1. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson wasn’t in much of a mood to share details, but allowed this about quarterback/A-back Synjyn Days. He’s in the plans for the opener against Virginia Tech.
“We’ll see where he plays, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t play in the game somewhere,” Johnson said following Wednesday’s practice.
Johnson said he didn’t know if Days, who has spent some of the preseason training at A-back, would play at that position. Coaches want to get Days on the field to make use of his playmaking ability, but he is behind Tevin Washington at quarterback.
Coaches “really haven’t said anything, just that we want the best 11 players on the field and they said I’m one of the best 11,” Days said. “If it’s a special package or something, I’m just trying to do the best for the team any way possible, even if it’s special teams or holding the kick or something.”
Days has worked with the punt return and kickoff return teams in addition to A-back and quarterback. A-backs coach Lamar Owens said that Days is “getting there” as an A-back.
Johnson said he didn’t know how big the A-back rotation will be. Orwin Smith and Robby Godhigh are the expected starters, followed by Deon Hill. Johnson mentioned Tony Zenon, B.J. Bostic and Days as possibilities.
“There could be several guys rolling in there by situation,” he said.
(My guess is Days will play some at A-back. He was something to watch in the spring, though, running the pistol.)
2. Johnson said that Wednesday’s practice dragged. “The defense was a little more up-tempo, probably, than the offense,” he said.
The team was in full pads. Offensive tackle Morgan Bailey, defensive back Lynn Griffin, safety Fred Holton, wide receiver Chris Jackson and B-back Zach Laskey were held out. Bailey was still in a walking boot. Laskey has strep throat. The other injuries were not disclosed, but are not believed to be serious.
B-back David Sims practiced for the third day in a row.
“I think he’s getting back to healthy,” Johnson said.
Tech will practice Thursday, scrimmage Friday and then have the weekend off. Johnson plans six practices next week, Monday through Saturday. The team will fly up to Virginia Tech Sunday.
(Secondary coach Charles Kelly bragged a little on Griffin on Tuesday. “I’m really excited about him,” he said. “He’s big, physical, he can really change directions and run.”)
3. If Bailey is not available for the Hokies game, some adjustments may be made. Johnson said that left tackle Ray Beno has worked at right tackle in Bailey’s place, with Bryan Chamberlain playing left. Backup right tackle Tyler Kidney could play in a rotation.
Nose tackle T.J. Barnes is likely to play no more than 35 or 40 snaps in a game, Johnson said. He is backed up by Shawn Green.
“He’s done well in practice, but we’ll see once we get going game-wise,” Johnson said of Barnes. “I have no reason to doubt him.”
True freshman defensive lineman Adam Gotsis has stayed up with what Johnson calls “the varsity,” meaning he is a candidate to play this season and not redshirt. Gotsis is from Abbotsford, Australia.
(Chamberlain being responsible for Washington’s blindside in his first career game at Lane Stadium is a tall order. With the injuries to Beno and Bailey in camp, he’s gotten a lot of extra practice time. “He’s starting to get a little more comfortable with his own assignments, with his own techniques in a critical situation,” offensive line coach Mike Sewak said. Also, I don’t remember who asked about backup offensive lineman J.C. Lanier, but I asked Johnson about his role. “Right now, he’s a backup offensive lineman. That’s what he is.” I asked if a switch back to defense had been considered. Said Johnson, “I think he’s in the right spot, if he’s going to play.”)
Thanks for reading. There’s no more coach or player access until next Tuesday, so the next couple days I’ll be posting a couple stories that I reported this week on Orwin Smith and Quayshawn Nealy. Also, I need to post the next in the “10 things” series, on inside linebackers coach Joe Speed. Interesting background.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog