Tech notes: Rod Sweeting sharp in practice

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

58 comments Add your comment

DS CE '91

August 20th, 2012
3:12 pm

Ready for 9/3. GO JACKETS!!

SCJacket

August 20th, 2012
3:25 pm

Good stuff. Ken – I haven’t seen anything on Orwin Smith’s actual performance in practices or scrimmages. Are the coaches limiting his carries or just focusing comments on the positions that are being competed for? What has he looked like in practice?

MORGANTECH

August 20th, 2012
3:35 pm

CANT WAIT UNTIL 9/3 IM SURE THERE WILL BE SOME SCREAMING AT THE TV ,BUT WE HAVE A GOOD CHANCE

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
3:41 pm

I like the practices closed.
No sense in tipping our hand on any new plays we might have this year.

ToeMeetsLeather

August 20th, 2012
3:43 pm

Hopefully we can get through the VTech game being a man short in the defensive backfield. With Young back, this unit may turn out to be the biggest strength on the 2012 squad. Just need Holton and Johnson to lay a few licks on VTech’s new wideouts early so they develop “alligator” arms later in the game.

HokieHokieHokie

August 20th, 2012
3:50 pm

your tech is the jokie!

Max Sizemore

August 20th, 2012
3:51 pm

Uh, Jacket Detective, “new plays” in Johnson’s offense? Seen any in the last, oh, 4-5 years? Sarcasm aside, Johnson believes in his offense and, really, that’s the only way Tech can be successful. The Jackets need to improve on their most basic play, the triple option. For all his other strengths, Washington hasn’t done a good job of reading it.

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
3:52 pm

VT is reloading their O-line, not to mention WRs.
If Barnes and the other D linemen have improved, they should be able to cause some problems for their new starters.
We should find out a lot.
I will be surprised if we do not use much better procedures in tackling their QB.

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
3:55 pm

@Max.
Shotgun.
Plays designed for Days.
CPJ put in a draw play for Dwyer midseason in 2009 if I am not mistaken.

ToeMeetsLeather

August 20th, 2012
3:56 pm

Hokie x 3, is that the best you got? Pretty sad if so.

crackbaby

August 20th, 2012
3:56 pm

Don’t want to get ahead of actual progress but the thought of a top level defense complimenting the offense is very exciting.

Stuff the run, add a little pass rush and let our secondary lay the wood and get some picks! If only it would come true…

Go Jackets!

WnE

August 20th, 2012
4:05 pm

re:
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 took note of the above comments by Coach Kelly:

I am curious, S.Hill was 6-4 215 and ran about a 4.36 or under last season.

Is it possible that Sweeting’s “new improved coverage” skills are a result of the returning WRs being much slower than Hill was?

Jeff Green is a 4.6 guy high 4.5s at best, Waller is a high 4.5s guy, The Tr.-fr weren’t considered “burners” when they were recruited out of HS, at least not S.Hill-NFL-Combine level burners. I’m not sure about C.Jackson and J.Moore, but Moore missed a yr. with an ACL so I’m not sure if his speed has returned to whatever it was.

I’m wondering is Sweeting improvement based on us having much lesser WRs for him to go against in practice.

Also is his coverage in practice helped by our QBs having weak arms for BCS level QBs?

Sweeting didn’t seem to have any special coverage skills last season vs. UGA’s RS-Fr & T-Fr WRs, they seemed to be wide open all game long and Murray missed quite a few open chances in that game.

Things like that raise my curiosity level.

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
4:06 pm

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
4:07 pm

@crackbaby.
Agreed.

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
4:10 pm

Agnes Scott among most stone cold sober campuses.
No wonder I had trouble scoring there. lol.

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
4:12 pm

Uga booted football players hurt them not just on the field but in the party school rankings.

big gt fan

August 20th, 2012
4:14 pm

im with you wne sweeting also got picked on in vt defeat as well.

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
4:23 pm

Well I am wondering if Clemson should give up football.
Our high school offense beat them easily and it would have been worse had offsides been called when they got a fumble they should not have.
Then they got blownout by WV in the Orange Bowl 70-33 I think.
Should their coaches not tell them their off-season work could pay off?
I think we will be improved on defense.
Without much pass rush, any secondary can look bad.

GTBob

August 20th, 2012
4:24 pm

Is it possible that Sweeting’s “new improved coverage” skills are a result of the returning WRs being much slower than Hill was?

If you bothered to read the blog you would see that Coach Kelly said he has improved since Spring practice. I am pretty sure Stephen Hill wasn’t at spring practice this year. I think he got a job somewhere.

observations

August 20th, 2012
4:39 pm

Wne, I was thinking along the same lines If you’re a DB Tech how could you not look good vs these receivers and QB’s?

Jacket Detective

August 20th, 2012
4:45 pm

I think the future for both Clemson and Georgia Tech football is going to be good.
I have relatives on my father’s side that are Clemson fans.
I would like to meet them a time or two, not at the usual reunion, but at the ACCCG.
Fans at both schools could get all over their current coaches about recent disappointments.
Would that help the situation?
No.
Changes have been made at both in their assistant coaching ranks and their recruiting also has improved.
Not a sure thing but another Clemson/GT ACCCG is possible, if not this year then next.

FL Jacket

August 20th, 2012
4:54 pm

“Things like that raise my curiosity level.”

WnE…anything starting with “by Ken Sugiura” always seems to raise your curiosity level

GT Lee

August 20th, 2012
4:59 pm

apparently high school kids’ Twitter accounts raises WnE’s curiosity level too. Tell us again, WnE, WHY DID YOU STALK VAD LEE?

DS CE '91

August 20th, 2012
5:16 pm

I just don’t get why it is such a horrible thing to be at least a little optimistic about your favorite college team in August. I don’t think anyone plans to tout Sweeting for the Jim Thorpe Award this year, but certainly its OK to HOPE he might have gotten better at his position since last year, isn’t it? It does happen – I’m sure we could all come up with several examples of dramatic improvements by players from one year to the next if we put a little thought into it. Yeah, maybe Hill leaving has something to do with Sweeting “looking better,” but isn’t it at least possible that he made some strides in practice? We all know that the true measure will be performance on the field starting in a few weeks.

I have serious concerns about TW’s ability to perform as our starting QB, and also that Days might be called on to make a significant difference at A-Back with little or no preparation (ie, pass route running, etc). But, dagnabit, at least for now can’t we HOPE that these guys are going to step up some? Is that so terrible? I’m not guaranteeing a 10-2 record, but is it so delusional to look forward to beating some of the teams we lost to a year ago?

I enjoy reading the critical (by that I mean “reasoned and having foundation”) analysis I read in some of the blog posts. But I just don’t get the sanctimonious attitude that some have about anything remotely positive being considered. I just…..don’t….get it.

Maybe its me……

Jacket Man

August 20th, 2012
5:18 pm

STOP FEEDING THE WnE TROLL.

HokieHokieHokie

August 20th, 2012
5:21 pm

ToeMeetsLeather, I’ll be saying the same thing to you and your on Sept. 4th! You guys don’t have a prayer.

Lou Piniella's cap

August 20th, 2012
5:25 pm

Guys, stop feeding the troll. It craves our attention andif you ignore it, it will go away.

FL Jacket

August 20th, 2012
5:25 pm

TML…do you expect anything less from the UGA of Virginia?

DS CE '91

August 20th, 2012
5:28 pm

@HOKIEHOKIEHOKIE

I will admit you guys scare me…. or rather, those cool new helmets you guys have do. It does clear up a great mystery – “Hokie” must mean “sword fashioned from dog feces,” because I swear that’s what those helmet decals look like to me.

I’ll be here on 9/4 regardless of the outcome. Probably can’t say the same about you….

ignition

August 20th, 2012
5:37 pm

As good as the secondary is, it will not mean anything if the Institute can not get pressure on the passer. From what I’m reading the Hokies will be riding the back and more to the point the arm of Logan Thomas utilizing pistol and spread formations, if Tech can’t pressure him in the backfield then it will be a long day for the secondary.

Yeller Bug

August 20th, 2012
5:38 pm

I think we’ll be in nickel D most of the night against VPI. They will do dink passes all night with enough runs mixed in to keep GT honest—simple fire out blocking for their totally new O-line. Not having Young will hurt—won’t have Drummond either. If CPJ has the option of choosing which games Louis Young sits out (he has 1.4 games left on his suspension)he could forego principle and situational ethics (it’s easy if your only goal is winning) and simply sit him for Presbyterian and then a half for MTSU. Come’on. The kid sold some football tickets—not like he was driving drunk with a joint dangling from his lips, a revolver under the seat and red pan-ties in the glove box—not that such things ever happen.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 20th, 2012
5:39 pm

Hokie x 3…….I bet you said the same thing about Boise State in 2010 and Alabama in 2009 too, weren’t you?

ToeMeetsLeather

August 20th, 2012
5:54 pm

Hokie x 3, I really thought the Jackets had a chance before you came on here and set me straight. Maybe we will have a prayer next year.

By the way, you are going to have to fill me in on what my “your” is. You got me stumped with that one.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

August 20th, 2012
6:23 pm

Sweet news for Sweeting. Thanks for the info Ken, good report. The defense and the secondary in particular will have to step up for us to hold off the 2nd half surge that is typical of them! That’s my key to a
W for the Jackets. I think we’re up to the challenge.
A late pick would be a sweet finish.

George Stein

August 20th, 2012
6:27 pm

Two weeks, boys!

GTBob's blow up doll

August 20th, 2012
7:05 pm

Hey GTBob atleast this year your dreams will be shattered in the first half of the season with the schedule you have . You have to actually play a real team in the first 5 games . No false hope this year just early reality !

GTBob

August 20th, 2012
7:17 pm

Hey GTBob atleast this year your dreams will be shattered in the first half of the season with the schedule you have . You have to actually play a real team in the first 5 games .

Well, at least you guys are acknowledging the ACC has some real teams. Ill consider that progress.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

August 20th, 2012
7:18 pm

I’m ready if you are GS. Looks like the trolls are out early.
Tevin will show his maturity, he’s played well at Laney before. I expect a competitive game with lots of intensity from start to finish.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 20th, 2012
7:20 pm

Hard to find team with 3 better CB’s then Sweeting, Thomas and Young

frisk

August 20th, 2012
7:25 pm

I feel like others on here re the play of db’s against a qb like tw and no receivers who have ever caught a collegiate pass. I mean, any team that can throw, usually burns us. We can’t throw at all, so of course our db should look good. Guess we will know in 2 weeks.

BLT

August 20th, 2012
7:31 pm

“Things like that raise my curiosity level.”

I bet they do! Please take your weird conjecture somewhere else.

frisk

August 20th, 2012
7:31 pm

” he’s played well at Laney before”
Really? You thought he played well that night he replaced Josh? From what I recall, he couldn’t do much of anything. I think he wa 2/7 passing with a game ending int. I would hardly say he played well.

GTBob

August 20th, 2012
7:31 pm

I mean, any team that can throw, usually burns us

Our pass defense was in the top 30 last year. It wasn’t that bad.

GTRules

August 20th, 2012
7:34 pm

You guys are a buncha sissies. GT wins this game by at least two td’s.

gt4ever

August 20th, 2012
7:36 pm

HokieHokieHokie, just got out of the pokie… Wow, did I really blog that…

Clyde

August 20th, 2012
8:43 pm

Did anyone on here get a 3 game package and if so, have you gotten your tickets yet?

Yeller Bug

August 20th, 2012
8:45 pm

Great heart GTRules, but low probability. I think GT wins this game, but I can’t see VT getting blown out. My hope is we jump on them early and get the crowd out of it and then keep a two score lead for most of the game and withstand their late 4th qtr rally. VT plays tough at home although they have stumbled against lesser opponents early in the season.

GT Rich

August 20th, 2012
8:45 pm

GT’s secondary didn’t get burned often last year, but our LBs did. Short throws in the middle of the field is where most of the passing yards came from. How many times did a pass get lofted just over our ILB’s heads? Short throws, long yardage. Terrible zone coverage.

Supersize that order, mutt

August 20th, 2012
8:49 pm

@ Clyde……season tickets just went out (I got mine today), so I doubt the 3-game packages will go out before the end of this week.

GT GRAD

August 20th, 2012
8:55 pm

VT will definitely be tough………I really like our chances if we can get some consistent pressure on the QB and we can avoid turnovers on offense.