Archive for August, 2011

Tech scrimmage observations


A few quick observations from Saturday’s scrimmage.

1. Passing game looked good again, after a solid showing last Saturday. A lot of short throws to the A-backs flaring out. Tevin Washington was pretty accurate and the quarterbacks got time to throw from the line.

Paul Johnson: “I thought Tevin threw the ball fairly well again.”

2. Run defense was fairly strong. The B-backs didn’t produce much, nor did the A-backs. Quarterback runs and draws were effective. Washington scored on a 36-yard run in which he faked the pitch to Embry Peeples and had a clear lane to the end zone.

3. Defense controlled the scrimmage early, not allowing a score for the first six possessions, starting at the opposing 30-yard line. Offense scored on three consecutive series (led by Synjyn Days, Vad Lee and Washington), then defense held on the last five. All stats unofficial.

4. Inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy played with the first string in place of Julian Burnett, who was rested with some …

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What to do with Vad Lee?


I don’t have much in the way of news for you. (That sentence kind of begs you to keep reading, doesn’t it?) There was no media availability Thursday and just about everything I learned this week of note has been put in a blog or a story. I can tell you that the scrimmage will be open on Saturday, as long as the weather cooperates. It starts at 9:30 a.m. If it’s inclement, check for updates. You should know that parking and traffic will likely be a bit messy, as students will be moving in in advance of the start of classes on Monday. (A shout-out to three members of the freshman class – Edwin Choate, Stephen Dubbert and Kyle Hosford.)

Perhaps someone on the blog can make a recommendation, but I think maybe the student center parking deck might be your best bet if you have to drive. MARTA, of course, would be easier.

I was on campus this morning and Techwood Drive was closed off of North Avenue except for people moving in, and I would imagine it’d be …

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More from Johnson, Sims


Most of the news from Wednesday’s practice was contained in the notes, which were up on the previous blog. A few things that didn’t make it…

1. B-back Charles Perkins is starting to turn on the jets. David Sims churning up the waters in the B-back competition has brought out the best in Perkins, which is exactly what coach Paul Johnson wanted.

“I think he’s just playing harder, running harder, hustling around, doing those things, trying to match David’s effort,” Johnson said of Perkins. “Charles is a talented kid. If he wants to go hard, he can look pretty good.”

2. Johnson’s said he didn’t know much about the mess in Miami, but said he felt badly for Hurricanes coach Al Golden.

“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s disappointing. I’m sure he had no idea.”

3. The team sounds ready for the season.

“You always worry about things you haven’t covered (in camp), but you also need .an opponent,” Johnson said. “It’s been a long time. They’ve been out four weeks in the spring and …

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Tech’s form returns in final two-a-day


In a bit of a rush. These are the notes from Wednesday’s practice. Sounds like it went better.

1. For the last of its four two-a-days of preseason camp, Georgia Tech mustered its reserves and showed more energy than in previous days.

“I thought it was the best [two-a-day] we’ve had, as far as effort and people flying around,” coach Paul Johnson said Wednesday. “It was pretty good.”

Monday and Tuesday’s practices did not meet Johnson’s expectations and he said Tuesday that it would be a big concern if the team did not begin to show more effort and intensity. The Yellow Jackets conclude preseason practice Saturday morning with a scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium and will begin preparing for the Sept. 1 season opener against Western Carolina on Monday.

Wednesday, the team practiced in full pads in the morning and then helmets and shoulder pads in the afternoon, working out in the indoor practice facility for the later session.

“It was a little cooler, so they bounced …

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Tech offensive line making progress


Hope you’re well and read the notebook from Tuesday’s practice. Evidently, the heat and toil of preseason camp has sapped Georgia Tech’s will a little. Not entirely surprising, given that coach Paul Johnson isn’t the easiest person to please and football practice is no joyride. Still, the last few days of camp could be insightful into the team’s character.

It’s not Tech-related, but I’d recommend reading the Yahoo report about alleged malfeasance at Miami. Pretty troubling stuff for the Hurricanes. Predicting NCAA penalties is not exactly my thing (my thing is eating Pringles and gummy bears), but I think the folks at the Committee on Infractions will eventually take a healthy whack at the program and dock scholarships. If North Carolina also is hit with a scholarship loss, that would work out rather well in Tech’s favor.

Kind of crazy to think that half the ACC Coastal Division may soon be under NCAA probation. Better get your house in order, Duke.

Anyway, …

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Johnson deems Tech practice ’suspect’


This is the same content as the notebook that should be posting soon, but just wanted to give you a chance to comment on how much on it or, you know, what little regard you hold for Georgia or Georgia Tech.

Is Vad Lee mentioned? You know he is.

Fire away…

1. After a strong start to the preseason, Georgia Tech is wobbling a little in the camp grind. Coach Paul Johnson termed Tuesday’s practice “suspect” and “not very good” a day after calling one of the Monday practices “sluggish.”

Johnson found fault with the team’s intensity Tuesday. At the end of the two-hour practice, he said “the offense kicked the fool out of the defense” in third-down drills. Last Wednesday, it was the opposite. To Johnson, it didn’t reflect one unit’s superiority, but a lack of mental toughness from one side.

“We started out good,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to get back to that point. It’s the middle of camp and everyone’s a little tired and they’ve got to learn to push.”

Over the offseason, …

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Burnett on defense, B-backs


Had a little bit of time to offer you some insights from a few folks I talked to after the scrimmage and Monday. Forthwith…

Julian Burnett

On what he saw in watching the scrimmage that he can improve on:

“Just making more of an effort to be on every play, running to the ball, even if it’s a 40-yard pass down the field. You never want to get caught loafing. I don’t think I had a loaf, but I don’t want t it to be close. I kind of saw some loafs on my own, but the coaches didn’t. They kind of overlooked it, but I don’t even want to see it myself.”

Two cents: What Burnett is referring to is that coaches, in reviewing game video, watch each player’s effort on each play and gives him a “loaf” if he didn’t hustle the whole play. It’s a pretty common practice. Burnett, it would seem, is harder on himself than his coaches are, which is what coaches love to have from the best players on the team.

On if the defense biting on play-action plays was a result of it being the …

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Groh discusses scrimmage, Holton, Attaochu


Larry Hartstein of (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 …

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Updated: Tech safety Holton likely out for season

Some quick notes from Georgia Tech’s Monday practices. More later.

- Safety Fred Holton is most likely out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, sustained backpedaling in Saturday’s scrimmage. It’s unfortunate. After playing a lot of special teams as a freshman, Holton was one of the hardest workers over the summer and was making a run at a starting job in camp.

“It’s disappointing for Fred because he worked so hard and he was playing so well and he had a great camp,” coach Paul Johnson said.

Freshmen Zach Laskey and Demond Smith, who have been working at B-back and quarterback, worked at safety Monday.

“I’ve just got a lot of sympathy for him, wish he could be out there with us, but we’ve got to move forward,” said linebacker Julian Burnett, a close friend of Holton’s. “All we can do is just keep him in our hearts and play for him.”

Without Holton, the top option at backup safety is Jemea Thomas, who has been working at both safety and cornerback. Monday, the team …

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Jefferson productive in Buffalo preseason game

Tech’s NFL rookie aspirants got their first preseason game action over the weekend. If assigning winners among players playing different positions, getting varying amount of playing time against different opponents is something you’re interested in, let’s declare Buffalo linebacker Brad Jefferson the winner for his three tackles and sack against Chicago on Saturday.

- Mario Butler got snaps at safety for the Dallas Cowboys against Denver Thursday, a 24-23 Cowboys win. Butler made one tackle, in the third quarter, for Dallas.

- Running back Anthony Allen had one carry for three yards and a pair of catches for 14 yards for Baltimore against Philadelphia in the Eagles’ 13-6 win Thursday. Both passes were from former Virginia Tech star Tyrod Taylor.

- In the Falcons’ 28-23 loss to Miami Friday at the Georgia Dome, fullback Lucas Cox and wide receiver Kevin Cone both played for the Falcons. Cone was targeted with two passes late in the fourth quarter. He caught one of them for 14 …

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