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Jackets Continue Spring Drills

March 23, 2002

The Georgia Tech football team just completed its second spring workout in less than 24 hours, but head coach Chan Gailey says things really haven’t begun yet.

Tech’s first-year mentor has watched his squad practice in shorts these first two days and now looks forward to the Yellow Jackets’ to first practice in full pads, scheduled for next Tuesday at 4 p.m.

“That’s when the real football begins, this is just pretend football,” joked Gailey after Saturday’s workout at Rose Bowl Field.

“There were a lot of mistakes in practice today,” he continued. “We put in some new things and there were a lot more mistakes today than yesterday, but that’s growing pains and we understand that.”

Tech’s defense returns nine starters, led by all-America defensive end Greg Gathers, but the Yellow Jackets are learning a new scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta.

“We put in a couple of new things today that had movement, and when you do that it creates some problems for the offense, especially when there’s no pads on,” said Gailey. “It always looks a little ragged when you have movement on defense and no pads on.

“But I thought our defense was flying around today and making some plays, which is good.”

In addition to Gathers, Tech’s all-time sack leader with 30, the Rambling Wreck defense features an outstanding trio of speedy and experienced linebackers in senior Recardo Wimbush (Blakely, Ga.) and juniors Daryl Smith (Albany, Ga.) and Keyaron Fox (Atlanta, Ga.). Those three have made 68 career starts between them and combined for 250 tackles last fall.

On offense, Gailey declined to single out any of the quarterbacks competing for the starting job. The candidates include juniors Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.), who was last year’s backup, A.J. Suggs (Powder Springs, Ga.), the transfer from Tennessee, and Brian Camp (Dublin, Ohio) as well as redshirt freshmen Damarius Bilbo (Moss Point, Miss.) and Dawan Landry (Ama, La.).

“I think it’s entirely unfair to do that right now,” said Gailey. “We can all see that we’re making some plays on the option, but everybody’s throwing interceptions, so it’s very erratic at this point. I learned a lot from yesterday to today, and we’ll continue to learn a lot in the next three weeks.”

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