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Frank Beamer teleconference transcript


  by - Sunday, November 27, 2011 8:06 PM
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Transcript of Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer’s conference call with the ACC media Sunday.

FRANK BEAMER: We're really, really
excited to be coming back to play in the ACC
Championship Game. It's been work. I’m very,
very proud of our program for getting us to this
game. But it hasn't been an easy trip here.
We've hung in there, and like I've said
quite a few times, we haven't always been pretty,
but we've always played hard. So I'm really proud
of our football program.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Logan
Thomas. What has been the difference to him
just gaining some confidence and improving
his play? He looks like a different quarterback
than the one that showed up against Clemson.

FRANK BEAMER: Yeah, I think
experience. He's a guy that's very smart. He's
always in control on the football field, and I think as
he's gained experience, he knows where he wants
to go with the ball. He's more accurate because
he knows that sooner, and it all just comes with
experience.
You know, you thought that was going to
happen, but you never really know. But the guy is
just -- he's been really good for us, taking care of
the ball, really pleased about that part of it, and
then his play there on the field and his accurate
throwing, that's been a real plus for us.

Q. How have you seen him improve as
a runner? It seems like that's been something
watching you guys on television he's really
improved that part of his game, as well.

FRANK BEAMER: Yeah, he's -- when he
gets going, he's a fast guy, really. He's not quite
as quick as our former quarterback, Tyrod. He's
not like that. But he's quick enough, and he runs,
and he's a tough guy to bring down.

Q. Where do you think you guys have
made the most progress since the last time you
played Clemson?

FRANK BEAMER: Oh, I think offensively
we're a better offense right now. And of course
that goes back to your quarterback and his play.
But you know, we have the ability, I think, to be a
balanced group. We've got the ability to throw it,
but we've got the ability to run it. So I think that
part has improved.
And defensively, you know, we've played
well. We've had some tough injuries over there.
But again, we've always played hard and fairly
efficient there.
You know, special team wise, we've kind
of -- we haven't always kicked the ball well, so
that's been a little bit of a struggle for us. But you
know, I think for the most part our coverage teams
have done okay.

Q. I also wanted to ask you about your
senior class because this one could be the
winningest senior class in school history, but I
feel like we've said that before about recent
classes. How do these guys keep topping each
other?

FRANK BEAMER: Yeah, I'm proud of a lot
of our seniors classes here lately, but this crowd
does have a chance to go out as the winningest
senior class ever. We've been fortunate to have a
lot of good kids through here and to be able to win
a lot of football games, and you don't do that
without good players. I'm pleased for them.

Q. Back in the preseason Logan was
talking about when he came to Tech, he
expected to play tight end, and he was a little
disappointed he didn't get to play tight end. At
what point did you guys realize this was a
quarterback and he was a quarterback and not
a tight end?

FRANK BEAMER: Well, we asked him to
try it there when he first came in, and being the
kind of guy he is, I think a very unselfish guy and
so forth, he worked at quarterback, and we thought
he -- you watch him out there, and not just his
throwing and his running but just how he handles
himself.
To me he's a perfect quarterback. You
know, he's a great leader, he's got great respect
from his teammates. I think he has a great way in
the huddle, and all those other things that you want
your quarterback to be other than being smart and
competitive and all those things, too.
You know, just kind of kept working at it,
and he sat there behind Tyrod who's a pretty good
guy to learn from. The problem is he didn't get to
play much. We had so many close games and
were just never really able to get him in a lot of
games or as much as you'd like to. That's why I
said, the experience has really helped him. Each
and every game I think has really helped him this
year.
But I think he's just -- he's got a future at
quarterback. The way just all those things he can
do, and he's got a good, lively arm, and as I said,
the more he learns, the more accurate he gets
because he knows where he wants to go with the
ball. I think he's got a future there.

Q. Now, he was talking about how that
first Clemson game was kind of a watershed
game for him, not what he did but what he
didn't do and what he learned. He was pretty
down on himself after that game, and he said
it's been a big learning experience for him. Did
you talk to him after that game, or did you even
need to? Did he realize -- and was it that bad a
game for him?

FRANK BEAMER: No, I'm sure he and
Coach O'Cain talked, but he learns. You show him
the video and he learns from it, and he doesn't
make the same mistake twice, and when you play
Clemson, you're playing a good football team,
some good people chasing you around there in
pass rush, and so it's one of those games that I
think he just learned from and became a better
quarterback.

Q. You mentioned not always kicking it
so well. Is it safe to assume that Danny will
continue as your punter on Saturday?

FRANK BEAMER: Well, he sure did a
great job yesterday. You know, we'll -- that's kind
of a week-to-week thing here, and we'll --
Branthover I really feel like has got a great future,
he's a freshman and a little bit inconsistent now,
but he can bomb it. A few weeks back he had the
second longest kick ever in Tech history. And I'm
certainly pleased with the way Danny punted the
ball yesterday.

Q. Was part of your comfort with him
just the fact that he is a fifth-year guy and he's
been not necessarily as a punter but in so
many big spots before?

FRANK BEAMER: Yeah, and then he got
in there in pregame, and he only kicked a few
balls, but I mean, he bombed them right away. So
we decided there in pregame that we were going
to go with him.
He's a guy that -- he answers the bell. I
mean, his play at wide receiver, punt returns when
he came in there that week and punt returned for
us, he did a great job, he's just one of those guys
that is smart and a good football player and
answers the bell.

Q. I was just wondering, how much
stock do you put in that first game during your
preparation? I think the line came out already
that you guys are favored in this one even
though you lost that first one. But when you're
preparing for this one how much time do you
spend studying that first one or just preparing
for maybe a completely different game?

FRANK BEAMER: I think you've got to go
back and look at that and learn from it and see
what they did and see what they're doing now that
might be a little bit different. But I think any time
you've got to go back and look at how they played
against you for sure.

Q. Does it mean anything then coming
in with losses in three of their last four games,
or is that kind of just a moot point since this is
a championship game?

FRANK BEAMER: Yeah, the thing you
know, they've got a good football team and they're
well coached, and this is a championship game, so
you know that they're going to be well prepared for
this one.

Q. Your teams have twice come back to
win in the ACC Championship against teams
that have beaten you earlier in the season. I
was wondering if you could draw anything
those previous experiences trying to do it
again this year.

FRANK BEAMER: Well, this is a new year
and another team, and we were fortunate to do
that a couple times. But I don't take much from
that. I just think you've got to get ready to play a
great football game. We had a great win
yesterday, but I think we've got to get past that.
You'd like to think about that one for a while, but
after our staff meeting at 2:00, that was over for the
coaches, and now on to Clemson, and now we've
got to make sure our players feel the same way or
do the same thing tomorrow. After we have our
team meeting with them, we need to turn all our
attention towards Clemson.

Q. I know it's pretty easy to get guys
motivated for an ACC title game, but is it even
easier considering the way the first game
went? I'd have to imagine the team is pretty
excited to get another shot at this?

FRANK BEAMER: Well, they beat us.
They beat us soundly, and they certainly took it to
us. There wasn't any question about that. They
deserved to win. You know, I think our players
understand. They've seen firsthand the players at
Clemson, and like I said, they're a well-coached
football team, and you understand you'd better get
ready to play your very best if you're going to beat
them.

Q. It's probably a little early to reflect
on anything, and I know it's hard to quantify
this sort of thing, but given what Coach Foster
has done with that defense this year, plugging
in so many young guys, losing a handful of
starters and couple of key reserves, when you
look back at the end of the season do you think
you might realistically say this is maybe the
best coaching job he's done in his career?

FRANK BEAMER: Well, he's been good
for a long time and been good in a lot of big
ballgames, but certainly he's earned his pay here
this year. The injuries he got and the people that's
out, there are some key guys there, Bruce Taylor,
our linebacker that led us in tackles, and so yeah,
he's done -- he and that staff, the whole defensive
staff, have done a tremendous job, and I think our
offensive staff has, too, bringing this offensive
team along. I feel like we've improved offensively
as we've gone through the year. I'm tremendously
proud of our coaching staff and the job they've
done this year, really.

Q. Do you think Coach O'Cain, the
switch to letting him call plays, do you think
Coach O'Cain has made that difference this
year, or can you look to something else, as
well?

FRANK BEAMER: Well, last year we had
a good offense last year, and I don't know exactly
where we ranked, but we scored a lot of points last
year, too.
But I've been pleased. I think the whole
operation, I think Coach Stinespring on the sideline
where he can talk to the players, look at them and
talk to them, and then Coach O'Cain I think has
done a good job calling plays.

Q. If things continue to play out the
way they are, you'll be among a handful of
teams that's sitting there, one loss and kind of
in the conversation there at the top of the BCS.
Are you still kind of a plus-one guy, or how are
your views kind of morphing with postseason
football?

FRANK BEAMER: No, I really am a
plus-one guy. I really believe if we could get it
down to the four teams, two games, those four
play, and then you have a championship game
after that, and I think as I've told you a lot of times,
the year we played Auburn down in the Sugar
Bowl, that's the one that kind of convinced me
because they were undefeated along with two
other teams and they didn't get a chance to play
for the National Championship, and they were
good enough to do it. They were a really good
football team.
You know, that's -- and of course it kind of
got a lot of discussion here about a year ago, two
years ago, and the presidents voted that down.
But you know, that to me I think would be the best
solution to this whole thing if we could get down to
four teams.

Q. And did you kind of feel that way
back in 2007 when you sat there at No. 3 in the
BCS after the ACC title game?

FRANK BEAMER: Well, you know, yeah.
I just think generally speaking -- and people always
say, okay, how about that fifth team. Now they talk
about how about that third team. But I don't think a
fifth team is probably as controversial as a third
team. You know, I think -- and maybe some years
it might, but generally speaking there's about four
teams that have a legitimate shot. This year
there's probably more than that. I'll be honest with
you, you look at it and there's some one-loss
teams there that are very good. This might be one
of those years where there's more than four. But
generally speaking I think there's about four teams
that have a chance to play for the National
Championship, or have a chance to win a National
Championship, probably should say it that way.

Q. You guys have become such
frequent participants in this game. It's kind of
seen as an expectation on the roster. Do you
get any sense of relief on their part that they
got to where they're expected to get?

FRANK BEAMER: Well, I think some
people might expect you to get there, but this is
hard, and to get to the championship game in the
ACC, I don't take it for granted myself. Like I said,
it's an honor to get here, and we've worked really
hard to get here. It's been a grind.
So maybe some people just assume we
can make it back to the ACC Championship game,
but I certainly didn't, and I don't think our players
did, either. They know how hard that is to get
there.

Q. How much of an advantage is it to
be very familiar with kind of playing on that
stage?

FRANK BEAMER: I think experience
helps you some, but to me it's one game, it's two
really good football teams, and everyone knows
what's at stake there. So I'm not sure that has
great, great value.

Q. I was curious, how do you get a
team's confidence back? Have you ever been a
part of a team that's had a peak and then a lull
like Clemson has had this season and have you
had success restoring confidence in similar
situations?

FRANK BEAMER: You know, the thing I
know about Clemson is it's a good football team.
What I saw here in Lane Stadium, it's a good
football team, some excellent players. I think it's a
well-coached football team, and that's what I know
about Clemson.

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