Chancellor's Improvement Important for Defense

The lone interception in Tech's scrimmage Friday came from free safety Kam Chancellor. The senior has built on his momentum from the Orange Bowl and had an excellent spring so far. That's good news for the Hokie secondary, which had major communication issues last season.

Last year was Chancellor's first as a free safety after moving from rover. At rover, he was allowed to roam the field and hit opposing pass catchers and quarterbacks like a Mack truck. He excelled at doing that in 2007 and hopes were high for him going into last season.

But the move to free meant he would have to quarterback the defense and in my opinion he struggled with that early in 2008. Chancellor's job was to call out the coverages for the secondary and the Hokies were burned for big plays through the air, especially the middle part of the field, where Chancellor and whoever was playing rover at the time patrolled.

These big plays hurt Tech most in its losses to BC and Florida State. Pass plays of 48 and 41 yards helped set up touchdowns for BC in the regular season game at Chestnut Hill.

Chancellor did improve as the season progressed and he built better communication with Dorian Porch. Porch took over the rover spot after Davon Morgan was lost for the season during the Nebraska game. Chancellor saved his best performance for the Orange Bowl where he had an interception and two pass breakups.

It's good to see his progress at free hasn't stopped with the Orange Bowl. If the Hokies secondary is going to survive in 2009 without Macho Harris, it will be up to him. Without Harris, the Hokies have less room for error defending the pass and can't afford to give up as many big plays through the air as they did last season.

ACC Tennis Tourney This Week

The men's and women's tennis teams will compete in the ACC tournament this week in Cary, NC, which hosts just about every non-rev tournament these days. The men (13-6) open play at 3 p.m. Thursday against Maryland. The Hokies are ranked No. 22 in the country.

The women (13-10) face Wake Forest at 9 a.m. Thursday. The ACC has neglected to either provide a video feed or live scoring for any of these matches.

Linkage

Hokies

- Summer will be lonelier without Harry Kalas. (Roth Report)
- Angela Tincher is blogging from Japan. (Angela Tincher)

Atlantic Coast Conference

- Defense stole the show at Clemson's spring game. (Block-C)
- Comparing Ponder in 2008 to Weatherford in 2007. (Tomahawk Nation)
- Are Miami fans worried about recruits leaving Dade Co.? (All Canes)
- Get your ACC Directors Cup standings. (StateFans Nation)
- Something we can all get behind: BC-BU as part of the Winter Classic. (BCI)

Stuff Only I Care About

- Why you have to love the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (The Kurtenblog)
- Hopefully Joe won't have to shave until at least after Round 2. (Buzz Blog)
- Why Lindy Ruff shouldn't coach Buffalo next year. (Die by the Blade)
- News for those going to the Atlanta show on Thursday. (Buffett News)
- The Barnhart visits the defending champs. (Mr. College Football)
- Amalie Benjamin (who I love and would in a heartbeat give up my hard-drinking, road-tripping bachelor ways for) reports the Sox SS troubles just got worse. (Globe)

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