Some notes from Tech’s Wednesday afternoon practice at Bobby Dodd. I’ll have more Thursday….
Perhaps it would be more noteworthy if Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson were satisfied with the offensive line’s play in spring practice and not displeased. Regardless, the play of the line in Wednesday’s practice left Johnson in an unsparing mood.
“There’s 10 offensive linemen out there,” Johnson said, answering a question about the team’s injury status, before clarifying. “There’s 10 bodies.”
The Jackets return three starters on the line from last season’s unit that helped Tech lead the nation in rushing — guards Omoregie Uzzi and Will Jackson and tackle Phil Smith. Regardless, the line has been a weak spot throughout the spring. Asked about the competition at B-back, Johnson said it was difficult to discern, implying the blame lay with the line.
The B-backs “don’t really have much of a chance, if you want to know the truth,” he said. “It’s hard to tell.”
Johnson evidently has found the drive of the linemen wanting. A question was posed to Johnson about whether the four incoming offensive linemen will push the 13 on the roster.
“If you want to play,” it will be a motivation, he said. “If you don’t want to play, it won’t matter.”
In the backfield
Quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Synjyn Days continue to take the majority of repetitions at that position. Days has shown flashes of ability, but has struggled with ballhandling and turnovers. Washington, who started four games at the end of the 2010 season after Joshua Nesbitt’s season-ending broken arm, has become better in fundamentals such as handling the ball, making reads and passing, but needs to be more efficient.
“You don’t have to be a hero,” quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said. “Just run the offense.”
David Sims, who moved from quarterback to B-back before the spring, has remained there.
“I thought my transition would have been a little bit smoother, but it hasn’t,” Sims said. “I still have to work on things like blocking and pad level, things of that nature.”
Secondary coach Charles Kelly is not declaring any winners, or even leaders, in the competition to fill all four jobs in the defensive backfield.
Fred Holton, Rashaad Reid and Isaiah Johnson are competing at safety, and Louis Young, Ryan Ayers, Michael Peterson and Rod Sweeting likely are in the hunt for a starting cornerback job. Jemea Thomas is practicing at safety and corner.
Kelly has emphasized physical play from all the positions and is trying to develop versatility. Besides Thomas working at safety and corner, Peterson and Young have practiced at cornerback and nickel back.
Kelly said Thomas has been the most productive player in the two scrimmages, but noted that Sweeting, Young and Johnson have had strong practices, too.
Said Kelly, “Nobody’s just jumped up and just run away [with a starting job].”
Tech has four practices remaining, including the April 23 spring game. Saturday’s 9 a.m. practice at Bobby Dodd Stadium is open to the public with no admission charge. … Former offensive tackle Nick Claytor, who declared for the NFL draft in January following his junior season, briefly stopped by practice.