BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech football's three new staff members arrive with a Super Bowl ring, national championship bling and Tom Brady's cell number, respectively. They appear to be smart, affable and demanding.
Now we'll see if they can coach.
The Hokies introduced offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes and receivers coach Aaron Moorehead to reporters Friday, more than a week after their names emerged as big whistle Frank Beamer's choices to repair an offense long in decline.
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Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
Beamer called the changes difficult and necessary, and true to form, he began with gracious remarks about Curt Newsome, Mike O'Cain and Kevin Sherman, the three assistants he nudged aside after seven seasons. Moreover, Beamer thanked former coordinator Bryan Stinespring, who took a demotion and pay cut, for remaining with the program.
But the event belonged to the newbies, and suffice to say, you could see and hear how they'd excel in a job interview.
A former Illinois walk-on receiver who won a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts and hangs out with Peyton Manning, Moorehead worked the past three seasons at Stanford. Beamer learned of Moorehead when interviewing Cardinal offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton for the OC role at Tech — Hamilton declined an offer and later went to the Colts, where he's reunited with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Grimes' most recent stop was Auburn, where he was part of the Tigers' 2010 national title team. Auburn nose-dived to 3-9 in 2012, which cost head coach Gene Chizik and his assistants their jobs. Loeffler, too, was among the casualties, this after just one season coordinating the Tigers' offense.
"He's probably in a former life been an offensive lineman … because he has more the temperament … of an offensive lineman," Grimes said of Loeffler. "He coaches like an offensive line coach does. What I mean by that is, he's very demanding, he gets after the guys. …
"I believe wholeheartedly in his ability as a coach as a coordinator, and I've been around some great ones. But this guy's got more football knowledge than anybody I've ever been around. He's a great motivator, too."
Like a shark at the aquarium, Loeffler was the most-watched Friday, and with good reason. Consistent offense eluded Tech for many of Stinespring's 11 seasons as coordinator, and the problems became too obvious for Beamer to ignore in 2012, when the Hokies went 7-6, their worst record in 20 years.
A former Michigan quarterback whose career was ended by rotator cuff surgery, Loeffler coached Brady and Chad Henne at his alma mater, and Tim Tebow at Florida. Like Beamer, he's a run-first, play-action guy who's not inclined to turn Virginia Tech into Oregon East.
"Scot's going to be in charge," Beamer said.
Loeffler's first task with the Hokies was to meet with incumbent quarterback Logan Thomas as he pondered whether to declare for the NFL draft. Talk about a must-get recruit.
Whatever Loeffler said, Thomas must have approved. He's returning for his final college season.
"We met the day before he decided," Loeffler said. "We hit it off. I like his mentality. He's a team guy. He came back for all the right reasons. Does he need to improve? Yes, he does. But I think he wants to make sure that he leaves Virginia Tech (after) a very successful season. …
"The things he needs to work on you can fix quickly. It's not like we're recreating a motion or something of that nature. … There are some things that he does that are really, really hard. I watched him (on tape) chin-over-toe escape to his left and make this freaky throw that not too many guys could do."
He's 38 and weary of the Larry Brown act.
"It's why I'm excited about Virginia Tech," Loeffler said. "Besides my Michigan experience, I've bounced. … I'm really looking forward to finding a guy that's 18 years old in high school, bring him in, start him from scratch and develop him, groom him exactly as you want to because it doesn't happen overnight. …
"I really want to be at a place where I can go recruit a guy, develop him, watch him graduate, go the NFL, win and go get another one. … I'm ready to sit for awhile, to say the least."
Loeffler did not attend Tom and Gisele's wedding, but Brady was a groomsman in his wedding. He said he remains close with Tebow, as well.
Indeed, it was a name-dropping affair, started when Beamer recited a list of coaches he consulted during his search. That included Super Bowl combatants John and Jim Harbaugh, Alabama's Nick Saban, the Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll, Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Stanford's David Shaw, Georgia's Mark Richt, Florida's Will Muschamp, and new Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, a Tech graduate.
Beamer said new ideas and personalities will bring "a freshness" to the program, especially to an offense that ranked 81st nationally in scoring this past season.
A 2013 opener against two-time reigning national champion Alabama isn't exactly a cure-all.
"We're Virginia Tech, too, now," Loeffler said. "Let's roll out the ball and go play."