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Spring Practice Q&A Session -- Your Questions, Our Answers

Last Friday, you asked questions about our football team as spring practice commences. Today, the staff "expert" answers your questions as best as he knows how.

Not a guy I'd want running at me in a dark alley.
Not a guy I'd want running at me in a dark alley.
Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

"Can you let us know if CPJ prefers Fish Fry or ManBoobs while talking high school offenses on the AJC message boards?" - Slimdog

Personally, I have no response to this, although our very own TBuzz came up with what we all deemed to be an acceptable response, claiming the favorite to be "Coach Boobs McFish Fry". Please join me in immaturity as we point and laugh at such a silly name -- because seriously, it's pretty funny. Props, TBuzz.

"What positions could [Coach Johnson] envision having to play a true Freshman?" - TBuzz

The nice thing about the state of our program is that our depth puts us in a place where it's highly unlikely that there will be a situation where Coach "has" to play a true freshman. The one position that we're highly likely to see a true freshman on the field is Kicker, which would be handled by Harrison Butker (this one shouldn't take much explanation). As far as other positions where true freshmen getting playing time is possible, I can see one of the defensive linemen (Justin Akins, Darius Commissiong, Kevin Robbins) getting time, as well as John Marvin at strong safety (pending the return of Fred Holton) ,Ricky Jeune at wide receiver, and Shamire Devine (who could see some second-string duty at offensive guard).

"I am up in Ohio, getting my Master’s Degree, and will not be able to make it for the spring Friday Night Lights on the Flats. Is anyone going to record this and put it up on YouTube or something? I would like to see it or at least a highlight reel of some sort." - Ramblnwrek

I would expect the Athletic Department to stream it online if nothing else, and there's a good chance it's on ESPN3 or something. It could possibly end up on YouTube. There's nothing we as writers can do though, unfortunately.

"Coach, for several years is seems that the defense with few exceptions has had trouble stopping others teams. What do you think it would take for this defense to quit being a nerve racking adventure for the fans to watch and actually become a highlight and strength?" - Atlanta's original team

A couple days ago, someone (TBuzz maybe?) made a comment alluding to the fact that in CPJ's tenure, every time they've simplified the defense and taken "thinking" out of the equation to make room for "playing", things have gotten better defensively. I think this is going to have to be Ted Roof's focus. These guys are not pros, and don't have weeks and months on end to spend figuring out their role in a defensive scheme. What they are, though, are highly gifted athletes with more-or-less reliable instincts. Keep things simple and just let the guys "play fast", and things will look better than the past few years immediately.

"Will we see a more consistent and developed passing attack and become more balanced offensively?

With the implementation of the 4-3 defense other than Attaochu who are the other players that we can expect to see position changes and how will this impact depth?

With the Oregon's and Maryland's of the world going away from traditions, can we see the return of Tech's traditional uniforms in order to make them the standard and brand of Tech?" - Atllove

I think our offense will be more balanced this year than we've ever seen it under Coach Johnson. His philosophy has always been "If we can throw the ball well, we'll throw it more" -- which explains the reason we haven't thrown it much since he's been here. However, with our talent at QB and WR we should see more passing than we're used to. (For reference, Washington and Lee combined for almost one pass attempt for every four carries the team had.)

One of the interesting areas where the scheme change will be visible is with the safeties. Al Groh went with more of a "left safety, right safety" concept, where Roof will go back to the "free safety, strong safety" concept. (For those unfamiliar with those, the free safety is more considered the "center fielder", where the strong safety's more or less a really fast, smaller linebacker who can cover in the mid-range and move up into the box when necessary.)

Lord, thank God Nate didn't ask Coach Johnson this. CPJ doesn't seem like the type who is interested in the current trends in football, considering his no-nonsense attitude and offense that's been nearly extinct for 20 years. I have no idea what will happen with uniforms, but I'd expect last year wasn't some outlier -- those jerseys will be used for a few years.

"1) Will CPJ handle both QB and BB during spring practice?

2) When will a replacement be hired?

3) Will the replacement do QB and BB, or will the job change?

4) What attributes is CPJ looking for in the replacement?" - Dive Keep and Pitch

1) Yup.

2) Unclear, ideally by the end of April so that he can have an impact on summer recruitment.

3) This is also unclear. Any position coach has flexibility to coach a variety of units, so it'll all depend on how the new coach fits in with the staff, and basically a determination of where the resources are best allocated.

4) I don't know that much has been said. His last few hires would indicate that he wants someone who can bring a lot to the table in the recruiting game. My guess is he would like someone young and charismatic to maximize on ability to connect with kids as the recruiting rules change and social media receives more emphasis. That's just me though, for all I know he might want Al Groh back.

"Will there be any open practices this spring?" - The_GT_LineageX11

Highly doubtful. I believe this was a thing in Johnson's first year or two on the job, but I don't think it's happened since I've been at school. Saturday scrimmages may be open to the public, but other than that we won't know too much of what's going on on the inside until the Spring Game.

"1. Why do you think defenses struggle so much to contain the QB keeper at the goal line?

2. Do you envision Francis Kallon as a DE or DT?

3. What has Bobinski said about potential changes to the program?

4. Who are the top 3 guys on the team you’d least like to see running toward you full speed?" - fava08

1. I really think that it abuses the defense in the sense that they can't pin their ears back and attack the middle for fear of getting outflanked on a toss sweep, but at the same time their hesitation allows the O-Line a second to set up an opening that the QB only needs a second to get through. Also helps a lot that the O-Line knows where things are headed, while the D-Line is left guessing.

2. On the website he's listed at 289 pounds, which to me indicates a defensive tackle spot. Combine that with his almost nonexistent experience, and if he doesn't get any lighter there's no reason to think he'll be used on the outside at defensive end -- they'll take advantage of his pure athleticism and make his assignments as simple as possible.

3. Hardly anything, he's still acting as the AD at Xavier until he takes over at Tech on April 1 and hasn't made any statements concerning Tech's athletics since his introductory press conference, as far as I've heard. One of his major focuses in his press conference was the public image of Tech -- things like getting the fans in the seats and establishing a solid brand for our athletics, so that's the type of things where I expect to see immediate movements.

4. Jabari Hunt-Days, Brandon Watts, Robbie Godhigh. The two linebackers are hard-hitting and FIERCE, and yet look like pansies compared to Godhigh -- dude is MEAN.

Hopefully this provided some a lot of insights on the program as we move into spring practice. We'll look to do this again in a couple weeks as we near the Spring Game.