Washington, Lee keep relationship smooth

Paul Johnson has been around long enough to have witnessed starter-backup relationships worthy of a bad reality show.

“I’ve seen older guys who wouldn’t offer to help the younger guys with any kind of advice or any kind of help,” he said. “You’ve seen it all through the years.”

The Georgia Tech coach has his share of problems this season. As fan and media attention is trained on starting quarterback Tevin Washington and backup Vad Lee, at least one headache he doesn’t have is tension between the two.

“As bad as things have gotten for ‘Tev’ and how people are, ‘Oh, he’s not doing this,’ he’s still trying his best to help Vad and he’s trying to help Vad prepare,” B-back David Sims said. “And, Vad, he tries to help give (Washington) tips, as well.”

As Tech prepares to play Maryland Saturday, Washington and Lee are competing in practice for the starting job against the Terrapins. Both players have worked with the first- and second strings. It is a shakeup of the order that has held firm since Washington became the starter in the 10th game of the 2010 season. He replaced Joshua Nesbitt after he broke his arm against Virginia Tech. Washington has started the past 25 consecutive games and been unchallenged.

The season has been a tumultuous ride. Washington is statistically improved and he is operating the No. 28 scoring offense in the country, but the Yellow Jackets are 3-5. Against BYU Saturday, Washington failed to lead the offense to points and was replaced by Lee late in the third quarter. Johnson, who has been trying to find snaps for the promising redshirt freshman, had hoped the offense would first find its rhythm with Washington, but said “it just became apparent that it wasn’t working” with Washington.

Boos, perhaps directed at Johnson, pelted Washington and the offense as they left the field following an interception by the senior. Lee took the field to cheers that only grew with each successive advancement.

On his first drive, Lee led Tech to a field goal before the Jackets punted on their final two possessions of the 41-17 loss. After Wednesday’s practice, Johnson said the decision on a starter will be made after the week of practice ends Thursday.

“I’ll make one by the time we play,” Johnson said.

The drama has not managed to ruffle either, at least outwardly.

“I’ve sat in a lot of meetings with them and watched ’em practice and I think they pull for each other,” Johnson said. “I don’t think there’s any animosity there.”

Lee is no Machiavellian schemer, plotting his advancement.

“I’m not a fan of (the booing) because he works hard every day,” said Lee, who sits next to Washington in position meetings. “He comes to practice and gives his all. In the games, he gives his all.”

Washington, who had to wait 2 ½ years before he got his turn, understands Lee’s plight.

“I was there in his shoes four years ago, too,” Washington said. “I know how he feels being the backup. I know how he wants to play. I’ve been there. I know exactly how he feels.”

With three years separating the two, they are closer with their peers than each other, but get along without problem. Washington said that Lee knows he can come to him with questions about anything, football or otherwise. Washington, who has interned at a law firm the past two years, counseled Lee this summer on networking with Tech alumni and seeking internships.

“They’re great kids,” quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said. “They really are. There’s not a mean bone in either one of their bodies.”

Sims, a former quarterback who shares Bohannon and meetings with the quarterbacks, compares the two to a more famous set of quarterbacks.

“It’s still been a pretty positive relationship, sorta kinda like how (Tim) Tebow and (Mark) Sanchez say they deal with each other,” Sims said, referring to the New York Jets’ ballyhooed tandem. “But it’s actual reality with us.”

In case you missed it…

Tech scrambling to prepare for Maryland QB

On Tech ending its kick-return drought

Johnson says it’s not time to panic

Heisman biography offers revealing history

Notes: B-backs struggling to produce

Notes: Johnson mum on starting quarterback

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

79 comments Add your comment

Buzzzzzz

October 31st, 2012
9:17 pm

GTfan2012

October 31st, 2012
9:33 pm

I appreciate all that Tevin has done. But I think it is time to win or lose with Lee. Let’s move forward.

Tech4Life

October 31st, 2012
9:50 pm

There’s no doubt that Tevin is a great person and teammate, but I have to say that his time as starting QB is up. He could be a great mentor to Vad for the rest of the season and him being our backup would be a plus.

GT Joe

October 31st, 2012
10:06 pm

Uh, GT is #42 in offensive points/game against FBS teams:

http://www.teamrankings.com/college-football/stat/offensive-points-per-game

29.7 pts/game sounds like a lot. But it’s really not, for college football.

GT Joe

October 31st, 2012
10:13 pm

Yes, I’ve been calling for Vad since after the VT game, but I’ve said it a thousand times, Tevin is a nice, stand up guy. He’s just not a very good D1 QB. CPJ is looking dumber and dumber every week by not starting Vad.

Unfortunately, Tevin bore the brunt of the boos, when the real fault lies with CPJ. I’ll admit it, I booed Tevin (from my living room), but in retrospect, CPJ is who I should have been booing.

George Stein

October 31st, 2012
10:28 pm

I keep expecting to hear about a high school senior with good grades and a strong SAT score considering an application to a great school in southern Virginia and getting stories about a quarterback controversy.

George Stein

October 31st, 2012
10:32 pm

We are also 29th in points per play, which I suppose would adjust for the differing paces teams employ. Oklahoma State is 28th, by way of comparison. Either way, lots of opportunities for improvement.

Old Gold

October 31st, 2012
10:38 pm

FireP aul Johnson

Delbert D.

October 31st, 2012
10:39 pm

Tech might give Washington and Lee a good game, George.

Delbert D.

October 31st, 2012
10:41 pm

That’s pound-my-head-with-a-hammer sarcasm.

Ken Sugiura

October 31st, 2012
10:42 pm

funny, George. I think about it every time i write it. there’s a good pun in there somewhere.

George Stein

October 31st, 2012
10:43 pm

Might being the operative word, Delbert.

George Stein

October 31st, 2012
10:43 pm

There are probably several, Ken.

OkieDawg

October 31st, 2012
10:46 pm

Enter your comments here

...Take The Wheel

October 31st, 2012
10:58 pm

Shut up Joe. You are nothing but a chit starter! No matter what article Ken posts you always find a ways to inject something poisonous and negative. Just stfu

The moral of the story is we need to focus on unity and team building instead of division amongst them idiots.

GTGirl

October 31st, 2012
11:09 pm

Like CPJ said earlier this season, it’s a good problem to have 2 QB’s that could start.

Jacket Time

October 31st, 2012
11:11 pm

Great article Ken! I think Lee is our guy but the underjacket (u like what I did there?) in me wants Tevin to redeem himself and have a great game.

GT Now

October 31st, 2012
11:35 pm

CPJ makes the calls at QB—no more Reggie Ball crap—-put in General Lee—-we need to win now—at least we will know we have a chance in up coming years—unless we want even more empty seats! Thanks Tevin for everything—-but it is time to move on!

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 31st, 2012
11:40 pm

Washington winning now really means nothing. Start Vad since the season is almost shot. I hope CPJ doesn’t start Tevin in the Duke game . The boos could get ugly for CPJ, from the few fans that will be there.

GT Now

October 31st, 2012
11:40 pm

Enter your comments here

GT Now

October 31st, 2012
11:43 pm

Delbert D.

October 31st, 2012
11:44 pm

So, Maryland’s starting QB is pulled from the practice squad as a linebacker, losing his redshirt. He is also a left-handed triple-option guy. The backup, a true freshman tight end is a former dual-threat QB who will lose his redshirt if he plays. I guess the linebacker knows the offense somewhat from the perspective of playing against it on the squad. I wonder how many plays they will have in the playbook? With both of those guys being big (230+), probably QB keepers and draws? They really need to hand the ball to Wes Brown (another true freshman) who laid down 129 yards on NC State and 79 last week against BC after missing the UVA game. If they could get DE Joe Vellano to play both ways, that would be excellent; he had something like 20 tackles last season in Atlanta.

G-Money

November 1st, 2012
6:36 am

Tech averages 35.1 points per game. Doesn’t change our record or lessen the disappointment, but at least get the facts straight.

Nativebird

November 1st, 2012
7:17 am

This is like two officers vying for the captains chair on the Titanic.

Jacket Man

November 1st, 2012
7:34 am

The problem with Tevin, and Paul Johnson alluded to this in a press conference, is that we don’t have a sense of urgency under him and we don’t go out and win close games like we did under Joshua Nesbitt; we just don’t close out games like we used do – remember our old “death marches” to end games? Imagine if we could have done something like that against VA Tech or Miami earlier this season, or even against Utah at the Bowl Game last year.

At some point the Jackets HAVE to have someone take a leadership role on the team who is ON the offensive field of play, not a backup or part time player. This has to be the QB…

It hasn’t been Joshua – there needs to be a change, and it needs to start this Saturday, even if they lose to Maryland.

ToeMeetsLeather

November 1st, 2012
7:45 am

If CPJ expects to be successful long term at TECH, he must expand his offensive framework for balance and recruiting. Lee’s strengths provide the perfect time to work on this transition. You can still run the TO at any time, but keep the defense off balance with the pistol, etc. We have already seen how devastating the rushing attack can be, now add in the unpredictable passing attack and the sky is the limit with this offense.

Oh, and bring in Randy Shannon to work with the the defensive unit.

With those two moves, we could be pretty solid in 13′.

JoeFan

November 1st, 2012
7:59 am

The quarterback controversy want end whether Lee starts or not. Come the spring Lee will be battling Thomas for the starting position and the quarterback debate will begin all over.

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
8:10 am

During these desperate times, I’ll volunteer to be our trickeration coach.
On Sportsnations 31 trickiest plays, I feel great shame that there was no Jacketrooski play.
The closest we came to making the list was our jump offsides play which I’m told opposing coaches run at night on their video machines as a sleep aid.
It puts me to sleep watching it anyway.
Anyway my play, suggested by a fellow jacket fan but made better by me, is to run the offsides play but have the QB throw up his hands and walk off in disgust.
We can have him cuss too for effect.
The other side drops their guard and then we snap it direct to the running back who runs around the end for a score.
With all the money we throw away on fired coaches, for a mere 50K I’ll be out trickeration coach.
What’da ya think?
(Comic relief for the dire straits of our program if nothing else)

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
8:32 am

The name for the above play is…… (drum roll)…..Jacket-rooski of course.

Ken Sugiura

November 1st, 2012
9:00 am

Underjacket – clever.
Detective – I saw a highlight of that play recently, and it was penalized for “intent to deceive” or something like that, although I think I remember the announcers saying that that was the first time they’d seen that play penalized. Don’t remember if it was nfl or college. Helpful comment, huh.
Delbert – I suspect that’s the plan. Play smashmouth and hope to break Tech’s will.

Brock

November 1st, 2012
9:06 am

JD- with all due respect….If Tech has to resort those those kind of trick plays then this team is more sad then believed to be now.

Brock

November 1st, 2012
9:07 am

than believed to be now

Veteran Fan

November 1st, 2012
9:12 am

We all need to be in Grant Field for the Duke game! I will be there to cheer on my Yellow Jackets and pump them up to win in Athens the next game! Nothing compares to watching the Yellow Jackets in Grant Field on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Atlanta! Some days are just better than others.

...Take The Wheel

November 1st, 2012
9:35 am

At least these two kids are being more mature and sportsmanlike than majority of the GT fan base.

Its no wonder why the youth demonstrate such disrespect, disregard and out right hate towards one another. They’re just emulating the examples they have in people like some of you. Its no wonder the words “sportsmanship, tact, decorem” has no meaning to many of them.

...Take The Wheel

November 1st, 2012
9:36 am

*have not has

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
9:41 am

@Brock.
I’m usually a serious debater on this blog.
I thought we needed some comic relief.
I guess the effort failed.

Brock

November 1st, 2012
9:44 am

wow, and I’m usually not that slow. More coffee please!

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
9:46 am

@Brock.
Also I think it was Bobby Bowden and FSU that originated fumblerooski and they have been a football factory for decades.
They may have used it before they became a top program.
I think they used it against Clemson to win the game over twenty years ago.
I do not think ESPN had film of it as they showed mostly the variations other added to it on Sportsnation.
Maybe they did not have film because the camerman was fooled too.

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
9:51 am

U want serious?
Charles Kelly, please start channeling John Tenuta.
He did blitz too much and get beaten with it on long pass plays or screens but it worked enough that opposing QBs, Falcons’ then BC QB Matt Ryan excepted, never got as comfortable as they do against us now.
Give this 5th stringer time (and he could have 2nd string talent but thought he could make the field at linebacker quicker like Days is doing) and he might pick us apart too.
We have to change something to get a pass rush.

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
9:55 am

I hope the 4th down draw offsides play adjusted to an actual running play will be used again.
Some blogger had the idea and maybe they saw it or got wind even their own fans were sick of the silliness.
It worked fpr a 1st down.

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
9:57 am

Can fans attend practice or only old coaches (Groh) looking for a job?

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
9:58 am

Over and out.

GT Joe

November 1st, 2012
10:22 am

G-Money: 29.7 OFFENSIVE pts/game (Hint: does not include defense) against FBS teams (Hint: does not include Presbyterian).

Take the Wheel: you are a low life that MUST be dating Tevin or Tevin’s dad. IF you STILL think Tevin is our best QB, you should try watching another sport.

Hayseed Dixie

November 1st, 2012
10:34 am

Under no circumstances is booing a Tech player, as a Tech fan, acceptable.

These kids aren’t professionals.

Fold your arms and keep silent, if you want.

Booing kids is the lamest of the lame.

Not Disappointed

November 1st, 2012
10:39 am

I hope to see both quarterbacks on Saturday with Vad receiving the majority of the snaps.

Ramblin Wreck for life!

GT Joe

November 1st, 2012
10:51 am

Hayseed, only in the obama age, when “kids” can stay on their momma’s health insurance plan til age 26, are people 18-23 still called “kids”.

These ADULTS do get paid. free tuition and board and god knows what else.

Vett

November 1st, 2012
10:57 am

Student perspective on GT Athletics and DRad resignation: http://www.rcsoatl.com/2012/11/hopeful-for-change-in-gt-athletics.html

www

November 1st, 2012
10:57 am

interesting articles and videos on oregon and its speed option play run out of the spread option:

http://smartfootball.com/tag/oregon

www

November 1st, 2012
11:00 am

everytime gtjoe types anything, i think “that guy couldn’t be a bigger moron”. then i read things like this that prove me wrong:

“only in the obama age, when “kids” can stay on their momma’s health insurance plan til age 26, are people 18-23 still called “kids”.”

change your name to gtclown please.

or better yet, take gt out of your name also.

juvenal

November 1st, 2012
11:06 am

never boo-just yell,”nooooooo”…….