Sharpening the passing game

Tech ran the ball 79.5 percent of the time last season, and we know Tech will continue to be a run-based team.

But Saturday’s first full-pads practice showed there’s a determination to become more proficient through the air. (Tech completed just 44.8 percent of its throws last year).

Ken and I estimated that pass plays were called about 40 percent of the time Saturday.

“I guess coach wanted to see how the passing game was,” wideout Demaryius Thomas said.

Thomas caught a couple bombs, Tyler Melton caught a few short ones and had a drop, Roddy Jones had a long gainer but also a drop, and Anthony Allen turned a short throw into an 18-yard gain. Walk-ons Paul Reese and Jonathan Malone had big catches. On one scramble, Josh Nesbitt saw Allen get behind the defense and threw it about 50 yards to the end zone. The ball was just long, maybe because Allen hesitated for a split second after beating his man.

There were a few sacks, a couple passes knocked down, and other times when the pocket collapsed and the QB (Nesbitt, Jaybo Shaw or Tevin Washington) was forced to run. There weren’t many off-target throws.

Thomas thought the passing game was so-so.

“We’ve got to get our timing down better and our blocking schemes down better, but we had a couple big plays and it was nice to see big plays in the offense,” he said.

Nesbitt’s arm hasn’t gotten stronger, Thomas said. “He’s just gotten a little more accurate than what he was last year.”

Of course, as CPJ repeatedly noted last year, you can’t throw if you can’t protect. Co-offensive line coach Mike Sewak gave the pass protection a “D” on Saturday, noting that was an improvement over last year’s “F.”

“Obviously, we threw the ball a little bit more today,” Sewak said. “We have a lot of weapons and we know we’re capable of doing that. I think our skill guys across the board are fantastic. Let’s see if we can protect and get the ball out to those guys on the perimeter, and that also helps the running game.”

I asked Sewak to assess how the O-line did overall.

“We’re not nearly where we need to be right now,” he said. “I saw some good things, some guys coming off the ball and getting a little bit bit of movement, but there weren’t five guys working as one. It was still a three-two situation where three guys are doing a nice job and two guys are doing their own thing. So we’ve got to get everybody on the same page.”

He said Sean Bedford and Zach Fraysier “did some good things” and Cord Howard did a good job getting movement at the point of attack.

But there were too many false starts.

“That’s just mental toughness, and we didn’t seem to have much of that,” Sewak said.

So what do you expect out of Tech’s passing game this fall?

56 comments Add your comment

Carolina Jacket

March 30th, 2009
7:26 am

I expect that the very demanding Spring practice will pay good dividends in the fall. Getting all the o-line starters back will help and great deal as will repeated drills. Improve the passing game and the O will be awfully hard to stop.

Reebok

March 30th, 2009
7:48 am

Nesbitt is a stud, but he’s going to be running for his life all year behind that thin, patched-up O-line. LSU showed Tech’s opponents how to blow up our line…we’ve got to get a LOT better up front.

RAMBLE ON!!!

March 30th, 2009
8:33 am

Who is our fastest player, Marcus Wright?

I kind of feel a little sorry for the opposing team’s defense…except, of course for UGAg’s…I’d like to put 60 on them this year.

m

March 30th, 2009
8:49 am

These stupid dawgs think that Chan Gailey is still here. Let me let you in a little secret. Chan is gone. The nightmare is over at Tech. But it is only beginning over in Athens. You dawgs are not going to like Paul Johnson any better than you did George O’leary. I know you loved Chan…but Thank God and Greyhound he is gone forever. And the only ones to miss him are you dawgies and a few STUPID Tech fans.

ODW

March 30th, 2009
9:10 am

Give LSU some credit, they had one of the most talented DLs in the country. The OL held their own against everyone else for the most part when the team was more focused. Its pretty common knowledge what with every offense, if you get penetration, you will have much success as a defense. The offense will be more than fine.

Personally, I’m much more worried about the special teams. Poor special teams lost us like 3 games last year.

Question

March 30th, 2009
9:59 am

Any word on how Stephen Hill is doing in practice?

Answer

March 30th, 2009
10:02 am

Stephen doesn’t enroll until June.

MinnesotaJacket

March 30th, 2009
10:06 am

I like the idea that Nesbitt seems to be becoming a better passer, and really the o-line will start to gel a lot more as the practices conclude and the offseason during the summer begins. I only wonder what will happen because of Claytor and Voss’s injuries might hurt some of the unity they will need to have.
ODW agree 100% man, but the one thing I like is PJ said “IT WILL BE BETTER” and frankly when he sais he is going to do something the man does it, so I am very optimistic on that front.
Question, Stephen Hill is still in school right now he didn’t graduate early to come to spring practice.
Also that A BOY T.J that guy is going to be a very solid guy for us this year and I can’t wait to see how he progresses.

Big B CH 99

March 30th, 2009
11:28 am

The passing game has got to get better, so that we can throw enough to keep the D honest. I still think that even though he isn’t in Spring Practice, Stephen Hill will start opposite BayBay this yr.

Josh obviously has to get a lot better, but the O-Line really has to get a lot better, no one can throw if they’re on their rear or running for their life every time they drop back.

Go Jackets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chuck

March 30th, 2009
11:39 am

Cooper Taylor is the fastest player on the team with 4.38 timed by the coaches. Also has 38 inch vertical at 6 foot 5.

Anyone against...

March 30th, 2009
1:18 pm

Cooper Taylor at the other wideout spot? Fastest player we got with good hands….We’re solid in the secondary….What about cooper and b. thomas as 1 and 2?

MinnesotaJacket

March 30th, 2009
1:30 pm

Cooper is a great for coverage opposite Burnette right now…plus he can come up and lay the wood to running backs, plus like it is said we have Hill coming up and we don’t need another big play threat WR we need a possession reciever who can make the slant route and out right type catches for 5-15 yards which will set Bebe up for the 50-60 yard type plays.

something tells me

March 30th, 2009
1:35 pm

stephen hill won’t start. pj is known for redshirting freshmen and seems to like tyler melton. i’d love to see hill on the field but i doubt it will happen…

SugarHillDawg

March 30th, 2009
2:21 pm

Ramble On and M, you two guys are text-book, dictionary examples of delusional IDIOTS! I will give you some free advice on the game of football since your knowledge is VERY limited. You better concern yourselves to finding something that resembles a defense before you run your penis suckers about that offense of yours.It should be pretty easy for you guys to “sharpen” your passing game-there is nowhere to go but up!!

Reality Check

March 30th, 2009
2:36 pm

45-42. Still stings, doesn’t it SugarHillDouchebag?

RAMBLE ON!!!

March 30th, 2009
2:44 pm

Thanks Chuck, Keep him on Defense where he played last year. I didn’t know he was that fast.

I hope we red shirt Stephen Hill

Hey Sugar Hill

March 30th, 2009
3:06 pm

You’re right about the defense. I was so mad when we gave up 42 points to your Dawgs. We need to get that number down quite a bit.

SugarHillDawg

March 30th, 2009
3:15 pm

The Dawgs are the greatest team in the Country. Joe Cox is the best QB alive. Dawgs have the number 1 defense. Dawgs will be the best offense this year as well. GOOD LUCK TECH…you’re gonna need it.

ROCKMEN

March 30th, 2009
4:04 pm

The story of next fall is going to be told in the trenches. Does anyone know how the D-line is progressing? We lost 3 starters. Teams are going to try to run the ball and eat up clock keeping CPJ’s O. off the field.

steverino

March 30th, 2009
4:14 pm

SugarHillDawg, I have to agree with you when you say that m is an idiot. I feel the same way, except for a completely different set of reasons. But hey, SH Dawg…you saw m’s idiot and raised him one moron with YOUR comments.

MinnesotaJacket

March 30th, 2009
4:20 pm

Rockmen…from what it sounds like the d-line is holding their own right now, and T.J from what PJ sais is/will be stepping up and be a major player this year…Sugar Hill I want to comment but I don’t want to use any words you can’t read so I’ll choose not to.

SugarHillDawg

March 30th, 2009
4:22 pm

JOE COX IS MY HERO!

SugarHillDawg

March 30th, 2009
4:22 pm

JOE COX RULES!

Nate

March 30th, 2009
4:27 pm

If Joe Cox is “the best QB alive”, what does that make of UGA’s golden boy Stafford?? Why didn’t Cox start over Stafford, nevermind we are dealing with a bunch of idiots here…

yellowblood

March 30th, 2009
4:32 pm

tickle pile jerks! you’ll get what’s coming to ya next november. all jokes aside UGA will own y’all for the next 100 years.

EEJacket

March 30th, 2009
4:35 pm

I <3 the inteblag….idiots being entertained by smart people’s uptightness….smart people being entertained by stupid people’s severe lack of knowledge regarding the English language (here’s lookin’ at you, SugarHill) and absence of tact….or, ya know, a brain.

On the football side of things, I’m more concerned about the o-line than the D-line, according to what I’ve heard from ESPN so are the coaches. Bedford (Sean, backup center) is a friend of mine, and I have ever confidence that he can perform, but even so the coaches rated the pass protection on friday a ‘D’ at best. If we want to be successful at all this season, we’re going to have to mix up the playbook, and that means putting a lot more emphasis on the passing game. In order to step up the passing game like we intended to, we first must make sure Nesbitt can throw the ball, otherwise we may be in for a disappointing season.

SugarHillDawg

March 30th, 2009
4:39 pm

One of you NERDS in inpersonating me! Gosh, I hope no one actually thinks I’m a Tech fan–that’s scary. Joe Cox is more than enough to beat you LOSERS!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

March 30th, 2009
4:43 pm

Joe Cox will finish the season next year on the bench. I don’t know who will replace him, but I guarantee you Cox will not be the starting QB after Oklahoma State finishes him off.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 30th, 2009
4:50 pm

I don’t think I would worry about the “D” given the O-line after only one week of spring practice. After all, I would imagine they never got higher than that last spring, even after it was all over. And yet look what they did in the fall. Yes, there is much need for improvement, but I for one am not overly concerned.

MinnesotaJacket

March 30th, 2009
5:10 pm

EE I agree with ya man about the o-line thats why I think this summer will actually be a real telling of how good we will be once Voss and Claytor are back and how quick the o-line can gel into a cohesive group. If Voss can come back and do his great job once again, and my boy Claytor keeps improving and becomes a solid left tackle to protect Nes’s back I think the o-line will be fine.
Also throwing it out there what do you think happens to Marcus Wright, and Cox this year now that Dwyer, Roddy, and Allen are the primarty backs?

MinnesotaJacket

March 30th, 2009
5:12 pm

hey Sugarhill explain to me how he will be good enough to beat us when he is backing up your upcoming freshmen?? Hearing all this crap about how great a leader he is and will be even better than Stafford is fn hilarious to me…because thats why he started all those years over Staf…..ooo **** thats right he barely played it all…

gotech610

March 30th, 2009
5:28 pm

Joe Cox = Joe Tereshinski. Also, Mr. Sugarhill, was that No. 1 Defense in arrests and lack of discipline? It surely couldn’t be those no tackling dawgs that were on the field in last year’s contest could it? They sure did give up a lot ground to those Jackets!

MinnesotaJacket

March 30th, 2009
5:37 pm

my biggest to all you Georgia fans who for some reason read the TECH blogs…where has your defense improved…what big players are coming back for your D?? Nobody last year was hurt, and I mean really what do you have at all that your D will do better this year?
For your offense everyone will be crying to boot Joe Cox after Oklahoma St. slows down your offense and South Carolina embarrasses your offense…so like I said 3 weeks ago I will give Cox all of 2-3 games before he is replaced with a freshmen…

MinnesotaJacket

March 30th, 2009
5:37 pm

my biggest “laugh” ^^^

GT

March 30th, 2009
5:45 pm

All this reminds me of last year. According to reports we looked like keystone cops then we came out surprising the world.

the real Old Gold

March 30th, 2009
6:00 pm

SugarHill likes “Cox.”

chuck allison

March 30th, 2009
7:47 pm

Reebok, don’t think of our line as thin and patched-up any more. This is 2009 and we have a lot of huge new red-shirted bodies to line up there. Over the next few years, OL will be a real Tech strength. We’ll have big, strong, intelligent men and much more depth-enough to pound other teams into submission. Keep reading the practice reports and you’ll see what I mean.

SugarHillDawg

March 30th, 2009
8:15 pm

Quit impersonating someone you will never be. A WINNER! I’m on your lame blog every day because I love bugging you nerds. I’m here to remind you that the DAWGS rule and Tech drools! You root for a team that I hate and that makes me mad. GO DAWGS!

superDawg

March 30th, 2009
8:18 pm

Hey folks when tech starts passing the ball i think they will be the most awsome loser you have ever seen.they say passing opens up the running game.Well stick with the run so the world can see you leave the field after a loss really quick.Speed does account for something.

Not Disappointed

March 30th, 2009
8:28 pm

Hey, when does ESPN College Football Live come back? Somebody mention it will start April 7th. I was of the assumption it was year around…

Any news on our Defensive secondary? “Ramblin Wreck!”

superDawg

March 30th, 2009
8:35 pm

Who cares about tech.UGA IS NO.1 IN BASEBALL! GO DAWGS!!!

hey super(Dawg)douche

March 30th, 2009
9:21 pm

uga lost to tech in football…uga lost to tech in basketball…i can see why you are clinging to baseball….i’ve got my broom out ready for the sweep loser

SugarHillDawg

March 30th, 2009
9:37 pm

Hey Minnesota Jacket, unless you are privy to some inside info(yeah sure), the QB job is Cox’ to lose and how you guys can say he isn’t up to the task because you LOSERS haven’t seen him play is ludicrous! Just wait NERDS!

Dog Food

March 30th, 2009
10:50 pm

Joe Cox. Need I insert a middle name for this back up clown? Na, I’ll keep it clean and intelligent. Good luck to you b/c looks like LSU is back to rule the SEC and Florida will continue to own you boys. The drought may not be over at Lake Lanier but it sure is versus the Dawgs as long as CPJ is coaching. Go Tech!

Tokyo jacket

March 30th, 2009
11:14 pm

I like how people say that Nesbitt has to get better as a passer or develop. What you probably don’t know is that he was a passing QB in HS, not a running QB. He passed for almost 4,000 yards in his senior season. Last year, we practiced the TO almost exclusively (and rightfully so). But, now that the team generally has that down, we can get 40% of the snaps going to passes. Giving a kid like Nesbitt practice throwing the ball and the time to do so will pay huge dividends.

Nesbitt is not Eric Crouch. He is a quarterback that can run like hell, not a running back who can throw a little too. This year should worry fans of opposing teams. If the 2007 recruiting class stays tight and on campus, next year should outright scare the hell out of opposing fans.

shutupmutt

March 31st, 2009
12:14 am

Sugar Hill,

Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf? Every single QB you’ve ever had is supposedly “the best ever” and frankly I just don’t believe you mutts anymore. Your arrogance is what makes 45-42 so sweet. I’m amazed that you’ve already forgotten how your foot tastes. We’ll remind you this November.

Go JACKETS!

tech y j

March 31st, 2009
12:28 am

that no. 43 is going make the pie even sweeter he run like larry johnson stiff arm like the late great walter payton and is hard to take down like a throw back jim brown

superDawg

March 31st, 2009
4:27 am

To Miss.douche. UGA will pound your puckerd rear end all the way to loser’ville.

superDawg

March 31st, 2009
4:31 am

See y’all later got to go to work.Today i’m going to fire a techie.

Sunshine

March 31st, 2009
8:20 am

SuperDawg, that would be impossible as your position of non importance as the short order cook at Waffle House gives you no authority. You could really beat those eggs if you wanted too!