When the news broke yesterday that longtime Virgina Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring had been relieved of his play-calling duties (if not the actual title of offensive coordinator) in favor of Mike O'Cain , the immediate question was: Why now? Stinespring's offense had largely succeeded the past two seasons after largely flailing the two before. If Frank Beamer was interested in a change, why after 2010 and not 2008?
The answer, according to Beamer , was that it wasn't him that wanted to shake up the staff ... it was Stinespring himself:
Coach Stinespring was the guy to decide it, and that's the reason we ended up going that way ...The "Logan" in question here is Logan Thomas, the Hokies expected 2011 starter. O'Cain has been Thomas's quarterbacks coach and may have more familiarity with calling plays for a pocket-passer like Thomas (it's worth noting that Stinespring struggled mightily with the similar Sean Glennon and had much, much more success with Tyrod Taylor), leading Stinespring to ask for the reshuffling (and Beamer to agree).
That came about in sitting down with Bryan and talking about it. Mike O'Cain meets with the quarterbacks every day, and I think having that guy that meets with them every day and is watching video and watching video of the last game, I think in the big picture, actually having that guy be the primary play-caller ... sometimes you’d run into a situation where you're watching film of the upcoming team and it's third-and-10 and it's, 'Logan, what would you like in this situation?' I think coach O'Cain has that opportunity.
Beamer would dis agree, however, that the reshuffling is a major change for the Hokies, saying that "it’s not as big a deal as maybe you guys would make it out to be." Stinespring is still expected to be a major part of the Hokie game-planning, and Beamer noted that O'Cain was already calling plays during two-minute drills.
But nonetheless, there's few (if any) more crucial in-game decisions for a coaching staff than offensive playcalls. And for the first time in nine years, those calls for the defending ACC champions will now be made by someone other than Bryan Stinespring. Whether that decision was Beamer's or Stinespring's, yes, it's still a big, big deal.