Press Conference: Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer

frank-beamer-ndVirginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer talks with reporters on Tuesday. Virginia Tech (5-6, 2-5 ACC) hosts UVA (5-6, 3-4 ACC) on Friday at 8 p.m.

 

FRANK BEAMER: Well, certainly a big game right here on national TV. I think probably one of – probably the only game, or maybe one of two or three, but coming off of a rough outing. I think we’ll find out who we are a little bit. Things have not gone as well at times that we’d like them to and certainly not our last ball game, but I go back and give Wake Forest credit. They played well, and we didn’t play well enough and gave up the ball in some situations that it’s not productive. So the big week is happening fast, and we’ve got to move fast and think fast this week.

Q. Good morning, Coach. When Michael Brewer is playing — I know the quarterback gets too much blame and too much credit. How has Michael Brewer played this year, and how much has he been affected by an offensive line that hasn’t been great this season?
FRANK BEAMER: I think Michael is a very solid guy, really smart, really studies the game, works hard at being prepared, well prepared. I think with any quarterback, and particularly one like Michael, he needs good people around him. He needs a running game that can get him into second and five, and he doesn’t need to be in a third and ten. We have trouble protecting him when you start bringing a lot of people on third and ten. I think the elements around him, again, we continue to work on them, and I think we’re making strides, but we’ve got to continue in that direction.

Q. And as Trey Edmunds said last night, he’s pretty much ready to go, he feels like, for Saturday. How comfortable are you, though, kind of handing him the ball when he hasn’t really been in game contact in a while?
FRANK BEAMER: I would ask him. Again, I think it’s all in the mind of a player. But Trey’s got a lot of toughness to him, got a lot of athletic ability to him, and certainly got some size to him. He was having a terrific game last year against Virginia when he went down. So we’re going to continue to practice this week, and I want in his mind to feel good about getting in there and playing. Again, he’s a guy that’s squared away. I think he’ll tell us exactly where he is.

Q. Sneaking one more in, with the Friday game, what’s your schedule? And what do you guys do for a Thanksgiving meal?
FRANK BEAMER: We come together and have one as a team and the families and anyone involved with our team. We have that, but really we try to keep it very similar, normal week. The only thing we don’t have is a Friday. We play on Friday. So our Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are basically the same, and we’re having to crowd a little bit into that Thursday workout. Other than missing our normal Friday, everything is the same for us.

Q. Looking at this game, obviously, it’s a rivalry game within the state of Virginia, but at the same time, both you and Virginia are 5-6, both have an opportunity to go to a Bowl game. So how much more is put behind a game like this for you knowing that there is a chance to live another day for either yourself or Virginia?
FRANK BEAMER: Yeah, we made it more important for us in that last ball game. We had a chance to get bowl eligible the last time and didn’t get it done. So this game has more importance. But I really believe overall the pride in the state of Virginia, that’s the big prize in this ball game. And what else you put with it, you can, but I think there’s a lot of pride with both universities, the alumni of both universities, the supporters of both universities. So I think that’s the big, big thing right there, just the pride in your state school.

Q. When you look at Mike London and what he’s doing at Virginia and what you’ve built in Virginia Tech, what can you say about your thoughts on him and his leadership and how this rivalry has grown between the two of you and the here and now? Obviously, it’s had history, but where it stands today.
FRANK BEAMER: Well, I have a lot of respect for Mike London and the coaches before him. Always got along well with the Virginia coaching staff. But Mike, I think’s done an excellent job. He’s got a good football team, a talented football team. They always have, but I think the quarterback situation is solid now. The Lambert guy is doing a terrific job. He’ll sit in there and throw the ball, make some tremendous plays. Any time you can get settled at your quarterback position, I think you’re — that’s a big, big plus. So I don’t think Mike’s done anything but an excellent job there at Virginia and continues to do that.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that you sort of — you kind of went around and asked some people, asked some guys on the offense whether they thought the scheme was a little bit too complex, and they said that wasn’t the case. I’m just curious, the way that’s played and, I guess, the lack of progress maybe, that there’s sufficient progress on offense, has that made you question the direction this offense takes long term from going forward beyond this?
FRANK BEAMER: Not really, but, you know, as we mentioned, going into the year, our offensive line was a concern, and then you lose three — two of them early, one of them late – lose them for the year. So now you’re playing with some guys — and there’s some guys that are going to be really good players. The effort and toughness in the offensive line, that’s not in question, but being able to pick up blitzes because it’s happening very fast with a guy that hasn’t had many reps, that gets to be an issue. I think there’s two things that need to happen for us to be really better is continue to get good personnel on the offensive line, and we’ve got some young kids that we feel like fit that bill. And then experience, get them in there and get them some experience. I don’t think your overall — you know, you say things haven’t gotten better, but I don’t think they get better until you make – you get your personnel right, and you get your experience right. Again, I’m not — our offensive line, I like our toughness. I like our eagerness. I like our dedication. Just some spots, we need more experience, and we need to continue to get good players in there.

Q. Frank, Virginia Tech’s been to 21 straight Bowl games. How important is it continuing that streak just to the culture of Hokie football?
FRANK BEAMER: Well, it’s important. It’s been a very consistent program over the years. This has been a year that things haven’t gone quite as normal as you’d want them to, but I think when you start throwing in — I think a third of our starters we projected to start the year aren’t there right now. Last count we played 21 freshmen, and when you have those things, then I don’t think you’ve got a settled situation. It’s not like however many years we’ve gone to — however many of those Bowls. I don’t think we’ve had a year of personnel that’s had as many changes and ins and outs as this particular year. I understand it all, but it is still important. It’s important to this football team. It’s important to this program. It’s important to our alumni that we get back to a Bowl and keep that streak going. I think we’re the only one in the country, I believe, that’s gone to that many right now straight. So when you’re one by yourself, that has a lot of importance to you.