Groh discusses scrimmage, Holton, Attaochu

Greetings-

Larry Hartstein of cbssports.com (and formerly of the AJC) and I spoke with defensive coordinator Al Groh about the scrimmage and the progress of a few players. A couple thoughts below.

Q: What was your analysis of the scrimmage?

A: We made a lot of progress as far as the physical nature of our game. We have guys who understand how physically you have to play.  We had the opportunity to give a lot of plays to some younger players that we’re trying to develop. Those were two things that really stood out the most.

Q: Anything that was disappointing?

A: Unless we give up no yards and no points, we can always do better. But that’s the process of camp. This is a process here. You’re really focused on the process rather than on the results. So what that process entails is still throughout this week we install, we continue to install our scheme, practice it, come in tonight, correct it, try to see those corrections, show up tomorrow, install again tomorrow and go through the same process. It’s kind of a daily (routine) the way things are going.

Q: Do you take anything from the fact that the offense threw a lot of passes and the defense had one interception?

A: We only look at one thing: the scoreboard. That’s what the defense’s job is, to keep the points down. Overall it was a fairly decent day in that respect.

Q: How is Jeremiah Attaochu doing so far?

A: Jeremiah’s having a solid camp. His game has clearly developed. He’s got skills. He’s a bright kid. Last year was just about just learning his job. Usually, that’s the process with players. In the beginning, they’ve just got to learn what their job is, or else they’re just going in the wrong places. Once they’re pretty solidified with that, then they begin the process of learning how to expertly do their job.

This camp has been entirely different for him in that respect in that last year, he was just learning the terminology – what his job was, where he was supposed to line up, where he was supposed to be after the snap. He’s pretty solidified with that. He’s got the opportunity to work on his skills to be able to out-execute the other player.

Q: What sorts of skills is he developing?

A: It’s just his overall game. A player at his stage, he’s only started one game in his career. So every facet of his game is in position to move forward, which he’s concentrating on doing with all things. At his position, you’ve got to play with strength and power against the run, he’s got to rush the passer, he’s got to be a very capable player in pass coverage. So there’s a lot of different ribbons to tie around that present.

Q: Emmanuel Dieke is another player who played well in the scrimmage. What do you see for him this year?

A: He’s another player (that) last year, coming off his redshirt year, it was really his first year (of playing) and. then, (also his) first year in this scheme. And you can see, his body type, he’s had to grow into his athletic ability a little bit plus understanding the scheme. He’s really in the same circumstance as Jerry, even though he was in the second year of school last year.

Whether it’s Brandon Watts or Attaochu or Louis Young or Euclid (Cummings) or Dieke or those guys, they were really just in their first year of being coached in the scheme last year. They were all rookies and this year, they’re just second-year players who certainly have a lot of the process in front of them with two more seasons after this one to go. Next year, we’ll probably be telling you in training camp just how much further they’ve gone, that they’ve really shown that they’re on the second half of their career.

Q: Are you seeing the development that you want to see from the second-team defensive line?

A: We certainly have more players who look like they might have the opportunity to give us minutes this year.

Q: What is the impact of losing Fred Holton?

A: He’s a really promising young player and had done a nice job throughout those 13 practices. That’s a downside. But that’s the nature of this game. This isn’t, well, I don’t want to mention any other sports. Then I’ll have all the activists after me. There’s a little more injuries incurred in this sport than in most others. A team has to develop a mentality of ‘next man up.’ I don’t follow this stuff, but I’m fairly certain that out of 119 I-A teams, there are probably no teams that have not lost a significant player at this point (of preseason).

That’s where you have to begin to develop your depth at an early time. That’s why, at this stage, we’re still trying to give a lot of turns to players that we may not necessarily are going to play in the games early, but sooner or later they’re going go to, so this is the timeframe to develop the depth and develop the mentality on the part of all of the players that when you’re put in, we expect you to play like a first-team player or else we wouldn’t put you in. That process now at that position is ongoing. We’ll see how it goes.

Q: How are you using Jemea Thomas in camp?

A: He’s playing both corner and safety.

Thoughts: Groh said what I imagine fans would want to hear about Attaochu, that he is continuing to get better after being one of the most improved players in spring practice, if not the most improved. He’s a player I’m really eager to see this season.

The brevity and vagueness of what he said about the second-team defensive line may be telling.

If Groh can develop replacements for his seniors, particularly defensive tackle Logan Walls and Jason Peters, where successors are less evident than for linebacker Steven Sylvester and safety Rashaad Reid, I think the defense will be a tough bunch in 2012 and 2013. There’ll be a lot of impact players who will be one year better in the scheme, most of them recruited to play in it.

You should check out Larry’s work here. Definitely some good stuff.

69 comments Add your comment

bkwreck

August 16th, 2011
8:04 am

Whatever

August 16th, 2011
8:12 am

I am giving Groh one more year to do something. I still think he is an absolutely horrible football coach.

Niner Jacket

August 16th, 2011
8:26 am

The scrimmage sucked, we suck, Johnson is horrible. All we can hope for is another loser season so we can finally get a coach that knows how to play big boy football for a change.

Rduck

August 16th, 2011
8:28 am

nice to hear the defense is coming along. hate it for Holton. the kid was a workout warrior in the offseason and was pushing for substantial playing time. rest up and get ready for 2012 Fred. Attaochu is gonna be a force to be reckoned with this year. need to get some DL’s for the future.
go Jackets

GT Fan

August 16th, 2011
8:33 am

WHATEVER- Where is your Super Bowl ring?

gt4ever

August 16th, 2011
8:38 am

Yikes, always talking about how young we are….. Duh…. Everybody has the same problem Coach! It’s up to you to recruit and fill the holes….. We are in for a LONG year….

SteveEpson

August 16th, 2011
8:42 am

I love Al Groh and am glad that he is our DC. I hope he sticks around after this year. By the way…Tech is in the Top 25 at that awesome new website, CoachWatcher.com!

Tokyo jacket

August 16th, 2011
8:48 am

Gorilla Biscuit

August 16th, 2011
8:50 am

When do the beatdowns start?

Tokyo jacket

August 16th, 2011
8:56 am

Whatever/niner – seriously? Very clear you’re not Tech fans. CAG is developing and recruiting talent. Our players are bigger and faster this year than we’ve had in recent years. They’re in year two of the scheme which is when significant progress is made. We’re starting a pipeline into Good Counsel, a school that matches or beats Stephenson year in and year out in terms of talent.

BS Patrol

August 16th, 2011
9:13 am

gt4ever has to be the stupidest troll ever. He can’t even keep his WE and You straight. He is the one looking at a LONG SEASON.

Big Ol Stinger

August 16th, 2011
9:24 am

Different day, same old trolls. Right Jason/Troy boy?

builderdawg

August 16th, 2011
9:25 am

still trying to sell out your football tickets i see. how about 1/2 off……….hahahahahahahahahaha

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2011
9:35 am

Ignore them, guys. They always say the same crap, and nothing any of us can say will stop them. Maybe, if nobody responds, they will get bored and run away.

BigTimeTechFan

August 16th, 2011
9:43 am

Defense is the key, If Tech improves on defense watch out it could be a good year.

Is Drummond still running with 1st team LB’s? who are the projected starters at LB?
Burnett
Drummond
Sylvester
Attaochu

gotta get Watts some time. Also Nealy and Rocker plus all the Frosh, Tech is loaded at LB

colin cowherd dont know nuthin

August 16th, 2011
9:46 am

Whatever, whatever the heck do you know? What have you got on your resume? What do you know about anything and how can an idiot like you question the accomplishments about anything especially Al Groh? Probably another fantasy flunky wannabe fat slob armchair coach like colin cowherd who never played a second of ball in there life. UGAG homer stay on your on board and criticize your own coaches

Raleigh_Jacket

August 16th, 2011
9:54 am

Building year. Defense should be improved from last season. Washington needs to avoid those fumbles in the redzone. I feel this team has the potential to surprise some teams. Beat Georgia!

Worm

August 16th, 2011
9:55 am

@Bigtimetechfan-Rocker is no longer with the team.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2011
10:01 am

Not only is Rocker no longer with the team, he is earning BIG BUCKS with Microsoft in LA. He is the quintessential student-athlete….or was, since he’s now gone. I guess Roddy Jones is now, since he stayed at Tech to work on his masters degree.

JM

August 16th, 2011
10:08 am

can’t wait to see the defense improve over last season. Keeping points off the board is the key to the defense. But I’d like to see some additional forced turnovers too. If the other team doesn’t have the ball, they can’t score.

Delbert D.

August 16th, 2011
10:10 am

Logan Walls, as well. Multiple ACC Academic awards.

Delbert D.

August 16th, 2011
10:16 am

Roddy Jones – grad student, 2-time All-ACC Academic team
Preston Lyons – ACC Academic Honor Roll 2010
Logan Walls – grad student, ACC Academic Honor roll past 2 years
Will Jackson – ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2010
Jason Peters – member of Ga. Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board

PerimeterCenterJacket

August 16th, 2011
10:30 am

I mean, I just want big nasty tackles. Pads crackling and footballs popping out of runners’ arms. That and the occasional interception. Is brutality and violence in a college defense too much to ask? This is Tech. You have to study so hard…HIT SOMEONE FOR IT!

Anyway, it sounds like some young talent is coming right along. I will be tuned into the rompings of the most violent player on the field – the deceptively short Julian Burnett. His height doesn’t hinder him, but his Napoleonic rage and freakish power-to-weight ratio will bruise many sternums (sterna?) this season.

Go Jackets! Get some D!

crackbaby

August 16th, 2011
10:58 am

Julian Bennett – hopefully he is a modern day Jessie “The Hammer” Tuggle.

headley lamar

August 16th, 2011
11:00 am

4 Tickets 4 Cokes 4 Hot Dogs 4 Programs 4 Completed Passes

4 Years on Probation

Dog kicker

August 16th, 2011
11:02 am

we will surprise some folks this year; I see a 9 win season

headley lamar

August 16th, 2011
11:04 am

This is Tech. You have to study so hard

Yeah for that ahem “Management” degree

Funny how 98 percent of the football players major in that. LOL

BTW was curious what is Reuben Houston’s title at NASA.

Im sure he is doing great work for them.

headley lamar

August 16th, 2011
11:05 am

we will surprise some folks this year; I see a 9 win season

Vegas says 6. They will be happy to take your money … I mean bet.

Born2Buzz

August 16th, 2011
11:06 am

We are going to be better than last year, but that’s not saying much. Our LBs will be better for sure, and that is the key to this D.
We need some of the big boys to step up though. As much as I admire Logan Walls for his smarts and his motor, he is not big enough to make an impact at NG. But until TJ Barnes grows up or another youngster emerges Walls is going to be on the field. Middle LBs and Safety may be making a lot of tackles.

juvenal

August 16th, 2011
11:09 am

good comment, Super……after all, our opinion about their intellect is validated by the asinity of their posts…

Born2Buzz

August 16th, 2011
11:21 am

And gt4ever, we are very young. Over 50 FR & RSFR on the squad. That’s half the team. We only have 17 SR & RSSR on the squad, which is not surprising since the RSSR are the last of Gailey’s recruits and the SR’s are the first of CPJ’s (which was understandably a lean recruiting year).
But all this means is that the future is promising.

Still, the D will be better this year. It has to be.

gtfanfrom1951

August 16th, 2011
11:23 am

I think Tech will have a very, very good season 9 + wins!!! Dog fans and tech fans need to send up prayers that no more players get hurt.

juvenal

August 16th, 2011
11:27 am

oops, mispelled a word-re:headless, assininity…..

BigTimeTechFan

August 16th, 2011
11:51 am

Rocker – oh yea, forgot about that.
Wonder how Jabari Hunt-Days, Harrell, Menocal, McNair, Cheeks, and Travis looked in the scrimmage, anyone stand out???

just think next year Tech will have:
Cheeks and Chungong

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2011
12:08 pm

juvenal, you might just as well go ahead and say it — he’s a stupid SOB

Hahahahahaha!!!!

August 16th, 2011
12:11 pm

Its called “The M-Train” at Yech for a reason. Because all the athletes jump on borad the management degree ride!!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2011
12:12 pm

BigTime, that’s funny. I like that.

Love GT hypocrites

August 16th, 2011
12:17 pm

Poor juvenal, someone played spelling blog police with his sad little arse for a changed.

Al's Growth

August 16th, 2011
12:18 pm

We are better than last year but still light years away from being able to stop anyone. We need better players. The 3 – 4 defense requires 3 star (or better) on the DL and 4 star (or better) at LB.

Preseason praise will not win games but that is all we have. The cupboard is empty.

Old BuZZerd

August 16th, 2011
12:52 pm

Thank you Al. You’re a special coach and man. The players will benefit from your wisdom decades after they take their last snap. GA Tech is very lucky to have a man of your stature.

BIG BEE

August 16th, 2011
12:58 pm

BUILDERDAWG,HEADLEY LAMAR, two peas in a pod, or two redneck idiots, what else can one say?

PerimeterCenterJacket

August 16th, 2011
1:12 pm

Bashing the “M-train?” No, see, you don’t get to do that unless you’re an engineering or architecture student ATTENDING GEORGIA TECH. Why? Well, if you’re not one, then to you it’s the “Bachelor’s of Science in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology,” and it’s the best business undergraduate degree in the state unless your school costs a jillion dollars and goes by the name “Emory.” That’s not just for undergrad either, since now our MBA and EMBA are both ranked highest in the state (right there behind Emory) as well. So laugh all you want, but business majors are respected at most schools as people who have to work hard for their degree, but at Tech we technical majors scoff and make fun of them. But what’s YOUR school’s football major? I’ll bet it’s not a national top-30 business degree!

Fleabags…sheesh. See yall in November! Go Jackets!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2011
1:20 pm

Good news, TRUE Tech bloggers. A post that was directed at me on one of the other blogs was just deleted, obviously for its content. I had made one too that is “awaiting” moderation, as it actually probably should be. It’s good to know that somebody at the AJC is finally checking these posts for content. So let the trolls rant and let’s ALL just ignore them, and even if they don’t go away, maybe their posts at least will be deleted. Oh, and by the way, it was a post by “Love GT hypocrites” that was deleted.

PerimeterCenterJacket

August 16th, 2011
1:24 pm

By the way, picking out one or two football players who were idiots and got arrested to make some kind of sweeping generalization of the Management degree makes very little sense. You know by sheer numbers U(sic)GA is not gonna win the arrests game (unless it’s who had the most in the last 10 offseasons.) And when one or two Tech football players in the last 5 years were an off-the-field embarrassment while the vast majority are in grad school or working for consulting firms in Atlanta (save for the special few who are in the NFL) then your generalization not only looks ill-informed, it begins to look like you wouldn’t know Georgia Tech if it pitched right and raced down your be-hedged sideline for a drought-breaking third quarter touchdown in the rain!

Tech Troll 13

August 16th, 2011
1:34 pm

I graduated in 1978 with a degree in Industrial Management. It required passing six quaters of calculus. I have owned my own business for 29 years while being a tax payer and productive member of society. It galls me to be ridiculed by a barking redneck leghumper on his break from Wendy’s.

duece coupe

August 16th, 2011
1:50 pm

In their second year of using the 3-4 defense,
Alabama went from 7-6 to 12-2.

Al Groh’s “scheme” needs to produce similar results in his second year.

Actually

August 16th, 2011
1:51 pm

The M-TRAIN is hilarious. 90% of the wouldbe engineers end up getting on board when they enter Tech. And no, your athletes majors are having their grades changed in the front office as we learned the first time the NCAA asked Yech to vacate games.

PerimeterCenterJacket

August 16th, 2011
1:57 pm

Tech Troll 13, I’m a College of Architecture grad myself. Always respected my buds in the Operations concentration of the Management program. There’s statistical/probability math there that I’m just not willing to do (I put in my 2 yrs of calculus). They respected “the studio” of course, so I never let ‘em hear the end of the “M-train” jokes. But now they’re senior consultants all over the city, and they don’t have to listen to anyone wearing red for the rest of their lives. Barking just goes right in one ear and out the other. They’re laughing now all the way to the bank.

Actually

August 16th, 2011
2:02 pm

You do realize the more you talk about money the more obvious it becomes you have none of your own, correct?

PerimeterCenterJacket

August 16th, 2011
2:03 pm

Actually, actually you’re wrong. The College of Management has upped the transfer requirements to go from Engineering to Management now. Most of the kids in that degree program since about ‘06 began school at GT as Management majors. If you suck at engineering now, you switch to Industrial Engineering (we call it “fake engineering” but the rest of the world calls it the #1 IE program in the world) or drop out and go to Poly or Southern. And, if our football players grades are getting changed then I guess all the Atlanta firms are also just handing them internships too? Tevin Washington and Rashad Reid at the big lawfirm this summer and Albert Rocker leaves early for account exec work for Microsoft in LA! If the grades are fake then I guess the fake grades are getting the same results as real ones. Hmm…