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.
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