Mailblog in the morning: Virginia Tech edition
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Since I had to get up early and have a long drive to Virginia Tech today, there wasn't enough time to read the papers. So I'm improvising, starting with a Hokie fan who is quite familiar with the depth chart:
Matt, in Charlotte, N.C. writes: regarding comment that Va Tech is ranked too high in preseason coaches poll - I totally disagree. I was pleasantly suprised with the ranking and agree with it immensly. I was afraid they would be ranked too low based on the projections I was reading and disagree with. Va Tech is a perenial top 20 program and doesn't rebuild, they reload. The players that step up for the Hokies this year are ready to be the next stars for Va Tech and will prove the nay sayers wrong. Players like Jason Worilds, Stephen Virgil, Dorian Porch, Blake DeChristopher, Purnell Sturdivant, Brett Warren, Cordarrow Thompson, John Graves, Dyrell Roberts, Marcus Davis, Darren Evans, and Ryan Williams will all be names the ACC comes to know well and fear. Anything less than 10 wins from this team (or any other Va Tech team) has to be viewed as a disappointment. They are BCS bowl contenders year in and year out and I fully expect then to challenge for the ACC title again. Now, if we can just figure out how to win our bowl once we get there...
Heather Dinich: Matt, I get where you're coming from, I really do. That's why I picked the Hokies to win the Coastal Division. I just think from a national perspective, there are teams out there with less questions who deserve to be above them. Will Virginia Tech work its way up the polls this season? I have no doubt they're still capable of winning 10 games.
Steve, in Roanoke, writes: Great job Heather! Blogging on a Saturday morn is impressive. Any news on VT's RB situation w/ all the injuries? Thanks!
Heather Dinich: Steve, thanks for noticing, man. The latest is that Jahre Cheeseman and Kenny Lewis Jr. will be ready to go Monday. That should lessen some of the concern at this position, but as Matt pointed out, the coaches are also excited to see what freshman Ryan Williams can do this summer.
Jeff, a Hokie in Denver, writes: Heather, I realize the losses the Hokies have had at the skill positions but am curious as to whether you think Brian Stinespring will be on the hotseat regardless if the offense fails to produce this season? Thanks for the awesome reporting - your blog is great! Jeff
Heather Dinich: I haven't heard any rumblings about that, but this isn't the first question I've received about Bryan Stinespring. I think he made some critical calls last year that played a HUGE role in the Hokies winning the ACC title, and that Frank Beamer prides himself on staff stability. I'd be surprised if anything happened to Stinespring. If the offense fails to produce, that might have something to do with the fact the Hokies lost all four receivers and their leading rusher.
This one comes from Naples, Italy: How about covering the Terps.
Heather Dinich: Been there, done that. Still do. Check back later today for three questions facing Maryland this season.
Speaking of the Terps (since this is their first day of practice, too), Alex in Ramsey, N.J. writes: Great writing Heather, Real quick will heyward-bey be seeing alot more passes this year considering the new system and ? at running back or will we be seeing another great receiver not getting the damn ball.
Heather Dinich: James Franklin would love to throw more deep balls this season. Why didn't they do it more last year? Well, in part because of the play calling and in part because Darrius Heward-Bey is still developing as a receiver. Remember, he was a track star first. No doubt the receiver position is Maryland's strength. Check back later this week for an interview I had with first-year receivers' coach Lee Hull.