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A few of my thoughts on Spring practice

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by Eric, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

    These are my opinions, feel free to agree or disagree. Just posting them.

    - I thought Justin Thomas would have had the QB job locked down and there would be no doubt about who's job it is by anyone..but after Spring there are still a few people who will say Tim Byerly should be the guy. I think his is more of a testimony to Byerly than Thomas. However in my mind come opening game Justin Thomas is 100% the starter.

    - Maybe it is just me but I underestimated Byerly's toughness running.

    - Well, hello Ty Griffin...I have posted several times in the past that I thought Griffin was a lock to move positions sooner rather than later. But I think he has proven me wrong this Spring and will stick with the QB's. Paul Johnson has had quite a few good things to say about him this Spring. He is farther along in the offense than I expected him to be.

    - All in all I thought Matthew Jordan played well for someone who has been in this offense for three weeks...you can see the type of player he is by the way he runs. He is a tough, hungry kid of guy who will lay his body out for the extra yard.

    - A guy who flexed his muscles this Spring was Zach Laskey. Coach Johnson about how impressed he was with Laskey this Spring...There is little doubt as to who is the starter here. He has bulked up a bit and looks ready to finish off his career at Tech on a high note.

    - Travis Custis has shown why everyone was is so high on him...Several players made remarks of how tough of a runner he is and what kind of player they think he will be. Unfortunately we didnt get to see him play tonight due to a undisclosed injury but I am sure we will get to see a lot of him come Fall.

    - The OL definitely had some issues this Spring but the seemed to hit a bit of a stride the last week...don't get me wrong, we have a long ways to go here but I am encouraged by what has transpired the last week.

    - Shamire Devine showed what he could do on a few plays tonight...has the potential to be a real mauler for us. He has to have a good off-season...and get the weight down in the 340 range.

    - I have been a huge fan of Chris Griffin forever now, I am happy to see him with the first string. I think he has a ton of potential. Really think he is going to be a good one for us.

    - I really hope we get Chase Roberts back in the Fall, I would be comfortable with him and Griffin as our starting tackles.

    - To be honest I really think we need a coaching change in this area. I feel that Sewak is by far the weak link on the staff and don't think he is a good on field coach.

    - Look forward to what Deandre Smelter is going to do this year...by the way did anyone see his block on Jamal Golden? Wow.

    - It is very rare for Coach Johnson to heap praise on someone, but he has been raving about KeShun Freeman. He once again praised him after the game today saying he is someone he noticed that keeps making plays. Before Spring I thought KeShun was a lock to redshirt but it doesn't look that way now. He had four tackles in the game tonight...He is someone to be excited about moving forward.

    - Speaking of the WDE spot we have a good battle on our hands with Jabari Hunt-Days and KeShun Freeman right now...You have to give credit to JHD as he has been totally fine with the move and commented that he is happy doing whatever helps the team...Come fall we will add Kenderius Whitehead to the battle. I was really concerned about this spot before Spring but I like where it is headed...We have some good young talent and I am looking forward to how the playing time breaks down between these three.

    - The other position battle I am interested in is who backs up Adam Gotsis and Shawn Green. Pat Gamble had a really good scrimmage before he was in a wreck...Jimmie Kitchen has some things he can do and Darius Commissiong is the one with the highest upside in my mind. I think all of these guys are ahead of Francis Kallon.

    - Shawn Green looks to be primed for a good Senior year if he can stay healthy.

    - The DL spot to be concerned about is SDE...Tyler Stargel is by far the leader but I am not too sure how sold I am on him yet. He is the best we have by far at the moment.

    - The player I am most excited about is Tyler Marcordes. As I posted the other day his light has really turned on and he is in great shape. He is huge now. He had 7 tackles tonight...however it looked like he suffered a concussion.

    -A guy who has also seem to blow up this Spring is Quayshawn Nealy. The last two scrimmages he has been all over the place. In the Spring game he had 7 tackles.

    - I really like our linebacker core once we get Anthony Harrell back...Macordes, Nealy, Harrell and PJ Davis is a fine group.

    - Glad to have Isaiah Johnson back but from I watched him tonight he did have some bad moments...I am hoping he is a leader for us this season.

    - Our back 5 hasn't been tested that much...I am very interested to see how they perform when the lights turn on.

    - That Harrison Butker has quite a leg.

    - Overall I end the Spring more optimistic than I was before it started...The areas that I am concerned with is RT and SDE...Our OL is very thin and I am hoping we have some Freshmen come in and earn some time right away. Of course ball security was a major issue tonight but that had a lot to do with the rain.

    - How this team holds up health wise is key...We can't afford injuries to the OL or CB's.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  2. Bule

    Bule Helluva Engineer

    A few point/questions:

    How big is Merriweather now? Could he come in and help at SDE? That position is my main concern as well.

    At CB or WR, personally I like Searcy and the Austin twins helping out quickly in backup roles but we shall see...maybe even at AB?

    Speaking of AB, I am also a bit concerned about this position. I like the possibility of Leggett and Miles playing there pretty soon but again we shall see. It will be interesting this fall with the new freshmen coming in as I think we have some talent there.
  3. 00Burdell

    00Burdell Helluva Engineer

    My observations are simply this: I wanted to see some football players show up and I believe that is exactly what we got. I saw a lot of kids who have been training very hard take full advantage of the minutes they got last night. Football, as complex as it is these days, is not a thinking man's game - its a game for athletes and playmakers and I saw more athletes and playmakers on the field last night than I can remember seeing at the Spring game in a good while.

    Sure, we have question marks - its Spring - everybody has question marks. But, it seems to me we also had a lot of questions answered too.

    Overall, put me down for "I liked what I saw."
  4. collegeballfan

    collegeballfan Helluva Engineer

    Good notes Eric. I mostly agree with every point.

    The guys that jumped off the tv screen on defense to me were Nealy, Marcordes and K. Freeman.

    I liked the OL that started for the White team. I can live with that. And if someone beats one of those guys out, great.
    Question - I was on ESPN3 and it looked like the staff tightened up the OL gaps after the first few series. Can anyone verify that?

    As I noted on another thread, if Jordan is going to beat out Ty Grffin at QB, he had better get it in high gear. Griffin looks like a natural at option QB.
    Eric likes this.
  5. Fatmike91

    Fatmike91 Helluva Engineer

    I agree with a lot of what's been said already in this thread.

    My key take away: Byerly can run this offense. I didn't re-watch the game yet to analyze anything, but watching live he looked effective. Seemed to me like he gave the ball to the B at the right times, kept it at the right times, turned it up for tough yards, tossed it effectively and had some good throws. I"m not saying it was perfect (ball security, a dead duck throw, etc.), but he certainly exceeded my expectations.

    If JT is the starter, then even better.

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
    Whiskey_Clear, poodleface and Eric like this.
  6. Fatmike91

    Fatmike91 Helluva Engineer

    I was impressed by both Jordan and Griffin. Will be interesting to see them develop. Both of those guys showed athletic ability, but neither are ready (yet). In my opinion, they are both still "athletes playing QB", but they weren't necessarily running the full offense and making option decisions (that is what we were watching Byerly do).

    Whiskey_Clear and Eric like this.
  7. Boomergump

    Boomergump Moderator Staff Member

    Well, you don't have to watch very long to realize we have a great athlete in Ty Griffin at QB. I was literally bowled over, having never seen him before. That kid has great feet. I mean really great feet. He has a great combination of agility, speed, size, and instincts carrying the ball. DO NOT make the mistake of calling for him to leave the QB position. With the bad weather and the small sample size it is hard to draw too many conclusions about his readiness, but, if you want a guy with JC Watts type of capability taking snaps, then leave him there. I still don't know if he can pass, but I know he is a handful with the ball in his arms. Before all you "calling for the backup" skeptics start screaming. I am not calling for him to start, but I am saying to give this kid time to blossom.

    I feel the same way about K. Freeman..... Eye popping. He jumps out of the TV screen and grabs your attention. He will be a play maker for this team for quite a while.

    I don't have time to write a lot more right now, but I am going to capture the ESPNU broadcast and give it an extensive look. Like everybody, I just become a fan and follow the ball on first viewing. There are a lot of kids I wanted to scrutinize for the first time but couldn't. We have athletes on the field. That is the strong general impression I get. The kids got after it. There was no going through the motions out there.
  8. gtg936g

    gtg936g Helluva Engineer

    We had a lot of guys that did well last night IMO.

    The RT spot leaves me shaking my head. It seems like the person making the tackle in the backfield comes from the right side. Many times the RT does not take anyone.

    I am comfortable with JT and/or TB running the offense. I think TB ran hard and threw the ball well in the rain last night. He put the ball on the ground several times, but that was partly the weather. TB has really come a long way since last year.

    I like the Days was the only AB that stood out to me. He can run and block. Days/Perkins could be a good set at AB.
    augustabuzz likes this.
  9. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

    Im not sure how be he is as of now but I expect him to end up at SDE. He has a big frame...He will have his chance but I think he will redshirt this year.

    I expect both Austin twins end up at CB.

    I personally don't expect any Freshmen to play at A back due to us having so many upper classmen. But if one comes in and earns it then that would be great.
  10. jwsavhGT

    jwsavhGT Moderator Staff Member

    I need someone to settle a discussion my husband & I had yesterday. He says that after a spring game teams always cut players to slim down the roster, that being the main reason for a spring game. I told him that I had not seen any indication on this blog that this would happen. Comments?
  11. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

    That is 100% false...we don't "cut" anyone. Why would we need to? Were under the 85 limit.
  12. Yaller Jacket

    Yaller Jacket Helluva Engineer

    Are the enough differences in the two DE spots such that we couldn't line Whitehead on one side and Freeman on the other?
  13. turfjacket

    turfjacket Ramblin' Wreck

    Tell him this isn't the NFL.
  14. southernhive

    southernhive Helluva Engineer

    Or SEC.;)
  15. thwgjacket

    thwgjacket Guest

    Only issue I have is with the first statement. There are a "few people" who might say that JT is not the starter. Paul Johnson ain't one of them. That's all that matters.
  16. Oldgoldandwhite

    Oldgoldandwhite Helluva Engineer

    Most players can see the writing on the wall. If you are an upper classman and you do not play much in the spring game, it might be time to move on. That means you are not in the top 60 or so players.
  17. southernhive

    southernhive Helluva Engineer

    I hope JT is better than TB. Roddy Jones said something last night about JT having the ability to turn a short gain into a 70 touchdown, while TB can run the offense and get the 10 to 15 yard gains which is all you need in this offense. So either way, our QB situation is looking good.
  18. GTNavyNuke

    GTNavyNuke Helluva Engineer Featured Member

    Thanks for the comments Eric. And I always look forward to Boomers comments.

    I think we had more freshman showing promise to burn redshirts than past years. That is really good as it shows recruiting is improving. I had a bit of a hard time with the ugliness of the game and execution, but it is this way in Spring when you are trying to evaluate all your players.

    As to QB, the more we have who can go in the better. This situation will resolve itself. I fully expect our "starting" QB (especially JT) to be nicked up most of the time so we'll play multiple QBs. {Note - spell check changed "nicked" to "knocked" in the previous sentence, glad I caught it. Gotta be careful with that feature!!}

    PS - thanks for a great site Eric.
  19. awbuzz

    awbuzz Helluva Engineer

    Marcodes and Nealy looked real good last night from my view in the stands. Tyler's second half pressure and ability to power through a cut block impressed me on one particular play. He and Nealy seemed to be in on almost every play.
  20. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

    My Take

    The Bad:
    Weather conditions.
    The game was really sloppy and I'm not sure what to make of all the fumbles.
    Passing Game.
    Looks like more of the same, underdeveloped. Fade pass in the end zone is an example, Waller should have that play down by now as a senior. OLine never created a pocket. I think Tim went 5-11 (45%) for 69 yards. Pass game overall less than lackluster.
    With the exception of a Zach Laskey run not many explosive plays.
    Being that they were never really tested, we have no idea what the back five looks like.

    The Good:
    No Huddle.
    I truly hope that this will be implement and fully developed by the season. Whether as a 2 minute offense or used as a change of pace this would absolutely wear a defense down.
    QB Play.
    If you remove the passing game (how can you say that about a QB) each one of the QB's displayed promise. Obviously Tim had the best day of the 4, but Ty STOOD out. Roddy mentioned during the broadcast that he was the most talented of the QB's, CPJ pointed him out during an interview, and I read he has the strongest arm. All that over a 2* who was a pick up after a recruited backed out of his commitment. Obviously he is still learning but he was the most dynamic of the QB's last night.
    The Defense just looks aggressive. The linebackers especially look stout. I can see what Ted means about being multiple because to watch on screen you never know what look you'll get. My concern about going 4-2-5 is that teams may gash us with the run. Love the gap blitzing that VT used so well against us last year, however, and it looks like our O still finds it difficult to defend.

    Players that stood out;
    I Johnson
    on Defense

    Devine - This kid is huge but he is a mauler. I have no idea why he is not getting looks at tackle. When he gets in better shape it'll be ugly. He needs to get looks at LT right now.
    OL looked OK but again with the exception of pass blocking.
    CobbTech likes this.

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