I asked for your help in putting together a mailbag, you graciously answered with lots of good questions.
Now, it’s my turn to answer. Just a few days until Georgia Tech starts the season against S.C. State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Here are your questions (mostly unedited) in bold, and my answers in plain text. Enjoy.
I haven’t heard much about the Jackets special teams so far. What’s going on with those teams? Should we assume Jerrard Tarrant will be returning punts and Orwin Smith will return kickoffs? Have they worked out anybody else (i.e. incoming freshman or RS freshman) at the special team skill positions? BJ Bostic perhaps?
Tarrant will return punts this season, something he did very well last season with two returns for TDs. Smith will return kicks, something he did very well last season. Don’t be surprised if Bostic gets on the field as kick-returner.
What’s the update on Chris Jackson the transfer from Alabama. I heard he was injured but I never heard the extent of the injury or when he might be back.
Jackson has a torn hamstring. He will not be back this season. He has two seasons remaining after this.
Of the two safeties in the 3-4 scheme – how is GT determining who is the “strong” safety and who is the “free” safety of the group? Will they be playing a “field” CB and a “Boundary” CB or will they be just LCBs and RCBs? Who will be the “Mike” LB, the “Jack” LB, the “Sam” LB, and the “Will” LB? Are the DEs going to flip-flop (strong or weak), or is there going to be a LDE and a RDE?
All those positions, within their groups, are somewhat interchangeable.
Are the GT students planning another Stadium White Out this year? and when is it?
N.C. State on Sept. 25 will be the white out game. Kickoff is TBA.
How many teams on the schedule have extra time to prepare for GT this season?
S.C. State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, N.C. State and Georgia. Some have an extra week, some extra days.
Will the shotgun be used this year at all, and will we be able to run from it as well as pass as other teams do. It seems to me that running from the shotgun, if we plan on using it, will be mandatory in order to keep the defense honest.
I think you will see some shotgun this season, but I’m not sure when. We’ve heard hints, saw some instances in the spring. It’ll be interesting to see.
Any word on McCoy? I heard he was not in classes so that does not look good as far as helping this season. Just wondering if there was more to the injury that took him out in the first place. Any word on who will handle field goals? Last but not least with Chris Jackson out this season does he have two or three years of eligibility left?
McCoy could be cleared to practice at any point. A smart young man, he has been in classes. Scott Blair will handle field goals. As for Jackson, see above. Two seasons left after this season.
I was wondering about Daniel McKayhan. Is he still with the program, & if so, have the injuries at WR & his play elevated him up the depth chart?
He is slotted to return kicks, but didn’t crack the two-deep at WR.
What will be the bigger improvement on defense: scheme or the fact that our front seven is almost 10 pounds bigger per man this year?
I’m surprised that it took this many questions before we received one about weight. I think scheme will make the bigger difference. I think this scheme fits well with Tech’s talent, particularly at linebacker, which has a lot of athletes.
What player will be surprise impact player this year?
My guess is Richard Watson, what say you?
Maybe someone who is not preseason all ACC, but will be by end of the year.
This may not be a surprise, but I think Roddy Jones is going to have a great year. Last year was individually disappointing for Jones, who saw his production almost halved when compared to the 2008 season. The broken wrist sustained during the spring really hampered him.
Defensively, I think Steven Sylvester could become a force on defense, as will Kyle Jackson.
Who are they looking to substitute into the game in the their nickel package? Dime package?
Rashaad Reid and Rod Sweeting, I believe, will be the nickel and dime guys. But that’s more of an educated guess on my part.
Rumor has it we may wind up in the Chick Filet Kickoff next year or the year after and that word will be coming down shortly, supposedly with a Big 12 team but I have heard one or two say a Pac 12 team. Are you hearing any of these rumors??
I have heard this and looked into it. As of three weeks ago, there’s nothing to it. However, I’ll inquire again this week. The Chick-fil-A people have had ESPN on hand for two consecutive seasons, which will now be three. I’m sure they would like to add a fourth. Who would draw well with Georgia Tech that would get the nation’s attention? Oregon? Oklahoma? Notre Dame? USC? And is next year, with no Nesbitt, no Allen, no Jefferson, no Barrick, no Bedford, no Butler, among others, the year that the Jackets want to play that game?
Also, is running two separate offensive lines a possibility? Or will we substitute as normal? I would have to think it would be weird to have two centers snapping to Joshua during the course of a game. Who are the best blocking AB’s and WR’s?
Running two lines is a possibility. Of course, Johnson broached that possibility before last season and it didn’t happen for a variety of reasons. I doubt it happens this year. The best blockers are the ones in the starting lineup: Roddy Jones and Embry Peeples, Stephen Hill and Kevin Cone.
Alright guys, thanks for the fun.
Let me ask you this, are there any specific kinds of blog topics that you would like for me to do on a weekly basis now that the season has started?