Press Conference: Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer
FRANK BEAMER: Well, we got our hands full. We got a really good football team, NC State coming here. It will be a game on Friday night. I think maybe one or two games on. You know, we’d like to play well and we know we’re going to have to play extremely well to have a chance to beat these guys. So trying to show improvement as a football team. And that’s the bottom line with us. We gotta play better, execute better, and we’re working hard this week to get that done. I think our coaches are certainly coaching hard and our players are giving great effort. We just gotta get things corrected and on the right path here. Questions?
Q. Frank, what did you see from Michael Brewer in practice yesterday? How did he look?
FRANK BEAMER: He looked okay. You know, it’s still going to be — see how he develops the rest of the week and see what happens. But I tell you, it didn’t surprise me, to be honest with you, how well he threw yesterday.
Q. Are you concerned at all, though, that if you’re spending some time with Michael and some time getting Brenden (Motley) ready that neither of them are going to get enough reps to be ready for Friday night?
FRANK BEAMER: Well, it’s just the situation we’re in right now. So you gotta do what you gotta do.
Q. The fans love Friday night and Thursday night and Monday night games. You’ve had now, this will be your second one that’s not on a Saturday. As a coach how much more difficult is it with the short week or do you enjoy the atmosphere of those special night games?
FRANK BEAMER: Well, number one, I do enjoy the atmosphere. And as I’ve always said, if you can play well, it’s great for the university. It’s great for recruiting, great for your football program. But the key is you gotta play well. But you know, it’s a game that — or it’s the thing that whatever day we’re playing on, we kind of have a schedule that, you know, we keep intact. In other words, I don’t care what day it is, a Monday practice is always the same for us, a Tuesday practice is always the same. Wednesday and Thursday. So you know, we try to approach it that way, and the kids know what practice it is, how they should be — how they should be prepared at that point for a game. So you know, it’s something we kind of gotten used to and like being the only game on.
Q. I’m working on a story on Bob Stoops and Bill Snyder who have been at their school 17 and 24 years respectively. And just on longevity. What is the key element to a coach and staying at one institution for so long?
FRANK BEAMER: Oh, you know, I think with me I felt like when we came here and wasn’t doing very well, and you know, I always try to do the right thing academically and tried to treat people right, with respect and so forth. Always cared about the program and the players. And fortunately for me I had an administration that could see what we were doing the right things and chose to keep me around. Now, I don’t know if that’ll happen anymore in the future. But you know, to me it’s treating people right, and you know, a lot of times you make a lot of enemies on the way up. Those enemies are going to get you on the way down. So you know, I try to not make too many enemies.
Q. You know, we don’t see a lot of coaches at their same schools for so long. Is that almost a special fraternity when you look at yourself, Coach Stoops, Coach Snyder, Coach Ferentz, guys like that?
FRANK BEAMER: Absolutely. I have — I think to be in that group with those guys, the guys I have respect for and think about the Paternos and the Bowdens and so forth. Yeah, I feel — I know how fortunate I am. I say that a lot. But I really do know how fortunate I am.
Q. One final question, just how special are those relationships that you create with not only players but assistant coaches and what’s it like as a coach to see them develop as young men and also grow in their coaching careers?
FRANK BEAMER: Well, you know, we owe a lot to Nike, a lot of us. And Nike takes a lot of us on trips with our wives. And it’s a special time. You know, you develop a relationship on a Saturday in competing against them and so forth, and I think you got a lot of respect there, but then when you get on a trip and visit with them in another setting and play a little golf with them and whatever, I think, you know, that’s a very beneficial thing, too. So a lot of these guys I compete against now, or we compete against, we know them quite well and have a lot of respect for them.
Q. Hey, coach. I know a lot of questions about the quarterback situation, but can you talk about the running game, obviously was a problem Saturday. Where was the problem? Was it the line? Was it the defense? Was it the difficulty throwing the ball? What caused the breakdown because you’d been pretty solid in the running game.
FRANK BEAMER: Yeah, I think it all started out with the guys across the line of scrimmage. They were pretty good. And that’s the first issue. But next we gotta play better on the offensive line. And they’re working as a group that’s working. I wish we had a little more experience in there. But I think we’ve got some very athletic, talented guys there. And it’s coming.
It’s just — you know, it all starts there. And then I think going to the throwing game. I mean anytime you’re a threat throwing the ball, I think that helps your running game. And so you know, on both sides of it, if we develop more consistency throwing, then I think our running will get better. And so — I think you put all those things together, and you know, the one thing — if you ask any member of our offensive team, player, coach, whatever, I would bet that they’d say No. 1 thing we gotta do is get our running game going. I mean that’s just working hard and gotta have that happen.
Q. You mentioned the guys on the other side of the line. Pitt’s fourth in the nation in total defense. You’re playing a team that’s third in the nation in total defense this year. The ACC has got three of the top six — three of the top four defenses and six of the Top 20. Can you talk about the level of defenses being played in the league that you see on tape and you’ve played against?
FRANK BEAMER: Well, you know, I mean it’s — you look at the tape and you get a great respect for, Louisville’s defense. I think they’ve played a lot of guys and taken them from a defensive end and put them in linebacker and from a corner to a safety. And as a result, they got a lot of guys that just run extremely well. I mean they’re very athletic, and you know, a guy might be good at defensive end, good speed, but he’s got great speed at defensive tackle. And what they’ve done, I think a little bit of. And you know, the plan is working, because you know, they’re really good.
Q. Hey, Frank, you mentioned the emotion level that you wanted the guys to play with a good amount of passion and enjoy the moment, I think were your words. What have you seen in practice? Is there a good energy level with your guys?
FRANK BEAMER: Yeah. We had a good practice yesterday, and the one thing I know for sure, our players want to be successful, have a great desire to be successful. I think when you start talking about that point, how they’re prepared and what level they play at, that all begins with me. I gotta do a better job, and plan to and am working in that direction.
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