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Mailbag 11/9

Turkey or ham?

Denver Post Archives Denver Post via Getty Images

gtbadcarma: Pulls/strains/sprains are “strange” injuries as when it comes to sports. It seems the less a player wants to be on the field the more those injuries fester and the longer, if ever, it takes to heal. (plenty of athletes play with the pain) The last two weeks we have heard basically a game time decision if Simms would play. What is your take on the Simms injury? Are you getting the feeling Tech may not have him on the field again (Simms decides to hit the portal instead of playing again), or do you feel the staff is being overly cautious, or do you feel its nothing more than the injury.

Ben: Sprains are stubborn injuries. You can think you’re fine, and then maybe hit it wrong, and you’ve reaggravated it. At this point, Pyron is playing very well, so there’s no reason to play Sims until he’s fully healthy.

Chris: I think they’re definitely tricky injuries, especially when the injured player in question is a dynamic QB - it’s a lot harder to play through the pain in a position like that, and the downsides of your main offensive weapon playing at 80% as opposed to a player/position with possibly less responsibility doing so are much more prominent. At this point I think Pyron has shown that he can be very good so there’s no reason to rush Sims back. I’m still wary of burning Pyron’s redshirt if we’re not in a position to fight for a bowl, but I’m not exactly dying to have Sims back on the field. As far as how the staff is thinking about it, I obviously have no idea. If I had to guess they’re just going with the hot hand.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: #Team Daylight Savings Time (year round) or #Team Spring Ahead/Fall Back andHow would this impact CFB (really all sports).

Ben: I got home around 6:00 last night, and it was already dark. I’m not a big fan of that, and it’s only going to get worse over the next month and a half until we hit the winter solstice. I have also been more tired the last few days than I normally am. Give me permanent DST and don’t flip back and forth.

Chris: Hello from Boston where it gets dark at 4:30pm now!

Jake: It means if I bike to work here in Atlanta, it is quite dark by the time I’m headed home. Strong dislike for that, given Atlanta’s predilection for making bikers feel very unwelcome on the roads, to put it nicely.

thebugman10: Do you sit Pyron for one of the remaining games in order to preserve his redshirt? Which game? Does Sims returning/not returning affect your choice? Do bowl games count against you?

Ben: I think it depends on how the next two games go. If Tech beats Miami and UNC with Pyron, they are bowl eligible, and I think you ride Pyron through the end of the season and the bowl game.

Chris: I’ve gone back and forth on this. I originally said in the Tuesday Thoughts that I’d prefer to not burn his redshirt, but....if we blow away Miami with Pyron looking great and we think we have a shot at beating UNC to earn a bowl trip then I think it might be worth it. I don’t love the optics of starting him against UNC and Miami only to throw Sims to the wolves against UGA though - that has me hesitating and glad I’m not the one making this decision. If we lose to Miami then I definitely say sit him to save the redshirt and let Sims finish the season.

Jake: Even if Pyron gets a win over a very good and well-ranked UNC team after beating Miami, I still don’t think it is worth it to burn the redshirt in Athens. For a bowl, then, it would make most sense to sit him if Sims is healthy, too.

chilidogringsFO: Is there a single reason or multiple reasons why our OL is so abysmal?

Ben: There have been rumors that Brent Key had his hands tied when it came to coaching and recruiting the offensive line. I don’t know the validity of those rumors, but at the end of the day, the OL is his responsibility. And even since Collins left, his position group has not gotten any better. I’m not sure it’s gotten any better since 2019.

Chris: I’ll defer to people who are much smarter than me about subjects like this, but as with everything in the Collins era in my eyes it all comes down to player development. We’re well past the point where you could say “oh it’s Johnson era players”, so it all comes down to either 1. not recruiting well enough and 2. not developing your recruits well enough. Like Ben said, there have been rumors about how much autonomy the position coaches have had for the past few years to operate how they want to operate. Given those, I think I’m still in favor of keeping Key as the OL Coach if possible and letting him get an offseason to develop the group how he wants to.

Anuj Bhyravabhotla: I went to the VT game this past Sunday and a football parent I was sitting with remarked about how we have easily 8 or 9 players that could be NFL prospects. Who do you think’s getting drafted after this year and how high?

Ben: 8 or 9 players for Georgia Tech? Uhhhhh.....I don’t know about that. The only guy I would draft off the roster right now is Charlie Thomas, and it would be later than it ought to be because he is very small for a linebacker. Outside of him, I think EJ Jenkins will get a look because he’s 6-7, 240 pounds and for no other reason. In a few years, there’s probably a case to be made for some other players, but that would require a coaching staff to come in and properly develop them.

Chris: I agree with Ben, I think 8 or 9 is quite high. Charlie Thomas feels like the obvious one for sure. Agree with Ben that Jenkins will get looked at for his size alone. Maybe Keion White? I think its slim pickings other than those.

Jake: 8 or 9 seems pretty high. Who are these 8 or 9 folks they are so high on? I’m answering your question with a question.

Yeller Bug: How many senior Computer Science projects would it take to create a crude AI dynamic play calling system to replace the human error prone technique currently utilized? After each offensive series, feedback from the players and a specialized group of spotters on the sidelines (i.e. nonplaying players) are inputted into the program that dynamically adjusts the play calling scheme for the next series. Includes current team/player capabilities, opposing D team/player capabilities, their tendencies, environmental conditions, down-distance, position on the field...numerous metrics, etc. Ideally, this system would be improved to occur after each play.

Ben: Better yet, we just dig up the plans for Hologram John Heisman and let him coach.

Chris: So I’ve actually thought about something like this before, and I’m curious about the pseudo-legality of it. I think if you did this to full effect it would immediately be banned in the next season.

Jake: Agreed with Chris’ last sentence completely. I’ll add that whoever puts it together would be infamous after implementation, probably very well off with that on their resume, yet it would potentially also have Astros-like connotations for the average fan.

EducationalEngineer: Watching Tech play Clayton State last night (and totally not reading into it too much), we nearly scored 60 points in the 2nd half on some stellar play by Lance Terry and timely rebounds by Rodney Howard. I know that the competition wasn’t necessarily ACC caliber but considering Pastner has a habit of starting the season slow, does this victory say anything meaningful about this season?

Jack: I would honestly put no stock into the result of this game. The women had a similar rough start in their Clayton game as well, but figured it out enough to win, and it was an exhibition. For the men, a win is certainly a win, but there’s so little added value beyond a cool moment in a game like that. I do wish we started with a better team to give us a better barometer of how good we are right now, but against Clayton I don’t want to make any expectations for the future.

Jake: If I recall correctly, it seemed that the offense was more fluid and dynamic in the second half in general. I think that gives the staff some good things to point to, but it is still worth remembering that this game was essentially a glorified scrimmage, and mostly just a good way to get things in gear playing in a stadium environment. With taking home a win, I would say this accomplished what it needed to.

cutlass81: How are we feeling about the chances of making an ACC title game right now? I could be wrong, but don’t we still have a shot if we win the rest of our conference games and UNC loses theirs against us, WF, and NC State?

Ben: All but two teams in the coastal have been mathematically eliminated (though I’m not sure about tiebreakers). If UNC wins this weekend at Wake Forest, they will win the Coastal, because Duke is the only other team that can get to six wins, and UNC holds the tiebreaker over them. For Georgia Tech to win the coastal, UNC needs to lose to Wake Forest, NC State, and us. Two of those are far more likely than the last one, in my opinion. But for the sake of argument, let’s say it happens. Duke also needs to drop at least one of Virginia Tech, Pitt, and/or Wake Forest. On top of that, Georgia Tech has to beat Miami and North Carolina. There is a lot that needs to happen for Georgia Tech to pull that off, and I don’t think they will. If I had to put a percentage on it, I would put it somewhere around 5 percent.

Chris: I mean I guess we have a chance, but it’s pretty out of my head at this point.

Jake: If you have a lane, you have a chance. I wouldn’t bet the house on it, but it is nice to have something to play for, even if we decidedly do not control our own destiny.

Frodo Swagginz: My first question is does the LSU game and the Bama offenses general lack of success hurt BOB’s head coach chances? I think we’re all on the same page that he would be a terrible hire, but of course J Batt hasn’t reached out to ask us for our opinion yet.

Ben: I think the people who want Bill O’Brien to be Georgia Tech’s head coach do not care that Bama’s offense is underperforming and their fans want him gone because Bama is still a Top 10 offense. I think the people who do not want O’Brien to be Georgia Tech’s next head coach will point to that offensive regression and say, “See! He would do poorly here, too!” Personally, I think O’Brien could be successful, but there is nothing out there to say that he absolutely would be, and I think there are safer bets out there.

Frodo Swagginz: Secondly, turkey or ham and when is it appropriate to hang Christmas decorations?

Ben: Turkey for Thanksgiving, experiment and get weird with your Christmas meal. Personally, I’m a fan of doing a Christmas low country boil. Hang your decorations whenever you feel like. Christmas Eve? Great, that sounds like a fun tradition! November 1? Great, embrace that holiday spirit! Leave them up year round? Great, be you! Don’t tell people how to be happy and enjoy themselves.

Jack: Eat whatever you’d like, whenever you’d like. Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving should result in a one year ban from Christmas decorating.

Jake: Ham is a superior holiday meat, but turkey still needs one holiday, so Thanksgiving it is. Ham can have Easter and Christmas. As for decorations, those can start at sunrise the morning after Thanksgiving. The holiday needs its space, too.

Submitted via email: Hello Guys,

Hope you are enjoying things as new seasons begin for the Yellow Jackets. I’m liking most of what I have seen so far from the basketball team so that is promising. Football looks ok now that the offense is working again. Volleyball looks good, might have some records broken shortly. Lots to enjoy with our program in general.

Question this week regarding the current state of the program. Given how things are currently going I expect our new AD to focus on improving the bigger programs. I guess my question is which program do you expect the AD to be able to build up to a point of significant improvement first?

I would think Baseball would be the one that could see improvement the easiest since they seem to be right on the cusp of making past the early rounds of the playoffs each year. Volleyball and Women’s basketball are already pretty good, so I’m not sure there’s much to build on but it would be good to keep them on the positive swing. Football is gonna take a while I would imagine, and I’m genuinely not sure about where basketball will be because I like plenty of things with Pastner I just don’t see him consistently getting us to the NCAA tourney. I know there are other sports but I’m not familiar with where those are. Any thoughts?

Take it easy,

Maximilian Dood

Ben: Football and Men’s Basketball are going to be the priority because they are the two big moneymakers, and they are both trending down. Football is already set up for a coaching search, but Men’s Basketball may not be far behind.

Jake: As much as I want to agree and say point the resources at WBB, Baseball, VB, or even MBB, we all know that the answer, as always is football. Too much money and too many people with opinions have made it so it has to be that. I’m not sure that it’s all bad, but I worry quietly about it distracting attention and resources from the programs that have been seeing success (like WBB, Baseball, and VB).