the 20th best Qb overall courtesy of 247Sports; and a three time all-Academic A.c.c team member for Virginia Tech football: coach-Fu’ had the least to say overall. Now, pause and recollect; this is a (Lord Alfred) Tennyson type Staff: “…among new men, strange faces and other minds. Or in other words, this Staff is quite the ways-n-means committee of a departure from the former staff. This Staff -well, that is the two who routinely speak to the media- tell you what they want you to hear —which is really only code for they tell you what they want you to print. Recall a particular (knee) injury up @Syracuse last season. The next two weeks, this Staff Jedi mind-tricked almost all of the media with reports that that kid was doing better and would likely play. History teaches us that he did not even suit up the first week and dressed out though D.N.P. the next week. So someone spoke up and embittered a few of the traditional media’s on the free-side MB that participation was simply not the case. And you can call that whatever you wish: smoke-screening, bait-n-switch, or you can even call it something stronger…

However, do be aware that this Staff is exceptionally aware as to what the forth-estate might just print. So to me, it was the brevity of what coach-Fu’ had to say on Joshua Jackson that spoke volumes. In short -bad pun intended- in short coach-Fu’ merely added the following… he praised Jackson’s play-book etiquette -JAX is a 40+ years coaches’ son you know- he said that Jackson was “a better runner than most think”; he said JAX had been running a bit better this spring in fact. And yet he said nothing about Jackson’s throw game, nary a word. “Fascinating” as Coach Spock would have me say, although when asked what the Top-3 all had in common he deadpanned: “inexperience” to laughs and at least one smirk.

Is 17 the, one?

So, if you ask me and you did via reading these very words… to me?

To me it was the fact that coach-Fu’ did not seem to wanna talk too much about Jackson that -at least to me- seemed to hint that Jackson was his Qb1 coming out of spring ball. And that he (coach-Fu’), just did not want to say that publicly for competing and/or varying intra-squad reasons.

As it is my deduction that JAX was his alpha-Qb if he had to play wvu the weekend after the spring game. (With Hooker and Bush dickering it out for Qb2, just a little behind JAX at Qb1).

That being said, other(s) close to the scene said that within the last few weeks that Hooker has impressed during the always (mandatory) voluntary-workouts or skeletal drills this summer. And that entering August Camp this 2017 Qb sweepstakes is now more like a tie for Qb1 between JAX and Hooker with a greater separation descending to Qb3 (Bush); than the aforementioned opening was at the end of spring practice between JAX at Qb1 and the Qb2/Qb3 dickering between Hooker and Bush. As it would (now) appear that the only true mover in the 2017 Qb derby this summer has been Hooker. Who has inched he way back into a near tie for Qb1 contention. How that sorts out, who gets August Camp throw-game hot, if all three (Coach God willing) remain healthy, off-field/grades et al… That remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the one showcasing a bit more depth chart vertical mobility is Hooker; at least of late.


TechBits: (until more next time):

  • When asked about where my boy Parker (Osterloh) and all 6’9” and somewhat slimming 329 lbs. of his r-Sr. year now stand coach-Fu’ offered: “he’s in the mix”. When prodded if that meant “in the mix” at right-G or right-Ot the answer was: “he’s in the mix on the right-side”. Which one can only presume is code for both right-G and right-Ot, as someone heard that the (the Vice Squad/Staff) were not as thrilled with the newbie right-side play after they went back and had another look at spring practice evaluative film(s). Someone even heard they declared both positions back open to competition after an ambush naming of likely right-side starters after the first day of spring practice itself. 
  • Said that he thought his O did pretty good pre-snap; and needed much more work on their: “post-snap management”. An interesting vis-à-vis on lining up okay, snap count check(s); audible(s), reads vs. actual authentic post-snap execution itself.
  • Said his biggest concern coming to Virginia Tech was: how was he going to be himself having to take over from a living legend and future Hall of Famer like Coach Beamer? He said it was Frank in the first few days of transition that “made things much easier for me to just be me”. Said Frank went out of his way to make sure everyone knew who the present-tense head football coach was. As the Bible says you can only serve one master (at a time); and Frank made sure upon parting that everyone knew who the new O&M master was. Coach-Fu’ was gushing in several places of his praise of Frank.

    Fu called 3’s, six!
  • He said that last years “outside plays” (i.e. to Bucky, Ford and Cam) were “extremely efficient” and that Evans inside running was something “that you don’t replace”. Which left me wondering if that was a rare -to the point of being a unique- 2017 Fu’fense playbook, hint?
  • Coach-Fu looks noticeably younger in person than I expected, I would have guessed a mid-30-something, though he’s coming up 41; on o7.30 of next week. As coach-Fu is said to be a guy who gets in an early morning workout himself; yet another version of acta non verba or: deeds not words as S&C and Nutritional credibility goes.
  • Said his wife and family could not love Blacksburg more, said he himself was a fan of: “Enter Sandman” and Tech’s over the top pre-game intro’ to the same for years prior to coming to Tech. Said “Enter Sandman” is not going anywhere!
  • Coach Fu’ did mention that he took over more coaching duties in the 2nd-half of the Belk Bowl. “I’ll take ’em the second-half” was something he said to his Staff at halftime.
  • Accordingly, said he was very pleased with the Belk Bowl prep’. Said halftime was more of a “skull session” and telling the team to just go and win the very next play. Said he warned them to: “Not to try to do too much” early on in the second-half. Said there was no hellfire or hell and brimstone halftime speech from the Staff. He did say it was the “senior characters” that stood up right before they retook the Charlotte field and that his now departed senior leaders then gave a rousing halftime speech. (not the Staff) And he did say after hearing what they had to say he could not wait for the second-half to start himself!
  • Memories of his Hokie season #1: the play that stands out the most? The E.c.u. punt-return for 6. Said after talking to the #25 Frank Beamer tribute jersey wearer pre-game, that he (coach-Fu’) told Stro’, “you can’t just fair-catch a punt while having the honor of wearing #25. You’ve got to put it in the endzone for Coach Beamer, you hear?” Guess what happened?!? 87 yards later? Coach-Fu’ -yet again- proved to be quite the pigskin prophet indeed. And his face lit up telling and recalling all of this during the interview. As he said several times, Greg does not get the credit he deserves as a player or as a person as he (Stro’) wants to do too much sometimes on the field. Though coach-Fu’ has taken a shine to this kid, make no mistake on that; as when any coach’s face lights up like that? That’s real recognizes real.
  • Said the Team G.P.A. is now the closest it has ever been to a 3.0 overall, for everybody. PROPS!!!
  • Regarding “difficult situations” in a game and/or season: coach-Fu said that “you’ve arrived” and “you can’t have success” (i.e. you graduated too many people) are his two least favorite things. Coach-Fu’ said both clichés that writers write about are both, ‘rong. And that “…we are who we make ourselves. Nobody is born a winner or a L’er. Nobody.” (READERS note: I can honestly say I’ve never ever head a coach put things like that; and as I’ve tried to get across already; coach-Fu is cut from a different coaching cloth; his cut may even be considered to be clinically unique in applied sports psych terms; as this guy may be Gandalf or total sporting mentality wizard at that)
  • May 22nd was the official (unofficial) start of voluntary (mandatory) work-outs this year.
  • He said after what he and his Staff had seen this winter, spring-ball and early summer, “youth will play” as he expected to field an inordinate amount of t-Fr. and r-Fr., if need be.
  • Coach-Fu said he #1 goal as a head football coach was: “…to influence lives; not football.” He said that you can only do that through “hard work” which creates the “celebration” and that when a kid finally becomes an adult that that is “…a special feeling”.

Coach-Fu is best at coaching up what???

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Virginia Tech=a big whistle so epic he’s gonna be tough to keep!






21 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. The Rainman of Coaching without the wierd quirks of Rainman, B’street?

      1. I would not have said that; though; yah; kinda.

        Maybe not as visibly quickly.

        Though he (coach-Fu’) ain’t quite the therapist that Frank was, either.
        It’s his (Fu’s) way; period. One chance at healing. Rarely two chances. If that…


  2. Thank’s b-st. That is another very good and insightful piece or writing.. i very much appreciate getting your take on the Coach…..

    1. 🙂

      Then -coach God wiling- hopefully you will appreciate the fact that my notebook (yes I’m the only one who still takes notes; no recorder for me) my notebook has at least 4 full pages left in it. Including what Jamerson has to say on the Fu’, which was DAZZLING; in whom they compared him too.


      1. I see a definite similarity to the Bear. Intensive and a unapologetic desire for exceptional execution.

        Ut Prosim

        1. Yah; somewhat. I can feel that to a point.

          Though not quite on the near death-wish Junction Boys level.
          May not have been anything on that level. (as that level was tough every bit as much as it was, unsafe)


  3. Well worth the effort to read and understand. My brain cramps as I decipher your stuff. But, I’m getter better. Took only 3 goes this time. I do appreciate your take on things.

    1. I don’t know how many times I read:
      “Greg goes not get the credit he deserves as a player or as a person ”
      before I realized it was just a typo…

      1. Hell, just took me the third time to see it my ownself.
        : (

        thank you,

  4. My husband is a retired newspaper publisher. He began as a sports writer. The first time I read one of your articles, I was intrigued by what he would think. He loved it! He’s a big fan,now! Tonight’s comment–“He’s very creative!”

    1. Well my Prayers for the kindness of your husband.
      Most charitable in his evaluation.

      (honestly, I found this one a bit, dilute; thought it could have had a little stronger medicine to it… though there is always the wvu preview; which I began 2+ months ago. It will succor my creative needs)

      Thank him most kindly for me J2K.
      I mean that.

  5. Great article, as always. Gotta say I like everything about Fuente and I think the world of Beamer (who’s coming out to do an event in SF tomorrow). We are truly fortunate to have two straight coaches like these guys – much like the 49ers going from one HOF QB another.
    Finally, there is a finite number of football articles I’ve read referencing Tennyson and the Bible. Presumably someone could do the same about UVa fans being divided between the casual fans who recite poetry & review literature with one another during games to stay interested and “serious fans” who must identify with Job’s suffering.
    Keep showing off that Top-2 in the South Hills education.

    1. from one HOF QB *to* another. They did OK with coaches for a while there too.

      1. +many for the Job’s suffering blast!!!

        That was a great one.


    2. Top-2?
      ; )

      That was a good one. LOL, again.
      That Lord Alfred is very very obscure. Not one of his well known ones. You gotta really read him -anthology style- to find his better deeper even darker lines such as that.

      Although I figured the first part was not as contextual as the last half; the entirety is … “I fight on and the world darkens around me… among new men, strange faces and other minds.” -Lord Alfred-


      1. Keep writing in your style – I like the (Castle Shannon native) Dennis Miller-like allusions, so I am just trying to keep up with your references as I gear up for attending my one game this year – Clemson. Thank you VT Class of ’92 for making that the reunion game!

  6. Insights never stop when o so ING your writings… interesting bred we have at the helm…believe he has the ‘It’ quality to lead our teams to many championships. Looking forward to seeing my 336 amigo dicing up the Eers for his 1st VT Victory.

    Let’s Go…Hokies!!!
    Whooping Eers is a family tradition!

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