A week away from Tech’s spring practice starting

Alright party people.

Basketball games played on the court are now done for Georgia Tech. As we  endeavor to report the other basketball games — what decisions Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors will make regarding their futures — let’s look to spring football, which will start on Monday.

As you may remember from the mailbag two weeks ago, http://blogs.ajc.com/georgia-tech-sports/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=1529, I attempted to address your questions about the football team.

I did my best, but there’s only one person who knows everything that’s going on at Tech and I don’t think he’s going to blog for me.

So, here are the storylines I’m most interested in following:

1. Who will win the outside linebacker jobs?

2. Who  will win the nosetackle job?

3. Is Tevin Washington locked into the No. 2 quarterback  job, or will he be significantly pushed by David Sims and Jordan Luallen?

4. Who will the competition between Quentin Sims, Kevin Cone, Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton for the two wide receiver spots?

5. How steep will the learning curve be for the 3-4 defense?

I hope to write about these, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff, once practice begins on Monday. The T-Day game is April 24.

Georgia Tech isn’t getting a lot of love from the national media, mostly because of the loss Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett, among others, to the pros.

Throw in the loss of Cord Howard and Brad Sellers, as well as Joe Gilbert, and the battle on the offensive line will be intriguing, as well.

I can say this: Johnson went 13-2 in his third season at Southern, and 10-2 in his third season at Navy. Of course, you don’t have to worry about juniors leaving for the NFL at either one of those schools. It should be pointed out that Navy won 10 games with a quarterback, Aaron Polanco, running the show for the first time.

So what are you most interested in following this spring? Any predictions?

60 comments Add your comment

wesleywhatwhat

March 22nd, 2010
2:23 pm

what is the dynamic like b/t CPJ and coach groh?

collegeballfan

March 22nd, 2010
2:23 pm

Offensive line and the defensive line.

RunningDog

March 22nd, 2010
2:28 pm

I have a lot of respect for Coach Johnson, and it will be intriguing to see how he fares with the losses from last season. I expect Tech to do well, but I’m interested in seeing how Tech, including my alma mater and the ACC schools, have adapted to playing the triple option. Good luck except in late November.

RunNShoot

March 22nd, 2010
2:46 pm

THROW THE BALL! We can’t run it all the time. Every team is stacking the line now. If Coach Johnson is the coach I know he is, then he will adjust to the defense adjustments and implement some run and shoot. Honestly, he has no choice. I hope Tech beats UGA and wins the ACC again and win a BCS bowl but don’t see that happening this year. If that does happen, then Paul Johnson deserves coach of the year.

JS

March 22nd, 2010
2:46 pm

Looking forward to seeing all the young QB’s gettting alot of spring practice reps!

lucky21

March 22nd, 2010
2:56 pm

My predictions are that JC Lanier will win the nose tackle job, and that the starting receivers will be Kevin Cone and Stephen Hill, and that tevin washington is backup QB

GET READY

March 22nd, 2010
3:28 pm

GT FANS GET READY FOR ANOTHER UGA BEATDOWN!

BTW, I SAW A POP WARNER TEAM OF 10 YEAR-OLD RUN THE SAME OFFENSE LIKE YOU. GOES TO SHOW YOU WHAT TALENT LEVEL YOU HAVE THERE AT TECH! LOSERS!

UGA 30 – GT 24!!

WE RUN THIS STATE!

vamosjackets

March 22nd, 2010
3:29 pm

Nice classy post runningdog.

To RunNShoot, why are you saying he doesn’t have a choice but to throw the ball now? We had one of the most productive offenses in the country and the best offense outside of the Big 12 (where there’s no defense). We also had the most efficient passing offense in the country. So, when we threw the ball, we had a lot of success. Miami stopped us at the beginning of the year when we weren’t clicking with the timing yet. UGA didn’t stop us except when Nesbitt was hurt for a few series. Iowa was really the only legitimate team to legitimately stop us by their play. And we still scored 17 on them. If our defense gets to where we expect with Groh, we’ll be able to win every game, even when the offense doesn’t put up 30+. Not saying we will, but we’ll have that ability.

Nate

March 22nd, 2010
4:07 pm

I think lucky hit the nail on the head. I see Cone and Hill starting at receiver with Washington as backup QB. Should be a good year, potentially a great one. We’ll see. At least Tech is legitimately looking forward to football.

CarolinaJacket

March 22nd, 2010
4:09 pm

I’m putting my money on the linebackers. With the return of Jackson I think they will be the strongest unit on the team, and the team is going to be pretty good.

I Hate UGAY

March 22nd, 2010
4:18 pm

Close that cow college in athens, it is a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Jacket Backer

March 22nd, 2010
4:21 pm

can’t wait!!!…..

Go Jackets!!!

GT3opt

March 22nd, 2010
4:37 pm

Don’t forget the battle for starting a-back as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what alabama transfer Chris Jackson can do.
GET READY,
Just wondering what offense the other teams were utilizing. Guess it could not be anything like what the great UGA team uses.

Ole Georgia Boy

March 22nd, 2010
4:39 pm

Close the Cow College in Athens? Good Idea! and while you are at it- Close Georgia State too. Both are a waste of good tax money. Why do we need Ga State and ‘Tech” one mile apart.

CapTB

March 22nd, 2010
4:42 pm

The transition of a defense to a 3-4 is not easy, especially if you don’t have the athletes at NT and OLB. As Tech has not recruited for this defense until this year, it may be a difficult transition at first…one would think they are more likely to be able to fill the OLB position than the NT. It will be an interesting transition. Hopefully, it will allow them to improve from last year! Also, the replacement of 3 starters on the OL, and their backups will be crucial.

Reality

March 22nd, 2010
4:49 pm

GET READY…..FOR ATHENS 2010….which will be much like Athens 2008….45-42!!! We are sure looking forward to beating UGA’s arses!!!

Blewitt Twitter

March 22nd, 2010
5:01 pm

im still rich b!tches

StraightJacket

March 22nd, 2010
6:01 pm

Curious to see who steps up on the leadership role among the starters on defense. That may not happen until Fall practice.

Based on what I saw in the preseason last year (before Luallen got hurt), I’d like to see him win the back-up QB position … because he looks to have the better skills. If he doesn’t win back-up QB, that’s not good because I think it means his weaknesses are so bad as to counter the skill advantage his has over Washington and Sims.

Of course, CPJ knows what he’s doing. Fortunately, I don’t have to coach; I can just be a fan and enjoy the ride!

who cares

March 22nd, 2010
6:05 pm

Tech fans are so full of excuses. Your q.b goes out for one series and that’s why UGA kicked your asses. I think the problem was your pathetic d.l. that got pushed around all night. Newsflash nerds: when another team rushes for over 300 yards against you, you got your ass handed to you. One last thing you excuse making losers, UGA’s best offensive player was out for the whole game. A scary thought for next year, all of UGA’s o.l and r.b’s return next year, plus A.J. Green. Can u say ouch!!

Buzz29

March 22nd, 2010
6:30 pm

Maybe I’m too much of a homer but I think there is a player of equal value ready to step into any vacated postion sans safety. Hill will step up and Anthony Allen will run for more yards than The Diesel did this year. Call me crazy but the only thing that will stop this train is our own mistakes. Ramblin Wreck!

Anyone know the over/under on the next uga player arrest? I’m gonna say 6 days. Easter at the latest as the uga crowd likes to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with Natural Light.

GT Fan...

March 22nd, 2010
6:37 pm

Who cares …… GA’s game plan in 2009 was to run the ball thus control the clock keeping GT’s offense off the field. If AJ Green played would they have abandoned their game plan? Not for a second, b/c their EXECUTION was flawless, rushing for a Richt-era best 339 yards.

You and most of your fellow GA fans didn’t give your dogs much of a chance heading into the 2009 game vs. GT. Now, funny how a win over GT has put many GA fans back into the “invincble vs GT” mindset. FYI … the better team on paper is 0-2 in the PJ vs Richt series.

Kansas GT

March 22nd, 2010
7:13 pm

Is the link to the previous post broken? I get a word press login.

rainman

March 22nd, 2010
7:23 pm

Doug, that’s a pretty good list of questions to start with.
Right now, I’m a little more interested in the defense since they were horrible last year, and we have a pretty good idea of what CPJ will do with the offense.
At nose tackle we have the young guys with huge size (Barnes& Lanier), and we have a couple of vets in Anderson and Walls that are as big as the nose tackles Groh used at UVA. He does seem to like big DE’s and OLB’s (as is common in the 3-4), but Tech has an interesting combination of players to play these positions. Cross and Peters are top candidates for the DE’s, but there are several others that will vie for playing time like Dieke, Eqbuniwe, Hall, Wilson and others — even the rookie, Denzel McCoy might work into the rotation.
Outside linebacker will be the most interesting transition this spring, and will give us a chance to see how Groh meshes the personel. He will have to blend some traditional linebackers like Sylvester, Munroe, Jackson, Burnett, and others with some converted DE’s.

Okeefe/Bob

March 22nd, 2010
7:29 pm

All of you UGA people need to continue paying all that attention to you tail gate partys.What a buuch of bottom dwellers.

Cuttysark

March 22nd, 2010
8:29 pm

The back-up quarterbacks will get plenty of reps in spring practice which will be good for their development, as we all know what Josh is capable of under center (ACC OPY). Look for Logan Walls, and J.C. Lanier at nose tackle. I also expect to see Albert Rocker and Osahon Tongo moved to inside linebacker in the 3/4 for depth and playing time. The competition on the o-line will be interesting with plenty of redshirt freshman getting their chance. Keep an eye on Wil Jackson and Antonio Foster.

Jemea Thomas will step in at safety along with Cooper Taylor. Can’t wait to get this started.

For more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Go Jackets!

Tokyo jacket

March 22nd, 2010
8:32 pm

To who cares: you’re right. You handed it to us and ran it down our throats. You didn’t punt. Yet, our offense was good enough last year to be in two of three losses like that. When we play this year, look for a better defense and the same skill on offense.

As good as Dwyer, Bay Bay, Burnett and Morgan were, Tech still CAN be better this year. Of course, we can be worse too. Hill is just as fast if not faster than Bay Bay. Allen averaged 9.7 yards per carry last year. We’re going to have one more LB on the field at any given time, which should be the strength of the team. Different and confusing blitz/coverage packages will protect the secondary and get us more production out of our d-backs due to poorly thrown balls.

Next year’s team has depth, albeit somewhat untested, for the first time in a long time. Look for this season to hinge on the defense, not the offense. Slightly better defense last year and Tech goes 13-1.

Phil

March 22nd, 2010
8:39 pm

It seems pretty obvious, at least to me, that the starting WRs will be Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton.

Tokyo jacket

March 22nd, 2010
8:41 pm

One more thing that makes looking forward to the upcomming season great. EVERY SINGLE GT FAN in the O’Leary days was wondering why we couldn’t get an effective defensive coordinator to go with our juggernaut offense. EVERY SINGLE GT FAN in the Gailey era was wondering why we didn’t EVER attack on offense to match our attacking defense. Come on, how many of you said “man, if we still had Joe Hamilton and Fridge to go with Tenuta, we’d be winning championships”?

In 2010, we will have a combination of coaching talent that I’ve personally never seen at Tech. In fact, it’s rare that you ever get a coaching staff of this quality. The most similar combinations I can think of are Bowden and Andrews at FSU (in the 90’s), Beamer and Foster at VT, Weis and Belichik with New England, and maybe Meyer and Strong at UF.

I’m not saying GT will have that success (though I’m hoping for it). I’m just saying these two men are as respected at their positions as the others were at theirs.

Tokyo jacket

March 22nd, 2010
8:43 pm

Good call Cutty…I look for Taylor to have a big year. Does anyone know if his condition is 100% fixed or can it recur/relapse?

Iraq Dawg... HOOAH

March 22nd, 2010
8:44 pm

Hating is hard work. But we just bounce back.

“We run this state”

And that’s real talk hommie

Ghost of Whack Hyder

March 22nd, 2010
8:51 pm

I smell dawg dew. P U.

GT Rich

March 22nd, 2010
8:57 pm

Tokyo Jacket,
Just look back to ‘90 for coaching excellence — Bobby Ross at head, O’Leary as DC and Friedgen as OC. When O’Leary and Friedgen only had to worry about one side of the ball, they were a pretty good tandem (i.e. 1990 co-national champs). Nether have truly panned out as head coaches….

Buckhead Bulldog

March 22nd, 2010
9:18 pm

GT Fan…

March 22nd, 2010
6:37 pm

Actually, I agree with you, GT Fan…. Good luck in 2010 except in A-town!

Engy

March 22nd, 2010
9:18 pm

Give the Dawgs their due. They won the most recent Tech-U(sic)GA game, so they can say all these obnoxious things. As for the actual topic, I have every confidence in our team and our coaches. They will carry GT football through to greatness for next season.

And, as always, TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!

Stumpknocker

March 22nd, 2010
10:06 pm

What about the guy “Luellen”(spelling), How does he project as a candidate for qb? Does he have the skill, mindset and can he effectively pass the ball ?

Hayseed Dixie

March 22nd, 2010
10:52 pm

Doug, I’d like to know all about defensive leadership and passing this spring.

Will Steven Hill be able to hold the Calvin-BayBay torch? (I think so, and *then* some)

Confident, consistent passing game will turn us into a juggernaut.

MESSENGER

March 23rd, 2010
3:47 am

ACC is so great in basketball, I thought ?

UGA Women won again in the NCAA Tournament to run our record to 25-8 on the season, while Georgia tek has been finished in basketball for some time now both in women’s and men’s basketball.

ACC Sweet 16 ? Duke is it in men’s basketball while The SEC has 2 teams the vols and Kentucky.

750 wins for Andy Landers, averaging over 24 wins a season, so this is an average season for him.

18 times Andy Landers has been in the Regional Semi-Finals. This year’s squad cannot shoot. But, they can play some defense.

UGA advances to play Stanford, another school Georgia tek is NOT.

While the nation ponders the thoughts of Georgia tek bragging they are better than all the teams remaining in The NCAA Tournament, the facts are that not only did UGA beat Georgia tek in football 30-24 but also beat Georgia tek in both men’s basketball 73-66 and women’s basketball 56-50.

So, while Georgia tek remains at home their seasons over, UGA advances.

UGA also beat Georgia tek in the classrooms this year with a higher APR than Georgia tek in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, the Major Sports.

Assailed in the national press for your low academics, the worst in college basketball in the NCAA Tourney this season, Georgia tek also could not win in men’s basketball even with your 914 Academic Progress Rate, limited by the NCAA Probation to only 11 scholarships.

Sweet 16 for Georgia 18 times now for Andy Landers.

NCAA Tournament Action :

SEC 13-3
ACC 9-9

SEC Men 4-2
ACC Men 5-5

SEC Women 9-1
ACC Women 4-4

ACC has neither a winning record in NCAA Tourney Men
ACC has neither a winning record in NCAA Tourney Women

SEC has winning record in BOTH NCAA Tourney Men & Women.

SEC is kicking the butts of ACC in basketball, again.

AMG

March 23rd, 2010
7:04 am

I will say it, Tech will be FAR FAR better than UGA this season, just like last year. UGA was 7-5 and will be lucky if they do that well this year. UGA fans are very good fans and I respect that, but the reality of UGA football is another 7-5 season with yet another QB learning the ropes. Tech has a very good shot at being undefeated this season again. Last year Tech had NO DEFENSE. They could have put a pop warner team on the field for defense and it would have been FAR FAR better than what was out there. EVERY SINGLE DEFENSIVE COACH was fired or left. Tells you something, and don’t be fooled into thinking this was just the way it worked out, CPJ will not put up with that kind of performance and now everyone is gone. Bring in a hall of fame defensive coordinator and Tech will have far far better defense this year. No one has ever stopped CPJ before and it won’t happen this year either. UNC game is the third game of the year, if Tech can win that, they really have a shot at a great year. Just one more fact, How is it that Tecfh lost 2 players from defense on a defense that sucked and is hurt by losses, while VT lost 7 starters on defense and is the team to beat, Look for GT to give VT another beat down.

Doug please respond

March 23rd, 2010
7:08 am

Doug, clearly the poster above known as ‘MESSENGER’ formerly known as BullDawg or something of the sort is on here with his usual crap. Please kick this complete jerk and bad representative of the Bulldog nation. I have respect for UGA Grads including yourself, but please do us all a favor and kick him. I think it’s pretty obvious it’s him when he writes two lines with a nice space in between his comments with the words Georgia tek.

To vamosjackets

March 23rd, 2010
7:19 am

To vamosjackets: “We had one of the most productive offenses in the country and the best offense outside of the Big 12 (where there’s no defense).” Unfortunately, we didn’t have a defense either. That was the problem. We would have fit in well in the Big 12.

Willie Coyote

March 23rd, 2010
7:39 am

I would like to see if TJ Barnes lost some weight, gained an edge and whether he can be one of those big DEs in this 3-4.

GTPUG

March 23rd, 2010
7:46 am

I believe everyone is about to see what CPJ brings to the table – - everyone knew the workings of the ones we lost adn now e have new plyers to fill the holes – - Tech will just fine this year – - everyone remember that the other teams in the ACC have lost players

“THWG”

2 and done!!!!

March 23rd, 2010
8:08 am

Another typical overrated, overhyped, disappointing Yech hoops season down the drain with nothing to show for it!!!! And now they’ll watch YET another of their “student athletes” execute the annual ONE AND DONE practice that is common for Yech thugs!!!!

LOVE IT!!!!!!

KeithB

March 23rd, 2010
10:01 am

O-Line, the new 3-4, and the passing game. I think with the revamped O-Line, they will need more balance on offense. 3 to 5 step passing game needs to be a staple. I don’t think the defense can get any worse than it was despite losing Morgan and Burnett. I think that NT (should be Lanier) position is going to be the key. I am looking forward to the season to see how it all unfolds. I know it will tough to win 10 or 11 games again, but we’ll see.

Questions arise from tech fans who wanna know

March 23rd, 2010
10:03 am

Will Car jackings stop during football season to allow West Stand grads to park safely?

Will the knifeings be put on hold for late night Thirsday games?

Will the Navy pilot that has now embarrassed tech ever fly again or will he remain a symbol of Tech’s many failings? Will he simply become a low level officer and humiliated FORMER Navy flyer?

Will Reuben Houston ever get control of his life?

Will Tech ever win vs UGA in Athens in basketball?

Will CPJ scream SLAP EM, SLAP EM IN THEIR 1980 FACES after UGA runs up 450 yds on them come November and UGA’s L backes hold the BONE to 33 yds, like dwyer got??

Will Josh Nesbitt be just a shadow of his former self or will his gimply legs be too brittle to make a big difference.

Will Jabow Shaw now get a date?

Fands wanna know.

KeithB

March 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

You know it’s bad when the UGA fans are talking about their WOMENS basketball team! I guess that’s what happens when the football team underachieves for 30 years.

Sweet 16 for Georgia 18 times now for Andy Landers.

NCAA Tournament Action :

SEC 13-3
ACC 9-9

SEC Men 4-2
ACC Men 5-5

SEC Women 9-1
ACC Women 4-4

ACC has neither a winning record in NCAA Tourney Men
ACC has neither a winning record in NCAA Tourney Women

SEC has winning record in BOTH NCAA Tourney Men & Women.

SEC is kicking the butts of ACC in basketball, again.

Is AL getting NFL type of traction now?

March 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

Is Groh generating recruiting fervor with kids now? In other words, are his 1960s era NFL memories of Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr and Paul Hornung, getting today’s recruits to sit up and take notice?

I’ll bet that they are simply ……………..speechless when he mentions having been on the same field with Gayle Sayers. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA

Slap em, slap em in their 1980 faces.

juvenal

March 23rd, 2010
10:18 am

iraq, somebody who has no clue above even stoops to picking on active duty for a mistake…please don’t make any around thoe ied’s, God Bless…

GreRos

March 23rd, 2010
10:41 am

Johnson is a great coach but the ACC Coastal is tough, I see a 4th place finish in the coastal and a 8-4 record. Not bad considering the Jrs leaving, had they stayed Ga Tech would of been the favorite to repeat as ACC champs.

Nate

March 23rd, 2010
10:45 am

Like I said Doug, please do something about BullDawg, MESSENGER, whatever the heck his name is. Please kick that idiot!