March 24, 2015
Five questions with Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler
The man behind Tech's offense expects better play from a unit that was besieged by injuries and struggled with inconsistency a year ago

Virginia Tech’s offense struggled at times a year ago. At times, the Hokies moved the ball well, but penalties, sacks and turnovers affected overall point production. With eight starters back, coordinator Scot Loeffler is optimistic about the direction of the offense.

Loeffler sat down and answered a few questions about the group, as spring practice begins Tuesday:

Q: What are your expectations of Michael Brewer entering this spring practice?
SL: “He needs to play better. We watched every single interception and every single sack and every single negative play. The tone has been set. I’m going to put pressure on this guy. He’s a senior. I always put pressure on the senior. There are no excuses any more. We’ve gotten plenty of practice reps, and we’ve got to play better. We can’t say any more that it’s practice reps or that it’s a new system. It’s time to play like a senior quarter. Period, end. The tone has been set in this office with him. He knows it. He’s embracing it. He will come to work and produce much better this spring.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Brenden Motley going forward?
SL: “Motley is in the same boat as Brewer. It’s the same mentality with him. He’s been here long enough. It’s time to step up and be a dude. The same pressure I’m putting on Brewer is the same pressure I’m putting on Motley. If one of these two younger guys [Andrew Ford and Chris Durkin] want to step up and take one of their jobs, then so be it.”

Q: How will you split the reps among the quarterbacks throughout spring practice?
SL: “You’ve got to walk in with some type of pecking order. That pecking order can change daily. Brewer and Motley will get the higher percentage of reps compared to the two young guys, but if Ford or Durkin steps up, then their reps will increase and the others will decrease. It will be a pressure-filled spring for the two older guys, and the two younger guys, I’m going to develop. If one develops faster than planned, then we’ll rep him and give him an opportunity to push for the older guys’ jobs.

“It’s an open competition, but you have to start somewhere. The flame is going to be hot with Brewer and Motley because I have a gut feeling that we have an opportunity to be a good team. If the quarterback position plays better, we’ll definitely be a better team. So they’re going to step up and start playing better.”

Q: You’ve said before that you guys gave up too many sacks. What are you hoping to see from an offensive line that lost veteran guys like David Wang, Caleb Farris and Laurence Gibson?
SL: “Half of the sacks last year, in my opinion, were on the line, and the other half were on the quarterback or the skill guys. A lot of people don’t get that a wide receiver not running a route properly or not creating the proper space can cause those sacks. A sack is an offensive negative, but not necessarily an offensive line negative. At times, the offensive line did better at some things than the previous year, but we need to reduce the mistakes. We need to become consistent and play better, just like the quarterback position needs to play better.

“We want to get back to the physical nature that this place has been built on. It’s critical how the quarterback goes, and I get that. But every place that I’ve been that’s been a championship team has five guys up front that are running the show. I think with Wyatt [Teller] and Augie [Conte] and Jon McLaughlin, they’re tired of the crap we went through the last two years. They’re carrying themselves differently, which I 100 percent expected to occur in year three. A decision has to be made about toughness at those positions, and I think it’s been made. They’ve made the decision that they’ve heard enough. We’ve been mediocre at best the past two years, and it’s time.”

Q: How has the transition been between you and new receivers coach Zohn Burden?
SL: “It’s been great. Aaron [Moorehead] was very easy [the transition] in terms of the terminology he used at Stanford, which was very similar to the terminology I used for 10 years at Michigan. Obviously, we’re not completely using that terminology now, but we’re a hybrid of it. So communicating with each other and understanding what we were trying to accomplish was very easy.

“Zohn has not been a part of that, but conceptually we’re on the same page. They’re [Burden and Moorehead] very similar. Both are very good recruiters and very good teachers. We’re excited to have him. They are different. Aaron was very outgoing, whereas Zohn is a little more reserved. However, the important traits of being a great teacher and a great coach and a great recruiter, they’re very similar. It will be an easy transition.”

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