Final spring practice, D’Andre Bell update

Good morning, all-

Hope you are well. We’ve got an update on Tech basketball player D’Andre Bell and some thoughts from the last spring practice.

From Larry:

Looks like Tech hoops will benefit from the addition of six players this fall: 5 recruits (including Derrick Favors, who signed Wednesday) plus senior wing D’Andre Bell.
Bell missed last season and underwent a laminoplasty five months ago. It’s a procedure to fix the narrowing of the spinal canal. Now Bell is working out and doing individual drills. He hasn’t scrimmaged yet, and probably won’t until school is out.
“Right now the doctors are telling us to proceed as if he will be back next year,” coach Paul Hewitt said. “But we’re going to go slow with him.”
The team is waiting for the surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins of Marina del Rey, Calif., to review a recent X-ray of Bell’s spine.
“We just want to err on the side of caution,” Hewitt said.

Spring practice

I think I’ve said this before, but I think the running game will be better. The coaches have been moderately pleased with the offensive line’s development in learning the scheme. It might be a bit hard to believe, but I think Tech ran as well as it did despite the offensive line not doing that good a job last year. I think the things that Paul Johnson preaches — staying low to the ground, coming off the ball fast — are the product of muscle memory and also having the right people to do it. It looks and sounds like that’s coming along.

Said co-offensive line coach Mike Sewak, “There are times we show signs of understanding what we’re supposed to be doing” with the proper technique, which is fairly high praise coming from him.

“They’re always on us about [staying low and coming off the ball fast],” offensive tackle Austin Barrick said. “They’ve really been stressing it this year. We’ve really tried to focus on getting the first two steps. Some guys have gotten a lot better. That’s one part we’ve been working really hard on. … We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve definitely made improvement.”

A lot of what Tech does on the offensive line in the running game isn’t drive blocking, but being quick enough to either cut block a defensive lineman to the ground or to move or turn a lineman just enough to take him out of a play, which is why those first two steps that Barrick mentioned are important.

Coaches and players talk a lot about linemen getting to the second level, which means quickly getting an initial surge or push on the defensive line and then finding a linebacker to cut block. If you’re going to the T-Day Game, it might be something worth watching, how often a particular lineman is able to get defenders on the ground. It is definitely something the coaches are looking for and counting.

I think one thing that means is that a better running game – and remember, Tech was fourth in the country last year in rushing – will give the Jackets a little more breathing room to develop its passing game, which will probably be very much a work in progress. One thing you’ll hear about over the summer and fall is how much has the ACC adjusted to Johnson’s offense. Georgia Southern and Navy’s records while Johnson was there indicate that opponents never really caught up. I’d have to think that coaches become better at teaching their players how to defend against it, and the players who play against it two or three years get a little more used to it. But the other thing, and I imagine this is why the offense continually has success, is that the players in the offense get more adept at running it. For instance, Barrick said that the offense put in somewhere between four to six running plays this spring. Further, Johnson and his assistants get a better feel for their opponents.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

About the T-Day Game

To answer a question from Wednesday, my understanding is that it will not be broadcast. You’ve got to be there to see it. Game starts at noon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

My guess is that Josh Nesbitt won’t play. He was in a gold jersey again Wednesday, meaning he was non-contact, and I’d think coaches wouldn’t see a real good reason to put him out there. So Jaybo Shaw will run the first team and Tevin Washington the second.

Linebacker Kyle Jackson may not play, either. He was in a red jersey Wednesday, meaning he was injured and not practicing, I believe for the first time this spring. I didn’t find out the nature of his injury, but again, it would seem not worth the risk at this point.

A couple links

Larry’s story about Derrick Favors’ signing Wednesday.

A story I wrote for Thursday’s paper about a Tech tennis player who became the No. 3 12-year-old in the country, didn’t play for the next six years because of a back injury and was told he shouldn’t play sports again and is now on Tech’s No. 2 doubles team. Tech’s men’s and women’s teams start the ACC tournament today in Cary, N.C.

40 comments Add your comment

MinnesotaJacket

April 16th, 2009
8:27 am

Another good article Ken, and I 100% agree and love that you talked about all the talk of defenses figuring out our schemes and what not, which is hilarious. How many times has PJ talked about that comment and said,” It is not that people don’t know HOW to defend the system, that it is not a great secret.” The problem is only few teams at all can defend it for 4 quarters of play, and the fact that you add in a DESCENT passing game to take just a small load off from the running can only help in the explosiveness of our Offense this year!!
I would love to see Nes run the offense this Saturday though…I really hate that he isn’t going to be out there because I know my brother and a good many of his friends are going to the game.
Ken has it sounds like we have had a lot of dropped passes but can you maybe give me your top 3 right now at the moment of recievers who have been doing well (I am guessing Bebe being number one). Or maybe who has been running with the number one group the most?
Thanks keep up the good work.
Go Jackets

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
8:38 am

Bell’s back! That’s it! Bell’s boys will be back at the Terror Dome!! In force. LOL!

On the pass catching front, I’m guessing Bebe one and Hill two.

Side note: Ken, the Georgia Tech Cricket Club could use a little coverage. Any coverage. I’ll send you details.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

April 16th, 2009
9:29 am

I think any of the projected starters that are injured, even if only slightly, should sit out the game Saturday. It is just not worth the risk.

In regards to the passing game, I understand that CPJ coaches the O-line to still drive block even on planned passing plays. I am a little confused about this. Are they supposed to cut block once, and then if the defensive player gets up, hit him again? I am not sure I understand how this type of pass blocking can be successful, because if you don’t get a guy to the ground, he is going to get to the QB, especially on pass plays that require time for a receiver to get down field. Anyway, I am sure CPJ knows what he is doing. That is one thing I do know.

Go Jackets!!

Todd

April 16th, 2009
9:36 am

Welcome back D-Bell!! We are gonna kick so much a$$ next year if Lawal comes back…

GTMike

April 16th, 2009
9:43 am

DBell coming back would be HUGE for the Tech basketball team and program. He is SUCH a hard worker, and defender, and his ball handling and shooting had improved over his career. As we have seen at Tech, you can never have enough quality guards.

Hey There Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
10:25 am

Do you find it kind of tough being a Dawg fan that is too afraid to admitt he’s a Dawg fan? Is it kinda sad being you having to hide behind a fake name on a freakin TECH blog huh? Are you scared someone might beat you up lil’ buddy? if only you had a few friends or a girlfriend…then you wouldn’t have to be on here every day trying to make yourself feel better about your team being swept by tech in all sports. what a douchebag….

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
10:43 am

Hey there hey there… (that sounds odd). I am Tech fan. I’m freaking enrolled in classes right now! I wouldn’t be a mutt to save my life. LOL! I feel for you, calling people out. You must be here all the time too! Whoa!

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
11:05 am

Come on out and support us! The Georgia Tech Cricket Club is participating in the Atlanta Georgia Cricket Conference’s league season, which begins last week in April and ends in October. The Atlanta Georgia Cricket Conference is the top competitive and professional cricket league in Georgia.

I can’t seem to post links or I would provide one to our club. But you can google it. I’ll keep those interested posted!

THWG!

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
11:07 am

Oh and one more thing…don’t call me a douchebag….GO DAWGS!!!!

Gotta Love Atlanta Jackets for trying to be funny...nice one Carrot Top Jr.!

April 16th, 2009
11:12 am

Desperation is in the air….After every loss whether it be:

Football 45-42
Basketball 67-62
Baseball 11-6

They are here to talk trash…..to hide behind fake names (because they’re too scared to show themselves)…

Sing it with me…

IT SUCKS TO BE…A GEORGIA BULLDOG
I said
IT SUCKS TO BE…A GEORGIA BULLDOG
I said
IT SUCKS TO BE…A GEORGIA BULLDOG

I feel for you poor puppies…must be tough to lose at everything this year

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
11:15 am

Hey man you don’t know me! I’m a Tech Student. UGAg sucks. Here at Tech we have tons of fun Tickle Piles. UGA doesn’t have those because they are lame. Nesbitt is a Robot.

Ken Sugiura

April 16th, 2009
11:28 am

alabama jacket – i wouldn’t say tech’s pass protection scheme looks much different than any other team’s. it’s the standard – trying to form a pocket around the quarterback.
as for receivers, minnesota jacket, i’d say it’s Thomas, followed by Tyler Melton and then maybe Kevin Cone. But Thomas is way out in front. The No. 3 spot, and maybe even No. 2 spot, could shift once the incoming freshmen get here. Stephen Hill will challenge for a spot, and Jeremy Moore might, as well. Also, Zach Fisher will come back from his sports hernia surgery.

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
11:29 am

My handle has been hijacked. Sad. 11:07 and 11:15 were not me. And I think my friends know that.

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
11:40 am

Here’s what gets me about some of my fellow Tech fans… UGAg fans refer to us as elitists, academic snobs. And we say we aren’t. We include everyone. But reading some of the comments on here I have to say there is a percentage of Tech fans that don’t appreciate that the Tech family is diverse and comes from all over the state, the country and yes, the world.

I see how this narrow mind set works. You see a reference to cricket and you think Indian. And then nerd. And then, this must be a UGAg fan because I don’t accept that element of the Tech family. If that’s the case, then bite me. And don’t brag about the academic accomplishments that my friends and I bring to the Institute. Because we sure as heck aren’t doing it for you.

I just needed to say that.

I know that most of you are true fans and you accept all parts of the Tech family. And to you I say THWG!

BLAZER

April 16th, 2009
12:28 pm

DIDN’T WE HAVE RECIEVERS NAMED SIMS AND MCKAYHAN?

gt_blume

April 16th, 2009
12:59 pm

Actually, Atlanta Jacket, I think the setriotype that comes with Cricket is Brit. I would not have guessed Indian if you had not said so…you do not type with any noticeable accent! :)

gt_blume

April 16th, 2009
1:00 pm

wow…setriotype is not even close to what I meant to type.

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
1:01 pm

GTBlume, LOL! I’ve practiced my typing.

EEJacket

April 16th, 2009
1:15 pm

I will give you one big jacket-lovin’ high five any day, ATLJackets! Black, white, brown, asian, greek, GDI, whatever! Go jackets and THWG!!!

MinnesotaJacket

April 16th, 2009
1:21 pm

I am looking forward to Hill just like I tihnk many of us are I mean if he were to lets say catch a touchdown pass against UGA I am pretty sure every single Tech fan would be smiling ear to ear haha.
Ken for the T-Day game could you maybe break it up into seperate days, one day for a complete breakdown of the offense with a seperate day being dedicated to defense that way your not trying to stuff it all together in one article…just a suggestion either way I am sure ya’ll will do fine!
Go Jackets
and Atlanta Jacket give the guy a break considering how worthless UGA fans are about being on here I honestly think it could have been a mistake…

bob

April 16th, 2009
2:16 pm

There is a CSS van parked outside the stadium. Don’t know what that means, but maybe the game will be taped for viewing later or maybe it just means CPJ will be getting some professional angles for tape.

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
2:23 pm

I’m sorry. I just really like boys. I’m a closet Dawg fan who follows Tech sports because I have no life. In fact I don’t have any friends or even a shirt on right now. I work at McDonalds in the middle of nowhere but my internet connection in my trailer park is top notch.

Love, Billy Bob Bubba

Not Disappointed

April 16th, 2009
2:27 pm

Thanks Ken for keeping us informed. “Ramblin Wreck!”

m

April 16th, 2009
2:32 pm

THANK GOD AND GREYHOUND CHAN GAILEY IS GONE

KD

April 16th, 2009
3:08 pm

Hey Tech fans, do you really think that UGA fans are reading your blogs on YOUR website ? Idoubt it, and by the way who is this bell kid ?

KD

April 16th, 2009
3:09 pm

I mean lets just talk about TECH and not worry about the puppies !!!!

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
3:41 pm

2:23 – A mutt, clearly. And a homophobe as well.

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
4:00 pm

Let’s all start a traditional Tech Tickle Pile

MinnesotaJacket

April 16th, 2009
4:04 pm

…..amazing how some blogs become worthless with stupid filth….Ken I will be looking forward to your blog tomorrow hopefully it won’t be as miserable as this one has been today..

Atlanta Jackets

April 16th, 2009
5:02 pm

Shut it Minnesota! JACKETS RULE! YAY!

EEJacket

April 16th, 2009
5:21 pm

Atlanta….you need to gaurd your computer dude.

mowrreck

April 16th, 2009
5:33 pm

Aren’t those little crickets awful hard to hit with that flat bat?

blue fox

April 16th, 2009
6:34 pm

Ken, what’s the latest on Lawal, is he staying or NBA bound (or does HE know yet)?

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 16th, 2009
7:50 pm

blue fox, I guess you haven’t seen GROUND HOG DAY. He’s gone.

rainman

April 16th, 2009
8:38 pm

The 4-5 positions can be manned by 2 power forward for the most part, but I was wondering who would try to match up against some 7′280lb. monster — Lawal or Favors.

If Lawal stays, he will want to develope more range on his shot to be drafted high as a power forward. Favors already has decent range.
Who wants to play center??

chuck allison

April 16th, 2009
10:12 pm

Indians play cricket? Not the Cherokee Indians or the Apache! Which tribe are you from? I know some of the Indians around the great lakes played La Crosse, but that is not cricket. There are really not a lot of Indians that go to Tech, but there sure are a lot of foreign students from Asia. When you mention cricket in conjunction with sports in the South, most folks think you are talking about fishing for bream.

Al

April 16th, 2009
10:43 pm

Larry, Ken, what happened to WR R.B. Clyburn?

Area Sports Fan

April 17th, 2009
7:37 am

chuck allison thinks he’s funny

macrotech

April 17th, 2009
12:00 pm

ANYONE that uses someone else’s ‘name’ is a DOUCHE! KD, yes, we do. While, there have been some classy dawg fans with reasonable thoughts, the VAST majority of these turd tapping mutts on OUR blogs have proven to be bitter, uneducated ‘name’ stealers. They seem to know that a new era is coming and they are on the short end of the stick!!!! GO TECH! AGAIN! GO TECH!!!!!

Bobby

April 17th, 2009
7:00 pm

Guarenteed the Jackets win at least 9 games this season, and most likely many more. Paul Johnson will take the Jackets to a National Championship under his authority, also a guarantee. He is not building a really good team, he is building a dynasty.