Communication issues on defense

A few weeks ago, after the first home game against S.C. State, Georgia Tech’s secondary players said they were having trouble hearing each other on the field because of the crowd noise.

As a result, they were working on using hand signals.

The problems occurred again in Saturday’s loss to N.C. State, also at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Inside linebacker Brad Jefferson and safety Jerrard Tarrant said there were times during the game when they couldn’t hear the calls each other were making. Inside linebackers coach Joe Speed said the communication issue contributed to some of the issues on defense.

The defense doesn’t huddle like an offense does. As the offense begins to line up after breaking its huddle, the defensive players will make their reads and line up. As the offense shifts, Jefferson will yell out adjustments for the front seven, while one of the safeties will yell out the adjustments the secondary needs to make.

If one can’t hear what the other is saying, then it can create problems, the worst of which are large gaps in coverage.

That may explain some of the issues that Tech has had defending mid-range passes in the middle of the field. There have been times that the linebackers are blitzing, and no safety is moving up to cover that hole in the defense. Of course, that could be how that particular play is designed. Give up the short- to mid-range pass but not anything deep.

Tarrant said the secondary is supposed to be using the hand signals, but sometimes, because of the crowd noise or the excitment of the game, the players are forgetting to relay to each other or to confirm the call.

To fix the problem, the players are supposed to call out what they are hearing, to ensure that everyone is one the same page.

In other news: Could Izaan Cross become a difference maker for Georgia Tech?

You can follow me on twitter @ajcgatech

44 comments Add your comment

rduck

September 29th, 2010
10:44 am

so the home crowd noise is the reason for the foulups? Really guys?

just saying

September 29th, 2010
10:45 am

I am not understanding why the coaches did not ensure this was happening in the first place, there is always crowd noise, ours or on the road, the opponents. This should have been discussed and figured out before the first game. Just saying….go get’em Jackets

Doug Roberson

September 29th, 2010
10:46 am

Crowd noise isn’t the reason. It’s a small factor in the overall issues.

Doug Roberson

September 29th, 2010
10:48 am

As I noted, they have been using hand signals so the coaches and players did try to work on it. But, if the players either forget to use them or don’t use them, the coaches can’t run out there and put marionette strings on their wrists to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to.

bee

September 29th, 2010
10:50 am

so, Tech fans….like the West Stand crowd has been telling you for decades, sit on your hands and keep your mouth shut…..geez……or is it geekz…..

rduck

September 29th, 2010
10:51 am

Doug.. Any personel changes being made this week? Maybe more playing time for TJ Barnes at NT perhaps and more BJ Bostic?

old gold engineer

September 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Too bad we had to discover this problem against Russell Wilson. He may be the best QB GT faces this year, but Taylor, Parker, Harris, and others can all make you pay for mistakes.

Doug Roberson

September 29th, 2010
10:57 am

CPJ doesn’t announce the changes anymore. He has said that Bostic needs to get more snaps. I would infer from that Bostic must do the things in practice to earn those snaps.

He said earlier this week that they are going to try to get more defensive players more time in games. Barnes’ issue, I think, continues to be conditioning. He just can’t play as many snaps as Walls. Ben Anderson got a lot more snaps last week than the week before, so he may play more this week.

EastCobb Jacket

September 29th, 2010
11:01 am

Not going to call out names, but certain members of our secondary lack the passion of tackling like they mean it.

Man Coverage

September 29th, 2010
11:08 am

Doug,
Has Lanier been making any progress to move up from scout team and see any playing time? It sure would be nice to see him live up to his potential.

Doug Roberson

September 29th, 2010
11:10 am

I don’t think Lanier has made much progress, other wise he’d be playing. He’s still on the scout team.

West Coast Two Stars

September 29th, 2010
11:12 am

Wow, looks like everyone is reaching for excuses these days. This team just needs to give up. Crowd noise did not bother N.C. State!!! PJ’s third year and he wants to feed the fans this crap, he has no idea whats going on ?? Never coached a team like this one ?? Crowd noise ??

EastCobb Jacket

September 29th, 2010
11:12 am

After this assignment issue is resolved, it is then time for having passion and pride for the team. Case in point: Tackle Like You Mean It.

West Coast Two Stars

September 29th, 2010
11:14 am

PJ burned Bostic redshirt, so he could sit on sideline ?? why not redshirt if he’s not ready to play this year. Stupid is as stupid does PJ. Nice Coaching

Didn't see this coming?

September 29th, 2010
11:16 am

It is the crowd’s job to be loud when the opposing team’s offense on the field. It was a home game against an unbeaten opponent. This is like saying you failed your writing test because you didn’t have a pencil. How is it possible we weren’t prepared with hand signals before the game?

RamblinRecluseRd

September 29th, 2010
11:22 am

rduck is right. It’s the three man line that is allowing so many yards and pass completions. With a shotgun o, a three man d line gives the qb too much time to find a r. I said this last year after Groh was hired, that a three-four d would be a nightmare for Tech, and that’s coming true. This 3-4 might work in the pros, but not at Tech. I recommend a 5 man line to rush in faster against a shotgun o, or a variation of that with lbs filling holes between the three linemen, something Tech does now and does not do enough of. This d is another leaky roof d where the lbs want to cover, as if they are as thin as dbs or want to be as thin, instead of rush in like heavier dls, and the passing yardage continues being assured w/o blitzing of those lbs.

AtWork

September 29th, 2010
11:24 am

West Coast…give me a break…they should take one of your stars away. Bostic is playing more and is on kick off return team and other special teams. He is on the field now because of his natural ability. What CPJ wants to see is his cerebral ability to come out. Because you can make a good physical game a great physical game with good mental awareness.

He is doing nice coaching. If you think other wise you aren’t watching the games. The players, which CPJ is holding accountable, need to execute. When see what happens when they do. Long drives and even home runs down the side line. When they don’t execute they fumble, drives stall out, and we resort to punting or going for it on fourth down.

Maybe CPJ needs to sit some of these guys who miss assignments or make them do up downs for missed assignments. Maybe he already is. Who knows. All i know is i want CPJ here because he makes us a better team and makes the players he has better too. Great Coach in rough patch.

GO JACKETS!

Burdell

September 29th, 2010
11:24 am

At least there is crowd noise these days! Tech games used to be eerily quiet kind of like the Chapel Hill football crowd two weeks ago.

GT

September 29th, 2010
11:28 am

Doug,
Has our problem on Defense been the fact they are just not getting a good look from the scout team???? I mean this has going on for a while!!!

Just like nobody can”simulate” our offense, well heck, our scout team offense can’t simulate a normal offense!!!! DO YOU THINK THIS COULD BE THE ISSUE?? :(

Doug Roberson

September 29th, 2010
11:32 am

No, I don’t think that’s the issue.

Doug Roberson

September 29th, 2010
11:35 am

The issue seems to be the players aren’t winning one-on-one battles on defense. Really, they weren’t winning them last year, with the exception of Derrick Morgan.
Tech can’t stop the run, and when you can’t do that, it opens up everything else. What’s interesting, at least to me, is when teams try to run right or left (around the tackles), Tech is very good at stopping those. When teams run those read plays up the middle, in which the back has time to wait and see what holes develop, teams are having a lot of success.

RamblinRecluseRd

September 29th, 2010
11:45 am

I agree with rduck about the foulups. This D is another Leaky Roof D that seldom blitzes. A shotgun offense has all the time in the world to find an open receiver, which they do. And runs through a three man line without holes plugged is another Leaky Roof problem, literally. Ted was a very good player but Leaky Roof D coach and lousy head coach at Duke.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 29th, 2010
11:53 am

Bostic really needs to get more touches. Why don’t they have Bostic and the other kickoff returner stand in the middle of the field until the kick is in the air and then have Bostic field all the Kickoffs? Teams are trying to not kick to Bostic so we need to trick the kicking team to Bostic the ball.

old u

September 29th, 2010
11:53 am

Remember this GT fans. It’s always something other than Al the great Oz. Groh. Wonder which player he threw under the bus after Russell Wilson torched the guy who didn’t want him? That’s one of Al’s favorite tricks.

Again, i suugest that GT and UVA fans burn him at the stake at halftime of our game.

black bee

September 29th, 2010
11:54 am

WOW! Sounds so academic and not real football. Well you got an experienced Al Groh and he didn’t see that? Coach Speed needs to come up to speed. Those LB’s have NO STING! The NT either goes down or stops after the initial block. The secondary has 3 seniors and N C State gets behind them on a short touchdown! Maybe that’s it . . . Groh has them thinking too much, “was I suppose to be here or there?” Meantime opposing teams are dancing in the end zone or ripping off big chunks of yardage. Come on Man, stop all that B.S. and he will get more reps if he does this in practice! Hit some body or put someone out there who will! PLEASE PLAY FOOTBALL! I never thought I would say this but Coach Wommack would have done just as goodor better as this Crew!

just saying

September 29th, 2010
12:00 pm

reminds me of last season when the Clemson punter and fg kicker (Jackson) faked a field goal and punted it right to Tarrant who ran it back all the way for a TD, then you saw Dabo yelling at Jackson on national tv over and over again. I’m thinking to myself..Dabo you had at least 4 minutes of TV timeout before the play and you or your coaches didn’t remind or tell Jackson what he needed to do..Geez why are you yelling at the kid? Shame on Dabo

[...] Communication issues on defense hurt the Yellow Jackets against N.C. State. [...]

Funny State of Affairs

September 29th, 2010
12:21 pm

It’s really funny to come to the Tech blog and read comments that a very obviously made by “down & out, retard” UGA fans. The negative comments made regarding CPJ are so jealous & childish such as we have come to expect from the UGA fans.

Having CPJ at our great educational institute guarantees that FEAR reigns with the UGA fans. These rednecks know and realize that going forward, year-in and year-out, GT will be competitive and are going to win their fair share of yearly match-ups with UGA.

The UGA fans have a tough time admitting and remembering that Richt’s record against CPJ is 1 – 1.

West Coast Two Stars

September 29th, 2010
12:50 pm

why does PJ just recruit a player who wants to win, ( he did,(BOSTIC) he just wont give him any snaps)

Alabama Jack

September 29th, 2010
1:01 pm

Now I know the real meaning of terminally retarded – its called West Coast Two Stars AKA dawg in the bushes.

old u

September 29th, 2010
1:39 pm

funny state, who was dumb enough to hire groh?

5150 P.O.A.D

September 29th, 2010
2:21 pm

old u I don’t know but somebody smarter than the person that hired Damon Evans or Mike Bobo.

GT Sambo

September 29th, 2010
2:46 pm

Groh will be fine… These guys are still getting their feet wet in a new defense. Still too much thinking, not enough reacting. That will come with time. Hopefully the coaches can work out some of these issues, but if we are still talking about communication issues come the end of the year, I will agree that the coaching is to blame, until then I am going to call it like I see it and say it is poor execution and not poor scheme.

GT Sambo

September 29th, 2010
2:49 pm

I think Bostic is a game changer… he will hopefully get some good carries in the next few games. I expect Bostic to thorw his first A-back pass of the season against Clemson. That would be the game to break that play out. Hopefully Dabo’s not reading this right now ;)

GT Sambo

September 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

I think Bostic is a game changer… he will hopefully get some good carries in the next few games. I expect Bostic to thorw his first A-back pass of the season against Clemson. That would be the game to break that play out. Hopefully Dabo isn’t reading this right now ;)

Georgia Tee

September 29th, 2010
5:06 pm

What a lame excuse! “To fix the problem each player is to call out what he hears”.
I thought the problem was the fact no one could hear. How can you call out what you can’t hear in the beginning?

Vegas G

September 29th, 2010
5:32 pm

We have given up over 90 points in three games to pretty good opponents. You won’t win many games that way. It’s all about tackling and shedding blocks up front. Doug is right. We get torn up on the straight ahead read plays. Watch how the D line and LB spend so much time tied up with the blockers. This is basic fundamental coaching. Keep your head up, shed the block, make the tackle stick.

Gee

September 29th, 2010
5:33 pm

Georgia Tee I was wondering the same thing after reading the article. But it took til the last comment for someone to point it out. Wouldn’t it make more sense to practice the hand signals instead?? If you CAN hear the call at the beginning then run with it… If not… Go with the hand signals. Geez. Tech needs to get some fire in their belly… Im disgusted with our flat play this season. If you see a defender that is free.. BLOCK HIM. If you see a receiver wide open… cover him. If you see a player with the ball.. HIT HIM.. With all you got. TRY and put him on a stretcher. This is FOOTBALL not gymnastics.

old u

September 29th, 2010
5:49 pm

Sambo, explain how it will all be fine for you guys? Like UVA, GT can’t just let any idiot walk through the door unless you have a setup like coach K’s. the 3-4 takes a LOT of superior linebackers to run. you need to play 8, and you need 10 on the roster. then add in the need for a stout, 320 lb nose tackle or two who is strong enought to stuff the middle. How many guys are that big coming out of high school? Groh can coach schemes – and he can win with superior athletes or guys that will die to play for him. but GT won’t be able to get enough of them, and the kids will get tired of his mean, berating tirades. most of your kids have brains, like UVA’s. and they will only put up with so much abuse from a coach who NEVER takes the blame. trust me. I like GT. Dave Braine was a friend. but groh is the biggest mistake you have made in a long time.

joeygt

September 29th, 2010
6:06 pm

i dont understand why bostic doesnt play more hes shown he can play and hes so fast and elussive…???

Oskar

September 29th, 2010
11:20 pm

Groh may or may not work out, but either way, he won’t be a bigger mistake than Dave Braine. In addition to his stated belief that Tech was too had a school to be more than mediocre in football, Braine brought us Chan Gailey, a permanent contract for Paul Hewitt and the stupidest way to land on NCAA probation in history.
I don’t see any way Groh could ever even approach that. Hopefully he has learned and grown from his UVA experience. But even if he hasn’t, Braine will be the bigger mistake.

henry

September 30th, 2010
12:01 am

the real issue is Al Groh and 3-4 defense.

Homer L Ferguson

September 30th, 2010
5:45 am

As a Virginia fan, I’m laughing at GT. This is what you get when you hire a “defensive genius” like Al Groh. His whole reputation was built on LT, but really, who wouldn’t look like an LB expert if you had LT in his prime? Groh has no business in college football. The only person who will wreck a program more is his idiot son, Mike.

old u

September 30th, 2010
5:14 pm

homer, russell wilson’s laughing a lot harder