Orwin Smith on Vad Lee, Tech’s improved attitude

Greetings

Rod Mackenzie of scout.com and I spoke with Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith Tuesday morning at the Edge Athletic Center. Smith shared strong insights and opinions on the team’s offseason work, including what I imagine many of you are dying for, news about incoming freshman quarterback Vad Lee. I’ll share some here and more Wednesday.

1. The attitude is much better. It’s been written about before that the Jackets were complacent last year, but Smith testified further.
“Last year, I think the attitude wasn’t great at all,” he said. “Everyone seemed to be about themselves. It takes a team to win.”
The twice-weekly 7-on-7 passing drills that the team is doing are an example.
“Last year, that summer was just so empty,” he said. “We didn’t do anything.”
Players have been getting together more away from football activities, like going out to eat or watching the NBA finals together. Smith said quarterback Tevin Washington and safety Rashaad Reid have organized a lot of it.
“I’ve seen attitudes change even from some of the guys that I thought their attitudes were terrible,” Smith said. “We need our leaders to have great attitudes in order for the followers to have great attitudes.”

2. The team had a 7-on-7 session Monday night with Georgia State players. It was the first time incoming freshmen had a chance to participate. The players decided to give Lee a shot for, it sounds like, one series, and he led the team to a touchdown in about four plays.
“He looked real good,” Smith said. “I don’t want to talk too much about him, make it seem like he’s more than what he is, but he surprised me, impressed me a lot. Hey, I want to see what he can do when it comes to the option. He can throw.”
More from Smith: “You can tell he’s been studying the playbook. He wasn’t asking too many questions. The questions he was asking, you can tell he knows what he’s talking about.”
For what it’s worth, Lee said just before he left home last week that he’d been studying whatever he could about the offense, but didn’t have a playbook.

More Wednesday about Chris Jackson, Smith’s assessment of the A-backs and the workout contraption that he’s been using to increase his explosiveness.

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96 comments Add your comment

CJ

June 28th, 2011
1:08 pm

Vad Lee is going to be like Eric Crouch, Peyton Manning, and Jesus… all rolled together in one body… by game 3 this year. Probably. No pressure.

CPJ Supporter

June 28th, 2011
1:10 pm

First! And good to hear about Tevin leading the troops! One of the QB’s needed to step up sometime to be the leader of this offense.

Go Jackets!

Ken Sugiura

June 28th, 2011
1:10 pm

i think you’re underselling it. (kidding)

Jacket Backer

June 28th, 2011
1:10 pm

Sounds good….hard to believe the attitude was that bad last year…..Hope for a better 2011!!

Go Jackets!!

Todd

June 28th, 2011
1:10 pm

CJ – you forgot Aaron Rodgers. Go Pack Go!

Worm

June 28th, 2011
1:17 pm

I’m almost sure it’s a violation for teams to “scrimmage” in 7 on 7 drills….I’m sure Tech knows the rules.

GT Jason

June 28th, 2011
1:23 pm

So excited about football this year. This is GT football where legends are made. No one thinks we have a chance this year and then you start seing plays like Nesbit ripping a ball back from an FSU player and you can’t believe what you are watching.

Rduck

June 28th, 2011
1:24 pm

just like a worm, “digging for dirt”. Their are no rules that prohibit players from organizing their own offseason drills. Just like the Falcon players who have been organizing player only practices. Good to hear good news about the attitudes of this years squad. Also good to hear Lee is doing his homework. Can’t wait for the season to kick off. Should be fun. BTW Worm… how is that Carver Columbus pipeline of cash working for ya? Since you want to drum up allegations based on nothing…

Worm

June 28th, 2011
1:33 pm

Rduck- I meant schools against other schools..Everyone knows volunteer workouts are legal..I’m not digging for dirt-it was in this blog..

da uga Bagman

June 28th, 2011
1:35 pm

i had nothing to do what so ever columbus carver. they cant trace those bills to me. i wore…. glo. never mind.

Tom

June 28th, 2011
1:37 pm

Worm, did you…uh….’escape’ from the current uga or the last one?

5150 UOAD

June 28th, 2011
1:38 pm

Washington looked terrible in the Scrimmage. I hope he has been working hard since that terrible showing. Synjyn looked Great. If Lee and Days can come in and fight Washington for the job it could be a special year.

Tech Fan Since 1950

June 28th, 2011
1:38 pm

It is nice to read about the leadership Tevin is displaying. Everything is, of course, always just peachy before the practices have begun and the first game has kicked off, but still glad to see the Jackets are coming together during the summer. I saw last year’s problem children in Lawrence, Kansas for myself up close and personal during that game. It was obviously a chemistry problem last year, but 2011 is a new beginning. Glad to read about Vad too. I think he is going to be a very good quarterback. I also think it is nice that the 7 on 7 drills can be conducted GT vs GSU. Hope that one is ok.

Jackets jacket

June 28th, 2011
1:40 pm

Not surprised to see them working well against players with comparable skill sets.

JM

June 28th, 2011
2:03 pm

good to hear the players are working hard. self motivation goes a long way in this sport.

Buzzzed

June 28th, 2011
2:03 pm

Good to here the ‘tude is better and Vad is already getting involved. I really don’t see Vad, true fresh, beating out Days or Tevin next year though.

Skeptical

June 28th, 2011
2:12 pm

They were giving the same BS last year about not being complacent so lets see it on the field. Let hope Vad is our guy, bc Tevin’s throws look like a wet noodle. I’m just afraid UGA finally reloaded and we blew our chance the past two years.

GT Fan

June 28th, 2011
2:16 pm

Most fans have no idea that passing is actually very important to CPJ. This may make a difference come Sept. on who is the starting QB…

Incredible Numbers

June 28th, 2011
2:19 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

And, he compiled these stats only playing 4 full games his senior year
due to game scores being so lopsided.

We_Run_This_Country

June 28th, 2011
2:20 pm

Vad Lee needs to redshirt…..Tevin or Synjyn will be fine for this year. The defense will be MUCH improved….this year and the next few years could be very special for GT fans.

Mr. Magoo

June 28th, 2011
2:24 pm

Remember last year when all we hear about was how much time Josh was putting in with the receivers during the summer and how much better our passing game was going to be? How did that turn out for us? I will not any stock in anything these kids say before the season starts. Prove it on the field!!

TechGrad

June 28th, 2011
2:25 pm

Actually, last year, everything CPJ said made me think that he knew there was an attitude problem. He kept saying that he was having to tell guys they couldn’t just roll their helmets out onto the field and expect to win. Not good for a coach to have to say that.

Having elite athletes at every position has never been UGA’s problem. It’s the coaching, and, last time I checked, St. Richt was still at the helm. I think we’ll be alright against the pups if our guys have really gotten their act together.

DawgFan44

June 28th, 2011
2:28 pm

Vad needs to redshirt this season because I can’t bear watching the Yellow Jackets win more games than us.

Go Dawgs!

JayRasson

June 28th, 2011
2:29 pm

I’m pumped for this season already. That new CoachWatcher website has Tech in its Top 25! Here’s the link: http://www.CoachWatcher.com

Ramlin Man

June 28th, 2011
2:42 pm

No denying the fact that GT needs players to step and the QB needs to be one of them, but my main concern on offense is the line. The line looked ill prepared for the spring game and one can only hope that they get better in the summer and fall. I don’t care what QB plays if the line cannot protect him the passing game will suffer just like last year. I think one of the problems left though and hopefully this young guys under Uzzi’s leadership will develop nicely.

Ramlin Man

June 28th, 2011
2:45 pm

Ken,
Still waiting to hear some good news about McCoy.

Ken Sugiura

June 28th, 2011
3:11 pm

Regarding scrimmaging kids from other schools, I’m going to say it’s not a violation. if the coaches or the schools were involved, yes, it would be.
as for the improved attitude talk, i can understand reservations. talk is talk, as they say. but i think i’ve heard it from enough people that i think there’s some substance to it.

The Truth

June 28th, 2011
3:25 pm

I think we’re looking at pre-season acc champs!

bcall123169

June 28th, 2011
3:29 pm

sounds good for Lee and Days,but i know it”s not gonna matter to cpj if they can’t make the correct reads,that’s who’ll start come sept. but could change after rep’s for the younger guys.

Big Macon Dawg

June 28th, 2011
3:45 pm

Lot’s of hype, but not a lot of substance if you ask me.

Outside Observer

June 28th, 2011
3:47 pm

WOW!!! The team claims to have a good attitude and positive energy!!!

EVERY team reports this hoopla this time of year!! Go read a blog from ANY of the 120 FBS teams and you will read the same crap.

Maybe now you guys can beat Georgia!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

yellow britches

June 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

Sure would be nice to some some real excitement about GT football return not only to the campus but to the rest of the State. We are going to have a great season! Eight to nine wins at least and a decent bowl. Go Jackets

Ken Sugiura

June 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

ramlin man – not yet, but hopefully soon. thanks for checking.

akinji07

June 28th, 2011
3:53 pm

scared dogs bark more

run & shoot every now & then

June 28th, 2011
4:00 pm

GT must be able to complete passes and keep the opposing defense honest.

Tech Guy

June 28th, 2011
4:06 pm

The one piece Tech needs to compete for a championship is a good passer. I hope Vad Lee is that piece.

GStateBen

June 28th, 2011
4:07 pm

This is the second 7 on 7 at the Georgia State practice fields from what I’ve heard. QB Kelton Hill, WR Sidney Haynes and WR Jordan Giles have looked very strong for the Panthers.

Need to get a game scheduled for 2014 or 2015. We miss you over on the Panther beat Ken!

italian_29

June 28th, 2011
4:10 pm

Guys, I think this is good news. For those that are worried about how Tech’s O line performed in the spring game, CHILL. It takes some time for a line to gell and get chemistry. I think Tech will have a pretty good team this year if the QUARTERBACK position can be solid, manage the game, and not make the BIG mistakes. The turnovers cost you guys the game last year against the Dawgs. I look for you guys to go 8-4 or 9-3 and be in the hunt for the Coastal. Good Luck, except for that one game in Nov. Go DAWGS!!!!

Outside Observer

June 28th, 2011
4:12 pm

italian_29,

why don’t you point out the turnovers the Dawgs had against tek??

The Dawgs played a MUCH worse game that Tech did, and still won.

But congrats on the moral victory!!

italian_29

June 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

Hey outside Observer, I am a Dawg Fan, and our TO’s weren’t a critical spots like the Tech TO’s were and I am being COMPLETELY objective, if they hadn’t turned the ball over 4 times in the redzone, they probably win by 7. GO DAWGS!!!!!

GTBrad

June 28th, 2011
4:20 pm

Outside Oberver,

You’re retarded…the end.

italian_29

June 28th, 2011
4:28 pm

Don’t read well do you “Outside Observer” “moral victory” HAHAHAHAHA! We won the game STUPID!

Brock

June 28th, 2011
4:34 pm

Big Macon Dawg

June 28th, 2011
3:45 pm
Lot’s of hype, but not a lot of substance if you ask me.

and I would bet that’s what people say about you there BMD

Stinger 2

June 28th, 2011
4:53 pm

I am a GT fan who believes that it does not matter who is the “designated” QB in the CPJ TO offense. The QB is really just another running back who takes the snaps from center. When a team averages only 8 or so passes per game and only throws them when they get desparately behind in the game, passing is only an after thought or last ditch attempt to move the ball.

Confused jacket

June 28th, 2011
6:07 pm

Improved defense? Where? Same D line that got whipped all season, defensive backs are the backups that were burned as bad as starters. Talent drop off at B back, Qb and lost all conference center . Uzzi only quality D-1 player on the entire offense.
Is there a kicker that can make a FG?

Ken Sugiura

June 28th, 2011
6:10 pm

not sure i’d agree, stinger 2. true, the quarterback runs a lot, but he’s also making the reads and executing the ballhandling on the triple option. i agree he doesn’t have to be bart starr, but he isn’t just another running back. and i’d also say that, if the offense had a better passer, it’d probably throw more.

Paddy

June 28th, 2011
6:12 pm

Stinger 2 ….I agree. If CPJ had a capable qb he would be more balanced. He is too good of a coach to just forget the pass. He just has not had a passer that he trusts. Makes him predictable but still hard to stop that run if his O-line is playing well. Should be an interesting year in Georgia college football.

Do What?

June 28th, 2011
6:15 pm

Ken – how are you coming along with those “Open Records” requests for GT to provide all info pertaining to the NCAA and any secondary violations?

A Rob

June 28th, 2011
6:34 pm

Stinger 2.
If passing remains a last-ditch effort to move the ball and not a part of our offense, then we will be mediocre like last year. Two of the main reasons for our success in PJ’s first year were passing to Thomas, and the element of surprise. Surprise is gone, but we can still pass if we have the pieces. If not, its gonna be another rough season.

Jimmy

June 28th, 2011
6:42 pm

Stinger,

Actually the QB has a lot of responsibilities in the run game. He determines whether or not to hand the ball off to the B-Back or keep it. If it’s a keeper he’ll then read the DE and determine whether or not to pitch it to the trailing A-Back. If he doesn’t make the right reads along the defensive front 7 he’ll get his backs killed.