Thoughts from the Spring Game

What a great day and a great crowd this past Saturday.  It was the best spring crowd I’ve seen in years and a clear sign that Paul Johnson is resurrecting the idea of getting the fans involved in the spring.  (This was something I don’t think Chan Gailey really understood…being an NFL guy.)  I can’t think of a better way to stimulate ticket sales, except maybe winning more games and continuing to beat UGA.

The lower east stands seemed packed and there were a fair number of people in the north stands as well.  I would estimate maybe 8-9 thousand fans in attendence.  This is a marked improvement from previous years where we had maybe 1500 or so.

The weather was great…not too hot and not too sunny.  It was just right for people like myself who took the opportunity to get out with the kids and enjoy a day on campus.

There were also reportedly 75-100 former players and lettermen in attendence and more than a few notable names and faces wound up on the matrix board where Wes Durham interviewed them and asked about their best GT memories and the like.

But enough small talk…lets talk about the football.

Nesbitt was out and Dwyer and Thomas seemed to play very sparingly.

Jaybo needs to take better care of the ball and look for the pitch a little more often.  He seemed to hold onto the ball and dive for yards on several occassions rather than pitch outside.  A fumble on the first play of the scrimmage set the gold team up for a short field and an easy touchdown.

Dwyer looks a bit heavy, but its spring.  He reversed a busted run early in the scrimmage and got good yardage in the other direction but didn’t appear to have the game breaking speed we’re accustomed to seeing.  Dominique Reese took a good angle on him and was able to get him out of bounds before he could really hit the sideline and extend the run for a touchdown.

Speaking of Reese, he was very active and made several good open field tackles.  He looked to be recognizing plays pretty well and taking good angles in pursuit.

The defensive line rotated a ton of players.  Anthony Eguniwe was surprisingly active and involved in several plays.  I don’t remember him being that speedy and aggressive last season when he got in the game in spot duty.  He seems to really have improved and he now looks like he belongs.

The defensive line seemed to be handling the offensive guys pretty well.  I guess that should be expected since more than one of our future starting OL were held out and we were playing a cobbled together offensive line.

The linebackers and safeties were really taking advantage of the defensive line occupying the blockers up front.  They were all over the place making tackles and generally controlling the corners, forcing Jaybo or Washington to keep the ball.

Morgan Burnett is a stud.  ‘Nuff said.

After quite a bit of vanilla option football, the offense started showing some wrinkles.  We saw some passes downfield, some nice reverses that went for good yardage, and at least one inside draw / pitch that Marcus Wright turned into really nice yardage.

We’re embarassingly deep in the offensive backfield.  Its sick honestly.  Even with Dwyer held out we had guys like Watson and Lyons carrying the load at B back.  Anthony Allen adds a completely new dynamic at the A Back position and will team up with speedsters Wright and Peebles.  (I really really like Marcus Wright to have a huge season…)

We look good at least three deep at quarterback.  Jaybo and Washington looked like they knew what they were doing and all showed flashes that they’ll be great QB options once Nesbitt moves on and releases his hold on the position.  Washington is a stout, solid guy and looks like he can really bring alot of physicality to the position, similar to Nesbit.

There were some down points though…

The kicking game was horrendous, horrible, and just plain homely.  There is nothing good I can say about it.

And the wide receiver position still looks extremely thin beyond Thomas.  Alot of young kids and walkons were getting time there.  Of course, my impression may be governed by the fact that we’re still primarily a running team and likely always will be.

Bottom line?

We’re gonna run the ball ALL OVER people this coming season.

We’re going to struggle if we are forced to throw too much.

The defense will be aggressive and fast.

We better learn to kick the ball…or its going to hurt us.

But most of all…Paul Johnson has returned the excitement to Georgia Tech’s football program…the crowd attests to that.

Go Jackets!

THWG!

34 comments Add your comment

Dannyboy

April 21st, 2009
11:29 pm

Paul Johnson’s teams have historically made a huge leap after the first year. For a team that went 9-4 the first year, and was the #4 rushing offense in the nation, the thought of what could be is scary…for opponents. You can put this in stone, the rushing stats this year will look like video game numbers. I don’t think we’ll have an all world passing game, but I definitely think we won’t be in the bottom half of the league in passing either. CPJ is too competitive, and his drive to prove all the critics wrong about his offense’s ability to pass is too strong (hence the much talked/written/discussed implementation of the run and shoot).

m

April 22nd, 2009
12:10 am

The ONLY reason that excitement is back on the FLATS is because chan gailey is gone. He literally destroyed our football program for 6 long, sorry, unnecessary years. Thank God and Greyhound and DRAD that the worst coach in the history of mankind is gone forever. Paul Johnson is the best coach in the game. The future is so bright we all need to wear shades. But never forget the sorry episode of chan gailey….it must NEVER be allowed to happen again. Any of you that ever supported gailey or, heaven forbid, still support him….you suck to the nth degree.

macrotech

April 22nd, 2009
1:45 am

Oh, Danny Boy, how correct i believe you to be! We have EVERY reason to believe that this will be an amazing year to be a Tech fan! Shouldn’t take very long before the leg humping mutt fans jump on here with all their anxiousness over what they deny….THIS rivalry has taken a turn that has them reeling! They’ve had a good run, but those days look to be over….hopefully, for quite some time! GO TECH!!! AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, etc…..

SugarHillDawg

April 22nd, 2009
7:30 am

M, why do you type the same thing in EVERY post???????????????????Just save time and figure out a way to copy it on here!!!!!!

Spike

April 22nd, 2009
8:18 am

M, you need some new material. Anything more original would be helpful.

MalibuGT

April 22nd, 2009
8:36 am

It was a great time at the game. I’m not sure i’m ready to go into hyper hype mode like the dog fans do every spring & summer, but I’m totally confident CPJ is going to get the very best out of this team. The schedule is more difficult (Gardner Webb & Boston College out, Wake Forest & Vandy in, FSU on the road).

I don’t have worries about our offense. I also think the defense should be ok. we will be improved at lineback & defensive backs and I think the line will hold up ok. Obviously we have to improve on the points we allowed to uga and lsu at the end of the season. I am worried about special teams….a lot. But I know CPJ is focused on that for the fall.

Question?

April 22nd, 2009
8:49 am

I have heard very little in reference to Roddy Jones this spring. All I hear about at A-back is Anthony Allen and Marcus Wright. Has he been replaced by Allen and Wright or are they just both trying to win the spot opposite of Roddy?

lakerat

April 22nd, 2009
9:35 am

What game were you watching – it surely wasn’t the TEch game last Saturday – “The linebackers and safeties were really taking advantage of the defensive line occupying the blockers up front. They were all over the place making tackles and generally controlling the corners – The defensive line seemed to be handling the offensive guys pretty well.”

But you are correct in one area – Morgan Burnett is a stud!

Huh?

April 22nd, 2009
10:09 am

“I would estimate maybe 8-9 thousand fans in attendence. This is a marked improvement from previous years where we had maybe 1500 or so.”

LOL.

MalibuGT

April 22nd, 2009
10:25 am

we’re also increasing our number of interested UGA fans joining our blogs….

Cuz

April 22nd, 2009
10:40 am

Well Tech beat UGA at something else. Tech still has a beat blog, UGA’s has gone away.

Obama

April 22nd, 2009
11:47 am

Cuz -

UGA still has a blog here (Junkyard Blog), too, just as Tech still has Ramblin’On.. Chip Towers has been reassigned at the AJC; what happened to Hartstein?

cluett peabody

April 22nd, 2009
11:54 am

Agree with MalibuGT about not getting too excited. I fear the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball may be a question. Special teams also. The basics (blocking and tackling) are to some degree still not up to standards.
m – don’t ever forget TGAG!

Justin "by Golly" Vess

April 22nd, 2009
1:27 pm

UGA fans have nothing else to do but get on Techs blog and talk smack. ALL UGA fans are rednecks and just love running their mouths. Uga is going lose a lot more games this year, and you rednecks will still run that mouth, because thats what rednecks do. UGA fans SUCK

Not Disappointed

April 22nd, 2009
4:15 pm

“We’re embarassingly deep in the offensive backfield.” What an awesome observation! I too would like to know a littlle more about Roddey Jones?? “Ramblin Wreck!!”

UGADawg83

April 22nd, 2009
4:44 pm

The problem with your offensive production was that it came against your own defense. We forgot how important defense was last year. We won’t make the same mistake twice. See you in November.

Jack G.

April 22nd, 2009
5:09 pm

You folks neeed to cut M a little slack.
A shrink would tell you he is a monomaniac.

ugablows

April 23rd, 2009
3:06 pm

wow, you forgot how important defense was last year? lol, that was really stupid. do you think that Willie will just majicly make the defense awesome this year and help them to remember to to have a good defense or ?

No dog in this fight.

April 24th, 2009
11:32 am

GT’s only hope is the passing game; everyone has film of last year’s running game, and that LSU debacle. Just as it has taken defenses a couple of seasons to learn to defend the spread, they’ll get up to speed on stopping CPJ’s run schemes. If GT has a more balanced or less run oriented attack then they’ll be successful this year. If not then 9-3 will happen again, maybe worse given the loss of defenders on the line with experience. Usually the D is ahead of the game in spring, and judging from the T-day game GT maybe; and it’s a big maybe, in trouble.

One key element no one ever brings up is the fact that GT’s D never practices\scrimmages against an offense that has a decent passing game. And that was key in GT’s 3 losses last year. If you’re D doesn’t practice against a good passing game how are you expected to defend against it in game situations? GT was great vs the run last year, but now the interior D line is inexperienced.

GT drops 1 additional or stays at 9-3

misanidiot

April 24th, 2009
11:59 am

Okay m, I’ve reached the point that I have to respond to your LIES! Is Paul Johnson a better coach for GT than Chan? YES! But that could be said if you compared him to any coach in college, because I believe he’s the best in the nation. A BIG reason for the unexpected level of success last year and great optimism this year and next is talent from the ‘07 recruits that was brought in under Chan. Paul’s a smart guy, and I think one of the factors in taking the Tech job was knowing that he would inherit some good talent.
Also, there’s a lot of “name” coaches (including the one in Athens)that wouldn’t have overcome the HUGE handicap of being short SIX scholarships per year, along with other challenges Chan inherited that were not his fault, and had as many wins as CG did.
Chan represented GT well, with class, dignity and integrity. There were no scandals on his watch. He recuited high character student-athletes, many of the leaders we are so proud of on this team.
Coach Johnson will take us to a much higher level, and I’m EXTREMELY happy he replaced CG. It was time for Chan to go.
But to claim he’s the worst coach ever at GT, much less in the history of football, shows you not only know very little about football, but you probably are the biggest idiot to ever comment on the subject.
You’ve demonstrated that nothing said about you will stop your stupid tirade, but just know that everytime you post you are exposing your monumental ignorance to everyone else. You’re not funny, you’re not being cute, you’re not being truthful, and most of all you’re not being believed.
Do EVERYONE here a huge favor, and disappear FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

m is an idiot

April 24th, 2009
12:21 pm

No dog in this fight, you make a perfectly logical case, using conventional wisdom.
The problem with your hypothesis is that when Paul Johnson is in the equation, conventional wisdom doesn’t work.
People that have followed him since his GS and Navy days know what you will find out this year…defenses are not going to catch up with his offense. You will also find out that the LSU game will be viewed over time as a fluke. Don’t expect an repeat performances like that in the future.
You will also find out this year that changes have been made on defense to address the weakness against the pass.
Anyone that really knows football already knows CPJ’s offense causes defensive coordinators to lose sleep. This year they’re going to find out that opposing team’s offensive coordinators will be having nightmares too.

AGHH

April 24th, 2009
9:41 pm

MAJICLY??? HAHAHA! And you’re calling someone ELSE stupid? HAHAHAHA!! Great Tech education. Because, as you mosquitos like to boast, you ALL attended Georgia Tech, correct? No sidewalk fans here! MAJICLY! HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

SugarHillDawg

April 26th, 2009
4:31 pm

Hey M is an idiot, I guess the North carolina game was a fluke too??!Man if a coach can guarantee his team NEVER playing badly, he’d be worth more than ANY school could pay him!! DUMB statement Dude!!Oh yeah, CPJ is arrogant and every time UGA is brought up to him he has a derogatory statement to say about them. We will teach him humility-Trust me!!

m

April 27th, 2009
12:53 pm

sugarhilldawg, you are going to have to learn humility before you can teach it. Paul Johnson just beat the best team ugag has had in nearly 30 years; and the only team they ever had to be ranked preseason #1 (I am still laughing on that one).

Even as stupid as you dawgs are, you must realize that beating Paul Johnson is not the same as beating gomer gailey. Just like beating Mark Richt is not the same as beating Jim donn_n.

Your grandkids will probably have grandkids before your sorry arse dawgs ever beat Paul Johnson. And he is going to laugh in your faces every time.

Thank God and Greyhound that gomer gailey is gone forever…you hushpuppies are really going to miss him.

haha

April 27th, 2009
10:59 pm

I’ll thank God and Greyhound if your silly a$$ comes back next season to eat your humble pie, nerd.

dumb dawg fan

April 28th, 2009
11:25 pm

Hey haha, calm down before you blow a nut. GT is on a roll. CMR and UGA might want to drop GT off their schedule for a few years. Maybe we could pick up Valdosta High. We could probably beat them.

Go Dawgs … Run from Tech!!!

Jay

April 29th, 2009
8:41 am

Its amazing how little people know about Tech’s offense. They do not HAVE to throw the ball It is nice and makes things easier. But they can use different formations to out number you to one side and run the ball to that side. It doesnt matter how much tape you have of the offense. The offensive coaches will make game time adjustments to run the ball where you aint. Thats the beauty of the flexbone option. You might as well not even have tape because they are going to attack each team differently with different plays out of different formations. I coach in the exact same offense and make the comment often that it is a waste of time to study us in depth. One week we will run a play out of a certain formation only one way and the next week, because of the defensive alignment, will only run it the other way because we have the numbers. Most of the fans don’t understand that because they are used to “regular” football.

Not Disappointed

April 29th, 2009
12:08 pm

Does anyone know the final verdict on whether D.Morgan will be eligible next fall?!?

Vandy

April 29th, 2009
6:58 pm

Tech fans hate UGA more than they love Tech. It’s pathetic. I mean, why must this guy end his article with “THWG”? Basically , the last thing that comes to mind when concluding your article is your hate for UGA. That’s why your fan base is one of the worst in the country. I’ve lived all over this country and I dont get why Atlanta has such terrible sports fans. Maybe you Tech fans can explain it to me.

haha

May 1st, 2009
5:26 pm

You don’t want your schedule getting too hard, dumb Tech fan, so better not schedule Valdosta High. Playing your jr. college Tech team has already hurt us in strength of schedule for years. So enjoy your 1 out of 8, and come talk that crap after you crash back to earth next November. Those big, fat heads you got from your pathetic three point (and handed to you on a platter!) win are gonna be fun to pop!…Oh, yeah: you’re still the B-team in state! Enjoy, losers.

SoCal Dawg

May 6th, 2009
7:56 pm

Vandy I didn’t know Tech had fans. I lived in south GA for 10 years and the Augusta area for 8 and in all that time I meet ONE tech fan ONE and he was a grad.

jacketbacker

May 11th, 2009
11:24 am

THWG always!!!!

gtforever

May 12th, 2009
7:59 am

Jay, I hope your RIGHT! The LSU , North Carolina , and Gardner Web game would provide ample evidence that this offense without a passing game is destined to fail, especially at this level. My main concern is the defense which was way to soft last year. The loss of some very special players defensively will make this year interesting. I’m a JACKET win or lose and have been for thirty years.. I like Coach Johnson, but if he doesn’t pick up his recruiting a whole lot then we will win some we are not supposed to, and we will lose some that we are supposed to win…. Same ole same ole….. M, for the last time, CHAN was NOT the worst coach in GT’s history. Every time you say that, even though I think it’s funny, it makes you look ignorant! But hey, that’s your prerogative.

William Casey

May 15th, 2009
9:26 am

Roddy Jones is still running in Athens! He is over 9000 yards and 350 TDs against the mighty SEC Bulldog “defense.”