Updated: Tech’s P. Smith suspended for first two games

Greetings-

These are the notes filed for the paper. Paul Johnson was not a happy guy this afternoon. Practice apparently didn’t go so well…

Georgia Tech offensive tackle Phil Smith will be suspended for the first two games of the season for violating team rules, coach Paul Johnson said Wednesday. Johnson would not specify the rules that Smith, a returning starter, broke.

Smith is expected to regain his starting position after serving the suspension. His likely replacement for Tech’s games against Western Carolina Sept. 1 and Middle Tennessee State Sept. 10 is either Catlin Alford or Ray Beno. Alford is a redshirt freshman; Beno played three games as a redshirt freshman last season.

The suspension further hampers the line’s objective to build cohesion after an injury-filled spring practice. Alford and Beno have received many of the first-team practice repetitions in Smith’s place. Further, starting guard Will Jackson missed his second day in a row of practice along with backup tackle Morgan Bailey with injuries. Backup guard J.C. Lanier is likely out at least three weeks with a stress fracture.

“Certainly, when you don’t have a group working together, it’s a big deal,” Johnson said. “It’s been an issue this spring and now.”

The injuries and the suspension are revealing Tech’s lack of depth. With the injuries, true freshman Trey Braun has been working with the first team at guard and fellow true freshmen Errin Joe and Shaq Mason have been the second-team guards.

No other players are suspended.

Practice report

After a series of encouraging practices, the Yellow Jackets hit a wall Wednesday, which left Johnson in a sour state. The team practiced twice, working in shoulder pads in the morning and full pads in the afternoon.

“I guess it was less than stellar,” Johnson said. “I thought at the end of the practice this afternoon, the defense had a good period. They kicked the fool out of the offense. Other than that, it was just so-so.”

Asked to clarify which parts of practice had disappointed him, Johnson replied “the whole thing” and said intensity and effort were lacking.

Holton making a run

Safety Fred Holton is making a push for a starting job, Johnson said. Holton, one of the strongest and hardest-working players on the team, is behind Isaiah Johnson on the depth chart. Asked about second-string players challenging for starting jobs, Johnson mentioned one other beside Holton, outside linebacker Brandon Watts, who is behind Steven Sylvester.

Said Johnson, “The guys who are making most of the plays are the guys who are playing, (inside linebacker) Julian Burnett, guys like that, (defensive end) Jason Peters.”

Days struggling

Judging from comments made by coaches, it is becoming evident that backup quarterback Synjyn Days is not having the best camp. Tuesday, quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon praised Days’ running ability but said that he sometimes has mental lapses and a lack of focus, which lead to negative plays. Wednesday, Johnson said his hope for Days for Saturday’s scrimmage is that he “run the offense and execute at a higher level than he has so far.”

Days is the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Tevin Washington.

Schedule

Tech will have single practices Thursday and Friday followed by the first of two scrimmages Saturday morning. It will be the first time the team uses Bobby Dodd Stadium since the field was re-sodded at the end of June. Johnson plans to run more than 100 plays.

I’m not sure what camp-related stuff I’ll post Thursday, as only Johnson was available Wednesday, but I did talk to a few former Tech guys in NFL camps this week to get their thoughts on rookie life.

Thanks for reading. Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

By Ken Sugiura, AJC

177 comments Add your comment

fan of shorter passes

August 10th, 2011
7:32 pm

one reason you start with directionals…

sasquatch

August 10th, 2011
7:34 pm

phil – don’t be stupid, son.

reebok

August 10th, 2011
7:36 pm

glad we start w/ 2 soft games. phil – grow up fast.

Giff Smith

August 10th, 2011
7:44 pm

sounds like a urine test failure

michael

August 10th, 2011
7:45 pm

late for practice, missed work out, forgot to register for school???? WHAT????????

MTSU

August 10th, 2011
7:46 pm

Don’t kid yourself not a big talent gap between GT and MTSU.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2011
7:50 pm

michael – don’t know, but it’s probably not any of your three suggestions.

Buzz

August 10th, 2011
7:50 pm

Not a big talent gap? Did you watch last years game? I believe MTSU’s star qb threw 4 interception.

joe schmoe

August 10th, 2011
7:52 pm

Mtsu = GA troll

Tech Fan Since 1950

August 10th, 2011
7:52 pm

I agree MTSU. Tech cannot take any team for granted. MTSU has some talent and it is at there place. Tech, unfortunately, is not a stranger to being overconfident. Does Kansas come to mind? Come on Phil and guys. Stay focused. It is only four or five years of your lives and you will regret it if you do not make the most of it. But again, college is a learning time and it is not just about books. So learn something!

Chuck Allison

August 10th, 2011
8:00 pm

I am a Tech fan, but there is no way Tech fans should criticize anyone else’s passing game. We haven’t had a passing game for three years and there is no reason we should expect one this year. However, we can hope!

Stinger 2

August 10th, 2011
8:01 pm

Giff Smith: What showed up in the urine test he failed?

Stinger 2

August 10th, 2011
8:03 pm

Chuck Allison: You are so right. We can always hope but not have great expectations as long as CPJ is the coach.

Burdell

August 10th, 2011
8:10 pm

Who criticized someone’s passing game, Chuck? It is a fact that “The Gambler” threw a bunch of INTs in last season’s game. He talked a whole bunch of trash leading up to the game too. I remember JT taking one to the house.

GO JACKETS!!

But yes, internal discipline of 2 games…usually equals failed sample…not of the Drummond variety.

Outside Observer

August 10th, 2011
8:16 pm

I read the title, thought they were talking about Orwin Smith. Phil is certainly a loss, but the O-line is constantly getting adjustments. Come on Phil, don’t be stupid. Come back with a chip on your shoulder and play your heart out.

Goldenrod

August 10th, 2011
8:17 pm

No big whup, we still gonna finish undefeated, win the ACC and stomp the leghumpers in November.

Ramblin Man

August 10th, 2011
8:25 pm

First off do not just say Smith in the headline since you had to know all the fans would think Orwin Smith. Shame on you Ken.
I could care less that the first two games are what some would call cupcakes. It’s game experience he will miss with a line that needs to work on its timing. Hope the kid gets his act together this line can’t take to many hits.

MTSU

August 10th, 2011
8:31 pm

No UGA fan and last year was our qb first game back from suspension. It was 14-7 at the half. Plus it’s in Murfreesboro, we beat Maryland two straight seasons and from looking at Tech roster you don’t look much better than Maryland.

@MTSU

August 10th, 2011
9:08 pm

I don’t like to plan my meals 3 weeks in advance but maybe you do. What side items do you eat with Crow?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2011
9:14 pm

Just don’t go up there and overlook them. Stranger things have happened

BigTimeTECHFan

August 10th, 2011
9:22 pm

MTSU: it’s cool, I agree Tech should not take MTSU as a give-me win, glad to see your supporting your team.

you guys got a nice QB in Tim Byerly, won state title in GA, 1st team all state in GA. win at all cost type QB.

M. B.

August 10th, 2011
9:26 pm

I take NO team for granted. Remember losses to Army, Duke, AND Furman. And I NEVER EVER predict a win over the Pups!

USMC DAWG

August 10th, 2011
9:30 pm

Holy crap, first GT gets an ACC title revoked, now player suspensions. What kind of thug program if Johnson running over there anyway? That’s all you hear anytime a UGA player jaywalks…

BG

August 10th, 2011
9:35 pm

Funny! The guy is suspended for the first 2 cupcake games.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2011
9:35 pm

M.B. it’s not you and I who shouldn’t take a team for granted; it’s the players on the team. I don’t want to see another Gardner-Webb debacle, and certainly not another Kansas screw-up.

Worm

August 10th, 2011
9:37 pm

If they’re counting on Alford and Bailey, they’re in BIG trouble…But, they are playing two sisters of the poor the first two.

Randy

August 10th, 2011
9:52 pm

What did you expect BG? To suspend him the 6th and 7th games of the season? Idiot.

sports

August 10th, 2011
10:00 pm

very typical of the techies here…they still need a warden.

Who cares

August 10th, 2011
10:02 pm

@USMC DAWG. If you truly are a Marine you should have enough since to understand the difference between suspension for breaking a rule and breaking the law. I know when I was in we understood when someone did something that was dumb you don’t treat it as if they broke the law. By the way it is “What kind of thug program is Johnson running….”.

Go Jackets!!! USMC Original

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2011
10:03 pm

With all the mutts suspended, kicked off the team, arrested, flunking out, etc, etc, the mutt trolls on here have a helluva lot of room to talk.

dap01

August 10th, 2011
10:04 pm

Can you imagine the headlines if this was a payer from UGA? I assure that it would be SLANTED differently.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2011
10:06 pm

dap01, for one thing they would put the whole name and not leave it to the readers to wonder which player with the same last name it actually was. I can’t believe Ken didn’t say “PHIL SMITH” in the headline

GSUStud

August 10th, 2011
10:12 pm

State could beat Tech this year if they weren’t afraid to schedule us.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 10th, 2011
10:27 pm

As if ignorant redneck trolls from THUGa were not enough, now we have STUPID GSU trolls. But I guess I needed a good laugh.

final score > total rushing yards

August 10th, 2011
10:31 pm

What the heck kind of program are you nerds running over there??

NCAA violations and probation for the second time in a very short span, suspensions, academic ineligibilities,…..

Aren’t these all things that (except for NCAA probation) that you attempt to declare UGA a “cesspool” over?? TROUBLE IN ATLANTA

LIARS AND CHEATERS!!!!

final score > total rushing yards

August 10th, 2011
10:34 pm

Stephen Hill and Mario Edwards get “special tutoring” yet???

Buzzy

August 10th, 2011
10:46 pm

what is going on here? the program is in big trouble. first we are caught for our lieing and cheating & have our title and games stipped from us in the most embarrasing scandal in years in our state and now our thugs are getting suspended after we paid good money to get them to play in the ghetto.

Also I have a big beef with you ooky guys at the ajc for reporting this story in the first place. I know for a fact we spend lots of cash for “advertising” at your paper just to make sure bad and highly embarassing stories like this are killed before anyone finds out about it.

Surely your highly trained staff of bloggers could have “created” another story about those mean old dogs to cover our misdeeds. God knows you have done this often enough in the past. Why stop now?

Lee Purdy

August 10th, 2011
10:47 pm

Ken -

Can you tell me what time is curfew? What time is lights out? Who does the bed checks during this time at the hotel? Maybe this is what happened to Phil Smith.

Thanks

Jacket93-Panther98

August 10th, 2011
10:49 pm

Looking forward to the home openers of BOTH my Alma maters GT &GSU. Bill Curry is awesome and the Panthers look great!! Get your tickets and c’mon down to the dome.
GO JACKETS!
GO PANTHERS!!

No techies on Paris Island

August 10th, 2011
10:54 pm

@ who cares

By the way it is sense, not since. Nothing more pathetic than making a spelling error when you are correcting someone else. Well any tech fan is more pathetic but they set the bar for pathetic.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2011
11:15 pm

lee – it’s not something that happened recently, so I don’t think it was a curfew matter.
for those who think i should have indicated it was Phil Smith and not Orwin Smith, I apologize. Typically, headlines don’t include first names but, regardless of which Smith it was, a distinction should have been made. Thanks.
No techies – it’s Parris Island, not “Paris” Island.

Ramblin Man

August 10th, 2011
11:18 pm

No Techies on Paris Island. I beg to differ
Bill Goodhew, IM 61, of Atlanta, vice president of Intelligent Systems Corp. He is a past chair of the Alumni Association board of trustees and the Roll Call Leadership Circle gift club. He has served on the Georgia Tech Foundation board of trustees, the Georgia Tech Research Corp. advisory board, the Alexander-Tharpe Fund board and the Georgia Tech campaign steering committee. In 1995 Goodhew was inducted into the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame. The Southeastern Software Association has named him Entrepreneur of the Year and Software Executive of the Decade. He also served in the Marine Corps.

Jacket Man

August 10th, 2011
11:19 pm

Paul Johnson has immediately stepped up and suspended a starter for two games for his 1st team violation by his player.

Just because Mark Richt may, or may not, give his players a few breaks before he takes action against them has no relevance to the Yellow Jackets either.

Let’s stay on task, people, and try to get ready for our own teams. There’s plenty to keep us occupied with the new season upon us.

Tech Fan

August 10th, 2011
11:19 pm

Ken, I am going to keep asking, what is the status of Jabari Hunt Days? He was our biggest recruit under Vad Lee, how is he doing?

Ramblin Man

August 10th, 2011
11:24 pm

GSUstud,
You do understand that most schedules are made a year or two in advance so how exactly would GT have scheduled to play GSU this season? I think GT has a opening for non-conference in 2013 so who knows. No offense though but I hope GT has the depth problem fixed and a set of starters by 2013 and would look to shedule a stronger team if one is available. Not a hit on GSU as I hope they can build a strong program I would just like to see GT schedule the likes of a ND or Auburn again.

Ramblin Man

August 10th, 2011
11:33 pm

Jacket Man probably more of a mandatory thing compared to steping up. That and GT is walking on REALLY thin ice right now.
On a completely different note what is up with the new celebration/taunting penalty? Talk about a joke and leaving room for way to much discretion? So say in a huge game or rivalry a kid makes a 90 yard pick 6 and dares to do something the ref feels is taunting before reaching the end zone the TD is recalled and a 15 yard penalty from the spot of the foul. STUPID.

#SearchingForLeaders

August 10th, 2011
11:38 pm

P. Smith what were you thinking? Do you not know the rules? Do you not care about team chemistry and team success?
#aimatnothingandyouwillhitit

AugustaBuzz

August 10th, 2011
11:41 pm

“No techies on Paris Island”, General Raymond Davis.

Ken Sugiura

August 10th, 2011
11:43 pm

Tech Fan – I asked CPJ about the freshman linebackers this afternoon: “I don’t know. They hardly ever play. I haven’t seem them do a whole lot.”

If Jabari Hunt-Days has stood out: “Not really. He’s like everybody else. He’s learning.”

It wasn’t the most clear answer. I was going to look into it again next week.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 10th, 2011
11:59 pm

“No techies on Paris Island”

Coach Joe Speed
BigTimeTechFan