Tech notes: Jackets move forward without Groh

1. The first day that Georgia Tech’s reconfigured defensive coaching staff took the field was marked by energy and excitement, and not only by the players.

The Yellow Jackets opened their bye-week practices Tuesday with a full-pads session as the team tried to look forward one day after defensive coordinator Al Groh was fired.

“I think all those guys had a lot of energy [Tuesday],” coach Paul Johnson said of the defensive coaches.

Interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, moved up from his position coaching the secondary, oversaw the defense for the first time. Johnson, who had a lengthy pre-practice meeting with Kelly, spent the majority of the practice with the defense, unusual for him.

“They were flying around, having fun,” said Johnson, who himself was in a brighter mood than he has been through Tech’s three-game losing streak.

Tech mixed in scout-team work in preparation for the Boston College game Oct. 20 with fundamental work that typically gets more practice time during an open week. Johnson said that defensive players have reacted well to Groh’s dismissal.

Groh was fired after Johnson concluded that the defense, which has given up 40 points in each of the past three games for the first time in school history, was not going to improve.

“He’s a great guy,” Johnson said of Groh. “It’d be hard not to like him. But I think they’re excited about a new beginning. They’re not dumb. They know they haven’t been very successful. So it’s kind of a fresh start for them, too.”

Defensive players and coaches were not available for comment Tuesday. They will be made available following Wednesday’s practice. Quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon noticed the charge from the defense.

“I know when they came out for the one-minute drill, they had more spark and energy,” he said. “I mean, they got after us pretty good in the one-minute drill.”

2. Johnson offered further explanation about the changes made on the staff. Special-teams coordinator David Walkosky will continue to oversee special teams as he takes on responsibilities coaching the defensive line. Staff assistant J.R. Dorman, who has helped Walkosky with special teams, will work more with the specialists during practice while Walkosky trains the defensive line.

Johnson said that Andy McCollum, who had been coaching the line, requested to work with the linebackers. He will coach the inside linebackers while Joe Speed, who had been the inside linebackers coach, will coach the outside linebackers.

McCollum has a background coaching linebackers and Walkosky had no preference, Johnson said. He added that it might be helpful to shake up the order “to get another set of eyes to see. [McCollum] might not have the same impression of those linebackers that [Groh] did and the same with the d-line.”

3. Wide receivers coach Buzz Preston said that true freshman Anthony Autry did “alright” in his first start, last Saturday against Clemson. Autry had one catch for 53 yards.

“There’s still a lot more room for improvement, but he did pretty good,” Preston said.

Presuming he has a good week of practice, Autry will keep his spot in the starting lineup. Saturday, Tech’s wide receivers had five catches and no drops. Their blocking on the perimeter helped A-backs Orwin Smith and Robbie Godhigh gain 178 yards on just 11 carries.

“I think the guys are starting to understand that they have to work and if they’ll just keep that right attitude, frame of mind, then we’re going to make some good progress and see some good things happen for us,” Preston said.

Autry, who has received the most playing time of any true freshman, is getting used to it.

“It was (surprising) a couple weeks ago, but not anymore,” he said. “I’m just ready to get better and better every day.”

In case you missed it…

Jeff Schultz: Radakovich says Johnson is ‘right person for this job’

Audition begins for interim Charles Kelly

More from Johnson on Groh

Mark Bradley: Groh goes, but question about talent remains

Al Groh fired at Tech

Players had trust in Groh

249 comments Add your comment

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
6:06 pm

By Joe’s logic….If I’ve read correctly, “crunch time” = 4th quarter. That seems to fit the loose criteria of the premise being put forth. So!! According to Joe’s logic wanting to replace Tevin for “poor” play in “crunch time” = replacing WR’s dropping passes in “crunch time” = replacing RB’s not gaining yards in “crunch time” = replacing OLmen for poor blocking in “crunch time” = replacing coaches for coaching poor techniques in “crunch time” = replacing HC for poor play calling in “crunch time” = no offense left to play in “crunch time” = forfeit in game = basically a big fat “F” for the season. Joe’s logic cannot measure up to Mr. Spock’s logic.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
6:07 pm

Can Joe’s convoluted logic possibly be the result of a GT education???

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
6:27 pm

wow, George, can you be anymore non committal? you just come on the blogs to poke holes in everyone else’s opinions but give no opinions of your own. since you have no criteria to judge quarterbacks, you really should not be judging anyone else is criteria to judge quarterbacks.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
6:56 pm

I gave no criteria? Try again.

And how dare I view things with shades of gray!

Tech Fan For Life

October 10th, 2012
7:32 pm

New Energy?
Fresh Start?
Really?
I really don’t know what to write –
Words cannot describe the frustration- we are at least supposed to be a smart school.
Really guys you can’t believe that

yeller bug

October 10th, 2012
7:37 pm

Points is points. Doesn’t matter when you get them just as long as you get more than your opponent.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
7:38 pm

Right on, yeller bug, right on. In the words of yore.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
7:40 pm

YORE = of long ago….for the mutts in Athens.

GT Lee

October 10th, 2012
7:50 pm

I sure hope our buddy PuffDawggy (aka superDawg) didn’t take that loss to SC too hard and off himself. I’ve been looking for him on all the blogs to see if he’ll be joining us before a game like he said he would, but I can’t find him anywhere.

GT Lee

October 10th, 2012
7:53 pm

In case anyone didn’t understand my last comment:

superDawg

September 26th, 2012
7:50 pm

ss you are a little man that likes to hide behind others.If sc beats UGA I will come down and tail gate with you and your brethren at tek.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
7:53 pm

Not surprised Lee, not surprised.

yeller bug

October 10th, 2012
7:59 pm

Fantasy Football: I dream of a D where the players know their assignments, they play aggressive, fly to the ball but not out of control. They cover the receivers tight and mix in unique blitzes that confound our opponents.

I dream of an offense that is wide open in play calling. It platoons players and runs various offensive sets that keep opposing Ds off balance. We run both a pistol (Vad) and the TO (TW) and exchange them periodically throughout the game. We pass over 20 times a game and run the A-back option pass with Days or shuttle pass or some other flamboyant play that amazes our fans and astounds our enemies.

I wake up before dreaming of special teams, but heck…as long as they’re avg., the above will win most the time

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
8:00 pm

“points is points, doesn’t matter when you get them”. By that logic, I guess it doesn’t matter if we score tons in the 1st half and get zero in overtime. Can’t win with zero in overtime, fyi. Maybe it does matter what period you score in…Hmm…

anyways, #36 in scoring offense is not enough for us to challenge for titles or go.500 for that matter.

GT Fan

October 10th, 2012
8:07 pm

GT Joe …

The offense, while I or I’m sure anyone else wouldn’t mind more scoring, is doing fine. The offense has produced 31, 28, & 36 points in the Jackets’ last 3 games, yet GT is 0-3. You can’t blame that on Tevin b/c he’d didn’t drive the team to multiple “crunch time” scores.

At some point, or points (31, 28, 36), the offense should be able to expect the DEFENSE to stop the opponent from scoring. Or does “cruch time” only an offensive thing? Do defenses not encounter this “crunch time” you talk so much about? Yeah, Joe, maybe the D could stop somebody in …. CRUNCH TIME!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
8:10 pm

GT Fan: You cite 31, 28, 36 a lot, as if that’s a lot of scoring. The FACT is, that gets you ranked #36 in scoring offense. The FACT is, 33.6 pts/game is not what it USED to be.

If our offense is #36 in scoring, we would need a top 10 scoring defense just to be ranked in the top 25 (generally speaking, of course).

That said, if our defense was as good as our offense (which you think is fine), then our team would likely be #36 in the country, give or take.

Happy with that ranking?

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
8:11 pm

I would think so Fan!

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
8:11 pm

and GT Fan: we are #66 in 2nd half scoring. Is that the defense’s fault? Or does Tevin take ANY blame at all?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
8:14 pm

My turn to poke some holes in George’s criteria:

1. yards per attempt? An irrelevant stat, some offenses (like ours) depend on more deep passes. I bet TW has more yards per attempt than Aaron Murray; is tevin better than murray? LOL.
2. INTs per attempt? Well you refuted that one yourself by stating that not all INTs are the QB’s fault.

So basically you have no criteria to judge QBs. Which also means you have no criteria to judge if Vad is ready or not. Which means you add nothing to this conversation.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
8:28 pm

Except that YPA accounts for that, Joe, because he won’t hit on those at as high as a rate. As for interceptions, I said they are generally the QBs fault, but that there are exceptions.

I’m through discussing this – and anything else – with you now.

GT1990

October 10th, 2012
8:29 pm

What are some you guys expectations for the rest of the season? If TECH fails to reach them , then what will be your view for johnson future?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
8:32 pm

Oh but George, YPA doesn’t account for those incompletions that aren’t the QB’s fault, using your same logic on INTs.

Holes everywhere…

Go back to being non-committal. that way, you can’t be wrong.

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
8:37 pm

I’m sorry, did you say something, Joe?

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
8:38 pm

George Stein

October 10th, 2012
8:39 pm

Sorry, it’s not coming through on my screen.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
8:42 pm

LOL, said the lil kid who took his ball and went home after getting whooped.

Keepin It Real

October 10th, 2012
8:51 pm

Bring back Jon Tenuta

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
8:52 pm

Joe is becoming more & more like a mutt………..always trolling & stirring up the kaka.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
9:01 pm

Surely is a lot of selective memory of Tenuta’s success or lack thereof.

chas_jacket

October 10th, 2012
9:16 pm

I am also looking forward to seeing Vad – but appreciate that CPJ knows best when to bring him on. Vad will make more mistakes and there is the issue of trying to get bowl eligible.That said I think CPJ wants to get Vad as much experience as possible while giving the team the best chance at winning Tevin is a great young man, but it is very evident opposing teams do not respect his passing. While the goals have shifted this year, getting to a bowl is pretty important for practice time and exposure and Tevin may be the best bet in that respect. I still tend to agree that we should play Vad more – even with broken plays, Vad is dynamic. Regardless what transpires, like CAG, Tevin deserves our thanks for giving his all for GT.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
9:23 pm

“CPJ knows best when to bring Vad on” : speculation. remember, CPJ has been wrong before (e.g., CAG hiring?).
“Vad will make more mistakes”: speculation; mistake free in his appearances this year.
“Tevin gives us the best chance to win”: speculation. Can’t assume that what CPJ says is golden.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
9:28 pm

Good grief Joe, give it a rest. Even WnE doesn’t beat a horse to death, excluding his hatred for CPJ & GT…….oh wait….that’s it…..you to hate CPJ & GT…..using Tevin as your target….AHHHHHH!! How very devious of you.

chas_jacket

October 10th, 2012
9:29 pm

Most everything is speculation and opinion here. CPJ has a better viewpoint of the facts and what transpires in practices. I can’t wait to see Vad full time- but the flashes we have seen have been in low pressure situations. CPJ can be stubborn and a bit vain, but I don’t think he is dumb – Vad will play when ready

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
9:34 pm

1 4: I guess you are okay with CPJ burning the 2011 and now 2012 seasons on Tevin?

If Vad comes in and looks like the 2nd coming of Joe Hamilton, CPJ will be safe because we’ll be winning. In reality, CPJ will be a clown for throwing away 2 seasons by not starting Vad.

And if Vad isn’t better than TW? Then CPJ really needs to go. If he can’t coach a supreme athlete to outperform Tevin, he has problems.

I’ve said it a million times. I don’t hate tevin. He’s a nice guy. but i hate that CPJ accepts his performances; he benches everyone else for the most minor of mistakes. Teflon Tevin wouldn’t get benched if he smacked CPJ’s mama.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
9:35 pm

Here we go again, Vad will start when ready? And he won’t be ready until the day after Tevin graduates. It’s a day of magic.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
9:39 pm

Along the lines of CPJ being Vain, i think because of his vanity, he chooses a qb based on how perfectly he runs his offense, ignoring the idea that a supreme athlete (running and passing) can win you more games despite running the offense less “perfectly”.

Also, he is so married to tevin right now, so much invested in his decision to go with Tevin (remember, he redshirted Vad last year to go with tevin), that he can’t/won’t start Vad just so he can’t be proven wrong.

My opinion.

chas_jacket

October 10th, 2012
9:40 pm

NO QB, option or not should start as a true freshman unless he is the 2nd coming of Joe Namath. This season should have been S Days time except he has a problem holding onto the ball – a problems that has derailed many great backs. Tevin put us in a position to win both the VT and Miami games, but the D let us down. Tevin has many flaws but rarely makes crucial mistakes. Again like Groh, CPJ will make the change if he becomes the main reason we are losing games – at this point he is not.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
9:40 pm

And I/we know you’ve said it a million times. Please give US a rest. Send CPJ an email. you can find his email addy on ramblingwreck,com. & while you’re at it. hit DRad up with one too. Maybe they haven’t even thought of it yet.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
9:47 pm

chas: tevin rarely makes crucial mistakes? Did the INT in OT at VT not cost us the game? Did the 4th down misread in OT vs. miami not cost us the game?

reggie ball was a true freshman starter. shawn jones was. And Vad is a RS freshman.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 10th, 2012
9:47 pm

Joe – as much as I would like to see Vad start, unfortunately I can tell that it is not happening against BC. CPJ made the big change on D so his perspective I’m sure is to see how that change alone affects the team. Should we get knocked off by the Eagles, maybe…maybe then he might consider some another major change. But I suspect we will play with energy and win easily…so Vad will just have to keep that spot on the pine warm.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
9:50 pm

gr8: I agree, we probably win easily, and TW probably has a good game (as he always does against weak opponents).

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 10th, 2012
9:56 pm

Joe, probably the best we can hope for is blowout early so the kid can get some pt.

GT Joe

October 10th, 2012
9:57 pm

yeah, but if that happens, everyone will discount whatever vad does because it was a blowout.

chas_jacket

October 10th, 2012
9:58 pm

GT Joe – Tevin also led the drive at the end of the VT game including a great throw on 4th down that should have ended the game. He also led us back from 22 ? down to take the lead by 17 over Miami. Neither game should ave gone into OT with a decent D – many great QB’s have screwed up not getting enough on the ball as they were falling.

If I remember rightly , we had no other decent options with Reggie Ball and Sean when they started – whereas Tevin will likely give us a win if the D can even slow down the opposing team. I still want to see Vad though – the pass he threw against Presbyterian to Green? was a thing of beauty – dropped it right in his hands on the run . I really believe we will see a lot more of Vad against BC

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 10th, 2012
10:00 pm

Anybody notice Autry’s apparent lack of speed? He does have good quickness and made a nice move after the catch (and squeezing that pumpkin is an important skill to have so I certainly give him credit there too), but he was run down from behind rather effortlessly in the open field.

Wal-Mart Retards

October 10th, 2012
10:03 pm

GT Joe – a second string blogger

chas_jacket

October 10th, 2012
10:05 pm

Gr* – I’ll be happy with them making the catch and falling forward at this point. Not to give Joe ammunition but a lot of the receivers problems is not being led properly, or led at all by TW.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
10:06 pm

Joe, I’m gonna say this 1 last time. After this, I will skip over anything you post from here on….if you reply to this I will ignore it. I & a great many more would like to see Vad get playing time, but I/we cannot force the issue. That being said, every, repeat every, football game has ebbs & flows of emotion in it & football is a game of emotional ups & downs. In the VT game, the offense, lead by Tevin, put the game in the hands of the defense with a 3 point lead & 44 seconds on the clock. All that was needed was one play, I repeat, one (1) play on 4th & long. The defense allowed a completion and a long run to put VT in field goal range. It wasn’t the completion that put the game into overtime, it was the run after the catch. The defender that should have been covering that receiver was out of position. Tevin should have never been put in the position of having to make a play in overtime. You got that. Yeah, Tevin screwed up, but by all that is holy, since you want to blame the losses on him alone, then I will do the opposite…..TEVIN HAD THE GAME WON….and the defense lost it.

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
10:07 pm

JOE….Presby….No problems! OK!

1 4 GT

October 10th, 2012
10:07 pm

JOE….UVa….No problems! OK!

chas_jacket

October 10th, 2012
10:09 pm

Agree 1 4 GT – time to hit the sack regardless.