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Monday Mailbag 8/25

We're starting the Mailbag feature back up with a bang this week! Oh, and happy game week!

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Looking at the schedule I do not see any games we can’t win if we play the way we are supposed to. Do you think we can replicate or come close to the 09 season if we get off to a fast start and JT is who we think he is?

I would completely agree. If Georgia Tech can win their first 5 games, then they'll win the next 5, if you ask me. That's attainable too. The first three should see the Yellow Jackets favored. Virginia Tech can't keep pulling ridiculous wins out of their hind quarters. Miami will be playing us in Atlanta, after we've had a bye week. If Tech can win all five of those, they should win every game up until Clemson. Just my opinion though.

I've heard rumors from former players under CPJ that team morale has been dropping over previous seasons and there’s growing dissent about the coaching staff…. not aided by our massive amount of attrition this offseason. However, from Twitter and (coach speak) interviews, team morale seems to be higher this season than I ever remember noticing it. Are players tired of the staff and system after several average seasons? Or is this still a coaching staff and scheme everyone is totally bought in to?

I can definitely see where morale would have taken a shot this off season with all the attrition, especially knowing that guys like Anthony Williams and Jimmie Kitchen were guys a lot of players seemed to like. I'd also say it's tough on a team to be as close as they were last year to 9-10 wins, only to have it slip away. I would say, however, that there are a lot of signs out there of the team being totally bought in. It seems like the amount of work they put in during the off season only grows each year, and that includes the weight room, 7-on-7 drills, watching film, and so on. Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but I'd say that the players wouldn't be volunteering to work as hard if they didn't like each other or didn't believe in the coaches and system. Remember this video? Notice Coach Johnson's smile grin when the ball goes through. Notice the team celebrating together and messing with each other. Notice Synjyn Days' proclamation that they're headed to the ACC Championship Game. Maybe that video was just that one instance on that one day, but that doesn't look like a team low on morale to me.

Who is your favorite player on the team this year?

Aside from my fellow Collins Hill HS alum Charles Perkins? I like Synjyn Days a lot -- he seems like a guy who always has fun with what he's doing. Trey Braun also seems like a really fun dude who performs at a high level. I like Quayshawn Nealy, both as a linebacker and a leader.

I guess the answer is that it's hard to pick a favorite. I like a lot of guys for a lot of reasons.

What is your favorite Atlanta restaurant? If it’s not Fox Bros. Barbeque or Taqueria Del Sol, you’re wrong.

Oh, please. Like you can ever go wrong with the Vortex. Taqueria del Sol is also a winner though.

Reportedly Roderick Rook-Chungong has overtaken KeShun Freeman on the depth chart at WDE. Is this because of a strong showing by Chungong, or were the chinks in Freeman’s game exposed and he fell back to the pack?

I think it's just seniority, unless the Freeman hype coming out of fall camp was just a big conspiracy. (I'm just guessing it wasn't.) I think they're different players with different strong suits. Chungong is bigger and will be better at stopping the run, while Freeman will likely be better getting to a passer. You'll probably see them trade off depending on the situation.

What’s your favorite breakfast drink for tailgating?

I make a mean mimosa with orange-pineapple juice. Also love a good screwdriver, and when the weather's right a Blue Moon is perfect.

If Tech is down 6 points with 2 minutes to go in the VT game, and they get the ball on their own 25 yard line, do you think Tech could successfully execute a game winning, clock killing drive and why do you feel this way?

This is going to be a terrible answer. I can't really say. I think it would have a lot to do with the history leading up to that point in the game. Did VPI just overtake us? Did we pull within 6 and force them to go 3-and-out? Have we not had a first down since halftime? Now, as to whether the team is capable of it, I'd say so. The wide receivers and A-Backs have the skill sets we'd need to have a methodical drive of quick passes down the field. I also think that Laskey will play a bit more of a role in this situation than we're used to given his athleticism and speed. If Paul Johnson can catch the defense leaning, he'll hand it to Laskey for what could be a cheap first down. Also, up-tempo stuff has been a focus this off season, though in the form of our normal offense instead of pistol/diamond nonsense.

How the summer in Houston? Is it as insanely hot there as it is on this side of the Mississippi?

Yeah, pretty miserable if you ask me. Constant heat and humidity, on a slightly higher level than Atlanta. The only noticeable difference is that Atlanta gets an occasional break of a few days where it dips into the low 80s or upper 70s. I'm not sure I've seen Houston below 85 degrees at 10 a.m. in months. The worst part is that all of the long-time residents down here talk about how mild of a year it's been. Somebody please come save me.

I had a dream last night. Tech surprised everyone by playing the VT game as the opener instead of Wofford. We were wearing the throwback unis from last year, too. Further, we were up 20-6 towards the end of the first half. Do you think this is a sign that Tech will coast through the first three games and not face any real adversity until the VT game? Should I quit my day job and become a psychic?

I would only recommend quitting your day job in favor of being a psychic if you're looking for more of a "gypsy" lifestyle. Also, I'll be impressed if we put 20 on VPI before halftime given that Paul Johnson has never scored more than 28 against them.

What's your recommendation for this year's 'hype song'? 2009 had All the Way Turnt up, 2010 tried to make Trippy Mane (?) work, and then nothing really stuck for 11,12,13.

Man. We should have never dropped Roscoe Dash and "All the Way Turnt Up". (Especially with how accurately it describes the Greek part of the student section during games.) I'm personally a fan of Macklemore's "Can't Hold Us", Lil Jon's "Turn Down for What", and you can never go wrong with Guns 'n' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle".

The other one that I've been asking for for years now, at least to be the "run out of the tunnel" song, is The White Stripes' "Icky Thump". A bit of a weird song by a bit of a weird band, but you know what? We're a bit of a weird school, and that song has a major hype feel to it. (Or at least it does for me.) Just imagine the players in the tunnel, waiting to run out and play, listening to all the students above stomping on the bleachers in unison with the drums...

If it were me, I'd be pretty pumped. Just saying.

In light of CJ Leggett’s recent injuries, how screwed are we at B-Back if Laskey gets hurt? Are you confident enough in Matt Connors’ limited game experience that we wouldn’t be totally screwed?

First off, Leggett isn't hurt bad enough to where he can't play right now. Even if he sat out of the most recent scrimmage (can't remember whether or not he did), he's able to play in a real game if needed. That said, without him or Laskey I don't think we would be screwed. Connors is in his fifth year in the system and knows what he's doing at the very least. He wouldn't be a gamebreaking type of running back, but you can trust that he wouldn't screw anything up. It may require an alteration of how we attack offensively though. Also, Synjyn Days is looking like he'll be trading time between A-Back and B-Back, so he's also going to play a role at the position too. I'd imagine that he's somewhat raw on the details of the position, but with his experience as a QB, his transition will be quick enough for him to be able to contribute there.

How badly is Leggett hurt and how is he progressing in recovery?

He's hurt badly enough to not participate in a couple of preseason practices. Which is basically to say that he's not hurt badly at all. He'll be fine.

Who has the funiest sense of humor on this site?

I can't say for sure, but I do think that Carter's pretty hilarious.

What do the other staff writers call Joey behind his back (besides awesome)?

This is a good one for Nate to answer.

Joey is many things to many people. To some (me), he's a little brother (hence the "LilBroey700" moniker, I think), to others (my old roommate's heinous ex-girlfriend) he's "Joester Toaster." But to the writers on this blog, he's like Bill Lumbergh with better hair and less suspenders!

No seriously, Joey's a great "boss," and a fantastic manager. We honestly don't get a chance to talk about him behind his back because the only way we communicate is through the blog-wide email list, but if we did we'd say "Gee, I really like that Joey kid. He sure does know how to write and drink kool-aid!"

Awwww. Someone's getting a raise!

Do you think Tech has finally gotten rid of its bad karma? Its bad mojo? Its voodoo curse? Its bad luck?

Lord, I sure hope so. I'm ready for the ball to start bouncing our way again. Hopefully some of these younger players brought some better vibes with them.

In light of the additional two years’ probation we just received, is Dan Radakovich the biggest d-bag AD we’ve ever had or does Braine still hold that spot?

I'm not happy with Radakovich, but it takes someone truly special to draw up the contract that Paul Hewitt had. My goodness gracious, Dave Braine, what were you thinking?

How many registered FTRS members are there and who has the most posts? (We all know who has the longest posts, haha.) What percentage of the registered members are active (however that’s defined) and who are the oldest (on FTRS, not IRL) active members? What was the highest number of members online at the same time and how many hits do you average (pick your timeframe)? How does that compare to other SBN (ACC and other) websites (ranking, etc.)? I could go on but you get the idea. I find this type of info quite fascinating. It would be interesting to conduct a survey of FTRS members too.

Some of these questions I can answer, some of them I can't -- just due to what data I have access to. But here's what I can find for you...

  • As of Sunday evening, we have 1,797 that are subscribed to this blog. As for who has the most comments, I have no idea. I have guesses, but I also have a bit of a slanted view given the time I've spent here versus the full life of the site.
  • As far as active users, if you mean how often they log in and check out what's up, I would guess at least 25% of that 1,800 are at least checking in every couple of weeks, even without logging in. For who comments at least once a month, I would guess it's somewhere between 50 and 60 individuals.
  • I have no clue how many are on at one time or how many have been on at peak traffic points (members-wise), but I've seen real-time stats that showed over 100 people on the site at times, such as when Vad announced he was transferring. For page views, July saw a little over 100,000 page views from over 20,000 individuals. (I actually think that was our first 100,000 page view month ever!) That means that there were over 100,000 occasions during the month that someone looked at one of our articles, our home page, one of our resources, etc.
  • Believe it or not, that's actually pretty low for other SBN College sites, and enormously low compared to NFL and MLB sites. For comparison, our count of page views was 13th out of 15 ACC blogs in July. The top three were Tomahawk Nation, Duke Basketball Report, and Card Chronicle, each of which had over 10 times the traffic this site had. Only Duke Basketball Report had fewer unique individuals look at their site than we had total clicks.

Thanks for everyone's great questions! We'll be back next week to talk about some actual football after the Wofford game!