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November 5, 2014

Shane Beamer

SHANE BEAMER:  Well, I hate to disappoint you guys.  This is Shane Beamer.  Coach Beamer is under the weather today.  Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm filling in for him and excited to be on.
Obviously, disappointing day last Saturday against Boston College, had plenty of opportunities and lost to a good football team in Boston College.  Took Sunday, we had a great group of official visitors in for a big recruiting weekend last weekend.  We spent Sunday with them.  Our coaches were off on the road recruiting Monday, got back with our players yesterday, reviewed the Boston College game, had a great team meeting with them.
We'll practice today and tomorrow, excited to get back on the field with our players, and then our coaches will leave tomorrow night and will spend all day Thursday‑‑ excuse me.  All day Friday recruiting and then get back in here Sunday morning, and we'll be full speed ahead on Duke.

Q.  I wanted to ask you or your dad about the decision with Mark Leal.  Is this something that's been kind of brewing as the year went?  Your dad kept mentioning Mark and your confidence level in him kind of week in and week out.  Is this something you saw coming?
SHANE BEAMER:  No, we didn't.  Actually, we have plenty of confidence in Mark Leal.  I know Mark came in yesterday and met with Coach Beamer and John Ballein and Scott Loeffler and said he had a professional opportunity, a job opportunity that was going to‑‑ kind of like a dream job type thing that was going to entail him being away from the program and having to spend some time in Richmond, if I'm not mistaken.
He decided to pursue that.  We certainly wish him the best.  He's already graduated.  He's got a bright future in front of him.  We were surprised, but, again, we wish him well and excited for him to pursue that opportunity.
Obviously, the timing is a little tough, but we have all the confidence in the world in Brenden Motley.  There was a lot of anticipation and excitement about him going into spring practice.  He came out in spring, technically our starting quarterback coming out of the spring.  He's a guy that has a lot of ability, and that will give him the opportunity to get more reps going forward.

Q.  Do you know what kind of a job it is?
SHANE BEAMER:  I don't.  I'm sorry he's not on, but, again, that's a better question for him‑‑ for Coach Beamer or John Ballein.  First I heard about it was yesterday.  Scott came in our offensive meeting room.  We were meeting.  He came in about lunchtime, and he said that Mark had come in and was thinking about this, was mulling it over, and the next thing‑‑ next time I heard about it honestly was last night, when we released a statement late last night.  And then he's out today, and we haven't had any conversations with the staff about it today.  I'm getting a lot of my facts from you guys right now.

Q.  Last thing, is there any change with Trey Edmunds and his recovery?  Is there a chance of you getting him back in the regular season?
SHANE BEAMER:  I think so.  We're optimistic for Wake Forest.  We certainly miss Trey.  He's a guy that brings speed to the running back position, competitive spirit, ability to make you miss, and just a really good football player that makes our team better.
His rehab is coming along right now as well as can be expected.  I think he's going to do a little bit of light running this week, start doing that, which will be good, and we won't have him next week for Duke, but Wake is a possibility.  Probably a little bit of a stretch, to be totally honest with you, but knowing him, I wouldn't put it past him.  We're optimistic we'll be able to get him back, if not for Wake, I would certainly hope before Virginia.

Q.  Three‑game losing streak since the last bye week, now heading into another bye week.  What did you see go on‑‑ I know you have the running backs, and obviously Coach isn't with us today to look at the overall, but from what you've seen from your unit in this struggle in those three games in it between bye weeks.
SHANE BEAMER:  Well, the first game was at Pitt, and we were missing our top three guys, and that's no excuse because it's the next man up mentality, and those guys have to step up.  We went up there missing our top three guys at the running back position, and at the end of the game, we had the ball on the last drive with a chance to win it against Miami.
Didn't see a lot in the first half, as poorly as we played in the first half against Miami, but excited in the third quarter of the Miami game the way that we were able to run the football in the third quarter.  I believe we had over 100 yards rushing in the third quarter alone against a really good defense in Miami.
Now, the tough part about that is we put the ball on the ground three times, which is inexcusable.  We went 13 games last year, and the running backs didn't fumble one time, and then we did it three straight possessions against Miami two weeks ago, and you can't win games that way.
Then Boston College on Saturday, it's tough sledding.  Nobody other than Pittsburgh, I believe, has run the football successfully against them.  They're a really stout, veteran defense, and they did a good job.  We were able to have some success running the football, but certainly not productive from a running game standpoint, and as the running backs go, certainly I take responsibility for that.  We have to be better.
Overall as a team, as disappointing of a loss that Saturday was, there were so many positives.  We're not into moral victories here.  I'm not saying that by any stretch of the imagination, but you look at the video, and there's a lot of plays on there that it looks like Virginia Tech football is supposed to look like in a lot of ways.  Now, there's a lot we have to clean up and eliminate, there's no question about it.  But you've got Wyatt Teller, a freshman offensive lineman that had ten knockdown blocks against good guys on defense.  You had freshman receivers making plays.  Sam Rogers, a true sophomore making plays.
Some of the effort and toughness that we played with at times, you can hold your head up high leaving that game, but then we had plenty of opportunities as well.  We missed some open receivers.  We had a chance to have some more impactful plays on special teams as well.  What we've got to do in this off week is continue to improve, hopefully get some guys healthy.  We talk about getting better each week, and that's what we're trying to do right now is to get better each week and be a better football team next week in Durham.

Q.  As far as the stable you have of running backs, what can you say moving forward of some of the leaders maybe that have stepped out of your room?
SHANE BEAMER:  Excited about the mentality that Marshawn Williams and Sam Rogers both have.  Those guys are two guys that have about in our program for barely a year.  Sam, a little over a year, and Marshawn for less than a year, but they're both natural leaders.  The Friday after the Miami game, Marshawn sent me a text message at lunchtime on Friday after the Miami game, saying, Coach, I've already watched the video of the game three times.  I know I did this wrong.  I can be better here.  I can be better here.  I'm ready to put this team on my shoulders and lead us.  That's impressive from a freshman to say.
Sam Rogers is probably the leader on this football team and backs it up with his play each week.
So I like their mentality.  We challenge them each week.  I challenge them each week to play physical, play tough, and play with great energy and effort.  For the most part, they've done that.  They keep battling.  They're competitive guys, everybody in that room.  We're all in the same boat together as a football team right now, just trying to make some progress and get better.

Q.  Just curious, how do you think Michael Brewer has handled all the pressure on the field that's come his way?  It seems like he was chased out of the pocket so many times, especially this last weekend, and he's made some pretty good decisions.  How do you think he felt with the situation at hand?
SHANE BEAMER:  I think he's done well.  You're right, we had some situations on Saturday where he got some pressure where he shouldn't have gotten pressure.  A couple of times it was a guy physically getting beat.  A couple times it was a miscommunication up front where we had a guy turn free where he shouldn't have been turned free.  He did a great job of handling it.  He's a tough, tough, tough kid.
I think all of you have seen that throughout the season, whether it be the Ohio State game or some of our other games.  He's a tough guy that's taken some shots this year, and he's handled it well.  Mike's a guy that has a great mindset about him and doesn't get too high, too low, and is tough, which you certainly want that quality in your quarterbacks.

Q.  I know Brenden obviously moves up to number two now with Mark leaving, but day to day, how much of a change for him reps‑wise and just being ready in case something happens to Michael?
SHANE BEAMER:  It will be a change.  He hasn't gotten a lot of reps, and a lot of it is because academically, he's got a class schedule where he misses some time, some practice time during the week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  We like to have gotten him more reps up to this point, but we haven't been able to as much as we like because of his class schedule.  We're trying to work with his professors a little bit and maybe adjust some things going forward to allow him to be at practice more than he is.
He's in all the meetings.  He's smart.  He knows the offense.  He's been around.  It's not like he's a true freshman.  Really the only thing that will change is he'll just be getting the second team reps and not the‑‑ more than what he has been.  As a third team guy, you don't get a whole lot.  He'll get more as the second team guy.  But other than that, it won't really change much from a day‑to‑day standpoint.

Q.  Shane, not that you're privy to all the injury information, but I was curious if you had an update on Jonathan McLaughlin.
SHANE BEAMER:  It's day to day.  It was a pretty significant injury that he had.  We just had a fast meeting this week.  Obviously, if we had to play Saturday this week, he would not be ready, if he had to play this Saturday.  He'll be pushing it for next week.  We're optimistic that we'll get him back, but, again, it will take a great effort on his part to be ready for Duke next week.  We've got a great training staff and optimistic that John will do everything he can to get back.
That was a big loss for us on Saturday as well, losing him early in the game.  Wade Hansen came in and did a great job.  Wade Hansen, he was playing defensive line back in August, so it's been a quick transition for him, but Wade's a tough guy that football's important to him and he wants to please.  So we've got confidence in him if John's not able to go next week. 

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