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.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In Honor of Last Night...

I know this is a basketball post but I like to use every excuse possible to post this picture. Last night definitely makes a good excuse.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So what the hell just happened?

Yesterday was an interesting day. We went from having a new OC to not having a new OC to having the same OC but a new coach calling the plays. Confused? Me too.

So here's what actually happened. Stinespring still officially carries the title of offensive coordinator. But he's not going to be calling the plays on game day. That duty now falls to quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain. There were some rumblings that this was a bogus move, as both O'Cain and Stiney have shared the booth for the last few years, and the question of who was making the actual play call would be hard to determine. But hokiehaven.com is reporting that Stiney will actually be on the sideline on game day now instead of in the booth. That means the play calls really will come from O'Cain and O'Cain only.

So what the hell is an OC who doesn't call plays? To be honest, I wasn't sure myself. But if I'm piecing this together correctly, here's what we can expect.

1) The playbook will not change. There will be no offensive overhaul and no new system installed at VT. We will still be a pro set offense, and we'll still benchmark the Indianapolis Colts as the example of what we want to be offensively.

2) Stiney, as OC, will still be the one who is (technically) in charge of developing the game plan against VT's opponents through watching film and studying defensive tendencies in our opponents. O'Cain will be with him just about every step of the way, but what VT wants to do offensively on any give Saturday will be developed by Stinespring, as always.

3) On game day the show is all Mike O'Cain's, from kickoff to last whistle. Stiney will be on the ground, and from that vantage point he'll be watching the opposing defense and passing along information to the booth, suggesting adjustments.

What do we make of this? Well, very simply put, CFB finally admitted Stiney was in over his head on game day. He knew a change needed to be made. But he also would not ask one of his favorite assistant coaches to take a pay cut. So Stiney gets to keep the OC title and his salary, while still getting him out of the booth.

It's not a perfect setup. But I'm cautiously optimistic.

The way I see it, the problem has never been the playbook itself. We have a decent variety of plays from which to choose. There's no timing routes, and there never will be. Frank doesn't trust them. But aside from that, an offense has everything it needs to win with what's in VT's playbook - as long as the plays are called effectively.

I've said it too many times, the biggest weakness Stiney has displayed is his complete inability to adjust in-game. If his game plan works the way he thought it was going to work then it's all good, but as soon as a defense confuses or surprises him then things take a turn for the worst. Put very simply, Stinespring displays no feel for the game. He can teach fundamentals, and he can even design some decent plays. But he will never be a master at in game adjustments. This reassignment of duties appreciates that fact.

Will it work? Who knows. I'm in the minority, but I think Mike O'Cain has done an acceptable job as QB coach at VT. Sean Glennon never made the cut, but O'Cain helped mold Tyrod Taylor into a passing quarterback and VT's all time passing leader. His resume as a play caller isn't stellar, but it's also better than Stinespring's. And if you listen to the spin from Beamer, O'Cain has some sort of freaky weird vulcan mind meld going on with Logan Thomas.

The bottom line is that you usually want your QB coach calling your plays. It's the way it's done at just about every division 1A school, and for good reason. I support this move if only because it uses that model.

I'm cautiously optimistic about this. It's not the ideal situation, as Stiney is still technically our OC. But my biggest criticism of Stiney has always been his play calling and lack of adjustment. This addresses that weakness. I have always said I think Stinespring has something to offer VT, and I'm glad to see him given the offensive tackles to coach if only because it takes two-fifths of the offensive line away from Curt Newsome. Stiney has done an excellent job of coaching tight ends the last five years, and I look for him to produce some outstanding offensive tackles as well.

I can't speak for my fellow admins at FBS, and I can't speak for our readers, but personally I'm going to give this arrangement a shot before I condemn it. It's not all that I would have hoped, but it's damn more than I expected.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FBS is about to be obsolete.

From Kyle Tucker's Twitter:

WOW. QB coach Mike O'Cain now the #Hokies' O-coordinator. Stinespring to coach TEs and OTs. Newsome to coach interior linemen.

EDIT: The Richmond Times Dispatch reports it's official. Stiney out, O'Cain in. Read the story here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Additional Coaching Changes, Cornell Brown Edition

More coaching changes today! Jim Cavanaugh is being promoted to an administrative position, similar to Billy Hite. Cavanaugh is moving from "recruiting coordinator, strong safety and outside linebacker coach" to "director of high school relations and director of recruiting," according to Rivals. Replacing him will be former Virginia Tech All-American Cornell Brown. Brown has experience coaching in the CFL and NFL Europe, as well as coaching the Miami Dolphins' linebackers during training camp in 2006.

A little more about Brown from Rivals:
"Brown played for the Hokies from 1993 until 1996 earning first team All-American honors as a defensive end in 1995 and 1996.

Brown posted 14 sacks in 1995 for Virginia Tech while earning National Defensive Player of the Year honors by the Football News. He was once again an All-American despite missing three games to injury in 1996.

Brown was subsequently drafted in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens in the 1997 NFL Draft where played with the Ravens from 1997 to 2004 including as part of the Super Bowl XXXV Championship squad."

Links:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Football Schedule: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The 2011 ACC football schedule has (finally) been released. And while there's a lot of buzz around the recent coaching hires in Blacksburg and Chestnut Hill, we'd be remiss in our duties if we didn't go through the schedule with a fine tooth comb.

THE GOOD

For the first time since 2007 the Hokies will be opening their season in Lane Stadium, which indicates that the rehab must be working for Jim Weaver. We also open against a 1-AA opponent. This is, in principle, a good idea. But Appalachian State is no scrub. They're a hell of a lot better than than the 6-5 JMU squad that VT shit the bed against in 2010. And this is the same program that recorded one of the great all time upsets against Michigan at the Big House and effective sent Lloyd Carr packing.

But I'll take it.

The general apologist argument about the JMU loss is that the heartbreaking 4th quarter loss against Boise State coupled with a short week set the Hokies up for disaster against the Dukes. Opening the season against one of the best teams at the 1-AA level will test that theory. Will the Hokies be ready to make a statement, or will Appy State expose the post-Tyrod Hokies right off the bat?

The Hokies follow up the opener with their other three non-conference opponents, and believe me, there's nothing to see here. Torrian Gray leads his secondary to Greensboro to feast on the Air Raid offense of East Carolina. The Hokies are back in Blacksburg the following week against Sun Belt opponent Arkansas State, then hit the road to Huntington, West Virginia, to face Marshall. The Thundering Herd present the biggest threat of a trap game, as VT opens conference play against Clemson the following week and Marshall just barely managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against West Virginia last season.

Once the Hokies enter ACC play, they only back to back away games once, at Duke on October 29 and then at Georgia Tech on Thursday, November 10. Even then the Hokies have their bye week between the two games, which means the Hokies are never on the road in consecutive weeks during the season. And if the run defense is not dramatically improved from last season there's no better time for Bud Foster to have a bye week to prepare than before facing the Yellow Jackets.

The Hokies get their toughest conference opponents - Clemson, Miami, and UNC - at Lane Stadium. The toughest ACC opponent VT has to travel to play is Georgia Tech, and it's not clear how well the Yellow Jackets will manage to adapt in the post-Josh Nesbitt era.

THE BAD

The offense will be breaking in a new starting quarterback and a new starting tailback - though admittedly a tailback with a ton of experience. Whenever you replace starters at such critical positions you want some time to break them in and raise their confidence. The Hokies get that in their first four games, but as soon as the calendar flips to October it gets real.

Clemson just landed a monster recruiting class. While that doesn't always translate to immediate on-field success, head coach Dabo Swinney is under intense pressure to finally turn the corner, and knocking off the defending ACC champions at home would be a huge step in that direction.

We follow up Clemson with a visit from Miami and new head coach Al Golden. And really, who the hell knows what we'll get from the Hurricanes? Golden turned Temple into a winner, but it took him time. His turnaround in South Beach may be quicker since he has substantially better talent to work with. Either way, it's been Virginia Tech that has emphatically demonstrated the Hurricanes' lack of back-ness the past two seasons, and you can bet the entire roster is frothing at the mouth to beat us.

Other than that, there really isn't much of anything else bad about this schedule. The only other criticism I can make - and I'm admittedly nit-picking here - is that the Hokies are only home on consecutive weekends once during the whole schedule, against Clemson and Miami the first two Saturdays of October.

THE UGLY

Our strength of schedule.

As it stands right now, not a single team on the Hokies' 2011 schedule looks to be ranked in the preseason polls and depending on how the season shakes out VT might not play a ranked opponent all year.

If Logan Thomas is as promised and David Wilson doesn't crack under the pressure of being THE MAN, and if Bud Foster can shore up his run defense without a discernible decline in pass defense, then the 2011 Hokies could have a legitimate shot of going 12-0 in regular season play if they manage to catch a few lucky breaks here and there. Even if they do, I'd expect them to enter the ACC championship game in December outside the top 5 and without any realistic shot of playing for a BCS championship.

This season will provide an excellent opportunity to develop some of the younger talent on this team. Virginia Tech also has a strong nucleus of upperclassmen, especially on offense along the line and in the receiving corps, who can provide leadership and inspiration while the younger talent is getting their football legs under them. 12-0 is not an unreasonable goal to set for this season, given the level of opponents the Hokies will be facing. I don't personally think we'll reach the top of that particular mountain - I see the Hokies stumbling once or twice in conference play. But even if the Hokies should manage to make history and go undefeated, we should view that accomplishment in context and not read more into it than what's actually there.

GO HOKIES!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Now we're going to see what VT passed on...

http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/22160/bc-names-offensive-coordinator-2

Yup. The same day we find out that Shane's headed home, we find out that former VT QB Coach Kevin Rogers is taking over the offense at Boston College. Now we'll get the opportunity to see what we had and passed on versus what we got stuck with. Rogers vs Stiney. Rogers vs Foster.

October 22nd just got circled on my calendar.

SHANE BEAMER RETURNING TO VT!!!

From Rivals:

"Gamecock Central has learned recruiting coordinator and special teams coach Shane Beamer is leaving to take a job on the Virginia Tech coaching staff.

The Hokies are coached, of course, by Beamer's father, Frank. Beamer is expected to be named an offensive coach on the Virginia Tech staff. "


This is great, especially considering he just pulled in the #1 recruit in the country today for South Carolina.


EDIT #2: Some more info from Rivals--Shane is going to be taking over as the Running Backs Coach. As a result, Billy Hite is being "elevated to an administrative role within the football department, as assistant to the head coach and senior advisor." He was previously the Associate Head Coach and Running Backs Coach. In his new role, Hite will be "retiring from active coaching," according to Rivals.


While most of us are very optimistic about bringing Shane Beamer into the program, it is a little sad to see Billy Hite handing the Running Backs duties over. Hite has coached at Tech for 33 years and has been here longer than Beamer. While it may seem like the end of an era, Coach Hite (I'm still calling him "Coach") will still be with the program and I'm sure Shane (Coach Beamer? Coach Little Beamer? Coach Shane?) will have a great opportunity to learn from one of the best RB coaches in the game.

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