Tech’s receivers can catch the ball

Despite some of the results this season, Georgia Tech’s wide receivers and A-backs can catch the ball.

The coaches see it in practice, the cornerbacks see it in practice, the players do it in practice.

Now, they say they just have to do it more frequently when it counts: in games.

“There’s no way around it,” wide receiver Tyler Melton said.

The drops started in the season opener, when Melton had a pass bounce off his chest and into the arms of a South Carolina State defender. Like the flu, it spread through Tech’s A-back and wide receivers, most recently affecting Stephen Hill in the loss at Clemson. He tried to make a tough catch on a pass thrown over the wrong shoulder while staring back into the sun. The ball bounced off his hands.

“You still have to make the catch, make that adjustment,” wide receivers coach Al Preston said. “Sometimes that’s just plain experience. This is gut-check time.”

Indeed. The Yellow Jackets (5-3, 3-2) must win their next three conference games, starting with Thursday night’s game at Virginia Tech, if they hope to get a chance to defend their ACC championship.

“They catch everything [in practice],” cornerback Dominique Reese said. “They don’t drop anything. It’s just got to carry over in the game. It just seems like the ones they are dropping are the key ones. I know they will go out there and make plays. I’ve see them do it in practice and games.”

This season, Tech’s wide receivers have caught 22 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns. The A-backs have 14 receptions for 293 yards and two touchdowns.Roddy Jones said the team needs to help quarterback Joshua Nesbitt by making the tough catches. Jones pointed out that Nesbitt has been throwing the ball accurately and the offensive line’s pass blocking has improved the past few games. Nesbitt is completing 38.2 percent of his passes this season. He completed 46.3 percent last season.

But because Tech doesn’t throw often, and when it does it’s usually a long pass, the errors become magnified.

Coach Paul Johnson said the team does miss the big-play and blocking of Demaryius Thomas, who was Tech’s leading wide receiver with 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He was the first wide receiver selected in April’s NFL draft. But no Thomas and more drops doesn’t mean that Johnson is going to change his philosophy.

“We’ve been doing this for a long, long, time,” Johnson said. “We’ll continue to do it, we’ve just got to get better at it.”

81 comments Add your comment


November 2nd, 2010
5:40 am

I’m still waiting for that break out game and hopefully it’ll be this Thursday night. Key catches will make all the difference and I’m sure Bud Foster is expecting more drops this time. Just concentrate and focus and the catches will come.

THWG Everyday in Everyway


November 2nd, 2010
6:26 am

accuracy & velocity & touch are issues, so they have to catch the ones even close-LOOK the ball into your hands, first! i am just hoping not to see struggling futility withteam chemistry dictating personnel instead of results………..


November 2nd, 2010
6:29 am

Catch the ball and play well this Thursday. You don’t get a second chance at college sports, so make the most of it and win the ACC.


November 2nd, 2010
6:30 am

Biggest problem I see with catching the ball is MOST of the receivers are not using their hands to catch the ball. It should never bounce off your chest, it should already be in your hands before it gets there.


November 2nd, 2010
7:54 am

When a receiver catches a ball in practice it is like a tree falling in the woods.


November 2nd, 2010
8:16 am

Block on the TO plays and you won’t even have to throw the ball.

Jan Kemp's Advisor

November 2nd, 2010
8:16 am

I have advised these men that they have looked like Bacari Rambo catching the ball. I have advised too change that Thursday night.


November 2nd, 2010
8:18 am

we need some short throws, quick crossing patterns & wheel routes, to spread things out and give the receivers some confidence. I hate thos bombs down the sideline…even if the receiver comes down with the ball, as often as not he’ll be out of bounds.


November 2nd, 2010
8:19 am

seriously, did you see oregon’s receivers against usc this past weekend…those guys are phenomenol…if they can touch the ball, they catch it.


November 2nd, 2010
8:32 am

IF they get killed thursday night, which is possible – it may be time to start sitting some senoirs and playing more kids to get ready for next year. I would love to see Washington throw the ball some in live play to evalute what we have. Nesbitt could play B back and accomplish the same as he is now.


November 2nd, 2010
8:33 am

I truly believe it is a mind-set. As a receiver you have to own the ball. You have to want it and want it more than the DB. When the ball is in the air, the receivers have go to find a way with their minds and bodies to make the ball theirs. That will also improve their focus.


November 2nd, 2010
8:56 am

Hill doesn’t catch! Peoples doesn’t catch! Practice doesn’t matter…games count


November 2nd, 2010
9:00 am

everyone thinks there will never be another Bay Bay but before him there was Calvin Johnson and no one thought he could be replaced…….


November 2nd, 2010
9:01 am

at least tech get a mediocre team to play to end the season in athens

GT Sambo

November 2nd, 2010
9:11 am

Steven Hill has all the talent in the world. He also has that swagger about him that you like to see in a WR. I will always remember the play he made in the MTSU game where he ran the post caught the ball and scored a TD. He showed some swagger and was very animated on that play. Too bad that as play happened, I said that he was getting called for pass interference and it wasn’t going to count. I still want to see him play like that, minus the pass interference of course.

GT Jake

November 2nd, 2010
9:24 am

The receivers are the least of our problems, guys.

We’re getting whipped in the trenches, badly. Both sides of the ball.

CPJ has not been able to sign enough quality talent along the lines of scrimmage.


November 2nd, 2010
9:26 am

Talk is cheap.

Show me.

East Cobb Hokie

November 2nd, 2010
9:34 am

Maybe there is a fdifference between the defense they practice against vs the games.


November 2nd, 2010
9:36 am

I’m sick of hearing this team talk. Shut up and do it already.

And in case the defense hasn’t noticed, everyone catches everything against them. That our backs and receivers do too is likely more of a reflection of the defense than it is the capabilities of our offensive players.

Nathan Hale

November 2nd, 2010
9:37 am

Jackets are middle of the pack ACC. That ain’t saying much
bee boys.

Final grade for coach Paul Johnson will be next season.

No heart in this team other than Nesbitt.

Gold Helmets

November 2nd, 2010
9:43 am

Good players make the plays during real games, not practice. I agree this is “gut check time” for the receivers and Coach Preston. We’ve got to recruit some people that can catch a football.


November 2nd, 2010
9:43 am

I watch alot of football and I can tell you that nesbitt is a big part of the problem with our passing game. In practice, I can see nesbit relaxed and throwing smooth but in games he throws balls that are hard to catch. I have seen him throw a low bullet on a 10 yard pass to a wide open receiver that nobody can catch. Even when he is on target, his passes are hard to catch.Nesbit is the biggest problem in our passing game.


November 2nd, 2010
9:51 am

So you’re saying they are a bunch of chokers


November 2nd, 2010
9:58 am

The fact that our receivers can catch in practice is meaningless. If they can’t catch in the games then they can’t catch – period. Stephen Hill is a liability. Not only does he drop everything thrown his way, he is not a very strong blocker.


November 2nd, 2010
10:06 am

With cold, windy weather Thursday night I doubt if there will be much passing. If we are going to win we better stop there running game! If they (VT) do throw we need to catch a couple of them!


November 2nd, 2010
10:06 am

get the ball in o smith’s hands in space and turn him loose……..go jackets


November 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

Weather is going to nasty up in Blacksburg on Thursday night…Hokies are over confident…this has the potential for a nice upset if we can play the whole game.



November 2nd, 2010
10:59 am

hokie pokie in the endzone to many times and the jakits cry.

November 2nd, 2010
11:11 am

I saw Navy throw some great screens against Notre Dame. How ’bout it CPJ?


November 2nd, 2010
11:14 am

as the infamous allen iverson said, “practice? we’re talking about practice?” :) ain’t it great they can catch in practice–how about the friggin’ games? too much “shoulda, woulda, coulda” this year guys. it’s getting old hearing about potential and NOT showing any.


November 2nd, 2010
11:19 am

@superdawg/ go back to your vent and defend that classless Grantham , like the rest of your dawg buddies.


November 2nd, 2010
11:26 am

“No heart in this team other than Nesbitt.”

No Heart in this team including Nesbitt. The kid is tough and a great athelete I do not deny that, but they don’t get excited or pumped up about anything. Its very ho-hum business as usual.

Veteran Fan

November 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

Upset! Come on people if we win it will not be an upset! we are defending conference champions, it will be an upset if they beat us like the Clemson game! We have lost two conference games and both times we made too many mistakes to win against good teams! Cut down on the fumbles and dropped passes and we win this game and all the rest! Coach has been telling it like it is, we need to play better and we will win!


November 2nd, 2010
11:59 am

Exactly, AMG. I have focused my teaching of my 11 year old son to “catch with his hands” since he was six, and now he is a pass catching phenom. Even he notices the poor techniques in GT games. They need to go up and snatch that ball with authority, they are too timid. To me, when all receivers show these problems, it looks like a coaching problem. Preston needs to be on notice. Go jackets!


November 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

Don’t know if Johnson is to inflexible to tweak his offense but something needs to be done to surprise opposing defenses, maybe it all comes down to execution but it wouldn’t hurt it seems to mix in more play action and even show the shotgun once in a while. He can call it the “wild” something or other just to prove he is an offensive mastermind.


November 2nd, 2010
12:27 pm

For sure Tech needs to throw more short to medium route passes, specially to the A-backs with occasional screen passes to the B-back. Until we get the ground game going on a consistant basis the deep stuff isn’t going to be near as effective as it could be. Since our opponents are spending more and more time before and during the season to stop Tech’s running game, CPJ needs to install more new passing wrinkles to keep defenses off-balance so that nothing about our offense is ever predictable. But like anything, no matter what offense play you try, it’s all about execution and it all starts with the O-line. Their lack of “urgency” (as CPJ describes it), especially in the red zone, is the main reason this offense is under performing (along with a key break downs and poor senior leadership). If they’ve got it in ‘em, this Thursday night would be a good starting point to set the tone for the rest of the season. GO JACKETTS!!!


November 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

Look, you can complain all you want about Nesbitt; the fact is, we’ve had at least 5 touchdown passes dropped – that either hit receivers in the hands, in the chest, or in the facemask.

There was another one where Melton got dinosaur arms and didn’t even try for it.

So don’t EVEN try to tell me it’s Nesbitt’s fault.


November 2nd, 2010
1:11 pm

These receivers and A-backs need to be told:

“You can’t catch… so if you want playing time you BETTER be able to get your man on the ground on our running plays. Otherwise we’ll put a friggin linebacker out there and you’ll be ridin’ the pine.”

5150 P.O.A.D

November 2nd, 2010
1:50 pm

Does the coaching Staff think about the Deep High Pass and the SUN? I don’t want to be predictable, but some passes are better thrown at different times in the game, facing a certain direction, and time of day.


November 2nd, 2010
2:18 pm

Tech receivers could not catch a cold!

Chuck Allison

November 2nd, 2010
2:48 pm

I am sure that Tech’s receivers can do better than they have shown so far. They couldn’t all be that bad. There has to be some common factor hurting their performance. Wait, maybe it is that none of them have a good passer throwing to them! Maybe Josh Nesbitt just can’t throw the ball. That could be it! Naw! I forgot that he is a Heisman candidate.

6969 POAD

November 2nd, 2010
3:13 pm

Tech receivers can catch? If that is indeed true there is still one small problem. Who is going to throw it to them? BAHAHAHA!!!

GT Sambo

November 2nd, 2010
3:25 pm

Nesbitt is who we thought he was. No one ever thought he was an especially accurate passer. But he has been accurate enough this year, we have just seen far too many drops. And I also agree that the line play (both sides) hasn’t been particularly good. IF (big IF) we can get some of this corrected, I think we can beat VT.

Rockdale Jacket

November 2nd, 2010
3:31 pm

The passing game will never be a problem for the oposing teams defenses as long as CPJ in coaching at GT. He
averages calling passing plays 10 times a game at most.
You can analyze the problems with GT`s passing all you want but the real issue is they don`t want to throw the ball except backwards on pitch outs or laterals.

Let us review CPJ

November 2nd, 2010
3:54 pm

PJ is in his third year. 09 was his high water mark but the ACC has more than caught up. This year will turn very ugly and soon. Next season CPJ will be at the 3.5 year mark and that is teh average tenure for GT coaches dating back since 1967. Every 3.5 years GT has to hire a new coach and CPJ is well on target for that dubious distinction.

The triple option or wishbone was already antiquated in the late 70s and for him to ressurect it, shows a clear lack of understanding football in this not big boy level ……………ACC.


November 2nd, 2010
4:15 pm

if gt can put together a complete game which they havent done all year they will win big against va tech


November 2nd, 2010
4:25 pm

tech has rushed for the same amount as last years just that havent finished drives with touchdowns ,, way too many field goals

5051 P.O.A.D.

November 2nd, 2010
4:35 pm

Great post 5150 POAD about a high sky and the sun and all. You should get a job as a peterologist, I mean meterologist, with Glenn Burns on channel 2. BAHAHA!!!!

Georgia Tee

November 2nd, 2010
5:12 pm

Same ole excuses……the reason they catch passes in pratice is because tech can’t defend the pass, or run for that matter.


November 2nd, 2010
5:18 pm

Wow. Anybody seen any Bulldogs? I think I saw one, and his analysis is reasonable. All the others must be off trying to choke Richt, Grantham, and Bobo.