ACC: Kevin Sherman
On Friday, Virginia Tech's offensive staff underwent a monumental makeover. Play-caller Mike O'Cain is gone. Offensive line coach Curt Newsome is gone. Receivers coach Kevin Sherman is already at Purdue. Bryan Stinespring has been reassigned. In comes former Temple and Auburn offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, former Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes and former Stanford wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead. Stinespring will move from offensive coordinator to Virginia Tech’s recruiting coordinator, as he will continue to coach the tight ends.
Not since 2006, when four assistants were hired, has Beamer made such sweeping changes to his staff. Were these the right moves? Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo reportedly turned down Beamer's offer to be the Hokies' next offensive coordinator. He wasn't the only one. Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton also interviewed for the job and reportedly turned it down.
Was Loeffler the best option? Or was he the best available option?
Most Virginia Tech fans would likely agree these changes were long overdue. But will they make the Hokies better in 2013?
Let's put it to a vote.
- Mike Barber has reported that quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain has been fired at Virginia Tech.
- What is going on with the Hokies? Pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together.
- Georgia Tech has hired a former Auburn assistant as its defensive line coach.
- Several former Clemson players will be in all-star games the next two weekends.
- Ten former FSU players will do the same.
- This Maryland recruit could have been an Ivy Leaguer.
- Can Clemson lure in the "media favorite?"
- Virginia Tech hasn't announced it, but it looks like wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman is out.
Virginia Tech hasn't announced any staff changes yet, so it's still unclear who is in what roles. Is Stinespring staying or going? Two other assistants, offensive line coach Curt Newsome, and receivers coach Kevin Sherman, have been offered other jobs, according to a source, but again, Virginia Tech has yet to officially confirm any of this.
So, behind closed doors, there appear to be a lot of decisions being made, but the most important ones today were Thomas' return and the hire of Loeffler, who has moved around a lot in recent years. He was at Michigan through the 2007 season, and Virginia Tech would be his fifth different stop since then (Temple one year, Florida two years, Auburn one year, Detroit Lions one year).
I'm not sure Loeffler is the answer. He tried to more of a pro style offense with Auburn's spread personnel this past season and it obviously didn't work too well. Auburn was No. 115 in the country in total offense. The good news? He'll have an experienced quarterback to work with.
There has also been a report that Frank Beamer was scheduled to meet Monday with Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Nashville, Tenn., according to a CBSSports.com. There has been nothing official to report on that end. My prediction is that Mike O'Cain and Bryan Stinespring are demoted, not fired.
There are still plenty of decisions to be made in Blacksburg. Stay tuned.
- The Coastal Division is a mess.
- Tonight's game is a big one for both teams.
- Virginia Tech linebacker Bruce Taylor says it's win or go home time.
- Virginia Tech receivers coach Kevin Sherman has changed his approach.
- Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson says it's not time to panic.
- Clemson's new indoor practice facility should be ready before the South Carolina game.
- BC is trying to shelf it's celebration from the first win of the season and focus on Wake Forest.
- Duke's secondary isn't going to shut Clemson down, but it would like to at least limit the Tigers.
- NC State could avoid some nail biters if it took control early.
- Here are some of the ACC's top storylines for Week 10.
- Maryland quarterback Shawn Petty is eager to prove himself.
- UVa receiver Tim Smith is getting close to 100 percent.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
As a fifth-year senior who already graduated, and a third-string quarterback and backup wide receiver who has watched more games than he had played in, Cory Holt could have understandably closed his career at Virginia Tech after last season.
|Doug Benc/Getty Images|
|Virginia Tech's Cory Holt is preparing to start at quarterback against Maryland on Nov. 6.|
He thought about it. Just not for too long.
"I'm not going to give up on this team, I'm not going to quit," he said. "And they're not going to give up on me. And they haven't for the last four years."
The Hokies certainly aren't going to give up on Holt now. Not when he could be their starting quarterback on Nov. 6 against Maryland.
On the first play of last weekend's game at Florida State, Virginia Tech starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a left high ankle sprain. In the third quarter, backup Sean Glennon dropped down and writhed in pain with a left ankle sprain. Both of them are wearing a protective boot until "at least Thursday or Friday," according to trainer Mike Goforth, and will be listed as questionable for the Maryland game.
While Holt was warming up at halftime at Florida State, receivers coach Kevin Sherman approached him and asked him if he was ready "just in case you have to go in." Holt was joking when he said, "yeah." He didn't really think he'd be playing.
After all, Holt hadn't taken a snap at quarterback in six weeks.
That changed within minutes, and Holt was suddenly searching for his helmet and running the Hokies' offense without even getting a chance to talk to quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain.
"He ran the offense just like you wanted him to," O'Cain said. "I'm very proud of him because he was in a very tough situation and did a great job."
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
It's a beautiful day here in Blacksburg, Va., and despite losing the winningest class in senior history, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer took time out of practice to say "Welcome back to Blacksburg" with a smile, a handshake, and a whistle around his neck.
Reporters were allowed to watch practice for the first six periods and I paid particular attention to the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, although most of this stuff is fundamentals and the depth chart will change on a daily basis.
Keep your eye on No. 19, receiver Danny Coale. The receivers ran routes for two periods and he looked strong, making a diving catch and playing with a no-nonsense attitude. Zach Luckett also looked like he has good height and hands. The receivers started off by working on their blocking skills -- and their pushups.
Receivers coach Kevin Sherman did a basic catching drill where he hit the players in the numbers and there were numerous drops, which resulted in pushups.
"Get your hands up!" barked Sherman.
Marcus Davis dropped the ball and then dropped and did eight.
Ervin Garner got away with four.
Jarrett Boykin did five.
Next to them the DBs worked on recognizing play action with Torrian Gray, who also went over stance and starts with them.
"Don't backpedal outta there!" he yelled.
The quarterbacks practiced their drop-backs and handoffs. Sean Glennon was handing the ball off to Kenny Lewis Jr. and Tyrod Taylor was working with Jahre Cheeseman. A good sign for the running game.
"High and tight, get it tucked!" yelled Billy Hite, associate head coach and running backs coach.
The running backs and fullbacks then practiced catching the ball out of the backfield in zone coverage, with the tailbacks running a swing route and the fullbacks flat routes. Glennon would look for the tight end, see he's not there and then hit Cheeseman.
Poor Brandon Dillard, who will miss the season with a ruptured Achilles. He had to watch it all from the side on his crutches, with a protective boot on his right foot.
"It's kind of hard watching," he said. "I still want to be around and help the young guys."
And there were plenty of young, talented guys out there today looking for a little help.
Players and coaches will be available after practice. Check back later for more.