Breaking down the A-backs

A-back is one of the deepest positions on Georgia Tech’s football team, with 13 players on the roster.

Some of you asked for updates on the defensive line and A-backs last week. Here was yesterday’s update on the defensive line.

Here is an update on a few of the A-backs, courtesy of assistant coach Lamar Owens, who recently took a few minutes to discuss his charges:

Roddy Jones, he’s an exceptional leader for us this fall camp and that’s what we’re counting on him to do. He’s one of the guys that has experience and has had some good years. We’re looking for him to build on that in all phases of the game: catching, blocking, running the ball, making the plays…just continue to be a leader in our groub of A-backs and within the team.

Embry [Peeples] is a guy that’s been around in our program. We’re looking for him to step it up a notch.

B.J. (Bostic) is eager to learn. He has a good work ethic. We’re just going to keep bringing him along. It was good for him to come here early. He could get adjusted to school and college life. [We're] Bringing him along day by day. Can’t really say what we expect of him other than we expect him to get better day.

Orwin (Smith) is another young guy with loads of potential. We’ve just got to keep working him every day, keep hoping that one day he’ll be comfortable in the offense and know everything.

“All these guys, I don’t like to single guys out. All these guys, wherever they are, whether it’s Tony Zenon or Roddy, they can all get better in every phase of the game, whether it’s running routes or making plays for our offense to be more productive in the future.

On the improvement of the A-backs in the passing game. The A-backs caught 15 passes last season, but coach Paul Johnson has said he wants to see a team effort to help quarterback Joshua Nesbitt improve his passing efficiency from last season:

“I think they’ve always wanted to be good at it. I don’t doubt their passion for it at all. We’re really trying to focus on being in the right spot and making the most of every opportunity and catching every ball we touch.

“I’m sure that’s what’s been going here for the past year. That’s nothing new. That’s probably what every offense in the country is preaching to their players. I don’t doubt these guys’ passion to be good players and to be successful. We’ll keep bringing them along and hopefully the hard work will show up on Saturdays.

On comparing the size of the A-backs at Tech with his former teammates at Navy:

“They are probably bigger. These guys are not that much different. A lot of times, some of my older Navy teammates, whenever they come by they always get a kick out of the fact that our practice uniforms even look pretty much the same, our practices are the same as they were at Navy. They kind of get a kick out of that.

“These guys are Georgia Tech football players. There’s a difference. These guys are bigger, they are stronger, they are faster. They’re at Georgia Tech, so theyr’e smart. These guys are hard-working kids, we just want to keep bringing them along.”

125 comments Add your comment

Chris

August 24th, 2010
11:07 am

patrick

August 24th, 2010
11:12 am

pigmons

August 24th, 2010
11:19 am

saban

August 24th, 2010
11:52 am

Good year for Georgia Tech,

A lot of talent and the best coaching staff in the country.

ManUp...

August 24th, 2010
11:56 am

Two words – VISCIOUS. BLOCKING.

Everything an A-back does beyond that is icing on the cake.

Dacula Jacket

August 24th, 2010
11:57 am

With Bay-Bay gone, I look for the A-backs to pick up the slack in the passing game.

gtgirl

August 24th, 2010
11:58 am

Thanks Saban.
Love the A-Back position…never know what you’re gonna get…thinking this is the year the A-Backs exceed expectations :-)

Systemic

August 24th, 2010
12:01 pm

I agree with ManUp…blocking at this position is number one. All of the A-Backs we’ve got can take the pitch a long way. I want to see improved A-back blocking first, and if route running and pass-catching taking a step forward that will be a sweet bonus.

Go Jackets!

rduck

August 24th, 2010
12:03 pm

really need a breakout year from Roddy after a subpar performance last year. Peeples will continue to be a receiving threat which he showed late last year. Need the backups to be ready to rumble when put in. I have no doubt that the A backs will perform great his year. Looking for a great season in 2010…

Jackets2010

August 24th, 2010
12:06 pm

We’re loaded in the backfield. Hope the line is good too.

Onimonipea

August 24th, 2010
12:09 pm

Tech better have its A-game when it gets to Chapel Hill. Robert Quinn, DE, DT, was just today rated the number one NFL prospect.

Jackets2010

August 24th, 2010
12:09 pm

I think other defenses keyed on both backs so Joshua kept the ball more than planned. Roddy ran well when he got the ball.

BigTimeTechFan

August 24th, 2010
12:10 pm

I would not mind:
Ant Allen staying at A-Back but getting ball more
Richard Watson starting at B-Back

BigTimeTechFan

August 24th, 2010
12:10 pm

Then you would have
A Allen
R Jones
Watson

all in backfield at the same time, wow

Jackets2010

August 24th, 2010
12:11 pm

UNC vs LSU may reveal some weaknesses like VT’s early games do.
If they don’t, we should pass a lot more.

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
12:13 pm

Jones’ wrist is healthy coming into the season, as opposed to last season. They’ve got some speed demons at the position. I expect to see Bostic returning punts and with his elusive quickness, getting action in A-back pass routes.

Jackets2010

August 24th, 2010
12:13 pm

Bigtime, I don’t see the reason to change Paul’s plan. But maybe if u want a plan B, fine.

1Jacket7

August 24th, 2010
12:16 pm

We are going to have a great year. The ACC is stronger and I pray we show it early. The A-Backs are key to how much success we have. Their blocks and their ability to catch that ball will dictate whether we play games close or blow them wide open. Each player that played last year can remember a block they missed or pass they dropped that would have kept the drive going or put us in position to score more points. We have some great athlete’s in the A-Back position and I for one am excited to see how improved they are this year. GO JACKETS!!!

Beeeez

August 24th, 2010
12:17 pm

Having observed his excellent play and leadership at Navy, I’m so glad to have Lamar Owens as a GT coach.

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
12:18 pm

Again, the #2 B-back last year is #4 this year (Preston Lyons, 30 carries, 4.6 ypc.) Depth has increased tremendously in the backfield.

Jackets2010

August 24th, 2010
12:18 pm

Agreed 1Jacket7

1Jacket7

August 24th, 2010
12:22 pm

If there is anything to learn from Dwyer’s struggles, is that just being an elusive and breakaway runner is not enough to make it in the NFL. You have to carry out your fakes and you must be able to block. This is why I laugh at the critics that want to say Tech is not the place for WR or certain backs because of all the blocking. Believe me, if you can block and run the rock you will get noticed in the NFL.

1Jacket7

August 24th, 2010
12:24 pm

Doug, great job. Thanks.

GT '06

August 24th, 2010
12:24 pm

Hmm… No mention of Marcus Wright. Doesn’t surprise me. He has never shown much potential. He is so much smaller he tries to outrun people, which he might have easily done at the high school level but can no longer do at the college level. Therefore he spends more time running horizontally than vertically and never gains much yardage.

1Jacket7

August 24th, 2010
12:30 pm

GT’06 that is true, but he has shown greatness in his ability to block and get people on the ground. Marcus is still a valuable asset to this offense.

Funny

August 24th, 2010
12:31 pm

“They’re at Georgia Tech, so theyr’e smart.” Now that is FUNNY!!!!!!!! Also, that comment is a slap in the face of all of our country’s service people.

@WreckBuZZ

August 24th, 2010
12:31 pm

Pick the winners of the 6 BCS conferences and national champion – win $1,000! http://www.chuckoliver.net #kingcfb

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
12:31 pm

GT ‘06 – Wright was the #1 guy I was thinking about when I said “speed demons.” Once Bostic develops, is it possible that we’ll see some tricky stuff, like A-back passes?

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
12:34 pm

Funny, huh? He didn’t have to state the obvious about the service academy guys being smart, since he’s one of them.

Funny

August 24th, 2010
12:35 pm

Delbert,
In the context he was talking about the difference between Navy and GT.

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
12:39 pm

Funny – Maybe you’re thinking about it too deeply. I took it as him saying they are as smart as Navy, since he has experience with both.

GT Sambo

August 24th, 2010
12:48 pm

I fear CPJ could be right when he says that we could actually be a better team but finish with a worse record. Although there is a part of me that is hoping there won’t be “bigger fish to fry” come Nov. 27th.

Funny

August 24th, 2010
12:48 pm

The funny part was calling the GT RB’s smart!!! Owens must be dumb as a brick to think that.

Paul in RDU

August 24th, 2010
12:49 pm

Onimonipea
Quinn might be UNC’s best NFL prospect but the best SR prospect is Marvin Austin and it is highly likely that he will not be playing on September 14th. Austin’s backup just transferred for family reasons (his father got a job across the country) and Butch is making comments about depth on the DL. With a noon kick off depth on the DL is going to be important for UNC.

GT Sambo

August 24th, 2010
12:53 pm

Just knowing the history there, it is possible he meant it as a shot. But I am sure that since he attended there four years he wouldn’t be taking a shot at the midshipmen but rather the academy itself.

Paul in RDU

August 24th, 2010
12:53 pm

Oops – GT-UNC is September 18th

Jesse Stone

August 24th, 2010
12:58 pm

Funny- Why don’t you ask him face to face? Now THAT would be funny.

reality

August 24th, 2010
1:04 pm

GT has the deepest and best RB’s in the Country. They don’t get the respect because of the offense GT runs. This is really going to be great year for the run and pass game. GO JACKETS!!

Funny

August 24th, 2010
1:04 pm

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
1:04 pm

Another troll has exposed himself.

Funny

August 24th, 2010
1:05 pm

Reality,

Now that is FUNNY!!

Funny

August 24th, 2010
1:06 pm

Delbert,

as long as YOU don’t expose yourself we will be OK as will all the kids and ladies.

Funny

August 24th, 2010
1:07 pm

Delbert,

I think you have been spotted just a couple of minutes ago “trolling” the UGA blog. What you got to say about that?

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
1:11 pm

GT Sambo – If you want to see what Midshipmen think about the U.S. Naval Academy, check out that Forbes site. It is based on student input, unlike other rating systems. I spent 8 years working with USNA graduates while I was in the Navy, and I recruited and worked with over 3 dozen of them in my work afterwards. I have never heard a single comment by any graduate that in any way is negative. Those “ring knockers” are a very loyal bunch of guys.

Vick=Dog killing thug

August 24th, 2010
1:12 pm

If any of these A backs need a good tutorial on how to run the football just watch the film of last years loss to the dawgs. Now that’s how to run the football…..

Reality Check

August 24th, 2010
1:13 pm

Should be a good year for the Jackets. I think the third year in CPJ’s system with an improved defense should help recover from loss of JD, Bay and the Defensive line. 10-2 with two losses coming from UNC, VT, Clemson and UGA games.

GT Sambo

August 24th, 2010
1:13 pm

Delbert,
Sounds like you don’t know Lamar Owens history at the Naval Academy. I am speaking specifically about him. Just FYI, he didn’t graduate there for reasons that I’ll let you research yourself

Onimonipea

August 24th, 2010
1:14 pm

Paul in RDU. Quinn has been moved to DT to replace Austin, with McAdoo to replace Quinn at DE. Willis (or whatever his name is) has never played a down for UNC. He just enrolled in school in January I believe. I don’t believe he was slated as the no.2 DT, although I agree that he was projected to be a very good player.

Delbert D.

August 24th, 2010
1:18 pm

Funny – Would you care to repeat exactly what I said on Bill King’s site here? I wouldn’t mind at all. I try to provide informative opinions and factual information as opposed to trolls’ distortion and inflammatory comments. Gee, the altitude in Boulder might be a problem. I spent 6 weeks in Colorado Springs in the summer after high school. Gee, Ryan Mallet may be a problem because he has by far the best Passer Rating of any returning QB in the top 5 conferences. Oh, and the home crowd at the game against Arkansas can really help the defense.

I’m no troll. I’ve been posting on Bill’s site for a year, using this unique nym. You, on the other hand, are an unknown, unless you are Patrick in yet another incarnation.

T3

August 24th, 2010
1:27 pm

GT will surprise in 2010 by being even better in EVERY aspect.

If GT beats UNC in Game 3, GT will likely go 11-1,
with only a loss to Miami.