Bud Foster: Last season tested my poise and my patience

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Bud Foster said today, “You’re going to have a rebuilding year at some point.”

Despite playing in the Orange Bowl, Foster knows the Hokies defensive didn’t live up to their tradition a year ago.

Foster explained to the Virginian-Pilot, “You go back and look at those incredible years and that was a heckuva run, man. There’s not many people in college football who can do that. You’re going to have a rebuilding year at some point. And I told you guys that in that first meeting (last August). They were picking us to win the ACC, but that was because we had a dynamic quarterback; it wasn’t because of who we returned on defense. And it was because of our reputation and tradition as a program and as coaches, that we’re going to get these guys ready to play.”

Foster admitted 2010 was a tough season, personally.

“Last year for me was very trying. It tested my poise and my patience.”

“Maybe I even got to a point myself where you’ve built certain expectations for how good you should be, but there’s also reality. Our expectations are that we’re going to be good every year. Now, are we always going to reach that? Probably not. But we’re always going to demand that they doing things right and play with great effort and great passion. That’s half the battle. You can make up for a lot of mistakes by playing your guts out every snap, laying it on the line for your brother.”

Looking back on 40-12 loss to Stanford, Foster admitted, “That game pissed me off.”

The Hokies allowed 534 yards in just 54 plays to the Cardinal.

Foster said, “I don’t know. There were a lot of busted assignments in that game. And it was guys that you wouldn’t expect to bust them. That’s the thing to me that was disappointing. We’d been playing so much better down the stretch. I thought we had really good bowl practices, and then we gave up too many big plays. And all those big plays came down to a couple guys. Maybe that goes back to us as coaches. Maybe our game plan was too complicated. With all (Stanford’s) motions and shifts and all that, we put our kids in a tough situation. But we just didn’t play very well. It was a game of big plays. We had some chances. Jayron dropped a pick-six when it was still a close game ... and the wind went out of our sail. Then we busted three big plays, and it was all veteran guys. That game pissed me off. But we’ll be better. We will be better.”

When the Hokies begin Spring practice, Cornell Brown will be coaching the whips. Brown's title is outside linebackers / assistant defensive line coach. He replaces Jim Cavanaugh, who moved to director of recruiting and high school relations.

Virginia Tech opens with four consecutive non-conference games. The Hokies play Appalachian State, at East Carolina, Arkansas State, and at Marshall.