Yesterday I wrote about leadership and motivation, and wondered which players were stepping up to fill the void left by defensive tackle Darryl Richard.
I asked after practice on Sunday and the answers are there are three captains: Josh Nesbitt, Morgan Burnett and Derrick Morgan.
Nesbitt said earlier this year that he has been trying to be a more vocal leader, and has intensified those efforts even more after he and the Morgans were named the season’s captains before the Clemson game.
Here’s what Nesbitt had to say about being a leader:
“I think we are doing a good job of it. They just picked us as being leaders of the team. I’ve been trying to get more vocal and get the guys more fired up and get a little bit more intensity in everybody.
“I think we are doing a pretty good job. I don’t think you can ever do a good enough job being a leader. There’s always more heights you can go. The only thing we can do is get better.
On his style:
“I don’t think you need to get in a player’s face to get them fired up. In my past experience if you get in a player’s face and say this or that to him that gets him down. Me, I just go to a player and like ‘hey just erase that last play and let’s get it going. Let’s show everybody what you can do.’
On who picks him up:
Morgan [Burnett], Gladiator [Brad Jefferson]. Different guys like that. I know like, in the Clemson game, I felt like I wasn’t playing good. They came to me and said I know you can play better than this. Just do your job.”
And he did, leading Tech on the game-tying and game-winning drives.
North Carolina brings an interesting challenge for Georgia Tech. Against Clemson and Miami, everyone had a pretty good idea which players needed to be stopped: Spiller for the Tigers and Harris for the Hurricanes. Tech didn’t do a particularly good against either one.
The Tar Heels, however, don’t have that type of player. Other than quarterback T.J. Yates, their offense has a slew of guys who contribute.
While their defense has appeared first-rate, as Johnson notes in today’s notebook for print, it should be pointed out that the Heels haven’t really played any juggernauts: The Citadel, Connecticut and East Carolina.
Comparing that to Tech’s schedule, JSU is better than The Citadel, and neither Uconn nor ECU can be considered the equivalent of Clemson or Miami.
Are Tech’s woes, assuming there are some, due to the fact that they have played some really tough teams, or are there other issues? Planning to have more about that in Thursday’s paper.
Here’s a kick in the statistical pants for you:
Remember the safety in the Miami game, well it was ruled that the lost yardage on that play must come from Tech’s rushing total, and it also affected the Jackets’ fourth-down conversion rate. The 18-yard loss had to be reflected somewhere, I suppose, but that seems odd.