Notes from Tuesday practice for Wednesday’s print edition. There was a good bit that I couldn’t fit into it that I’ll put up Wednesday before noon. (Some weird Internet issues at my house permitting.)
1. Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington is trying to learn to stay in the pocket when passing the ball. It isn’t an easy lesson.
“I am getting a little better, but at times, I still get a little antsy,” Washington said following Tuesday’s practice. “Sometimes it’s hard for me to sit back there.”
Tuesday, Washington and the other quarterbacks went through a drill in which teammates carrying blocking dummies came at them in a simulated pass rush. The objective was to help them learn to feel the pressure and evade it within the pocket rather than scramble. Quarterback and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said he may use that drill more often.
“You’ve got to see the field and feel the rush,” Bohannon said. “What happens to our guys sometimes is they want to see the rush and feel the read, and then they escape as soon as they think somebody’s coming, just take off.”
In the overtime period of Tech’s loss to Virginia Tech in the season opener, Washington had an open target on the third-down play in which he threw an interception, but may have missed him because he got out of the pocket to escape pressure. Rolling out of the pocket from a pass rusher cuts down a quarterback’s vantage point and reduces his potential targets to that side of the field.
“When he does it right, it looks good,” Bohannon said of Washington. “We’ve just got to get it where it’s all the time.”
2. Guard Will Jackson will move to right tackle for Tech’s Saturday game against Virginia. Against Presbyterian last Saturday, Ray Beno started at right tackle and Bryan Chamberlain at left. The move enables the Jackets to start Jackson and guards Omoregie Uzzi and Shaquille Mason and return Beno to left tackle.
“It’s kind of a situation where we’re working to try to get our five best guys there and get some depth,” coach Paul Johnson said.
Jackson was an offensive tackle in high school but has only had four practices, including Tuesday, at tackle since coming to Tech. He’ll also be flipping sides of the line, from left to right, which will require him to reverse his footwork.
Jackson said he felt he made progress in practice Tuesday and expects that to continue. By Thursday, he said, “I won’t say I’ll be a master of the position, by any means, but I’ll feel very, very comfortable playing tackle.”
Tech could continue to rotate tackles and guards, offensive line coach Mike Sewak said. The candidates at tackle are Bryan Chamberlain, Tyler Kidney and Morgan Bailey and Trey Braun at guard.
3. Safety Fred Holton (foot), inside linebacker Daniel Drummond (ankle) and B-back David Sims (shin) did not practice Tuesday, as well as cornerback Louis Young. Their status for Saturday is unclear. Young has a hand/arm injury, but it’s not certain if that was what kept him out. Bailey, returning from a high-ankle sprain, practiced.
Johnson said that he had anticipated that Holton would play in the opener against the Hokies, but Holton has missed the first two games. Johnson called it a “lingering” injury.
“He’s dying to get out there, but he’s just not physically capable of getting out there and protecting himself right now,” Johnson said.
4. The team’s seniors met after Tuesday’s practice to determine who will wear No. 40 in honor of former linebacker Julian Burnett for the season’s remaining games. The seniors let the defense pick the first two (nose tackle T.J. Barnes and cornerback Rod Sweeting), Washington said, but Johnson told them Tuesday that he wanted them to determine the order for the entire season.
The remaining starting seniors besides Uzzi (who can’t wear it as an offensive lineman) – A-back Orwin Smith, defensive end Izaan Cross and Washington – will all get a chance and then other defensive players will have a turn. Washington said he hoped to get it for the Miami game Sept. 22.
“I don’t know (why),” he said. “I just want to wear it against Miami.”
In case you missed it…
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog
Thanks for reading.