What a great video discussion. ESPN still doesn't love VT as much as I do, but their objectivity may be better than mine.
Maybe I'm brainwashed, but....
Heading into 2008 seemed like a worse situation than we have this year. However, ESPN brings up VT's schedule this year. It is a challenging schedule. Then again it is the ACC.
I just don't quite understand why they are making such an issue about VT's offensive line. Four starters left, but this year we will have mostly upperclassmen (5th yr Srs) or guys with significant game experience and talent. It is about the same as heading into last season, if not a little better. All they see is that VT lost 4 starters, and assume the worst.
The RB situation is obvious, but they are still assuming the worst... interesting stat and remark about negative running plays. VT lost over 100 yards on carries. Didn't DW lose about 22 yards on one play? Did that include sacks of the QB? On the other hand there were plenty of times where defenses just pinned their ears back and met VT RBs in the backfield. I think DC's will have a different game plan this year, when facing VT.
Logan Thomas is not likely to have the same amount of success compared to last season, because the opposing DC's will do all they can to disrupt LT's space of operation. VT's play calling and OL's ability to protect and open lanes for LT and the RBs will go a long way to determine how good the offense performs.
No matter how much I was revolted by VT's #103 offensive rankings in 2007 and 2008... the Hokies still won 10 games, or more those years. No matter how you look at the incoming offense, it has to be better than 2008, with the possible exception of a RB stepping up like Darren Evans' did. Even now, we are looking at a similar RB situation. Kenny Lewis Jr. was our starting TB that season, and we didn't have anyone else with game experience. Tony Greggory and Kenny Lewis Jr. are almost interchangeable, except TG is coming off a knee injury, and we are likely going to have to use an untested RB to carry the load.
As for our WRs... again, it is about the same situation that we had heading into last season. By that I mean we have 3 or 4 capable WRs, if not more. Sure we lost some fan favorites, but its not like we don't have any talent. We have some potential star power who have been paying their dues being stuck behind Boykin and Coale, or rehabbing... and now is their time to shine. We may even have a rFr or rSo who could add to the mix of talent.... and that could go for the TEs as well.
I would really like to see our TE's get into the passing game again, like when Jeff King was on the team. That could keep those DE's in check a little better. I really don't know if it a DE, LB or Safety that would be responsible to cover a TE... maybe each at various times.
Seems like a mature LT could start using the short to mid range passing game to keep defenses from crowding his space of operation. We are going to need our OL to provide protection as well as effective hot routes to burn defenses enough for them to respect all the weapons VT has. We all know LT is a physical QB, but it is a long season, with more quality teams than usual.
It's weird, but our offense could be better than last season, with the exception of losing Wilson, but it is a rebuilding year. You know, that's only true to a small extent. Yes we lost 4 OL starters, 2 quality WRs and a superstar RB, but we are getting 4 OLmen who have been in the system for at least three years, and most will be rSrs. Marcus Davis and DJ Coles have been developing into quality WRs, and Dyrell Roberts is just as good as the WRs we just lost. The only position we are truly rebuilding is at RB, the rest is reloading IMHO. I don't have great expectations for our RBs, but they will most likely exceed expectations... it's not like we are expecting them to lose ground every carry... they may not create fear in opposing DCs, like Williams or Wilson have.... and even then I don't think opposing DCs were all that afraid.
Yes our D is going to be great, but I think our offense and hopefully STs will be better than the round table discussion experts think. I still think these experts compare teams to Alabama or LSU, but there's a reason each game is played, and everyone has to play quality ball to have a winning record. There is a small chance, but a real chance that VT could be in the NC discussion. If we win 10 games with our schedule, there's a good chance VT makes the ACC CG again. I'm not about to start that kind of hype for the Hokies... and sort of happy we are considered #19. We know there's a lot of work to do, especially on offense, but that's always been the case, and we are in relatively decent shape at every position.
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