A look at Georgia Tech’s safeties

Switching from the front of Georgia Tech’s defense to the back, we take a look at the safeties:

THE SAFETIES

  • Returning starters: Mario Edwards, Cooper Taylor, Rashaad Reid, Dominique Reese, Jerrard Tarrant.
  • Others to watch: Jemea Thomas, Isaiah Johnson, Lance Richardson.
  • Key losses: Morgan Burnett, who is now with the Green Bay Packers.
  • Key fact: The defense gave up 66 plays of at least 20 yards last season.
  • Key question: Can the safeties put themselves in the right place at the right time to cut down on those big plays?
  • Key question 2: How will Jerrard Tarrant handle safety after starting eight games at cornerback last season? He said he was recruited as a safety. Also, can he be the ballhawk that Burnett was the past two seasons when he intercepted 11 passes?
  • Key question 3: Charles Kelly has taken over coaching the entire secondary, after he had the corners and former defensive coordinator Dave Wommack had the safeties last season?
  • Outlook: Really, and not to be flip, but the entire defense should be better than it was last season. If new defensive coordinator Al Groh calls a lot of blitzes with the linebackers, the safeties will have to pick up those responsibilities. They all have the athletic ability, as well as the speed.
  • Your turn: What say you about the safeties?

For a look at the offensive line, go here

For a look at the running backs, go here

For a look at the defensive line, go here

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134 comments Add your comment

Destin Dawg

June 24th, 2010
6:13 am

we have 3 great new coaches at UGA.. Grantham, Lagotos, and Belin… Al Groh may need some help ????

dagnabit

June 24th, 2010
6:41 am

D.D. time will tell who has the best coaches .5 months of time.

dawgfan

June 24th, 2010
6:44 am

One of these hacks will probably lead the team in tackles because the front 7 is getting knocked around like a pinata. So the Georgia Tech defense will be better Doug? Old Man Groh’s defense gave up 30+ points SIX times last year at Virginia. Yeah, big pick up Techies. He’s a genius.

Is this the Tech fan blog?

Navigator

June 24th, 2010
7:14 am

I love comments who support a mascot that licks his butt and his private areas as the most significant thing they do, beside eating and crapping. Oh well, once again they have to say something about Tech, because we dominate their life, every waking moment of their life. I wonder if they blog in Gainesville, FL, but probably not, as they would pee in their pants just showing up there. Al Groh wasn’t the defensive coach of Virginia, and if you want to say something about his head coaching abilities, that I wouldn’t argue. However, his knowledge of defense is not questioned even at the NFL level. Now was UGA’s coach in the NFL, oh yeah, the one that quit there coaches the Falcons.

Wrecker

June 24th, 2010
7:22 am

Dawgfan, did you mean the Dogs? What positions did Reshad Jones and Brandon Boykin play last year? They were in the top 4 for tackles for your team and it appears to me that they play in the secondary. With Curran gone, I expect the tackles by your safeties and corners will go up.

Paddy

June 24th, 2010
7:28 am

dawgfan…opps, I know you didn’t mean to say Groh’s defense last season.

rainman

June 24th, 2010
8:03 am

This appears to be the strongest position on the defense – both in terms of talent and depth. Reid, Reese, and Tarrant have all played CB, so in any kind of nickle package, you may see 3 safeties on the field.

Ezekiel

June 24th, 2010
8:27 am

Lot of talent and experience at the safety position. The competition alone will make the position better. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Groh play 3 safeties in certain situations with 1 of them playing an outside linebacker position. Talk more Georgia Tech football at: http://www.bbuzzoff.com

Jacket Backer

June 24th, 2010
8:27 am

Go Jackets!!

Brock

June 24th, 2010
8:41 am

Thanks for caring so much doggies. You guys are up at 6am just itching to get your jollies on a tech blog then hoping someone responds so you can feel like you accomplished something today. I almost feel sorry for you.

GTFan

June 24th, 2010
8:49 am

Great players make Coaches look great…..stupid Coaches make everyone look bad even the school. Just look at Paul Hewitt.

Stanley in Marietta

June 24th, 2010
9:08 am

So cute- uga fans posting on a Tech blog at 8am. “You guys love us, you really really love us!”.

Still funny that the only thing that matters to a uga fan in life is beating tech. Hey, here’s an idea- use some of that negative junior high girl-hate on Florida fans. Maybe you will reverse the curse in Jax.

Hmmmm!

June 24th, 2010
9:18 am

Navigator…..UGA mascot and UGA fans….both pretty much do the same significant things.

Delbert D.

June 24th, 2010
9:20 am

One of the strongest positions on the team, even with the loss of Morgan Burnett. Cooper Taylor should return full strength, and he is bigger (6′4″ 209) and faster (sub 4.4 40) than his former starting partner.

The Spring roster lists Tarrant at CB. Rainman’s posts points out the versatility of some players who are big and physical. Hidden in that versatility is the problems that Dave Wommack had in shuffling people around to find a functioning unit. The starters at safety (Burnett listad as Rover) by game reads:
Taylor Taylor Taylor Reid Reid Reid Reese Reese Reese Edwards Edwards Edwards Edwards Edwards

Reid started 4 or the last 6 games at CB. Reese started the 1st 3 at OLB.

Wommack started with 3-3 defense, but it had to be switched to a simplified 4-3 early on.

Hopefully Groh’s tutelage can turn this defensive backfield around.

nickj0321

June 24th, 2010
9:22 am

The safety position will be very strong for us…I can’t wait to see Tarrant continue to develop.

GT Rich

June 24th, 2010
9:22 am

Jerrard was burned a lot as a cover corner last year but looked good as a safety in practices and scrimmages this spring. Isaiah also looked like he could challenge for playing time. Definitely the most experienced part of the D. With any amount of improved pressure from Groh’s play calling, we should see the team INTs grow this year.

Alphare

June 24th, 2010
9:36 am

Look like Tech will be ACC champ again, while dawgs finish SEC East 2nd place(a sure thing more than anything else).

Robert

June 24th, 2010
9:38 am

Dawg fans,
If your new DC is so great, why was he at best your foruth choice? He has never been a DC at any level. Groh has at ebery level, including in the Super Bowl.
You guys are so full of crap, it is a wonder you can get on-line.

Destin Dawg

June 24th, 2010
9:40 am

Stanley in Marietta…… Just be glad your not in the SEC…. and have to play the Gators… and all the rest….not many posts on your blog.. 1/2 empty stadium with a huge Atlanta metro area !!! Grand Pa Groh may need some help ????

dawgfan

June 24th, 2010
9:41 am

You know you’ve gotten through to a Techie when they start hiding behind Florida like little girls. The next step is for them to start talking starting salaries and US News and World Report rankings. That’s when you know your work is done. Its the saddest thing you will ever see in your life and very hilarious.

No Techies, we don’t have much to say to Florida. Know why? Because they beat us like a damn drum. What exactly is it about this whole bragging rights thing that you nimrods cannot comprehend? Its really very simple. We run our mouths about Tech because we CAN. Don’t blame us. Blame your team that can’t beat us more than once every 9 years. If you’re looking to point fingers and whine, which you are because that’s what Techies do, point the finger at them. Not us.

Thanks.

Ima Jacket

June 24th, 2010
9:42 am

Two biggest issues with our secondary…
1) Derrick is gone, so our pass rush will be weaker, putting more pressure on the secondary. As was noted above, last season we gave up too many big plays even with Burnett in the lineup. This season it will be worse, unless some serious pass rushers emerge. UGA, for instance, will have a beast of an OL, even better than the one that really pushed us around last season…Murray will have all day to throw to the likes of A.J. Green if we don’t get someone on the DL to step up.
2) Our secondary don’t face a great passer (sorry, no offense Nesbitt) or great passing attack in practice. So will they be prepared? What the heck are they going to do when we go up against Harris from Miami, or Ponder from FSU, or Wilson from NC St.? Just some thoughts….not trying to be too negative.

Puke Colored Gold

June 24th, 2010
9:44 am

The safeties at Tech will be exposed by the U

BD

June 24th, 2010
9:48 am

Potentially the best group of safeties at the flats in a long while. Tarrant has effortless speed to burn.

Grantham? UGA may have the worst coaching staff in the SEC or ACC and going downhill fast.

Tech is catching up. Tennessee continues to beat UGA. UGA is watching LSU, Florida, and Alabama’s tail lights as those schools pull away. Auburn will be better this year. UGA is about like South Carolina now. Even Kentucky can beat UGA nowdays.

wesleywhatwhat

June 24th, 2010
9:55 am

dawgfans are the saddest fans of all.

Southern Football

June 24th, 2010
9:56 am

Jemea Thomas is highly underrated look for him to maybe take over a starting spot later in the year.

Destin Dawg

June 24th, 2010
9:57 am

BD Just be glad you don’t play the SEC teams you mentioned.. Hah !!!!

wesleywhatwhat

June 24th, 2010
10:04 am

sad that dawg fans feel teh need to come on a GEORGIA TECH blog and brag about teams that georgia plays.

they seldom even brag about their own team anymore, just about how awesome the sec is, even if they contribute nothing to that.

must be a miserable existence, but i bet most of the georgia fans on this GEORGIA TECH blog don’t even realize how sad they look/sound/are.

Reality Stinks

June 24th, 2010
10:05 am

I guess if UGA is on the down slide then Tech has already being drenched from UGA’s Crap coming down the slide.

wesleywhatwhat

June 24th, 2010
10:12 am

“reality stink” is still alive?

u haven’t killed yourself yet?

why not?

Reality Stinks

June 24th, 2010
10:17 am

Why would I do that when life is too good watching a bumble bee get squashed year after year

wesleywhatwhat

June 24th, 2010
10:19 am

i’m not advocating suicide.

just surprised that u haven’t since your life is evidently lacking in meaning.

so i was just wondering if there was any reason in particular that u haven’t killed yourself yet.

barring that, maybe u can find something useful to do with your time.

juvenal

June 24th, 2010
10:27 am

folks spending a lot on sports instead of endowments….

Reality Stinks

June 24th, 2010
10:30 am

This is making good use of my time.

Reading the usual delusional crap you Techies write on here.

I do my good deed by writing comments that bring Tech fans back to Reality.

KeithB

June 24th, 2010
10:42 am

I don’t think it could be much worse than last season. I think coaching all of those guys together will help. I saw a lot last season where those guys weren’t on the same page. I think Tarrant to safety will be good. I think the schemes will help as well. The fact that they have starters back is good. The front 7 will be key as well. Like I said before, your back is only as good as your front. Can’t cover forever. The Kansas game will give people a good look at the secondary. They are really the only pass happy team on the schedule. Miami may fit that bill as well. Should be interesting to watch. Can’t wait to get it rolling.

Reaity Stinks..you want to talk about reality? How bout 30 years of reality? Go find yourself a Gator blog to talk smack on…

SILLY UGA FANS

June 24th, 2010
10:43 am

I know this topic is about safties, but has anybody heard how Sweeting is coming along. I was excited when we got this kid last year but have not heard much about his spring. He looked like a serious threat at CB for us.

Jacket Backer

June 24th, 2010
10:43 am

Reality,

Always nice too see you. Welcome back and have fun today.

Reality Stinks

June 24th, 2010
10:49 am

Keith B hows about 100 years of Reality

Jacket Backer I will have a fun day

Tech fans I will leave this blog when everyone on here will come to Reality and realize Coach Johnson will not take the Tech program to the promised land

KeithB

June 24th, 2010
10:53 am

Hey Destin…GT beats the same teams UGA is able to beat every year…MSU and Vandy! It’s not even UF that they can’t beat, UT put half a hun on them, and UK beat them too. Become relevant in the East, then come run your mouth. So UGA owns a Technical Institute…GT owns Duke. See….sounds silly doesn’t it?

KeithB

June 24th, 2010
10:54 am

Neither win CMR.

KeithB

June 24th, 2010
10:55 am

Neither will CMR.

KeithB

June 24th, 2010
10:57 am

1980…..1990. GT will always be closer to a NC than UGA. As long as there’s UF and Bama, there’s no NC in your future. Accept that.

Reality Stinks

June 24th, 2010
11:05 am

KeithB

The sad Reality is neither will there be for Tech since your friend UPI is out of the picture

P.S You have never heard me say that Mark Richt will lead UGA to the promise land. I think Richt is a great person and a decent coach, but not on the level of Saban and Meyer. I live in Reality thats what is sad about you Techies, you bring in a gimmick coach who wins some ball games, barely beats a sorry coached UGA team two yrs ago and now you people think your well on your way to a NC and future dominance over UGA. Come to reality my friends.

11-0-1 1990 National Champs

June 24th, 2010
11:06 am

dawgfan – The beating Florida puts on you loser dawgtards every year doesn’t compare with the Tech/GA series. You lose by 25 every year to Florida, thats why we say they OWN UGAy. What’s the cumulative score of the FL/UGAy games the last 10 years, 20 years? You Dawgtards have had a nice run against us, yes you have, but you don’t own us like Florida owns you. Just the facts!

Hayseed Dixie

June 24th, 2010
11:22 am

Jerrard Tarrant is a playmaker, plain and simple. Both Edwards and Taylor can show up and change an enitre game. This is proven.

Again, the main question is can Groh teach his defense? If he can, and the Jackets end up with 2 or more extra posessions a game, don’t expect too many losses.

Jacket Backer

June 24th, 2010
11:27 am

Ah, Reality is playing the UPI conspiracy theory on the whole Tech NC. You are truly a breath of foul, fetid air. Ask him about his other conspiracies.

Reality Stinks

June 24th, 2010
11:33 am

Stop using the FL game as your crutch Tech fans

Reality Stinks

June 24th, 2010
11:34 am

Wow a national chumpionship won playing in the citrus bowl now thats was a conspiracy

Jacket Backer

June 24th, 2010
11:34 am

Reality,

Are you still clinging to that nonsense about the APD covering up Tech player arrests?

ACC champs

June 24th, 2010
11:35 am

I only read the GT fans comments, you other people that make this your full time job I skip over yours, honestly can you people not get a life? Why is the Tech football team the main focus on your day every day? Ever thought about going to a fitness center? Spend some time with underpriveleged kids or something, geez

crabapplejoe

June 24th, 2010
11:45 am

Cooper Taylor is the man…if he can stay healthy he should have a great year.