Well, it was another hot one, this time at Bobby Dodd.
Tech ran an extended 11-on-11 drill on Saturday, in front of a few hundred fans (unofficial count).
There were some interesting moments:
Josh Nesbitt had a crafty touchdown run: he took the snap, took a step back and stood up looking left for what seemed like a second. He then tucked the ball and weaved his way to the end zone.
Tech ran a reverse pitch, in which the QB runs right or left, and then pitches to a wide receiver heading the other way, with great success throughout most of the day. Finally, the defense figured it out and stuffed the play.
Speaking of the defense, it was putting some licks on some players. Jaybo Shaw seemed to take the brunt of it. Sedric Griffin and Jerrard Tarrant really stuck their facemasks into his chest. His helmet popped off four times (unofficial count).
It’s still hard to tell how the depth chart is shaking out.
For example, this is who started on either side of the line on Saturday:
But, then the coaches started mixing and matching and pretty soon you couldn’t tell which players were working with which team. As Johnson explained later, they pretty much know who is first- and (perhaps) second-string, but they still want to evaluate.
But the coaches also started mixing and matching at all positions. Since you’ve asked, yes, Barnes and Lanier were in a package at one point, along with Emmanuel Dieke, who recovered a fumble on Saturday.
In short, I think most of you can guess who may be starting the season-opener on Sept. 5, but the improved depth means that any dissatisfaction by the coaches could mean others moving in sooner, rather than later.
As he did in the T-day game, Johnson got aggravated with his special teams and let them know it. You can read more about that in the story in tomorrow’s paper, or later today when it is posted on ajc.com.
An off-the-top-of-the-head-list-players-who-looked good:
Wide receiver Stephen Hill, wide receiver Quentin Sims, A-back Robert Godhigh, A-back Orwin Smith, B-back Daniel Drummond, LB Sedric Griffin, LB Brad Jefferson, DE Derrick Morgan, A-back Anthony Allen, S/LB Cooper Taylor, A-back Marcus Wright….
To be honest, I really couldn’t say, other than the special teams units. The pass-blocking seemed shaky at times, but Johnson didn’t seem too worried about it afterward. And, from where I was sitting (first row), it was hard to find the ball most of the time, much less take a stab at who missed a block, tackle or assignment.
Unofficially, Nesbitt and Shaw completed more than 50 percent of their passes, with Shaw hooking up with Preston Lyons for a touchdown on a screen pass.
There was some problems with the center-snap exchange for the freshmen quarterbacks, but Johnson didn’t seem too worried about that, either.