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Mailbag 12/3

This week's mailbag involves a whole lot of football questions. Surprising, right?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Recruits at game? Their Tweets/FB post game? Did the game hurt recruiting efforts?

There were a TON of them. They actually sit a little bit to my left in the stands, it was a full section for this game. As much as the game didn't turn out how we wanted it to, it didn't hurt our impression on them. They saw us play a very talented uga team and nearly beat them, and saw us do it in an amazing environment. A lot of them had really positive things to say about the game...

OL Commit Gary Brown

LB Commit Terrell Lewis

Dead Week/Finals? I'm not sure about timing now, I was Quarter System.

Currently Dead Week. Finals week approaches...

Nashvegas at New Years. Are you excited? Will the team be excited, or will this be Roadys Bowl in Boise/Emerald Bowl in SF disheartening to the boys?

If I had the chance to go, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'll be graduating in about 10 days and then won't start work until the beginning of February, and in that time probably won't have the ability to go to the bowl game. That said, I love Nashville and would be there in a heartbeat if I could be.

Hoops. WTF? I usually don't pay much attention in Nov/ Dec, but again, WTF?

Article is coming at some point this week talking about it. Illinois tonight may not be pretty.

Are you in the Holiday Spirit yet, or do we ALL need time post COFH, and lots of Eggnog, to get Spirited again?

It never feels like the Holiday Season when you're in the midst of finals and everything. It's only once I get home and can relax and see all the decorations that it starts to set in.

The breakdown/analysis of the Malzhan merge, where there are truly Triple Options for the QB/RB merge-all looking identical to the D until the ball moves- was fascinating. The Tahde D often looked a step slow on adjusting to the merge, and it certainly has the excitement level of CPJ'S System when it's clicking (see Orwin v Kansas). Can CPJ adopt this, or is it all player quality that makes Malzahn's system click?

You're right, they're very similar systems that are just run from a different set. I think if he wanted to, CPJ could adopt this quite easily. (Not much really changes from what we do now, to be honest.) However, I don't think he wants to, and that's why we won't see too much of it while he's our coach.

Project next year's starting offense and defense for Tech. I know that we have players in this year's recruiting class who, if they stick with their commitment, might have immediate impact, so please include them if you think they might be a factor. Anyway, I ask the question because at this point it appears that Tech will have even more questions marks than they had before the start of this season but Tech also might have more potential upside. Tell us what you think. Clearly I will pull like crazy for Tech in their bowl game this year but for all intents and purposes, this season is over and a disappointment.

Interesting question. Let's see...

Position - First, Second

QB - Lee, Thomas (Thomas may be a better QB by this point, but Lee will still be the leader of the team.)
BB - Laskey, Custis
AB - Days, Perkins
AB - Andrews, Zenon
WR - Smelter, Summers
WR - Waller, Jeune
OT - C. Griffin, Chamberlain
OG - Mason, Brigham
C - Burden, O'Reilly
OG - Devine, Joe
OT - Roberts, Braun

DE - Stargel, Williams
DT - Kallon, Akins
NT - Gotsis, Kitchen
DE - Robbins, Gamble
SLB - Harrell, Marcordes
MLB - Hunt-Days, Hankins
WLB - Nealy, Davis
CB - White, L. Griffin
CB - Noble, Marvin
S - Johnson, Milton
S - Golden, D. Smith

Our senior class this year isn't huge, but does have Sims, Godhigh, Beno, Jackson, & Finch (5 offensive starters), as well as Jerry, Dieke, Cummings, Watts, Thomas, and Young (6 defensive starters). So we're basically replacing half of our starters next year overall. Not necessarily encouraging in what could be a "contract" season for CPJ. That said, some of the new recruits getting to school could make it onto the field early. It's looking like we might get 4-5 early enrollees, which will be huge.

My biggest concern is, and has been for at least 5 years is the DL. Pelton looks solid, if we can keep him. Our guys gave great effort this year, but we had little depth....quality depth, and it cost us in several games not just against UGA. If we could have stopped VT late in the game, that was one that was winnable. Big difference in our year. What do you think we have to do to get some of these big " war daddies " to come to GT? It's the missing link, IMO.

I'm with you, I like Pelton a lot. He's gotten a lot out of his guys this year, who have been average at best for their careers to date. I think the best thing we can do to get the big D-Linemen to come is to preach playing time, except that goes against everything CPJ believes in recruiting. Part of the reason we have smallish recruiting classes is because so many of our players get redshirted and stay here for 5 seasons. To promise a guy immediate playing time would be a) lying, or b) a change in philosophy. Also, Paul's not much for blowing smoke where the sun don't shine for recruits. All that being said, I don't know that we necessarily need the big "War Daddies" to be successful in our current system. With the 3-4? Absolutely, and that's part of the reason it failed. However, the 4-3 can use more average-sized linemen and still be a force.

Does blowing a 20 point lead to our hated rival finally get CPJ canned?? If we are going to make the move we need to this offseason cuz we have a QB who could play spread or pro I believe. And before you talk about the money I don't wanna hear cuz CFB is one of if not the highest grossing sport for colleges now and we really need someone who can take us to the next level!

No. Next Question.

what is your thought on the OL now that the season has completed? granted, I didn't watch every game, but I really thought the OL was atrocious at times this year. missed assignments and the failure to get blocks down seemed to rear its ugly head quite a bit. Sewak is quite experienced and has coached really good lines. Was this experience related? Injury related? I'm a casual observer as a Navy-first guy, so I don't know the whole story.

It was certainly pretty bad this year, and can be attributed to a couple of things. We suffered a lot of injuries seemingly all season on the offensive line, but then the guys who came in seem capable but weren't coached very well. So it's a depth issue, but the question is whether or not depth should be an issue, and from there why it's an issue.

Andrew's older brother, Anthony Williams, plays defensive end for Georgia Tech, but he's not really considering joining him on the Yellow Jackets. Said Andrew, "The defensive line doesn't really rotate at all. That's what hurt them against Georgia."

Yeah, that's pretty untrue. Anthony doesn't get to see the field much, but it's not a rotation issue. He's got some mental block keeping him from hitting his potential, be it laziness or a lack of confidence or whatever else. It's a shame too, because he's got a TON of potential. But as mentioned by packerman, there's a good chance that he's poisoned the well and we won't be getting Andrew Williams regardless.

How do we address the serious drop in performance of our system against large, athletic Defensive lines? This is a long term problem that seems to be system based and seems to come to haunt us against VPI, UGA, and usually in bowl games.

There comes a point where your technique can be perfect and you can do everything right, but still get walked all over because the other guy has plan ol' size over you. That said, we've pulled in larger O-Line players the last couple of years. Look at Shaq Mason -- listed 6'1", 305lbs. Might be bigger. Look at Devine -- 6'6", 350lbs. Chris Griffin is listed at 6'6", 265lbs as a recruit, but that also was while he was wrestling. He'll be close to 300lbs by fall camp, at the very least. It'll get better as these guys make it onto the field more, in my opinion.

What is being done with recruiting to address the lack of Dwyer/ Allen style B backs that seem to be the key to our offense?

Travis Custis, and ideally Shai McKenzie, will remedy that situation.

The defense seems to be on the right track, but how badly will the loss of Attouchu and Thomas impact us next year-should we expect a drop off until Roof's recruits get in place?

Attaochu won't be felt as much as we think it will a lot of times with Tyler Stargel behind him, who the staff likes a lot. Thomas will be different though, given he was the major playmaker in the backfield. His loss will be eased by the returns of Isaiah Johnson and Jamal Golden, both of whom have a similar playmaking ability.

I thought Vad started showing some improvement against Clemson, and he had a great game against dwags. I haven't looked at stats or re-watched the games. Is there tangible evidence to show that some lights are coming on for Vad? The bowl game may clear this up, but I thought he had his best game this past Saturday, despite the critical interception.

Vad has this weird thing where he plays really well when in the spotlight, which may have had something to do with Saturday. I'm with you though, I noticed a few missed reads and there were a couple of passes he missed on, but overall I thought he played a very good game. Will be interesting to see what he does in the Bowl game.