A rockin’ good Tech mailbag

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?

124 comments Add your comment

Slippery when Wet 5150.

August 29th, 2010
9:09 pm

YES, Now lets play ball.

Tech Man

August 29th, 2010
9:10 pm

Doug — thanks for the great work — been reading the ajc for 40 plus years – Jackets have never been covered better!

James T. Kirk

August 29th, 2010
9:11 pm

Doug,

After we win the World Championship again this year in pig skin, what will our total be? Most say it’s around 24, but I’ve heard in reality it’s closer to 30. Do you have the actual count? Thanks so much. TTYL!!!!!

GTMike

August 29th, 2010
9:13 pm

When exactly do we play Jacksonville State? Assuming you meant SC State there…

K

August 29th, 2010
9:15 pm

We do not play Jacksonville State.
So much for your credibility!

Ted Sims

August 29th, 2010
9:29 pm

yea, saw that too. I’m just waiting for November when Miami falls apart in the flats, Jacory gets picked 3 times. and tech walks away with a win bigger than VA Tech last year.

Chris

August 29th, 2010
9:34 pm

thanks Doug. remember to proofread next time. haha

Slippery when Wet 5150.

August 29th, 2010
9:34 pm

I hope Miami will get a stadium to play in soon. Playing football on a baseball field is so 70’s.

Tech Fan Since 1950

August 29th, 2010
9:37 pm

Doug:

I agree with Tech Man. The Jackets have never been covered better by an AJC beat reporter. We appreciate your great work! Thanks!

1Jacket7

August 29th, 2010
9:39 pm

GO JACKETS!!! Lets get this thang started!

Oh Doug, maybe a story on the Marketing approach this year and if any fun things for the fans to participate in during the games. I really liked the Kazoos that gave the sound of a SWARM. We need something to enhance the experience.

TECH OR DIE

August 29th, 2010
9:47 pm

James,

The actual count is 27 national championships. Due to southern bias and jealousy of GT over the decades, many of these titles have been given to others. But don’t let anyone fool you. Even if a mountain town’s paper declared a school national championship back in 1945, it counts.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

August 29th, 2010
10:09 pm

Weekly blog idea: What about a weekly overall, offensive and defensive MVP chosen by you? You could blog the reasons why. Maybe you could add a special teams MVP to that also. I think this would provide some blogger fodder. :-)

Vegas Jackette

August 29th, 2010
10:10 pm

I say play the Chick Fil A Kick off Classic any year any time. Do not back down just because we are losing talented seniors. In 2008, we tied the Coastal with a new coach, new offense and freshman and sophomore starters. I am sure CPJ feels the same way. Toe meet Leather, let’s play it now

Nesbitt for Heisman

August 29th, 2010
10:16 pm

14-0
—— . . . . . . . . in 2010 !

JacketFan86

August 29th, 2010
10:18 pm

Good stuff doug…but jacksonville st!? cmon man u gotta know the schedule lol. Cant wait! 6 days!!! GO JACKETS!!

StraightJacket

August 29th, 2010
10:21 pm

Hey Doug, Couple of items for a “weekly blog” entry: (1) GT has done very well the past two years in national rankings for YPG, Rushing yards, points per game, Big plays, etc. I think a Monday blog with GT’s national standing in these 3-5 statistical areas would save me an online research trip into the NCAA Data Warehouse. Likewise, maybe add the team goal or two that deal with trackable stats … so that we know how the team is tracking on THOSE goals through the season as well.

Mr. Spock

August 29th, 2010
10:32 pm

Illogical. You bugs have only won 1/2 of a NC, in 1990. Have fun in the Almost Competitive Conference and too bad you’re still not the best football team in your own state (and soon probably your own city). Now stop passing gas and get back to your jobs at the QuikTrip.

K

August 29th, 2010
10:53 pm

Tech Fans!!!!
Turn to the Steeler’s game.
Dwyer is doing great!!!!
Carried the defense for 10 plus yards! Plat of the day!!!

K

August 29th, 2010
10:54 pm

Spelling Correction: Play of the Day!

KG

August 29th, 2010
11:18 pm

The “Diesel” had 12 carries for 89 yards. So much for the Dawgtards and their “won’t work in the NFL b.s.”

BigTimeTechFan

August 29th, 2010
11:29 pm

Doug – I wanted to send a thanks for doin a great job keeping us updated on Tech in the off season.

Oh and I see Richard Watson’s like 4th team, so much for my prediction.

As far as weekly post – how about a extended Paul Johnson interview each week. cover last weeks game and upcomein game

Go Jackets 88

August 29th, 2010
11:34 pm

I would like to find out if any teams are doing anything extra to prepare for our offense. Also, I would like to know what new stuff we will be adding to the defense as it happens throughout the season.

Thanks,

Go Jackets!

Jacket Backer

August 29th, 2010
11:46 pm

Great stuff…..Thanks Doug and Go Jackets!!

i'm not fat and lazy

August 29th, 2010
11:48 pm

thanks for not calling me fat and lazy this week, as most tech fans did the last 2 week

Chris Boggs

August 29th, 2010
11:52 pm

Doug, Chris Jackson’s issue may actually be an achilles injury rather than hamstring.

Tokyo jacket

August 29th, 2010
11:58 pm

Tokyo jacket

August 30th, 2010
12:05 am

I’m still saying that the bigger size of the D-line and LBs will make a huge impact. But, I agree w/ Doug that the scheme might help out the LBs too. I see more stops for Tech on third and short than we had last year.

Russ the Painted Mascot

August 30th, 2010
12:28 am

I’ll be happy with 7 or 8 wins as long as nobody spray paints my butt.

Russ the Painted Mascot

August 30th, 2010
12:31 am

With extra time to prep, UNC, VT, and UGA will give us fits, and Clemson and Miami “owe” us some payback…. Still, looking forward to some good games and hoping for the best.

Russ the Painted Mascot

August 30th, 2010
12:32 am

I’d love to see us stop scheduling schools like SC State, Jax State, etc. We still end up with 6 away games this year.

Newsman

August 30th, 2010
1:15 am

August 27th Washaun Ealey has been suspended for at least the Sept. 4 opener against Louisiana-Lafayette after an early-Friday arrest for hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license.

Yes, you read tjat correctly; hit & run AND driving with a suspended license.

aw

August 30th, 2010
6:43 am

I wonder if WA_SHAN would have pulled his trick for most any other team in the country , would he be suspended for only one game? He is getting off lightly because he is one infraction out of many for the woofers. (You can’t do away with the entire team)! The entire BULLDAWG NATION, would have to do something else this season. Have you looked at the area around their football stadium? Or have you seen our stadium , after the nation has trashed it ?They could spend the spare time cleaning up and going to AA meetings. Whats next for the nation….stay tuned…

The News

August 30th, 2010
8:28 am

Doug Roberson

August 30th, 2010
8:39 am

It is an achilles. The hamstring, whose real name I couldn’t possibly begin to know, stretches all the way down the back of the leg. Sometimes an achilles is referred to as a hamstring. Achilles would be more correct.

gt45

August 30th, 2010
8:39 am

Anyone see Dwyer rolling last night? Especially you ugatards that were bad mouthing him! He had 80 yards on 10 rushes at one time. The announcer said he was going to have to adjust to the prostyle O, but quickly retracted his statement!

Damon Evans

August 30th, 2010
8:45 am

Can someone please help me find a good martini?

Gold Helmets

August 30th, 2010
8:51 am

Doug, can’t Chris Jackson apply for a medical hardship his senior year and get a third year? Thanks for the great work covering the Jackets.

GTPhys88

August 30th, 2010
9:16 am

Doug, sometimes an interesting topic is raised on the weekly radio show and there isn’t enough time for Coach Johnson and Wes to discuss it at length. I would love to see some future blog columns delve into the more interesting topics. I believe you did this in some of last season’s posts and the extra detail was appreciated.

Thanks for you work covering the team. Go Jackets!

kingster

August 30th, 2010
9:22 am

Good morning Doug, thanks for the informative news and thoughts on the Jackets, great info, keep up the good work.( thanks for also letting us know about the teams that have more than a week to prepare for TECH, those are some of the main teams we have to look out for and add a little more to game)

Doug Roberson

August 30th, 2010
9:22 am

Gold: That’s a good question. Let me find out.

Doug Roberson

August 30th, 2010
9:24 am

I wouldn’t read too much into Watson being fourth team. The B-back position is very deep. I’ll bet he gets carries this season.

Doug Roberson

August 30th, 2010
9:25 am

StraightJacket, that’s a good idea, as well.

Doug Roberson

August 30th, 2010
9:25 am

Jacketfan: sorry about that. I was writing that while babysitting 15 8-year-olds Saturday night for my daughter’s birthday party. It’s fixed.

Doug Roberson

August 30th, 2010
9:26 am

Alabama: Is this a post-game MVP idea, or a projected MVP idea?

Delbert D.

August 30th, 2010
9:30 am

Let’s hear it for Matt Kuchar.

BigTimeTechFan

August 30th, 2010
9:39 am

Dwyer had better stats then CJ Spiller, but Dwyer was running behind 3rd team line against 3rd team D.

Hat off the Kuchar, love how he always plays with a smile, like he’s really enjoying the game.

supersize that order, mutt

August 30th, 2010
9:50 am

I echo Delbert D. and BigTime regarding Kuch. His shot on the playoff hole to set up the winning putt was nothing short of phenomenal. But where on this site has that even been reported? If I hadn’t seen it live on TV, I wouldn’t know about it.

Funny

August 30th, 2010
9:56 am

Nerds….I knew you couldn’t go more than a half page worth of comments without mentioning Georgia (”dawgtards”, “ugatards”, “mutts”). Your insecurity is why your fans are the laughing stock of America. Do you really want to compare NFL ers from each school?

supersize that order, mutt

August 30th, 2010
9:58 am

Funny, it’s apparent even to the most ignorant that YOU are the insecure one. Otherwise, why are you on a Tech blog posting crap?

Funny

August 30th, 2010
9:59 am

aw,

If Ealey “had pulled that stunt” at any other college it would have been a non issue. It would have been play as normal. You probably would have to beat up a whole bunch of ladies to get suspended for a half game at Nerdland!