Tech’s Sims learning to trust

Greetings-

I spoke Monday with B-back David Sims for a story that will run later this week, mostly about his progress since last season. A couple highlights from the interview:

1. Sims believes a big reason he didn’t produce more was that he wasn’t trusting in the creases to be there.

“Most of the times when I don’t trust or I’m not being certain, it shows,” he said, “because I’d be slow to the ball or I’m looking.”

Quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon put it another way.

“I think what he’s saying by that is he was always looking and seeing where to go instead of just saying, ‘Hey, I see what’s in front of me, I’m going to go, I’m going to play fast,’” he said. “With those guys at B-back, it’s been, keeping your pads down and playing fast and just let the rest of it unfold.”

2. Bohannon acknowledged that, with that mindset, there still will be times when the holes actually won’t be there. But Sims still has to keep his pads down.

“That’s part of playing running back,” he said. “You get a head of steam, you at least knock the pile back a little bit.”

The difference could be four or five yards instead of a one- or two-yard gain.

“Four or five yards, that puts us in good position to have third and short, fourth and one, things like that,” Sims said. “I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure I at least get those four or five yards.”

Bohannon said he’s seen glimpses of Sims playing much faster through the mesh.

“He’s just got to keep that up,” he said.

3. Sims said he watched a lot of video studying himself and other B-backs. After the season, he studied runs by Jonathan Dwyer, Anthony Allen and Preston Lyons, as well as himself, to figure out what he could be doing better. He said he has watched the Sun Bowl, which he didn’t play in, three times.

Sims said he was looking for “how Dwyer hit the hole and what he saw. Once he got in the open field, how many cuts did he have to make for him to get north and south. How did Anthony go through the mesh. How low Preston was, because he always ran behind his pads. Different things like that.”

What he saw in his runs was what convinced him he needed to be more trusting.

“There was a lot of times I thought I didn’t have creases, but after I looked back at the film, I did,” he said.

4. Sims thinks Allen had a similar challenge in 2010 and was able to make the adjustment midway through the season. Allen’s yards-per-carry remained virtually identical games 1-5 compared to games 6-13 (5.5) but his yards-per-game increased from 66.0 to 123.3.

“I’m trying to follow that (example of trusting more), except for I’m trying to start from now till the end of the year, when we’re probably trying to go for the ACC championship,” he said.

5. On the topic of Allen, my colleague D. Orlando Ledbetter shared with me a nugget from the NFL draft combine. Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was asked at the combine about the impact of Ricky Williams retiring.

Williams backed up Ray Rice, a two-time Pro Bowler who was given the Ravens’ franchise tag and will return to the team, whether with a one-year franchise player deal or a long-term contract. Williams ran 108 times for 444 yards. Allen had three carries as the No. 3 running back.

Newsome’s answer:

“We have Anthony Allen, a young kid that we drafted out of Georgia Tech and we’re going to give him every opportunity to be that guy. Now, that you’ve had a guy on campus for a full year. It’s almost like having those two young tight ends last year and having a good feeling that those guys can play for us. We’ve got Anthony and we’ll give him every opportunity. Damien Berry, he’ll get some opportunities. We’ll go into August like we did last year and try to get that out.”

Berry made the team last year as an undrafted free agent out of Miami.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

501 comments Add your comment

AugustaJacket

April 11th, 2012
7:06 am

Would like to see Sims bust some big runs this year. Go Jackets!

WnE

April 11th, 2012
7:11 am

Based on Sims’ comments, positions aren’t as interchangeable as many in the GT fanbase thought that they were when CPJ first took over as GT’s HC.

What Sims’ is describing is what is innate to a BCS level RB from all his years of playing that position, just because you fit a size profile or speed profile that doesn’t mean that you can quickly develop the instincts for that position.

Sims’ tough transition is proof that at the BCS level you can’t just take a “generic” skill position guy and move him somewhere new and and expect that player to play up to the level of a normal player recruited for that position.

It might work at the crappy D1-AA level or Service Academy Level but it isn’t likely to work very well at the BCS Level, one Champ Bailey or one Malcolm Mitchell 13 years apart isn’t proof that this strategy will work.

All these generic skill players that CPJ is recruiting are causing depth issues since they don’t have a “real” defined position and therefore cannot get on the field and help GT vs. Big-Time competition.

Yet another FLAW in CPJ’s Service Academy Recruiting Strategy in a BCS Conference!

Paddy

April 11th, 2012
7:29 am

WnE…..Since CPJ’s teams always finish in the top 5 in the nation in rushing, I don’t see your point.

Burdell

April 11th, 2012
7:31 am

Nice try WnEr but the offense is not the problem…and Malcolm Mitchell hasn’t proven a thing yet except he had a pretty good Freshman year at WR.

Glad to hear Sims is taking his role seriously and trying to get better. Hopefully, CP21 can put some pressure on him and we’ll have two studs back there at B-Back. Looking forward to the scrimmage under the lights next Friday.

WnE

April 11th, 2012
7:42 am

re:
WnE…..Since CPJ’s teams always finish in the top 5 in the nation in rushing, I don’t see your point.
_______________

The point is, is that our Starter at B-Back, the feature RB in our offense only had 698 yds. last season vs. a weak schedule.

This lack of a home-run threat from such a key position DAMAGES the entire Offense and makes it less explosive and less efficient.

Defenses play your offense differently when you LACK a home-run hitter at B-Back!

Don’t let early season cupcakes fool you into thinking that our offense is better than it really is.

We are 1-11 vs. Top-50 Defenses over the last 2 seasons.

CPJ has been getting fat on weak schedules, the last 2 years our schedules have been ranked in the low 70s as far as SoS (Strength of Sched.)

For comparison, last year’s “weak” mutt schedule that we GT folks like to poke fun at was ranked in the 30s, had GT played schedules ranked in the 30s over the last 2 years we would have likely had back-to-back losing seasons.

Top-5 in the nation in rushing doesn’t tell the whole story.

reebok

April 11th, 2012
7:44 am

Watching Sims last year, it was clear that he was playing hard. Reading this, it’s clear that he’s pretty bright as well. I hope he has a breakout season. Nice news about Anthony Allen as well…coming in directly after Dwyer and having only one year as the featured back (for lack of a better term), I always felt he got overlooked. Terrific runner, glad he’s getting a chance to play at the next level.

WnE

April 11th, 2012
7:45 am

re:
Nice try WnEr but the offense is not the problem…and Malcolm Mitchell hasn’t proven a thing yet except he had a pretty good Freshman year at WR.

Glad to hear Sims is taking his role seriously and trying to get better. Hopefully, CP21 can put some pressure on him and we’ll have two studs back there at B-Back. Looking forward to the scrimmage under the lights next Friday.
________________

If the O wasn’t the problem then we should have been able to convert one of MANY 3rd & shorts vs. Utah in the Bowl Game and put that game away for the win.

Against “tough” teams our offense has been a problem.

BTW Utah isn’t what I consider a tough team.

Burdell

April 11th, 2012
7:50 am

Utah game is on the coaches WnEr and you know it…terrible play calling on both sides of the ball in the 4th quarter.

Planning on showing us that coveted class ring next Friday at the scrimmage?

Burdell

April 11th, 2012
7:53 am

BTW…Utah had a better Scoring Defense than did your boys in Athens…you know the Champ Baileys and the Malcom Mitchells of the world.

Fix my computer, Geek Squad

April 11th, 2012
7:54 am

Geez WnE……..zzzzzzzzzzzzz

James

April 11th, 2012
8:12 am

This is what the uga alum and homer Michael Carvell wrote about tony parker playing at duke on the recruiting blog. talk about a biased opinion. and the dunce doesn’t even realize that we don’t play every team twice. and now with cuse and pitt coming, it’ll be even less. what a jerk to make that comment and he claims to be unbiased. he should be fired for that

“including the annual clobbering of Georgia Tech”

Tokyo jacket

April 11th, 2012
8:12 am

Glad to see Sims making progress at the position.

WnE, I was actually with you in your first post until the last paragraph. I think you’re right that switching positions, especially a guy who literally touches the ball every play of the game, is not completely interchangable. Also a good point on third downs.

BUT, where I think you went wrong is assuming he couldn’t make the switch ever. Sims is extremely athletic and powerful, and apparently aware of what he needs to do to get better. I think he’ll make a similar improvement to what Allen made in the middle of his first year. Also, you’ve got to remember that Sims played multiple positions in high school just like most 4- and 5-star recruits. While they generally do decide on a true position before coming to college, it’s not like most RBs are bread to be RBs startilng in 6th grade. Michael Johnson was recruited as a TE for example.

FL Jacket

April 11th, 2012
8:14 am

Hmmm…

An NFL GM praising Anthony Allen, a guy who excelled at Louisville as an I-formation tailback in 2007, a Triple option A-back in 2009, and Triple option B-back in 2010. Guess if you’re an athlete you’ll excel anywhere and have a good chance of playing int he NFL.

Paul in NH

April 11th, 2012
8:19 am

It is difficult for players to switch positions, no matter how highly recruited they were – just ask Richard Samuel or Damarius Bilbo.

James

April 11th, 2012
8:20 am

Here’s the comment Carvell made

Duke – Pros: Duke is one of college basketball’s top five programs, and has a living legend as a head coach. They play in the ACC, many games will be within driving distance (including the annual clobbering of Georgia Tech),

GT Rich

April 11th, 2012
8:22 am

Sims was handed the ball half as many times as Allen or Dwyer. You can’t get 1300 yards if the QB doesn’t hand you the rock…simple math any GT grad should be able to handle. That’s a result of QB decision-making.

James

April 11th, 2012
8:22 am

I guess losing 81-74 is clobbering to michael carvell.

crackbaby

April 11th, 2012
8:34 am

@WnE

Your idiocy is truly remarkable. You self-absorption is far worse than those delusional rejects they show on American Idol during auditions. Keep talking to yourself. Nobody else is listening.

FL Jacket

April 11th, 2012
8:38 am

James…

I posted on the Carvell piece about Tony Parker. That guy is something else. UGA fans honestly have the nerve to claim the AJC is anti-UGA too…HAHAHAHA

BIRMINGHAM JACKET

April 11th, 2012
8:39 am

Arkansas needs a “New Sheriff”, and PAUL JOHNSON is his name!

crackbaby

April 11th, 2012
8:42 am

The issue with Sims is not “crappy D1-AA level” vs. BCS level talent. It involves the subtleties of a position in sports.

When a team or organization is rebuilding from losing to winning, there are long stretches where the hard work doesn’t yield tangible, measurable results. These stretches can be followed by periods where everything comes together to produce drastic improvement.

Don’t know when things will gel for this Tech squad, but under CPJ, the performance will improve. As they say in Statesboro, “let the magic happen…”

signed,
Not your average boot lickin’ toady…

swarmi

April 11th, 2012
8:49 am

GT Rich got it right. In a couple of games, the QB ran the ball about 7000 times…hard for the B back to gain yards without the ball. I’m not worried about the B back/1000 yards.

DAWGS

April 11th, 2012
8:52 am

When are we going to find out about the other side of the ball?? The DL and the ability to Pass rush will be the deciding factor next year…. No one say a THING about it..

greta

April 11th, 2012
8:52 am

@Wne – it’s flattering how obsessed you are with CPJ’s strategies. Don’t have much of a life do you.

Looking forward to see the Jackets continue to evolve. CPJ can change is mind – many thought not possible.

Now can we role play some radio/tv interviews with him so he represents the Institute brilliantly.

Needed the fire brought by special teams coach.

Go Jackets!

DAWGS

April 11th, 2012
8:53 am

This program will continue to be irrelevent unti they improve on the Defensive front PERIOD!!!

A2k

April 11th, 2012
8:55 am

Good write up. I really liked watching Sims play, you could tell he wanted the position and worked hard for it. I thought he really needed a little more size to really do what the B-back needs to do, but after reading maybe it was mental too. I like his attitude going forward.

I think the lack of a serious B-back threat hurt us overall last year. Defenses did not worry as much about the B-back breaking free as before. Maybe Dwyer and Allen spoiled us with a couple of 20+ yard gashes every game.

James

April 11th, 2012
8:56 am

Just saw it fla jacket. What bs to inject that into the article. He would never talk about kentucky clobbering his dogs. Wish more people would get sick of this cause it has an effect on the recruits in the state when they see that stuff.

BigTimeTechFan

April 11th, 2012
8:58 am

Good one DWAGS

FL Jacket

April 11th, 2012
9:03 am

James…

Carvell dances all over the concept of “conflict of interest”. Not only an impact on recruits, James, but also their parents who might read this kind of tripe and not understand the obvious bias. And by the way, Duke pretty much beats (not “clobbers”) everyone they play…so why make that statement more of an indictment about Tech’s current state instead of Duke’s superiority?

I’m sorry, how is an “unbiased” journalist allowed to make personal contact with a potential recruit considering their alma mater? If he were a lawyer, he would be taken off such a case…

RJ

April 11th, 2012
9:10 am

But why did the qb run the ball swami? Because the bback wasn’t getting any yards.

James

April 11th, 2012
9:14 am

I know FL. It’s a joke. The guy is a runner for uga football in the largest media outlet in the state. The rest of the schools should sue the ajc for crap like this. It does affect outcomes. If you can’t hire an impartial person to do the job, then just admit what the guy is and call it uga football recruiting.

HighTech

April 11th, 2012
9:14 am

WnE

April 10th, 2012
8:45 pm
What a bunch of wusses!

Earlier this week I identified a possible weakness in our A-Back depth chart, and then I was told that I was being my old crazy self, and then lo & behold just a few days later our Genius HC moves other players to A-Back to start crossing training and then makes the comment that “you need to get your best 11 players on the field”.

Obvious either I was right all along or CPJ seeks out my advice before he makes roster moves.

Instead of you putzes coming clean and admitting, “yeah Wrecks even a broken clock is right twice a day” (a back-handed way to admit someone you don’t like is correct) .

Instead of you guys doing that and showing at least a smidgen of manhood, you guys do the most feminine thing possible and keep bringing up “old sh**”.

For you guys that don’t know this, that is one of the things that WOMEN do to get on a MAN’S last nerve, to keep bringing tired, out-dated crap crap that has been discussed ad nauseum.

Not too MANLY there HT to keep dwelling on old sh** like a nagging a** WOMAN.

BTW, I was right about the A-Backs, me & CPJ; “Great FB Minds” that think alike, now if he would just recruit some TEs & FBs and get rid of this gimmicky-a** Triple-OPtion Offense!

Haven’t you guys noticed a kindler, gentler, WnE, no KFP, B-L-Ts, no SL in the OPtion Offense.

I’m a new man!
—————————————-
I’m not the one who flies into hysterics when his OWN WORDS are posted for all to see. The fact that your stalking a teenager occurred months ago does not make it any less creepy. Your OWN WORDS wreck your credibility.

HighTech

April 11th, 2012
9:16 am

From Vad Lee:

“@WrecksNEffect yo I don’t know you and I would really like if you stop tweeting me! Thank you and God bless!”

few minutes later:

“Although I do encourage you to watch GT football this year and years to come!”

Wow, very classy of that young man to handle the situation like that.

GTfan 2012

April 11th, 2012
9:19 am

I’ll comment on Carvell, too. I can’t believe in this day and age that the AJC allows Michael Carvell to use his “official” twitter account (its called RecruitingAJC) for both business and personal use. Its like both Carvell and the AJC haven’t yet figured out how this whole social media thing works yet.

GTfan 2012

April 11th, 2012
9:21 am

HighTech,
Yes, Vad Lee was very classy indeed… just the opposite of how WnE handles himself.

HighTech

April 11th, 2012
9:29 am

WnE

April 10th, 2012
6:58 pm
Thank you for validating the accuracy of my opinions High Tech!

Every time i hit a “sore spot”, you try to silence me with 18 month old twitter messages.

How has that strategy worked for you High Tech?

Have I been silenced?

Have I been less accurate in my analysis?

Your cut & paste is a waste of time and no impact on me at all!

When you pull up old crap like all you do is show weakness and let people know that I must be getting the best of you in some way!
——————————————-
I don’t think I’m the one with a “sore spot”. You are hysterical.

gtg

April 11th, 2012
9:30 am

Ken, we really appreciate the great writing and news updates. They keep us coming back during the offseason. Glad we have someone putting in hard work toward reporting on Georgia Tech. Thanks for the effort!

Seriously, WnE is a sociopath. Can we really not just ban him from the site?

GT-Jake

April 11th, 2012
9:35 am

Paul Johnson to Arkansas would go a long way in helping our football program.

juvenal

April 11th, 2012
9:41 am

Ken-been kinda busy-shotgun, really?

Big Ol Stinger

April 11th, 2012
9:55 am

WnE is one of those pot bellied old men they catch in a sting trying to arrange a date with a 12 year old boy.

Creeeeepy!!

George Stein

April 11th, 2012
9:58 am

“Sims’ tough transition is proof that at the BCS level you can’t just take a “generic” skill position guy and move him somewhere new and and expect that player to play up to the level of a normal player recruited for that position.”

Yeah, because it’s not like Bill Belichick does this routinely in New England or anything. But then, New England doesn’t play at the BCS level.

George Stein

April 11th, 2012
9:59 am

“If the O wasn’t the problem then we should have been able to convert one of MANY 3rd & shorts vs. Utah in the Bowl Game and put that game away for the win.

Against “tough” teams our offense has been a problem.

BTW Utah isn’t what I consider a tough team.”

Ah, yes. The one game sample size argument. A fool’s favorite!

HighTech

April 11th, 2012
10:03 am

George Stein

April 11th, 2012
9:58 am

Yeah, because it’s not like Bill Belichick does this routinely in New England or anything. But then, New England doesn’t play at the BCS level.
———————————–
Bill Belichick is a kung fu panda failure as a coach. He can’t even teach the fine points of being an ELITE QB to Tom Brady. Tom Brady has to get outside coaching to succeed at the NFL level.

carolinajacket

April 11th, 2012
10:06 am

Sims is going to have a big year in the fall. Look at some of the runs he made in high school and you will see that he has tremendous potential. If the O-line gives him any holes at all he will show all the doubters what a great runner he is. Mark my words.

George Stein

April 11th, 2012
10:07 am

So true, HighTech. Tom Brady had to learn how to play QB from Terrance Mathis.

HighTech

April 11th, 2012
10:11 am

If Tom Brady had played in the ELITE SEC CONFERENCE, he would have been NFL ready and not needed any extra coaching.

George Stein

April 11th, 2012
10:13 am

He only has B1G speed, HighTech. He never could succeed in a REAL CONFERENCE like the SEC or the AFC.

HighTech

April 11th, 2012
10:14 am

Tom Brady must not have been an ELITE RECRUIT.

George Stein

April 11th, 2012
10:17 am

The issue is that because of Belichick’s dad, he has that service academy recruiting style. It never works!

HighTech

April 11th, 2012
10:21 am

It’s not service academy, George, it’s CRAPPY service academy. It’s not like those young men will be defending our country and are worthy of respect.