Clever headline, eh?
Got some nuggets from Georgia Tech spring practice and a couple links to share.
A few things from the A-backs story I wrote for today.
1) Jeff Monken, the A-backs coach, took time to show me some film Tuesday from last season. He was pointing out what I wrote about in the story, A-backs pushing and shoving linebackers and defensive backs rather than cutting them to the ground. It was pretty obvious that several of the plays he showed me could have gone for far longer if the A-back in the play had gotten his man on the ground.
One of them, actually, was the play against Mississippi State when Josh Nesbitt tweaked his hamstring. It was a 21-yard run, but could have easily been a touchdown if a lineman and A-back had put their guys on the ground.
Of course, it’s very easy for me to sit here at my laptop and point this out. It isn’t so simple as throwing your body at a player’s legs and 10 times out of 10, he’ll fall to the ground. There’s technique to it, and also, as Roddy Jones said, it requires a vicious attitude. Monken called it part of being a “blue-collar football team.” This second-year development – players getting more adept at different facets of the offense – is one reason why I think the offense should be better.
2) If you’re going to watch the scrimmage Saturday, the best play to watch this on is the triple option. Look for the playside A-back going downfield. Two players to watch are Marcus Wright and Lucas Cox. Wright, all 175 pounds of him, might be the best blocking A-back. Cox, meanwhile, was called out a little bit by Paul Johnson yesterday when I asked him about it.
Said Johnson, “Lucas needs to be a better blocker. If he’s going to be play there, he’s going to have to be. He’s not the fastest guy and all that, so he needs to have a calling card. Blocking needs to be his calling card.”
3) I mentioned Zerbin Singleton, a former Navy player. If you don’t know about him, he is an unbelievable story.
Notes from Wednesday’s practice
1) The team started with some kickoff return work. Among those on the first team were Brad Jefferson, Lucas Cox, Robert Hall, Austin Barrick and Anthony Egbuniwe. The returners were Jones and Wright. Scott Blair was kicking and did a pretty decent job. On maybe seven or eight kicks, he put one at or just inside the goal line and another well into the end zone that were both angled to the sideline.
2) Some members of the Norcross football team watched from the sidelines.
3) In position groups and in 11 on 11, the offense worked on a play that I don’t remember seeing last season. It looks like it has the potential to be pretty effective.
4) With Cooper Taylor missing practice (he was sick), Mario Edwards took his spot on the first team in the “Wolf” position. It’s kind of a hybrid linebacker/defensive back spot. Larry will write more about that and Taylor for Sunday. (Buy a paper! Or buy two and give one to a friend.)
Heather Dinich of espn.com has a very good Q&A with Paul Johnson.
Coley Harvey’s story in the Macon Telegraph about Tyler Melton and Demaryius Thomas.
A Tampa Tribune story that says that AD Dan Radakovich, in terms of salary as a percentage of the athletic department budget, is fifth among all AD’s at BCS conferences.
Tech recruit Derrick Favors won MVP honors in last night’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Coral Gables, Fla. A quote from an opponent: “You can’t leave the game in the hands of a player like Derrick Favors. If you do, you see what happens.”
In case you missed it, Larry reported that Georgia Southern, whose basketball coach resigned Monday, is interested in Tech assistant Charlton Young.
Johnny Crawford’s photo gallery from practice Wednesday.
The track teams from Georgia and Georgia Tech (weather permitting) will be running against each other in a dual meet Thursday night (tonight) at Tech’s track. It’s the first time the two have faced each other in a dual since 1992. Should be fun. I will be out there covering it.