At the halfway point

Ok, it’s been 15 days since practice started, and it’s another 15 until the season-opener against Jacksonville State.

What have we learned? Plenty, though how much of it is relevant to what could happen this season remains to be seen.

The offense, all three units, appears to be clicking well, from what we’ve seen in 11-on-11 drills.

T.J. Barnes seems to have flicked a switch during the past week or so and could be a difference-maker on the defensive line.

There are a lot of players who started in last season’s last game that may be on the bench in 2 1/2 weeks.

There are several freshmen, including wide receiver Stephen Hill, defensive ends Izaan Cross and Emmanuel Dieke, defensive back Jemea Thomas, and A-back Robert Godhigh who will likely see snaps this year.

There should be more big plays this year from the running game and passing game, if history is any indication.

Jonathan Dwyer looks as explosive as he was last year.

Derrick Morgan looks like he’s going to be a beast, as long as teams don’t double team him.

Some of the receivers had the drops during the first two weeks of practice. I would expect that won’t last.

Special teams is still an area of concern, but Scott Blair was booming kicks during practice and mostly accurate with field goals during the first two 11-on-11s.

Virginia Tech was trying to close the door on the ACC, but running back Darren Evans’ injury means its anyone’s game now.

What are your thoughts? What do you hope to hear and read during the next 2 1/2 weeks?

73 comments Add your comment

Statue for CPJ

August 19th, 2009
9:20 pm

“Virginia Tech was trying to close the door on the ACC, but running back Darren Evans’ injury means its anyone’s game now.” – Tech is going to be VT with or without Evans.

GTcleveland

August 19th, 2009
9:31 pm

Great update! It would be cool if you could give who you think would make the 2 deep in every offensive and defensive position.

It’s nice to hear that so far Stephen Hill and T.J. Barnes are living up to expectations.

tommy

August 19th, 2009
9:32 pm

I agree with the last comment. We ain’t studying VT down here in Georgia. We got our own fish to fry. You might have stated more like this. “If VT wants to win the ACC they have to get by GT first.” I don’t care what they are saying on ESPN. VT been doing the same thing for 20 years. We know what they are about. People don’t realize how much our offense at GT will evolve this year to a more consistent fine tuned machine.

Cuttysark

August 19th, 2009
9:41 pm

Even before Darren Evans’ injury, the road to the ACC title goes through Bobby Dodd Stadium. For the first time in a long time, Tech has some depth that will increase as we rotate in lots of players on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Looking forward to a great season on the Flats. Get those tickets now before it’s too late!

Go to isportsweb.com for more Georgia Tech Football articles, as well as a piece on Coach Paul Johnson and his record of success. Go Jackets!

Augusta Jacket

August 19th, 2009
9:46 pm

I would hope to hear true freshman JC Lanier is progressing enough to have him and Barnes start at DT so we can have two 300 lb plus big men in the middle along with Morgan and Hall on the edges. If that could happen we definitely have a shot of having a very good run stopping front four.

GTPHISH

August 19th, 2009
9:52 pm

Doug,
Great articles recently. The profile of Cooper Taylor & the wolf position was your finest yet in my opinion. Thanks for the hard work!! So pumped for the season!!

KC

August 19th, 2009
9:55 pm

I hope to hear the following:
- No new injuries (In my George Bush I voice).
- TJ Barnes is starting DT.
- Stephen Hill is starting WR opposite Bebe.
- LBs are making plays.
- The injured OL come back and make a case for their positions.
- Voss wins the starting Center job.
- Claytor get healthy
- Tevin gets more comfortable in the offense.

GTPUG

August 19th, 2009
9:57 pm

Doug – I agree it would be nice to see a list of 2 deep at every position (your view since you seen the most and talk with the coaches)

The first 2 1/2 weeks went by very fast and the next 2 1/2 weeks will be just as fast – - my cooler is stock and ready

“TO HELL WITH GEORGIA”

rob

August 19th, 2009
10:03 pm

Has coach Paul Johnson decided who is goign to redshirt this year? Also how is Shaw doing, is Shaw going to redshirt?

Stinger

August 19th, 2009
10:04 pm

I have never been as excited about football season as I am this year. What a difference a Great Coach makes !!! We have had great offenses and great defenses , but very seldom both. It appears this team could have both, with plenty of depth. WE could be looking at ACC and National Champs this year. Next year could even be better with 6 or 7 seniors on the team.

percey harvin

August 19th, 2009
10:06 pm

go gaduh go jakus

mtraininjax

August 19th, 2009
10:10 pm

Doug – All downhill from here….I hope the legs last into November, I worry about Tech practicing 1 week ahead of most other schools. That being said, we should have a good fun year, so perhaps you can discuss how the Tech ticket sales are going as we get closer to the beginning of the season. We have a block of seats for the UNC game, and I know we have sold almost 60 seats for fans and alumni and the Tech hotel is sold out for most home games, so insight for tickets sales would be great and a boost to fill BDS@HGF.

Thanks!

Ed-Covington

August 19th, 2009
10:32 pm

I’m writing this when there are seven comments, so keep that in mind if anyone else posts before me. i agree with every other post here. Good to have nothing but positive, pro-Tech comments.
BTW: Derrick Morgan will be a beast whether they double-team him or not.
Today was GT day on ESPN, ranked #14 in the nation; everyone had good trhings to say and singled out Tarrant as the surprise player. Also some excellent footage of the offense at work.
THWG!

Demonic Deacon

August 19th, 2009
10:53 pm

Clearly other than the Gardner-Webb and LSU games last year was a fluke for gt. One good year and you nerds think you have turned the corner. Truth is your players have more in common academically with those from F$U and Clemson than from Wake and Carolina.

Ed-Covington

August 19th, 2009
11:07 pm

Just as I post, Demonic Deacon has 2 cents to offer.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

August 19th, 2009
11:39 pm

Doug: Thanks for all of your hard work.

Did you get a chance to ask the coach(es) about Jordan Luallen’s condition?

GTFan

August 19th, 2009
11:41 pm

I can’t wait for the season! Can you tell us more about Godhigh? I don’t believe he was heavily recruited.

TechDan

August 19th, 2009
11:58 pm

Demonic Deacon, is that why our “easy major” is still a top 25 program nationally?

Lady Luck

August 20th, 2009
12:07 am

Deamonic Deac is talking smack? A Wake fan talking smack? WTF is this world coming to? But hey, he or she has every right. I just find it funny. Your tiny little school and your offense is twice as gimmicky as Tech’s and you’ll get your doors blown off this season. You won’t even finish in the top 3 in the Atlantic, so you have your own “deamons” to worry about up in Winston Salem’s Lot. Skinner is your only hope and as good as he is, your O line won’t last past the third game. CPJ will crush your 5th year senior system regardless of how many 30 year olds you play.

I can take it when a fan from a legit team like UGA or VT talks smack but YOU? LMFOA!!

GT Steve

August 20th, 2009
1:12 am

Again, we are getting ahead of our selves. I’m excited about the season but expectations on this blog are unrealistic. LSU had their way with us and VaTech, UNC, FSU, UGA, WForest, Miami, all have a good shot to beat us. Not to mention the occasional loss to Duke, etc. Let’s don’t put too much pressure on CPJ and the team.

JACKETfan

August 20th, 2009
2:38 am

Players who will lose their starting spots and players who will take them:

Rashaad Reid–> Jarard Tarrant
Either Ben Anderson or Jason Peters will lose a spot to TJ atleast before Clemson.
Lucas Cox- Anthony Allen (Cox will be our top back-up BBack)

bubba c

August 20th, 2009
6:48 am

What is FSU going to haver this year? I believe FSU and NC will be our hardest oppnents. I need two tickets to the FSU game at face value. Any suggestions? Are they selling out now?

Hey bubba c...

August 20th, 2009
7:09 am

…if you want tickets just call the Florida State ticket office – I checked this morning and tickets are still available for the Tech/FSU game.

Yeah, yeah, we know...

August 20th, 2009
7:24 am

…U.S. News and World ranks GT #7 and UGA #21 (some things never change); and, Tech beat UGA 45 – 42 last year (while other things sometimes change). Some days are better than others when you are not the lead dog!

But, yesterday the ticket broker did pay me $2200 for my 4 UGA season tickets (all upper level), and when I offered him my Tech season tickets (lower level, 35 yard line, 45th row – I’ll be going to Clemson games this year – kids a senior there) he said there was no demand right now for Tech tickets so he declined. Some things, obviously, never change!

BigFan

August 20th, 2009
7:30 am

GT Steve – It is preseason, lighten up!

7-5 again

August 20th, 2009
8:03 am

Is GT Steve the only rational tech fan? You guys do realize that you are HIGHLY overrated, right? NO team in football today can only run the ball (don’t fool yourself thinking Nesbitt can pass) and be highly successful. 9-4 is not highly successful.

SatchelBuzz

August 20th, 2009
8:06 am

Demonic Deacon……your players “academic” standing will be of little use when we run roughshod over Wake this fall at Bobby Dodd. Also,..who cares if what you say is true. The success we have on the field will not diminish any Tech diploma hanging on the wall.

Billy

August 20th, 2009
8:17 am

Great Eight? Do you mean Elite Eight?

Justin

August 20th, 2009
8:22 am

Have a nice early season, but get ready to have your butt handed to you in in high-style in November.

Justin

August 20th, 2009
8:22 am

…as per the usual.

Doug Roberson

August 20th, 2009
8:25 am

Answering a few questions:
There’s really not much to ask with regard to Luallen. He’s going to come back and participate in practice. I believe Johnson said on Saturday that it should be soon.

7-5 again: running seemed to work pretty well for Nebraska about 10 years ago. And Johnson has never said he’s not going to pass.

Godhigh is competing to make it as one of the traveling A-backs. The coaches have said they like his effort and willingness to block.

I can make an attempt at the 2-deep, but it’s just an opinion. And some of these positions could name or name, because there’s still lots of competition.

QB: Josh Nesbitt, Tevin Washington
A-back: Jonathan Dwyer, Preston Lyons or Richard Watson
A-back: Roddy Jones and Anthony Allen, Marcus Wright and Lucas Cox
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Tyler Melton or Stephen Hill
OL: I couldn’t being to guess. Still a lot of competition.
DE: Derrick Morgan, Robert Hall, and Anthony Egbuniwe, Emmanuel Dieke or Izaan Cross.
DT: Jason Peters, Ben Anderson or T.J. Barnes and Logan Walls
LB: Sedric Griffin, B.J. Machen
LB: Brad Jefferson, Steven Sylvester
Wolf: Cooper Taylor
S: Morgan Burnett, Dominique Reese, not sure about second-stringers.
CB: Still too much competition to guess

Stinger

August 20th, 2009
8:29 am

In 1990 we were not even ranked in preseason. Our players belived they could go undefeated and win the National Championship. Guess what, they did. Don’t be so unrealistic as to believe it can’t happen. If you believe you are a 7-5 team, you will be a 7-5 team or worse. I’m tired of mediocrity as in the Chan and Dave Brainless era. A new Sheriff is in town and he expects to win.

Saint Simons

August 20th, 2009
8:29 am

(((((45-42)))))hahaha and we had a super Tickle Pile right on their campus!!!!!

7-5 again

August 20th, 2009
8:29 am

Doug, CPJ thinks he is going to pass… Nesbitt can’t do it. Read my post before you try to respond to it.

Stinger

August 20th, 2009
8:39 am

7-5, (45-42 !!!!! Didn’t need to pass last year, won’t need to pass this year, especially against Willie’s boys. For your information, Nesbitt played in a passing offense in high school and has a very strong arm. You will be surprised at how well he can pass this year. I cetainly wouldn’t be putting someone else’s quarterback down if Joe Cox was my starter. What a joke coke is. You will all learn this year why he sat on the bench for 4 years.

Baba O'Riley

August 20th, 2009
8:45 am

GT Steve is 7-5 again.

7-5 again

August 20th, 2009
8:47 am

There might have been 1 QB in this nation that would have started over Stafford. Cox is better than most of the QB’s in the country this year… You’ll be 7-3 going into the UGA game and a humiliated 7-4 coming out… Then lose on the blue turf again.

Josh H

August 20th, 2009
8:48 am

7-5 again:

Most of the issues passing last year were not just Nesbitt’s fault. Its quite hard to find an open receiver when your counting how many free defensive linemen are coming your way right after the snap.

Improved pass blocking will mean an improved passing game. That’s the key. But Nesbitt does have a great arm, and hasn’t had much of a chance to show it off yet.

Trade School Junkie

August 20th, 2009
8:50 am

12-0, here we come.

GWB

August 20th, 2009
8:58 am

Doug when GT does it 2 years running then I’ll be a believer. Right now GT is the proverbial blind squirrel that found a nut last year. GT and history seldom deviate from each other. There are 5 teams on GT’s schedule that are better. GT goes 7-5 this year.

Hey Dogtards

August 20th, 2009
9:21 am

ACC isn’t in the smurf turf bowl anymore. Time to find a new insult, although it will probably take your stupid head all season to do so.

GWB

August 20th, 2009
9:27 am

Stinger, how pray tell is an offensive line that leans forward going to get back to pass protect before the D line overwhelms them. You will get the same result as last year. Nesbitt running for his life or just flinging off his back foot. Your offensive line scheme will insure another season with no passing attack. Get ready some more LSU type beatdowns.

Zeke

August 20th, 2009
9:29 am

Hey Dogtards

August 20th, 2009
9:21 am

ACC isn’t in the smurf turf bowl anymore. Time to find a new insult, although it will probably take your stupid head all season to do so.

Hey Dogtards

August 20th, 2009
9:21 am

ACC isn’t in the smurf turf bowl anymore. Time to find a new insult, although it will probably take your stupid head all season to do so.

Good point Hey Dogturds! I did hear Radakovich is looking for a place with a pink one.

Too Easy

August 20th, 2009
9:39 am

“blue turf” is still a good metaphor for the type of bowls certain teams usually play.

North Ave Pimp

August 20th, 2009
10:05 am

I agree with Tommy and Statue CPJ. This is not your Chan Gailey coached Georgia Tech team. We dont care about Va Tech. This is the CPJ era, Balls to the wall, I dont care if its 4th and five, im going in to UGAy my first year, kickin @SS and taking names Georgia Tech Team. Oooooh how sweet it is!!!

Stinger

August 20th, 2009
10:25 am

GWB,
It hillarious how you dawgs want to keep talking about LSU. Could it be because there is nothing good to say about your weak azz team? 45-42, don’t even need to pass it we can run for 500 yds. You will see how we pass. Make no mistake our offense will be in the top 5 nationally !! I just hope we get LSU or Florida in a bowl. We will stomp them too.

7-5 again

August 20th, 2009
10:29 am

You’ll get Boise State in the Blue Turf bowl. You’ll be top 15-20 nationally in run offence (opponents will do better this year), top 40-50 total offence.

collegeballfan

August 20th, 2009
10:40 am

If Nesbitt goes down before Shaw returns you can kiss a few wins goodbye. If last year proved anything it is that making the correct read is the key.

Baba O'Riley

August 20th, 2009
11:01 am

Too Easy disrespected his deceased father by first saying his dad was a Tech Man, then saying that it takes a loser to be a Tech fan.

GT FAN PA

August 20th, 2009
11:35 am

It’s funny how all say 2nd time around will stop the offense and CPJ has been coaching how long now? I’ve said before and I’ll say again CPJ may have put in most of the playbook-the Jackets surely have not ran most of it- go and look at the Navy games and they are doing a lot more than what the Jackets were last year- CPJ never had a QB as good as what he does now. Tech has just as much speed as anyone on their schedule this year. They also are going to have the advantage with fresh backs as deep as they are. Josh has already showed what a work horse he is at QB and you will see him passing more this year! All UGA fans want to bring up is LSU-That would be like all Tech fans bringing up FL to you! Get over it man- Tech did(which I bet CPJ uses to teach the team all year) Ya’ll need to look in the mirror then- because if TECH was that bad with the mickey mouse offense what does that say about UGA’s defense? Please don’t throw out injuries- everyone has them and remember-it is the UGA fans that brag about all the 5 star recruits and Tech gets the left over 2 stars- Looking forward to a great season–THWG!!!