Tech spring practice No. 10

Greetings, all-

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 work

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].”

Etc.

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.

61 comments Add your comment

original ole yeller

April 13th, 2011
9:05 pm

Nice to know that someone has assumed reporting on Tech. It’s been over a week without any news. Hope you are there to report on Tech so I do not have to go to the Macon Telegraph.

juvenal

April 13th, 2011
9:13 pm

doug, they paying you anything?all we got is baseball right now-did shalke win, missed it……..

juvenal

April 13th, 2011
9:15 pm

ooy-see you 4/23-i’ll be the other guy-could not come up with an excuse to miss it(unless i am ded)

shhhhhh....

April 13th, 2011
9:18 pm

If a tree falls in the woods…….

George Stein

April 13th, 2011
9:51 pm

Has there been a shakeup at the AJC? It seems like the reporters are all different.

GT GRAD

April 13th, 2011
9:56 pm

We appreciate the information…………….I sure hope the coaches find a way to motivate these guys soon; I have total confidence in Coach PJ, but I am somewhat concerned about the effort from the players last season and the very limited news reports suggest these guys need to get focused!

Why has there been so little reported from the AJC??????

JM

April 13th, 2011
10:01 pm

We knew the O-line needed work coming into spring. I think only the overly optimistic would have thought they’d gel by this time.

GT grad 2004

April 13th, 2011
10:16 pm

I am actually growing tired of Paul Johnson’s arrogance. I have a REALLY bad feeling about the offense this year, and will gladly declare him on the “hot seat” if we have another year like last.

Tech Man

April 13th, 2011
10:56 pm

We have no injures, and are getting plenty of reps. As long as the OL are putting in the effort, we’re making progress. This is spring after all. It ain’t like our OT blew his knee out for a 3rd time. PJ is never happy, and the OL is his baby……looking forward to 2011. Synjyn and Vad Lee will have a huge battle in fall practice over who’ll be the heir to Joshua Nesbitt.

Ken Sugiura

April 13th, 2011
11:05 pm

Thanks, Yeller. As others have noted, we’ve moved some pieces around at the paper, one part of which included Doug Roberson and I switching places. That partly explains the gap in coverage recently.
Tech Man – it’s obviously speculation, but I agree that Vad Lee will be a wild card when fall practice starts.

original ole yeller

April 13th, 2011
11:07 pm

Don’t worry about the offense. Johnson could take a choir of church singers and turn a decent offensive performance. This guy has the big NC, on his agenda. Just be patient. He is building a defense. Everyone else is playing checkers, he is playing chess.

GT grad 2004

April 13th, 2011
11:10 pm

Ken,

I noticed the switch as well. I saw that Chip Towers is not the UGA beat writer, and Michael Carvell is now doing the Recruitment blog??

I hope Chip continues to do the recruiting, as it is one of the more well written blogs about recruitment in the south east. Even if it is a little UGA heavy. But we are in the state of Georgia, so their news is our news on that front.

GT grad 2004

April 13th, 2011
11:10 pm

original ole yeller

April 13th, 2011
11:23 pm

Thanks Ken. It’s good to know the AJC has not lost track of it’s obligation to report non biased reporting. As a side note, the AJC and Georgia, lost a great reporter and a great american today in Jesse Outler. Great reporters such as Jesse are never replaced. Jesse and Furman Bisher are legends. The Journal needs to step up to the plate and hire young talent that can replace these legends. Hope you prove to be one of them.

Pssst

April 13th, 2011
11:44 pm

haha, Tech man, if PJ knows what he is doing then why the 7 losses last season? If certain players aren’t getting the job done then it’s the coaches who have to find the ones who can get it done. A weak OL is scary. Somebody has to block so the A and B backs can do their thing.

football_365

April 14th, 2011
6:44 am

Let me guess this all a smoke screen right? With 3 out 5 lineman returning the oline should not be the weak spot I thought cpj was good at coaching up his players. First a player gets called out for being out of shape, now you have 10 “bodies” on the oline. Sounds like the 2011 acc champs already move over va tech and fsu.

Please

April 14th, 2011
6:46 am

Got to develop a decent passing game. I believe Days and Lee will provide that. We got to stop people this year. Remember when Tech had a great D!? Yes Gailey was a mediocre coach, but Lord our Defense was ranked in the top 25 almost every year. It was really good at times. It has got to get better!

OK, that's enough about Tech

April 14th, 2011
8:42 am

The AJC is spending way too much ink on Tech..I suggest rather than wasting good space on an irrelevant subject..just put all 7 of their fans on speed dial and call them with the news..and not bother the rest of us. We want to read about a REAL football program.

The Bees Nees

April 14th, 2011
8:57 am

Welcome aboard Ken. Thank you for your reports.

Tech82

April 14th, 2011
9:16 am

Welcome back to the Tech beat, Ken. Thanks for the update.

Americus Jacket

April 14th, 2011
9:23 am

Great timing for the switch during Spring Football at Tech. I wish both reporters well, but their boss should be roasted for not doing this earlier so we could get daily updates. The, “sorry, we haven’t been reporting because of a shakeup during one of the most important time of updates,” is a little lame.

Ken Sugiura

April 14th, 2011
9:57 am

thanks, all. 2004, you observed correctly; michael carvell is now on recruiting. i agree with you that chip did a great job with it. i’m pretty sure michael will, too. he did it before chip, if you’ll remember, and did well with it.
americus – you’ve got a point. i’ll try to finish spring practice strong. let me know if there’s anything in particular we should look at.

GDBurdell

April 14th, 2011
10:04 am

AMEN to THIS:

The AJC is spending way too much ink on Tech..I suggest rather than wasting good space on an irrelevant subject..just put all 7 of their fans on speed dial and call them with the news..and not bother the rest of us. We want to read about a REAL football program.

collegeballfan

April 14th, 2011
10:19 am

It does not mater who is at B Back or QB, if the offensive line sucks the offense will suck. This is really pretty simple.

DawginLex

April 14th, 2011
10:24 am

Looks like the UGA/GT game might be 17-14 this year.

both teams struggling on the OL
both defensive fronts getting better

3 more stops per game for each team compared to last year equals 3 or 4 more wins each

If Johnson can get the OL working, Tech can win 10 games.

Our defense is going to be the best it has been since 2002. We have size and speed. Secondary is the weakest part but even starting a true freshman will put a talented kid back there.

We have to learn how to run the ball.

We_Run_This_Country

April 14th, 2011
10:44 am

Our offense will score 30+ a game……and I believe Al Groh is taking our D in a very good direction. We should easily win 10 games this year.

I expect Tevin to start and Days to get some good snaps throughout the first couple of games…..I believe Days will be the starter by mid season if Tevin isn’t getting it done. Vad will redshirt, as he should. 2013 and 2014 could be very special years for GT!

you can't fix stupid

April 14th, 2011
11:16 am

@OK, that’s enough about Tech
@GDBurdell

… and which “real” football program would that be? Georgia State?? That was a humorous little quip, both of you … we’re proud of you. Now I suggest you get back to saving your $$ because the Athens jail will be filling up soon with football players who need bail.

AtWork

April 14th, 2011
11:36 am

Ken,

Can we get updates about who the starting recievers project to be? I know something came out about a depth chart at the end of spring training…that would be nice to see. Have you been able to see any special teams play? I know CPJ said he was going to aid in that area. Just didn’t know if that was looking sharper or not.

Thanks for getting us some stuff to read.

Ramblin Man

April 14th, 2011
11:38 am

I am getting real concerned about not seeing any or much progress out of the o-line. If the o-line does not get it together then this season will be horrible since any offense starts and ends with the line. I know it’s only spring and they still have summer and fall to fix issues but I was hoping to read about some type of progress. I also read that Shawn Green broke his leg so that sucks for the depth on the d-line since McCoy is still a question and both were suppose to offer depth and good play. This could be a very long season for the GT faithful.

dawginlex,
There is a nice story at the Rivals site about the Gators doing horrible at the spring game which should make any UGA fan happy.

Born2Buzz

April 14th, 2011
12:01 pm

Don’t you love the UGA fans that take the time to come on the GT blog and post a comment about how the GT blog is irrelevant.
DawginLex, at least you come with some substance. Well done my friend.

An improved D is the key for next season. The offense will always generate some points and PJ will always want it to do more.

uga is last in the sec

April 14th, 2011
12:20 pm

Cindy Lou living in Washington is taking up all the travel funds, that and her bloated salary, along with the worthless bookie. Fire Tucker and Bookman NOW, and hire some more sports reporters.

uga is last in the sec

April 14th, 2011
12:21 pm

When we pound uga’s double ugly butt into the ground this year, the uga fans will be looking for a new coach.

Brock

April 14th, 2011
12:32 pm

testing…hello?? is this content ok to post Ken? I’ve been blocked twice now and not sure why? didn’t know using the term JA (donkey’s butt) was not allowed.

Brock

April 14th, 2011
12:33 pm

of course that posts.

DawginLex

April 14th, 2011
12:47 pm

What was wrong with that post????????

DawginLex

April 14th, 2011
12:47 pm

Dang filters

Brock

April 14th, 2011
12:52 pm

killin me lex. I’m out. fix it ken!

GDBurdell

April 14th, 2011
12:53 pm

no legit reason to expect tek to more competitive than they were last year!! PJ is already setting you guys up to be let down hard with a dismal performance in 2011. This guy can evade blame like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Maybe PJ has a super secret Ga tek invisible teflon suit which allows him to basically destroy your fb program while you complement him and hurl insults at UGA and the dawgs?

10 win season!? How?

17-14? what are you talking about?

DawginLex

April 14th, 2011
1:05 pm

gdburdell,

You talkin’ to me?

NorthAvenueRules

April 14th, 2011
1:47 pm

As for the O-Line, we have absolutely no excuses this year for poor line blocking to open up for our B-backs. It appears the upper classman have gotten apathetic. We have the size (see below), yes some of them are freshman, but CPJ needs to let them know all positions are up for grabs (even by true freshman).

Phil Smith 6′5” , 291 lbs.
Trey Braun 6′5″ , 305 lbs.
Errin Joe 6′4” , 305 lbs.
Morgan Bailey 6′4″ , 305 lbs.
Catlin Alford 6′4″ , 295 lbs.
Bryan Chamberlain 6′4″ , 285 lbs.
Omoregie Uzzi 6′3″ , 300 lbs.
Shaquille Mason 6′2″ , 305 lbs.

dawgfan

April 14th, 2011
1:55 pm

Well said GDBurdell. Have you ever seen a fan base kiss their coaches arse as much as Tech fans kiss up to Johnson? I haven’t. The AJC seems to walk on eggshells around him too. They’ve never asked him a tough question, probably because they are afraid his arrogant arse won’t talk to them again if they dared to question him. Its just hysterical what is going on down on the Flats. Meanwhile, the bowl losses and UGA losses continue to mount, but its all the players’ fault of course. Johnson can’t help it if his team can’t score more points than the other team. LMAO.

Thanks.

NorthAvenueRules

April 14th, 2011
2:01 pm

Also, with the performance thus far, Washington and Days had better showing their ‘much talked about talent’ in a hurry! Otherwise, if neither of these two have a breakout T-game performance on April 23rd, Vad Lee is going to be a legitimate contender for starting QB in the Fall.

Noteworthy Stats

April 14th, 2011
2:12 pm

Vad Lee was named the Class 4A player of the Year after leading his team to a 16-0 record and state championship. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,969 yards with 23 TDs and added 1,004 yards rushing

We_Run_This_Country

April 14th, 2011
2:43 pm

Vad Lee will be RS….there’s no question about that. That’s not even up for debate…..no matter how BAD the other guys look in the Spring.

GT Grad 1995

April 14th, 2011
3:07 pm

@ We_Run_This_Country:

I agree with you. I think its a stretch to say Vad will start his frosh year. But when he does, lord have mercy on the Dawgs! There going have trouble keeping this kid out of the end zone.

BigTimeTECHFan

April 14th, 2011
3:11 pm

Washington was not bad last year, but also not real good, his best game was the 1st game he played then the more he played he went down hill.
Don’t count Lee or Days out

GT Grad 1995

April 14th, 2011
3:23 pm

I’ve heard Days is pass happy. He makes passes that don’t need to be made – but also a very good athlete when it comes to scrambling. Then on the other hand Washington is more technically sound, but is gun-shy to pass and not as good of an athlete running as Days. It’s anybody’s guess at this point…

GT Grad 1995

April 14th, 2011
3:25 pm

Also, don’t know if it means anything, but CPJ seems to be very ‘tight lipped’ about Vad Lee. Not sure if this means he has no chance of winning the job, or that it means he believes he might win the job. Again, time will tell…

Ramblin Man

April 14th, 2011
4:20 pm

GT Grad 1995,
I get your point about Lee and if GT ran a pro-style I could maybe see him competing for the #1 slot, but I just do not see him winning the position with only a summer and fall to learn. The triple option may look easy but the QB has to decide who gets the ball on almost every play with very few set plays. Also I would hate to see him have a bad year if the o-line continues to struggle. I don’t see fireworks for this season and just hope the defense looks stronger, the O and D progress each game, and they end up with a winning season with some positives set for 2012.

Ramblin Man

April 14th, 2011
4:24 pm

BigTimeTECHFan,
I have said I expect to see Days get the starting job before the season ends, but I could see Washington play the whole year if he gets confident in the pitches and can control those floating passes he threw last year a little better. He did not play horrible last year and unfortunately only had Smith, Jones, and Allen to rely on as the other skill positions lacked well skill.