Georgia Tech ready to begin ACC title defense

Neither Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, Roddy Jones nor Jason Peters wore the rings from their 2009 ACC championship at the conference’s recent media days.

Perhaps it was a reminder that it’s a new season, with a new title to chase.

The defense starts when the players begin practicing Aug. 5. The season-opener is Sept. 4 by against S.C. State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

As do most, the team has many areas to work on. Tech must work on learning the 3-4 defense put in by new coordinator Al Groh. Anthony Allen must work on learning the B-back position. There will be competition to win first-team spots at several of the positions on offense and most of the positions on defense.

Johnson seems more curious than concerned about what kind of team he will end the month with.

“I think we will be competitive,” he said in Greensboro.

Despite losing four standouts to the NFL, the team returns 15 starters, including quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, the most important returnee of them all.

Under Nesbitt’s leadership, Tech’s offense led the ACC in several categories last season, including rushing offense (295.4 yards per game) and total offense (422.1ypg). With go-to wideout Demaryius Thomas now in the NFL, But Johnson wants to see Nesbitt improve his passing accuracy (46.3 percent) and decision-making. However, he doesn’t expect the senior to do it by himself. He wants to see the line, led by preseason All-ACC center SeanBedford, to give Nesbitt more time. And he wants to see the receivers, led by returning starter Tyler Melton, to do a better job down the field.

“The guys around him need to help him,” Johnson said. “He’s very capable of being a good thrower.”

While Nesbitt and the offense motor along in the heat at Rose Bowl field, most of the fans’ attention will be focused on Groh and the defense.

Johnson downplays emphasizing systems on defense, preferring to say that the systems change throughout the game, and that defense is about beating the guy in front of you.

But he hired Groh because he said he understands how to make improvements when opponents find a weakness, something that Tech had trouble with last season giving up 360.3 yards in 26 minutes, 11 seconds per game last season. And Johnson hired two other coaches, defensive line coach AndyMcCollum and inside linebackers coach Joe Speed, for the same reason.

Perhaps the new system will help offset the loss of defensive end Derrick Morgan, who took the 12.5 sacks he had last season to theNFL’s Tennessee Titans.Citing Groh’s experience on Super Bowl teams, senior Dominique Reese said the players have quickly bought into, and understand, what he’s trying to do with the defense.

Many players have changed positions on the defense. With several highly rated freshmen coming in — defensive lineman Denzel McCoy, safety/cornerback Ryan Ayers and  outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, to name a few — to  compete at most positions on that side of the ball, it will be interesting to see who lines up for the season-opener.

Georgia Tech preseason

  • Practice starts: Thursday
  • Fans’ Picture Day: Aug. 7 at Bobby Dodd Stadium (Fans can gather at Callaway Plaza at 3 p.m.; players available from 4-6 p.m.; Paul Johnson will sign autographs from 4-5 p.m. and pose for photos from 5-6 p.m.)

Season opener: Sept. 4 vs. S.C. State (1 p.m.)

98 comments Add your comment

Honorable Tech

August 2nd, 2010
4:56 am

first! Go Jackets

superDawg

August 2nd, 2010
5:02 am

second!teks—s.

[...] Georgia Tech ready to begin ACC title defenseAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Johnson downplays emphasizing systems on defense, preferring to say that the systems change throughout the game, and that defense is about beating the guy … [...]

Ozzy

August 2nd, 2010
7:18 am

superDawg,

Go f yourself, dhead.

mwh6767

August 2nd, 2010
8:04 am

I think super is a closet Tech fan hell he is on the tech blogs at 4am, 5am as one of the first to post! Its ok super come on over. Can’t wait for this season to start. Love how this team is being doubted by everyone. Tech returns 15 starters from a BCS bowl. Too much is being made of losing the guys to the NFL, Yes they where great players but thats college football , everybody loses players but to return 15 starters and not be ranked in the top 20 is stupid! CPJ knows this tech is going to be good but he isn’t going to go around screaming it. Tech will sneak up on a lot of people this year. My guess 10-2 or 9-3.

JacketFan

August 2nd, 2010
8:19 am

Is it September yet?????

robdawg08

August 2nd, 2010
8:35 am

If Tech played in the SEC and faced Tenn,UGA,Bama,UF,LSU,SC,Auburn every week they would win about 4 games all year every year. They better be glad the play in the Awful Coastal Conference instead of the Superior Eastern Conference…

Bungle Bee

August 2nd, 2010
8:47 am

Get ready Bugs, here comes the “RAID” in a big RED & BLACK can! LOL, stupid nerds Robots are for fags, another 51-7 beat down is coming nerds! Oh one more thing, King just scored AGAIN! Ahahahahahah!

Lawrence

August 2nd, 2010
8:51 am

moron rob
No team in the sec faces those teams every week you dolt.
look at uga’s schedule this year. uf is the only ranked team they play idiot. maybe arky. yeah real tough. if you had to play unc, miami, and vt, you’d lose all 3.

Sad

August 2nd, 2010
9:06 am

These scared, obsessed dog fans just can’t help themselves. They simply cannot keep their obsessions in check. Must be terrible to see the future and realize that you are not part of it.

30 years is a long time

August 2nd, 2010
9:11 am

Robdawg, how many of those teams will UGA be playing this year. The SEC is the superior conference in college football, too bad UGA is just an above average SEC team. Consistently beat the Vandy’s, SC, AR, and Ole Miss, but always come up short against the elite of the conference. Now is the absolute best time to be an SEC team trying to win a NC, too bad you guys are obsessing over beating GA Tech.

Chad Cookler

August 2nd, 2010
9:24 am

Make no mistake, the Jailbreakers from UGA know exactly what is about to hit them. Their best hope against Tech was Dave Wommack and they all hoped and prayed that Paul Johnson, who can coach circles around Richt, wouldn’t have the nuts to change D-coordinators. Not only did we get one of the top 5 D-coordinators in the game today, when you pair him with an offense that GA hasn’t stopped in two years…ruh roh Dawgs. Those hedges look like they need a little trimming again.

Bungle Bee

August 2nd, 2010
9:40 am

Chad, ur stupid, ur HS O fell on it’s face in the final qtr. the cripple option was stopped dead in it’s tracks to the tune of a loss last year idiot. here comes the “RAID”! lol stupid bug fans.

Really Chad

August 2nd, 2010
9:47 am

Do you really think we got one of the top 5 DC’s in the game? According to all of the leghumpers who continually post on these Tech blogs and stories, we got an old man with no resume. Now UGA got the cream of the crop in their new DC, no explanation of why he was the third or fourth choice. But to reiterate, we got an old dog who has never accomplished anything and UGA’s third choice was the guy they wanted all along and he has a long and storied history of running defenses at every level of the game. i appreciate your enthusiasm, but please check your facts before you post.

Paddy

August 2nd, 2010
9:49 am

robdawg…..but they don’t play in the SEC West now do they? That topic can never be discussed according to my logic professor in college. It has no conclusion and wastes time.
Go Dawgs

nickj0321

August 2nd, 2010
10:11 am

really chad – haha that made me laugh out loud literally

Really Chad

August 2nd, 2010
10:14 am

Just pointing out the facts as they have been laid out for me on various occasions by multiple hydrant sniffing trolls on the blogs. Hard to argue with facts and logic.

dugood

August 2nd, 2010
10:17 am

My opinion is worth a grain of salt but I just don’t see Tech doing that well without Thomas and Dwyer. No receiver on the roster is 1/2 the one Thomas was. Dwyer won’t be as missed but he was head and shoulders above the RB’s left. Nesbitt runs the option pretty well but will he even make it through the whole year. Groh is a good DC but he doesn’t have that much to work with. And how can the defense really get better when all they go against is the option when they run 1st team vs 1st team in preseason practice, how can they improve in 7 on 7 with a QB completing 46% of his passes? If your a GT fan you’ve seen how his passes look, even the ones he completes. Johnson was fortunate to inherit a team with Thomas, Dwyer and Nesbitt but I doubt the success will be sustained. Also, i’m not a UGA fan but please stop talking trash about Georgia, seriously how can you even open your mouth about the series?

Sea Island

August 2nd, 2010
10:21 am

“UGA & South Carolina poised to meet in the ACC Championship game.”

Burdell

August 2nd, 2010
10:36 am

Yeah Sea Island…at least those two teams would be competitive in the ACC. The SEC..not so much.

Jack G.

August 2nd, 2010
10:46 am

As CPJ says he is a capable thrower.—-but we dont need a thrower, we need a PASSER.

POAD

August 2nd, 2010
10:59 am

Jack G.: Nesbitt is a GREAT PASSER! Nesbitt passes the ball to ANT, Roddy, Cox, or many other A backs and B backs. Nesbitt can Throw to Melton.

ALL THE WAY TURNT UP FOR 14 GAMES

August 2nd, 2010
11:09 am

omg, bragging about the sec east..why aren’t these teams ranked if they are so powerful? Because they are southeastern chumps that is why. Every year you try and sell that bill of goods to who? No one is buying it.I D I O T S at inbredville

Dawgtards ruin this state

August 2nd, 2010
11:24 am

nice delusional posts thUGA fans, you fit the stereotype!

Dawgtards ruin this state

August 2nd, 2010
11:26 am

What’s the difference btw GA Tech and thUGA? thUGA fans/alumni shop at Wal-Mart, GA Tech alumni is the CEO of Wal-Mart.

Cuttysark

August 2nd, 2010
11:42 am

It is still only August but the amusing comments are already rolling in. College football is the best sport on the planet. The fans make it that way. By the way, for more Georgia Tech Football articles go to http://isportsweb.com. Looking forward to another successful season on the Flats. Go Jackets

dawgfan

August 2nd, 2010
12:05 pm

We are only 8 months removed from the ACC Atlantic and ACC Coastal champs BOTH falling to SEC East teams and some idiot Techie is on here running his fat ignorant mouth about how horrible the SEC East.

My God Tech fans are the stupidest group of people I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. All offense intended. You people simply are not that bright.

Thanks.

dawgfan

August 2nd, 2010
12:11 pm

LMFAO @ the dolt that thinks Old Man Groh is one of the top 5 coordinators in the game. WOW. If that were the case your pizz ant little football program wouldn’t have been able to afford his azz. Just WOW.

Tech fans=STUPID. That’s all there is to it.

dawgfan

August 2nd, 2010
12:12 pm

LMFAO @ the dolt that thinks Old Man Groh is one of the top 5 coordinators in the game. WOW. If that were the case your pizz ant little football program wouldn’t have been able to afford his azz. The top D-coordinators in the game probably make more than Manboobs does. Just WOW.

Tech fans=STUPID. That’s all there is to it.

Bungle Bee

August 2nd, 2010
12:13 pm

dawgfan, look at where they went to school, it’s only logical, only idiots enroll at the institute for the nerd herd, HERE COMES THE “RAID” BUGS, UGA KILLS BUGS DEAD! HAAAAAA!

5 stars equals 5 losses poopboys

August 2nd, 2010
12:16 pm

5 star players equals 5 losses, how does that feel honestly? Until you inbred morons improve your loss column then maybe you should reserve running your ignorant mouths ..yeah sc beat clemson, clemson beat ky who beat you idiots at your own stadium for God’s sake, and Tn beat you morons who lost to VT. Players in jail, athletic director weaving all over the road drinking and driving with panties between his legs, you idiots lose 5 games, go to shreveport and your still running your mouths. I mean from preranked number one in 2008 to the outhouse in 2009. Noshow and Stafford couldn’t even out perform freshman Roddy Jones who rushed for over 200 yards. hahahahahahahahahahahaha Soo much to brag about, and that dynamic sec east where fl is the only ranked team and how many years is it now that they have beat you people, around 119 times now? And then you idiots score a td and the entire teams runs in the endzone to celebrate, hahahha, how is that working out for you now? Your still paying for that one…hahahahahahahah

GT Anchorage

August 2nd, 2010
12:16 pm

dugood, from an outside perspective, the losses could really hurt, but I think that our offense will be just as productive this year as last year. Anthony Allen may turn out to be a better B-back then Dwyer was last year. He is in much better health, and is as quick as anyone on the team. He will blow past some defenders. And apparently, he has been working on the strength to run people over, so it will interesting to watch.

The passing game will probably suffer in deep threats, but after watching Stephen Hill in the spring game, he will help in that category. I think that we will see a lot more of the short pass variety this year, using the A-backs, and out patterns from our receivers.

You have a valid point in the defense, and I think that was why we struggled so much last year. With a defense that was changing every week it made it hard for the players to adjust. With Groh’s defense, he is trying to keep it as simple as possible, so that the guys can adjust to what they see in front of them, and hurry the quarterback. The defense will never be lights out running against an offense that they never see in games, but if they be held to scoring in the low 20s, Tech will win a lot of games this year.

GT Anchorage

August 2nd, 2010
12:21 pm

Bungle Bee, you are the idiot. Keep supplying the unemployment rate you db

jacket backer

August 2nd, 2010
12:35 pm

dawgfan, let’s please talk about your esteemed DC hire this year. First off, how many years of terrible defense did it take before Richt finally pulled the trigger and made a change. He truly was the last person to realize his defense sucked. When he finally makes a decision, he goes right out and makes a confident choice for the replacement, and gets turned down. Happens at least twice before he finds someone desperate enough to take the job. I work with several dawg fans and they were all ashamed by the spectacle of Richt offering that job to anyone with a pulse. For comparison, CPJ responded to a conference championship season by deciding he was not happy and went out and got his first choice. Decisive and no humiliation.

dawgfan

August 2nd, 2010
12:36 pm

We’re running our mouths because you pretenders are in the 8 column and not the 5 column you effing moron. Good grief son, how do you put one foot in front of the other being that stupid?

Herschel Walker, the red panty stalker

August 2nd, 2010
12:40 pm

dawgfan, you really are a mutt that should be put down. Truly hilarious that you have the nerve to call someone else stupid. Stay classy, dummy.

dawgfan

August 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

Here I am again boys. Did you miss me. Remember, I’m the biggest Tech fan of ALL TIME!! I just love posting behind a fake name. If Tech didn’t exist my life would not exist. Now, I’m going to sleep with my mom. She’s got the prettiest mouth.

Brock

August 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

dawgfan=Glory Glory

Just curious....

August 2nd, 2010
12:48 pm

…..after you buy your $5 dawg hat at Walmart, do they let you go into the men’s room and tear your diploma off the roll right away? Or do they make you wait until the 300 pounder cleans off the remnants of his last blitzkrieg through the Golden Corral before they send it to you? I guess they need him to put the “presidents signature” on it before it is official.

dagnabit

August 2nd, 2010
12:49 pm

Dawgfan; get off the tech blog.

dawgfan

August 2nd, 2010
12:51 pm

Here I am boys, the biggest UGA fan of all time. I love my dawgs so much that I need to validate myself by going on the blogs of other teams and slinging trash, because the future of my program is so depressing. And yes, unlike you anonymous losers, dawgfan is my real name.

POAD

August 2nd, 2010
12:52 pm

WOW did you hear? UGA gave a full ride scholarship to a young black man? Deonta Bridges. He can’t evven play a sport. He is smart and from Booker T Washington High. WOW, just Wow UGA let a black male in the white plantation that can’t tote, shoot, or hit DA ROC. UGA has turned a corner after Damon showing his butt.

IPoopedOnABug

August 2nd, 2010
12:56 pm

Bug laments for 2010
1) We don’t have a QB that can throw the ball
2) We don’t have anyone that can catch the ball
3) Why does our stupid coach insist on not punting!
4) The defense is like a screen door on a submarine
5) Our BU QB stinks! Nesbit stinks; see lament #1
6) Why are we throwing the ball deep? See lament #2
7) We only recruited 2-3 star players, what do you expect.
8) We like Boise in November?
9) When are we going to win two in a row against UGA?
10) When does basketball season start, oh crap Hewitt is still here.

Herschel Walker, the red panty stalker

August 2nd, 2010
12:59 pm

Dagnabit,

dawgfan will be here for awhile. His life and program are so devoid of joy that he must come on here and try to stir up any kind of drama. He’ll tell you he does this because of all the mean Tech fans who are on the UGA blogs hurting his feelings and that he would just love to have a rational discussion about football. Don’t believe him, he is a loser who needs to stir up crap in an attempt to get himself off. But unlike us losers, he has the courage to not hide behind a fake name for his postings. A truly courageous, inspirational person.

Groh's Disease

August 2nd, 2010
1:02 pm

Spin it any way you want but we still have the same sorry players on defense from last year!

reality

August 2nd, 2010
1:05 pm

UGA fans are such losers. They are mentally challenged and can’t handle their embarrassing football program.

Herschel Walker, the red panty stalker

August 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

Speaking of sorry defenses, did Willie Martinez leave his copy of “arm tackling for dummies” behind for Grantham, or will CMR get Todd his own, brand new copy. Stupid leghumpers cannot see that defensively, you guys are in the same condition as we are, coming off terrible defenses, new dc’s with the same personnel. Only difference is Tech got someone with a resume and experience, UGA got it’s third choice.

dawgfan

August 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

Yes, I come here because of all the “mean Tech fans” on UGA blogs that really put us in our place with their one victory in 9 years. Great point nimrod.

I would slap you idiots around more on the UGA blogs but coward Techies don’t have the courage to identify themselves on UGA blogs. You hide behind neutral names or pretend to be Bama or Florida fans. It is sad but very transparent.

DogDo

August 2nd, 2010
1:11 pm

Some interesting parallels between GT and UGa: Both will be running the ball a lot this year. Both will be bringing out the 3-4 D this year. GT has a proven leader at QB; UGa has an undersized freshman at QB. Keep talkin’ it up, Dawgfan and Bungle Bee. I would if I were you; it’s better’n facing reality……

Adawgpissedhimself

August 2nd, 2010
1:11 pm

Cute pooped, do you know anything about UGA football? Or do you just spend all of your time obsessing over our program?