Sewak breaks down line change

Greetings-

Sorry for a low-presence day on the blog Wednesday. Kind of a lot of things going on right now. Anyway, the following is a Q&A (mostly A) with co-offensive line coach Mike Sewak from Tuesday about the lineup change that would move guard Will Jackson to left tackle in place of Phil Smith (suspended for two games) and insert true freshman Trey Braun (I feel like “true freshman” is becoming part of Braun’s name) at left guard.

Sewak is invariably a helpful interview. I learn something new every time I talk with him.

Q: (I don’t know what the question was, as I jumped in mid-answer to an interview that Kelly Quinlan of Rivals had started. I imagine the question was something like, “Whither Trey Braun?”)

A: Trey, he got a lot of snaps obviously in the spring and now coming back in the fall. Will got himself injured and so Trey got a chance to get in there and we got to see some good things out of him. I thought if we got a chance to get him on the field and Will Jackson on the field, that might be our best combination, so we wanted to see what Will was capable of at tackle. The next couple days will be a real telltale sign for us and also give us extra depth when we get the other guys back because Will, he’s very capable. He’s mentally capable of handling both positions.

Physically, there’s a couple of different techniques involved, so he’s got to try to get some of those reps in, so it’s vital that he gets practice and as many reps as he can in live situations and that’s what we tried to do out here today with him, trying to keep the arrows up, trying to keep him going in the right direction.

I think that Will does give us the experience out there. When we do that, we’re going to start only one guy on the entire offensive line that played for us last year in the same position in Uzzi, because everybody else will be a new position.

We’ve got plenty of playing from Jay Finch, also. Ray Beno got some snaps, Tyler Kidney got a bunch of snaps last year. (We’re doing this) just to give us our best chance to get our five best football players out there on the field.

Two cents: Coach Paul Johnson also mentioned the desire to get the five best linemen on the field. (I’ve sometimes wanted to ask, “But what if your five best linemen are all centers?”) That Braun is included in this mix says something about his development (you may have heard he’s a true freshman) and perhaps also where Beno and Catlin Alford stand. Both have been considered possibilities to replace Smith.

Also, Tech will scrimmage Thursday afternoon (closed to media). How Braun and Jackson do together will get plenty of attention.

Q: Would this help Jackson (who was injured often last season) to not have to line up against a 320-pound tackle?

A: He never really got hurt ever going against a 325-pound guy. It probably softened it up. But it was always on linebackers where he was having trouble. In our offense, you can’t avoid linebackers and Will doesn’t avoid anybody, so that’s a pretty good thing for him.

I think we’ve got to get a guy who can get us some push on a 3-technique. Surely, Will can do that. This is going to be something new for Trey because he’s going to be playing guys that are bigger and stronger and been in the weight room a lot longer than he has. So I don’t know if he’s physically mature (enough) to do it, but I think that he’s got the right mental attitude and he is very flexible and he has a little bit of power.

It’s not like he came in and he’s a brand-new freshman. He’s always been in the weight room. His dad’s a good football coach. He comes from a good program where they lifted a lot.

I think, coming here early in January, we have gotten (him) eight months of lifting in our program, which I think has definitely benefited him. So it’s not like he’s only one month into our program. He’s actually eight months into the program where he’s gotten to develop some lower-body power and some lower-body balance.

Two cents: A 3-technique is a defensive tackle who lines up between a guard and tackle. A pretty authoritative explanation of the position here.

Sewak paid Jackson a pretty high compliment. It’s a little cliché, but toughness and an aggressive mindset are paramount to play offensive line, and that Jackson “doesn’t avoid anybody” speaks to both.

Braun, as has been noted, was the only early enrollee in the 2011 class. That has proven rather serendipitous.

Q: Does it help that Braun was a high school wrestler and is pretty bright?

A: You need as many of those engineers as you can get into the offensive line. It really helps. Here’s a guy, I think he has a 3.7 right now. And he’s taking Calculus 3, I believe, and Physics. He never backs way from a challenge. He’s young and naïve enough to think he can win everything, and we’re positive enough with him to believe he can, too.

Two cents: The Tech media guide lists Braun as a mechanical engineering major and says both parents graduated from Army. He was also the No. 1-ranked heavyweight wrestler in Florida at Leon High. He also speaks Latin.

It’s almost invariable that offensive linemen are pretty bright.

Q: Have you decided on taking the redshirt off Shaq Mason (another true freshman)?

A: We’ll see. Both those young guys (Mason and fellow true freshman Errin Joe) have gotten a lot of reps this fall. They have been rather physically pleasing on who they have attacked. They don’t know their techniques as well as they should. They don’t play with a pad level and a speed of the game a well as they should, but maybe in a month they’ll be somewhere where [we] can say, ‘Hey, this guy can help us win,’ and also give them an opportunity to just keep getting hungrier and hungrier and hungrier.

Two cents: It seems almost an inevitability one of the two will play in the first two games. With the Braun-Jackson lineup, Mason or Joe would be the No. 3 guard. You wouldn’t think that guards Braun or Omoregie Uzzi would play the entire game against either Western Carolina or Kansas. Guard J.C. Lanier was expected to miss four weeks when he went out early in preseason camp, which would be right around Sept. 1, but he’d have to re-gain his conditioning and also have to get back up to speed in the offense. You’ll remember that he switched to guard from defensive line in the spring.

131 comments Add your comment

CHOP BLOCK U!!!!

August 25th, 2011
7:59 am

Ken,

Did you ask him why his line is gutless, cheap and dirty and commits the most chop blocks in the nation???

Coach

August 25th, 2011
8:06 am

Starting to feel better about this O-line. Need “those engineers.” Love that quote!

Rduck

August 25th, 2011
8:13 am

thanks for the updates Ken… trolls are up early. must have smelled the poptarts his mom was making for him. anyways, sounds like the decision for Trey to enroll early is really paying off. i really liked this kid’s profile when he commited. looks like he could be a very good one for us.

Jacket Backer

August 25th, 2011
8:13 am

Can’t wait……Go Jackets!!

Todd

August 25th, 2011
8:22 am

It’s physically impossible to chop-block a dawg b/c of their short imbred legs and huge gut that scrapes the ground.

Nellis

August 25th, 2011
8:35 am

After Johnson fails to win 6 games this season he will be fired and then it will be back to the drawing board for the cheats to decide which other decent coach they would like to bring in only to destroy his career.

albanyfan

August 25th, 2011
8:47 am

Better worry about your own coach, Nellis!

Nellis

August 25th, 2011
8:58 am

Not really, my coach isn’t a loser like yours that can’t even compete in the worst football conference in the nation. He will be gone sooner rather than later.

BigTimeTechFan

August 25th, 2011
8:59 am

@Ken “Kind of a lot of things going on right now”
Is the collage Football special section going to be in the paper this weekend? hope that’s what your working on.

Good stuff but I still can’t tell if Braun is starting, I guess they are saying if the line does well in the scrimmage with Bruan in today he may start.

Has Braun been added to the Goon Squad?

Uzzi and Finch will be awesome, hope this line comes together, if so Tech will win a lot of games.

BigTimeTechFan

August 25th, 2011
9:01 am

Nellis -Watch some collage football this season and come back and post when you know something about football.

mike

August 25th, 2011
9:04 am

Yeah Nellis, there is no certainty that Tech will be the worst team in football this year. Yes, it is true they play in the worst conference, but they are only the second to worst program in that God forsaken joke of a league.

Max Sizemore

August 25th, 2011
9:06 am

Ken, a three-technique defender lines up on the outside shoulder of the guard, not simply one who “lines up between a guard and a tackle.” Big difference. I would suggest that since you’re covering Tech — and you’ll do a vastly superior job to Doug — you’ll need to learn when the QB is reading an unblocked lineman (like on the triple option) and when he is not (the B-back dive which looks like the triple but is not). You’ll need to watch some film on this because, unless you are a coach, the game is too fast to do it on the fly. It’s going to be the best way to evaluate Washington, i.e., is he making the right reads? If you get into it even further — and you are a bright guy, so you might — you’ll learn to see which defenders have which responsibilities — B-back, QB, and pitch. It will add immensely to your appreciation of the game.

The Bees Nees

August 25th, 2011
9:24 am

One week before game day!!!!!

collegeballfan

August 25th, 2011
9:24 am

We have heard from day one of the Johnson administration that the OL play in this offense requires a certain player. OK, he has those players. Unfortunately, they are young.

We have heard from day one of the Groh Defense administration that the play in this defense requires a certain player. OK, he has those players. Unfortunately, they are young.

In fact, the entire team is young. Looks like 2 senior starters on offense and 4 senior starters on defense.

This spells “rebuilding year” in my book.

JM

August 25th, 2011
9:30 am

It’s good to hear how the team is adjusting its linemen. But I’d much rather have depth in these positions that are already developed and ready to step in. O-line is one aspect of the team that is taking the longest to develop. I can’t wait until there are consistently Jr & Sr players there with the occasional So.

Robert

August 25th, 2011
9:31 am

ChopblockU, I would like to see us cripple your entire offensive lin and then cripple that runt QB, and then wipe out Herschell II.

EEstudent

August 25th, 2011
9:44 am

Robert, based on past assumptions, I believe this would be something like Herschel XXIX.

Annual Preseason National Champions, am I right?

Ramblin Man

August 25th, 2011
10:06 am

collegeballfan,
I have been saying that all along and just want to see development and progress in each game. Still think GT can win 8 if the two lines can get going early.
Ken thanks for the great coverage.

Ramblin Man

August 25th, 2011
10:10 am

Wonder how bad Calytor is regretting his decision now?

doc

August 25th, 2011
10:24 am

ken thanks for the breakdown interpretation of football coach speak.

i really hope us tech fans are in for a surprise and cpj and his staff are the real deal.
getting the right guys and coaching them up has yet to be determined.

Outside Observer

August 25th, 2011
10:36 am

I wish the trolls had some new material. “Every play is full of illegal chop blocks… ACC is the worst conference… Johnson can’t win with this offense… Blah Blah Blah.” All of the above are false, so please come up with some original, factual remarks.
As for Tech, it seems like it could be a rough year on the football field. There is a lack of experience in the O-line and the secondary. It can be a difficult season when underclassmen are going to be depended on to carry a majority of the load (yes, UGA fans, that means you and the “Dream Team” too). I think Tevin can be a solid QB, but he needs support from his WRs. The B-backs need to play well, but the O-line will impact their success greatly. The defense needs to get pressure on the QB, but they need the young secondary to cover their men for long enough. My expectations for this season are low, with the hope they can easily be exceeded. Hopefully Johnson can whip the boys into shape and we can make this season a success.

Ramblin Man

August 25th, 2011
11:02 am

Way off subject here, but I just noticed that Tevin Coleman has put GT as his leader and I just wonder if he knows Fuller at all. Those two commiting will be a very nice combo in the future offense. Speaking of packages I really hope Roderick Chungong is able to convince Ryan Watson to come to the flats, and with that I steered it back to offensive line.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:04 am

Outside, in order for the mutts to have some new material, they would have to have intelligence, which obviously none of them possess. Besides, Ken as shown on more than one occasion that when there are several mutt posters on here, they are usually all from the same email address. So we can’t expect the same jerk under different names to do anything more than post the same thing over and over.

Anyway, I think it’s obvious that the only REAL problem Tech is facing right now is a lack of depth along both lines, They can get the needed experience real fast, but if they start going down, then it’s going to be tough replacing them.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:06 am

Ramblin Man, I don’t live in the Atlanta area, so I am not able to keep up with the big HS prospects. Who are Tevin Coleman and Fuller?

wes

August 25th, 2011
11:13 am

serendipitous = hate that word

gtfanfrom1951

August 25th, 2011
11:23 am

Ken
Is this team comparable with the 2008 or 2009 team?

Gorilla Biscuit

August 25th, 2011
11:27 am

Hey Supersize, decided on a Dragon Con costume yet?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:31 am

Yeah, I’m going as you. I figured that was about as tacky and stupid a costume as I could ever dream of. Acutally, I might even wear one of the new THUGa football uniforms. They’re just about as stupid looking.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:32 am

Supersize 7 – Biscuit ZERO

1Jacket7

August 25th, 2011
11:34 am

The front Triangle. Center, Guards, QB and B-Back have got to get lightning quick in there decision making and physical speed and most importantly quickness. This will determine the success of our offense. I think we will be greatly improved this year than in years past.

okeefe

August 25th, 2011
11:35 am

chopblock Are you that stupid? Look up the def of “chop block”.Tech does not chop block any more than any other team.If so , why don’t the refs call it—which they don’t.Don’t answer this because you are certain to only confirm your stupidity.

Gorilla Biscuit

August 25th, 2011
11:35 am

You think a lot of that 3rd grade comeback I see.

Gorilla Biscuit

August 25th, 2011
11:36 am

I picture you more as a Sith.

Gorilla Biscuit

August 25th, 2011
11:38 am

You guys are in really big trouble. Hey! Somebody check Groh’s pulse!

BigTimeTechFan

August 25th, 2011
11:39 am

Tevin Coleman is a RB from Illinois, most of the Big 10 schools are after him, small but strong and real fast

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:40 am

3rd grade comment beats day care comment any day. Does your nanny know you’re on the computer?

Gorilla Biscuit

August 25th, 2011
11:42 am

I doubt it, given the fact that she’s dead and would be like 90 years old now. How ’bout yours?

Ramblin Man

August 25th, 2011
11:44 am

Supersize,
They are actually in New Jersey. Tevin Coleman is a RB that has been picking up speed lately in recruiting and has GT on top. Devin Fuller is a highly talented QB and interested in GT. As a junior, Devin Fuller completed 95 of 143 passes for 1,886 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also carried the ball 191 times for 2,306 yards and 32 touchdowns, giving him a total of 4,150 yards and 52 scores on the year. GT is in his top ten, but there is stiff competition.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:44 am

So that means you must be a grown woman now, huh? Sad to be grown and yet still have a child’s mentality.

Gorilla Biscuit

August 25th, 2011
11:47 am

Wooo. How many points you gonna give yourself for that one Supersize? Supersize……probably an apt description of your family portrait.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:50 am

No need for points. It’s obvious who’s winning here. After all, which one of us is posting crap on our rival’s blog? Hmmm, let me think. I believe that would be YOU, bubba (or bubbette). If that doesn’t bespeak the mentality of a child, what does?

Tokyo jacket

August 25th, 2011
11:53 am

collegeball fan, can you refresh my memory? How many seniors did the 08 or 09 squads start? I can’t remember?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:54 am

You know, I had never even heard of dragon con or comic con before the mutt trolls started mentioning them. And I’m still not sure what exactly they are, other than gatherings of people dressing up in costumes. From what I have gathered over the past couple of years of blogging, not many Tech bloggers knew what they were either. I find it interesting though that the mutt trolls all seem to know what they are. So who would that mean the true nerds are ???

Supersize that order, mutt

August 25th, 2011
11:55 am

Tokyo, you should probably be able to get that information by GOOGLING on Georgia Tech 2008 Roster and similarly for 2009.

Al

August 25th, 2011
12:05 pm

Funny how I made a comment on the uga blog about what they will do losing aj green and kris durham and their rb’s from last year and my posts dont show up there anymore, yet the dog troll drivel is always over here. i guess little chippie doesn’t like any criticism of his puppies. typical ajc bias.

Noles own you

August 25th, 2011
12:07 pm

Outside observer –

Are you on the crack rock? Zero bowl wins, zero titles and a losing record against the in-state rival. Yeah chump, its all true!!

Ramblin Man

August 25th, 2011
12:10 pm

Supersize,
Two years ago I was going to a game with a buddy from Denver who had never been to Atlanta and could care less about the GT/UGA rivalry. While walking to Bobby Dodd we kept passing these people dressed in wierd costumes and several happened to be red and black. My buddy thought they were UGA fans and asked me why they dressed like that, thinking maybe it was some kind of fan ritual that meant something. Gave me a good laugh and we found out later there was some type of convention going on. Now after reading all these comments about dragon con from some UGA fans I am not so sure he was not right.

Ken Sugiura

August 25th, 2011
12:12 pm

BTTF – not actually the college football section, which comes out Sunday. Thankfully, that’s already done. Other stories I’m working on and some off-work stuff. Nothing bad, just time-consuming.
I would venture to guess Trey Braun has been added to the Goon Squad. I think all of the linemen are considered members.
1951 – I’d say there’s some similarities with the 2008 team in that there’s a lot of hard-to-predict variables, some depth issues, a new quarterback and low expectations outside of the team (and fan base). But, this offense obviously knows the system a lot better and probably has higher and clearer expectations for the season than the 2008 team, which didn’t know how well the offense would work.
Thanks for the suggestions, Max.

Gorilla Biscuit

August 25th, 2011
12:34 pm

Should have called them the Zombie Squad, or better yet the Are You That Stupid Squad.

Noles own you

August 25th, 2011
12:37 pm

Hey Al, why dont you cry a little bit more for us? Lol!