Jackets Dodge Rain for Spring Practice

March 31, 2005

ATLANTA–The rainy weather in the Atlanta area ended in time for Georgia Tech to complete its scheduled football practice Thursday afternoon at Rose Bowl Field, the Yellow Jackets’ seventh session of the spring.

“Today was a lot better than Tuesday,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “We’ve really got to work on our red zone passing game. That was the biggest negative I saw on the field today, so that will be an emphasis.”

In Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech has one of the nation’s top wide receivers, but the Yellow Jackets are seeking players to complement the talented sophomore, who led Tech last year with 48 receptions for 837 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Damarius Bilbo is working opposite Johnson.

“Calvin is doing a great job and will continue to do a great job,” said Gailey. “D-Bo (Bilbo) is doing some good things. This is his shot, and he’s doing a good job, but he’s still got a lot of learning to do.”

Other players competing for playing time at wide receiver include sophomore Pat Clark, redshirt freshman James Johnson and junior Chris Dunlap and Xavier McGuire.

James Johnson is doing some very good things,” Gailey continued. “Pat Clark has got a chance to be a good player for us. And then we’ll see how much Chris Dunlap and Xavier McGuire can improve. They’ve been in the system for a while, but James and Pat are coming on a lot faster right now.”

At linebacker, sophomore Philip Wheeler has displayed his excellent athletic ability. Coming off a redshirt year last fall, Wheeler is competing for the linebacker slot that opened with Chris Reis’ return to safety.

“He’s doing an amazing job as far as blitzing, getting to the ball and all the physical things,” said Gailey. “But he’s got a ways to go mentally yet. That’s the hardest part; the other part comes easy for him.”

The Yellow Jackets next practice is scheduled for Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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