Recapping Saturday’s scrimmage

Good morning, all-

I hope some of you made it out to the practice Saturday morning at Bobby Dodd. Jaybo Shaw looked pretty good running the offense after Josh Nesbitt sustained a shoulder injury. Nesbitt, if you’re wondering, should be fine. Paul Johnson was not worried, and Nesbitt stayed for the remainder of the practice and did not look like he was in any significant pain nor did it look like he was wearing anything to stabilize the shoulder. We should find out more this afternoon at practice.

Before I forget, there was a question on Wednesday’s blog about the offensive linemen who have been out. Clyde Yandell, Dan Voss, Nick Claytor and Cord Howard are all expected back for fall practice. To my knowledge, there isn’t anyone who has been out whose injury is more long-term than that.

Besides Shaw’s running the offense fairly well, the other main observation I had – and this is sort of related to Shaw playing well – is that the running game looked strong. Jonathan Dwyer didn’t play much at all, but Shaw, Anthony Allen, Roddy Jones, Preston Lyons, Richard Watson and Tevin Washington all had runs of 7-8 yards or more. I suppose you could also say that the run defense could be better. In fact, that is what Johnson said after, that he felt that the scrimmage was much like the rest of spring practice, the defense couldn’t stop the run and the offense couldn’t pass the ball.

Along those lines, there was some trouble with the passing game. A lot of incomplete passes, though I definitely wouldn’t put that all on Shaw or Washington. I confess I don’t remember having a strong feeling either way about the protection, so it was interesting to me that co-offensive line coach Mike Sewak was encouraged by the line’s play, both on the run and pass. Sewak is not someone who is easily pleased. He said he saw the linemen not panicking in the face of blitzes and defensive line stunts and keeping with their technique.

“That’s a huge plus,” he said. “It’s been a lot better.”

One other thing he pointed out was that he thought the linemen were getting tougher in terms of playing through pain.

“They fought through getting kicked in the ribs, getting kneed in the thigh and stuff like that,” he said. “They’re showing signs of mental toughness, and when you run the ball, you have to show signs of mental toughness.”

Again, given how much this staff (and I assume most coaching staffs) value toughness, this means that the line is getting closer to the standard that the coaches are setting.

One other point that Sewak made that I’d never thought about – the departure of Michael Johnson, Darryl Richard and Vance Walker hurts Tech not only on the defensive line, but also on the offensive line because those linemen don’t get the chance to practice against that sort of talent every day in practice.

I asked him about who he thought had made the most progress, and he demurred, in part because, usually, first-teamers go against first-teamers and second-teamers go against second-teamers, so it’s not always easy to know if a second-teamer is making real progress or is just in a mismatch. So the real answer on how far the offensive line (or defensive line) may not come until the Clemson game.

Kevin Cone has worked his way up the depth chart. The walk-on, a transfer from Shorter College and son of former Yellow Jacket Ronny Cone, started in place of Tyler Melton at wide receiver alongside Demaryius Thomas. Melton got a hip pointer on Friday and was out. It bears mention that Zach Fisher, the likely No. 3, is out after having surgery to repair what Johnson thought was a sports hernia. So Cone could be No. 4.

Both sides moved a lot of players in and out with the first and second teams, like guard Omoregie Uzzi and Watson working with the first string and a lot of mixing and matching with the cornerbacks.

“You try to move those guys around a little bit, because if you’re playing with the first group, it’s going to be different than playing with the second group,” quarterbacks/B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said, “To get a good evaluation, to see where everybody’s at, you move them around a little bit and see how they react in different situations with different groups.”

Anyway, I hope that’s of some insight for you. One more week of spring ball to go. You likely know, but the T-Day Game will be noon on Saturday at Bobby Dodd. I think we’ll try to touch more on special teams this week in the coverage. If there’s anything else you want to hear about, please ask.

56 comments Add your comment

MinnesotaJacket

April 13th, 2009
8:33 am

More small injuries which slowly hinder the total progress of the team…YES I do know that it is spring and a long time until fall…but also in that regard it is a long time until fall and I wish we could run our entire real game first unit for a few plays to see how that goes for us.
In that regard, Ken you said the pass game wasn’t made bad by Jaybo or Tevin so I am guessing our recievers could not catch the ball or was the coverage actually strong during most of the scrimmage?
I keep hearing about how people like Jaybo running some of the offense but I think it should be noted there is a HUGE gap between Nes at #1 and Jaybo at #2…
Other than that it is good to hear how the younger lineman are getting GOOD reps and will be there just in case this coming year.
Go Jackets

Buzz_29

April 13th, 2009
8:51 am

Will someone post rosters for the game this Saturday? Is it underclassmen vs seniors? Bigs vs quicks? How do they decide?

Tech82

April 13th, 2009
9:07 am

Ken – It was commonly reported during the course of last season that CPJ had only installed 35-40% of his playbook. How much more of the offense has been installed between the bowl proctice period and this spring? How much more diverse does CPJ expect the offense to be by the time the season starts next fall? Overall, how is the passing game progressing?

MinnesotaJacket

April 13th, 2009
9:14 am

Tech82…from what has been said over the past few weeks it seems PJ has said he would like to get to 60% run 40% pass and that it has been like that most of the practices…don’t know if that fully answers your question but I hope it helps.
The passing game has been very off and on over all the practices from all that I have heard…somedays its really good with recievers making plays and quarterbacks making the right reads…other days recievers aren’t doing the small things right and the defense seems to be better.

Atlanta Jackets

April 13th, 2009
9:38 am

Fear not folks, the Robot will be back. No, not the roll call from last week, but Josh Nesbitt. He’ll be back and we’ll get the 60/40 pass/run ratio down. With 60% completion percentage. Book it. THWG!

rainman

April 13th, 2009
9:39 am

Hey Ken, yeah – I’m holding you to your promise about an update on the competition at FG kicker & punter, including your opinion as to whether we can expect better this year.

Also, keep us imformed as much as possible about the progress of the D-line. Who would you rate as the top two DE’s after Morgan, and which DE has the most potential to emerge as a speed rusher? You mentioned the initial 4-man rotation at DT earlier, but are any of these guys really stepping it up? Is the new kid Lanier enrolled & at practice?

EEJacket

April 13th, 2009
9:57 am

“In fact, that is what Johnson said after, that he felt that the scrimmage was much like the rest of spring practice, the defense couldn’t stop the run and the offense couldn’t pass the ball.”

That worries me. Then again, its only spring, right?

yellowblood

April 13th, 2009
10:14 am

I still like Shaw over Nesbitt at QB. I know, I know but I’ve never been able to get over Nesbitt coming to Tech only because UGAG wouldn’t sign him as a QB. I know one thing: From looking at UGAG’s spring practice game, we’ll be having many Tickle Piles this fall while UGAG will be having it’s worst team in years. A truly pathetic team not to mention school!!! Huge Tickle Piles coming!!!

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 13th, 2009
10:19 am

Ronny Cone, a blast from the past!!!

GT

April 13th, 2009
10:32 am

How does Preston Lyons look. He transferred from where? Shaw fumbled a lot last year is he handling the hand offs better or can we tell yet?

the real Old Gold

April 13th, 2009
10:35 am

Nesbitt is a machine. He’ll be back.

Big B CH 99

April 13th, 2009
10:40 am

First, I don’t think it matters who’s running as the # 2 WR in spring, b/c come fall I believe that the # 2 WR will be Stephen Hill. Besides BayBay, we don’t have anyone, Hill hopefully has the talent to play right away.

OL has the be able to pass protect and the QB’s have to be more accurate along w/ making the right reads.

Ken Sugiura

April 13th, 2009
10:40 am

a lot of questions here. let’s see what I can answer.
Minnesota-as far as the incompletions not just being just on Shaw or Washington, I’d say that sometimes the protection wasn’t great, I know at least one time there was a misread either by quarterback or receiver, and then others receivers weren’t getting separation, which you can put on either the receivers or the secondary. I’m sure, too, you could say that Nesbitt might have done better working with the 1’s. And, also, Tyler Melton, who has had a pretty good spring, wasn’t out there.
Buzz – not sure about how the teams will be split. I’ll have to ask. My initial guess is it’d be First team offense and second team defense vs. Second-team offense and second-team defense. I’m not sure if the format will be much different than what they’ve done so far, which is to start at the 30, and generally run 1’s vs. 1’s and 2’s vs. 2’s.
Tech82 – Johnson can be a little coy on “how much” of the playbook is put in, starting with the fact that Tech doesn’t have an actual playbook. I know I’ve seen plays put in that I didn’t see used. But there’s also wrinkles on plays that they already have been using. I can say with confidence that there’s more stuff that they’ve been working on, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting a number on it.
I think the passing game is getting better. There are times when Nesbitt looks really efficient. But I wouldn’t say it’s going like clockwork at this point.
Rainman, after Morgan at DE, I’d go with Robert Hall and Anthony Egbuniwe. Both are high-energy guys and I think Hall could have a pretty good season. As far as speed rushing goes, that might be Antonio Wilson. He redshirted last season and only started playing football his senior year of high school, and then only four games, I think, before he got hurt. He is very much a work in project, but is athletic and could develop over the next few years.
To me, no one at DT has jumped out at me, but it can be tough to get a really good look at what’s happening.
J.C. Lanier has not enrolled yet. He’ll be at Tech in the summer. The only recruit who has enrolled is Emmanuel Dieke, the DE from Flowery Branch. He is also a pretty athletic end, but my guess is he’ll be redshirted if possible.
EE I wouldn’t be that concerned. Consider how bad the offense looked last spring and how the season turned out.

Jack G.

April 13th, 2009
10:43 am

Tech82
Think i will just go nap until fall.

MinnesotaJacket

April 13th, 2009
10:56 am

Hey Rain…if you are thinking about J.C and T.J together in the near future I am right there with you :) ….I wouldn’t mind having two bruising 300lb’s clog up the entire middle of the o-line and let our up and coming LB’s go wild!!
Also Big B CH 99…I disagree with you because in the end PJ likes red-shirting incoming freshmen especially since Hill hasn’t been at Spring and how different this offense is that he will be coming into I DOUBT we will see him…not saying it won’t happen but I doubt it (let him catch TD’s next year in Nes’s senior year and us having a championship caliber team :) )…

GTwinsNC

April 13th, 2009
11:12 am

Is not one of the issues with the pass protection that the offensive linemen are in a forward lean to execute the run blocks and that makes it difficult to get back in pass protection? And if they get back more in their stance it tips the D that a pass is coming?

GTY. Jacket

April 13th, 2009
11:40 am

That Anthony Allen is going to make GT short passing game very strong

yellowblood

April 13th, 2009
11:40 am

Dawgs are gonna whip you tickle pile nerds this year……

Get ready for pain…

Tickle Pile Style!

GO DAWGS!

yellowblood

April 13th, 2009
11:42 am

Pile on in for a tickle…All you nerds love to tickle eachother…hahaha! freaking tickle it up you tickle pile clowns.

UGA will wipe the floor with you while you are tickling eachother.

Tickle it up some more and we won’t tickle you back we’ll just beat you up loser jerks!

Buford T. Pusser

April 13th, 2009
11:47 am

Whatever happened to Matt Winkeltoes?

What is a "tickle pile"?

April 13th, 2009
12:07 pm

To the guy who keeps mentioning “Tickle Piles” …. I, for one, have never heard the term. Please explain what exactly a tickle pile is.

MWGT1990

April 13th, 2009
12:09 pm

yellowblood, you are really making us quiver after what happened last Nov. HIstory is not helping you right now. At least wait until you have a team to beat us. Your sticking you neck out on a UGA team who just lost Stafford and Moreno. OOOh, you are really scaring us right now.

Matt Winkeljohn

April 13th, 2009
12:11 pm

Anthony Allen will be a big boost, literally and figuratively. The passing game will grow significantly, and Morgan Burnett will be one of the top three defensive backs in the nation, joining Berry and a third to be determined. Enjoy him while you can.

Back to the job hunt . . .

North Avenue Wreck

April 13th, 2009
12:13 pm

I have been to every scrimmage and several of the practices. The DT spot is no longer a concern to me. We now have a nasty rotation of big strong guys that can avail themselves to several different type yardage situations. I have yet to see our #1 offense get anything consistent going up the gut on Anderson or Peters even with the cut blocking. What I have seen is a good amount of stacking up the line and disruptions in the backfield by our DTs. With Walls and Barnes standing at the ready we may actually be in better shape than last year. We have speed and strength in our stables at DT. If the Oline coach thinks his players are not getting the proper competition by our DTs at practice in comparison to last year than why are our DTs spending so much time in the backfield during the scrimmages? Even with the difficult to defend cut blocking, Giff has done a good job bringing along these players. I can’t wait for our DTs to play a team where they don’t have to deal with our offensive style of blocking. We are going to be fine at DT.

Not Disappointed

April 13th, 2009
12:15 pm

Afternoon Ken, I appreciate you insite.
yellowblood after watching your spring game Saturday, I wouldn’t be boasting to anyone about beating Georgia Tech or any other top 25 team, now hurry up with the Frost Orange!

Clark

April 13th, 2009
12:25 pm

Ken, There was some high hopes for Nick McRae when he came in. What are his chances of being on the field now that he’s been there a year?

Ken Sugiura

April 13th, 2009
12:44 pm

How about Matt Winkeljohn checking in? For what it’s worth, he looks more like Bono than anyone I know, particularly when he wears his goofy bicycling shades.

Preston Lyons transferred from Colgate. Bohannon was talking him up Saturday. He said that Lyons has a knack for finding creases running out of B-back. He noted that Lyons went to Marist and, as such, knows Tech’s offense better than most new to the team. He’s looked good, but he’s also playing the same position as Jonathan Dwyer, Lucas Cox, Richard Watson and possibly Anthony Allen.
As far as Stephen Hill and the No. 2 receiver spot goes, I think he has a shot at it. Johnson’s preference is to redshirt incoming freshmen, but if one of them is good enough and can really help the team – as I think a lot of people think Hill can – then he’d play as a freshman. But if Tyler Melton makes a strong showing in fall camp – as I imagine Melton, going into his sophomore year, will be motivated to do – then maybe Hill will wait a year.
without having seen any incoming freshmen, i’d say Hill and Lanier are probably the two most likely to play. Maybe Izaan Cross.
GTY makes a good point about Allen. One thing that I gleaned from reporting the Josh Nesbitt story is that one way coaches want him to increase his completion percentage is just by making the easy pass when it’s available and not necessarily go for the home run. i’ve seen a good bit of passes to Allen of the 5-10 yard range. He’s a good receiver and will be dangerous that way.
Interesting point, GTwinsNC. I’ve not heard that, and don’t really have an answer. i think maybe part of the challenge, too, is that they’re not the prototype pass-blocking linemen – tall, big, long arms.

steverino

April 13th, 2009
1:06 pm

Correction, Ken…Dieke is from North Clayton HS. You probably got him crossed up with Cross.

STUCK IN SC

April 13th, 2009
1:08 pm

Must be a slow news day if your talking GT football, since they suck.

MinnesotaJacket

April 13th, 2009
1:14 pm

North Ave good to hear from a fan who was there about D-tackle….always good to hear news on that position in particular!!
Do you disagree/agree with any of what Ken saw? Hearing two opinions is always welcome!

1893 Reporter

April 13th, 2009
1:15 pm

Let’s the boys play this Saturday. For gosh’s sake, this nonsense about not playing foot-ball the week after Easter is driving me nutcase. Can you report on that? Are we playing or are we not? I’d prefer play than not. And stop being a sissy about it. This is Georgia Tech for Pete’s sake. Act like a man and play some ball.

I’ve never had a shoulder injury in my life that a good ointment couldn’t cure.

Not Disappointed

April 13th, 2009
1:15 pm

Thanks Matt a.k.a. “Bono!” tip bit of news on Secondary. I believe Morgan maybe exiting soon and North Avenue Wreck for the info.
Ken, is it fair for me to ask you for a grade on the defense (1 to 5) from the beginning of spring to now? Ramlin Wreck! Thanks again. Ramblin Wreck!

1893 Reporter

April 13th, 2009
1:18 pm

Ken, you’re a fine reporter. Ask the Coach if he allows the boys water during practice. And where does he buy his salt pills? A good salt pill will turn a boy into a man and a man into a football player. THWG!

Not Disappointed

April 13th, 2009
1:22 pm

I concur with Minnesota Jacket, North Ave Wreck. Two opinions are always welcome.

wth

April 13th, 2009
1:26 pm

What is a “tickle pile”? google to find more info, http://www.ticklepile.com/

Augusta Jacket

April 13th, 2009
1:58 pm

Ken, pertaining to the wide receiver situation what is going on with Willie White’s production? He was a four star coming out of high school why hasn’t he been moving up the depth chart?

Bruce

April 13th, 2009
2:19 pm

Curious about how Zack Frayzer from Etowah High is doing. He was mentioned a couple of times in articles earlier in the Spring but has been left out recently?

"Tickle Pile" Definition

April 13th, 2009
2:50 pm

“Tickle Pile” – A made up term by a UGA fan to get over his anger of what happened to his poor little dawgs November 29th 2008. There is no photo evidence of a “tickle pile” ever taking place. There is however photo evidence of Matt Stafford and friends in what is known at UGA as a

“CUDDLE PILE” – This is where you spoon a fellow up and coming athlete and let him know his first time will be ok. See photo of stafford below:

http://deadspin.com/258009/i-guess-you-cant-be-a-successful-quarterback-until-youve-been-with-a-man

1893 Reporter

April 13th, 2009
3:07 pm

Please stop with all of this cuddle pile nonsense. I founded this blogpostsphere to discuss foot-ball and foot-ball related injuries and such. And this girlie nonsense doesn’t qualify for either.

Ken, I ask that you remove these posts of annoyance. Thank you.

Ken, will Coach Johnson be wearing a suit to the games this fall? We need to return to fundamentals.

Ken Sugiura

April 13th, 2009
3:49 pm

You are right on Dieke, Steverino. I had him mixed up with Cross. My bad. Regardless, Cross is the one that I think could end up playing.
As for Willie White, he’s mostly run with the third string offense. I don’t know the reason he’s not moving up the depth charts the way you would have thought given his recruiting status. Having watched him and the other receivers some, I wouldn’t say it’s like he’s being held back. He’s not producing much at this point.
Not disappointed – that’s a fair question, but I’d just be guessing.
As for Fraysier, again, I don’t have much information. I know he’s been working with the second team line, and has been getting time at center, but I don’t have a whole lot more to offer than that.

UGA Cuddle Pile

April 13th, 2009
3:49 pm

1893 Reporter

April 13th, 2009
3:52 pm

I have been ignored! This reporter is choosing only easy questions to answer. I challenge the writer of this blognet to answer the question we all want to know: when will our dear Coach present himself as a leader of men and dress appropriately? A man in a suit leads men. A man in sweatpants sweats.

1893 Veterinarian

April 13th, 2009
4:11 pm

Neuticles are the perfect answer for the castrated, inbred bulldog. I recommend that all bulldogs that were castrated last November in Athens, GA seek these prostheses immediately!

North Avenue Wreck

April 13th, 2009
4:20 pm

Minnesota,
I respect Ken and his opinion. He knows his stuff and I always look forward to his narratives. However, I have payed close attention to the DT position this year because of all the specualation. Like Ken nothing jumps out at me as in flashy and exclusive play. What I have seen is consistent hard nose play against what I consider pretty good Olinemen and very defender difficult style of blocking. They have stacked them up plenty and been in the back field disrupting things. I personally feel that Joe Gilbert will be one of the best Olinemen in the ACC if not the country. He and Anderson have gone at it and I believe they are both better for it. Vance and Darryl shined against our offense in last years Spring Game but our offense was in it’s infancy. This stlyle of blocking and running after a year of installment and practice is deadly for a DT. With all that considered I feel our DTs are way ahead of where our fans think they are. We are blue collar along the front and we have aDT for every position. As far as Lanier is concerned, man it would be great if he could come in and make an impact but I think it may be too much to expect froma young guy. He will have Gilbert and others to contend with not to mention the general adjustment of college life. My prediction is a red shirt.

North Avenue Wreck

April 13th, 2009
4:50 pm

I meant to say that it seems we now have a DT for every situation. In addition, Barnes will get better and better and Walls is a load. I cant wait for these guys to play against another oline. CPJ’s schemes are nasty and our DTs are better for practicing against it.

1893 Reporter

April 13th, 2009
5:04 pm

Vet, good to see a man of medicine on these blogposts. I’ve seen and read about things here that only a good collection of hearty leaches would cure.

I will research your recommendation and present it to the review board. Neuticles, you say? I do not know of what you speak. But I trust the medical arts and Coca-Cola. Hazzah!

Tell me of some foot-ball related injuries that I may get jollys from. Speak, man, speak!

GTMan

April 13th, 2009
5:43 pm

I’d like to see weight room competition between the O line and the D line from now until fall practice begins. Let them compete against each other for pride, steak dinner, whatever. Something to motivate both of them to work very, very hard between now and the fall. Getting stronger can only help!!

Tokyo jacket

April 13th, 2009
6:37 pm

GTwinsNC, our O-line doesn’t “drop back” to pass protect. They burst forward on every play, run or pass. To do this effectively, it requires more technique and skill than to drop back. That’s why offensive lines have gotten bigger over the past 20 years: it’s easier to add weight than it is to teach skill.

CPJ’s passing game at Navy was very effective and efficient, having one of the highest QB ratings every year, regardless of yardage. When our guys grasp the technique of bursting forward to pass protect, watch out! I hope they get it by fall.

Tokyo jacket

April 13th, 2009
6:52 pm

ESPN on UGA’s spring game: “this is an offense that needs to find some more firepower before the 2009 season gets here.” For all our issues so far this spring, I think we’re better off than our foes on the old farm.

Matt Winkeljohn

April 13th, 2009
8:19 pm

Goofy cycling glasses? Gilbert!