Bohannon on Washington, Sims

Greetings-

Hope you are well. Thanks for following along with my test Tuesday. I realize some of you thought my rules were devoid of logic, but I hope you were more satisfied with how the discussion went.

Anyway, this is the first part of an interview with quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon, who is invariably a great source of information and perspective on his players, as I’ve probably said before. I talked to him mostly for a story about B-back David Sims that I’m planning to write Wednesday to run in Thursday’s paper in advance of the opening game.

I’ll plan to post the rest of it around noon. Thanks for reading and again for following the rules Tuesday.

One more thought about the rules, and we’ll keep going. I know some of you don’t mind and maybe even like the back-and-forth with non-Tech fans, which is fine. This is ultimately for you all, so if that’s what you want to do, it’s up to you. But I’d say that when that happens, it hijacks the thread and turns off those readers who actually want to talk specifically about Tech and the material in the post, and it becomes nearly impossible to get the thread back on track because every post that continues the trash talk gives the baiters more encouragement to stay.

Please be considerate of other posters in that way. Maybe I’m deluding myself, but it seems like we heard from a lot more people Tuesday than we normally do.

For this post, at least, I’ll drop the rules like they were yesterday (essentially, anyone who responds to a poster who is trying to derail the conversation will be banned for a week). Let’s see if we can just police ourselves and not fall into that trap. But if we can’t, then maybe I’ll bring them out again.

Q: Are you ready to get going?

A: No doubt, ready to play. I think every time this time of year you feel like, Hey, we’ve practiced, we’ve practiced, we’re ready to play. We’re ready to find out who we are. But I’m ready to play. I hope and I know the players ready to play as well.

Two cents: A brilliant question. I don’t know if this actually works or is just a waste of time, but reporters usually ask a softball question like that to get the conversation started. This is not entirely related, but for the story about Tech’s fan survey that went up Tuesday night, I was talking to associate AD Wayne Hogan, who used to work at Florida State with Bobby Bowden. Hogan said that any out-of-town reporter who came in for an interview, invariably Bowden would ask, “Now, did you fly or drive here?” Hogan never understood why he did that, surmising it was just a way to get into a conversation, but found it amusing, as did I.

By the way, if you want to comment or know more about that story, let me know and I’ll post about that at some point. There’s a few things about the ticket-buying base in the survey that didn’t make it into the story or that did that I’d be happy to comment on. Back to the interview…

Q: What do you want to see from your guys?

A: Obviously from the quarterback position, Tevin has started. This is not like it’s his first start, but I want to see him run the offense, be efficient, take care of the football, move the football do the things that are necessary to help us win ballgames. That’s really all we’ve ever asked of those guys. I want to see him do it on a consistent basis.

He’s had a good camp, done some really good things. Now it’s time to take it to the field, because that’s when it’s going to count.

Two cents: One reason I appreciate talking with Bohannon is that he most often tells it like it is, which is one reason I think Washington will not look like the player he was last fall. That is to say, better. Which led me to my next question…

Q: It sounds like you have a good feeling about Tevin.

A: For the most part he’s taking care of the ball and done those things in practice, which gives you a little confidence he’s going to do it in a game. He’s thrown the ball much better this fall camp than he has since he’s been here. I think he’s worked really hard this summer and he’s throwing the ball better, so hopefully he can go out and execute and we’ll see how it goes. That’s what we’re hoping for.

And at B-back, we’ve got a new starter there and he’s worked really hard. Really, there’s three guys right there, actually possibly four, but there’s three that have really been competing that, depending on how things go, might all get to play some. We’ll just have to see how it goes. But obviously David’s the starter. For him, too, I want to see him take care of the football in the thick of it. Because he’s earned the job, so we’ll see how he does.

Two cents: Players and coaches have kind of pooh-poohed the notion that they’ve been working on passing more this camp than in the past. But comments like this one lead me to think Tech will try to throw more than in the past, or at least probably be better at it. Obviously, it’s hard to know what you can take from camp into the regular season, and certainly the idea of Tech throwing more has an “I’ll believe it when I see it” air about it, but that would at least be my guess.

Two points to Bohannon for resuming his answer to my previous question about what he wants to see from his guys.

Q: How unlikely is the jump that David made, from fourth string to first?

A: I think it’s a pretty big jump. He kind of caught my eye early in camp before we got in pads because he was struggling, he was slow through the mesh, in the spring. He wasn’t comfortable in the position .To his credit, he worked hard this summer and you could tell when he got out there and his effort and his intensity was higher than the rest.

You would see it when he wasn’t involved in a play, you would see him sprint 25 yards down the field or 20 yards down the field trying to help out and get involved. Those are things that really (caught your eye), along with doing better at his assignments and knowing how to play and all that.

I think it’s hit David. He wants to play and this is kind of his time. If he doesn’t hit this window, then you kind of fall behind a little bit.

He took advantage of it but that position is as deep as any position on our football team right now. It really is. I do feel confident with those guys there, more than one, that can go and help us win ballgames.

Two cents: What he said about this season being Sims’ window of opportunity is one of the tough things about college football and perhaps any college sport. Who knows how this plays out, but let’s say either Charles Perkins or Sims takes hold of the B-back job this fall. (That’s not to say Preston Lyons couldn’t, because he could, but for the sake of this scenario, it’s not relevant.) That goes at least some way, and perhaps a long way, towards determining who gets B-back snaps for 2012 and 2013.

Let’s say it’s Perkins. Sims might be marginally less productive than Perkins this season in maybe just a couple early games, or (let’s hope this is not the case) maybe he gets hurt for a couple games, and in that time Perkins develops into a B-back that coaches have to keep on the field, despite how good Sims may be.

That could ultimately make him a backup for the next 2 ½ seasons. In the scheme of things, it’s not like it’s a tragedy, but it’s kind of daunting for someone who’s been dreaming of this opportunity since he was seven.

Q: When you say he ran down the field, like when he wasn’t on the field?

A: No, like somebody else had the ball and they’re running down the field and maybe he made a block and he’s getting up off the ground and he sprints another 20 yards. There was a play out there he knocked two guys down in one play. He’s just doing things to catch coaches’ (attention). Truthfully, the players see it, too. He did a lot of things like that. He’s earned the job and now he’s got to go perform Thursdays, Saturdays, to keep the job.

I heard Preston saying, and Preston’s got a really good perspective and a good attitude, he goes, ‘Hey this thing’s going to be a day-in, day-out battle. It’s a good thing. They’re all getting along, but it is going to be very competitive, which is good. It makes each of them better.

Two cents: A terrific explanation of Sims’ work in camp.

If you missed it, here’s the link to watch Thursday’s game online.

FYI, I’m going to put up a season prediction thread hopefully this morning, your opportunity to pick all the games. I don’t have a prize yet; it might be a year’s subscription to ajc.com. But I’ll try to make it something worthwhile. Either way, I hope you’ll participate.

Thanks for reading. Please comment responsibly. Follow on Facebook and Twitter!

173 comments Add your comment

Max Sizemore

August 31st, 2011
8:12 am

If Tech is passing more, it is in trouble. This offense is designed to control the game by running.

JACKETfan12

August 31st, 2011
8:20 am

Max-

I do not see how Tech passing the ball more would put them in trouble as long as they are efficient in doing so. If Tevin can complete more than 50% of his passes this year and utilize the short passing game for the 3rd down and +5 yard situations, Tech’s offense will have a new dimension to add to being the #1 rushing team in the nation. This season has me very excited. Hopefully Tevin will turn out to be a better passer than Nesbitt.

ramblingbuzz

August 31st, 2011
8:20 am

Most people think GT has to pass the ball efficiently to prevent teams from loading the box against the run. I happen to agree with that thinking. But a CPJ team will never be pass first offense.

Aubrey

August 31st, 2011
8:27 am

ramblingbuzz,

And that means a CPJ team will never win any titles at any level.

Aubrey

August 31st, 2011
8:27 am

“any level” means ACC or national.

Alan

August 31st, 2011
8:31 am

Thanks Ken. Appreciate the work you’ve done since you took over. Nice job!

GT Alum

August 31st, 2011
8:31 am

If CPJ could win all his games with only passing and never running, he’d do it and we’d have us a National Championship. Come on guys – who are we kidding.

CPJ is no fool. He’s one of the best in the business!

Alan

August 31st, 2011
8:33 am

Those that say passing means were in trouble have obviously not done any homework and watched johnson’s team at navy.

Thrash223

August 31st, 2011
8:35 am

Not necessarily true Max. Check out old tape of CPJ’s offense at Hawaii and they threw the ball all the time out of the exact same formations.

It’s a whole variant package of the run and shoot. Don’t underestimate that it’s in GT’s bag, it just has not been opened yet.

GT Alum

August 31st, 2011
8:36 am

Alan: I completely agree with you. CPJ will do whatever he thinks is best. Passing, running, kicking. Heck, last year he even let Georgia score, purposely, to give us a better chance at winning. Don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before. Bottom line – CPJ will pull out all stops to win! You can count on that!

fan of shorter passes

August 31st, 2011
8:37 am

Those long (incomplete) bombs may deter the safeties, but an incomplete pass does not move the yard marker. A completed shorter pass would likely have the same effect and could actually move the chain. I also love all those rushing yards but running does not have to be the total scheme. But, that decision of course is for Johnson. In the end, if Tech wins, the run/pass ratio really means little.

GT Alum

August 31st, 2011
8:41 am

fan of shorter passes: Agree with you. At then end of the day, I don’t care how CPJ does it. As long as we have more points than the opposition, I’m thrilled to see our Jackets take home a win!

AtWork

August 31st, 2011
8:41 am

@Aubrey

Just because this offense isn’t a pass first doesn’t mean it won’t win at this level. I think Georgia Tech and CPJ have already proved that it can work at this level. The offense scores points and eats up clock…what coach doesn’t want to do that. If you have a good defense this is the best offense to run.

I think Tech needs to be more reliable in the passing game. I believe as long as we hit more than 50% of passes then you are keeping the defensive backs honest and keeps the linebackers more toward the edge which opens the whole field up. We don’t really have to have short passes either. I think short passes can be just as effective as long passe but if the ball isn’t thrown accurately does it matter if it was a 5yd pass to the flats or a 30 yd pass down the sideline?

Ready for Thursday and a start of great 2011 Season.

Go Jackets!!!

gt4ever

August 31st, 2011
8:45 am

I hear there selling angus burgers at concessions….. Wow, that ought to fill the stands…..

dcyellowjacket

August 31st, 2011
8:47 am

More passing doesn’t mean Tech is in trouble as long as it is effective. The amount of passing was about the same in 2009 and 2010, but it was way more effective in 2009. That year they led the nation in yards per attempt and big plays were a constant threat. Last year that big play threat was pretty much non-existent and the yards per attempt plummeted.

Zach

August 31st, 2011
8:47 am

Aubrey, that was sarcasm, right? I mean… PJ coached teams have already won ACC (2009) and National (1985, 1986, 1999, 2000) titles. Really for the teams he’s coached in the leagues he’s coached him he’s only underachieved compared to what another really good coach could do at a comparable school two times: his first year at Navy and last year at Tech.

George Stein

August 31st, 2011
8:48 am

We don’t need to pass. We the threat of the pass. Don’t get the two confused.

Zach

August 31st, 2011
8:48 am

that was supposed to read “leagues he’s coached IN”

George Stein

August 31st, 2011
8:50 am

I don’t think his first year at Navy was an underachievment. Navy was horrible when he took over.

Joshua Barlowe

August 31st, 2011
8:50 am

Ken – we appreciate your deep insight here – thanks for this excellent post. I think we all certainly hope to see more of the passing game, because we all know it keeps a defense honest. I truly believe we haven’t seen it yet because we haven’t had the QB who could pass efficiently. Not a slam on Nesbitt, but I just believe that CPJ will use the tools he’s given and not try to do more than they can do. With that said, I think Vad Lee is the key to the passing game taking the next big step. Hope he gets in there sooner rather than later this season.

Also – I think one of the main reasons Sims got the starting gig is to kill the attitude that existed last year. There was obviously a selfish attitude amongst the team last year, and by rewarding a guy who comes out passionately and lays it all on the line like Sims has is sending a message. And I’m glad to see it.

Go Jackets!

Pat

August 31st, 2011
8:54 am

I’d rather have an incomplete pass than a 3 yard loss.

Aubrey

August 31st, 2011
8:54 am

According to the same NCAA that allows Tech to leach off 3 other teams’ national titles I find it a bit of a stretch to say the same outfit doesn’t have the right to take away your ACC title. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Johnson has no ACC tittles. He does, however, have CrackerJack state champion rings you can hang your hat on, though.

His offense only works at the D-II level and at the academies. As well you all know.

How many games has he lost while at GT because he couldn’t get the ball down the field to either tie or take the lead?????

DawginLex

August 31st, 2011
8:55 am

Enter your comments here

fan of shorter passes

August 31st, 2011
8:57 am

As I watched the dog game in Atlanta couple years ago and saw those three long incomplete passes, I admit, I surely was wondering just what was Johnson thinking. At that point, Tech did not need the threat of a long pass, they just needed a completion…even a short one.

cut through the chase

August 31st, 2011
8:59 am

Bottomline is….TECH SUCKS

George Stein

August 31st, 2011
9:04 am

The NCAA doesn’t administer football national championships, Aubrey. But I’m sure you knew that.

stingem05

August 31st, 2011
9:04 am

Last time I checked, we didn’t have a problem scoring points. Whether we win or lose this year will depend on our defensive improvement more than our improvement passing the ball.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 31st, 2011
9:07 am

ONE MORE DAY!!!

George Stein

August 31st, 2011
9:07 am

Bingo, stingem. It wouldn’t hurt for us to hang on to the ball a little better, though.

fan of shorter passes

August 31st, 2011
9:07 am

stingem05, beg to differ, Tech does have a problem scoring points if they are behind late into the game…and trying to pass. Did you not see the Tech loss to the dogs?

DawginLex

August 31st, 2011
9:09 am

Good luck tomorrow

Pat

August 31st, 2011
9:15 am

We’re playing w carolina lex. No luck needed. Now you’ll need some luck to get past Boise. :)

Chris

August 31st, 2011
9:16 am

Last time I checked Aubrey, Tech won an ACC title a couple of years ago. Yes the NCAA vacated it, but it was won on the field. I remember watching the game.

Techmate

August 31st, 2011
9:22 am

The Jackets will throw more this year, period. Which will only open up the running game more. The bigger issure will be holding on to the ball whether running or catching. It may take a few games for them to find their rhythm, but when they do, it will be a fun season to watch, especially with the improved defense.

duece coupe

August 31st, 2011
9:28 am

Davis Sims is also a dual-threat B-back, he had 37 passing touchdowns in High School.

Ken Sugiura,
you are good at always digging for new information on GT football.

duece coupe

August 31st, 2011
9:30 am

David Sims, not Davis.

Pull My Finger

August 31st, 2011
9:33 am

TICKETS AS LOW AS $15!!!! Does that still include 4 Cokes, 4 pizzas, a parking pass, a bullet-proof vest, and a cyanide tablet (in case Tech loses)????…………amazing!

yeller bug

August 31st, 2011
9:41 am

I guess CPJ will never shake the stigma of this being a high school offense—who cares as long as it works which it does. The difference is very subtle for if you put the B back into a two point stance and drop the QB back behind center 5 yds you have a spread offense that many schools use. With the QB under center you sacrifice the broader field of view that a shotgun provides, but you put extra pressure on the D-line for the run (dive or QB run). Having a balanced attack of triple option run along with short and long passes can only help. CPJ stated the reason we did not pass much last year—we weren’t very good at it. If we are good at throwing the ball this year—you will see more passing.

BigTimeTechFan

August 31st, 2011
9:42 am

@Ken

Just copy T3’s predictions, he has Tech winning like 10 games, I like it.

Can’t wait to see all the new players starting tomorrow, fact is Tech is in a reloading year, lot of new players R-Soph and R-Frosh getting a lot of playing time.

Washington – I hope he’s a lot better, he did ok last year, see room for a lot of improvement. He just needs to step up when the games get tight, last year he played ok when game was not on the line, then when thing got hot he seemed to drop off a bit. need just the opposite. Heard good things about his leadership in the off season so it sounds like he’s on the way.

I think Tech wil be ok a A-Back, remember it took awhile for Ant and OL to get rolling last year.
@DawginLex
Thanks

TechLB

August 31st, 2011
9:44 am

Ken, Thank you for advocating sportsmanship in these discussions. IMHO, it’s much more enjoyable when we’re all discussing the game we love instead of the other cheap shot stuff.

Techmate – agree, big believer that a better Defense will help us tremendously. We’ve been able to move the ball and score, we just couldn’t stop, or let’s be honest, slow down the other guys. The LB’s this year are fundamentally solid, a big step up for our D.

GT Alum I agree with you. CPJ works to get a strength against a weakness in the D. If it’s the pass, he’ll work that until they adjust to stop it, then he’ll adjust and hit the new weak point, rinse and repeat. Wish we had a mid-range passing game – tight-end hook, trailing back 10 yard out, etc. Gut feeling the last few years was that we didn’t have the protection or accuracy we needed to consistently execute a passing attack. Bebe was able to make some plays but there weren’t many great passes made.

fan of shorter passes – very valid points, I never understood those long passes when we were getting yardage running our offense. However, I’ve heard CPJ say, “If I only need 5 or 10 yards I’d rather go with the highest percentage pass and just run it.” Would love some slick throwback screens and backs in the flat…

Go Jackets!

Grady

August 31st, 2011
9:48 am

Just to be perfectly clear here, passing doesn’t win titles either. Houston and Hawaii and SMU all throw a disproportionate amount of the time and only Hawaii has made a BCS bowl and got destroyed by speed. Obviously this offense can work, since it is practically the same one that Osborne ran at Nebraska and won titles with. The issue is that Tech struggles when passing. It’s not that they don’t throw, it is that when they do, someone drops a pass (Hill, Thomas) or someone overthrows (Nesbitt). I don’t expect overthrows, since Tevin can’t throw as far and everything I have read says that Hill and the other receivers are working hard. I struggle sometimes with CPJ getting off his plan (3 deep bombs) but the guy can coach. Last year (players have admitted this) there was a lack of cohesion and an arrogance about this team. Will we win a BCS title? I have no idea. But you could say that about 110 of the 121 teams in the NCAA FBS.

albanyfan

August 31st, 2011
9:51 am

Per your pick em contest…how about two years subscription to the AJC for the runner up and one years for the winner?
just kidding (mostly) Ken, you do a great job!

Reid, Pelosi and Obama would be proud, SuperTroll!!!

August 31st, 2011
9:53 am

@ Aubrey

Good show!! Nothing like beating the yechies at their own game. They proudly tout 3 national championships they didnt win all because the NCAA says they “recognize” them, and in the same breath dismiss the very same body when they dare strip them of their conference title for cheating.

There is nothing more hypocritical than a deranged yech fan!!

GT Joe

August 31st, 2011
9:54 am

Aubrey: CPJ is 4-2 vs. the SEC. One BCS bowl in his 3 years at Tech. Yes, he can win at this level.

And remember, our limitation has not been our offense, it has been our defense. We won the ACC title DESPITE our defense in 2009 (hence we fired our DC after the Orange Bowl).

Offense is never an issue with CPJ.

GT Joe

August 31st, 2011
9:58 am

what is yech?

Reid, Pelosi and Obama would be proud, SuperTroll!!!

August 31st, 2011
10:00 am

GT Joe. Thanks for the laugh! Please list those four SEC teams and what their records were at seasons end. While you are at it please lis Johson’s bowl record. Thanks again!!

GT Joe

August 31st, 2011
10:01 am

let’s see, one was UGA, one was Vandy, 2 were Miss. State (which beat UGA last year). You are right, all 3 are the weak sisters of the SEC. Please disregard.

Reid, Pelosi and Obama would be proud, SuperTroll!!!

August 31st, 2011
10:01 am

And also, UGA averaged nearly a TD more a game last year than yech while playing in a real conference. ;)

GT Joe

August 31st, 2011
10:03 am

Real conference? you mean the one that CPJ is 4-2 against?

Reid, Pelosi and Obama would be proud, SuperTroll!!!

August 31st, 2011
10:05 am

Thanks for making my point for me by cowardly not listing their end of season records. I enjoyed shaming you. NEXT!!!!