Bedford on Finch: ‘Infinitely more talented’

He has an optimistic bent and is perhaps a little biased, but former Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford gives a recommendation to the Yellow Jackets offensive line and his replacement in particular.

“With Jay Finch rolling in at center, he’s infinitely more talented than I ever was,” Bedford said by phone last Friday. “He’s bigger, faster, stronger and he’s just going to need the experience.”

Of his other former cohorts, Bedford said, “I think (guards) Will Jackson and Omoregie Uzzi are phenomenally talented. (Tackle) Phil Smith has the potential to be great, and there’s a lot of guys who have the potential to make things happen. A lot of it is avoiding injuries and getting on the field. The raw materials are there to make it happen. It’s up to them to go out and do it.”

Finch is slated to step in for Bedford, a two-time All-ACC center and the winner of the inaugural Burlsworth Trophy, given to the country’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on. A junior from Kennesaw Mountain High in Acworth, Finch backed up Bedford last season and also started three games at left guard.

“In terms of raw ability, I think he is one of the better offensive linemen I’ve seen in the last couple years,” Bedford said. “He’s a great athlete; he’s very quick, very fast, good footwork.”

However talented Finch is, though, the position takes time to learn, and much of it has little to do with brawn or agility. Bedford called his switch from the defensive line to center “overwhelming” and said the demands of the position at first prevented him from being consistently productive. Knowing each lineman’s assignment and understanding each play’s goals required more mental processing, he said, than playing defense did. He said he got the hang of it as a junior, when he won the starting job, and much more so his senior season in 2010.

“It becomes a lot more natural and it allows you to become a much better player,” he said.

Those are the challenges that face Finch, who has had a little more grounding time than Bedford had before starting. Finch played scout team as a redshirt freshman and then backed up Bedford in 2010, giving him two springs and one season of practice time. Bedford was a walk-on defensive lineman going into the 2008 season, Paul Johnson’s first at Tech, when he was asked to switch over to offense a couple weeks before the first game. He became starter in 2009.

Leadership at center “is something you have to develop over time and you have to develop a rapport with your fellow linemen,” Finch said. “I think once he gets that, I think he’s going to be a player that Tech fans have a lot to be excited about.”

I’ll have a little more from Bedford later this week, including his wrap-up of his experience as a football player in Spain and his assessment of why the 2010 season went south.

29 comments Add your comment

zgoldatl

July 11th, 2011
11:47 am

go jackets. first?

juvenal

July 11th, 2011
12:23 pm

can’t match Bedford’s smarts……….

Always a Jacket

July 11th, 2011
12:49 pm

Ken, thanks for tracking down Sean. I am expecially interested in his thoughts on what happened last year. I’ll bet he has the real story.

Ken Sugiura

July 11th, 2011
1:25 pm

thanks. hopefully his explanation sheds a little more light. it’s along the lines of what players and coaches have cited, but maybe goes a little further. don’t expect names and a paper trail, though.

William Casey

July 11th, 2011
1:37 pm

How many teams have a real “rocket scientist” at center? GT did and I thank Sean Bedford for his efforts. He was a major reason why Tech lead the nation in rushing. I’m betting that Jay Finch picked-up a lot from Sean.

lucky21

July 11th, 2011
1:37 pm

Bedford sounds word for word like CPJ I wonder if he considers coaching at all

PerimeterCenterJacket

July 11th, 2011
1:52 pm

Bedford could coach…or y’know….work for NASA!

Only at Tech. Go Jackets!

JM

July 11th, 2011
3:09 pm

I am glad he’s confident in their skills. Now its ime for them to show their worth on the field, Actions speak louder than words. These players are going to get it done in 2011.

Big Macon DAWG

July 11th, 2011
3:25 pm

Your offensive line is very, very undersized.

Look for them to get pushed around.

Reed

July 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

Sure didn’t show up in the spring game

Pate

July 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

Wow it must suck to live in macon. No wonder all you do is post on here. No life living in that craphole. Fits a redneck uga fan though just like a pig in slop.

Gator

July 11th, 2011
5:43 pm

Worry about you’re own team Macon Burger. Will kick your ace in November. Can’t wait :)

Big Macon DAWG

July 11th, 2011
8:44 pm

@Gator

You won’t. And you wouldn’t bet a month’s salary on it, or you would be stupid. 9/10 doesn’t portend success if you’re a Jacket.

I’m not talking smack.

Just a CFB fan, that lives in the fantastic state of Georgia…. In the glorious city of MACON! Not far from Athens.

You guys need to beef up on the OL and defensive line, to be competitive. Ask Bradley or Schultz if you don’t believe me.

Buzzwax

July 11th, 2011
9:07 pm

‘big’ macon dog – Our ‘undersized’ OL put up 411 yards RUSHING. Four turnovers and a missed extra point were the reasons we lost last year, not the size of our OL….

LT – Phil Smith RJR, 6′5″ 292, Catlin Alford RFR, 6′3″ 295
LG – Will Jackson RSO, 6′3″ 285, J.C. Lanier RSO, 6′4″ 298
C – Jay Finch RSO, 6′3″ 283, Nick McRae RJR, 6′3″ 291
RG – O. Uzzi RJR, 6′3″ 300, Trey Braun F, 6′5″ 295
RT – Tyler Kidney RSO 6′2″ 262, Ray Beno RSO 6′2″ 290

Reserves

Brian Chamberlain F, 6′4″ 291, Errin Joe F, 6′3″ 285, Shaquille Mason F, 6′1″ 305, Morgan Bailey RF, 6′4″ 298, Tim Seager FR (prf W/O?) 6′2″ 295, Bryce Sweeney F (prf W/O?)

RT seems undersized but keep in mind GT’s OT’s are not blocking the DT’s or DE’s as they go UNBLOCKED on most plays and are ‘optioned’. GT’s OT’s block Line Backers on most plays and need to be QUICK not BIG.

Buzzwax

July 11th, 2011
9:12 pm

GT’s OL is ‘thin’ on experience but were all recruited for this offense. GT will lose ZERO O Lineman in the THREE deep going into 2012 and by the middle to end of 2011 should be pretty damn good, INJURIES notwithstanding!

vamosjackets

July 11th, 2011
11:32 pm

@ big macon mongrel

Did you watch the GT-Ugag game the last 3 years. GT’s offense has torched Ugag’s defense every time. Need to play better defense (which is coming together with Coach Groh) and cut down the turnovers, and that is one of our more winnable games. How do you mesh GT’s offensive domination of Ugag with your previous opinion of our OL? Is it that Ugag’s defensive front 7 is that bad and have lacked player development like the rest of the team? Or is the Ugag defensive coaching staff just completely inept? I’d love to hear your explanation.

Wes Durham's Gigantic Bottom

July 12th, 2011
12:31 am

Exciting times down on the Flats…..pitches to A-Backs….dives to B-Backs…..2-3 forward passes per game……it is not surprising that the City of Atlanta has bought into Radkovich’s plan to market GT as “Atlanta’s College Football Team”…….does Georgia State begun Colonial Athletic Association play this season???????

brent cunningham

July 12th, 2011
5:38 am

It looks as if uga will be scrapping the bottom , looking for people to play, with most of their players leaving for one reason or the other. Whats going on over there?

Tubby

July 12th, 2011
6:08 am

I smell pancakes…Go Jackets!!!

gt4ever

July 12th, 2011
9:24 am

MMMMMMMM, pancakes…. I guess Crowell had too many pancakes this summer….

Chuck Allison

July 12th, 2011
9:35 am

It is not altogether pleasant to live in Macon, but it sure beats Atlanta. If you have to be in a big town, go to Valdosta, Gainesville or Rome. Get out of Atlanta while you are still young.

Chuck Allison

July 12th, 2011
9:39 am

Big Macon Dawg,

You are correct about our OL being smaller than most D1 schoolss. However, it could be just a little larger if that is what Johnson wanted. Speed, strenght, agility, and the stamina to get downfield is what he is looking for. We average about 30 punds lighter than UGA on the offensive line positions. If you go back and look at the weight of UGA and GT recruits when they originaly sign, they are much closer in size. The big difference then is their academics.

Steady GT Fan

July 12th, 2011
10:06 am

I appreciate Sean’s perspective. This offense does much better with good Offensive Line play. I am not sure what happened in the spring game, but hope for the best.

Teddy Roosevelt

July 12th, 2011
11:17 am

I’ve taken dumps bigger than Valdosta, Gainesville or Rome. Smelled better too.

[...] the link to Monday’s blog, in which he spoke highly of his successor Jay Finch. Some other notes from [...]

HelluvaEngineer

July 12th, 2011
12:47 pm

Great job as always Ken. The contrast could not be more stark having last week’s story about Caleb King who couldn’t pass a summer class at U[sic]GA to Sean Bedford, a guy who maximized his ability meanwhile earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering at Tech. Talk about a microcosm of Tech and U[sic]GA!

GT Fan

July 12th, 2011
12:49 pm

We will certainly miss Sean. Great guy and great life long supporter of GT! I’m glad to see him moving on with his life playing some ball in Spain. He and Anthony Allen seem to be the only ones that have truly moved on. All the other seniors and juniors (too funny) that didn’t make the NFL cut seem to be whining about their situations.

Tech Man

July 12th, 2011
5:52 pm

Ken;

Would you please use proper grammer with upper case letters where required. Other than that small detail your blog is 100% excellent.

Go Tech! Eleven wins in 2011.

atl xmen

July 12th, 2011
11:04 pm

guys ..ga tech gained 400 plus yards on a uga defense that had no rest because the offense scored so quickly and tech ran 20 or so more plays during that game. so no big deral that tech out gained uga on the ground with those x factors. tech ran just about every play and techs yards per rush were less than uga. the only reason techg out gainde uga and just about every team they played is because the ran 95 percent of the time.