Practices are now closed, so I’m not able to give you the same information that I was able to give you the previous two weeks. I wish it were different, but compared to other coaches’ policies regarding practice access, Johnson is being very generous, so I’m not going to complain.
I spent the time that I would have spent watching practice working on a piece for the pending special section (please buy and read) that will come out later this month. The piece is a position-by-position look at the team, consisting of an overall outlook, and then two categories: what must go right, and what could go wrong. Both are hypothetical analyses based upon returners, injuries, opponents, history, etc.
It was a fun exercise and got me to thinking even more about the depth the team has at most positions. The largest question mark I had was at linebacker. And that question mark has nothing to do with the Brad Jefferson and Sedric Griffin, it had more to do with what happens if they miss time, as they did last year.
Machen and Sylvester are physical beasts, but I really have no idea how they will do in a game when they get their chance. That’s part of the maddening part of watching practice. I’m not a coach, so while I have some idea what’s good and bad, I have no idea what the assistants think are good or bad, unless I get a chance to talk to them after practice. And there are two coaches whom I haven’t had a chance to meet, either in person or on the phone. One of them is, you guessed, it Brian Jean-Mary, the backers coach. I’m going to try to do that before the end of the week. I’ve heard him on the practice field, but haven’t got to meet him.
I will say this…I’m not sure y’all have never heard about the policies that other head coaches have regarding talking to assistants, but I’d be surprised if you have. For example Alabama’s Nick Saban won’t let you talk to them, Virginia’s Al Groh won’t let you talk to them. Both of them, coincidentally or not, are pruned from the Bill Parcells tree, which stipulates “one voice” for the program. But coach Johnson and his assistants are very accomodating. And for that I’m thankful. I just wish other coaches would be that helpful.
Anyway, on to other things. After I wrote the notes for Wednesday’s paper, Tech alerted us that two players, defensive end Derrick Morgan and safety Morgan Burnett, were put on the watch lists for the Lombardi Award and Nagurski awards, respectively. The Lombardi award is given to the nation’s best lineman, offense or defense, and the Nagurski award is given to the nation’s best defender.
Johnson said that T.J. Barnes made some good plays during Tuesday’s practice.
What do you think of Tech’s linebacking situation? What do you think of the 4-2-5 that Tech will use this year?