Al Groh said he’s had a fun first week as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator.
From parachuting in as a recruiter, to watching lots of film from last year’s games, to getting to know the other assistants and players personally, Groh said he’s been keeping busy.
The real work, however, will start as soon as Signing Day passes on Feb. 3. After that, Groh will be begin to teach the assistant coaches the techniques and schemes for the 3-4 defense that Tech will install for the 2010 season.
“It’s up to the people who are installing, more so than the people who are listening, to create buy in,” Groh said. “There will be change in this. Our job is to sell value of that change.
“[We want to] get this thing looking the way we want to look as fast as possible. It’s a real process. Buy-in is the first part of it. We’re impatient to make it look good. How fast we can do it, we’ll have to see.”
Most of his time has been spent with a spiral notebook on his lap and a pencil in his hand evaluating last year’s games. Groh declined to discuss specific players at a press conference on Friday because he said he doesn’t want to be an “instant evaluator.” He said he prefers to talk to the players individually about what he’s noted before they read anything in the newspaper.
Groh said there will be two changes on staff compared to last year. Charles Kelly will coach the entire secondary, rather than the cornerbacks like he did the last two years. Dave Wommack, the team’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, coached the safeties as well. Also, Groh will coach the linebackers as a unit, with Brian Jean-Mary assisting him. Jean-Mary was that position coach the past two seasons.
The reason for the changes is that Groh believes those two units need cohesion. He said that’s developed by being in the same meeting rooms and participating in the same drills.
“Games are won up front but lost in the back end,” Groh said. “Big plays happen in the back end through miscommunication.”