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.