Following Wednesday’s morning practice, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson spoke at longer length than the standard post-practice media session, mixing news and opinion. A recap:
1. Scout-team work for Virginia Tech could start Thursday.
2. Punter Sean Poole and kicker David Scully continue to lead at their respective positions. (I first phrased the question, “Are the punters and kickers still the same?” to which Johnson replied, “Yeah. They’re still kickers and punters.”)
3. He had no update on offensive tackle Morgan Bailey’s condition. Bailey suffered a concussion late last week. “It’s strictly medical,” Johnson said. “He’ll come back when the medical staff tells us he’s ready.”
One development from Bailey and tackle Ray Beno being out is that players like Bryan Chamberlain are receiving extra repetitions at tackle. Nick McRae, Chase Roberts and Trey Braun have also been out there, offensive line coach Mike Sewak said in a previous post.
Said Johnson of Chamberlain, “I think he’s going to be good.”
4. Johnson didn’t have a preference for freshman punter Ryan Rodwell to redshirt this season, which would create another year’s separation between he and Poole, who is a junior.
“If he’s better, he’ll punt,” he said. “If he’s not, he won’t.”
5. A question about defensive end Francis Kallon touched a favorite topic of Johnson’s – the interest of fans (and media) in how soon freshmen will play.
“He’s got a great attitude. He works hard. This is his second year of football. Everybody wants to see these guys play right away. I get a kick out of it. It’s like somebody asking me about Vad Lee. Vad Lee’s a freshman, so let’s give up on him and move onto the next guy because he isn’t playing. Does anybody remember a guy named Joe Hamilton? I do, because I came down here in ’96 (as a first-year offensive coordinator at Navy) when Joe Hamilton was a sophomore (actually, a freshman) and we beat their pants off at Navy (a 36-26 win). He threw an interception for touchdowns and he went on to become a pretty good quarterback when he was a junior and senior, didn’t he? Maybe the best one ever here?”
(Hamilton was 11-for-23 for 211 yards and threw two fourth-quarter interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.)
6. More on Kallon:
“He’s green. He’s learning how to play the game, but he’s every bit as ahteltic as we thought. He’s big, can run but he’s also playing against bigger, stronger, faster guys than in high school, so you can’t get by on just being able to be big and run.”
7. Synjyn Days played the whole Wednesday morning practice at A-back. At this point, gaining comfort at that position is more important than getting reps at quarterback, he said, since Days already knows that position. But Days’ performance at A-back has left him encouraged.
“It’s just knowing steps and angles, and stuff like that, you only gain by playing,” Johnson said.
8. Backup nose tackle Shawn Green has “had a really good camp. I’ve been really pleased with Shawn. He’s done some good things.”
9. After another question about Days, Johnson was asked if B-back Charles Perkins, who was dropped behind Zach Laskey to No. 3 on the depth chart this week, was a consideration to move to A-back:
“We’ve talked about it at times but there again, (he’s) a sophomore and he’s hurt right now. He’s not out there. It’s like I said: When you do the depth (chart), just because you set it, doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. He may come out and have a better week than the other guy and move back in front of him. So I know everybody’s anxious to play and ready to get started and ready to get news, but every little thing’s not end-all, be-all. A lot’s going to happen between now and the time we play on Monday night.”
10. Johnson said it doesn’t matter to him if, among the receivers, the heavy majority of passes go to one player (like Stephen Hill or Demaryius Thomas) or if it’s a more even split. Story about receivers here.
“If you have a guy that’s a big-play guy, you’re going to try to get them the ball more,” he said. “It could be more (even) distribution. The A-backs could be more involved. It just depends.”
11. On nose tackle T.J. Barnes: “I think he’s done O.K. His stamina seems to be better. Again, we’ll see once we start playing. You’ve got to play yourself into shape. That’s what camp’s about. You can bust your tail in the summer, and you have to, but it’s a different kind of shape when you start playing.”
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog