Sims impresses in Tech scrimmage

Greetings-

A couple notes from spring practice.

1. B-back David Sims was one of the more notable players in Saturday’s scrimmage, particularly for his ability to break tackles. (As is always the case in an intra-squad scrimmage, one could also cast a critical eye on the other side of the ball.  Coach Paul Johnson and defensive coordinator Al Groh both were critical of the tackling.)

Still, Sims unofficially had an 18-yard run on the first offensive series of the game and about a 20-yarder the next time he was on the field. You may well remember that Sims had trouble breaking off big plays last season, his first at B-back. Early on in the scrimmage, Johnson was on Sims after going down more easily than Johnson would have liked and for apparently fussing at A-back Robert Godhigh for getting in his way.

“I’m like, if he knocked you down bumping into you, that’s (on) you,” Johnson said. “I think he got a little [vexed] at me, so he played pretty good after that.”

Said quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon, “There were a couple we’d like for him to stay on his feet and find a way to get the ball in the end zone, but I thought he ran with a purpose, just like he finished some of those runs off. I thought he did good.”

Bohannon also praised backups Charles Perkins and Zach Laskey for their work. Walk-on Matt Connors also had a couple big runs in the brief time he got on the field.

It was said (and written) often last season that B-back, with Sims, Preston Lyons, Perkins and Richard Watson, was the deepest position on the team, though it didn’t prove to be as productive as projected. It would appear thus far that the depth won’t be as strong, though comparable. One would suspect that the production, given Sims’ and Perkins’ accumulated experience, will improve.

2. Bohannon mentioned a goal to push pass completion percentage to 55 percent or better. It ended up at 49.10, sixth lowest in the country.

“If we can do that, the number of times we throw, it’s not that important,” he said. “It’s completing ‘em.”

In Johnson’s first three seasons, the completion rates were 44.8, 46.4 and 38.1 percent. I’d forgotten it was so low in 2010. Gadzooks.

3. Groh said that coaches are placing “a big emphasis” on causing fumbles. I don’t think that’s to say it wasn’t a priority previously, but it looked like players were more intentional about getting the ball on the ground than I’ve seen in the past. Cornerback Jamal Golden had a strip of wide receiver Jeff Greene late in the scrimmage where he seemed to be as or more intent on prying the ball loose as getting Greene to the ground.

The other facet of that, as Groh noted, is actually recovering loose balls. Many, if not most of the fumbles (not counting the botched center-quarterback exchanges) were recovered by the offense Saturday.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat

296 comments Add your comment

HighTech

April 9th, 2012
12:22 pm

Good news about David Sims. He runs with determination and I thought, with hitting the weights in the offseason, he would be able to break some more tackles this year.

Getting turnovers is nice on defense, but I would like to see some work on tackling, especially wrapping up the ball carrier.

HighTech

April 9th, 2012
12:22 pm

I am honored to be first. Ken, you do a great job.

yeller bug

April 9th, 2012
12:41 pm

Concur. Nice writing Ken. If our special teams improves with the new coach and we get our D a little better especially on 3rd down stops, then the Jackets have a shot at the Champ game again. As one who wants us to throw the ball more—when you have completion rates like the above, you might as well run every play. This has to improve this season as well even if it’s just dink and dunk passes.

HighTech

April 9th, 2012
12:43 pm

I agree, yeller bug. A true pass threat will open up the run game (option) even more.

Jim 70

April 9th, 2012
12:50 pm

Agree, good article. With our throws, increasing the percentage is basically a couple more completions per game, but should be lots of yardage while keeping the defense honest.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

April 9th, 2012
12:51 pm

I was a bit late arriving for the scrimmage on Saturday, but I liked most of what I saw. As you mentioned, though, a good offensive play could also be translated as a poor defensive play, so it’s hard to get a good feel for the overall team. Personally, I like the idea of playing other schools in our spring game, allowing us to get a better idea about the relative strengths and weaknesses of our team.

yeller bug

April 9th, 2012
12:55 pm

So we convert Days to an A-back and then with Sims at B-back we have 2 ex-QBs and with TW that’s 3 QBs in the backfield to do the mother of all flea flickers where any of them can throw the ball downfield or run with it. Maybe I should email this to CPJ so he can grab a napkin and draft up a play or two

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
12:57 pm

” Groh said that coaches are placing “a big emphasis” on causing fumbles.”

This is a problem for me because, in general, causing fumbles (and certainly recovering them) is a function of luck. Perhaps going for fumbles was driving the missed tackles?

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
1:01 pm

Thanks Ken…

I am surprised that with 1-on-1 coverage and safeties in the box we don’t do more slant routes with the WRs and wheel/outs with A-backs.

It also sounds like Marcus Allen might have some space to crack the depth chart this Fall.

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
1:05 pm

George…

I wonder if guys in pursuit (i.e., the 2nd and 3rd tacklers) are being coached to do more stripping. I distinctly remember gang-tackling and stripping Ken Malcome in the 2008 COFH game in Athens in this fashion…

Buzzed

April 9th, 2012
1:14 pm

Did Ken Malcome play college ball in 2008?

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
1:17 pm

If that’s what they’re teaching them, then I’m much more open to the idea, FLJ. UGA specifically said that they did that to us in 2010, and it showed on the strip of Orwin Smith in their five yard line.

I think the player in 2008 was Richard Samuel, BTW.

GTfan 2012

April 9th, 2012
1:22 pm

Let’s get WnE’s comments out of the way, so he doesn’t have any reason to post.
Coach Kung Fu Panda….
Triple SLOPtion…
High School Offense…
I-AA Talent….
Weak Schedule…

Did I cover everything?

i do not like this . . .

April 9th, 2012
1:25 pm

[...] his progress. please, CAG, make fundamental tackling the "big emphasis". more here: Sims impresses in Tech scrimmage | Georgia Tech Reply With [...]

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
1:32 pm

GTfan2012…

Don’t forget…

- Moobs McFish Fry
- Our lack of ELITE RECRUITS
- When our players don’t get to the NFL, it’s because our coaches are terrible. When they do get to the NFL it’s ONLY because of training they receive outside of Tech.

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
1:33 pm

George…

Sorry, I keep getting my highly-recruited grossly-underperforming UGA tailbacks mixed up…

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
1:38 pm

Ha! Not sure if you’ve wandered over the DOB’s blog, FLJ, but I hope most Braves fans don’t work in high rise buildings and stay away from bridges and overpasses. Sheesh.

dawgfan

April 9th, 2012
1:40 pm

“Sorry, I keep getting my highly-recruited grossly-underperforming UGA tailbacks mixed up…”

There it is. That’s my cue. And to think that FL Jacket is one of the biggest mommas boy crybabies about me coming over to put you Techies in your place. What did I tell you FL Jacket? If you don’t want me rubbing your absolutely laughable record against UGA in your face don’t run your fat mouth about things like “under-performing” UGA players. How hard is this man? Now go run to momma FL Jacket. Things are about to get ugly.

Thanks.

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
1:47 pm

I feel badly for you, dawgfan. I can only imagine the lonely existence you must have to spend your Easter trolling a GT football blog.

5 star recruits, 2 star results

April 9th, 2012
2:00 pm

welcome back dawgfan, a coward and a liar

GTfan 2012

April 9th, 2012
2:01 pm

FL Jacket,
Don’t forget that when we lose it is our poor coaching, and when we win it is our easy schedule. And in 2009, we won the ACC championship, but it was a really, really, really weak ACC, so it doesn’t count.

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
2:09 pm

” If you don’t want me rubbing your absolutely laughable record against UGA in your face don’t run your fat mouth about things like “under-performing” UGA players”

dwagfan…

It must take a total tough guy to flaunt being able to run under Chip Towers and Bill King’s censors when inflitrating ANOTHER TEAM’S BLOG and actually sound offended. You are truly an impressive individual and a model for all mankind…

GT Dude

April 9th, 2012
2:10 pm

I just about fell over when I read “Groh said that coaches are placing “a big emphasis” on causing fumbles” Ole Al you have got to be kidding; we would have won the VT game last year if our D had just tackled their big quarterback instead of trying strip the ball. Not talking about the personal foul hit, it was the five or six other runs where our defenders just kept trying to strip the ball out.

Just put the runner on the ground!

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
2:10 pm

George, 5 star…

Just think, “they” laugh at us for not signing guys like Caleb King and Washaun Ealy…HAHAHA

5 star recruits, 2 star results

April 9th, 2012
2:12 pm

dawgfan, do you prefer cowardly liar or lying coward? We can accommodate you on either.

NewYork1

April 9th, 2012
2:25 pm

UGA winners on the field whinners off

Ghost

April 9th, 2012
2:28 pm

Fl Jacket, I am sure Gailey didn’t recruit Caleb King , because he had a learning disability, But Florida, Auburn,Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Tennessee,LSU all wanted him. Which 4 or 5 star running back has PJ signed? He’s offered several but signed zero.

DAWGS!!

April 9th, 2012
2:30 pm

have we seen ANY improvment in the defensive play yet? Al Groh has had his 3 years.. as of all the points scored I would think Defensivly they have taken a step back in progress!!

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
2:32 pm

Ghost…

My point is…do rankings ever really matter? Also does it really matter if most of them don’t finish with the school anyways? The 5-star players get offered early by EVERYONE, not just CPJ.

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
2:33 pm

David Sims was a 4* athlete, Ghost.

He’s had two years, DAWGS!!, but your point is well taken. The defense needs to improve this year.

Jacket Man

April 9th, 2012
2:34 pm

If I’m not mistaken, Richard Watson left the team because he dropped so far on the depth chart.

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
2:39 pm

B.J. Bostic was also a 4* athlete.

Ghost

April 9th, 2012
2:44 pm

Fl jacket, Pj offers many of them.

dawgfan

April 9th, 2012
2:44 pm

“Just think, “they” laugh at us for not signing guys like Caleb King and Washaun Ealy…HAHAHA”

We were really laughing when they sliced and diced the ACC Chumps for 300+ yards rushing in 2009. It was hilarious.

Georgia Tech=JOKE.

I’m going to go play checkers with a 4 year old now. That’s alot more challenging than arguing with Tech fans over football.

Thanks.

Ghost

April 9th, 2012
2:45 pm

Jacketman, and Richard Watson would’ve played at what other D -1 school?

RambleOn84

April 9th, 2012
2:46 pm

Using “gadzooks” as an expletive, Ken?

Well done, my friend.

Thanks for the great reporting!

RambleOn84

April 9th, 2012
2:47 pm

Richard Watson had an offer from FSU if I’m not mistaken.

RambleOn84

April 9th, 2012
2:48 pm

A quick check reveals FSU did not offer; however, Alabama, Arkansas, BC, and UCLA offered. Not exactly lightweights dude.

RambleOn84

April 9th, 2012
2:49 pm

Groh has had 2 years, not 3.

Should be better this year, but we’ll see. If no improvement, I’d agree that we need to move in a different direction.

Ghost

April 9th, 2012
2:49 pm

Ramble, Everyone mis evaluates , that or Watson peaked in High school.

RambleOn84

April 9th, 2012
2:54 pm

I’m not arguing that Watson has been any good; clearly he hasn’t panned out the way we would have wanted him to. But you asked what other D-1 schools wanted him, as if by having him it is proof of our “lousy” recruiting.

mike

April 9th, 2012
2:55 pm

the acc is weak. look at your occ games and bowl records. it’s atrocious.

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
2:59 pm

The ACC consistently plays the most difficult non-conference schedules in the country, mike. Only the Pac-12 is even close.

mike

April 9th, 2012
2:59 pm

FL Jacket

April 9th, 2012
3:01 pm

“Ramble, Everyone mis evaluates , that or Watson peaked in High school.”

Ghost…

So why all the crap about CPJ not getting more early offers? You’re asking him to place more stock on evaluating what a kid does as a Junior. You miss a lot of late-bloomers that way…such as an Anthony Autry (Gwinnett DB of the year in 6A)

mike

April 9th, 2012
3:03 pm

that’s because you are located in sec country george. duh. how did clemson and gt fair last year? fsu finally beat fla after getting whipped like 6/7 against them. how did wake do against vandy last year? i rest my case. the year you and clemson went to the acc champ game, you both lost to your rivals! get a clue

GTfan 2012

April 9th, 2012
3:06 pm

mike, you must be a Georgia fan. Only Georgia fans look at their recruiting rankings as proof of success. Of course when that’s the only championship you can win (well that and pre-season #1 rankings… we know how that turned out), I guess you have to crow about it. Before you post a witty response about UGA beating GT, just look a little closer at those recruiting rankings (and for the past 10 years) and then you’ll probably be embarassed that you lost to us in 2008.

mike

April 9th, 2012
3:07 pm

10/11 2012. you really have nothing to say when i throw that in your face. loser. at least our conference championships are rescinded by the ncaa.

George Stein

April 9th, 2012
3:08 pm

“that’s because you are located in sec country george. duh. how did clemson and gt fair last year? fsu finally beat fla after getting whipped like 6/7 against them. how did wake do against vandy last year? i rest my case. the year you and clemson went to the acc champ game, you both lost to your rivals! get a clue”

This doesn’t explain ACC teams playing Ohio State, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Louisville, Kansas, or South Florida. But, whatever.

mike

April 9th, 2012
3:08 pm