More praise for Tech strength coach Sisk

Perhaps the most distinct impression left from interviews Thursday with Georgia Tech offensive linemen Ray Beno, Will Jackson and Omoregie Uzzi is their enthusiasm over new strength and conditioning coach John Sisk. All spoke highly of him and how he has energized and helped focus the team in preparation for the season.

I suppose, even if they weren’t actually enthusiastic, they’d find a way to be complimentary. But the fact that they  touched on some of the same points and seemed pretty genuine suggests otherwise. The proof will be in the pudding, of course, but it seems that coach Paul Johnson has found a good one. (Link to a story I wrote and an ensuing blog about Sisk)

“I’m enjoying it a lot more,” Beno said. “I’m definitely seeing the gains of my work and I’m sure everyone else is, too. Everybody’s just enjoying Coach Sisk tremendously.”

Said Jackson, “It’s not just lifting weights for the sake of lifting weights. He’s always reminding us, ‘We’re lifting for 9/3 against Virginia Tech.’ We’re not just lifting to be body builders. He’s just tying everything back into making us better football players. Just keeping that in our minds is helping out a lot.”

From my interview with Sisk, I remember asking him what differentiated strength coaches from good to great, as I’m guessing most coaches have a pretty similar knowledge base. I was a little surprised when he said communication.

“I think that’s essential,” he said. “Communicating what we’re asking of them, communicating what our head coach wants, what our assistant coaches want and communicating where we’re trying to go with that.”

Even if Tech players were doing the exact same lifts and program as they had previously, it seems Sisk has effectively cast a purpose to the work that players have been able to latch onto.

“In the offseason, a lot of times, it gets dull,” Uzzi said. “It seems like it gets mundane. It seems like you’re doing it just to do it, but he’s definitely been good in making it football-oriented, making sure that we know that we’re doing this for a reason. Every day, he makes sure we know what’s going on and what we’re doing this for and where we’re trying to get to, so this I how hard we need to work to get there. So Coach Sisk has really done a great job.”

The team has been breaking down huddles with a chant of “9/3,” Uzzi said. From what Sisk told me and what I’ve gathered, I think he’s been talking about the opener a lot. Synjyn Days mentioned this a couple weeks ago.

“He’s a great motivational speaker,” Days said. “He’s like, We have to get ready, because when we walk in there on 9/3 at Virginia Tech and they’re playing that Metallica (“Enter Sandman”), we don’t need that. We’ve got us. We’ve got us as a family.”

The response, Days said, was overwhelming.

For what it’s worth, Beno, Jackson and Uzzi all looked as defined and trim as I think I’ve seen them. Uzzi, with some embarrassment, said he’d gotten up to about 320 pounds in the spring when he wasn’t practicing but was down to 307. Beno is 285 and, he said, “for an offensive lineman, as cut as I can be.”

Said Uzzi, making clear he was joking, “Girls like me a little bit more.”

Sisk has shifted focus in July to conditioning in preparation for fall camp and the season.

“I was talking to Beno on the way in here, I was like, Man, I feel like I just played a game last night,” Jackson said Thursday. “Coach Sisk [Wednesday], he tried to say it was more of a lift (rather than a conditioning workout) but I beg to differ, because we were outside pushing sleds and kind of doing football drills. It did have some resistance component to it, but we were just running so much and just going the whole time, and when it’s 95 degrees outside, you’re definitely working.”

Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

54 comments Add your comment

Harvey from Docs

July 13th, 2012
7:42 am

Sounds like we’ve got a good one.

I’m really looking forward to 9/3. I believe we’re going to surprise some people this year.

collegeballfan

July 13th, 2012
7:58 am

The OL is the key to the offense as it always is and always has been. The OL must be able to block VT, Miami, Clemson and Georgia or it will be a long season.

GT Alum '83

July 13th, 2012
8:03 am

Good story. Keep up the good work, Ken.

HighTech

July 13th, 2012
8:03 am

Enthusiasm is contagious! Sounds like Coach Sisk is getting the players to buy-in to his program. 9/3!

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
8:22 am

My ONLY FEAR is when the team is so Focused on the 9/3 VPI if they don’t win I hope they don’t lose focus on the rest of the season.
I know the first step is to win the first game but keep focus on the WHOLE Season.

Willie Coyote

July 13th, 2012
8:26 am

I never have a lot good to say about VT or Clemson, but the fans enthusiasm when the team is about to come out is really something.

These stories about Sisk are encouraging. Especially with the results the players are seeing.

HighTech

July 13th, 2012
8:35 am

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
8:22 am
My ONLY FEAR is when the team is so Focused on the 9/3 VPI if they don’t win I hope they don’t lose focus on the rest of the season.
I know the first step is to win the first game but keep focus on the WHOLE Season.
——————————–
Not if GT wins, but when GT wins…

My ONLY FEAR is when the team is so Focused on the 9/3 VPI when they win I hope they don’t have a letdown the next game.
One game at a time. They are all important.

Tokyo jacket

July 13th, 2012
9:11 am

Ken, do you think it’s time to start talking about CPJ as a good CEO? Everyone is quick to compliment him on his offensive mind (and mouth according to some reporters). But, I don’t think he gets enough credit for his off the field decision making capability. Most of his hires, save our first DC, have been on the money. He’s got two former head coaches including NFL on his staff, he’s got a strength/conditioning coach that is already paying dividends, and he went out and hired one of the best special teams gurus there is.

To me that demonstrates a pretty strong ability to build a staff. If he could land a recruiter like Giff Smith again, then I’d say we could have one of the best staffs in the ACC. Although, I’d argue that GT is starting to reap a long term recruiting effort, kind of the way VT recruits, which has been good enough for 10 wins eight years in a row!

I think the proof will be in the pudding on the field this year, but CPJ seems to play the CEO pretty well.

DesignerJacket

July 13th, 2012
9:17 am

Sounds like we’re psychologically betting the farm (er…townhouse?) on the 9/3 date with VPI&SU. It’s winnable, and if we manage to win it….all I can say is watch the mess OUT!

DesignerJacket

July 13th, 2012
9:19 am

Tokyo Jacket, that’s not a bad point. In the last few years all the talking heads on TV think his playcalling takes him away from his staff and program management, but it looks to me like they’re as good as anywhere else. Start plugging in better players as the seasons go by and the W’s will pile up.

wes

July 13th, 2012
9:28 am

Not to nitpick, but shouldn’t they be working out in our new indoor facility? You can do MORE exercise indoors without wasting energy fighting the heat, IIRC.

GT Dude

July 13th, 2012
9:29 am

keep the focus on 9/3 and stay focused on 9/3 because…
it is all that counts when you look at a season as one game at a time

lucky21

July 13th, 2012
9:38 am

wes it is important to condition outside in the heat we will be playing in. If they practiced indoors all the time and didn’t get used to the heat it would not end well for us.

Tokyo jacket

July 13th, 2012
9:38 am

DesignerJacket, I don’t think it’s even about plugging in better players at this point, although it will help. Chan Gailey ran a program that was notorious for developing players (although never at the QB position) and putting them in contention for NFL jobs (Guyton, Fox, Howard, and many more come to mind). Most of those guys were 3* guys but developed well.

Better players will definitely help, but VT doesn’t usually land top 20 recruiting classes and pumps out 10-win seasons like Toyota pumps out Camrys. I think the trick is recruiting the RIGHT players and developing them while they’re on your campus. Developing them both physically and mentally is key and it will produce a consistent winner. One thing we haven’t seen a lot of yet is how

Now, obviously, to get into the elite, your whole recruiting class has to consist of guys like Kallon, Thomas, Devine, Tomlinson, Tuitt, and Hill – every year. Right now, I would definitely settle for winning 10 games every year and being in the Top 10 discussion every year.

Tech Fan Since 1950

July 13th, 2012
9:52 am

Guys, take the enthusiasm and quotes of today onto the plane ride back from Blacksburg in the wee early morning hours of September 4. In other words, the proof is in the pudding. Sounds like you are on the right track though, but talk is cheap. Sounds positive and I am going to always be pulling for you no matter what the outcome. Go Jackets!

gtfan1951

July 13th, 2012
10:41 am

Fous on 9/3 but there are 11 games after that we must win! No let downs this year!

old dog

July 13th, 2012
11:24 am

collegeballfan,
PLEASE go on one of our blogs and tell OUR folks your theory on the o-line…..I been telling them for years, and we now are a 2nd tier SEC teambecause we will not address the o-line!!!

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
11:38 am

Jay Inyoface Finch
What a great lift this morning with the team!!! We are all so ready for the season!! 9/3 what motivates me! Saying thank you lord for my blessings and my team mates because with out them, I don’t know what I would do!
2 hours ago near Alpharetta Woods

HighTech

July 13th, 2012
12:16 pm

Thanks, 5150. What I’m reading there is a positive attitude and team cohesiveness. I would like to see momentum build after a win on 9/3!

9/3 what motivates me!

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
12:31 pm

Adam Gotsis End of this month! Leaving here on the 31sr of July !
July 9 at 7:29pm via mobile ·

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
12:33 pm

Tech freshmen doing good work……
Leah Moore Thomas
17 hours ago via BlackBerry Smartphones App
I’m liking these freshman….7 of them came with me to Canton, GA to volunteer their evening at Cub Scout camp. — with Anthony Autry.

GIVE ME A BREAK

July 13th, 2012
1:16 pm

Thanks, Ken. Great articles. ” GO JACKETS “

1 4 GT

July 13th, 2012
1:22 pm

High Tech, I got no inside knowledge. But, I hope & think they will get playing time this season, If Kallon & Gotsis? (the Aussie) are everything they are cracked up to be, I don’t see how the coaches can not play them. For a kid to have 13 scholarship offers before he played a down of game time football, someone please tell me how you keep him off the field. As for Gotsis, from what I have seen & read, he is much the same–some guys are naturals & I think I have some of them on video and they are signed or committed to GT. Kallon–Gotsis–Devine–Hall–these guys looked like they were born knowing how to play their positions. I can hardly wait for the 1st game. I get more anxious every day!! GOOOOOOOOO JACKETS THWGeorgie dwags

HighTech

July 13th, 2012
1:33 pm

You may be right 1 4 GT, but I can see where a redshirt year could help, too.

ToeMeetsLeather

July 13th, 2012
1:40 pm

I think the true CPJ era begins this year at TECH. He did well with the talent that Gailey left at specific posistions, but this is the begining of the phase where every player on the field is a CPJ recruit. They are all playing in the position they were recruited to fill in CPJ’s system. The OLine is deep, A-backs and B-Backs were hand picked for their spots, and the wide outs are big and strong(and very young). Just need Tevin and the D-Line to step it up a notch.

The CEO comment was spot on. CPJ has put together a solid staff and reached out for help in the areas that have been lacking. Good Days are ahead, no pun intended.

1 4 GT

July 13th, 2012
1:53 pm

HT–I agree about a redshirt year, but I think they will prove themselves too good to sit out a year. I would think Kallon would be the most likely for a RS, due to only playing 1 year of football. But, I just think he will be too good, based on reports. I kinda wish NCAA would go back to not letting frosh play. Practice with the upperclassmen & play frosh schedule, like in the past. Wishful, I know.

MisterT

July 13th, 2012
2:23 pm

I think it helps that we are actually playing someone the beginning of the season. Three out of the first four games will be season defining. We will know exactly what we have before October 1st unlike last year. We were six games into the season and still had no idea what kind of team we actually had.

THWg!

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
2:24 pm

Daniel Drummond
July 9 via mobile
Great lift this morning plus a sweet worship sesh on the way to work! 104.7 always puts me in a good mood! Fired up the day..life is good!

GT Grad

July 13th, 2012
2:30 pm

Tokyo Jacket: one small correction – there are at least 4 former head coaches on staff: Groh, McCollum, Sewak, and Walkosky.

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
2:42 pm

couldn’t make it it Wednesday Night Church…….

Francis G. Kallon……. I couldnt make it because we had this mandatory leadership meeting for athletes

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
2:45 pm

Days helping others get better……working on his game too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQqViKtAJ5E&feature=share

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
2:53 pm

Lavaedeay ‘Vad’ Lee
5 hours ago
If you got the NBATV channel check out my big bro ball out for the Orlando Magic at 10. Dominique Sutton #24

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
2:56 pm

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
3:28 pm

GTRay

July 13th, 2012
5:21 pm

Hey, HighTech, I thought I was the only one that referred to that other Virginia school as VPI. Good to see. They’ll always be VPI to me — GT is the ONLY “Tech” in the ACC. (I know, I know, sounds rather childish, but that’s how I feel.) And I hope we really surprise them to get the season off in grand style.

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
5:29 pm

GTRay…………I am offended!!!!!!!!!!

I was the first one on the blog to use VPI but you don’t give me credit….LOL

HT have you received any Email from SUPER?
I know he is not often in areas to post but just wondering.
Can’t wait to see the photos and hear the stories.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 13th, 2012
6:04 pm

Greetings from Cape Town, all my Tech friends. This is the first day in a month that I have had the opportunity to read the blogs and obviously my first post. So UOAD and HT and 1 4 GT, here I am, still alive and going strong. It’s already after midnight here, so I am not going to hang around to see if any of you respond, but I wanted to say HI and also to say I LOVE WHAT KEN IS REPORTING !!! GO JACKETS and THWG!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

July 13th, 2012
6:07 pm

By the way, there is now a young man in a tribal village in Zimbabwe sporting a GT cap. I PROUDLY gave it to him last week, and he was thrilled to receive it. Of course, he had no idea what Georgia Tech is, but he does now, and any other tourists who might see it in the future will probably be stunned to see it…..LOL

I’ll be home and back online on a regular basis late Tuesday.

Once again, GO JACKETS and THWG !!!

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
6:07 pm

Ray Beno
Just landed the lead role in Georgia Tech’s rendition of the Lion King Musical! I think I will make an excellent Mufaasa!!! Everyone come out and support me July 28th!

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
6:10 pm

SUPER….HAHA…………You didn’t have a GT Jock to give him? LOL

I talked to Mrs Debose at the AJC and she thinks she found the name thief and has it fixed.

Saty safe and keep having fun.

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
6:27 pm

Super…What Type of GT hat did you have with you?

Golden Hand

July 13th, 2012
6:36 pm

Good report, but the proof is NOT in the pudding. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You’re a writer, dude, you’re supposed to know things like that.

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
6:43 pm

SUPER you will LAUGH……………

Quincy Mauger The 6-foot, 197-pound safety from Kell High School made it official with his commitment after driving early with his mother to Friday’s Dawg Night and meeting with school officials.

“I love the coaching staff at Georgia,” Mauger said. “They are very well-connected with the kids. I got to sit down with an engineering professor, and we got to talking some about my decision and everything I needed to know when it comes to engineering. I’m going to major in engineering.

BLT

July 13th, 2012
8:27 pm

“I love the coaching staff at Georgia,” Mauger said. “They are very well-connected with the kids. I got to sit down with an engineering professor, and we got to talking some about my decision and everything I needed to know when it comes to engineering. I’m going to major in engineering.”

Sample question:
How many points is a 3 point basket worth? UGA Engineering

chas_jacket

July 13th, 2012
8:45 pm

Rivals is reporting we just got a commit from a local DB, Tolando Cleveland

Out of curiosity what is SS doing in Zimbabwe?

HighTech

July 13th, 2012
8:56 pm

Have a safe trip home, Supersize.

duece coupe

July 13th, 2012
9:04 pm

Glad to see SuperSize back,
… thought he might have gone to ZIMBABWE or someting.

5150 UOAD

July 13th, 2012
9:14 pm

chas_jacket

Super LOVES to travel and does so mostly to countries in the off season and that is also not during the College Football Season.

Ken Sugiura

July 13th, 2012
9:36 pm

tokyo – i thought i’d responded. interesting thought. sorry about that. the ability to fill (and keep) a good staff is an underrated aspect of being a head coach.

duece coupe

July 13th, 2012
10:00 pm

tokyo – the first defensive coordinator
was better than the one we have now
with records of 9-4 and 11-3.