Practice Schedule Reminder: Just as a heads-up, every practice is at 3:00 p.m. and every practice is open to the public. Except for this Saturday's scrimmage, which was moved to 1:30 p.m. TTUMAR has filed DTN's first practice report and I'd look forward to you guys or gals supplementing or creating your own FanPosts.
March practices: 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31.
April practices: 1, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14 and 16.
Practice times: 3 p.m. each day
Spring game: 1 p.m. April 17
Also, I have a poll question this morning, which is whether or not you actually click on the links and read the story or do you just read DTN.
Whitlock is a Constant: LAJ's Don Williams writes that DT Colby Whitlock is the one constant along the defensive line and the most interesting thing was that Whitlock, and just about every player, in this 3-4 defense will be a one-gap player:
Asked if Whitlock would have to be more of a two-gap player than he has been in the past, Tuberville said, "Our defense is designed to be gap control, playing, really, one gap. Playing nose in this defense, every once in a while you’ll be a two-gap guy, but very seldom will he play two gaps. Every defensive lineman that we have will be responsible for one gap most of the time, but if we do have a two-gap player it’ll be the noseguard at times.’’
I think that's good for Whitlock as I don't think he could be a two-gap player for an entire game, that just seems to be asking quite a bit of a player. Whitlock himself downplays the switch to the 3-4:
"We ran quite a bit of 3-4 last year in passing situations, and we’re going to run some 4-3 with this defense, too,’’ he said. "It’s going to change for me, maybe in gap control and stuff like that, but really it’s more the same concepts of our other defense — for me, anyway.’’
For a good bit about the 3-4, especially finding that huge immovable nose-tackle in the NFL draft, check out this from Shutdown Corner (an NFL blog).
Much more after the jump, including some video reports.
"We have a lot of depth," senior wideout Detron Lewis said. "We pretty much have the same receiving core (from last year). I think for next year we’re not going to lose a step. I think we’re going to be even better and the guys behind me and the other starters are just as good so I think we’re going to be good next year."
WR Lyle Leong also acknowledges that the running game will be a big part of the offensive game-plan:
"I doesn’t concern me," he said. "We have great running backs and every single running back we have is capable of breaking a 90-yard touchdown. I’m just excited we’re getting to get them more involved in the game, and it’s all about winning so as long as we win I’ll be happy.
"I hope (it’s still primarily a throwing offense), but it’s up to coach Brown. He’s going to put us in the best position to win and I’m with him 100 percent."
Graham did have this interesting bit about how practices are going (emphasis mine):
According to multiple offensive players, the new coaching staff is structured and more detail-orientated than their predecessors.
The tempo of Tech’s spring football practice sessions seem faster. Coaches push players to hustle through their drills and on their way to the next drill. Players answer coaches with "yes sir" after a coach critiques their play.
Notes, Notes, and More Notes: LAJ's Don Williams notebook starts off with a bit about DB/LB D.J. Johnson being a very versatile player, which could include him lining up as a cornerback, safety or even linebacker. Yep, that's right, linebacker. Head coach Tommy Tuberville had this to say about Johnson:
"This defense kind of fits what he does,’’ Tuberville said. "He’s a tall guy. He’s lean. He’s got speed, and he’s got quickness. He’s big enough to play inside. He’s big enough to play deep, but he can also cover a lot of ground. He’s one of those guys we’re kind of experimenting with right now.’’
. . . Williams also talks about some position changes as E.J. Celestie is at split end position (i.e. at the X-receiver) rather than the H-receiver position and we've already mentioned Ryan Haliburton's move to tight end, which he played in high school . . . Chris Olson and Justin Keown are splitting time at center, although I think that Olson is going to be necessary at some other position, but this also means that Terry McDaniel has regained the starting left tackle spot, which I think is good for the entire unit . . . Tuberville is ready to see some hittin':
"Now it’s time to have a little contact and separate the men from the boys,’’ Tuberville said. "We’re going to have to start working on the running game now. We’ve thrown about every down in T-shirts (on Monday and Wednesday). Now we need to start running the ball a little bit and getting a little bit more physical.’’
. . . Tuberville also talks about how mentally difficult this defense can be on the linebackers:
"Depending on formation, if the formation changes they have to get everybody lined up,’’ Tuberville said. "Not only just know their position, they have to know all the guys in front of them. Not necessarily the defensive backs, but they have to know the defensive line, get them in the right spots.
"We do a lot of pressure. We’ll do a lot of slanting with the front, a lot of bringing safeties up. It’s a very complex defense, but it’s all predicated on the formation after the call is made. Then when the formation comes up, it all could change. Linebackers have a tremendous (responsibility). … It’s just like a quarterback. They’ve got know almost everything that goes on.’’
Video Reports: DT's Alex Ybarra reports on the receivers and Fox34 has a report as well.
Tech receiving corps deep, eager to adjust to roles in new offense (via DailyToreador)