Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Travels and Travails

Well, my trek across Europe continues....................... Munich Germany..................... Hanover Germany................... Paris France.................. northern coast of France.................. Milan Italy................ Frankfurt Germany................ back to Munich tomorrow night.................. the the good old US of A..........................

With flights almost every day, customer visits, late night dinners, I'm exhausted. Ready to sleep for about a week. To give you some quick hits, here are some happenings, most of which you already know about

1. Evidently Dwight Howard was voted for the cover of the ESPN the Mag "NEXT" issue. Sorry, how can a guy that's been a pro for a couple of years already be "NEXT". Of course I'm biased. CJ is the truth............. and he's "NEXT"............. period.

2. Chris Bosh will become the first former Georgia Tech player to start in an all-star game. Really hard to believe with all the NBA players we've sent league. But alas, Bosh is representing himself and Jacket-nation VERY well.

3. Coach Gailey hit the jackpot again by stealing a top DE recruit Jason Peters out of the state of LA. An outstanding get, and will make a nice matching set of DE bookends with Derrick Morgan. This class seems like the real deal. Plenty of rumors about Michael Peterson, a DB recruit committed to BC visiting Tech on Thursday. Could be the last piece of the puzzle. Stay tuned. Signing day approaches quickly........................... By the way, Peters is another just outstanding talent both on and off the field, and this decision was apparently a difficult one:

“Georgia Tech’s been there for the long haul. They wanted the me most,” Peters said. “We understand it from LSU’s standpoint and what they had to do. But the way I look at it maybe’s it’s God saying this wasn’t the best place for me. Pick again.”
Also this quote from the AJC:

“I realized that when I went through so many uncertainties with LSU, and I decided to be with the people who have been the most honest with me all along,” he said. “It’s a sore subject. In the interest of protecting the reputations of all parties involved, I’d rather not talk about it more.”

4. The hoops team continues to stink up the joint Plently of speculation here and on every discussion board and media outlet in the web. There is no single answer, but the bottom-line is that Coach Hewitt is starting to catch more heat as an X's and O's guy. The cache created for Coach Hewitt from the magical 2004 Championship run is starting to wear off a bit. Right now, neither he nor the staff nor the players seem to have the answers. Tonight at 3:00 am MY TIME the Jackets will attempt to beat pitiful Wake Forest on the road to snap the streak. The bottom-line is this - there will be NO NCAA tourney without a win tonight. They lose tonight and it's hard to imagine pulling out of the spiral without help from a higher power.

5. Our old friend Bobby Ross announced his retirement. I wish him nothing but the best. He deserves it with all he has accomplished. However, I was really looking forward to that reunion at the Army game next season. Oh well.

6. Jacket RB recruit Jonathan Dwyer was named to the Parade All-American team. Killer !!!!

Well stay cool. I'll wake up and pray that the Jackets strike oil and beat Wake. It's getting to the point where I will truly be surprised to see the W.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hoops - Jackets fall to VT ............ at home

Well, what do we say now? Bad enough when you can't win on the road, but if you can't protect your own house either. The Jackets fall in ATL to VaTech 73-65................. well, post-season hopes are fading. You can see it happening right before your eyes. Having said that, we are far from being shut out of the NCAA's, but we better start turning the ship around now.

So we're 2-5 in the ACC. That ain't gonna get it. So what order do you put the following list of potential reasons for our struggles? There are many reasons and it's probably a combination of many. Where do you think the main issues are?

Too many rotations........... too often? Is the constant in-and-out-and-in-and-out-and-in-and-out causing part of the problem?

Are we playing too many players? Too few?

Ball control............. turnovers................ screens.................. passing the ball in-bounds........... where are the fundamentals?

7-35 shooting tonight from TY/JC/ZP......... Are they the main reason for our struggles? Is it a valid excuse that "we're young"? Isn't everybody "young" to some degree.

X's & O's
Do we just not run a sophisticated offense? Are we nothing more than a group of guys will vague instructions expected to "make a play"? Is there a real offense here? At times you wonder.

We found out this week that a different assistant coach breaks down each opponent. Chartlon Young broke down UNC. Not sure who broke down VT. Are we truly missing the departure of Cliff Warren and Dean Keener?

Does this team just lack passion? Do they lack fire in their belly?

Does this team really have good chemistry? Is there a "Clarence Moore" in hiding? Is this really "Javaris's team"? Really?

Are we missing Lewis Clinch more than we ever imagined? He was without a doubt our most efficient offensive player prior to his departure.

What else is missing? We're all frustrated, but this team has already surpassed their win total from all of last season. Were we expecting too much?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Coach Gailey - EagleScout

Well, Coach Gailey will be profiled in a new book about prominent leaders who were EagleScouts. Coach Gailey is one of them:

Gailey is profiled in the book, which also features Gerald Ford, Bill Gates, Sr., Bill Bradley, Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg, J. W. Marriott, Jr., Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Michael Dukakis, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and Jim Lovell of Apollo 13.

The book also explores the virtues of a Tuskegee Airman, a Vietnam War POW, a September 11 NYPD hero, a crew of Hurricane Katrina relief workers, and a host of others from every walk of life.

Gailey, who became an Eagle Scout as a teenager in Americus, Ga., discusses the value of leadership, personal integrity, and honor on and off the football field. He also reflects on the many pressures of his job and how he remains constant through the ups and downs, all the while hoping to make a difference in the lives of his players.

(no, this is not the book)

Signing Day Celebration

From the GTAA:

Football Signing Day Celebration

Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the Atlanta Hilton Downtown

Jan. 23, 2007

Georgia Tech will hold its annual Football Signing Day Celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at the Hilton Atlanta in the Crystal Ballroom.

Head coach Chan Gailey and his staff will discuss Tech's 2007 football signees, including a video presentation on each signee.

Tickets, priced at $10, will be sold at the door.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with appetizers and cash bar, and the program begins at 6 p.m. The Tech cheerleaders and pep band will also be on hand.

The Hilton Atlanta is located at 255 Courtland Street, Atlanta, GA 30303 (404.559.2000).

PLEASE NOTE: Due to NCAA rules, prospects or signees and their families may not purchase tickets or attend the Signing Day Celebration.

For more information, contact the Georgia Tech Marketing Office at 404.894.4400.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hoops - What happened

So I wake up in Germany to find out we got crushed on the road. I won't have time to read stories today - so tell me what happened? What do you think the real issues are with this team?

Remember - keep it clean and don't bash players. Stick to facts and logical arguments dealing with basketball. Don't vent.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Football Recruiting

Everybody loves lists, right? They must or the media wouldn't waste their time giving them to us all day long. So here's a "list" to ponder................While there is no such thing as a lock in recruiting with a kid who has verballed until ink is on paper, I thought I would give you my thoughts on the kids most likely to waiver on their verbal prior to signing day. Again, this is a compilation based on recruiting comments, history, and gut feel.

S.Threat (signed & on campus)
D.Moran (signed & on campus)

NEAR 100%
Kyle Jackson - the ring leader ain't going anywhere
Roddy Jones
Joseph Gilbert

Nick Claytor
Mario Butler
DJ Donley
Jonathan Dwyer
Brad Jefferson
Tyler Melton (might sign in 2008 with injury)
Albert Rocker
Jerrard Terrant
Logan Walls
Willie White
Clyde Yandell

Morgan Burnett
Cedric Everson
Josh Nesbitt

As far as remaining recruits, we are still in it strong with J.Peters and M.Lewis. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed.

Football Scheduled Released

Ok, so the 2007 football schedule is out. Here it is:

Sept. 1 at Notre Dame (payback time)
Sept. 8 SAMFORD (cup-cake adder)
Sept. 15 BOSTON COLLEGE (new head coach)
Sept. 22 at Virginia (will they be better?)
Sept. 29 CLEMSON (payback time)
Oct. 6 at Maryland (not feeling good about this one)
Oct. 13 at Miami (can we do it 3 years in a row?)
Oct. 20 ARMY (the Bobby Ross reunion tour)
Nov. 1 VIRGINIA TECH (Thursday, ESPN) (anyone remember our last Thurs game with VT?)
Nov. 10 at Duke (I really hope they're NOT winless by now. That grenade will have been rolling around a long time and I don't want it stopping near us)
Nov. 17 NORTH CAROLINA (Butch Davis can only improve this team)
Nov. 24 GEORGIA (beyound payback - time to start a new era)

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gehen Jacken !!!!!

I think that's German for "Go Jackets". If not, my apologies to my German friends - please correct me if needed (you always do).

Anyhow, I landed at about 9:30am this morning (that would be 3:30 am "my" time). My arrival was met with a completely white landscape as far as the eye could see, as these tiny white flaky things were falling everywhere. I asked the locals about it - they called them "snow". Must be a German thing....................

So it's cold here. But Munich is a cool place........................... Munich is the home of the REAL Oktoberfest (which I managed to participate in a few years back).

(Germans cheer upon hearing the news that Chan Gailey will return to coach at GT........... No, they are NOT UGAg fans........)

Munich is also the global home to BMW, even though in little ole' South Carolina we have their other major production hub. Ironic that I'm passing BMW cars IN Europe that were made in my backyard.

In addition, on the way to my hotel, I passed Munich's large soccer stadium. Quite a design - made out of some kind of clear panels and they can change the color of the stadium to anything they want. Here are some examples:

I leave you with a new Blog Poll - about how you think Chan Gailey and D-Rad will fill our offensive coordinator position. I'm interested in your thoughts................... look to your right.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Au Revior........Arrivederci....... Auf Wiedersehen

................ well, for the next two weeks at least...........I'm off on business for the next 2 weeks traveling through Europe. As I make my way through Germany, then France, then Italy, I have no idea about my level of connectedness or time. Customers during the day, travel and/or dinners at night. I'll spend the weekend in Paris, so we'll see what happens.

Anyhow, I'll try to keep you posted, but in the meantime to keep things going why don't YOU keep us posted. If you find articles of interest, post them in the comments here for others to read........................ Danke......... Merci.......... Grazie !!!!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hoops - Jackets Get Crushed in Chapel Hill

So what do you say after a night like tonight? Not really a lot to say - hey we were up 2-0 at one point. Unfortunately it went downhill from there, as the Jackets lose 77-61. It was never really close, as UNC played excellent defense and Tech's offense made it look even better. Some quick points

The Jackets are one of the best offensive teams in the nation, but tonight they looked overmatched, they looked young and they looked inexperienced. The looked like they had a freshman PG running the show. It's not good when you're holding your breath for your team to complete a pass 25 feet from the basket. Ball movement was poor, passing was weak and shot selection was questionable at times...................... oh yeah - 21 turnovers............ ouch

The defense actually wasn't horrendous in the first half, but there were once again some bad breakdowns that resulted in easy buckets / dunks / etc for UNC. The key stat for me in this game was that UNC turned the ball over 19 times and we didn't score many points off those to's. Not many at all.

Hey, face it - the odds of winning this game were small. Forget "shock the world". Wasn't happening. However, you would like you team to look a little more respectable. However, don't lose sight of the prize. This is just one game - one we were likely to lose. So we buck up - Hewitt runs the ............ out of these guys and gets them ready for the next game. This team still has a VERY reasonable chance at 10 wins in the conference. VERY possible. That will get us to the dance folks.

Meanwhile, UNC is just a deep, deep team. They can do some serious damage. They took it to us tonight and we were outmatched, intimidated, pushed around and run-over. It happens.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Who is Josh Nesbitt ???

This is a disturbing story about some unruly behavior from QB recruit Josh Nesbitt on the basketball court (he's a multiple sport guy). I tell you, if half of what the writer wrote is true, then you have to wonder what Josh Nesbitt is all about. While Chan Gailey has focused on "high character" kids, this was certainly not a "high character" story. The writer does preface the story by talking about Nesbitt's reputation as a guy who says and does the right things. Also, who knows the story behind the story, but you sure hate to read stuff like this.

But during this basketball game Nesbitt seemed to come unravelled, tarnishing what had been a spotless image. He lost his composure and shoved an opponent after the two battled for a loose ball. He was rightfully awarded a technical foul for his infraction but was not pulled aside by referees or his coach. He was instead applauded for his error by teammates and fans.

He did not sit down after picking up his third foul instead continuing to play his physical brand of basketball plowing over, under and through opponents to get to the basket. His actions led to the Greene County JV team being escorted out of the arena early and the arrival of additional security.

Later in the game he drew a foul on a close call that could have been a charge that would disqualified him from the game. When the two players got up off the floor he shoved his opponent again, this time getting a wry smile and a pat on the backside from one referee.

Nesbitt missed the two foul shots, then had his shot blocked with less than two seconds left. He still managed to play the hero and win the game.

After the shot he pounded his chest and pointed into the crowd at opposing fans shouting something inaudible over the roar of the crowd. Some of which spilled over onto the court. In the chaos after the game one Greene County player tore off his jersey and threw it to the ceiling. Following the game Nesbitt walked away from the player he twice shoved after the whistle when offered a congratulatory handshake.

Where are they now - Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira, you just say all the right things:

Q: You named your son Jack after a Tech teammate, Jack Turner. Do you think little Jack will go to Tech?

A: We only have one rule. He can go to any college he wants. He can go 12 hours from home. He just can't go to the University of Georgia.

.................You had me at hello

Chan Gailey - Back to School

Well, Coach Gailey is heading............................

(Any photoshoppers want to work on the Chan Gailey version are welcome - I'll post'em)

Here is the transcript from his press conference today. There is only one comment that bothered me a little. It was this:

[Replacing Nix] "I haven't had time to think about that yet. We're going to concentrate on recruiting first. I might make a few calls or talk to a couple of people, but it probably will not get done until recruiting is finished or at least close to the end."

Why does that bother me? Let me show you. Read this article on UM's search for an OC that ultimately led to the hiring of Patrick Nix. This was written before Nix was hired. This in particular:

Shannon's patience could be hurting UM in recruiting quarterbacks, a critical position in this signing class considering only two are on scholarship.

Texas' Nick Fanuzzi has been committed to UM since the summer but recently visited Michigan State and will visit Alabama this weekend.

Tampa Plant quarterback Robert Marve, who previously was committed to Alabama, is visiting UM this weekend, but he admitted making a decision on a school without knowing the offensive coordinator is like "making a decision handcuffed and blindfolded."

"I like Randy Shannon and all, and my parents really liked him, but I couldn't make any decision on Miami without knowing who the offensive coordinator is," Marve said.

Now, we're not in the same situation. We have QB's on scholarship coming out our ears, but we have Josh Nesbitt unsigned and some strong offensive talent coming in.

So yes, I agree that wrapping our arms around these recruits is priority #1, going after the remaing two spots is priority #2, but finding on offensive coordinator should not be trailing any other priorities in my humble opinion.

So I'll trust Coach Gailey and D-Rad to do what it takes to find the right guy. There's an interesting issue that might come up though - budgets for salaries. We all want a top-notch OC to take the reigns. Can we afford it with Jon Tenuta being the highest paid assistant in the ACC? The GTAA is not making money at this moment in time. Seems ridiculous to think with the kind of money OTHER schools are throwing around that we couldn't dish some dough. But guess what, we're not other schools. I am serious about loving the idea of Larry Coker taking that job, but I'm not sure we could afford it. We'll see what happens.

Looking More and more like............

......... Cam Cameron is the guy for the Dolphins. Take it for what it's worth (not much), but it's looking more and more like Chan Gailey will be back. Cameron and the Miami GM left Cameron's hotel this morning and just showed up at the stadium. Doesn't seem logical that you'd keep a guy here for 3 days if he was "just another candidate".

So to change the mode, how about we guess as to who the next OC will be at GT? Here are some names to to get us started.

- Larry Coker
- Dan Reeves
- Buddy Geis
- George Godsey

Who else would make a good candidate? I'll tell you a quick impression - having Larry Coker would be a GREAT get imo. Two time national coach of the year, STRONG OC history (including Barry Sanders' OC in college. Oh yeah, coached Thurman Thomas and Eddie George in college as well). You know his Miami story - here's some details about his jobs prior to UM head coach:

Prior to becoming Miami's head football coach, Coker served under Butch Davis as the Hurricanes' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since Davis' first season at UM in 1995. While the offensive coordinator from 1995-2000, UM went 51-20 overall and 33-9 in conference play. With Coker as the offensive coordinator, UM was 27-9 at the historic Orange Bowl and 19-11 on the road. Additionally, the Hurricanes won all four bowl games during that six-season span.

Prior to his arrival at the University of Miami in 1995, Coker spent two seasons at Ohio State (1993-94) coaching the defensive backfield. The Buckeyes participated in two bowl games during his tenure and were Big Ten co-champions in 1993. From 1990-92, Coker was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, assisting the Sooners to two bowl victories. Before heading to Norman, Coker spent seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. In his seven seasons with the Cowboys, he coached 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders and the team went on to win four bowl games. Coker first made the jump to Division I with Tulsa from 1979-82 as the offensive backfield coach. Tulsa won three Missouri Valley Conference championships during his four seasons.

I'm not lobbying for the guy, but he was be a STRONG hire. Don't forget he has a lot of the same ethical and moral beliefs as Chan Gailey, and the two are VERY good friends. There's a fit there folks!!!

Who else is out there?

Football - Patrick Nix - Fallout #1

Patrick Nix is evidently going to be named the new Offensive Coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes under new head coach Randy Shannon. Shannon has been interviewing LOTS of candidates and needed someone who could develop QB's (please don't start the Reggie Ball bash-fest), and it was starting to hurt UM's recruiting efforts.

So, what do we make of this change? I think there are some conclusions to draw:

1. Chan Gailey told Patrick Nix that he would not be coming with him to Miami if he left.
2. Patrick Nix put himself into self-preservation mode. He took the Miami job BEFORE he knew what was happening with Chan.
3. Nix signed on with a brand new head coach that is going to get a decent time-frame to accomplish some things at Miami, and therefore should provide Nix at least 2-4 years of stability as well.
4. We all know Nix has aspirations to be a head coach. He's now put himself into position to be successful at a school that should have MANY advantages compared to Tech. He's going to a school that has been VERY down and can realistically go nowhere but up.

I have mixed feelings about Nix leaving. I know for sure that Patrick Nix is a VERY promising young football coach. This guy has some real potential. We saw a better Tech offense than any other Chan Gailey version this season. Veterans - yes, but we also saw a more innovative approach to play-calling. Things bogged down once Reggie Ball got injured and he lost Reggie's running ability, but you could see what he was trying to do. From that respect, you hate to lose a guy like that.

However, we are also talking about an Auburn guy who bleeds Tiger colors. The reality is that Georgia Tech was most likely going to be a learning ground for Nix before he moved on anyhow. So he had a safe, solid learning environment under Chan Gailey, and now he has a chance to go from "learning ground" to "launching pad". Now he has a chance to make a name for himself at Miami and call the shots. With success, people are going to likely come knocking at his door in 4-10 years as a head coach. I don't mind the opportunity to bring in a more proven "seasoned" guy to run the offense.

Here's the bottom-line. We just lost a good football coach. We dodged a bullet with Giff Smith and GaSouthern. We have so far dodged a barrage of bullets with Jon Tenuta and Michigan State, Cincy, Texas, etc, etc, etc. We didn't dodge this one. Certainly many Tech fans were not overly enamored with Nix, but some of that was the "Gailey effect", and some was just the fact that he's young and still learning.

Georgia Tech fans - think long and hard about the fact that OUR offensive coordinator just left to be the OC of the Miami Hurricanes. Think about the fact that the most highly respected NFL franchises are interested in our head coach. I think there's a lesson here somewhere that has to do with grass and a fence.

Well, consider this "fall-out #1" from the Chan Gailey / NFL saga. The recruiting is holding steady, the other coaches are holding steady, but the last chapter has not been written yet.................

On a different note - those who think that the Dolphins search has dragged on too long - consider this - when they hired Nick Saban, there basically was NO search involved. Wayne H. did not talk to or learn about any other prospective candidates. He basically talked Saban into being "the guy". So your the owner of the Dolphins, you see what "your guy" did........... what would you do? Personally, I'd keep that dang jet fueled up as I did a REAL search and talked to a BUNCH of guys about the job. That's exactly what has happened this time. Doesn't make life easy for Tech fans, but they're doing exactly what they should in light of the Saban nightmare............... By the way, Cam Cameron was interviewed for a whopping 10.5 hours yesterday. I'm sure it got down to "boxers or briefs" with that much time...................

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We'll Know Soon....................

........... certainly by Saturday, and NOW the front-runner looks like Cam Cameron. He's staying a 2nd night in Miami, even though team officials claim he just doesn't want to fly all the way to Cali if he gets the job................. You know, as I follow this saga, I am absolutely struck by how few public supporters Chan Gailey has in the media or from his former NFL fanbases. Blogs are trashing him, the AJC is dumping on him, many GT fans are licking their chops at someone new, Dolphin fans are generally wanting someone OTHER than CG, Steeler fans seemed to breathe a sigh of relief at his getting cut from their final list.

Honestly, I'm just not sure I completely understand it all. The guy is incredibly well respected by his peers, and the players he has coached at all levels. The recruits coming in consistently site Gailey and the family atmosphere he helped create as a major reason they were interested in GT. Guys like Bill Cowher, Don Shula, Dan Reeves, Dan Marino and a host of others have given very positive public endorsements of his ability as a coach. His coaching record is one of consistent (though not spectacular) winning records everywhere he has gone. Everywhere. Did you know that he has taken teams to the "post-season" 13 straight years? The last 5 with Tech, 2 with the Dolphins as OC, 2 with the Cowboys as head coach, and 4 in a row with the Steelers before that. Folks, he's not lucky, and it's not that he's good at going to winning clubs. The guy wins. The Cowboys deteriorated after he left. Miami hasn't been to the playoffs since he left............... On top of that, virtually nobody questions his character and integrity.

So what is it. Oh, he doesn't have the young "Rick Springfield" look of Urban Meyer but does that really matter? Does that bias people's opinions?.................... I guess I really do get it. Chan Gailey just doesn't have enough "sizzle" for some people. In today's culture, people only want sizzle. Coach Gailey has a legacy of "above average". I didn't say "average", but I didn't say "excellence" either. Just a consistent record of solid winning and fundamental soundness. He's looked at as a guy that is absolutely NOT going to bottom out your program, but has a visible ceiling to where he's going to take you. A steward. A caretaker. A maintenance man. A watchdog. Kind of like the head of the UN.

Now, that's all about perceptions, and I still don't ascribe to those perceptions - even though many do.. He wasn't average when he won a DI-AA national championship. Coach Gailey is slow to make decisions to change the direction of a program, but he does make those changes - and they generally work. Coaching changes, offensive changes, recruiting changes, etc. He doesn't fire from the hip, and he gets criticized for that. I still believe Chan Gailey's ceiling is way higher than people want to believe, but what do I know.

Any way you cut it, we'll probably know something at the latest by Saturday............. but this IS the Dolphins we are talking about. They have certainly dragged this thing out already and could keep it going until mid-week next week if they wanted.

While I still peg the odds of Coach Gailey staying at about 70%, one conclusion I have drawn is that Georgia Tech will be ok no matter what happens. Leave or stay, we will perservere. I feel confident in our new AD to find the right guy for GT if Coach Gailey leaves. I do think we'll see a drop-off, but in the long-run, I have confidence in the leadership in place. My only worry is the nutty "boosters" who influence things behind the scenes. Wayne Clough ignored them when he hired D-Rad - and virtually everyone agrees it was the right decision. I have confidence that D-Rad will give Taz Anderson a pat on the head and tell him to go play in the backyard when it's time to make a decision - if it comes to that.

Dolphins to announce Chan Gailey as new head coach | the Daily Mail

Dolphins to announce Chan Gailey as new head coach | the Daily Mail

So the Brit's think they've broken open the story as the next Dolphins head coach. I think I'll wait until a more credible source pops up.

Georgia Southern Hires A Coach

.............. and it's not Giff Smith. Let me pause for my small moment of disappointment for Giff. Now, let me let out my large sigh of relief because he's staying at Georgia Tech. Yeah man!........................... well, assuming Chan stays that is................

Reporters Battle at Atlanta Journal Constitution

Terrance Moore at the AJC has fired a shot at co-worker Mark Bradley in today's column. This from Moore on bashing of Chan Gailey:

Even so, this increasing amount of bashing directed toward a famously decent guy is a bit much. ake that too much.

That in response to Mark Bradley's dumping Chan Gailey into the river in a body bag:

The belief here is that it would be best for both Tech and Gailey if one of these NFL jobs comes through.

It is not known if the two confronted one another in their cubicles or if they have come to blows yet. We'll stay on top of this story.

By the way, did you see what I did there? The AJC is at the top of the list in terms of responsibility for spreading negative junk about Gailey and "bashing". They just somehow like to think they stay above the fray with some imagined level of journalistic "integrity". If you can believe this - a local Miami tv station used the Mark Bradley article to report that "most" GT fans want Gailey gone as head coach of the Jackets. Gee thanks Mark. Considering the majority of fans want him to STAY, I really appreciate you sharing your all-so-important opinion with the world.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What's Buzzin'

Can you believe it - Chuck the Chest has landed back at FSU as an assistant coach. Bobby B. took pity and decided to help him with the 'Vette payments. Maybe it's not so hard out there for a coach. I can hear Seminole fans now digging through the contract looking for the clause that prevents him from becoming their next hc once BB retires................

Well, the search goes on for the Dolphins, and it looks like it's down to two guys - Cam Cameron and Chan Gailey - and that we may hear something Thursday.

So if you get the offer, what's it going to be Coach?...........................................

Coaching Developments

1. First, looks like Marty Schottenheimer will NOT lose his job in San Diego. That puts Chan Gailey back in the prime, or close to prime position for the job.

2. However, there are now reports that the Dolphins are interviewing Cam Cameron today and Thursday as the latest candidate.

3. Rumors out there that Patrick Nix is interviewing for the offensive coordinator job at U of Miami under new head coach Randy Shannon. It was reported on 680am as a rumor today. If true, there is only one logical conclusion - Chan Gailey has told Nix that if he goes to the Miami Dolphins, Nix ain't coming with him. Since he's inexperienced as an OC, there's a good chance the "new guy" at GT wouldn't want him either. A lot of CYA going on right now, and it makes you wonder what the mood is going to be like at the GTAA if Gailey stays. Make no mistake that this could play into Giff Smith's staying or going to GSU as the new head coach as well (although he may leave for that opp either way).

4. Recruit Morgan Burnett is not a 100% lock to maintain his verbal per the AJC. He has not de-committed and is still likely to sign with the Jackets, but he's "discussing it with his family" and monitering the situation. They reported that Burnett talked to Gailey yesterday about the NFL situation and that Gailey told him there should be some resolution around "thursday-ish".

5. Chan Gailey is pounding the pavement right now visiting recruits. He was at Nick Claytor's house last night and visiting with Albert Rocker per Rivals.com today. So don't assume he's focused on landing an NFL job. He's seems to be doing everything he can to keep this recruiting class informed and updated on his status. There have been no other reports of recruits waffling on their decision to sign with GT.

Quote of the Day

Dan Radakovich on collegiate athletes not majoring in the field they would REALLY like to pursue:

Georgia Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich suggested many athletes don’t get the major they want because they choose to attend a university that doesn’t offer it.

“They wanted to go to that school. They wanted to play for that coach. They wanted to play in that league,” Radakovich said. “They said, ‘OK, I want to go to Georgia Tech. I wanted to be an education major, but I can’t do that, and I really like Georgia Tech, so I’ll be a management major.’ “

It's really simple. They HAVE chosen the field to major in - sports. If they chose to major in management at Tech because they don't offer education - well, then you're putting your athletic priorities ahead of your academic ones. Seems simple to me. Now, there are certain majors that allow you to do a bunch of different things - like business, for example. But hey, who really knew what they wanted to "do" when they were 17? Certainly not me. Heck, I haven't figured it out yet, and I sufficiently north of 17 at the moment........

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yet Another Coaching Rumor

It looks like Ga Southern U's head football coach, Brian VanGorder, is about to accept the LB coaching job with the ATL Falcons. The significance? Well, our own assistant Giff Smith was the other finalist for that job. Expect his name to be thrown around in short order for the GSU job. I'll say this - outside of J.Tenuta, there's not another assistant I would hate to see leave more than Giff Smith. A large dose of credit for our recruiting turnaround goes to this guy as he took over as recruiting coordinator. Here's yet another example of a top high school player putting us on his short list for next year's class.

Here's Giff's profile from RamblinWreck:

Giff Smith

Giff Smith

Player Profile

Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator

3rd Year

Alma Mater:
Georgia Southern, 1991

Giff Smith is in his third season on the Georgia Tech staff as defensive line coach, and for 2006 was promoted to recruiting coordinator.

Smith helps coach a Tech unit that has ranked among the nation's Top 25 in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense each of his three seasons. In particular, the Yellow Jackets have been among the nation's Top 15 against the run all three years, including 11th this fall.

Two of Smith's defensive linemen made the all-Atlantic Coast Conference team this fall in senior tackle Joe Anoai, a first-team selection, and junior end Adamm Oliver, who earned second-team honors.

In 2003-04, Smith worked with all-ACC defensive end Eric Henderson, the Yellow Jackets' all-time leader in tackles for loss. Henderson is now with the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League.

Smith came to Tech in 2004 after five seasons at Tulane University. While at Tulane, Smith coached the Green Wave's defensive line all five years while serving as recruiting coordinator his last three years. He also held the title of associate head coach.

Smith has strong ties to the state of Georgia. A native of the Atlanta suburb of Mableton, he attended Pebblebrook High School and then played and coached at Georgia Southern.

A 1991 graduate of Georgia Southern, Smith was a member of three NCAA I-AA national championship teams at the school in 1986, 1989 and 1990. A three-time all-America defensive end, he helped the Eagles to a perfect 15-0 mark in 1989, and as a senior in 1990, he served as team captain.

He later spent three seasons at his alma mater, working with the wide receivers in 1996 and then the secondary in 1997-98. During his time on the staff, the Eagles won a pair of Southern Conference titles (1997-98) and advanced to the NCAA I-AA national championship game in 1998.

Smith began his coaching career in 1991 as a graduate assistant at Arkansas, where remained three years before moving to Georgia for two seasons.

Smith was inducted into the Georgia Southern University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. He is married to the former Jennifer Erickson. The couple recently welcomed their first child.

Coaching Search Update

No REAL news today. The Dolphins jet is on its way back to the ATL. There were radio reports that Jim Mora had been offered the job and did not accept it on the spot. The Dolphins then came out and said that was false - that they had not offered the job to anyone. Cold Pizza is reporting that Mora will be offered the job today. So it remains to be seen whether Mora is a beggar or a chooser.

Meanwhile, Chan Gailey is getting some nice endorsements:

Don Shula:

"I don't know anything about Jim Mora," Shula said from Houston where he's coaching the East squad in the East-West Shrine (college) All-Star game. "Chan is a fine football coach. The only thing you could go by is his record. You base your decision on that and everybody knows him in the Dolphins organization. I'm sure they're covering all their bases so they'll make the best decision."
Dan Reeves:
"I coached Chan in Little League in Americus, Ga.," said former NFL coach Dan Reeves, who's coaching the West squad at the East-West Shrine All-Star game. "I hired him to his first pro coaching job in Denver. He's been a great coach wherever he's been and would be a good fit for the Dolphins."
Dan Marino:
"You want to get points because the team has a good defense ... the last 3-4 years," Marino told 790 The Ticket on Monday. "If you're Wayne or Bryan Wiedmeier you would think about getting an offensive-minded guy.

"[Gailey] did a good job with limited talent [here] ... and has been a head coach before and I think he's going to be highly considered."
Both Shula and Marino were asked by Dolphins management for their opinions and you would think they carry some measure of weight.

However, I was able to get "obtain" this photo from Taz Anderson's basement. Evidently, someone did not want Marino to provide said endorsement.

Stay tuned folks. Things are coming to a head soon........................

On a separate note, did I go a little overboard on my last post about Tech not deserving Chan Gailey? It's possible. It was an emotion I was feeling at the time, as I read Tech's fans already crowing a new head coach. Folks, if Chan leaves, it will be a dark day in Tech history. Anytime your head coach leaves, there are few "good" scenarios........... retirement - good......... leave for the NFL? Not good, because it means he's been having some measure of success and is looked at as a good football coach............. fired - not good either, because it means you've been suffering through some bad season.................. Anyway you look at, Chan leaving will be a dark day for the Tech family. Anyone overjoyed needs to get some perspective. Would we be ok? Sure we will. We're Georgia Tech. We'll bounce back............. but good football coaches are not falling from trees.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Drama Continues

The saga of Chan Gailey ramped up again today, even as the NFL had the day off. First, Gailey was officially eliminated as a finalist for the Pittsburgh Steelers job, which leaves a clear path for Assistant Coach Grimm....................... Meanwhile Brian Schottenheimer withdrew his name from consideration as the next Miami Dolphins head coach. The significance? Well, in some circles it is believed the job was down to Gailey and Shotty. If so, then there aren't many other guys left. However, Jim Mora was spotted on video coming out of the Dolphins facility taking his 2nd interview. In addition, Chargers assistant Cam Camerson is believed to be getting his name in the mix............................ Meanwhile, REALLY bored people are tracking the Dolphins' personal jet, which has made 3, count'em 3 trips back and forth from Miami to Dekalb Peachtree airport, including landing at approximately 4:45 pm tonight in ATL. You have both Gailey and Mora shuttling back-and-forth. You have to wonder if they flew together................ and who got the aisle seat.

So the Steelers are out, and the Dolphins are looking like a VERY strong possibility. The AJC - Mark Bradley in particular - are already throwing Coach Gailey under the bus. You know, my range of emotions has been pretty varied during this whole process. At this point, here's my position - Georgia Tech doesn't deserve Chan Gailey. I know, sounds nutty and the haters will roll their eyes. But there is enough pettyness, enough shortsightedness, enough short-term thinking, and enough selective memory by enough fans that we just don't deserve a good ball coach like Gailey. He deserves better for what he's doing in one of the most challenging jobs out there.

My general feeling these days is that too many Georgia Tech fans are generally hypocritical. They want to hold up the academics in a borderline arrogant way, somehow indicating how we are "special", yet expect to win as much as the top teams in the ACC on a regular basis. Here we are in a season where we just played for the ACC championship and the Gator Bowl, the program is headed in a positive direction and the fanbase in general has no higher satisfaction level at all. The haters want to tout how the ACC was down. Well guess what - Georgia Tech wasn't. We didn't fall - we capitalized. There's hope.

But in the end, Coach Gailey really gained no more support this year from the fanbase. The supporters keep supporting, and the haters keep hating. He deserves better. Not sure he'll get that in Miami. Not sure he'll get it anywhere. Frankly, I'm not sure in today's culture that it even exists anymore. Two groups of people can look at the same biography. One group will look at his tenure at Pitt / Denver / Miami and see success. A different group will see failure. People see what they want to see. That's just today's sports culture and coaches have to have thick skin.

Either way, this thing is going to come to a head within days.......................

New Blog Poll

Alright - I've got a new fan poll in the upper right corner. Really simple. Do you want Chan Gailey to stay the head coach at Georgia Tech or take one of the NFL jobs. Yes or no. Vote your heart and let's see the results........

Football - Comment on Gailey / Pitt

Evidently an "insider" at the Scout.com Miami Dolphins site has reported that the Dolphins job is down to 2 guys - Gailey and Schottenheimer - and multiple reports indicated a decision could come by Friday. I think we know he's a finalist. If true, this just means that Jim Mora has been eliminated as a candidate - Mora has been interviewed twice already by the Dolphins.................... However, I believe Cam Cameron out in San Diego will be added back into the mix since the Chargers lost Sunday...

As for Gailey and Pittsburgh - just a media comment in this story - not a quote - so take it for what it's worth - not much:

Cowher last week recommended that the Steelers hire Mr. Gailey, and because of that Mr. Gailey was a late addition to the team's list of candidates and was interviewed on Saturday in Pittsburgh. However, he is not considered a viable candidate for the job.

In addition, evidently the Pitt blogger world isn't interested in Chan........................... On a separate note, Bill Curry had this to say about Ken Whisenhunt:

"Ken Whisenhunt is the kind of guy, even as a young kid when he was 18, he always had that look about him that he would accomplish anything he wanted to do," said ESPN commentator Bill Curry, who coached Mr. Whisenhunt at Georgia Tech. "Not only did he think that, he had the work ethic to follow through and do that. Whatever he set his sights on, you got the sense this guy is going to do it."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Vote for Calvin


Important stuff here - go and vote NOW for Calvin Johnson. If he wins, he'll end up on the cover of ESPN the Mag as the "NEXT" Issue. He's competing with up-and-commers from a bunch of sports. Talk about cool if he won -


I'm going to keep this on top until he wins...

A Surreal Time

So each day that goes by in the Chan Gailey saga, we get more information that would lead you to believe that Chan Gailey might not be back. What's the news today?

- Ken Whisenhunt will be the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals - not the Steelers, not the Dolphins. Which means a bigtime hot prospect is off the table for the jobs that Chan Gailey is in the running for.

- Chan Gailey has been invited for a 2nd round of interviews with the Dolphins. Even though there were about 13-15 guys interviewed in round 1, Chan is only one of 3 guys invited back for a 2nd interview - along with Jim Mora and Brian Schottenheimer. So this really is serious. Who knows if he is a front-runner, but he's on the short list - and for those of you convinced that this was a "favor" of sorts from Dolphin owner Wayne H because they are friends - forget it. It's not the case. There is genuine interest on both sides.

- Word is that Bill Cowher personally likes Chan Gailey as the guy to replace him in Pitt. That's a pretty strong endorsement. Those two guys have talked on a regular basis since there days together in Pitt.

- Chan's post-interview, media interview (in Pitt Sat) was a glowing review of the Steeler's organization. There is no doubt that two of the best NFL jobs are in Pittsburgh and in Miami. Not only are they solid organizations with prestige and history, they have owners pretty well willing to let their guy run the show....... and it just so happens that Chan has worked both places, had success at both places and has relationships at both places.

- Chan's key comment about a difference in the college vs pro game is leading him to look to the NFL responded that Pittsburgh is what's different. He made it clear that he wasn't going to consider just any job. He's not looking "out" of Tech. He just sees these jobs as primo, and as such, would be doing himself a disservice not to consider them.

- The Dolphins signing up Dom Capers as the highest paid assistant coach in the NFL BEFORE hiring the head coach. The significance? Capers is known as a defensive whiz - which would lead you to believe that the Dolphins are probably after someone who is good on the offensive side of the ball. You may not like Chan's offensive prowess but that is where his NFL experience lies. Interesting though on the other side of the coin are Chan's comments when he made P.Nix the OC at Tech - that he basically didn't have time to keep up with all the offensive changes and needed someone to take over the offense. Not sure how that will haunt his chances.

So with all this, I find myself starting to feel some varied emotions. Those of you who follow this site know that I'm a Chan Gailey supporter. My criteria for a successful coach are as follows, in this order:

1. Integrity
2. Honesty
3. Pride in my institution
4. Development of young men as people
5. Spokesman for Georgia Tech
6. Development of a staff
7. X's / O's - on the field coaching
8. Winning
9. Recruiting

Yeah, there's some fluff there, but that's what I'm about. If "my" guy is leading our team with integrity, honesty............ if he clearly "gets" what it means to be a YellowJacket and can articulate that .............. if he develops young men to face the world..................... can develop a competent, knowledgeable, diverse staff. - if he can do those things, he's 75% of the way for me. That's NOT about accepting mediocrity. It's about accepting excellence and understanding what it is to mold young men.................... After that, it is clearly important for "my" guy to understand the X's and O's, to make the in-game adjustments....................... to win...................... then to build a pipeline of talent to keep the thing rolling.............. but he better build his foundation on those other things or I WILL have no patience when he loses.

For me, Chan was doing things the right way. He has had a ton of roadbumps along with way, but because he's doing things the right way, I have been willing to ride the coaster and support him 100% at the same time. I'm sorry, I don't want Nick Saban or Jim Tressel coaching Tech. If I question a guy's integrity I don't want him representing my school. It's that simple - no matter how many football games he can win.

So I like where we're headed with Chan Gailey..................... but now Chan Gailey might have a prettier girl asking HIM to the prom. So for the fanbase like me that has supported him, this is a time of mixed emotions. If we hear that he's coming back, I'll be happy. But I'm more and more convinced that the only reason he's coming back is if he does not get an offer to be an NFL head coach with the Dolphins or Steelers. He seems to want it. He seems to want it more than he wants to be at Georgia Tech....... and of course that makes me feel like we're "second rate" - even though we're not. It hurts a bit. Just does...........So like many, I have little moments of - fine, you don't want to be here - don't let the door hit you on the way out. D-Rad will bring in another guy that will do just fine. But then I realize I'm just falling into the same trap as many others. Changing head coaches now would be terrible for Tech. We would survive no doubt and move on (because the school is bigger than any one person), but we would takes a step back. There is just no way to sugarcoat that.

So we will all continue to struggle with our emotions and feelings on the situation and wait to hear about Chan's options and his corresponding decisions. While I have been placing odds of him coming back in the 95% range, those odds have crept down to about 65% for me at the moment......................Until then, I guess we'll just have to deal..................................

On a separate note - how's this for a rumor of the day - Jimbo Fisher just might have interviewed with D-Rad already - maybe even on campus. Total unsubstantiated rumor, but one that's going around.................

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Jarrett Jack in Car Accident

Jarrett Jack was in a car accident Friday and sustained a concussion - he missed Friday' night's game.

Video After Chan's Steeler interview

Well, check out video of Chan after his interview with the Steelers. Hard to read his real thoughts based on body language. My initial impression was that the guy looks slightly depressed the first few questions. He perks up a little as it goes on. Just hard to tell what's happening.

Key comment to me:

Chan, you've had success at both levels. Is this something you check out because they ask and say - why not - or is there something different about pro ball and college ball. How do you look at the two.

There's something different about the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's what there's something different about. It's not every NFL team that I would be interested in.

In another interesting development, The Dolphins just reached an agreement with Dom Capers to make him the highest paid assistant in the league. Interesting because they don't have a head coach. Either they're going to cram Capers down the new hc's throat, or they already know who the next hc will be and have discussed Capers already.

Also interesting - ESPN thinks you will not be a successful coach if you're over 55.

Hoops - Jackets Scalp Seminoles

Well, another day, another home ACC victory. While tonight's game didn't start out with a bang, it ended in nice fashion as the Jackets put away FSU to win 88-80. Didn't see the game and only listened to the 2nd half so take my comments with a slight grain of salt

While the stats won't show it - Hewitt's comments supported that the defensive effort was good tonight. He said that FSU just hit some tough shots that were contested. A good sign. FSU did shoot 51%.

Interesting night. We are one of the best rebounding teams in the ACC and FSU is one of the worst. The Jackets pulled down 46% of the offensive rebounding opportunities they had tonight, while FSU grabbed 42% of their opportunities. Even though FSU had 2 more overall rebounds, we had fewer offensive rebounding opportunities.

Folks, offense ain't a problem. For the 3rd straight game the Jackets shoot over 50% from the field. Javaris led the way 23 pts, 5 assists and only 1 to. Mario West goes for 18, his career high, including 9-13 from the stripe.

Jackets now 2-2 in the ACC with UNC coming up - a team that fell today to VaTech.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Football - Just when you thought it was over.........

........... you find out it's maybe even deeper in doubt. What you say, am I talking about? How about Chan Gailey. Just when you thought his situation with the Miami Dolphins was wrapping up and coming to closure.................. now comes news that he will be interviewing this weekend for the Pittsburgh Steelers head coaching job and will be one of five candidates they will likely chose from. Even though I am 95% certain Coach Gailey is coming back, this is 100% certain to start making even the strongest Gailey supporters ancy - me included.

To say this has been an interesting month of so for Jacket fans is an understatement. Between watching Lewis Clinch's season end, Peacock get suspended for a game for "fighting", losing the ACCCG and bowl game, losing 2 old-timer Jackets, watching Taylor Bennett shine, hearing Calvin say he's going pro, hearing Wheeler saying he'll be back, having Prez Bush tell a dark story about our schools history from 1934 when eulogizing Prez Ford, to losing on the last play to Clemson in hoops and now beating Duke, to hearing most of our recruits confirm their commits regardless of the future coach - it's been a ride recently. Just stay on board..................... and flail your arms in the air and enjoy the rush.......................

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hoops - Jackets Down the Devils

I don't care how bad your day is going. When you beat the Dukies in hoops.......... it's a good day. In a game that really showcased the potential of this team to finish games, they pulled away in the end.................... jjjjjjuuuuuuuusssssssssstttttttttt when you thought they were going to blow it............ again.

........... but they didn't. The team made plays. ..........at the end of the game. It wasn't a perfect game, but they gave great effort. The final - 74-63 ............ here are some key points

DEFENSE............. A-
Duke shot 43% overall and only 20% from long range (4-20)....................... Duke turned the ball over 17 times, 11 of those coming on Jacket steals...................... I liked the defensive effort overall. The switching defense up top was very good, and they consistently prevented guys from penetrating. Double teaming down low was pretty good. There were a number of breakdowns during the game that resulted in easy buckets for Duke, but overall the guys were active, kept their feet moving and their hands in the passing lanes........................

The REAL key defensively was making plays - particularly at the end of the game. There was a key sequense at the 3:44 mark left in the game. The Jackets had squandered away a 10 point lead and it was 55-53. Deep in my heart I was saying - here we go again. I was starting to protect my fragile vulnerabilities by starting to assume we were going to lose................. There was a tv timeout. Hewitt told the team that they could win the game, but it was going to take making plays on defense. On the inbounds play, Morrow attempted a 3pt shot but it was blocked by McRoberts. Duke grabbed the miss, but then Javaris Crittenton just ripped the ball away from the Duke player, sees a wide open path the basket and proceeds to drive and flush the ball............ 4 point lead.................. Duke comes down and McRoberts tries to get to the lane but Ra'Sean Dickey absolutely denies him in a one-on-one post play. He passes out to Paulus who attempts to drive and score. The shot misses and Dickey RIPS away the rebound with absolute force................... Crittenton pushes the ball down the floor, lobs to Thaddeus Young who goes under the basket for the reverse layup......... 6 point lead............... 3:05 left................. Duke gets the ball underneath to McRoberts, but he's double underneath the bucket, can't get the ball over the rim, it squirts out and Mario West comes out running the break, feeds Crittenton on a bounce pass for the 2-and-1 layup. Mama Critty going wild on the sidelines........ 8 point lead........ 2:47 left............... JC hits the free throw.......... 9 pt lead................ Then Scheyer tries to drive in the lane, the Jackets get a hand on it, and once again West comes out with the ball and unfortunately passes the ball too hard to Critty for the to............ Paulus misses a long 3pt shot, Muha the board.................... 2:28 left............. The Jackets make a bad pass while trying to run down the clock, Duke fast breaks and Mario West makes an outstanding block to prevent the easy hoop............... from that point is was the hack-and-free throw game, and we hit our shots.

What you see there changing this game was defensive playmaking at the critical points. A steal by Crittenton. A denial against McRoberts by Dickey. A steal by West. A block by West. Folks, the defense won this game.

The Jackets outrebounded Duke 32-23. It was a solid effort as they grabbed 6 of 18 possible offensive rebounding opportunities and 26 of 38 defensive boards. Solid effort with guess who leading the team - our point guard JC. Yup, he had 7 boards to tie with Faye for team lead.

Hard to criticize when your team shoots 56% overall including 58% from 3pt range and shoots 79% from the charity stripe (23-29) - all against Duke. However, when you have 28 - count'em 28 turnovers, you had BETTER hit the shots you do get.

Folks, think about this for a second. The Jackets took 39 shots. Duke took 60. You turn the ball over 28 times and you are NEVER supposed to win........... but they did. This team had better learn to protect the ball or things will get ugly........... and it wasn't just one guy. JC had 6, JS 6, Dickey 4, Young 4, Faye 3, West 3 - shall I go on?

The other disparity in this game was free throws. The Jackets went 23-29 and Duke went 7-11. When would you EVER expect to see that in a Duke game. Heck, you'd think we had home court advantage or something. Amazing actually. I actually surprised Coach K wasn't dropping his f-bombs on the refs by the end of this one.

At halftime Ra'Sean Dickey had about 18 points. At one point, he scored about the team's first 10 points. He was a man possessed tonight. He displayed his post moves, his semi-long range jump shot, he rebounding with passion and he defended as well as I've seen him. However, I think his most impressive play as a diving defensive play to knock a ball lose and create a steal in the 2nd half. I was proud of him for that.

Some guys have it....................... that will to win................. that passion and drive that allows them to carry a team on their backs. Javaris has it. You can see it in his eyes........ in his demeanor........ he wants to be the guy making the plays and leading his team...................... and you can see these upperclassmen LETTING him lead. You can see their belief in this freshman............ He's still got a lot to learn, but he is an absolute joy to watch. That guy is glued to every word that comes out of Coach Hewitt's mouth. He wants to learn........ He wants to lead............. he wants to win...................... and the guy makes plays.

You know, I really like Anthony Morrow. Why? Not for his jump shot. Definitely NOT for his defense. I like him because of his passion. That guy gets as much joy at having a teammate hit a bucket or make a steal as when he gets one. It is really great to see him get his "legs" back. He's getting back that assassin marksmanship accuracy again - and ACC foes better watch out.

WEST............ MVP
With all the fanfare, and the flashy freshman, there is one guy that is the CLEAR team MVP at this point. That would be a former walk-on. A guy who just goes out there and does what he is asked to do. A guy who takes more pride in a steal than a basket. A guy who is this team's lone senior. If there is one guy that is showing ALL these guys what winning hoops is all about it is Mario West. When we have a run, he's there. When there's scrapping going on, he's there. I absolutely love the fact that a walk-on senior is the unquestioned MVP as it hopefully sets a clear tone as to what it takes to win.

Is this a turning point? Who knows? The fact is that this team started playing a higher level of defense about 6 games ago, and it shows. They still have not won on an opponents home floor. That monkey is still dancing. But I think these guys know now that they can do it............... and they will.......................

WELL DONE AND..................


Hoops - Lewis Clinch to Stay in School

Coach Hewitt said on 790theZone this morning that Lewis Clinch would be staying in school this semester, and as long as he does well this semester and next he should be back on the court in the fall for next season.................. Glad to hear that.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Death of Loyalty

Is the concept of loyalty dead? Are the Bobby Bowden / Joe Paterno types dinosaurs of their day? Are there any real "lifers" left, destined to coach at their school for 20+ years? As we watch the Nick Sabans and Bobby Petrino's of the world jump to new jobs faster than you can say "buyout", you have to wonder where the state of coaching is headed.

So what is driving the death of loyalty? Coaches in general don't have loyalty to their schools, but have they become victims of the death of loyalty from fans who covet short-term winning at any cost and don't value the concept of "building" a program? I mean, if Nick Saban knew deep down that he wasn't going to be able to turn that thing around with the Dolphins, and he had a chance to beat the reaper by a year and sign a big long-term collegiate contract - was he wrong? Maybe he was wrong for being a weasel about how he answered questions, but was he wrong to go? Ironically, he'll be heading to a place where the inmates run the asylum so it seems like a match made in heaven. Our own beloved Bobby Cremins was basically run out of town by fans. Yeah, I know - he left, but he could hear the whispers and knew that fans were getting restless. "Coach Cremins - we know you built everything that is Georgia Tech basketball from nothing, like a pheonix from the ashes, but you haven't really done great lately, so we would like someone prettier, sexier. I'm thankful that he bowed out when he did and that didn't come to a head in a worse way, but again - back the loyalty thing. Does it exist anymore?

So that brings us to Chan Gailey. What are the fans thinking about his flirtation with the Dolphins job? There seem to be a few camps:

This group is absolutely convinced that he's not leaving. They are convinced that since Chan is buddies with Dolphins owner Wayne H. and that this interview is more of a "favor" to the owner. They have generally latched on to statements about the interview being less about a job and believe it is more of a "consulting" gig. They have also latched on to comments by at least one recruit saying an assistant coach told him Gailey would be back...................... In addition, this group points to Chan's background and upbringing in the state of GA and his closeness to retirement, as well as his desire to mold and shape kids instead of dealing with pro-egos.

There is a contingent that think this whole process can actually have a benefit for the program - primarily as it relates to recruiting. Can it be bad to have your head coach in daily headlines across the greater part of the state of Florida as a possible candidate for another NFL coaching job? Can it hurt to have all the bigtime recruits see that for a week or two? Probably not I guess. However, the antithesis of this is that the longer this drags out, the more uncertainty it creates around the stellar class he is supposed to sign this month.

There's enough in Chan Gailey's quotes to believe that he really wants a chance at the Dolphins job. There is a mixed group of Chan-lovers and Chan-haters that really believe he wants this job and has made it clear to the Dolphins. They point to a general belief that Chan is only 2-3 years away from getting his full NFL pension. Chan's offensive style favors the pro game and maybe he wants another shot at the big-time without the 3-ring circus of the Jerry Jones to worry about.

A small group of fans sees this as a way for Chan Gailey to remind people that he's still got some sizzle on the open market. Face it - in all his years at Tech his name never came up in connection with a major college or NFL job. So now he takes Tech to the ACCCG and his name very briefly surfaces in connection with the Alabama job and now he's interviewing to be the head coach at Miami. So maybe this is Chan's way to show the new AD and all those fickle fans that he can get himself another girlfriend if we're not interested in what he's trying to build here.

This is the group that never liked him from day one and never wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. This is the group that has been typically the most negative and vocal on the internet and call-in shows. This group is currently in "what do you Chan lovers have to say NOW about his loyalty" mode. Any chance to rub something in, this group is taking advantage of.

For all these varied groups, they do have one thing in common - they want this thing to end quickly. The general feeling is - if you're staying, let us know. If you're leaving, leave already and let us get another coach before we end up being the last domino in the stack and have to "settle". I'm in with everyone else. While I don't think this will really hurt recruiting much, the longer it drags out, the larger that possibility grows. I think it's great to have your head coach be respected for his many years in the game at both collegiate and professional levels. I think it's admirable that Coach Gailey and D-Rad have handled this in a somewhat open manner, letting fans know what is happening.

So the problem right now seems more with the Dolphins. Wayne H - make a decision already - do you want Chan in the running or not? Is he your back-up date to the prom if you can't get the sexy gal to go out with you - Pete Carroll and the like? Let Chan know something soon so we can all just get on with life. Each day that passes Chan starts to lose a little of his base - those fans that have supported him but want a guy dedicated to Georgia Tech. It may not be his fault this thing gets dragged out, but that's the effect it will have.

So Long CJ

.................... it only seems like yesterday when you announced your entrance in the world of college football.................

Receiving Yards Years Yds ACC

1. Calvin Johnson 2004- 2,927 8th
2. Kelly Campbell 1998-01 2,907 10th

Receptions Years Rec ACC

1. Kelly Campbell 1998-01 195 5th
2. Calvin Johnson 2004- 178 12th

TD Receptions Years TD ACC

1. Calvin Johnson 2004- 28 T-5th
2. Kelly Campbell 1998-01 24 T-9th

100-yd games Years G ACC

1. Calvin Johnson 2004- 13 7th
2. Harvey Middleton 1994-97 10 T-11th
Kelly Campbell 1998-01 10 T-11th

Touchdowns Years TD

1. Robert Lavette, RB 1981-84 46
2. Joe Burns, RB 1998-01 34
3. Calvin Johnson, WR 2004- 29

Receiving Yards Year Yds ACC

1. Calvin Johnson 2006 1,202 6th
2. Jonathan Smith 2003 1,138 10th

Receptions Year Rec ACC

1. Jonathan Smith 2003 78 4th
2. Calvin Johnson 2006 76 6th

TD Receptions Year TD ACC

1. Calvin Johnson 2006 15 T-3rd
2. Kelly Campbell 1999, 2000 10

Touchdowns Year TD ACC

1. Robert Lavette 1982 19 2nd
2. Joe Burns 2001 15
Calvin Johnson 2006 15


1. Calvin Johnson 2006 7

Football - Calvin Johnson Heads to the NFL

In what is not a surprise, Calvin Johnson has decided to pass on his senior season and enter his name into the NFL draft.

Calvin - the 3 years were an incredible ride and we all wish you the best in your future.

.................. however, don't forget to finish that degree in the offseason!!!!

From the AJC:

"With his size, his hands and speed, if he stays healthy in this league, he'll set some records in the NFL," former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Added former San Francisco 49ers great Jerry Rice: "He's tall and has the speed of Randy Moss."

Football - Calvin Johnson Press Conference

We'll know at noon today if Calvin Johnson is headed to the NFL. He's called a press conference. My personal guess at odds:

NFL........... 90%
GT............. 10%

I'll let you know soon..................

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Football - Will Chan Be Back?

Personally, I don't think Chan Gailey is going anywhere. But every day that goes by throws our recruiting class into question, since signing day is just around the corner. Now we have stories like this - where Jimbo Fisher is suddently NOT going to FSU as he considers other options including Georgia Tech:

Negotiations between FSU athletic director Dave Hart and Jimmy Sexton, Fisher's agent, had a multitude of twists and turns along the way.

Fisher was entertaining a contract offer to join former LSU coach Nick Saban at Alabama and pondering the possibility of staying put in Baton Rouge, when a new twist entered the equation.

Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey interviewed with the Miami Dolphins as Saban's potential replacement, possibly opening up a head-coaching vacancy at the Atlantic Coast Conference school where Dan Radakovich is the athletic director. Radakovich was an assistant AD at LSU before taking the Georgia Tech job, and according to published reports, he would consider Fisher as a potential replacement for Gailey.

Football Recruiting

Reports from here are that Morgan Burnett has committed to GT, although there are further questions around the truth of that report. Sounds like papa pulled the trigger a bit early for his son..

Burnett To Stay Close To Home

By Phil Kornblut
DB Morgan Burnett (6-2 190) of Atlanta has committed to Georgia Tech his father said Sunday afternoon. "I'm starting to tell anyone who asks," Cap Burnett Sr. said. "There's no sense keeping it quiet." Burnett also had offers from USC, Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida and Georgia. His only official visit was to Georgia Tech December 9th. His father said the family was overwhelmed by the serious interest the Tech staff showed in his son.

Hoops - Jackets Still Can't Buy a W on the Road

No time to go into depth, but wanted to post something for people to make comments on the Clemson game. My quick hits:

- team played hard mostly the whole game
- fought an scrapped well
- chose the absolute worst time to forget fundamentals
- ironic that Mays made the game winning lay-up with 2 seconds because in the timeout Coach Hewitt told the team to not let Mays make the game winning layup with 2 seconds. Is that the ole reverse psychology working? Like if I tell you - don't think about pink elephants for the next 10 seconds. Get what I'm saying?
- this team is going to win some road games
- I have a feeling that this is going to be one of Coach Hewitt's famous 2nd half teams. (2nd half of the season that is). Watch them catch their groove once the 2nd half of the ACC schedule hits.
- The upcoming Duke game is NOT the season, as some might believe. Losing to Duke won't put us out of anything, but it sure makes the road more difficult.
- What Peacock did was punkish and wrong, but I'll think you'll find that the guy hounding him was not a choirboy during the game.
- We missed Lewis Clinch............... period.................. end of sentence His loss hurts. I sure hope he's doing ok and making sure he's academically and athletically ready for next season.

Your thoughts?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Hoops - Clinch Out Says Fox Sports

Fox Sports is the first "official" channel reporting that Lewis Clinch violated the honor code and will miss the rest of the season. In case you are not sure what "violating the honor code" means - it's typically a code-word for "caught cheating", although it could mean other things. However, I think that's what we're talking about here with Clinch.......................

Sounds like another student-athlete learning another valuable lesson the hard way. Well, is Muha Faye the "Taylor Bennett" of the hoops team? We'll find out.

Meanwhile, I hope this turns out for the best for Lewis....................

Gailey to Interview for Dolphins?????

Fox Sports Net's tv show "Pro Football Edition" reported that Chan Gailey (and Jim Mora for that matter) will interview for the Miami Dolphins head coaching slot as early as today. The show was taped Thursday. While I find it highly unlikely that Coach Gailey will go back to the NFL (for a myriad of reasons), don't forget that he has a relationship with owner Wayne Huizenga.

I'm sure we'll get some level of clarification on this soon, because I don't see Coach Gailey as a "liar liar pants on fire guy" like Nick Saban. If Gailey is in fact going to interview for the job, then I'm sure he'll just be fuzzy about it - but not outright lie.

Certainly this would impact a lot of things, including the recruiting class we might sign. Of course I put the odds of it happening at about 2%.

Stay tuned....................

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hoop Scoop on Lewis Clinch

So what is the scoop that nobody wants to talk about with Lewis Clinch? Will he be ruled academically ineligible? I have a few different sources that have confirmed a fairly similar story as to what is going on.

However, I do not plan on sharing the details, because if true, it sounds like a pretty serious matter................. Here is what I will say............ It does have to do with academics............. However, if the story is true, it does NOT have to do with "making grades".......... So the plot thickens..................

Matt Winklejohn from the AJC has made the following comments about the situation in his columns:

First comment:

The return of Morrow's smooth stroke may be particularly critical if fellow shooting guard Lewis Clinch does not receive good news next week, when his second-semester eligibility will be clarified by school officials.

Second comment:
Then, it may hurt less to lose Lewis Clinch, which is not a lock anyway the way I understand things (and that’s not in any more detail than I’ve written).

While Winky has not written any specific details about the sitation, his wording does give clues. His words allow you to draw the conclusion that the situation is waiting on some kind of interpretation by school officials. Folks, if it was just grades, he'd either BE eligible or NOT BE eligible. The only caveat would be if he was appealing a grade and waiting on a review of his "case" - similar to the Theodis Tarver situation last season.

Bottom-line, it does not appear a 100% fact that Clinch is gone for the season or that he will be ruled academically ineligible. Details I have gathered tell me that if he's ruled ineligible it won't be for GPA reasons. The real fuzzy part is that there are a WIDE array of potential outcomes of this process based on what happened. That is why the "clarification" next week....................

Whatever happens, I think we can be assured that Clinch is going to miss games. Coach Hewitt is sending a message about defense TO THE TEAM, but he's not doing it by benching Lewis Clinch. My opinion is that he's very strategically finding alternative line-ups that work as if Lewis was not available. Now coincidentally, those line-ups appear to be more effective defensively without Clinch in the game. Convenient? Yes. The reason Lewis is sitting - don't think so...........................Stay tuned..............

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hoops - Jackets Crush Rams 97-46

I didn't see it. I didn't hear it. But clearly tonight's performance was one of the most dominating of the season, as Hewitt's gang took down the mighty Winston-Salem State Rams by 51 points................. yes 51 points.

In quite an amazing turn of events the past few games, Lewis Clinch has gone from one of the most efficient offensive players IN THE NATION, to bench warmer. Clinch played 5 minutes tonight, scoring no points. As he continues to mull around in Hewitt's doghouse, other players are stepping up and answering the defensive bell - most notably Mouhammad Faye.................. Will Clinch "get it"? Will he be able to work himself back in the rotation? It's a serious concern, because it's clear that this team can score without him....................... and if the team doesn't need him to score and he's not a defensive presence............ well......... what do they need him for?........................ Truthfully, the team absolutely needs him. They NEED his offense. They just don't need him to be a liability on defense. This is quite an interesting storyline to follow as ACC play begins now. Scoring will be tougher to come by and the days of scoring over 90 are almost over (well until the Tarheels come to town)........................ Lewis - we need you in the rotation.. D up dude........ D up........

Now, having said all that, I don't buy this argument that his defensive liability is the only reason he's not playing. If that's the case then why does he only get into a game tonight at the very end, for 5 minutes, when it's a 51 point blowout? Why didn't he get small chances during the game to "prove" himself on defense? Did he just continue to practice poorly and Hewitt said - forget it? I don't buy it. There's something going on behing the scenes that they don't want fans to know about. I'm fine with that, but the poor defense arguement is too shaky for me right now.

As mentioned - the guy really taking advantage of Clinch's shortfalls is M.Faye. Faye started tonight for the 2nd game, and ended with 10 pts (4-9, 1-3 3pt), 9 rebounds (3 off), 5 assists, 1 steals, and ZERO TURNOVERS. Folks, that is a nice stat-line any way you cut it................. and for all this - what has got him the minutes is his defense. The healing wrist has led to more confidence on the offensive end, but he's really developed a niche on this team as a "glue guy" who does a lot of things well. Sounds like an Anthony McHenry type guy (with a better jump shot)..................... and those long long long arms. Man, it's tough if he's guarding you....................

From Coach Hewitt

"He very skilled with quick feet and long arms, so gets a lot of deflections. The injury certainly set him back. Now, he's in good shape and the wrist is healthy again, so hopefully he'll continue progress. You can see that he's a very versatile player - five assists and no turnovers tonight. He's very active defensively. He just brings an awful lot to the floor. He's starting to get a clear understanding of what I need from him. Like most young players, he felt like if he scored points, then I'd leave him on the floor, so he'd come in and rush up some shots to try to make a statement. As I've told these guys all year, points are not what I'm worried about with this team. I think this team is capable of scoring. What I'm worried about is playing good defense every possession. As I told them in the locker room, from this point forward, every game is going to be a one possession game. You don't know which possession is going to make the difference. In the ACC, most games are decided by five points or fewer. Mouhammed is starting to understand what we need from him, so he's doing a better job.

Mario "tweaked" his back (as Coach Hewitt put it), and Coach decided he was too valuable to keep in the rest of the game - so he only played 12 mintues. However, he made good use of those minutes, scoring 7 pts, grabbing a couple of boards, dishing an assist and making 2 steals............... Let's hope this is not one of those "chronic" things. We need this guy 100% healthy in ACC play for sure.

Anthony Morrow certainly found his range tonight, knocking down 7 of 11 3 pt attempts tonight, scoring 21 points. Nice to see that heading into conference play. Although part of me can't help but wonder if he's camping out on the perimeter too much. Hard to make that judgment without watching the game, but I always felt that A-Mo should expand his game into a more all-around skill-set. He's proven his ability to mix it up inside on occasion, but he's really not a shot-creator like Lewis Clinch. He's a bit more of a true catch-and-shoot marksman, a la Marvin Lewis.

I decided to look back at Javaris Crittenton's last 3 ballgames. Check out the stats:

Winston Salem State.......... 9 assists............. 0 turnovers
St.Francis............................. 8 assists............. 1 turnover
Troy...................................... 10 assists........... 0 turnovers

Combined 27 assists, 1 turnover the last 3 ball-games. I know, I know - we might as well have played Mary's Mother's of the Blind. However, I don't care who the competition is, that is impressive...................... At this point, JC is #2 in the ACC in assists behind the frosh at WF (I.Smith), but he's closing fast.

As Coach says, I know what Jeremis will give me every night. There is never a question. Tonight - more of the same. 10 pts, 8 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals, only 1 turnover. That's quite a stat-line. Jeremis, you can put your lunch pail back in your locker - game's over.

Ok, now things get interesting. Really interesting. The carb-loaded, sugar-laden, twinkie filled puff pastries are over and done. It's conference time. First up - undefeated Clemson............. yes undefeated............ and legit. How legit? We'll know once the game is over. Can Hewitt's boys take this momentum and intensity and bring it ON THE ROAD? Can they break the jinx? Remember, this team hasn't won a true road game on an opponents floor in over 2 years. No kidding. If we're going to make the dance, we have the beat the Clemsons of the world on the road.