Day 8 in the books

The second practice in Monday’s first two-a-days was realatively quiet. The players practiced in shells. There was no 11-on-11, just a lot of work on fundamentals.

Repeating what he said after the morning practice, Coach Johnson wasn’t pleased with the day’s efforts. He chalked it up to fatigue, but said the team needs to learn how to fight through it.

He was pleased with how Scott Blair kicked the ball at the end of the first practice, though. Blair went 4-for-4 from various spots on the field.

Because of injuries to Jaybo Shaw and Jordan Luallen, Josh Nesbitt, Tevin Washington and David Sims took most of the snaps. The defensive line looked very active in the 11-on-11 portion of the first practice.

To answer a question from yesterday, I think the offense looks better from the first day. The coaches have indicated the same.

I’ve got a story coming out on Wednesday about Georgia Tech’s efforts to improve its pass-efficiency from last season. It’s the first part in a three-part series that will appear every Wednesday. I know what I think the team’s weaknesses last season were, but I’d like to hear your thoughts and why.

If you are curious, my first two are pass-efficiency and special teams. I’m still trying to decide the third, but I’m leaning toward limiting turnovers.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

71 comments Add your comment

elwoodGT

August 10th, 2009
9:20 pm

The biggest weakness from last year is offensive line play, and not just pass protection. You finally saw some decent line play in the last two regular season games, and it really showed what this offense can do. And poor line play lost the Va Tech game, and nearly the Clemson game.

I fully expect the offense this year to be well beyond what it was last year, and mostly from more consistent line play. The line will be quicker off the snap, will execute blocks better (actually cutting instead of just falling down), and will get farther upfield faster. On a well-executed option play, you’ll have defensive lineman all alone in the backfield, well behind the play with no one to tackle, and linebackers getting slobberknocked by an offensive tackle at full speed.

Pass efficiency will improve simply because the line will be better at blocking, and at disguising their blocks until the ball is snapped. Strangely enough, Josh threw better on the run last year than in the pocket, and I have to think it’s because he didn’t trust his line. If he gets some time to throw, and begins to trust it, and gives a-backs like Jones and Wright time to blow past the linebackers covering them, you’ll see some big plays out of the passing game this year. But the difference won’t be Josh, it’ll be the offensive line.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

August 10th, 2009
9:25 pm

It is true that turnovers had a huge impact on the losses last year, but the pass-efficiency being low was mainly due to the lack of adequate pass protection. So one of last year’s main weaknesses was the O-line.

It is very concerning that we are starting to stack up the injured players. Hopefully, none are too serious.

Do you think Hill has a chance to start opposite Bay-Bay? Who do you think will return kickoffs? Does Jaybo have another concussion? If so, this is several he has had so far since being at GT.

Go Jackets!!

AA

August 10th, 2009
9:42 pm

Doug-how bout an update on Anthony Allen. He was awesome at the spring game but I haven’t heard anything about him lately.
Thanks, keep up the good work.

Cuttysark

August 10th, 2009
9:49 pm

The turnovers early last season were part of the growing pains associated with this new option offense. The real problem was getting everyone on the same page in the play book. Even in the Georgia game, the offensive line was still missing their assignments, yet we somehow managed to put up 400 yards rushing even though we still were not certain of who to block each play. Can’t wait to get started this year now that the team will be able to go faster since the learning curve is over.

Need to work on kick and punt returns. The passing game will always be around the 50% in an option offense, but the long gains more than make up for it.

Go to isportsweb.com for more Georgia Tech Football Postings. THWG!

EEJacket

August 10th, 2009
10:18 pm

Your three were what killed us in the Unspeakable Bowl, and those definitely limited us over the course of the season. But I think we need to work on penalty control. Now I’m sure this is something CPJ will take care of with his discipline and what, but we had 8 penalties for 61 yds vs. VT alone whereas they had 3 for 15! I think that would have made the ACC championship a different ballgame with different teams, if you ask me.

Doug Roberson

August 10th, 2009
10:19 pm

I had a little something on Anthony Allen in Sunday’s notebook, or I should say I wrote it. I’m not sure if it made it in. I wrote a bit too much.
I assume he’s going to start the season-opener. Tech is so deep at A-back it could start a big lineup at A-back (Smith, AA), a medium lineup (Jones, Peeples), or a small lineup (Wright, Godhigh). I’m not sure what Goldilocks would say though.

Savannah Jacket

August 10th, 2009
10:41 pm

Bamawreck… it was Jordan Luallen that had the concussion last week; Jaybo has a sprained ankle and is on crutches.

I believe that the O-Line Problems lead to many of the turn-overs and the poor pass efficiency last season. I feel that improved line play and depth will help with both of those issues.

A close number two is the special teams. We need to focus on safely fielding punts and kick-offs, making steady conservative returns. Then most of all we need a field goal threat. When we are down by three and drive to the thirty it would be nice to know we have a good shot at a 47 yard field goal. During the second half of last season, if it was 40+ you could bet the house that we weren’t kicking.

Thirdly was the lack of depth at QB. Last year if Nesbit went down we had an 18 year old 180 lb true freshman to run this demanding offense. While Jaybo showed signs of brilliance that was a hard spot to be put in. And we all loved his heart but Calvin just wasn’t built for this system. This year we seem to have 3 solid options and back-ups to redshirt.

I believe that without major injuries we are light-years ahead of last year and it will show. If we can sure up the kicking game things should fall into place.

percey harvin

August 10th, 2009
10:45 pm

go jakus go gaduh

Not Disappointed

August 10th, 2009
10:54 pm

Doug, thanks for the report and exciting news on the Flats. The offensive line has to improve in order for Nesbitt passing to be more effective. Last year was the first year of CPJ’s offensive. The Jackets will be ready this year.

Go Jackets!

Gtstud

August 10th, 2009
11:12 pm

How anout colin through in the clutch? Pretty much every time we needed to man a stop last year or put points up in a hurry we stalled or made dumb penalties that helped VT Virginia win last year and we woulda lost the FSU game if not 4the miricale and im not gunna mention the chick filia massacre (forgive my spelling) yes turn overs were a big problem last year but if a team can’t come through in the clutch or if it cracks under pressure there not gunna win those pivotal games

GT9

August 10th, 2009
11:42 pm

In the clutch: Josh lead a fourth quarter drive in Blacksburg, then converted a 2-pt attempt to tie the score in 4:30. We got a tough break after holding VT on 3rd and eight.
We did have a miracle against FSU but had Josh not gotten injured we’d have scored two more touchdowns and wouldn’t have needed it.
We overcame a sixteen point deficit in an away game and came out winners in regular season finale. Not too bad for a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. Coach Johnson will have them ready to make more clutch plays this season.
The offensive line is where a team lives or dies. The one exception to this rule is when an extremely poor head coach is calling shots. TECH has an extremely good head coach. Our offensive line is getting to see an extremely fast defense every day in practice. The O will be good to go by Sept 5.
We do need a stronger kicking game early this season. We’ve got experience against us on the D-line. D. Morgan is incredible and Robert Hall is good for a pair of quality DE’s, but we need to keep opponents deep during the first three games for the interior to toughen up.

Luallen was on crutches. I saw the practice Saturday and went to photo day. Jaybo was not on crutches Saturday.

Go Jackets!

big dawg 89

August 10th, 2009
11:44 pm

there are two minor injuries in sports that stay with a player all year long, a pulled hammy, and a hip flexor…and i truly hope, for y’alls sake, it don’t bother him too bad…but they may want to keep a very close eye on that, as i know they will….hope you get better soon dwyer, you deserve a great senior year…

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

Tokyo jacket

August 10th, 2009
11:50 pm

Doug, I’d like to see the O-line. While turnovers were a critical issue, I think the O-line was more of a contribution to those turnovers than people think. Pitches are really easy when there’s no one in your way!

Also, good report and good planning on the series. Way to keep our appetites whet while we’re waiting for TML.

King of Sandy Springs

August 11th, 2009
12:17 am

big dog 89,
I hope Dywer has a great Senior year, too, but he’s only only a Junior.

THWG

LOL

August 11th, 2009
12:19 am

Only stats that matter

Tech – 4 Nat’l Championships, most recent in 1990 (around when most of you idiots were born)
uga – 1 lonely national championship in 1980. must be a pretty pathetic looking trophy case.

Innocent Bystander

August 11th, 2009
12:21 am

O-line hurt last year. Then again, CPJ’s system requires a more mobile offensive line, you could say. Once he has all “his people” installed (2-ish years, I’d venture to guess) then it shouldn’t be an issue.

By the way, you guys should check out a blog I came across called “The Birddog.” It’s a Navy fan’s blog, but for obvious reasons it’s got a bit of crossover, especially when dealing with the offensive system itself. He wrote a great article analyzing certain plays of ours against Georgia last November, pointing out missed blocks and such. It’s all very fascinating stuff that you’d miss unless you were specifically looking for it. Definitely worth a peek.

http://bit.ly/s6Fim

Tokyo jacket

August 11th, 2009
2:06 am

Bystander, I saw that last December and it was amazing. I thought I understood football until I read that analysis.

Doug, you should review that link. You would get a WHOLE lot more understanding of Tech’s offense if you read it. In fact, it’s probably a better breakdown than most of the coaches we played last year did in practice.

bandwagon

August 11th, 2009
3:34 am

sandy springs get on boy,it’s funny how all your gt garbage went up after a win over the dogs.i will bet it goes down faster.i have a special seat for you on the front row.

Not Disappointed

August 11th, 2009
6:16 am

“Innocent Bystander & Tokoyo Jacket, that link to Mike’s blog is incredible. Mike, the author of the blog is so informative. Rather you like the Jackets or not he shots from the hip. Go Jackets!

http://bit.ly/s6Fim

Reality Check

August 11th, 2009
7:18 am

All Tech’s opponents will stack the line of scrimage and force them to throw. They will stunt and blitz to force the QB to make his decisions quicker and create more mistake/fumbles. The offense of CPJ is the most mistake prone offense known to man. It requires perfect executition everytime to work. The excuse for the LSU game was that the special teams lost the game. Well the offense never crossed the goal line and special teams don’t block do they? This offense will be shut down this year and the saviour CPJ will look like the ordinary coach he is. Get ready for another ordinary Tech season…. at least 4 losses.

GTFan1

August 11th, 2009
7:27 am

Side note here guys. Some goof on this website says GT-VT is the most important game of the season.

http://thesportsdebates.com/category/tsd/the-2009-college-football-most-important-game-of-the-season-debate/

While I like the attention, I am not sure this is accurate. Can’t wait for the season to start!!!

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
7:42 am

When we come to the JOKE this year were gonna tear DUHWYER a new A-hole. The Dawgs need to work that little hip injury and make DUHWYER sorry he ever stepped onto a football field.

snapshot

August 11th, 2009
7:44 am

Last yea r= a new coach with a new system and players that had not even heard of CPJ’s offense. (other teams found out about it). Passing was not one of the primary objectives in the learning curve last year. This year it will be. His offense is like a box of chocolate. You never know what your going to get and passing will be a great addition to the sweets. The train is coming!!!!!!

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
7:44 am

Pound DUHWYER into DUST. GATA DAWGS.

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
7:50 am

I hear the BUGS are talking DUHWYER for Heisman. Ive got a better idea: DUHWYER for THEISMANN. Somebody break the m*****f*****s LEGS.

LOL

August 11th, 2009
8:01 am

Hey reality check, LSU by far had the best defensive line we played last year. they beat us soundly, but everyone who followed gt football last year knows the offensive line was the teams biggest weak point. second being special teams generally.

the score really doesn’t paint a full picture of how tech lost (although it is an accurate reflection of how bad our offensive line was dominated). we hit the opening kickoff out of bounds, got hit with an encroachment penalty to give up a first down on third down when it was still 7-3, lost an onside kick, fumbled a punt at our own 20 (after stopping them after said onside kick), then went for it on our own 20 (after LSUs offense had gained 130 yards TOTAL on THREE td drives, avg of 43 yards a drive). after we went for it on fourth down, lsu scored again from the gt’s 24. four touchdown drives, 154 yards. after a 17 yard net punt the next possession, lsu punched it in again from 40 yards out. five TD drives for a TOTAL of ~195 yards of offense.

looking at your suggestion to stacking the line – that won’t work for the simple reasons that techs offense basically has 4 skill players outside the tackles. the best possible thing someone can do against pj’s offense (for pj) is run a 5-2. Duke did that. demarius thomas had 240 yards receiving without blinking. we didn’t even try any short passes, but if we had roddy jones would have ended up with another 150 yards on short screens and dump passes. if you put 7-8 guys on the line you are basically forcing yourself to play man coverage on thomas and stephen hill… good luck with that. The REALITY CHECK is you don’t know what you are talking about.

on offense, the score doesn’t paint a full picture, either. we missed a wide open demarius thomas in the end zone on the first drive. the two drives before that ended at lsu’s 13 and 10 yard line. we were at lsu’s 40 at the end of the game.

make no doubt about it, lsu had their starters in until the end of the game and was trying to run up the score to the best of their ability. jordan jefferson, their starting qb, threw the ball 9 times in the fourth quarter on lsu’s second to last drive of the game.

Saint Simons

August 11th, 2009
8:05 am

Forbes ranks Tech at #501 – hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
8:07 am

Roddy Jones too. RODDY JONES FOR THEISMANN. FLICK THAT P**** LITTLE SCATBACK OFF THE FIELD. MAKE EM BRING OUT THE STRETCHER. GATA DAWGS

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
8:29 am

Dont worry about NERDBOT. With that PEE WEE GIMMICK offense yall run, he’ll be in a cast of some sort by the middle of the year.

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
8:32 am

You can bet we’ll mop the ground with the blood of 1AA J-BOW. We’ll crack and crush all his limbs like a pretzel. GATA GO DAWGS

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
8:41 am

Kade Weston will TEAR J-BOW limb from limb. It will be a beautiful sight to watch. GATA

1-888-TECH-TIX

August 11th, 2009
8:46 am

Georgia Tech Football – 2008 ACC Champs!!!! w00t!

Dawghater

August 11th, 2009
8:48 am

To address the question in this blog by the writer. The top three preseason issues are:
1. Pass Efficiency
2. Special Teams
3. Defensive Line Play

Dawghater

August 11th, 2009
8:50 am

Hey fake Cuz in MN. Better get out the door. The bus is leaving for Elementary school. Hey cuzzy, Ja Bow is our backup QB which is better than UGA’s starting hand me down QB, Cox!

Too Easy

August 11th, 2009
8:56 am

Thanks for not responding to the Cuz imposter. I think y’all know that’s not the real one.

1-888-TECH-TIX

August 11th, 2009
8:56 am

Free hot dog and a coke to watch the ACC CHAMPS!!

Too Easy

August 11th, 2009
8:57 am

Well, at least one of you appears to know.

Phil McCrotch

August 11th, 2009
8:57 am

Cuz, please go away. You are a juvenile.

1-888-TECH-TIX

August 11th, 2009
8:58 am

FULL STEAM AHEAD! CHOO CHOO!

Dawghater

August 11th, 2009
8:59 am

To the real Cuz. Our prayers are with your daughter at the Mayo Clinic.

1-888-TECH-TIX

August 11th, 2009
9:04 am

Only 30000 seats remain! Get your tickets while they last!

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
9:06 am

Kade Weston will rip out the SPINE of little 1AA J-BOW. That is real UGA POWER right there.

Dawghater

August 11th, 2009
9:32 am

One more time “fake Cuz”. Is Kade Weston going to pull Jabow off the sidelines. UGA needs Jabow more than GT does. Shaw is our backup and could outplay that sorry excuse of a QB, Joe Cox. Try sticking to the players who will be on the field! Did Jabow beat you out of a starting spot or something or did he spank your high school team in the past? You have some issue with him. OBVIOUSLY!

Saint Simons

August 11th, 2009
9:52 am

(((((45-42)))))hahaha and we had a GREAT Tickle Pile on Herty Field

collegeballfan

August 11th, 2009
9:54 am

Doug, ask Johnson about how he judges his team. As I wrote yesterday, when you look at last years team after the season is over one thing is apparent: Tech played a lousy schedule last year. The regular season did not contain a single real quality team. So they get LSU in a bowl & get smacked. If you are playing low quality teams how do you judge your team?

JD

August 11th, 2009
10:17 am

MY HIP HURTS

BobbyGodd

August 11th, 2009
10:20 am

Other problems that certainly should be considered…Limiting opponents 3rd down efficiency, Linebacker play, and pass blocking should all be considered. The turnovers go along with this risky offense but really only cost us at UNC. The other turnovers that appeared costly were usually when backup QB Shaw was in (FSU and UGA games).

Phil of Playaz Ball

August 11th, 2009
10:22 am

Turnovers were the reason we lost 3 games last year. UNC we just lost (but turned it over, too, in that game).

Dawghater

August 11th, 2009
10:27 am

I understand the comments about turnovers but that really is part of the special teams concerns. Some of our key turnovers were on special teams last year.

Cuz in Minnesota

August 11th, 2009
10:31 am

Kade WESTON will single-handedly yank 1AA-BOW. DRAG him to midfield, shove his hand into his chest, rip out his heart and EAT IT in front of 55k, 30k of which will be RED AND BLACK and ROARING IN APPROVAL. Kade will then DISEMBOWEL J-BOW, RIP OFF HIS HEAD and PLACE IT ON TOP OF A PIKE AT MIDFIELD. KADE OWNS 1AA-BOW. AND THE DAWGS OWN THE BUGS. ((((59-39-5)))))