Brad Jefferson now has a partner in the jungle: Steven Sylvester.
Sylvester has been moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker in Georgia Tech’s new 3-4 defense.
Instead of patrolling the edge of the line with room to space, he’s smack in the middle of the field, the area that fellow middle linebacker Jefferson calls “the jungle.”
“I like it a lot more,” Sylvester said. “It’s a lot more hands on than it was outside. I’m taking on blocks more directly than filling in and seeing what’s going on.”
Jefferson is used to patrolling the middle after playing in what’s termed the “Mike” the past two seasons. He said it’s nice to have someone beside him.
“I told him he’s got to be a like a lion or tiger in the jungle and be the king,” Jefferson said.
Sylvester and Jefferson said the biggest difference between playing the 4-3 last year and this year’s scheme is that guards get a free shot at them now. They’ve watched a lot of film and worked on improving their technique with their hands to shed blockers.
“You’ve got to get rough with them,” Jefferson, a junior from Wrightsville, said.
Tech coach Paul Johnson said he thinks the switch is going to benefit Jefferson.
“He can be a really good downhill player I think,” Johnson said.
One person joked that Roddy Jones should change his name to Bo. Deion Sanders may be more fitting.
Sanders once helicoptered from a practice with the Falcons to play in a game with the Braves.
Jones didn’t have to travel quite so far on Friday. But like Bo Jackson, who played for the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Royals, and Sanders, Jones did the double Friday. He practiced with the football team at Rose Bowl field on Friday afternoon and then walked over to Russ Chandler Stadium to join the baseball team for its weekend-series opener against Duke.
Jones said he doesn’t remember ever doing the two sports in the same day.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Jones said.
He should hope that he likes it. He’s going to do it again on Saturday when the baseball team hosts the Devils at 6 p.m.
Johnson called Friday’s practice ragged. He joked the team is too young to be rusty. … There were a few big plays:
• Defensive end Jason Peters almost took quarterback Tevin Washington’s head off when Washington left the pocket and tried to scramble up the field.
• Anthony Barnes got Washington a few players later for a sack.
• B-Back Richard Watson found a crack and went up the middle for a long run.
• Washington bounced back to find Tyler Melton in a hole in the coverage in the middle of the field with a tight pass.
• David Sims hit Daniel McKayhan on a sideline comeback route with a hard throw.
• Malcolm Munroe picked off Jordan Luallen, a couple of series after Rod Sweeting dropped an interception from Luallen.
Josh Nesbitt has taken off the protective boot he was wearing after having minor surgery on his right ankle. He was wearing a small support brace. … ESPN’s Desmond Howard attended practice. … The team will practice in pads at 9:15 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday.