Tevin Washington talks offseason, 2011

I spoke last week with Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington. Forthwith, a summary of the first half of the interview, including updates on the offseason and a look back at 2011. Fittingly, it’s 13 items.

1. Last Friday, the team completed its last of six coaches runs workouts, in which players do a circuit of conditioning drills, each monitored by one of the coaches.

Toughest drill: Bags with secondary coach Charles Kelly. Seven tackling bags are laid out in a line, and players have to high step over them and then sprint through a cone five yards beyond the bags, then run back after the whole group (12 or 13 players) finishes.

Then they weave through the cones, sprinting forward and backpedaling, and keep going until the three-minute period ends.

“The bag drill, you’re tired because you’ve been running (the entire time). At the other stations, you get a little break in between. You might get 15 seconds or 20 before it’s your turn to go again. But in this one, you’re just running the whole three minutes. We don’t get any break. You might get three seconds depending on when the last person comes through the bags.”

2. On if it’s more mentally or physically challenging: “I think it’s both. Physically, it puts you in shape. In no time during football, spring practice or even in the fall, do you do that much running at one time but as far as just getting yourself conditioned physically and mentally, it makes you push through. Because everybody gets tired. Nobody out there will be fresh and can just go through every time and not get tired when you go through the coaches runs.

Mentally you see what you’re going to do when you get tired. Are you going to push through or are you going to feel sorry for yourself or are you going to mentally tell yourself that you can pus h through the drill and get through it no matter what.”

3. On the player in the best shape: “I think it’s probably between Louis Young and I’d have to say Charles Perkins. Those two, they’re pretty good. I’d have to say three. Robbie Godhigh. Those three they don’t seem to get tired. They get tired, but they don’t show it.

4. Washington organized passing workouts all through February, twice a week after team conditioning workouts in the afternoon.

“Just quarterbacks and receivers and A-backs, just work on timing, route running and just throwing routes on up.”

The workouts lasted about an hour to 75 minutes.

“It’s five quarterbacks, so everybody’s getting reps. I think it’s six receivers and you’ve got four A-backs so everybody pretty much got reps. We’d go one rep at a time so everybody gets a chance to coach each other up. So we try to work through and just work on whatever everybody wants to work on.”

On his role coordinating the workout:

“I just kind of organize it, try to let everybody know what we’re going to throw. I try to make sure that when we’re out there, we’re getting some work done as far as grouping everybody together and making sure that we all at least look like we know what we’re doing. That’s about it.”

5. The five quarterbacks were Synjyn Days, Vad Lee, early enrollee Dennis Andrews and Tim Byerly, a walk-on transfer from Middle Tennessee State.

Washington on Andrews: “He’s still young, but he looks like he’s going to be ready to go when we start spring practice.”

(I’ll have his thoughts on Days and Lee in the next installment. This isn’t, like, my attempt to build suspense. I asked him later and I haven’t gotten that far in transcribing.)

6. The defensive backs came out “maybe two of the four weeks” that the quarterbacks, A-backs and receivers threw. “It wasn’t anything too physical, but just (to) make sure they can stay in their game.”

7. On the importance of practicing the passing game when the team doesn’t throw much: “I’d say, since Coach (Paul) Johnson has been here, there hasn’t been a year where we didn’t have passing situations come up where we didn’t throw the ball. Every game I’ve played in, every game I’ve seen since I’ve been here – I mean, every game I think anybody’s seen – that situation will come up. And when the passing situation does come up, you’ve got to be able to execute it well.”

8. On wanting to throw more: Every quarterback wants to throw. It’s a pleasure being able to throw the ball, but we’re going to do whatever works, whatever puts the ‘W’ on the board.”

9. Washington said he’s been watching a lot of video from last season, particularly the losses. On what he found lacking: “Personally, just execution, being able to continue to execute week in and week out, pick up the execution and making sure you do your job the best you could to give your team the best chance to win.”

10. Asked if there were plays that bug him, he said, “I can probably name five off the top of my head.” He mentioned two plays in the loss to Virginia, the first of which took place on the first series. The play was a vertical route for Stephen Hill, but Virginia blitzed.

“I could have just easily thrown it to the A-back; he was wide open at the line, but instead, I continued in my drop and I tried to throw it to Stephen.

“I got hit as I threw the ball, as I let the ball go, and it was an incomplete pass, but it could have been a first down (if the pass had gone to the A-back) and probably would have been the difference in the drive.”

(Tech got the ball for its first drive down 7-0, then was hit with a holding penalty on first down. Washington’s pass, incomplete to Hill, was on 3rd and 12. After punting, Virginia took over on Tech’s 45-yard line and scored on the third play for a 14-0 lead. Had the Jackets earned a first down on that play, “it would have been a big momentum swing, I think,” Washington said.)

11. The second in that game was an interception in the second quarter after Virginia had scored to take a 21-14 lead.

“We had another play-action pass play and I threw a pick on the play. It was on the right sideline throwing to Steve. If I would have just sat him down instead of throwing down the field, if I would have just threw it back shoulder and made him stop and catch the ball, it would have been a big play.”

Chase Minnifield intercepted instead, setting up a Virginia field goal for a 24-14 lead. Virginia won 24-21.

The game hardly came down to those two plays, but momentum-changers nevertheless.

12. A third play was in the Virginia Tech game, “where I don’t think anybody was on the same page.” On the first drive of the second quarter, Tech started on its 7-yard line ahead 7-0. On the first play, Washington pitched to Roddy Jones for a two-yard gain.

“I should have got down here and forced the corner to make me pitch it or run. There was nobody else out there,” he said. “Everybody, the safety, went the other way. So it would have been a big play.”

His conclusion: “I pitched it too soon. Nobody made me pitch it.”

13. As for a play he was particularly proud of, he named his 31-yard touchdown pass to Hill in the Sun Bowl, as it broke a passing slump in which he hadn’t thrown a touchdown pass in the previous seven games after recording 10 in the first five.

The pass, he said, “for that game, anyway, gave us some momentum in passing the football.”

That’s about all he said about it. It’s interesting, perhaps telling, that he went into detail about the plays he’d missed, but glossed over the touchdown pass.

More Thursday morning. Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

103 comments Add your comment

GT Girl

March 21st, 2012
10:23 am

First! And Go Jackets!!!

Tech Man

March 21st, 2012
10:25 am

lucky21

March 21st, 2012
10:33 am

Humble and trying to improve thats good news

David from Athens, AL

March 21st, 2012
10:36 am

Good comments from Kevin

HighTech

March 21st, 2012
10:38 am

Thanks for the update, Ken. Glad to read about the analysis and hard work. Can September get here soon enough?

George Stein

March 21st, 2012
10:39 am

A player saying he has to execute? That’s just Paul Johnson throwing his players under the bus again.

Wait. This interview wasn’t done with Paul Johnson. I’m so confused now.

lucky21

March 21st, 2012
10:43 am

Ken when is the next installment coming out?

Ken Sugiura

March 21st, 2012
10:44 am

congrats, GT Girl.

old gold and white in my veins

March 21st, 2012
10:51 am

Thanks for the great read Ken. Tevin seems like a good kid. Can’t wait to see how the qb competition shapes up this spring.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 21st, 2012
10:58 am

Interesting interview and post, Ken; thanks. It would seem that TW is a lot smarter than most people give him credit for. I like the way he is able to look back and see what he could have, and perhaps should have, done differently and actually admit it. I think it’s pretty obvious that, barring, injury, he will be the starter at the beginning of the season. I hope the competition from Lee and others will bring improvement to his game. I don’t care who ends up being the number one QB, as long as he can win on the field.

JR in Mableton

March 21st, 2012
10:58 am

Just beat Georgia…….

FL Jacket

March 21st, 2012
11:01 am

George…players throwing themselves under the bus

Ken…great piece. Who were the A-backs (since Orwin is rehabbing) and WRs out there practicing? Just curious if they’ve made any position changes…

ABs…T Zenon, D Hill, BJ Bostic, R Godhigh

6 WRs…D Waller, J Greene, C Jackson, J Moore…other 2?

GTBob

March 21st, 2012
11:16 am

Tevin is a great kid, and a hard worker. He represents GT well. I’m not going to lie though. I will be disappointed if he is the QB next season.

Stephen CC

March 21st, 2012
11:20 am

Nice article. Thanks, Ken. Keep up the good work, Tevin. Go Jackets!

GTPhenom

March 21st, 2012
11:24 am

GTBob, I won’t be. If he is out there, it is because the coaching staff, which I get the feeling knows more than any of us on here (regardless of what we all want to think, haha), thinks he is the best option to play at QB. CPJ has run this offense for a long time, and I think he’ll know whether or not TW is deserving of being out there as the starting QB. The young QBs will have their time. Vad is only a redshirt freshman next season, so he has more than enough time to get in there and show what he can do. Go Jackets, and THWG!!!

GTPhenom

March 21st, 2012
11:25 am

Also, thanks for the updates, Ken, you always provide keen insight on what is going on in GT sports.

GTBob

March 21st, 2012
11:32 am

CPJ has run this offense for a long time, and I think he’ll know whether or not TW is deserving of being out there as the starting QB.

I fully trust CPJ’s judgement at the end of fall practice. I would just be disappointed that Vad and Synjyn neither one could beat him out. Tevin can run the offense adequately, but we need someone who can provide a little more of a spark.

GT Alum '83

March 21st, 2012
11:32 am

Ken, thanks for these posts. Good to see that GT has the problem of too much promising talent at the QB spot. I agree with GTBob that TW may not be the best QB of the lot. If he doesn’t play there, even as second string, is there another position he could move to? One of the RB positions seems an obvious option. (No pun intended.)

lucky21

March 21st, 2012
11:34 am

Exactly GTBob

ToeMeetsLeather

March 21st, 2012
11:52 am

Gosh, how could you not pull for this kid. But, I still hope Lee makes it impossible not to line him up against VaTech. I just feel like we have seen Washington’s top end, but maybe he will prove me wrong (which certainly won’t be the first or last time for that). We should get a good feel at the Spring Game with them going head to head.

P.S. Would love to see the look on Foster’s face if Lee comes out in the shotgun formation on the first play Labor Day night!

TW talks about he offseason with AJC

March 21st, 2012
11:54 am

[...] two. other part tomorrow. discusses offseason passing drills and a few things from last season: Tevin Washington talks offseason, 2011 | Georgia Tech Reply With [...]

GT Bob's Mom

March 21st, 2012
12:14 pm

GT, dont you have anything better to do than spend all day on this blog..oh and the Ga blog too. It is embarassing for me at the garden club for the other ladies to know my 30 yr old virgin son still lives in the basement. And by the way, pick up those Star Trek action figures before you do another thing.

P.S. I made your bed , sweetie.,,and lunch is in the fridge.

Marietta Buzz

March 21st, 2012
12:26 pm

I wish I could get my son to be that honest about mistakes he’s made. That’s how they are corrected. Go TW!

gt45

March 21st, 2012
12:27 pm

It would be extremely difficult, for me, to not go with TW on opening day. However, competition is a good thing, and I believe the cream will rise to the top! May the best man win.

Fix my computer, Geek Squad

March 21st, 2012
12:30 pm

“Just beat Georgia……”

Aint gonna happen……

George Stein

March 21st, 2012
12:41 pm

Can we still play the game, Geek Squad?

5 star recruits, 2 star results

March 21st, 2012
12:46 pm

Geek, did you read this mornings breaking news? Apparently the Heisman is returning to Athens this December.

GT fan

March 21st, 2012
12:48 pm

“….3. On the player in the best shape: “I think it’s probably between Louis Young and I’d have to say Charles Perkins. Those two, they’re pretty good. I’d have to say three. Robbie Godhigh. Those three they don’t seem to get tired. They get tired, but they don’t show it.”

CP is one of the best!? Doesn’t surprise me after seeing him at last Summer’s media day, the guy’s buitl like a brick sh-thouse!

Get your act together CP and win the #1 BB spot!

A

March 21st, 2012
1:14 pm

If tevin is the starter, it will be another 6-7 win season at best.

FL Jacket

March 21st, 2012
1:24 pm

GT fan…

CP would easily win the job if he didn’t put the ball on the ground…

ToeMeetsLeather

March 21st, 2012
1:30 pm

“A”, since we are coming off an 8 win season and CPJ has averaged 8-1/2 wins, it will be hard to have “another 6-7 win season”. May be time to invest in a calculator dude.

Prove 'em wrong again, Tevin!

March 21st, 2012
1:51 pm

Tevin has done nothing but work hard and improve since he came to GT. When he first came people said he’d never see a down as a QB. Tevin proved ‘em wrong.

When he started last year (his first year starting) people said we wouldn’t win 6 games with him. Proved ‘em wrong again.

Now they’re saying we need more of a spark or we’re in trouble if he doesn’t get beat out. Tevin will prove you wrong again. The guy works hard.

Last year I saw fake pitches that went for big yardage, I saw him reverse field by himself and take off for big yardage. Sure he struggled with consistency and made some mistakes….and he’s obviously working hard to improve. With a better OL, better protection, and hopefully fewer drops I think you see TW come out and have a fine season next year.

Buzzed

March 21st, 2012
2:03 pm

But he did have a 6-win season just 2 years ago. Thus, as A said, ‘another’ 6-7 win season. No calculator needed.

Buzzed

March 21st, 2012
2:06 pm

reebok

March 21st, 2012
2:07 pm

I love Tevin’s attitude and work ethic, but I sure hope Vad Lee is our starting QB this year…let Tevin play A- or B-Back.

lucky21

March 21st, 2012
2:07 pm

prove em I respect Tevin for the hard worker he is and the humility he shows, but physically I don’t think he has the tools to be a great quarterback instead of a good one.

LOUIELOUIE TIME

March 21st, 2012
2:07 pm

what is up with David Sims?

Tokyo jacket

March 21st, 2012
2:26 pm

TW runs the offense more than adequately, he runs it very well. We were the number 2 or 3 rushing team in the country last year. In our offense, that requires execution. With our style though, you have to run the offense EXCELLENTLY to get to 11 wins. Vad Lee would definitely provide a spark, but I don’t think he’d run the offense as well overall, at least not as a RS Frosh. Look for him TW to take another step.

I know supersize will be able to recall the exact blog and time at which I said this once we get to the fall, so we’ll see if I’m right :)

lucky21

March 21st, 2012
2:34 pm

Mentally I think TW is far and away the best right now, but it is easy to see that Lee and
Days are better athletes overall

GTBob

March 21st, 2012
2:50 pm

We were the number 2 or 3 rushing team in the country last year. In our offense, that requires execution.

Let’s be honest. The option offense is always going to put us that high. We have been top 4 every year since CPJ got here. Ask yourself this. What does Tevin do really well? I can’t come up with a good answer. He is good to average in almost all areas. I just think we can do better then that.

GT Dude

March 21st, 2012
2:54 pm

Can’t wait to see who emerges during the spring, IMHO I don’t think the winner will be Tevin he is just not tough or fast enough for this style of offense

Robert Barron

March 21st, 2012
3:05 pm

If someone besides Tevin starts at Virginia Tech, game over and easy VT win.
Tevin’s record at QB has been hurt by an extra point miss at Uga that should have tied the game on their field in 2010 at 35 all. Make it and maybe a fumbled kickoff and a win.
We also beat VT last year without the inexplicable play.
Why on earth was the big VT QB not tackled low around his legs?
Then we get the game we want.
Tackling high reflects poorly on coaching staff as did the swing at another player.
The QB debate should be left to the head coach.

juvenal

March 21st, 2012
3:07 pm

how about some shotgun?(never gets old-to me, anyway)

Robert Barron

March 21st, 2012
3:08 pm

Both Tech and Georgia fan bases are similar in loving to trash their starting QB.

GT Dude

March 21st, 2012
3:09 pm

I know the Byerly kid is not eligable this year, but he has a chance next year. I watched him during his perfect season at Chattahoochee HS, his speed is pretty good, arm is OK, he has a good head on his shoulders, but his best attributes are that he is strong, tough as nails, and will knock you down as he runs by.
Only time will tell

Ken Sugiura

March 21st, 2012
3:09 pm

FL Jacket – It slipped my mind to ask an obvious question. the other two could be walk-ons, i suppose.

Robert Barron

March 21st, 2012
3:10 pm

BTW I knew Presbyterian had a tennis team as a friend played for them.
I thought the home schedule could not get any weaker but I was wrong.

swarmi

March 21st, 2012
3:12 pm

LOL…doubtful if a blog determines the starting QB. Last year, I thought for sure TW had hit his “ceiling” as a passer/QB. If he is the starting QB against VT, perhaps I have misjudged him. Johnson knows best.

Robert Barron

March 21st, 2012
3:18 pm

We should go 9-3 running the table at home but losing road games to VT, Clemson and Georgia.
I would love to be wrong. Beat VT and I’ll get excited about the year.

swarmi

March 21st, 2012
3:21 pm

I vote for beating VT!