April 15, 2004
We’ve learned a lot about our football team this spring,” said Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey as his Yellow Jackets concluded preparations for their final spring scrimmage, scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
For Saturday’s scrimmage, fan can access Bobby Dodd Stadium via Gate 9 (Techwood Drive) only, and all seating will be in the lower East stands. The gate will open at 9:30 a.m. and admission is free, with concessions on sale. Free parking is available on the lower level of Peters Parking Deck as well as the O’Keefe and Alexander Memorial Coliseum lots.
“We have a lot of holes yet to fill, and I don’t necessarily mean by new personnel but maybe by the guys we have continuing to get better,” said Gailey. “With these last two practices and all of the preseason, hopefully they’ll do that.”
And what will be the primary focus for Saturday’s final scrimmage?
“I think we’ll be looking at individual efforts,” said Gailey. “I’d like to see some execution on both sides of the ball, but we’ve experimented with so many different things, that I think you have to evaluate the individual effort. We’re looking at personnel more than we’re looking at schemes. You look more at individuals than at the cohesiveness of units and the timing and things like that. We want to see what individuals have made progress and have learned.
“We want to see them take the things we’ve learned in drills and put them into a more game-type situation. We’ve had some scrimmages, but the tempo will go up a notch. We want to see who can react to their new positions with the speed of the game.”
The Yellow Jackets could work as many as five quarterbacks in the scrimmage, led by sophomore Reggie Ball, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year.
“Reggie is doing a nice job this spring,” said Gailey. “I think has refocused on what he needs to do to lead this football team, and he’s doing a nice job.”
Competing for the job as Ball’s backup are redshirt freshman Patrick Carter, who is healthy after battling injuries last fall and earlier in the spring, and true freshman Taylor Bennett. Senior Mark Logan is working at both quarterback and wide receiver, and the Jackets also have senior walk-on Robby Brown.
Of Carter, Gailey said, “In the last few practices, he’s made giant steps. If he is completely healthy, he’s got a leg up on the position [backup quarterback].”
Ideally, coaches would prefer to redshirt Bennett, the lefthander from St. Louis, Mo., who enrolled this spring and has shown promise.
“He’s got a great arm,” said Gailey. “He sees the field, and he can put it where he’s aiming. That’s an important factor for a quarterback. He can put it where the defense ‘ain’t’ and where we are. He just needs experience and reps. He’s got a chance to be a good quarterback.”