Watching my Hokies in recent weeks, I was interested in what it is about broken plays that allows Tyrod Taylor to escape containment. Our best plays seem to be the ones that completely fall apart. Normally I would chalk this up to brilliant play-action offense, but I know Stiney better than that. When Tyrod takes off, it seems like no one else really knows what's going on. So unless Stiney has some super-secret playbook that he only gives to T-Mobile, I have to assume that these plays were not planned, or if they were planned, they were very poorly coached.
That said, here is what I have observed:
When the pocket collapses, Tyrod will move into space. Since Stiney and Co. coach the offensive line to defect their blocks around the pocket, this space is usually somewhere inside the tackles. With Evans picking up the stray blitz, the only players left to cover Tyrod are the linebackers. The linebackers' decsions are key to understanding why this "works". If they choose to move in on Taylor (who I might add has an impressive sense of where the line of scrimmage is at all times!), he will find an open reciever behind them. If they sit back in coverage, or mirror him laterally, he will cross the line of scrimmage and pick up a few yards.
Stiney used this ability effectively last season with the delayed QB dive, but this is a move that puts Tyrod in undue danger. With ankle injuries a major concern, running him between the tackles with no blockers is probably not the best plan. How else can VT use this ability?
Continuing on the theme of plays missing from the Stinespring's personal rendition of "Everybody Poops" (AKA - the VT playbook), I have to turn an eye to the bootleg. The bootleg (and more specifically, the naked bootleg) takes the quarterback away from the pocket and forces the opposing team's linebackers to match not only his lateral speed, but also retain coverage in the center of the field. With a quarterback like Tyrod who has a tendency to run, it takes a well-disciplined linebacking corps and defensive backfield to maintain their coverage and not bite on the seemingly defenseless QB.
Here is a video actually ridiculing John Madden for his overuse of the word "bootleg", but the two plays chosen are excellent examples of how the play can work as a run or a pass:
The ideal set to run the naked bootleg in is the trips wide reciever set, since the line can block down to the side of the trips, and the backside tackle can block out on the end while Tyrod rolls to the weak side (with a single reciever). As he rolls out, he can use his speed and the misdirection to create seperation from the pile. This will leave plenty of open field for Tyrod to "do his thing". If the defense plays it wrong and bites on Taylor, we can get a big pass play out of it. If they play it right and run him to the sideline, his speed should still let us gain a few yards.
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FBS Mission Statement:
We at FBS believe that offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring bears the largest share of the blame for years of sub-par output from some of the most talented players ever to set foot on Worsham Field. We believe the main objective of the VT football program - a national championship - will escape us as long as Stinespring is making the calls. We therefore advocate the improvement of our football program through the replacement of our offensive coordinator.