Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
So Giff Smith is indeed leaving for Buffalo & the lure of the NFL. Frankly, we can't blame him. Passing over Giff & hiring Al Groh was a great hire for Tech. It's not really up for debate. But the consequence of this is losing Smith. Smith has been very open about his desire to be a defensive coordinator or head coach on the collegiate level. Staying at Tech might or might not have helped his chances. Leaving to coach in the NFL, the highest level of football, is a great resume builder. And the money is much better than the $189k we were paying him. So best of luck, Giff.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
As an Architecture student at Georgia Tech I studied a lot of history, art history, theory and art theory. Some of you engineering students who mistakenly signed up for an easy “Art History” A know what I’m talking about. The Penultimate Essay of all Essays on art in the modern age is Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. This essay is short and dense, and like all academic writings, after multiple readings and hours of discussion it finally dawns on you that theme of the essay isn’t all that complicated. Be patient, this will get around to football, eventually.
For all you Benjamin scholars out there, please feel free to rip my interpretation to shreds.
Back in the day, before “mechanical reproduction” (and we can know add chemical and digital to that), art object where pretty much just that, objects. There was one of them. No copies, no post cards, no photo graphs. The only way you could see it was to actually go some place and see it for yourself. In the case of religious art, which for the majority of human history most art was religious, you not only had to go some place, but you had to be there at the right time, like at the festival of the virgin marry. On that day the priest would actually take the statue out and parade it around town. And that was it man, that was your one chance to see it that year. Miss it and you’re done.
This inaccessibility, gave the work and “aura” in Benjamin’s terms. Works of art where known better for their ancillary characteristics, such as who owned it, as opposed to their inherent aesthetic s. In Benjamin’s understanding this created a cult around the object, a cult that was manipulated by a select few.
Mechanical Reproduction freed art from the cult of aura. Not only did it become possible for everyone to see images of any old statue of marry any old time they wished, but new forms of art, such as photography and film had no original. A copy of a Charlie Chaplin film viewed on the set where it was filmed was no more authentic than a copy shown in Berlin movie house. Benjamin interpreted this as a watershed moment for art. For the first time ever art was accessible to everyone. It spoke to the masses first. Objects would no longer be judge through the lens of their ancillary characteristics. Instead they would be judged through the lens of the reproductions of them.
At first reading Benjamin sounds like a typical socialist intellectual. Power to the People, all hale the machine! That kind of thing, but his feelings where really more ambiguous about his discovery. Mechanical reproduction did open up art to more people, and gave more people an opportunity to engage it on there terms, but the loss of aura also meant the loss of something. The cult which developed around an object magnified its power to coalesce individuals into a community, by creating a unique moment in space and time that only those dedicated to the cult would experience. It was a shared experience that existed outside the realm of normal everyday life. One could not be interrupted by a phone call or the pizza man at the door. You where there, and it was special. After the invention of mechanical reproduction things changed. The value of being there was undermined by the convenience of being anywhere.
Sport has dragged behind much of modern culture in this way. Despite the advent of live broadcasts, until recently, being there was the authentic way of experiencing a sporting event. Once it was done it was gone. Even into the mid 90’s most sporting events where not broadcast on television. The recent expansion of television, cable, and internet broadcasting means that a person can stay home, see more football games, and see the action clearer than some one in the stadium.
This boom in mechanical reproduction of sporting events live has shifted the understanding of sport from local, cult, experience, into a disincorporated consumption of sporting data. Through this dissemination the average fan has become more knowledgeable than ever, but at the cost of being less engaged with the actual games themselves, which is emotional and visceral in a manner that cannot be reproduced by mechanical means.
In college football this loss, or at least greatly decreased importance, of the visceral connection to an actual game has created a need for a new way of interpreting the results of a football game. It’s not surprising then that with an increase in the number of telecast games, and more exposure to more teams for the typical fan, that there has been an ever increasing demand for a college football playoff system. A play-off system would be a narrative device that would replace the visceral meaning of a live football game with intellectual meaning. A playoff system provides a common touch stone to which all fifty plus games played every week can be compared, but a playoff system would also accelerate the loss of the cult value of attending a live football game as the value of the game would not be defined immediately by the emotional impact of being there, but at a later, and in terms of its relationship to the playoff system, which can only be assessed in relation to all the other games that were played that week.
The end result would be a college football game more like pro-football in which the live games exist as a stage set for a day long television event and week long analysis. It would still be exciting to attend football games, but in a different way. Instead of being apart of a cult like act of unison, which is limited in scope, the excitement would be derived from the exhibitionism of being a part of a televised event, to be there and know that millions are watching you. From a competitive point of view, the games might as well played in an empty field house with no fans, and the results posted on line.
- We have extended a scholarship offer to Roswell High WR Chris Boyd. Currently committed to Vandy, Boyd will take an official visit this weekend. At 6'5" and 195 pounds, Boyd has the frame to add some weight (during a redshirt year) & be the type of dominating physical presence BayBay was in our offense. Some highlights from his junior year.
- Several VPISU boards are posting that we will play them on a Thursday night this year (in Blacksburg). Let's hope they don't have a bye week before they face us. But wait, something tells me Beamer will have his way with scheduling & the ACC office. And just for the record, in case we haven't made it clear in the past, we think ACC commissioner John Swofford is an incompetent buffoon. The term Cock Weasel applies.....
- Lane Kiffin has been on the job less than a week & already committed a secondary recruiting violation. Of course, the NCAA has the enforcement power of the Mexican Navy so expect to see plenty more of this. In fact, in yesterday's Fish Wrapper, athletic director Charles Loveless of Florida's Frostproof High noted, "Monte Kiffin has been very persistent. He's probably been in here more than is legal. Of course they don't pay attention to the rules." So we've got random high school coaches calling out Kiffin while the NCAA sits with its thumb up its collective ass.....Par for the course.....
- According to the Triad Business Journal, the ACC generated $29 million in Bowl revenue this season with Tech's Orange Bowl leading the way at a whopping $18 million! After travel expenses the conference splits the revenue evenly amongst all teams. Che Guevara would be proud. Not to be picky but UNC gets $1 miilion for travel to the Meineke Car Care Bowl? It's in Charlotte, you ACC bureaucrat shitbirds!!!!! Glad those gold-plated buses came in handy for that long drive from Chapel Hill to Charlotte. Did we mention that ACC commissioner "Cock Weasel" Swofford is the former AD at Carolina. Hmmmm....
- We've long said that the "star" system for ranking recruits is bogus. Looks like this year's Super Bowl proves our point. ESPN's Bruce Feldman looked at both SuperBowl teams & found that rankings are really a poor predictor of success. The article is here & we're not an "Insider" so we apologize you aren't privy to all of it.
- Finally, we're almost at a loss for words over this:
There are widespread rumors floating about that defensive line coach & recruiting coordinator Giff Smith is leaving Tech to become the outside linebackers coach on Chan Gailey's staff in Buffalo. Kelly Quinlan of Rivals (a source whom we trust) is reporting that Giff has interviewed for the job but has not signed a deal as of right now. We're sure CPJ will do everything he can to keep Giff around. While we're never disappointed in someone bettering their situation (leaving for an NFL job after being passed over for a promotion, in this case) the timing could not be worse for us with just eight days until National Signing Day. Good luck to Giff whatever he decides & here's hoping we keep all our current commitments.
Monday, January 25, 2010
- On the second-to-last weekend for recruits to take official visits Tech hosted several key targets & picked up two new commitments in LB Jeremiah Attaochu & RB Deon Hill. A linebacker from Washington D.C targeted by Al Groh while he was at Virginia, Attaochu will likely redshirt & end up playing outside for us. At 6'3" & 223 pounds, Attaochu has prototypical size for either "Jack" or "Sam" in our new 3-4 defense. As many of you know we abhor the "star" system espoused by recruiting services & prefer to look at what schools have offered a recruit. Attaochu's list is impressive & includes Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, & Kansas State. Some highlight video on Attaochu. Welcome to the Flats.....
- Perhaps the most surprising offer CPJ & staff have made this year is RB Deon Hill from Phenix City, Alabama. Hill has flown almost entirely under the radar during recruiting but our staff obviously saw something they really liked to extend an offer with so few scholarships available. Hill comes to the Flats from the same high school as departing OL Cord Howard & rising sophomore Orwin Smith (whom he backed-up for two years in high school). His highlight video is a good one as he shows great burst & terrific hands out of the backfield. At 6'0" & 195 pounds, expect Hill to play A-back at Tech. Looks like we have a nice "in" over in Phenix City. Welcome to the Flats.....
- The offer to Deon Hill is proof of something we have suspected for a while now: CPJ wants to get bigger & more physical at A-back. While it's great to have smaller players like Marcus Wright & Embry Peeples at the position, we need more size as blocking is a big part of the position. Too often this year our A-backs were easily defeated in one-on-one matchups with safeties & linebackers. Getting bigger while not sacrificing any speed or ability seems to be a recent priority.
- Speaking of Phenix City's Cord Howard, he played in the East-West Shrine game on Saturday & acquitted himself quite well. The two-time All-ACC selection at guard looked very good run blocking & did well enough pass protecting that he will definitely have a shot to be drafted this spring. We'll of course follow Cord's quest for the "chedda" & keep everyone updated....
- A fine article on former Jacket & current Patriot Gary Guyton on the off-season & some charity work he is involved in. Good on ya'....
- For the second consecutive year a former Jacket(s) is guaranteed a Super Bowl ring as Philip Wheeler's Colts will meet Chris Reis & Tony Hargrove's Saints in Miami. Let's keep collecting the bling....
- Many people wrote off Tony Hargrove after he flunked out of Tech & ran into some legal issues. A great piece by NFL Films on his struggles & the adversity he faced to get to the Super Bowl.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
- Frank Lloyd Wrong is a renaissance man: architect, music aficionado, & art connoisseur. While we're at the gun show tomorrow (Eastman's, Cobb Civic Center) there's a decent chance Frank will be taking in the sights at a local museum or some other cultural activity. We laud him for this. We particularly appreciate the fact that he does this AND writes this blog. Truly a well rounded fellow. We do feel obligated to add a new artist to Frank's pantheon of greats. We present to you THujone of Shaggy Bevo, a University of Texas board. He is the wunderkind of MS Paint. His description, in pictures, of his national championship game experience is simply epic. I'm actually tempted to buy a T-shirt (page 5 of the thread). What can I say but fucking hilarious......
- Speaking of humor, Runaway Lane, a musical parody of the popular Soul Asylum song, is worth five minutes of your time. And here's another Kiffin musical homage. Lane Kiffin, the gift that never stops giving (kinda like syphilis, we'd imagine....)
- Al Groh had his inaugural press conference on the Flats yesterday. He's all business but did manage to throw in a couple jokes here & there. We'll hopefully be able to find the audio but until then a couple salient points: 1) he will coach from the sidelines, not the box, 2) he'll coach linebackers along with Brian Jean-Mary, 3) "coaches with schemes & no talent are coaches of unimportant games". Well said sir....
- Charles Perkins, the state's highest rated running back according to most recruiting services, has not only enrolled at Tech early he evidently has inherited the coveted #21 jersey. Calvin Johnson, Jon Dwyer, & now Perkins. The expectations are obvious but we think he'll have no trouble delivering.....
Thursday, January 21, 2010
If you've ever been to Gainesville or been around Florida fans you'll know they are, shall we say, an interesting group of people. On one hand, they dislike all things U(sic)GA almost as much as we do. A laudable trait in a fanbase. On the other hand, well we need more than one hand. Let's begin with their penchant for wearing jorts (jean shorts for the uninitiated). Just not good. Ever. Florida fans can also be, shall we say, overly vociferous & vocal in their support of their team. The incessant chanting of "Gator Bait, Gator Bait" while smacking their arms together in a seizure-like motion isn't really endearing to anyone. In fact, it's pretty damn annoying. So we would like to propose a new version of the classic cheer to our Florida friends this week. "Gator Bait...Jail Bait...Gator Bait...Jail Bait". A hand motion is included: after smacking your hands together in the aforementioned seizure-like motion then place them behind your back so you may then be handcuffed. Appropos. We'd like to say it has a certain "je ne sais quoi" about it but that's not really the case as we can easily explain the genesis of our new cheer. Just this week:
- Florida broadcaster Steve Babik was arrested this week on charges of receipt, distribution, & possession of child pornography. Babik, who is the sideline reporter for Gator football games as well as the host for the pre & post game radio show, has been terminated by the University. We thought of lots of jokes but it's kiddie porn & we just can't bring ourselves to it. All we can think of is Bernard in Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead. There's a special place for people like Mr. Babik & we're guessing you get intimate interaction with Lane Kiffin while you're there...
- Senior linebacker Dustin Doe had a warrant sworn out for his arrest because he failed to complete 8 hours of community service stemming from two charges of driving without a license. That's 8 whole hours, Dustin. Must of been too busy pimpin' his ho's to make those appointments. Solid work, sir.
- And not to be out done, former Florida cornerback (his eligibility just ran out) Wondy Pierre-Louis was arrested on four felony charges after attempting to strangle his girlfriend and hold her captive. He's out on $40,000 bond for all you that live in the area. Well played, Wondy....
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
- Chan Gailey is the new head coach of the Buffalo Bills. By all accounts Chan is a very nice man & we wish him well in Buffalo. We were, for the record, proponents of letting Chan go. He just wasn't the right fit for Georgia Tech or the college game. We'll leave it at that. Tech grad & uber-blogger Orson Swindle summed up Gailey's time on the Flats perfectly: "Chan Gailey Equilibrium, a mathematical figure equivalent roughly to 7-5. (If Chan Gailey plays you in anything, by the way, he will win exactly 58.3 percent of the time. We all have talents. Chan’s is having a mathematical tendency associated with everything he attempts.) Tech’s problem hasn’t been tight or loose scheduling–it’s been Chan Gailey, who will get you the same product every single time no matter if he’s fielding a squad of Nandralone-fueled sex offenders or a team of sleep-deprived midgets. Either team would lose inexplicably to UNC before handing Miami a shocker loss to finish at CGE, because that’s what his brand of football is designed to do." This is so true. For the record, Gailey is now being paid by 3 football teams: the Buffalo Bills as head coach, the Kansas City Chiefs who fired him as their offensive coordinator last year, & Georgia Tech, who owe him just over $1million per year through 2010. Any of you that think Ol' Chan ain't smart choke on that one & let me know if your last three employers are still paying you. If there's a bad guy in this scenario it's not Chan, it's former AD & generally nefarious turd Dave Braine. Between the Gailey contract extension & Paul Hewitt's "roll-over contract for life" Braine saddled Tech with a huge financial burden.
- On the good news front former Navy QB & current Austin Peay graduate assistant Craig Candeto will be named the new offensive graduate assistant at Georgia Tech. Candeto replaces Lamar owens who was promoted to A-backs coach. The MVP of the Mids in 2002 & 2003, Candeto will work with the quarterbacks & B-backs. He also has flown F-18/1 Hornets in combat so don't fuck with him or he'll bring the fury on your ass. Welcome to the Flats, sir. And we're glad to see CPJ's loyalty to his former players. Speaks highly of him....
- Speaking of Paul Johnson & loyalty, he's been showing Navy some love. Running back Jon Lee of Appalachee is a fine player but with our limited scholarships this season just wasn't going to get an offer from Tech. We'd love to have him as a preferred walk-on but he'd like a full ride. So instead of just cutting the cord, CPJ hooked Lee up with Navy & got him a scholarship opportunity. It's this type of honesty & commitment to student-athletes that goes a long way in building a program. We're unabashed Johnson fans & this is but another reason why. According to Lee:
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Warning: Actual Football Content. Another warning: this is a ridiculously long post. War & Peace-esque, if you will. But if you really dig defense you're in the right place. Let me preface this post by saying I am neither a football coach nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night. I'm writing this as a primer so we'll have an idea of what changes we will see on the defensive side of the ball next season. Please post any corrections/comments if I've missed something. If you have a question I'll try & answer it.
In all situations, we will defend the inside or middle of the field first – defend inside to outside. Against the run, we will not allow the ball to be run inside. We want to force the ball outside. Against the pass, we will not allow the ball to be thrown deep down the middle or inside. We want to force the ball to be thrown short and/or outside.
… Finally, our job is to take the ball away from the opponents’ offense and score or set up good field position for our offense. We must knock the ball loose, force mistakes, and cause turnovers.Turnovers and making big plays win games. We will be alert and aggressive and take advantage of every opportunity to come up with the ball . . . . The trademark of our defense will be effort, toughness, and no mental mistakes regarding score or situation in any game."
Expect Tech's defense next year to adhere to the same mantra. Our goals will be the same: defend from the inside out, focusing on the run first & the pass second. We'll be much more of a "bend but don't break defense", focusing on limiting big plays & forcing opponents into sustained drives where they are more likely to make mistakes. How do we do that? Let's start with our defensive line.
- "Jack"- this is our hybrid LB/pass rush specialist. Think James Harrison of the Steelers or even Lawrence Taylor (who Groh coached with the Giants). Will need to be bigger than an average linebacker. Michael Johnson would have been perfect in this role. Expect Egbuniwe, RS freshman Euclid Cummings & Chris Crenshaw, and Albert Rocker to get a shot here. Perhaps the frontrunners here are perpetual Jacket A.T. Barnes & Osahon Tongo. Barnes has struggled with consistency throughout his seemingly endless career but this looks to be a great position for him. Tongo was an undersized, pass rushing end in our 4-3 & projects to have the size & speed for the position. In the future incoming freshman Anthony Williams will be a good fit at "Jack".
- "Mike" & "Will"- these two, along with our nose tackle, form the triangle that is the heart of our new defense. They must be physical players who can stop the run by reading the flow of the play, evading or shedding blocks, & then make a tackle . This is emphasized by the fact that there will always be an offensive guard that is not "covered" by a defensive lineman who will fire out & try to block one of them on every running play. So they must be able to take on this guard, defeat the block, & make the tackle. Expect bigger, more physical linebackers in the middle going forward. Brad Jefferson, at almost 240 pounds, will likely start here. Kyle Jackson, although a little undersized, also has a shot depending on how his foot heals. Lucas Cox is moving to LB from A-back & will also get a chance at one of these spots. Other names in the mix include Hash favorite Julian Burnett & B.J. Machen.
- "Sam" - Our other outside linebacker will have the obvious run stopping responsibilities of the other LB's but also be more involved in pass coverage. If Barnes doesn't win the "Jack" spot I could see him here along with Stephen Sylvester, Malcolm Munroe, RS freshman Brandon Watts, & true freshman Quayshawn Nealy.
- Cover 2 Zone. Expect to see this a great deal, particularly on 1st & 2nd down. We'll generally rush four & drop the other players into pass coverage where they each have a zone or area of responsibility. One note is that Coach Groh & those from the Belichek tree of coaching use the concept of pattern reading extensively. I'll get into this superficially in a bit & more in depth in a separate post as it's a very detailed concept that I've just scratched the surface of. Below is a diagram of Cover 2 zone:
- Cover 2 Man Under. A Cover 2 shell deep with man-to-man coverage from the cornerbacks & linebackers underneath. A strong variation which we will use frequently if we feel our corners have a favorable match-up with our opponents receivers. Groh prefers this on 3rd down & intermediate distance.
- Cover 3. We'll use this to try & confuse quarterbacks as we vary coverage. The field is divided into deep thirds where three players then have zone responsibility (usually both corners & the free safety). A variation on this is the famous Tampa 2 where the middle third of the field is covered by the dropping middle linebacker.
- Cover 1 Robber. A very aggressive coverage that is ideal when you can bring pressure on the QB. Man-to-man underneath (corners on WR's, LB's on the TE & RB) with a lone safety having deep responsibility and the other safety (the robber) patrolling an intermediate area 8-12 yards deep off the line-of scrimmage looking to either read the pattern or the QB & create an interception by getting a great break on the ball before it's thrown. The idea is that the pressure from the rush hurries the QB & he does not see or account for the "Robber" who is then able to make a play. Nick Saban loves him some Cover 1 Robber (a great breakdown by Chris Brown at Smart Football).
- Cover 0. Straight up, good old fashioned man-to-man. Groh prefers zone & I seriously doubt we'll play much Cover 0 as the entire object of our defense is to limit big plays.
Monday, January 18, 2010
- Rising senior defensive back DeRon Jasper will be graduating this spring & forego his senior season of eligibility, giving us 1 scholarships for this year. Congratulations & best of luck.
- Senior defensive back Corey Earls will spend spring practice at his original position of wide receiver.
- We have our first & hopefully only academic casualty of the year as redshirt freshman safety Brandon Leslie has remained at home in California & not enrolled this semester. That puts our scholarship availibility at 19.
- Subtract one scholarship as we understand sophomore B-back Preston Lyons, who transferred from Colgate to Tech & attended school on a Hope scholarship this season, has been placed on scholarship. Congratulations & well earned, sir....
- We have offered Atlanta Westlake CB Darius Robinson a scholarship. A Clemson commit, Robinson grew up a Tech fan. He'll take an official visit next weekend & hopefully we can flip him.....
- South Carolina LB Justin Parker is still our number one target & he'll get an in-home visit from CPJ, Coach Groh, & Brian Jean-Mary tomorrow. Parker has narrowed his choices to three schools; LSU, Clemson, & Tech. He'll be here next weekend to take an official. At 6'3" & 230, Parker is a perfect fit in our new 3-4 defense at inside linebacker & might have a chance to play as a true freshman.
- Word on the street is that Springville, Alabama offensive lineman Chase Hughes did not enroll early at Ole Miss in hopes of receiving an offer from Tech. A lifelong Jackets fan, Hughes projects at center or guard on the collegiate level. We expect an offer soon.
- CPJ will head to Albany on Wednesday & visit A-back prospect Tony Zenon. We have heard the staff wants to trend toward bigger A-backs (Orwin Smith vs. Marcus Wright, for example) so it will be interesting to see if Zenon picks up an offer.
- A good article on Al Groh's decision to come to Tech & the criteria he used to make that decision.
- We are all in favor of adding the verb "kiffined" into the lexicon of every day life. An example: you're at the bar & have bought a hottie 2 drinks. You leave for the bathroom & by the time you get back she's hanging off some other guy. You just got kiffined. This video should help.