I am not like those that rage at Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen and dream of his reassignment to store clerk at a local Blacksburg convenience store, although I will confess he has on occasion caused me to invoke the name of the Almighty when outside of a church setting.
Despite this, I did find a couple of things he said yesterday in a press conference a bit puzzling. The one comment that seems to have caused the most controversy didn’t really bother me much, because everyone who has followed the team last year probably has had a touch of that sentiment as well.
“Going into the season, knowing we had three capable guys, probably what would happen is we would retain one and then two guys would go somewhere else,” Cornelsen said. “So that was definitely not a surprise.”
You knew the first night of the season it was going to happen, and the guy to leave was going to be Quincy Patterson. He rarely saw playing time, but when he did, he made big plays. The game against North Carolina will always be a classic, as he made big runs and completed a pressure 4th down throw, plays that if he doesn’t succeed at, the Hokies lose. But once others healed from injuries, Quincy became the forgotten man.
If I’m annoyed by the statement, it would because he so openly admitted this thought while apparently doing nothing about it. Handling people is an art, not a science, and once you realize you don’t have three footballs for all 3 QBs to throw in a game at the same time, you make it a focus to keep all 3 feeling involved. If you do, you might keep all 3. Worst case, you only lose one.
The Hokies apparently handled it like a bad third baseman booting a line drive, losing Patterson AND Hendon Hooker.
That, however, is the past, and you can’t do anything about that. It was his comment about his beliefs that a quarterback needs to commit to a school for at least 3 years to be able to develop in his system. “Most of those guys (who left) did that and you saw both of those guys continue to take those steps as third- and fourth-year guys in the same system,” he said. “And that’s what it takes.”
I’m not sure I’d be all that excited about hearing that if I’m a top-flight quarterback out on the recruiting trail. With the transfer portal changing the college game, that sounds a lot like dial-up modem thinking in a high-speed internet age. There is no substitute for live snaps in a live game for the development of a quarterback, and hearing “three years to develop” just doesn’t seem like a realistic goal these days.