• Should GT Change Quarterbacks or Change Offense?

    The Georgia Tech defense is on course to be an improving unit. We are not a defense without flaws and we are certainly not dominant, but I think Roof has the right ideas.

    On offense, we have 10 players that are essentially built to run the flexbone offense, but a QB that has been a little slow on the uptake. He has a skill set that is apparently best suited for a zone-read pistol option style attack with a little more passing and scrambling outside the pocket.

    Waiting in the wings are two QBs with less experience, but possibly better grasp of the flexbone QB role. One is a physical and bruising runner and the other, a lightning quick burner with moves. What direction do you try and take things?

    Do you stay the course and hope the current starter masters the flexbone? Do you focus on using the current QB in an offense more suited to him, even if there will be growing pains with the other 10? Or do you give the QBs in waiting some game snaps, sticking with the flexbone, to see if they can push the current stater to the bench?

    It is an interesting dilemma, where we are right now. I have no idea what to do, actually. Based on what I know, from outside the program, I think I would stay the course with the current QB running flexbone and maybe give #2 a couple series every game like we did with Vad last year.

    Any ideas? Remember, you are the coach. You live and die with the results for the season with our current roster.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Going Forward started by Boomergump View original post
    Comments 81 Comments
    1. LongforDodd's Avatar
      LongforDodd -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boomergump View Post
      My vote is change O. It should attract at least a marginally better athlete overall. And if it eliminates the reliance on so much cut-blocking techniques which we have probably failed at at a significantly higher rate than traditional blocking, then we at least won't look so embarrassingly bad getting up off the turf with a grill full of sod while your man on the other side of the ball is getting a pack on the back by his teammates for a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
    1. Anotherbee's Avatar
      Anotherbee -
      CPJ has been defending running the 3O from the Flex his entire career. I don't think he has it in him to abandon it ever as to do so would be to admit that it isn't the best system to run with the players he has. If I was the coach, or a meddling Athletic Director, would be to fire Sewak, transition during the year towards traditional blocking and away from cut blocking. There is just no way our O line could do worse not cut blocking. VT looked like they were just high-stepping over a fallen log most of the day. It would also help in pass protection when we cut block much less. I would also throw in some more screens and smoke routes which are much higher percentage plays. CPJ has said more than once that he doesn't do many smoke routs because it is basically the same as a rocket toss, but I disagree especially with Smelter as my top big play threat. Why not get him the ball more?
    1. foggy's Avatar
      foggy -
      Nothing I saw Thursday nite convinces me that PJ knows jack crap about an OFFENSIVE LINE nor do his assistants! He has had plenty of time to recruit an O line. When Vad was under center, the rush by VT's D, Vad had no time to hand time off nor even get the hike. PJ is the one who must change and quit being so DAMN STUBBORN and forcing a system when it is not working. It's time Bobinski step up and let PJ know who is boss and take the appropriate steps to right the ship.
    1. GaTech93's Avatar
      GaTech93 -
      We have to stick with Vad. He's our starter because he's the best man we have for the QB position. However, what if the problem is not necessarily Vads fault? First off weve put the ball on the ground a lot this year. I think its something like 9 times in the last 2 games. Even though we have recovered most of them it has still been drive killers. Some of these are from the Center and QB exchange and some are from the QB and B Back exchange. In my opinion, the B Back is getting to Vad a step to soon on some plays which is causing fumbles or misreads. Do we need to continue and criticize Vad or can we place some of the blame on the Center because of a slow snap or the B Back for getting to Vad to soon? In my opinion the OL has done a terrible job blocking and is at fault for causing all the terrible plays. Not Vad.
    1. WindsofChange's Avatar
      WindsofChange -
      Hello again friends. I haven't posted in a while. Sorry for the absence here but I have been at the games.

      "With our scheme 2-star recruits can compete favorably against 4 or 5-star recruits". This is a paraphrase but it is the mindset of this program and the message coming out of the football program. Forget the offense, it starts with our ability/inability to recruit a competitive set of athletes. The academic pressures of being at Tech are there but also are very easy excuses that other programs have overcome successfully. Tech being in the hotbed of football recruiting, in the City of Atlanta in a large TV market and being the institute it is offers a talented kid and the family of a talented kid an awesome opportunity given the right platform.

      I've seen the charts claiming we recruit at least at the level of CG, but, how many NFL prospects did YOU see on the field Thursday night? Ask yourself, if your kid truly had the talent and dreams of playing in the NFL and Mark Richt, Les Miles, Nick Saban or Will Muschamp walked in your living room would you immediately turn your thoughts toward CPJ? If your son is an offensive lineman would he really learn how to pass block? If he were a defensive lineman would he learn against a practice squad that understands pro-type offenses? Can defensive back become NFL ready practicing against this program? These types of questions deserve grown-up, responsible answers...answers that need to be heard.

      The list goes on. I hate being negative with SO much good going on at GT (thanks Coach Heppler and others) but folks, we football supporters are getting shortchanged and the troubling news is that the football program is becoming worse not better. I don't blame the kids. You can see they leave nothing on the field. We must stop ignoring the basis of the problem (ie. symptomatic cures) and get on with a real fix that can give us a chance to grow. Football, like everything else evolves. Ask former Vandy coach Bobby Johnson about the difference recruiting for play in the SEC vs. play at Furman. He had similar success as CPJ in the same conference. With BOBBY Johnson you'll get a straightforward answer without being ridiculed for asking it. You would get a straight-up response with a pleasant attitude and a temperament we should expect but don't get from the current regime.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Is that what was going on with the O-Line? Tons of missed cut blocks? Man, I hate seeing that. Nothing worse than seeing an OL belly flop to the ground leaving the DL unabated to the backfield. I just don't understand why we can't block man to man. If we cut block because of the quick-hitting dive, and it's not working, why not back everybody up into pistol/diamond and run from there NOT cut blocking? Or is it that our OL are not big enough to block man to man because they were recruited based on being quick knee-divers?

      Did we do any zone blocking?

      Hard to see all this from the stands and honestly, it was kind of a blur. Not sure I'm going to be able to watch the DVR. Just trying to understand exactly what the problem was.
    1. LongforDodd's Avatar
      LongforDodd -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boomergump View Post
      I think we have enough pieces to have won Thursday. I mean, one only has to eliminate the false starts to totally change the complexion of that game. ...
      Boomer...ok when we weren't offsides what else was did the Oline do the rest of the game? I didn't notice a whole bunch. Are you saying that the O-line's psyche would have changed and would have played like they were lining up against Duke? I don't think the outcome would have been differerent.
    1. Rdm's Avatar
      Rdm -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boomergump View Post
      give the QBs in waiting some game snaps, sticking with the flexbone, to see if they can push the current stater to the bench.
      I would try this approach. If Vad is a good athlete, he should be able to survive this competition. Also, I would like to see what Byerly can do since others have said he is good in our offense.
    1. Rdm's Avatar
      Rdm -
      Quote Originally Posted by mack View Post
      Okay this is a observation based upon what I used to remember on the sidelines and what I see on tv......Vad Lee is a good athlete but in my mind he is still not comfortable with the option.He misses some reads but he also makes some big plays and he can throw the ball.If you keep Lee at qb then its time to put him in the spread and go from there.He can throw and why we dont do the short pass to get his rhythm going is beyond me.Now the other guys need playing time and if you have somebody to really run the offense and is comfortable with it then we give Lee a chance to turn it around or we put speed in there.I am not a fan of the option since forty yrs ago when I coached we saw little of it and when we did if we cracked the qb then the whole thing was mush.I do know from watching Okie and Tx and Bama and Nebraska and Mississippi and ......for a time Tech under Pepper that all had good option qbs that could run and throw.PJ knows now ,or at least I hope he does that he has no Adrian Petterson or Tracy Ham and until we get one in my opinion we do what we do now.....kill the weak teams and get rolled by the big uns.It is clear that when we play the big uns we are just not as strong offensive line wise as they are and we get stuffed....we had chance ,big chance to win last night but we just looked bad..Cannot ever,and I am 65 ,remember five false starts in one half...

      I agree with you that Roof has us in the right direction but we need some meat on the DL and a decent pass rush.I also give VT credit.They stuffed us when they had too and we never seemed to get to the corner.I am not biggie when it comes to changing qbs but if this is what we are going to get every Saturday we need to play other guys..ONLY THING GOOD ABOUT LAST NIGHT WAS ........YEP YOU GUESSED IT.......THOSE WONDERFUL CLEAN LOOKING UNIS,
      Mack, this post is so different from your usual ones that it's hard to believe it is yours. The iPad or phone that you usually use must be very difficult to type with.
    1. yellojello's Avatar
      yellojello -
      Quote Originally Posted by LongforDodd View Post
      Boomer...ok when we weren't offsides what else was did the Oline do the rest of the game? I didn't notice a whole bunch. Are you saying that the O-line's psyche would have changed and would have played like they were lining up against Duke? I don't think the outcome would have been differerent.
      I just rewatched the game. The 2nd drive, we were moving the ball really well (Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - Play By Play - September 26, 2013 - ESPN), until we decided to self destruct with penalties. Again, if you look at the 1st drive in the 2Q, we were doing really well with the ball on the VT 22, when we had two penalties making it 2nd and 20. We did get drives going, but would commit boneheaded mistakes at the worst times.
    1. stingemyall's Avatar
      stingemyall -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boomergump View Post
      The defense is on course to be an improving unit. We are not a defense without flaws and we are certainly not dominant, but I think Roof has the right ideas.

      On offense, we have 10 players that are essentially built to run the flexbone offense, but a QB that has been a little slow on the uptake. He has a skill set that is apparently best suited for a zone-read pistol option style attack with a little more passing and scrambling outside the pocket. Waiting in the wings are two QBs with less experience, but possibly better grasp of the flexbone QB role. One is a physical and bruising runner and the other, a lightning quick burner with moves. What direction do you try and take things? Do you stay the course and hope the current starter masters the flexbone? Do you focus on using the current QB in an offense more suited to him, even if there will be growing pains with the other 10? Or do you give the QBs in waiting some game snaps, sticking with the flexbone, to see if they can push the current stater to the bench? It is an interesting dilemma, where we are right now. I have no idea what to do, actually. Based on what I know, from outside the program, I think I would stay the course with the current QB running flexbone and maybe give #2 a couple series every game like we did with Vad last year.

      Any ideas? Remember, you are the coach. You live and die with the results for the season with our current roster.
      Boom this is a very valid question. I like yourself not sure which direction we will go but based on the post game quotes from PJ I told you all along, were not very good with the option. Were terrible, in fact. And it showed. Were not going to throw the ball 25 or 30 times and win very many games. He hints that personnel change is more in order. He didn't come right out and say JT for Vad but that is what I took fro the quote. I am pulling for Vad hes' got natural leadership qualities but JT is more the homerun threat on the edge keeper. Like I say I don't know but we need to get it figured out. Hell next game Vad may come out and play lights out. It's not like we haven't had tough sledding before against good defenses.
    1. Ga Tech Navy Nuke's Avatar
      Ga Tech Navy Nuke -
      1/3 of the way through the season with a 3-1 record is not the time to change the offense. UNC was as good or better than VT. (That is an opinion which will be shown right or wrong as the season goes on.) We have recruited and practiced for the offense we have. Changing offenses will not yield immediate results and would probably result in a decrease in performance for a few games while we practice up.

      I have been calling for the last few years to regularly play two QBs. Start Vad and put in JT after two series. Stay with the one which has the hot hand, or if both are the same keep alternating them. I don't feel like going back and seeing what all the reasons were but here are the quick pros and cons:
      Pros:
      Find out which QB has the best skill set against that D
      Make the D prepare for more looks {why didn't we run the diamond when VT was diving over the OL??}
      Get fresh QB in {Vad seems to get more tired than JN, but JN got tired too.}
      We have by all accounts two very good QBs, develop the backup better for when the starter gets hurt.
      Let's the sitting QB see the game from a different perspective. {CPJ has even pointed this out as an advantage for Vad}

      Cons:
      Lack of continuity for rest of team
      Lack of continuity for QB
      Hurts the starting QBs feelings {:sarcasm}
      It's not what is usually done because it's disruptive to the team chemistry {losing is probably more disruptive}
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      Last year we couldn't pull Tevin and get Vad on the field fast enough.

      This year, after 4 games and a 3-1 record, people are already suggesting we pull Vad and put in another QB we don't know jack about outside of out running our 2nd/3rd teamers and a bad Elon team. Not sure if anyone paid attention, but JT wasn't exactly executing our base stuff that well during Spring, and his plays came outside of the offense on broken plays...the same crap Vad is getting ripped for. Give me a break.

      Nothing is as good (our 3-1 record) or as bad (the egg we laid against VT) as it seems. VT has a top defense with elite defensive talent. How times are we going to see teams with DLs that can chase down Vad Lee? Should we have played better? Of course, and it wasn't all on Vad. Vad didn't false start about a million times...3 of which were on our best OL GT has. The offense just picked a bad time to collectively lay one.

      On the bright side, our defense is a breath of fresh air....especially after what we've had since 2008. I don't put the first score on them...it's hard to compose yourself when the offense loses the ball inside the 10 in the first minutes of the game. Really, our D gave up 10 points to VT. Our offense has to do better than 10 points regardless of who the opponent is. CPJ got outcoached, and our guys in the trenches got whipped.

      Let's see how the next couple of games play out before totally freaking out.
    1. RamblinWreck92's Avatar
      RamblinWreck92 -
      It doesn't matter who we trot out there at QB. We'll defeat the Dukes & UNCs of the world and lose to the VPIs and Clemsons...and not have a chance against the Mutts. 6-6 or 7-5. A middle/lower-tier bowl. That's as good as it's going to get under this coach and his already-deciphered scheme.
    1. Ga Tech Navy Nuke's Avatar
      Ga Tech Navy Nuke -
      Does a 6-6 get us a bowl if two of the wins are over D2 teams? I don't think so. We need to get to 7-5 for a crappy bowl. That is going to be challenging if we don't start playing better. Developing another QB is a step in the most likely direction to getting better most likely.
    1. RamblinWreck92's Avatar
      RamblinWreck92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ga Tech Navy Nuke View Post
      Does a 6-6 get us a bowl if two of the wins are over D2 teams? I don't think so. We need to get to 7-5 for a crappy bowl. That is going to be challenging if we don't start playing better. Developing another QB is a step in the most likely direction to getting better most likely.
      without major improvement offensively, this offense's lack of scoring will make victories against even the Pitts, UVAs, and Syracuses of the conference difficult...games I had previously marked down as surefire Ws.
    1. mack's Avatar
      mack -
      Quote Originally Posted by LongforDodd View Post
      My vote is change O. It should attract at least a marginally better athlete overall. And if it eliminates the reliance on so much cut-blocking techniques which we have probably failed at at a significantly higher rate than traditional blocking, then we at least won't look so embarrassingly bad getting up off the turf with a grill full of sod while your man on the other side of the ball is getting a pack on the back by his teammates for a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
      Agree with you.for the million and first time who wants to come to Tech to get hit every play if you are Sims etc.Who wants to run into d ends every play so......put them in the pistol or spread and let Lee be Lee.
    1. RamblinWreck92's Avatar
      RamblinWreck92 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mack View Post
      Agree with you.for the million and first time who wants to come to Tech to get hit every play if you are Sims etc.Who wants to run into d ends every play so......put them in the pistol or spread and let Lee be Lee.
      agreed with both of you. To continue to pretend this scheme doesn't negatively effect recruiting is ostrich-like.
    1. GoldenJacket09's Avatar
      GoldenJacket09 -
      Not ready to call it quits on Vad because I don't believe that Thomas is better.

      Here's the truth: play calling sucks, o-line sucks. Except to be in 3rd downs. We need a guy who can throw on 3rd downs, so Vad.
    1. LongforDodd's Avatar
      LongforDodd -
      Quote Originally Posted by yellojello View Post
      I just rewatched the game. The 2nd drive, we were moving the ball really well (Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - Play By Play - September 26, 2013 - ESPN), until we decided to self destruct with penalties. Again, if you look at the 1st drive in the 2Q, we were doing really well with the ball on the VT 22, when we had two penalties making it 2nd and 20. We did get drives going, but would commit boneheaded mistakes at the worst times.
      So what were we doing? trying to keep VT close? if we didn't have those penalties the outcome would have been different? Or stink less?