Confessions (Vad's Hope)

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by vamosjackets, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. vamosjackets

    vamosjackets GT Athlete Featured Member

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    I feel great about the state of GT football. 2 main reasons - Vad Lee (and hopefully Justin Thomas in the future) and the Defense. Of course I'm excited about Vad. He gives our offense dimensions that it hasn't had yet, which will ultimately make it a lot more effective. But, our offense was usually very effective anyway - it's a great system that gives the offense so many advantages that most systems don't (when your QB has to be accounted for in the running game, it's just math). But, here is my short term concern:

    Judging from the Duke game, we're not where we need to be in this offensive system. Vad gives so much more ability to make up for that with his passing and athleticism, but this offense could beat most teams when it's run by a more pedestrian QB who is dedicated to the system, believes in how it works, and trusts that more than his own ability. That's what this offense is built to do. I'm worried that Vad's ability is at this point inevitably causing him to trust in that more than the system. Now, that could actually win us a game in the future, but I'm afraid it could cost us a game at some point over these next four. When this offense works as planned, we're going to get some big runs from the BB's and AB's and QB's and a big play in the passing game every now and then. And, we're going to be getting 4-6 yards per carry from the BB and 5-7 from the AB's and QB. And, even when most of the defenders are too good and too disciplined to let us break the big ones, we still are able to methodically march it down the field with those 4-7 yard runs. Is Vad Lee proficient enough in reading the option game to be able to do that? Methodically death march it down their throats averaging 5 yards per play all the way down the field to the endzone? If I were Vad, I would be so confident in my ability to make a play, that my mind would be on how to make that next great play rather than on living by the system, intensely focused on the read keys, trusting the blocking, etc.

    Usually what it takes to force this dedication is brokeness. Getting humbled by defeat. I hate that, but it's usually true. That's why our teams have often had to take a loss early before they get better and start to hum in the option game. Even in '09, our offense wasn't good until after the Miami defeat. Then we started making the option game work. And, we also had the big play makers to make up for mistakes and mismatches.

    So, to be honest, I think we're going to lose one of these next 3 games. Which one? I don't know. I think the most likely one is UNC. But, I'm not sure they have the defensive firepower to beat us even if we're not great yet. So, VT might be the one. I think if that happens, it could actually prove to be good for us. It could cause a rededication and molding of the mindset of our young QB.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't want it to happen. If we can somehow get by UNC even while they expose our weaknesses, that might serve the purpose too. But, you have to see your weaknesses before you believe in the need to change. It has to become bigger than you.

    I could be totally wrong and Vad could be the guy that breaks the mold, never needs something like that to cause that intense option focus. Maybe he's already there, and it's just a matter of continuing improvement with experience. I'm just confessing some intense thoughts I've had since Saturday.

    Anybody understand that? Do you think we win all of the next 3 games? What game on our schedule will humble us, and can that actually make us objectively better?

    I know our defense is more important anyway. [​IMG]
     
  2. IronJacket7

    IronJacket7 Helluva Engineer

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    I see what you are saying and yes I could see this occurring. I am optimistic though in that hopefully if will happen in the 1st half of a game and Vad will let himself relax and trust the system, then come out in the second half with a different approach.

    I could be wrong but I see VT defense being the one that might do what you are eluding to. We all know Bud Foster likes to put safeties in at lb and so on to get all his speed on the field when he plays our offense. But we will see. I am hoping that Vad is smarter than what we give him credit for and he is more trusting of the system than what may appear to us.
     
  3. John

    John Peacekeeper Staff Member

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    I think a lot of us forget that Vad is a RS Sophomore and there was a reason why he didn't start games last year. As CPJ likes to say, the backup QB is always going to be the popular guy when the team loses. I think that inflated our expectation of Vad.

    Just like I never liked to pinpoint a loss to Tevin alone, even if we lose games... I'm pretty sure I won't be able to pinpoint any of them to Vad alone.

    But this is probably why CPJ likes to sprinkle in a criticism of Vad every now and again. Last week's radio show, it was that Vad needed to carry out his fakes better. Last night it was he needed to slow down a bit during counter option plays. I think CPJ has been trying to keep Vad grounded and has been preparing Vad for any potential fallout/criticism by fans when he does make a critical mistake ("To err is human...").

    As for Vad trusting the offense, I think he trusts the offense. I'm just not sure how he'll react in the pocket when the pressure is really on.
     
  4. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne Helluva Engineer Featured Member

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    Good reflections Vamos.

    My initial response to you would be while Vad should still be considered green until adversity seasons him some more as a starter I do think he has experienced some of that already. I am thinking how he got to stay in and play most of the UNC game last year because of his effectiveness in running the offense, to the extent he had learned how to at that point. Then in the bowl game he had a chance to take the game from Tevin but failed to do so and got to watch from the sidelines as the less athletically gifted but more experienced senior methodically controlled the game and ran the system. So I think he has been shown where the system can help him grow as a QB somewhat already and that natural ability is never enough. Of course, making this a reality in the games is key.

    Then I would say that CPJ and now Bryan Cook, heck, and even Joe Hamilton are more familiar with the psychology of a young QB than we ever will be. I think CPJ's system is flexible enough to allow him the luxury of playing to a QB (and other personnel's) strengths so that he does not need to rely on just waiting for them to learn how to run this or that aspect of the option game.

    I would also add that your concerns may overemphasize the role of a QB in wins and defeats. I am specifically thinking that while Vad may be green in running all aspects of the system he has some real senior talent around him, especially on the line. In fact, Vad's arm is improving our inexperienced WRs as we watch, the same may be occurring of the senior OL to Vad. He says they go to eat dinner as a group every Thursday and I do think that Vad, if confident in his abilities, is not so egocentric as to ignore their input and advice.

    So while your concerns are valid I am not too worried about them.

    I still think it more likely that if/when we lose the defense will have had a bigger hand in the defeat than QB.
     
  5. Dustman

    Dustman Helluva Engineer

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    Of the next 3, I think Miami is most likely to cause problems on both sides of the LOS. If Vad goes too far off the map we will see Justin come in but I'm not too worried about that. I think we all agree we have good reason to be excited about what Vad brings to our offense. Like John says, he is just a RS-SO. He's already changing the media's perception of our offense and that will help with recruiting.
     
  6. GTonTop88

    GTonTop88 Helluva Engineer

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    Whether he runs the offense better than say a Tevin, or not. His athletic ability opens the offense up more for the other guys. Last year other teams keyed on the pitch men to and let tevin run it taking their chances on him beatin them than letting the more electric players gettin the ball in their hands.

    With Vad or JT you have to go after them first cause they both can break big runs and other teams are hoping for a bad pitch, or an error on tryin to make a play that isn't there. Ill take big plays over long sustained drives, one reason for momentum and two less opportunity for an error.
     
  7. GTJason

    GTJason Helluva Engineer

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    Interesting analysis. My question is do we want a QB completely trusting in the offense? Blocks are going to be missed, receivers are going to drop passes, the defense is going to give up a td when we need a stop. Ability to improvise and trust in oneself in a qb can make this offense special. Nesbit did this. Now sure he got his yards on option plays but on 4th and short everyone on the field knew who was getting the ball, #9. Vad is a different player than Nesbit obviously, but I think he has that kind of confidence that can make him thrive in a 2 minute drill when others might get nervous. He's going to mess up sometimes, may even lose us a close game by trying too hard, but I think I'm alright with that because the good outweighs the bad.
     
  8. CuseJacket

    CuseJacket Administrator Staff Member

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    The light bulb certainly has not come on in full force for Vad. I think he's doing great given his experience or lack thereof, but no one would state he's a master. It appears everyone is on the same page about this, and unless we see drastic improvement this week specifically I think we will likely see it come back and bite us in the not too distant future. I agree it might not be Vad alone, but the point stands that he and the offense may not be able to overcome a shaky game from the defense simply due to some "unstoppable force".

    Re: will we win the next 3 games? The math says no. Not only will we be an underdog at Miami (i.e., we are likely to lose if the game were played today), but the math states that a 6-point favorite loses more than 25% of the time. Best case scenario says we are favored by 6 or less against our next two opponents, and therefore the most likely scenario dictates we go 1-1.

    Of course there will be other factors in play such as momentum, injuries, etc but I think it's completely unrealistic to expect that we win the next three. Assuming we lose at least one, it will be very interesting to see if it's due to Vad's lack of understanding of the offense (e.g., will he continue to make reads slightly too slow) or if it'll be some combination of other things, which I think is most likely. You have to believe UNC, VT, and/or Miami have tricks up their sleeves that could sway a game 7 points if we're caught off guard. The same could also be said for us (e.g., has Golden broken one in the return game yet?) that could compensate and further hide deficiencies elsewhere in our team's ability to execute.
     
  9. cyptomcat

    cyptomcat Helluva Engineer

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    IMO you are over thinking it.
     
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  10. dressedcheeseside

    dressedcheeseside Helluva Engineer

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    The kid is still just a RS soph. Think about how good he'll be as a 5th yr senior. Unreal!
     
  11. vamosjackets

    vamosjackets GT Athlete Featured Member

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    Great points. I think Vad is helped immeasurably by the experience from last year. That was one of the better handlings of letting the senior QB lead while getting the more talented backups good experience for the future. That is already paying dividends this year.
     
  12. vamosjackets

    vamosjackets GT Athlete Featured Member

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    I think we do want our QB completely dedicated to the magic of the option game. The thing is, when things break down or when he sees that crease or when we need him to put us on his back on a last minute drive, his natural ability and instinct will always be there. You can't get rid of that even when you add that mental dedication to option football. Put them both together and you get Joe Hamilton. He had a lot of natural ability, but it was his total immersion into all things Ralph Friedgen that made him the best in college football when he was a senior. Michael Vick was otherworldly gifted and that produced a lot of success and wins, but there was never that meshing of his ability with total immersion into a ridiculously proficient QB like Joe.
     
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  13. vamosjackets

    vamosjackets GT Athlete Featured Member

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    Yep.
     
  14. vamosjackets

    vamosjackets GT Athlete Featured Member

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    I tend to do that. I'm thankful for message boards, because my wife sure wouldn't understand it.
     
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  15. cyptomcat

    cyptomcat Helluva Engineer

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    He will be eligible for NFL after this season. There is no way he progresses enough this season to be a draft pick, but it will be interesting to see where he stands after 2014. Good thing we got JT waiting.
     
  16. GTBandit22

    GTBandit22 Helluva Engineer

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    I agree.
    After rewatching the Duke game, it is apparent that our base isn't humming yet. Vad gets too wide on the counter option, and we didn't run enough triple to get a good read on it. The diamond gashed them, but we had to work hard to get yardage with the base offense. Part of that was due to Duke's defense, but I recommend everyone go back and watch the game. The spread wasn't nearly as effective as the diamond.
    It doesn't matter against Duke, but as you said, when the competition gets tougher, reads in the base will be the difference between keeping drives alive and punting. And as PJ said in the call in show, when you get behind them, you have to finish. The dukes of the world will give you multiple chances, but good teams will not. We left about 3 or 4 TDs on the field.
    That being said, I'm more excited for the next couple of years of GT football. We are going to be (even more) hell for defensive coaches and players.
     
  17. IronJacket7

    IronJacket7 Helluva Engineer

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    Another difference is having a QB that has a knack for passing. Which looks like we got one if not two of those.
     
  18. heeled soul

    heeled soul Jolly Good Fellow

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    i wish UNC got vad. can't remember exactly how it played out but i think vad (being from durham) wanted the UNC offer. everett golson committed and then spurned us for ND, and then we chased after marquise williams instead of vad who probably would run the fed spread offense very well. and then i won't be this nervous about facing GT this weekend.
     
  19. heeled soul

    heeled soul Jolly Good Fellow

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    hope i didnt come off as saying that vad was ours if we wanted him. just because he wanted the offer, it doesnt mean we wouldve automatically landed him. obviously, he's made a fine choice and done well for himself so far in atl.
     
  20. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne Helluva Engineer Featured Member

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    Heeled soul, just curious but what's your connection with Tech?

    That is, I get the impression that you are first and foremost a UNC fan (duh!) but are also a fan of Tech either partly or seriously, as in "as long as they don't play UNC" you root for them.

    Just curious. I have no problem with fans of other teams being a part of the site and sharing their insight so thanks for joining us. I like that actually.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013

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