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Mailbag 3/31

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In which we discuss optimism versus pessimism.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Should we panic? The AJC said Coach wasn't too thrilled with the scrimmage results and not impressed with the B-back performance? To be expected?

Anybody remember last year's spring game? It was a rainy and miserable day and Tech's offense played miserably. I think that turned out perfectly fine.

It's one of the first scrimmages of the Spring, so it is definitely nothing to be concerned about. Everybody (especially those who don't have any game snaps) is going to be a little rusty.

Who do you think will be elected team captains this year?

One thing that I don't think will happen again is what happened this past year, when Justin Thomas (not a senior, obviously) was elected by his teammates as a captain. I think he'll be a captain again this season, but he'll be the only non-senior.

In addition to Thomas, I think Tech will add a guy on offense and one on defense.

On offense, Tech has a few seniors who could be captains: Broderick Snoddy, Trey Braun and Brian Chamberlain. Given those options, I think Snoddy would be elected, though redshirt junior Freddie Burden could easily be a darkhorse candidate for the spot.

On defense, this is a little harder. Jamal Golden, DJ White and Adam Gotsis are all seniors this year, so it will definitely come down to them. And personally, I think each of them would do a fantastic job. If I absolutely had to pick one, though, I'd have to go with the psychic Jamal Golden. He was one of the team's most vocal leaders the last year and figures to serve in that role again this year.

Who do you think will be the sleeper offensive and defensive players for 2015?

On offense, I see two guys that are sleepers of sorts: A-back Qua Searcy and B-back Quaide Weimerskirch. Searcy was named by our very own Edmund Coley as a possibility to be the "next Smelter" in coming from nothing to being one of the best players on the team. I completely agree. Tech likes to shuffle A-backs, so Searcy should get plenty of playing time behind Broderick Snoddy and Dennis Andrews.

I elected to go with Quaide over CJ Leggett as my other offensive sleeper because Leggett is expected to start, so I don't consider him to be a sleeper. I think they'll both receive plenty of playing time this season.

As for the defense, I'm going to go with Lynn Griffin. I've been a big fan of Griffin for a while now, but he's gotten buried on the depth chart. He's finally getting a chance now in the nickel with Demond Smith and Domonique Noble moving away from the spot. If he can win that spot, he will do well to prove that he deserves it.

When will we get the actual, real, objective, factual, genuine, literal, existent weights of players like JHD, Whitehead, Freeman, Simmons, and others?

Unless they go to the combine, we probably won't. The way that I have heard they get their heights/weights for the site is that they're done when the player first gets to campus and then estimated as they progress throughout college. However they do it, it's dumb. For what it's worth, I've heard reports that Hunt-Days is up to around 300 for those worried about him being too light.

Will the Jackets beat uga in Athens and/or Ga State in Panthersville?

That all depends on which version of Beesball we get. I have no doubt that we can we can beat both of them, but we've had offensive struggles since Kel Johnson's injury. We need to show that he's not our entire offense. If we can get some more offense out of the rest of our lineup, I think we have a legitimate chance to win both games.

What's the Spring version of Fireball?

Are we not having Fireball again?

Who ya got in the Final Four?

I'll take Kentucky and Duke in the championship game with Duke winning the whole thing. The reason? In my coin flip bracket, the only team I have left is Duke and they just happen to be my champions.

Now why Kentucky? Other than being virtually unstoppable so far, I want to bring up two games they've played semi-recently: uga and Notre Dame. Tech beat uga and took Notre Dame to double overtime. Kentucky had their fair share of problems with both of them, so for Kentucky to make it to the championship game would only make Tech look better.

I think the amount of talent we return next year -- a strong experienced secondary, a fairly strong linebacker corps, and what I hope will be an absolutely RIDICULOUS defensive front (Rook-Chungong/Whitehead, JHD, "The Menace of Melbourne," and Freeman). Do you think that is on point? Or am I being too optimistic?

There are a couple things I want to say regarding your question prior to my answer. First, I don't foresee Whitehead being a contender for the SDE spot. I think that will be involving Rook-Chungong, Tyler Merriweather and Anree Saint-Amour. Second, Gotsis' nickname is "The Thunder from Down Under." Forgive me for giving you a hard time :D and now, I'll actually answer the question.

I really don't think you're being too optimistic. I'm the exact same way. I have made it very clear that I have high hopes for the defense this season. The key will be the defensive line though. Simply put, they have to get pressure on the quarterback. It doesn't matter how good our secondary is, if the D-line doesn't get pressure, the quarterback will find someone open.

Special teams tackling was not a strong point last season. Who in the 2015 class is going to make the roster and shine on Kickoff and Punt team coverage and push back the starting line of scrimmage of our opponent?

I completely agree here. Our special teams tackling and blocking were both atrocious last season, and that hurt us a lot. For people in this class to keep an eye out for, I would say watch out for any of the linebacker commits we have. They're all really good and could easily find their way onto the field this season through special teams.