Virginia Tech senior Logan Thomas is a different quarterback than the one Hokies fans grew frustrated with in 2012.
Take a closer look:
“We’ve totally reconstructed his drops, his weight transfer, we’ve reconstructed basically timing his upper body and his lower half,” first-year offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler told ESPN.com. “That’s why he wasn’t accurate -- his upper body and lower body were not coordinated at all. His lower body would spin out to the left, and his body would be going to the target. You’ve gotta get everything moving. It’s like playing golf or baseball or anything else. The upper half and lower half have to be coordinated. That’s where he’s made hands down the biggest improvement, is his accuracy has really, really improved.”
Seeing, though, is believing.
Virginia Tech and ACC fans who watched or heard of Thomas’ three-pick performance in the Hokies’ spring game are going to need a little bit more convincing, but those within the program insist they saw a transformation this spring. Continuing that progress will be vital this summer, as Virginia Tech is looking to rebound from its worst season in 20 years and starts off against defending national champ Alabama on Aug. 31 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
In the spring game, Thomas didn’t look that much different than a year ago, when he threw 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions en route to a pedestrian 7-6 finish. That wasn’t an accurate reflection, though, of the progress Thomas made this spring, Loeffler said.
“What’s really sad -- and [defensive coordinator] Bud [Foster] said it best -- that kid had probably the best spring he’s ever had and we came out in the spring game, and we had a couple of picks, a couple of which were his fault, the other one was just a poor route by the wideout,” Loeffler said. “So the scrutiny begins, but to be quite honest, I’m glad it happened. It sets an edge, it sets a tone, it sets an urgency to improve.”
Loeffler has had success getting quarterbacks to minimize turnovers before (“You can do it,” he says.)
In 2002, former Michigan quarterback John Navarre watched his interception total drop from 13 to seven in his first season working with Loeffler. Navarre went on to become Michigan’s first All-Big Ten first-team quarterback since 1997. Thomas, who began 2012 as a projected first-round NFL draft pick, quickly saw his draft stock drop last year and decided to return for his senior season to improve. The hire of Loeffler factored into his decision.
Loeffler, a former Michigan quarterback, also worked with Tim Tebow and Chad Henne.
“I’ve had some great players, really really great quarterbacks, and he’s as talented as all of them,” Loeffler said. “If he continues to improve fundamentally and really concentrates on making plays when plays present themselves, and putting plays on the shelf and saving them for another day when opportunities don’t present themselves he’ll be fine. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, he’s got the functional intelligence. We just need to keep getting better.”
And Virginia Tech fans need to see it, starting Aug. 31.