Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas is back. After considering the possibility of leaving early for the NFL draft, Thomas said he was swayed to return in part by the hire of offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, and also by the humbling realization that he has room for improvement. Last year was a rough season in Blacksburg, Va., for everyone, but Thomas -- by nature of his position -- took the brunt of the criticism for the offensive struggles. Some of it was warranted, as Thomas threw for 2,976 yards, 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, but many of the problems stemmed from the inexperience surrounding him. He became the first quarterback since Bobby Owens in 1965 to lead the Hokies in rushing, running for 524 yards and nine scores. He also broke his own school record for total offense with 3,500 yards.
I caught up with Thomas recently to get his take on spring ball and his decision to return. Here are the highlights of our conversation:
How much different will the offense look this year?
Logan Thomas: I think it will be a little different just because we’ll be able to change it up a little bit. Obviously it will be the first time teams in the league have seen us play this way. It will still have a lot of the same dimensions, but we can do things differently.
What do you like about that? I would imagine it has plusses and minuses to changing things your last year.
LT: Yeah, obviously the minuses are having to learn a new playbook, but that can happen at any point in time, and it’s going to help me. It’s going to be a little bit of NFL verbage and NFL ways of doing things. Obviously there are a lot of positives in teaching me the same way that he (Loeffler) coached in the NFL. He’s going to teach me the way he taught those guys. I think that will be a big help, not only this year but in the long run.
Did you sit down and talk to him before you made your decision?
LT: We had a chat. They hadn’t made a decision on him, and I hadn’t made my decision yet, either. We talked and I felt like it was good for me to be able to come back and work with him.
What went wrong last year?
LT: The leadership. We didn’t have any one person or any group of people step up. That leader will drive a team as far as they want to go. I take some of the blame for that, and I think some of the other guys who are here take the blame for that. We’re not going to let that happen for a second year in a row. Another thing is we got complacent with all of the winning that had gone on in the program, that it was just going to happen. Obviously we know it’s not going to happen. We have to be better.
How tough was it for you, personally? You took a lot of heat, some of it fairly, some of it unfairly.
LT: It’s not tough. Most of the time I personally let things go. Obviously people are going to say a lot of things. They don’t know what they’re talking about at all times. Obviously there’s no way of dodging it here. You just have to put it to the side and use it for when you need it. It didn’t really get under my skin too bad. It’s just going to help drive me for this year, and be the best player I can possibly be, and this team be the best team we can be.
Stay tuned for Part II of this interview.