Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pre-season camp #1 - The Interpreter

So with all the talk these days about conference realignment and the Miami Hurricanes receiving $10 gazillion in improper benefits from boosters over the past 8 years, I get the sense that the focus isn't as much on the field as I think it needs to be. After all, the season is only two weeks away. This is a young Tech team and we need to look more closely at each position group. So who better to turn to than the VT coaching staff?

After all, I'm sure if you're a Superfan, you've read the countless blog posts, Twitter accounts and news stories that various media hacks have run these past few weeks, and the coaches have offered plenty of soundbytes and lines for those stories. The problem is that the coaching staff has a dialect to their language that can be difficult for normal American English speaking folks to understand. It's kind of like watching any Guy Ritchie movie - sure the British gangsters are speaking English, technically, I guess, but with that dialect, you could barely get every third word.

So what I'll do is take a look at how each position group's coach has assessed his group and/or specific players thus far through various quotes and then I will translate from Coachspeak into American English for you, my Calm and Beloved Reader. Awright den? (Sorry, had to get one more Guy Ritchie shot in there).

Coach Mike O'Cain - QBs and "Gameday Playcaller"
"I thought we threw the ball well in individual routes and I thought we were okay throwing it in our team work."

Translation: So basically when there's no defensive backs around or defensive linemen rushing the QB, the QBs can throw it pretty well, but add back in those other variables and everybody except Logan Thomas sucked.

Coach Kevin Sherman - WRs
"It was great to see Dyrell Roberts back out there running around and competing. We've moved him to X (Split End) because of injuries to get him on the field and to get him some work."

Translation: So Dyrell Roberts hasn't fully recovered from his injury and since he can't stretch the field from the flanker position with his old top end speed, I've moved him to split end where he can use his experience to try and get open.

"I'm trying to find my sixth receiver. I have some guys fighting hard for that position."

Translation: Life is so good right now with my top 5 guys I'm like a kid in a candy store. Yeah, let me go see if I can work with the 6th receiver a little bit since the several of the rest of my guys are NFL talents. My toughest decision here is whether to burn the redshirt off freshman Demetri Knowles who is running past everyone out there including Jayron Hosley, but are we really going to waste a year of his as a 6th receiver?! Tough call.

Shane Beamer - RBs
"Right now I think Josh Oglesby has had the best preseason. He's been consistent. He's been very focused, trying to take a leadership role - couldn't be happier with the job he's done. Having said that, Tony Gregory and Michael Holmes are showing flashes."

Translation: If Oglesby wasn't a senior who has given everything for this football program including moving to fullback last year and told he was going to get some touches but he barely did, he would be my #3 back. He's going to be our 3 yards and a cloud of dust back this season while we groom Gregory and Holmes to battle it out for next year.

"Wilson is a special player and I think he's about to have a big, big, big year."

Translation: Wilson is a special player and he's about to have a big, big big year.

Curt Newsome - Offensive Guards and Center
"Vinston Painter had a solid scrimmage. Vinston is a lot better. He's getting close."

Translation: This dadgum sumbitch is a physical monster on par with any player on any line in college football right now, but football just doesn't come naturally to him and as much as I want to get him on the field, when Blake DeChristopher comes back from his pec injury, Painter will be the third-string tackle.

"I really like where these younger guys are. I'm anxious to get Blake DeChristopher back."

Translation: Thank God we've been recruiting talented offensive linemen for a few years or I would have had a 2nd heart attack this preseason already. Our mix 'n' match philosophy on offensive line in scrimmages is wrecking our opportunity to get chemistry going and I need to get my full starting offensive line some reps before the season starts.

Bryan Stinespring - Tight Ends, Offensive Tackles and some weird version of Offensive Coordinator even though O'Cain is designing and installing the plays in camp and I'll be on the sidelines on gameday instead of the booth.
"Will Ryan Malleck play this fall? Well, I think he's going to be an outstanding player at Virginia Tech. The only question is when? At one time, I thought I might have to rush him along, but I'm not thinking like that now."

Translation: One thing I can do is recruit and coach tight ends and I'm glad that Chris Drager and Randall Dunn have really stood out this camp because I want to put in some time with this Malleck kid and turn him into the second coming of Jeff King.

"The guys who did get it will gain a lot from it. Problem is, we didn't have enough of those. Don't get me wrong, it's not an overall wasted opportunity. We just needed to get more out of it than we did."

Full disclosure, in order to write this blogpost I used one of those automated translators that they use in the United Nations where you put on the headset and hear in your language what the other person is saying. Yeah I know, I couldn't believe they had a downloadable catalog of the Coachspeak dialect, either. Anyway, when I played this clip of Stinespring, all I heard through the headphones was "Yeah, I have no idea what I'm saying."

Cornell Brown - Whips
"Alonzo Tweedy was very solid with three tackles and two assists. He would have had a great day because he was flying around, but he had two big mistakes. He was offsides on one play and then lost his man on a touchdown by reading the wrong keys."

Translation: We all know that Alonzo Tweedy is a more physically talented player than JGW but until he quits making mental mistakes, I'm going to keep JGW as the starter. At this point we're all just waiting for Nick Dew to have the light turn on, because when that happens he is going to be a monster at whip.

Torrian Gray - Defensive Secondary
"The scrimmage wasn't as precise and as good as I wanted it to be quite frankly. Glad we've got two weeks out. We're not very good right now with the younger guys and a lot of that is to be expected of freshmen, but we've just got to watch it on film and get better."

Translation: The thing that's so impressive to me about Coach Gray is that you don't really need the Interpreter for him. What you read is really usually what you get. The starters are All-ACC caliber talents and he is going to make them work their asses off and not accept anything less, and the backups at rover and free safety are all too young, making way too many mistakes right now, so he has Whitley and Exum both learning each other's position so he has flexibility in case of an injury.

Charley Wiles - Defensive Line
"If you look at his numbers and look at his body, he's gotten a lot bigger. He is more physical. I wouldn't call him an overall physical kid but he is more physical."

Translation: I am trying everything I can do to get Isaiah Hamlette out of 2nd string defensive tackle because he's so soft he belongs on defensive line at UVa. I lost Kwamaine Battle to a knee for the 2nd straight year and Dwight Tucker for 2 weeks with a knee. Nick Acree moved to offensive line and now I'm having to move freshman stud defensive end Corey Marshall inside to battle for that spot with Hamlette because Kris Harley is a year away and Luther Maddy has locked up the other backup spot.

"He improved markedly from that first little scrimmage. Football makes sense to the kid. He's definitely in the two-deep, if we play tomorrow, he's playing."

Transation: Just because all the recruiting services thought Kris Harley was a super stud at defensive tackle and Luther Maddy was an afterthought doesn't mean anything. And that moron MadJay over at TechSuperfans who REALLY thought Maddy was a reach doesn't know sh-t from shinola because Harley is going to need to be redshirted to get in shape and Maddy is ready to play right now as a true freshman.

Bud Foster - Linebackers, Defensive Coordinator and Walking Deity
"So I really like our first unit, there are some guys on the second unit that I'm pleased with but we need more to step up because we're lacking depth."

Translation: The first unit is about to unleash an entire offseason's worth of my frustration about finishing 52nd in total defense on Appalachian State. If those guys give up so much as a single point in that game you can be sure they are going to hear about it from me on the sideline when they come off the field. Last year's "take it easy on the young guys" mentality is gone now that these players are veterans. And the 2nd string has talent but they are going to receive personal dirty-pond-water enemas from me on a daily basis until I see them learning this defense at the level I expect it to be played.

Frank Beamer - Special Teams and Head Coach
"If Demler was the punter, we'd always feel very confident we had a great backup in Danny Coale. We'll see where it goes. I want to make a decision pretty quickly. I've been please with the way Demler has hit the ball in the preseason for the most part."

Translation: If you hacks think for one second I'm going to let my starting flanker and backup punt returner be the starting punter and serve as an additional media distraction you have bumped your damn heads.

"I think the summers show you the intentions of your players. If they're out there working hard, then their intentions are that they want to be successful. I think this group has been working hard all summer."

Translation: For God's sakes lets put the pads and helmets on and go out there and get this season started already.

Couldn't have spoken it any better myself, Big Whistle. In Coachspeak anyway.

GO HOKIES!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi said...

Wow. This is getting me psyched! Go Hokies!