“I still think he’s probably a couple weeks away from where we’d like him to be and where he’d like to be,” Foster said. “But the only way he’s going to get better is if he gets out and plays more and gets that leg stronger and gets into playing shape a little bit.”
The addition of Edwards may not be the only change that the linebackers see against Cincinnati. Although coaches have previously stood behind Jeron Gouveia-Winslow as the starter at whip linebacker, Ronny Vandyke played 24 snaps at the position against Bowling Green, and made enough of a difference to warrant more playing time in the future.
“He’s a player,” Beamer said. “He’s full speed, he’s athletic, he’s tough, it means a lot to him, so I think you’ll continue to see him on the field.”
Regardless of who’s on the field for the team, the Hokies haven’t had a lot of success in NFL stadiums in recent years. The team’s lost the last four games its played in arenas used by pro teams.
“You read the papers, and our records on pro fields hasn’t been great, but the way I approach it, it’s just the next game,” said Torrian Gray, defensive backs coach. “Obviously, we haven’t won in those situations, but we’ll go play wherever we’re supposed to play, and if we prepare well, then we’ll win.”
Players agreed that, regardless of the past, the team isn’t looking at the game any differently just because it’s in Washington, D.C.
“We just have to come out here and attack each day with a high intensity, as if we were playing a game,” said rover Kyshoen Jarrett. “Coming out to FedEx Field, it doesn’t matter if it’s a college stadium or an NFL stadium; we’ve got to be ready to play.”
Now, all that remains is for the team to stay focused and find the motivation to make some positive memories this week.
“I told the guys that after the game, this feeling of winning, we can have this every week,” Taylor said. “We had a great week of practice, and Pitt loss or Pitt win, it shouldn’t make a difference. If we go out and perform like that during practice every week, it makes Saturdays a little easier, so that should be enough motivation right there.”