Tyrod Taylor approached offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring from the sideline last Wednesday and wondered aloud if he could call plays that day in practice. The former Virginia Tech quarterback joked that at this point he probably knew more about the offense than Stinespring did.
But after four years as the starting quarterback, the days of Taylor working his magic on Virginia Tech’s offense are now over, a realization both Taylor and the football team have had to deal with all spring.
For the Hokies, that’s meant shepherding in Logan Thomas to take the reins at quarterback. Taylor, too, has had to adjust and his feelings about Virginia Tech were evident during the the first two weeks of spring practice. He said last Wednesday’s session was the fourth-straight he attended just to watch from the sidelines and be around his former teammates.
“I miss it, so I’m coaching up the guys,” said Taylor, who re-wrote the school’s record book for quarterbacks the past four seasons.
But Taylor has much to look forward to with the NFL draft just a few weeks away. This past weekend, he went back to the Virginia Beach area, where he grew up, and spent time with his mentor and friend, Michael Vick, as the two filmed a segment for ESPN’s Year of the Quarterback series.
Taylor said Vick was planning to show him how to run the West Coast offense while they were there. The two will also hold an autograph signing along with former Virginia Tech quarterback Bryan Randall in Blacksburg on April 23, the day of the spring game. Full details can be found here.
Though Taylor has no more workouts with NFL teams scheduled at this point, he said all 30 franchises have spoken with him. He singled out the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins as teams that have shown a little extra interest in his skills. And he was quick to point out that most of his conversations with NFL personnel have been about playing quarterback.
Even before Taylor wowed scouts with his physical abilities at the NFL combine — he was clocked at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time for a quarterback prospect — there was speculation that Taylor would need to switch positions at the next level.
“The position change thing is something that came from the media,” Taylor said. “Only two teams have asked me about it. The rest of the 30 teams have evaluated me as a quarterback and that’s how I’m moving forward. I’m a quarterback, I’ve always been a quarterback and that’s what I’m gonna be at the next level. I was successful throughout my time here and even in high school, so there’s no doubt in my mind that I can be successful in the NFL.”
Taylor also had good things to say about his heir apparent, Thomas. He said Thomas learned a lot sitting in meeting rooms with him the past two seasons and feels comfortable Thomas will be able to carry the torch at quarterback this season.
“Last year he was asking questions and getting into my head about where we wanted to go with the football, so I’m confident he can go out there and be ready to make plays. He’s got the talent to,” Taylor said. “He learned a lot from working with me and I think he’s just gonna continue to.”