Every season, College Football News unveils a countdown to kickoff featuring previews of every single team in college football. Bud Elliot of Tomahawk Nation proposed that the ACC Roundtable Members review and critique the Preview. As far as I know Boston College, Maryland, and FSU are the only reviews up thus far so check them out if you're interested. Here's FTRS' assessment of the CFN preview of Georgia Tech:
2010 GT Offense Preview
2010 GT Defense Preview
2010 GT Depth Chart
The whole piece was written by Scout's Richard Cirminiello and upon first glance he's definitely done his homework citing Tech's mass exodus of Draft picks, Al Groh's hire, and Cooper Taylor's heart condition. Richard states that the play of our defensive ends will determine a successful season and I heartily agree. With the loss of Robert Hall, our DL is looking rough. I'm hoping some guys step up in big ways next season. As far as the introduction goes, I'd see he hit Georgia Tech's nail on the head. He didn't really mention much of lack of receiver experience (probably our weakest position depth-wise) and he didn't really mention the transfer of Jaybo leaving our QB depth about as shallow as it has ever been.
First review of the CFN offensive preview shows Richard's knowledge of Josh Nesbitt's importance to the offense. He lists Nesbitt as our best offensive player but questions the depth behind Nesbitt. I agree here. Our depth is definitely questionable but in times of need from 2008-2009, Jaybo readily stepped up. I think our backups now are much more gifted physically than Jaybo and should give us less jitters when a backup goes under center.
Concerning running backs, Richard and the rest of the country knows who Anthony Allen is. And right now, I'm not ready to pencil Roddy in as the feature A-back either. Everyone cites his yards per carry in all of these previews but every Tech A-back in this offense has high YPC. I have a feeling Marcus Wright or B.J. Bostic or someone else less publicized will pleasantly surprise the Tech fan base.
Weakness: Depth at B-back. Okay, so Allen is established as the feature back, who has his back? While Lyons filled in nicely last season, he’s not the heir apparent, and Cox is a glorified blocking back. With Allen in his final season, the Yellow Jackets might want to dedicate some of this year to developing his successor.
Weaknesses? Depth at B-back? I don't think so. The weakness for this offense has been pass catching. We need A-backs to be competent receivers. Since 2008, we've yet to see a serviceable receiver at A-back. The quarterback needs options in the passing game and this is the biggest question mark, to me, amongst the running backs. A problem I've noticed with a lot of previews is how little importance they put on our passing game. Tech relied heavily on Bay Bay last season to make big plays as defenses keyed in on stopping the run. Tech will need our receivers to make plays blocking and receiving downfield this season to replicate the success we had last season. I'm not worried about backfield depth or defenses "catching on" to our schemes. It's a matter of talent stepping up when given the opportunity.
Richard's preview really gets to the point when attacks our weaknesses:
Weakness: The pass rush. With Morgan goes 12.5 sacks and at least that many pressures. After him, there isn’t a returning end that had more than one sack last season, a situation complicated by Hall’s off-field problems. If Cross and Peters don’t deliver, it’ll force the defensive staff to blitz more that it’d like.
Last season, it felt like our pass rush had eroded with the departure of MJ and Company. Derrick Morgan was there but if he was triple teamed, the opposing team passed or ran at will against us. And I think the inclusion of our deep linebacker corps will aid in the pass rush. But according to Richard, the linebackers are on par with our defensive line, which I strongly disagree with.
Weakness: Sure-things on the outside. While the inside linebackers will be in good shape, there’s a degree of uncertainty on the outside that’ll need to be addressed before the opener. Egbuniwe has spent much of his career at defensive end and Barnes has been a disappointment, which provides little margin for error.
Concerning the secondary, it looks like Richard didn't attend any of our spring games and see that there have been several moves in the secondary. He lists Jerrard Tarrant at cornerback and states Cooper Taylor is the starter at safety despite practice reports to the contrary. I strongly agree with this statement from Richard:
Outlook: Although there’s a fair amount of talent and athleticism in the defensive backfield, will it be parlayed into improved result? It’s a quest this defense has been working on since the end of the Orange Bowl. Even if the Burnett-Taylor dynamic winds up being a wash, improved play and tighter coverage is going to be needed from the rest of the holdovers.
Richard Cirminiello's looks very similar to the depth charts provided by Ted and Barrel o' Rum so I'm gonna give him mad props for doing his research. There's no telling what's going to shake down on offensive line with the massive amount of Spring injuries we had but it should be a big merry-go-round-esque rotation out there as we expect from CPJ.
I give Richard's preview an A-. He obviously did a ton of work researching our team if he's not a Georgia Tech or Atlanta sports fan. He knew the intricate details of all our injuries and key players. He only really messed up on depth charts and minor position changes, which is excusable in the offseason. What do you all think of the CFN Preview?