For whatever it’s worth, cornerback Rod Sweeting got a slight promotion on the depth chart last week, going from being a co-No. 1 with Louis Young going into camp to being the sole No. 1 at one of the corner spots. Young had been listed at both corner spots as a co-No. 1, sharing the other spot with Jemea Thomas. (Young still is co-No. 1 with Thomas at the cornerback spot opposite Sweeting.)
Anyway, secondary coach Charles Kelly said that Sweeting’s work over the summer is evident. He has been sharp coming out of his backpedal, quick in his breaks and his man coverage ability has improved from spring practice, according to Kelly.
“I think he just has a better understanding of how everything (in the defensive scheme) works,” he said.
Kelly ventured to say that Sweeting, if given enough practice reps, could play any position in the secondary – cornerback, safety, nickel back or in a substitution package. (Which could be profitable for the Yellow Jackets assuming Young, who usually plays nickel, is held out of the Virginia Tech game.)
“You can tell he’s really worked this summer,” Kelly said. “I think a lot of those guys put a lot of time and effort into it. We’ll just see how it pays off.
Some other assessments from Kelly:
On backup safety Demond Smith, who moved up to second string last week: “He’s worked hard in camp, learned the stuff. He still has to make some adjustments. He did a nice job moving around. He’s made some plays on the ball in the air, he’s tackled people and that’s what we’re looking for. There’s a few guys back there in that spot trying to fight to move their way up.”
On safety Fred Holton: “He’s been really, really physical, tackled very well. You can tell he’s worked on his deep-field game. He’s just trying to become a more complete player.”
On safety Isaiah Johnson: “[W]ith what we’ve asked him to do, he has definitely tackled better. That was probably his biggest improvement in the first scrimmage. He had six, seven tackles. Fred had six, seven.”
On cornerback Jamal Golden: “Right now, he’s worked in a lot of different positions. Jamal’s a smart guy. He’s just got to learn the speed of the game. It’s not always seeing it on paper or going through it in a walk-through or even getting it in a practice setting. It’s – boom! – when those bullets start flying, it’s fast.”
Will post practice notes later this evening. Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech