Spring practice No. 13

Good morning, all-

Apologies. Thought I’d posted at 7, but actually didn’t.

Got some notes from Tuesday’s practice and the long-awaited update on the kicking game.

- “Wolf” linebacker Cooper Taylor did some light running with a sleeve on his left knee

- With the Monday practice moved to Tuesday, I’d guess about 50 players made it to practice. The rest missed because of classes, as Larry wrote in the notebook. Linebacker Brad Jefferson, B-back Jonathan Dwyer, safeties Morgan Burnett and Dominique Reese were among those who arrived late or didn’t make it at all. It was so light, in fact, that when the quarterbacks split up to do drills with the wide receivers or the backs, quarterbacks coach Brian Bohannon had to take some reps.

- After injuring his left shoulder Saturday, quarterback Josh Nesbittt had a gold jersey on, meaning that he wasn’t to be hit.

- The defense worked on adjusting defensive fronts when offenses use motion, and some blitzes. It’s an interesting drill. The coaches set up five garbage cans, representing offensive linemen, and then have extra players pose as backs and receivers, and defensive coordinator Dave Wommack is the quarterback. The players line up in various spots or go in motion, and the defense has to adjust accordingly. Then, at the snap, the defensive linemen rush through the different gaps between the garbage cans according to how the different line stunts are called.

- Paul Johnson said that in the T-Day Game, it’ll be No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense vs. No. 2 offense and No. 1 defense, so the first teams will go against the first teams and the second teams will do likewise. There will be field goals and extra points with no rush and punts with fair catches.

So onto the kicking game. I’ll caution that I’m not sure there’s a ton I can say as far as “Scott Blair has been kicking the tar out of the ball” or “Chandler Anderson’s hang time is up by at least .2 seconds.” The team hasn’t really done much work on live field goal work. Mostly, Blair, Anderson and the other kickers/punters have been left to themselves except for when they’ve participated in the kickoff and punt return drills, which Tech has worked on a good bit. On the occasions I’ve watched Blair, he looks like he’s been kicking it pretty well. Mike Sewak, the o-line coach who oversees kicks, punts and snappers, noted that he has the most explosion, the most height and the most distance of any of the kickers.

I talked to Blair Tuesday – it’s in the notebook – and he gave some insight into how things were going.

“Going into spring, I was pretty well prepared. I was actually kicking really well, punting really well, just being real competitive in practice, trying to kick further, I got in a little slump in the middle of spring practice, and I’m starting to get out of it now,” he said.

He also said he was mostly working on kicks between the 30 and 40 and was starting to focus on his kicks in the low 40’s.

I imagine it might be a little unsatisfying to some of you that he’s limiting his kicks – about 20 per day, he said – when you might think the answer would be to practice until his leg fell off, given that he was 12 for 19 last season. But I’ll say this about Blair. He’s not an excuse maker and I think he knows his game and his leg a bit better than I do and, I assume, better than you do, as well.

It sounds like Tech will bring in preferred walk-ons to challenge Blair in the fall, which it sounds like when the competition will start. Brady Biggers, a kicker/punter from Walton who was named to the Touchdown Club of Atlanta’s all-metro team, will be among them.

(You may wonder why Tech didn’t offer a scholarship to any kickers. The answer is that few schools do. First, the supply of kickers is so great that coaches don’t see a need to do so. Further, like other positions, good kickers in high school don’t always translate to good college kickers, so coaches don’t like using a scholarship on a kicker if he turns out to be a bust, because then he’s on your hands for four years. Generally, teams will wait to see who pans out and then put him on scholarship.)

Blair said he also knew of a punter from Florida.

Said Blair, “If he beats me out, he beats me out. It’ll be really good competition.”

I’d imagine that coaches probably wouldn’t mind it if someone beat out Blair for either kickoffs, field goals or punts. As I quoted Sewak as saying in the notebook, “[Blair] might be really superior if you let him do one or two (instead of all three).”

Not related to football

Tech beat Georgia in baseball in Athens Tuesday night.

Derrick Favors will sign his letter of intent this afternoon at 1 p.m. at South Atlanta High School. Larry will be there and should have something up online in the afternoon.

What say you?

99 comments Add your comment

EEJacket

April 15th, 2009
9:40 am

Woot first! Good article, answered a lot of my questions about the kicking game. Its good to know that Blair is focusing on the low 40’s. Sucks that practice is so small, but what are you gonna do, this isn’t an SEC where classes would be canceled instead of practice!

EEJacket

April 15th, 2009
9:40 am

an SEC school*

Big B CH 99

April 15th, 2009
9:58 am

In the SEC, the coaches would talk all of the player’s Profs into canceling class so that they can all practice.

MinnesotaJacket

April 15th, 2009
10:03 am

EE…just classes no no…the entire school would be excused from classes (have to make it fair to everyone haha)…
I like that he is working the 40’s and I do hope that he just takes kickoff and field goal this year because I think that will help make him a better well rounded kicker, with some other walk on taking care of punt duties. This not only allows Blair to focus more on one part of a game, but also helps him gain confidence which I believe is a key aspect.
Ken what is the drill for today just shells? Also is there anyway your or larry can do an active blog during the T-Day game?

MinnesotaJacket

April 15th, 2009
10:10 am

Does anyone else remember how athens cancelled all their schools because of teachers leaving for the Florida vs. UGA game…I mean no offense but what does that say about the academics in Athens…ooo thats right it doesn’t exist my bad

ratatouille

April 15th, 2009
10:23 am

If Tech is such a great academic institution, how come my friend’s (who are both Duke grads, father is an IT wiz, mom is a MBA/CPA) daughter who went to Woodward Academy was NOT accepted by UGA but was accepted to, and currently attends, Tech?

We all know that Tech abides by ACC standards for admission of its athletes; UGA athletes are held to higher than SEC standards for admission, and SEC standards are the same as ACC standards. Granted, it is more difficult for athletes to remain at Tech (due to the math requirements) than it is for athletes to remain at UGA, but you guys and girls are just deluding yourselves regarding the jokes about cancelling classes, etc. If CPJ really wanted his players there he would have scheduled the practice at night, just like CPH and Bernadette have to do.

But, hey, 45 – 42, 11 – 6, and victories in basketball (men and women) is great for you! But the jokes about academic inequities, though somewhat true, are not as great as you still like to think!

Supersize that order, mutt

April 15th, 2009
10:24 am

Where are all the mutts today after their darling diamond dawgs got taken to the cleaners last night? That’s football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, hockey, and now baseball all in the victory column for the Jackets this year. Did I miss anything? Let’s face it, in 2008-2009, Tech OWNS (I repeat O W N S ) the mutts from cowtown. You got to love it !!!

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 15th, 2009
10:28 am

FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, BASEBALL…what else you got, Fleabags?

How bout a game of titley winks?

I was thinking chess, but please, like somebody in Athens knows how to play that.

DawginLex

April 15th, 2009
10:29 am

Regular season losses only prepare UGA for the real games in the regionals. You do remember those don’t you?

18-6???????????????????????????????????

ratatouille

April 15th, 2009
10:39 am

I know, I know – it should have read “are great” – my bad. And, it is “tiddlywinks” but the way things are going UGA would probably lose that, too! You really have our number this year!!!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

April 15th, 2009
10:46 am

And to think, the poor puppies were once ranked number 1 in baseball too. AWWW, SO SAD !!!

MinnesotaJacket

April 15th, 2009
10:46 am

Ratatouille…I can start since you want to talk about academics…with number one do you know how much easier it is being a girl to get into tech than it is being a male?…I mean I go to Tech I KNOW the ratio and I know a lot of girls who got in JUST because they were girls… not saying that girl isn’t smart but it is a lot easier being a female to get into Tech because GT NEEDS a stronger female base to lessen the ratio…also UGA is harder to get into because in the 90’s and early 2000-2002 ANYBODY could get into UGA and they maxed out class capacity’s and living space because of their overacceptance. So for you to sit here and compare the two is hilarious because number one UGA students can major in GRASS TURF Managment or Sports Recreation….do you know what the EASIEST program at Tech is??? the 75th best management and business program in the nation…..soo please keep talking about academics because though I might agree that the standards to get in are somewhat standard the standards to STAY IN are not even comparable!

MinnesotaJacket

April 15th, 2009
10:47 am

Supersize but this time they weren’t pre-ranked number one so I am sure there was some mistake to put them there at all for the time…

Volman

April 15th, 2009
10:48 am

Ratatouille, I actually go to Tech currently. I was accepted by the only three schools I applied to (Tennessee, UGA, and Georgia Tech) but I chose Georgia Tech because OBVIOUSLY it was the better choice for my future than the other two.

The reason UGA is “so hard” to get into is because it is the state school and it is where people can go “hang out in college” with their friends from high school and not have to work as hard. Trust me, I’ve experienced what UGA has to offer, and outside of its bars, it is not much.

Volman

April 15th, 2009
10:53 am

Minnesota Jacket, I actually just looked up the rankings and Georgia Tech is #29 out of business schools, not 75. Just wanted to let you know.

BergMoo

April 15th, 2009
10:54 am

2 seconds seems like a huge improvement in hang time. Is this just because there was plenty of room for improvement or is Anderson going to become a viable option at punter?

Huh?

April 15th, 2009
11:13 am

Tech fans, if your school is so great why are you so dumb? Serious question.

Atlanta Jackets

April 15th, 2009
11:21 am

The mutts just got burned again!! LOL! Baseball, football, basketball. Burn. Burn. Burn! ROTFLAMO!

I applied and was accepted by Tech, MIT and Stanford, the only three schools I applied to. I’m at Tech because it’s on par with the other two and it’s cheaper. That matters too! LOL! But I would never apply to UGAg. Please. Even the bars over there are overrated. I’ve been out in Athens several times and the girls are so stuck up it’s crazy.

What sport should we crush the mutts in next?

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 15th, 2009
11:21 am

whoops, tiddlywinks…thanks ratatouille.

How bout a game of tiddlywinks, Huh?

Kicker(s) needed ...

April 15th, 2009
11:22 am

Wow, Blair is doing all THREE kicking positions. I say if he’s a better FG kicker than punter then eliminate punting totally.

Kick-off and FG are similar. Throw-in punting, and I can see where a guy could have problems with the cross-over in terms of form, kicking style, and preperation. Let him focus on the kicking style he’s BEST at, and I could become a believer with what Sewak is saying.

Ken (or anyone who might know) …… I know he excelled in high school as a DB but I haven’t heard anything on his move. What’s the progress report on Corey Earls move from WR to DB?

wth

April 15th, 2009
11:24 am

Uh, volman, you did read the article right? If you’re quoting the Newsweek article, you know that’s not a factual report; it’s an opinion based poll…

“corporate recruiters at more than 500 of the companies that hire the most graduate business students were asked to provide their opinions on which schools produce the strongest graduates”

FYI

Ken Sugiura

April 15th, 2009
11:37 am

Minnesota Jacket – they’re going to be in full pads today, then take Thursday and Friday off before the T-Day Game. I’m not sure about live blogging the game. I’ll have to ask a decision-maker about that.
BergMoo – I was making the stuff up about Blair kicking the tar out of the ball or Anderson improving his hang time. I said I couldn’t draw those observations because the field goal and punt teams haven’t gotten any live work this spring, so it’s mostly judgments from watching them work indivdually.

I commend Ratatouille on being a remarkably good sport.

I keep thinking it would be interesting to see where Georgia and Tech stand this year in all sports head-to-head, and if it might be Tech’s best year in awhile.

Stinger

April 15th, 2009
11:54 am

Will the Dawgs ever beat Tech in any sport again? We absolutely own them! I guess we need to start looking at Georgia State or Georgia Southern as our big rival. Beating the Dawgs is getting too easy.

Supersize that order, mutt

April 15th, 2009
12:04 pm

Huh? If you think you’re so smart (and obviously you are not), then why are you posting on a Tech blog instead of a UGAG one where others of your ilk belong, especially after the mutts lost yet ANOTHER game to the Jackets. In 2008-2009, the Jackets OWN the puny pups.

Chris

April 15th, 2009
12:07 pm

Ask and you shall receive. After a little research, I’ve compiled a list of all sports in which the teams have competed against each other. This isn’t taking into account the club sports as they aren’t NCAA-sanctioned events.

Tech
Men’s Football
Men’s Baseball
Women’s Volleyball
Men’s Basketball

UGA
Men’s Cross Country (Dual Meet)
Men’s Golf
Men’s Swimming & Diving (based on finish at Nationals)
Men’s Tennis (Dual Match)
Men’s Track and Field (Dual Meet)
Women’s Cross Country (Dual Meet)
Women’s Softball (April 8 – UGA wins 7-5)
Women’s Swimming & Diving (based on finish at Nationals)
Women’s Tennis (Dual match)
Women’s Track and Field

Still to be played
Men’s Baseball (May 12)

PTC Jacket

April 15th, 2009
12:14 pm

Let’s not get big heads here and say that we will “own” UGA forever. Seriously, I went to the UGA v Tech basketball game, and we barely beat them. We barely beat them in football too, but we pretty much dominated them in baseball. Yes, we beat them, but we didn’t “own” them.

Ratatouille: Woodward? Whoop-de-do. It’s obviously easier for girls to get in Tech than UGA, regardless of what school they attended. This is what most people say: It’s impressive to get in UGA, but it’s impressive to graduate Tech. That’s just the way it is.

who cares

April 15th, 2009
12:18 pm

Trash cans are the only thing Tech’s pathetic defensive front will be running through this season. Tech fans are so retarded, to think that the defensive line they have can compete in a major conference. Tech’s 2 deep d.l. might be a little better and a little bigger than Ga.Southern’s d.l. I would take Ga.Southern’s front 4 over Tech’s. Johnson was lucky that he inherited some good d.l. talent last year. They saved his pathetic offense all year, until they played 2 sec teams, that both manhandled tech’s d.l. Tech fans, after losing your top 3 defensive tackles, and one of your 2 top defensive ends, you had better hope your offense can average 40 pts per game, because your defense wont be able to stop any average offense. But i forgot, their aren’t any average offenses in the ACC, only below average. U have powerhouse offenses like Clemson,Fl.State, and oops WakeForest and Duke. What a joke of a conference. What is it now, no BCS wins in a bowl game in 8 years running.

PTC Jacket

April 15th, 2009
12:22 pm

Who cares:

Um…ACC won the Orange Bowl last season. Get your facts right.

And you’re talking about a conference that has a winning record against yours last year? Give me a break. We didn’t have powerhouses in our conference last year, but we’re definitely tough throughout the ACC.

You better brag now.

April 15th, 2009
12:29 pm

Hey Chris,
You forgot the Jackets won the state spelling bee contest this year too. Oh yeah..and the Calculus Festival. It kills me when you see these guys win a couple of games and they think they are the kings of the world.
Just remember Gnats…its so much more of a big deal for you to beat Georgia than for Georgia to beat you. Why? We’re used to it. Thats something the Jackets will just always have to live with.

Jacket59

April 15th, 2009
12:31 pm

Hey Ken,
Is that kicker from Walton the same one that kicked a 60 something yard field goal a couple years ago?

Not Disappointed

April 15th, 2009
12:34 pm

Ken, thanks as usual about the update. How do you see special teams as a whole coming up to spring game?
Ken is right about ratatouille being a good sport. Now, back to work ratatouille, the curb is filling up. I want to dogs and some strings. Not rings!

Supersize that order, mutt

April 15th, 2009
12:35 pm

You want to talk about powerhouse offenses? Well, what about Miss State. Vandy; and (last year) Auburn? Real world-beaters there, huh? Even South Carolina under Spurrier, of all people, couldn’t mount a consistent offense last year. Tech’s defense last year may have been spotty (or worse), but they seem to have come through most times when it counted, e.g. FSU, and enough of the game in Athens to hold on. UGAG’s defense on the other hand sucked all year long, and they will continue to suck as long as Martinez (GOD BLESS HIM) is still there.

Not Disappointed

April 15th, 2009
12:37 pm

excuse the spelling…. LOL! That’s two dogs!!

Not Disappointed

April 15th, 2009
12:39 pm

ugag’s Martinez! We love him the way ugag loved reggie ball. LOL!

Supersize that order, mutt

April 15th, 2009
12:42 pm

You better brag now, if it doesn’t mean all that much to the mutts to beat Tech, then why are you on a Tech blog posting inane comments? (Inane means stupid and worthless, by the way) Admit it. You can’t stand the fact that Tech beat you last year and has the coaching and talent to do it again next November too. It hurts BAD, doesn’t it?

45 – 42, 67 – 62, 57 – 42, 3 – 1 (Volleyball), and 11 – 6

THWG

gtg7831j

April 15th, 2009
12:44 pm

GT will go 3-0 vs. the SEC this year. Since they will be undefeatd in the SEC, does that mean they should play for the national championship? or maybe play in the sugar bowl against utah or the powerhouse hawaii. I wonder what UGA’s preseason national championship rings look like?

gtg7831j

April 15th, 2009
12:47 pm

Just wondering, how many UGA grads are CEO’s of fortune 500 companies? The CEO’s of Wal-Mart and Coca Cola Enterprises are Tech grads and retired CEO of Dollar General was a GT grad, until DG went private again.

You better brag now.

April 15th, 2009
1:01 pm

Actually…I came over here to read how you guys football spring was shaping up this year. After reading the article on Wayshaun Ealey and seeing ALL the Gnats posting about that and how great they were going to be this year and how they owned UGA in everything now, I figured i would check it out. Its all exactly what i thought though. Alot of huffing and puffing about nothing. Face it…UGA is Tech’s NC game EVERY year. To us….Its just a game we SHOULD win. Everynow and then though Tech breaks through. It happens to the best of them. What …you guys have beat us 12 times in the past 40 years? Enjoy it. Brag while you can.

MinnesotaJacket

April 15th, 2009
1:04 pm

gtg…well played very well played :) ….

PTC Jacket

April 15th, 2009
1:04 pm

You better brag now:

Sooo….why do Dawg fans get excited for the UGA v. Florida game? I think it’s the same situation…

MinnesotaJacket

April 15th, 2009
1:05 pm

Not Dissapointed…I really don’t think special teams are really going to be known how good they are until the fall, or at least that is what it sounds like so far from what Ken has been saying, but in general I can say it can only be better in considering how bad it was last year…

Who Cares cares a lot

April 15th, 2009
1:05 pm

LET THE BIG DAWG READ!!! 45-42, Scrote. With the QB’s & RB’s you have I’d be worried too. You could never compete in the ACC. Get ready for another trampling in Nov.

fleming

April 15th, 2009
1:05 pm

They used trash cans to simulate UGA’s offensive line

Supersize that order, mutt

April 15th, 2009
1:07 pm

So, You better brag now, do you go on the Gators’ website to read how their football spring is shaping up? And if you do, do you huff and puff there about how you rank against them? I DOUBT IT !! When Tech has had good coaches over the past 40 years, Tech has won their share against UGAG. Hell, even under Gailey, and with Ball at QB 4 of those years, the games were close enough to scare you guys, The exception, of course, was Gailey’s first year. Well, Tech once again has a good coach, so get used to struggling and losing at least half of the time, and probably more.

ratatouille

April 15th, 2009
1:14 pm

Thanks for the props about being a good sport – that is only because I did not go to UGA or Tech, so I have no dog (so to speak) in the hunt re: the better academic institution. And, yes, I know it is easier for women to be accepted at Tech due to the need for gender equity.

If you want to talk academic trash, try this on – I went to Davidson, which is where the guys who could not get into Duke go. When I was in school there Tech was where all my GA friends transferred to AFTER they flunked out of Davidson!

If you guys would have read and comprehended my original post you would also realize that I said that Tech was harder to remain in as a student – we were talking about athletes, but I digressed when I brought up my friend’s daughter. I have a nephew who went to Tech; he said he had no problem getting in, and, as PTC pointed out,it was getting out (i.e. graduating) that caused him problems! So, yes, Tech is the better academic institution, but it is not that far different from UGA – it all depends upon what you want to study. Everybody knows Tech is great for engineering and has built a very, very good business school – and you continue to close the gap athletically, like it was in the hey day of the Tech/UGA rivalry.

Here’s hoping the rivalry continues and doesn’t get too one sided, again!

You better brag now.

April 15th, 2009
1:15 pm

I’m glad you are that confident SuperSize. Yeah…you have a helluva coach. I’ll admit that. Also..PTC Jacket..It is EXACTLY the same situation. Even though we have an edge on Florida in the career series..They have owned us the last 20 years and UGA fans hate them for it. I think Florida looks at us alot like UGA looks at Tech. Also…Supersize..after reading your last blog(maybe it just comes accross this way) Are you comparing yourselves to Florida??? Lets not get crazy my friend. Tech may climb to greatness again but i don’t think you are quite on that level right now. Win a BCS Bowl and then we can talk.

STUCK IN SC

April 15th, 2009
1:15 pm

1 win in 8 years and Nerds, you still suck.

Huh?

April 15th, 2009
1:16 pm

9-4 and on top of the world!!!!

That’s Georgia Tech football. What an absolute joke. I have never seen anything more sad in my entire life.

lakerat

April 15th, 2009
1:18 pm

The most important CEO of all is the CEO of Augusta National Golf Club -who again is that, and where did he go to school?

LOL

April 15th, 2009
1:21 pm

Great comment fleming…I have to say this is the only time I have laughed all week…

THWG!