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2013 Year in Review

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by BainbridgeJacket, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. BainbridgeJacket

    BainbridgeJacket Helluva Engineer

    I figured I'd do a position by position breakdown of how our team did this year. I'm hoping it fosters some discussion on how everyone thinks we did as a whole and where on the team we need the most help, be it players or coaching. Of course, my general thoughts are that 7-6 leaves much to be desired and our biggest area for improvement is with player development followed closely by improving recruiting. In general, I think our position coaches need improvement either by getting new ones or investing resources in developing the knowledge base of the ones we have. I think we need to do everything possible to maximize the talent of our players and I feel we have a lot of room for improvement in that area.

    Coach: Bryan Cook, First year (0 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT)
    Positives: Vad has a very strong arm and has proven to be very accurate when he steps up into his throws. JT showed glimpses of the raw talent that would take this team to the next level.
    Negatives: The option footwork isn’t very crisp for either QB. Vad consistently drops back out of his protection even when he has a clean pocket to step up into. The mesh doesn’t look clean.
    Summary: I was not very high on the hire of CBC based on watching tapes of his offenses in California and was not impressed with the job he did with our guys this year. Our quarterbacks played tentatively, made poor reads, plodded through the mesh, didn’t carry out ball fakes, and pretty much looked like a hot mess out there. At some point in time, we reached critical mass on coachable moments regarding stepping up into the pocket and following through on a play even when blocking breaks down and yet I saw no real improvement in this area and that is on the coach. I think Vad was playing through an injury which affected a lot of this, but it was obvious when JT was on the field that he was not ready yet. There were sporadic signs of improvement, though, and for that we can hope.
    Coach Grade: D
    Position Grade: C-
    What it means for 2014: We have talent at this position. At this point in time, it’s a matter of developing it and history has shown with Tevin that can be done with the right work ethic. I’m hopeful for the future of this position and hope CPJ is getting heavily involved. With another year in the system, these players will improve.
    Coach: Bryan Cook, First year (0 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT)
    Positives: We finally saw a few long runs out of this position. Very few negative plays.
    Negatives: We lack a true threat at this position and, realistically, need to look elsewhere than the current players on our roster. Pass blocking was only ok all year and bad in the bowl game.
    Summary: I think we maximized our talent this year and saw the best David Sims can offer this year and I’m thankful for his contributions; however, he never consistently broke arm tackles at the first level and was not a threat on the second level. He was finally able to run with his eyes up and maintain a good pad level, though, and we got consistent production out of this position. With the right player, we will get back to having a 1,000 yard rusher.
    Coach Grade: B
    Position Grade: B-
    What it means for 2014: We need help. If Custis comes in and can pick up the blocking, then I think we’ll see an upgrade at this position. If Laskey wins the job, then we’ll get the same level of production.
    Coach: Lamar Owens, Fourth year (0 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT)
    Positives: Godhigh. A-backs are able to be utilized in the passing game.
    Negatives: Perimeter blocking. Vision. Toughness.
    Summary: Godhigh obviously had the best season anyone could expect; however, the rest of this position group needs to step up. Inconsistent blocking lead to a lot of negative plays. We have running backs who get the ball less than once a game and seemingly don’t even show the effort of cutting upfield and putting their heads down when they do get opportunities. This group is plain frustrating to watch. That being said, THEY CAN CATCH!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone else has memories of all the dropped passes in 2008 and 2009 from the a-backs, then you can truly appreciate this. It seems every year Owens is here, they get better and better in the passing game. Unfortunately, this is a running offense and the group as a whole gets poor marks for their primary job: blocking.
    Coach Grade: C
    Position Grade: C
    What it means for 2014: I’m concerned. There’s been some flashes of ability buried in the depth chart, but I doubt we see it. Synjyn has one position locked up simply because he tries to block, the other one is completely up for grabs. I hope Perkins or Andrews win it because they seem to fight the hardest when they’re on the field. I would not be surprised to see BJ hang up his cleats, doesn’t show any passion which is a shame considering his speed.
    Coach: Sixth year, (6 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT though it was at Hawaii)
    Positives: They can catch, too. Attacking the ball.
    Negatives: Route running. Inconsistent perimeter blocking.
    Summary: This group looked to be a liability coming into the season, but the addition of Smelter seemingly took some pressure off Waller who similarly improved. Michael Summers had some nice contributions as well.
    Coach Grade: B+
    Position Grade: B
    What it means for 2014: Every area for improvement this group has is something that will come with more experience. These guys have pretty high ceilings, so I’m hoping we see it.
    Coach: Mike Sewak, Sixth year (15 years prior experience coaching with CPJ before GT)
    Positives: Firing off the ball and drive blocking
    Negatives: Pass blocking, missed assignments (free runners), lack of talent
    Summary: I think this group was made out to be the scapegoat for a lot of our problems. I’m not saying their performance was great, but it wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. To that extent, we should’ve trusted this group more and gone right at some of our opponents. There were very few instances where our guys weren’t getting the push. They got physically whipped by more agile defenders shooting our wide splits and disrupting plays. We also tended to whiff or run right by defenders in space. For everyone who talks about square peg in round hole regarding our QB, you should be looking at our offensive line for a better example. In our first couple of years, CPJ talked about narrowing our splits and gradually widening them out as we got better. It’s time to re-evaluate whether or not we’re better. I think an honest evaluation is that we’ve downgraded our talent level even from that makeshift line and, as counterintuitive as it seems to me, I think our guys are stronger but not nearly as agile now.
    Coach Grade: D
    Position Grade: C
    What it means for 2014: Everyone is calling for Sewak’s head, but he is the one I trust the most on our coaching staff to be able to relay to CPJ what adjustments need to be made. We’ve lost three of our five offensive coaches from the 2009 team and replaced them with a graduate assistant and someone with no prior CPJ experience. Let’s be realistic…Sewak will be here in 2014. We’re adding some talented guys to our OL rotation, but losing a lot of starts. My best guess is that we’ll be less consistent, but with some higher ceiling guys when things go right, it’ll go really right. Feast or famine so to speak.
    IronJacket7, UgaBlows, John and 2 others like this.
  2. BainbridgeJacket

    BainbridgeJacket Helluva Engineer

    Coach: Mike Pelton, First year at GT
    Positives: Improvement in all facets of the game as the season progressed. Run defense.
    Negatives: Diverse pass rush. Use of depth.
    Summary: Gotsis and Attaochu really showed improvement throughout the year, that’s what happens when natural talent gets coached up. I thought Anthony Williams actually looked pretty good in the rare instances he got in, I hope he sticks around because he should be able to contribute next year. We did pretty well against the run with the front four either making the play themselves or keeping the LBs/Safeties clean to make the play. Where we lacked was a pass rush threat outside of #45, whether it be getting a push upfield to disrupt the pocket or creating lanes for blitzes, the other guys didn’t do much to help. I don’t know who was responsible for it, but #45 needed more time off the field. I know he was our best player, but fresh legs are better than dead legs and depth means nothing warming a bench.
    Coach Grade: A-
    Position Grade: B
    What it means for 2014: We need a rush end and a lot of guys to step up. I think we take a step back in pass rush, but continue to be pretty good against the run.
    Coach: Andy McCollum, Fourth year at GT (First at LB)
    Positives: Run defense. Brandon Watts.
    Negatives: Coverage.
    Summary: In my opinion, this group struggled with the adjustment in scheme and seemingly regressed. There seemed to be a lot of miscues when it came to gap assignments, coverage responsibilities, etc. Nealey was very up and down, Watts showed a lot of versatility, and JHD looked a bit unsure of himself the whole season. To a certain extent, offenses were scheming to attack other weaknesses or keep us in certain formations/looks that took us out of the strengths of this group.
    Coach Grade: C
    Position Grade: B-
    What it means for 2014: I think we’ve got the talent to be good at this position, but it will be hard to replace Watts. My best guess is that they’ll be relatively anonymous next year as defenses will be keyed on attacking other position groups.
    Coach: Joe Speed, Fourth year at GT (First at DB)
    Positives: Jemea Thomas in run support
    Negatives: Injuries. Poor technique. Safeties were consistently late to the play.
    Summary: This should’ve been our best group this year, but early injuries/departures put us in a bad position. Simply put, our safeties weren’t ready for the starting roles. Jemea got moved to safety (which I always thought was his best position), but most offenses tried keeping us in nickel to counteract this as we would move him over the slot. We simply didn’t have the depth to withstand the loss of our three best safeties so early in the season. I felt pretty strongly that our corners played with worse technique as the season went on, whether due to coaching or just being worn down. It’s a recipe for disaster when you play two corners every snap of the game and it continually bit us at the end of the game.
    Coach Grade: D
    Position Grade: C-
    What it means for 2014: We’ll be returning IJ and Golden to the lineup which will help tremendously. DJ White is a good boundary corner; however, we need to find a field corner or hope DJ can make the transition. I think offenses will continue to put us in nickel until we prove we have the players to stop it. Hopefully returning our safeties will make us a better overall unit. I think Lynn Griffin can step into the Jemea role of covering the slot guy in nickel situations rather effectively and maybe Step can come in and take the field role.
    Coach: Dave Walkosky, Second year at GT
    Positives: Butker won the starting role. Touchbacks
    Negatives: Boneheaded plays
    Summary: I’m still not sure this hire was worth it. Yes, we’ve improved our STs, but we still make way too many boneheaded plays in this phase of the game. I don’t know what I expected with the hire, but the results have not been as drastic as I’d like. Maybe I’m unrealistic, but I just can’t be overly excited about STs until they start winning us some games instead of just losing us less games. Butker needs to keep improving as he’s got a good amount of potential.
    Coach Grade: C+
    Position Grade: C
    What it means for 2014: An improved Butker and returning Golden ought to help us be a solid unit. Punter will be an issue.
  3. ybeenormal

    ybeenormal Helluva Engineer

    I was impressed with DJs play this year. They caught some balls on him but he rarely got burned (even tho i hope his ankles are ok after bobo walrus put the juke on him). He was a fingernail away from making some game changing plays on several occasions. If he continues to improve he will be a lock down corner. Butker was definitely a breath of fresh air after our woes for what seems like 10 years of horrible kicking
  4. gtg936g

    gtg936g Helluva Engineer

    I think our defensive coaches are making some good progress. Noble, White, Golden, Gostis, etc showed yearly improvement.

    If I were CPJ I would either make some OL/QB coaching changes, or take a very hands on approach with this group. I think CPJ trusts Roof to run the D, and may be able to turn his focus to improvements on the offensive side of the ball.
  5. collegeballfan

    collegeballfan Helluva Engineer

    You cannot grade assistant coaches just on position performance; their ability in recruiting is just as important. Good players make good coaches and good coaches make good players.
  6. awbuzz

    awbuzz Helluva Engineer

    thanks for taking the time to put that together BainbridgeJacket.
    John likes this.
  7. bke1984

    bke1984 Helluva Engineer

    Special teams is interesting. Kickoff returns and punt/kick block have dramatically improved, but kickoff coverage and punt returns really have not. Butker played well, but I really would've liked to have seen him make that kick in the Georgia game. That's a big time play that we REALLY needed at the time...but he's young, so he'll hopefully grow into those moments.
  8. DvilleJacket

    DvilleJacket Helluva Engineer

    I expected a few more touch backs from Butker. I believe he will be one of the best we've had when he is done though.
  9. techman78

    techman78 Helluva Engineer

    Butker did have a lot of touchbacks especially for a true freshman. Seemed like his leg went kinda dead about mid-season though. Hopefully Jamal comes back good as new next season because we really missed him in the return game. Chris Milton looked great on ST's as did Gotsis blocking the field goals in the bowl game. We had more blocked kicked this season than I can ever remember.
  10. DvilleJacket

    DvilleJacket Helluva Engineer

    Maybe my expectations were a little to high. After the Elon game I thought he would put them in the endzone every time. Golden was a big loss on special teams!
  11. techman78

    techman78 Helluva Engineer

    I know my expectations were high after the Elon game but I will say this, although we won 70-0 I didn't think we looked smooth running the TO. I really thought we would improve it but if anything I think we took a step back.
  12. alaguy

    alaguy Helluva Engineer

    Thanks BJ,good thoughts.
    I may add-
    Abacks-this position has proved to be biggest disappointment for PJ to me -I thought we would covered up with fine backs in this RUN offense-a walk-on saved us this yr-MAYBE someone else steps up-you left out Hill who could do it
    Oline-what a boondoggle in that Vt game and only ok overall when this was to be THE yr for OL
    who picked Chamberlain to play? not ready! Finch will TOUGH to replace
    Dline- the run def was good finally but had THREE SRs! including one of best EVER here ,Gotsis may prove PJs best recruit ever -- overall for next yr- pray for fast growth ,could get ugly
    DBs- in Spring this was to be a killer group-2 Sr CBs,decent safeties and Holton coming back--CRASH-no Holton,golden down and Young looking like a Fr-Jemea great,White steps up
    -next yr- 2 guys coming off injuries and one decent CB, hmmm
    LBs- I forgot about switch to 4-3 from 3-4,it REALLY made a difference looking back- HDays looked lost most season,Watts should have produced more seemingly
    overall have some talent though next yr but need to play better
  13. Minawreck

    Minawreck Helluva Engineer

    We had 5 blocked kicks and 3 blocked punts this season, and no kick returns for TD's. We also converted some huge fake punts, I think you're just remembering Poole's bad judgement during the bowl game (I honestly think he forgot we were behind the chains and thought he just needed 1 yard instead of 11).

    I thought Special Teams were vastly improved this season and we really missed having our main return man.

    Poole had a great year for us punting and implementing the rugby read.
    The blocked kicks were great
    And I really only remember 1 penalty that actually kept a drive alive and that was during the UVA game.

    Coverage was shaky because Butker is still trying to learn how to place the ball on kickoffs. He was inconsistent this year. On good kickoffs our coverage was good, on bad ones it was bad.
  14. collegeballfan

    collegeballfan Helluva Engineer

  15. Oldgoldandwhite

    Oldgoldandwhite Helluva Engineer

    Good review. I think the 2014 season will hinge on the QB play. The DL and OL will be key, but the QB play must improve.
    bat_082994 likes this.

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