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January 25, 2013
VT Introduces New Offensive Coaches
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While most people in Blacksburg were scrambling to prepare for the weekend's snowfall on Friday afternoon, three new offensive coaches prepared to begin the next step of their careers at Virginia Tech. Coach Frank Beamer introduced new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, and wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead as the new faces to hopefully push the offense to elite status.
"The bottom line is we just weren't as efficient as we needed to be (on offense)," Beamer said. "When things aren't working as well as they need to, you need to change it around. I found three guys here that I feel great about. Starting over, it gets everyone excited. And having these guys, I'm certainly excited."
For most Hokie fans, these moves have been a long time coming. And if Friday's press conference was any indication, those fans will be more than pleased with the choices. Loeffler will take the full reigns of the 71st ranked offense, and got straight to the point about what he wants to do on offense.
"We're going to play to the strengths of our team. We understand that VT has always played great D, and a great special teams," Loeffler said. "We need to have an offense that's able to run the ball effectively, play-action pass well, be productive on third down, and obviously score touchdowns in the red area rather than field goals."
The last statement is surely music to the ears of Hokie fans after Virginia Tech scored touchdowns on just 51% of it's attempts in the red-zone. However, Loeffler's chain-moving, methodical offense must have proper leadership and instruction up front. And it appears that Grimes is the perfect man to get the Virginia Tech line back to a dominating force.
"What I'm worried about is developing the toughest line in the ACC," Grimes stated. "We've gotta have the approach up front that we're gonna try to dominate the game from the offensive line position."
Grimes mentioned that he had an immediate connection with Loeffler at Auburn, where the two worked together for just one year. He also mentioned that Loeffler "has the most football knowledge of anyone I've ever been around."
While he was almost an afterthought at the press conference, Moorehead will bring a unique facet to the coaching staff as a former NFL receiver. Though he's only 32 years old, his Super Bowl ring that he won with Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts will instantly garner respect amongst his pupils.
"I think you said it, it gives you instant credibility," Moorehead said. "They know that at the end of the day I know what it takes to make it to the next level, the drive and desire that it takes. It's always been a big thing with me- if you treat somebody right, they'll respond to you and you'll have a good combination."
Because he is so young, Moorehead doesn't quite have the experience that Loeffler and Grimes have. But even with all the pressure, the five-year NFL veteran welcomes the fact that this is his first big opportunity.
"I would say that's an understatement. This is a heck of a deal, and I'm really excited about it," Moorehead added. "I know we have work to do. You're walking into a new place and you can never be scared of anybody- that's the mentality we have to have in the first game. If you walk on the field with an ounce of doubt, you have no chance."
Beamer's decision-process was anything but simple. During the press conference, he mentioned he consulted with numerous college and NFL coaches: John and Jim Harbaugh, Nick Saban, Pete Carroll, Lloyd Carr, Urban Meyer, Bobby Bowden, Will Muschamp, David Shaw, Bruce Arians, Todd Christensen, Jim Tressel, and Steve Addazio.
It certainly wasn't easy for Beamer to overhaul his offensive staff seemingly at the tail end of his coaching career. But it just may be the decision that helps fill the empty national trophy case inside of the Merryman Center, cementing his legacy amongst the all-time greats.
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