Georgia Tech’s A-backs ready to catch on

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson says he wants to see a total team effort to help quarterback Joshua Nesbitt improve his passing efficiency.

Nesbitt passed for a career-high 1,701 yards last season, averaging 22.68 yards per completion. But he completed just 46.3 percent of his passes. That was a small improvement over the 43.9 percent of the passes he completed during the 2008 season. But, as with every position on the team, the coaches want to see improvement.

To do so, Tech may utilize the A-backs more in the passing game this season. They had 15 receptions last year, compared to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas’ team-leading 46.

While it was hard for Nesbitt to look for anyone but big No. 8, Nesbitt and A-back Embry Peeples started to form a connection as the season progressed, usually when the team needed something less than the deep threat of Thomas and more than what they could get on a typical rushing play.

Peeples, a junior, caught eight passes (second-most on the team) for 244 yards, a whooping 30.5 yards per catch. Many of the yards came after the reception.

After catching just one pass in the season’s first three games, Peeples said repetition in practice was the key to strengthening the relationship with Nesbitt. Establishing trust will be important again this season, according to position coach Lamar Owens, not only for Peeples but for all the A-backs, including Roddy Jones, who didn’t catch a pass last season. He was limited for much of the season because of a hand injury.

Jones, Peeples and the rest of the A-backs are working on going hard every play so that Nesbitt knows where to put the ball.

“It’s about us getting to the right spots,” Jones says, “us being where he expects us to be.”

They are also improving their communication with Nesbitt after every play by telling him what coverage they saw and comparing it with what he saw.

More and more, they say they are seeing the same thing.

“I’m counting on them when the receivers can’t get open that they will get open,” Nesbitt said. “And when I throw it they will catch it.”

Player/Catches/Avg./TD

Embry Peeples/8/244/30.5/1

Anthony Allen/5/112/22.4/1

Orwin Smith/2/26/13.o/0

48 comments Add your comment

michael

August 10th, 2010
4:14 pm

obviously i’m not working.

michael

August 10th, 2010
4:16 pm

is this a ploy or are we actually gonna open-up the running game by PASSING?? can we all imagine the numbers if run/pass/defense actually ARE on the same page with this coaching staff??

Reality Strikes Back (just like the Empire did)

August 10th, 2010
4:18 pm

michael,

in order to pass you have to have a QB that know how to throw it, not just a receiver who knows how to catch it.

4th down, game on the line, pass goes to Demaryius…..OOPS!!!!!!

{{{{{30-24}}}}}

Dan

August 10th, 2010
4:21 pm

Dude, get a job, Realit.

GT2010

August 10th, 2010
4:21 pm

I’m Fired Up about some GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL BABY!! Hopefully the Braves when tonight.

GT2010

August 10th, 2010
4:21 pm

GT2010

August 10th, 2010
4:22 pm

Reality Strikes Back (just like the Empire did), How’s Aaron Murray’s pass efficiency looking. Reality will strike back for UGA this season.

destin dawg

August 10th, 2010
4:28 pm

I think (hope) both the dawgs and the jackets will (need) to have improved Defenses .. with new coaches.. 3/4 dddeee.. it’ll be interesting.. won’t take much to be improved over last year for both of us !! I think (hope)we’ll both be conference champs when we meet in Nov. ??!!! too much to ask ?? Go dawgs !!

db

August 10th, 2010
4:28 pm

I didn’t know UGA fans could understand Star Wars. Interesting. ;)

AtWork

August 10th, 2010
4:39 pm

It takes two to complete a pass. Nesbitt overthrew, underthrew, just plain missed at times but at the same time…some of those passes were dropped. Biggest one just happend to be Thomas against UGA. Just goes to show you…CPJ wants to run first but will pass. I think Tech will be fine running 65-75% of the time or more and throwing the rest. The pass should be there to keep the defense honest.

I don’t think you will see passing galore but you will see, hopefully, sharper passes and solid catches.

Go Jackets!!!

POAD

August 10th, 2010
4:44 pm

People! You do know CPJ worked in Hawaii with June Jones. Navy Passes. Ga. Southern Passes. I think CPJ is opening the play book as the players can handle it. The O-line needs to understand his run blocking schemes before he move more into the passing game. Relax. We just need the D to get the O the ball back fast and in good field position. Tevin can throw the ball and Synjin is so fast it ain’t funny. Nesbitt can run and score. He will get more of the passing part this year. The guys behind him are getting more of the O without being in the game.

Tech Rules

August 10th, 2010
4:44 pm

Reality Strikes Back (just like the Empire did). Hey Reality, how’d that work out in the long run for the Empire. I think I’d make another analogy.

POAD

August 10th, 2010
4:48 pm

Is the EMPIRE the Athens-Clarke County Police Department? That Empire has been Striking Back at UGA Players/Students, Teachers, and Administrators pretty good.

JacketFan86

August 10th, 2010
4:51 pm

I am starting believe that passing to the A Backs will be better and much more essential without baybay. I like short passes to the A Backs however, not the deep bombs. Since most of our A backs are small, they thrive on the shorter roots and getting YAC yards. So lets put that to use. Cant wait! 25 days!!

Alan

August 10th, 2010
4:51 pm

AWESOME!
To do so, Tech may utilize the A-backs more in the passing game this season. They had 15 receptions last year, compared to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas’ team-leading 46.

I called for them to do this last season. Screens and quick slant passes to these guys who are open A LOT during the game. Glad to see he’s looking at doing it. I don’t know how many times I saw Josh roll out, sling some long ball down field and miss his target by 10 yards when if he had just thrown it back to an uncovered a back, like a screen, it would go for at least 20 yards.

JacketFan86

August 10th, 2010
4:54 pm

Josh

August 10th, 2010
4:58 pm

Oh yeah. In that Iowa game, I saw the a back standing there watching on many plays with a iowa player no closer than 15 yards. A quick pass to them would have resulted in at least a 10 yard gain. If we are successful with this, there’s no stopping the O. If groh improves the defense just 10% better than last year, we win the acc again.

Tech Fan Since 1950

August 10th, 2010
5:28 pm

I never understood last year, especially during the Iowa game as “Josh” states, why we did not pass more to our backs. Opposing linebackers are stressed out dealing with this offense anyway and so much of the burden in stopping the run is on the interior defensive linemen. If they are not stood up, A backs can get down field on occasion in a jiffy. Hope to see the offensive rumors prove true this year as Tech needs another wrinkle and something else for the opposition to worry about. Hopefully Tech’s offensive line can provide Joshua with better protection than he has had the last couple of years.

wes

August 10th, 2010
5:33 pm

If they CATCH-IT, it is a first down every time!

Tokyo jacket

August 10th, 2010
5:43 pm

First we learned how to walk; last year we learned how to run. This year, we’re going to learn how to fly!

Bull

August 10th, 2010
5:54 pm

News about Tech football….equivalent of little league T ball game, both in interest and talent

Burdell

August 10th, 2010
6:34 pm

But worth commenting on, huh Bull?

GO JACKETS!!!

DDPO

August 10th, 2010
6:36 pm

Bull -

UF alums feel the same way abouut UGA football… All talk with few results. 9-10 win seasons but not sniffing a shot at a NC.

Put a giant bugzapper on North Ave

August 10th, 2010
6:42 pm

In case you Techies missed it…….

Since you guys are obsessed with ALL things UGA, I thought you should know the UGA/Colorado game on October 2nd has been moved to a 7pm E.T. kickoff.

If you are going to the game, you may want to arrive early, as the Buffs are having a pregame ceremony to honor the 1990 National Championship Team…… So this means you guys are going to be there right???…..right??? ….they said 1990……….

hahaha

August 10th, 2010
6:56 pm

UGA ???TECH doesnt mean ANYTHING but that Win last year is all you have to hang a HAT on Since a preseason number 1…. right?

hahaha

August 10th, 2010
6:57 pm

Bugzapper…. JAN KEMP equals UGA glory Years BRAH

TDone

August 10th, 2010
7:22 pm

The biggest scandal of all time was Muttland’s national championship. Any victory Muttland has prior to the Jan Kemp Scandal should be vacated and nullified.

POAD

August 10th, 2010
7:32 pm

All UGA fans will be at the Colorado game early to back their CHRISTIAN Coach MARK RICHT as he makes nice with the Christian Coach Bill McCarnety. It doesn’t matter that McCartney left Colorado in a mess with all his cheating and players molesting female students. Mark will ask Bill how can he get 5 downs to win a game, have 1 tie and 1 loss and still be the MNC winner.
Hey woman we goin to the colorado game. We can slide down a big snow covered hill on an intertube all night. We can get up and start getting drunk at 8am and don’t have to find the stadium until we drink all the BBR in the town.

POAD

August 10th, 2010
7:39 pm

DAWGS FANS where is that team you played in Shreveport ranked? That Iowa team we played is in the top 10. Didn’t UGA get a great ranking after playing a Hawaii team that was not ranked the next year? UGA HAHAHAH. Honey can’t you see my PBR is empty while I am typing? I need me a full one. Look Honey can’t you see lil Hershel is over there trying to take food out of the pitbulls bowl? I told that girl she has to sniff his butt before she trys to take his food. Honey just pour some of my beer on his wounds and then take him to the VET. I don’t care what you do with her just make her be quite. can’t you see daddy in on the BullDawg Blog?

Buzzzed

August 10th, 2010
7:46 pm

Reality

August 10th, 2010
8:21 pm

Tech’s passing game will def be a factor this season. Teams cannot focus only on the running part of the offense any more.

UGAG fans – win your own little division first, THEN you can talk smack. Otherwise, u r just lookin like the punks that you are.

SAINT SIMON

August 10th, 2010
9:01 pm

UGA 30 – GT 24!!!!!
UGA 73 – GT 66!!!!!

HAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA!!!!!

WE RUN THIS STATE!!!!!!

GTFOREVER

August 10th, 2010
9:17 pm

Enter your comments here

GT Rich

August 10th, 2010
10:41 pm

Odd that UGA is being equated with the Empire by its own people. Odd mostly because at an alumni event with CPJ two weeks ago, CPJ himself referred to Georgia as the “Darth Vader to the north”. Interesting….

Minnesota Jacket

August 11th, 2010
12:06 am

Hey Doug great job so far with the reports from practice do know that Tech fans actually do come on here a lot more than most think…we just like to hold ourselves above the 5th grade chatter on here!
One thing though if you could look into is what exactly is the status so far of big T.J Barnes? Are we talking 2nd 3rd string, or could we be seeing him mixed in with Peters for different looks?

Chan Gailey's Revenge

August 11th, 2010
12:30 am

3-17 against Florida, get over that, then come talk smack on our Tech boards.

Chan Gailey's Revenge

August 11th, 2010
12:38 am

You wonder why I mention 3-17 against Florida — I’ll bet none of you UGA fools go talk all big on their boards — so you have nothing better to do than to rant and rave on the Tech boards. Go away, you losers. I’vd heard Shreveport is nice in December (unlike Miami). Ha Ha Ha —-

MisterT

August 11th, 2010
8:02 am

To the Dawg fan citing Star Wars themes…You do realize that the Empire was ultimately defeated, right?

THWg!

30 years and counting

August 11th, 2010
9:04 am

Lame post bugzapper, the true 1990 nc trophy resides on North Avenue. Is it true that Colorado will get two opportunities to honor that team if the first one is unsuccessful? Check your history and you will find that Colorado was the beneficiary of the single greatest gift in the history of college football. If you really want to talk about shared championships, does Herschel let the other guys on the 1980 team even look at his nc trophy? Did any of the other players get rings as well, or just Herschel. 1980 was a very long time ago.

juvenal

August 11th, 2010
9:57 am

we beat nebraska by 9 more Pt.s, & the crystal ball looked good last sat.(nice & cool in there, too)

SILLY UGA FANS

August 11th, 2010
11:07 am

If the o-line can REALLY improve on the pass protection then short passes to the a-backs will kill opposing defenses. Peeples proved that in his limited oppurtunities last year. With R. Jones’s hand healed and Jackson, O. Smith and Bostic waiting in the wings this could be a great season if that part of a passing game opened up. CAN’T WAIT FOR SEPT. 4TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Al benny

August 11th, 2010
12:47 pm

I heard UGA will have their NC taken away as they played 5 herchel Walkers that year instead of the one alloowed.

ACC’s lunchtime links | SportsXXL

August 11th, 2010
12:52 pm

[...] Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he wants everyone to lend a hand in helping quarterback Joshua Nesbitt improve his completion percentage — especially the A-backs. [...]

ACC’s lunchtime links | NowSportsLive

August 11th, 2010
1:08 pm

[...] Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he wants everyone to lend a hand in helping quarterback Joshua Nesbitt improve his completion percentage — especially the A-backs. [...]

GoJackets

August 11th, 2010
1:25 pm

Wow! Those are some crazy avg yards per reception – 30+ for Peebles and 12+ for all of the A-backs. Just a couple more completions a game could make a huge difference to how the D has to play us – and if our D gets a couple more stops a game, goodness gracious! Gotta get Nesbitt more time, pretty much every throw he made last year he was runnning for his life. Don’t know league wide stats, but 46% completion out of the pocket probably isn’t all that bad…. Go Tech!

[...] Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he wants everyone to lend a hand in helping quarterback Joshua Nesbitt improve his completion percentage — especially the A-backs. [...]

wesleywhatwhat

August 11th, 2010
2:17 pm

i thought the A backs LOOKED like there were open a lot last year, but what do i know?

hopefully more short passes across the middle in 2010 will take some stress off the passing game so that nesbitt isn’t forced to bomb the ball downfield.

stay healthy, joshua!

Yunkas

August 14th, 2010
2:57 pm