The Conversation with Georgia Tech Blogger Winfield Featherston of TheLegacyx4

Here is is again, The Conversation!

This week's guest is Winfield Featherspon of TheLegacyx4.

I answered his questions here, with a 'lol help from Fsued.

I enjoyed doing this, and we thank them for answering our huge list.

Also, a big thanks to everyone who posted questions!

23 Quick Links:

Here we go:

Everette Brown (6-4 255) is a First Round defensive end for the 'Noles. Up until last week, he hadn't seen anything but double teams. Virginia Tech foolishly tried to single block him, and that was a mistake (5 TFL's, 3 Sacks). Your LT Gardner is pretty good (1st Team ACC). I assume you'll attempt to slow Everette via option passing and play action, but if you get in 3rd and long, will Paul Johnson use help, or will he roll the dice with Gardner? On any given option play run to Everette Brown's side, would you prefer: a) that the QB pitch the ball to the RB, even if it means Brown gets a hard clean shot on the QB? b) that the QB cut inside for a short gain, but avoid a big Brown hit?

You're going to see everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown at Brown. One play he may be single covered, one play double covered, maybe not even covered at all (accidentally? maybe!). Why? It's because Paul Johnson pokes and prods for a weakness in the defense. The first half can be sloppy for his teams because of what he is looking for. It's the 2nd half where he usually finds the soft side of the defense's underbelly and that is where he learns where to strike!

I don't have any preference. I want Nesbitt to read the defense and sacrifice himself for the team. If you watch the Triple Option in perfect form, the QB and the B-back are hit on almost every play so it really doesn't matter to me. The pain and the hits come with the territory.

 

In your opinion and from what you have seen so far this year from GT what do you think are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of the triple option? Do you prefer the backup QB, who ran the Option in HS and seems to protect the ball better, while maybe not being the caliber of athlete of your current starter?

Other than having players in a system that they were not recruited for, our biggest disadvantage is our players learning the system. In watching replays of games, we see flashes of brilliance as a play is run to perfection but we also see the mistakes. A bad read here, a bad pitch there, and all the sudden it's 3rd and long or we've turned the ball over. The mastery of Paul Johnson' offense can only come with time. The biggest advantage of the system we have is the system itself. It is a non-traditional offense which makes the opponent more unfamiliar with what we can throw at them. The Triple Option also creates the opportunity for "the big play". 

The rest, after the jump!

Phil Steele ranks GT's special teams 105th in the nation. Don't know anything about your kicker but i see that he hasn't converted on anything longer than 39 yards. Is this an ability issue? Do the special teams worry you? Has the kicking woes caused Johnson to think differently about 4th downs?

Scott Blair is both our kicker and our punter. He can also tackle like a beast. Twice he has been the last player to beat for a returner and twice he has run them down and thrown them to the ground. The man can punt, but I would be lying if I said I was confident in his field goal kicking skills. It's hard to say if our kicking issues have actually affected CPJ's 4th down philosophy. The man historically goes for it on 4th down a lot anyways and it doesn't matter where the ball is on the field. Our kicking has, however, affected my 4th down philosophy.


GT leads the ACC with 26 fumbles. Would you attribute this to players still not being 100% comfortable with the new offense as i'm sure it takes a lot of focus to execute correctly? How much are we blowing this out of proportion, given that since Tech is so run heavy, they have more opportunities to fumble? I ran some math here, 26 fumbles on 386 carries is a fumble every 14.8 carries, or 6.8% of the time.

The fumbles are an issue. If it wasn't for fumbles, Atlanta could have been a plausible location for ESPN Gameday. The majority of fumbles don't seem to be in Triple Option transactions but rather it's during the snap or just a result from not holding on to the ball. Paul Johnson himself addressed the issue and surprisingly does not know the answer. Unfortunately, neither do we.

We know about Michael Johnson, Nesbitt, Dwyer, Vance Walker, and Demarrius Thomas. Give us a name who will have to step up in order for Ga Tech to win this game (even if it means stepping up to average as opposed to poorly).

As you read above, Scott Blair. Luckily this year, we haven't lost a game because he missed field goal. We've come dangerously close quite a few times though. He needs to hit every field goal he lines up for to give us some relief.

 

Is there an area that you perceive as a weakness that the opposition has yet to exploit?

Our biggest area of weakness (other than our O-Line which everyone and their mom should know about) currently is our secondary and Virginia exploited that last week. Beyond those two things, our main weakness is ourselves and how we run the new system. The transitioning and holding onto the ball, etc.

 

Rivalry

The 1992 FSU-GT game was a big turning point for Seminole football. Charlie Ward's comeback cemented the fast break offense as an FSU staple. Is that a game Tech fans still talk about? Is there speculation on whether the GT program was as adversely affected by the loss as FSU was positively affected by the win?

Honestly, it's not one specific game that GT Fans speak of in regards to Florida State. After our national championship year, our program was plagued by incompetent coaches who seemed to know anything. People look more towards that as a major blow for Georgia Tech. The reason that FSU was growing as a rivalry in our eyes was that it seemed like every year we would get closer and closer but not quite beat the Seminoles so we always looked towards that game.

 

Who do Yellow Jacket fans consider their biggest ACC rival? If not FSU, where do we fall in that pecking order?

Clemson is the biggest ACC rival. One could have argued Florida State before expansion but with current events, it's Clemson. I would put Florida State at #3 behind Clemson and Virginia Tech. Once again it comes down to how many times we've played recently.

 

As a fan, when you first learned that Paul Johnson would replace Chan Gailey what was your initial reaction knowing that the triple option would be coming with him from Navy??

Total excitement. Before rumors swirled around about Chan Gailey's dismissal I was calling for Paul Johnson. So when he arrived on campus I was ecstatic!

 

Has GTech's performance this year been a surprise to you? What direction do you see this team going in the next 2-3 years?

This season has not been a surprise. At the beginning of the year, we did make the statement that we would be 8-4 by year's end. The first half of the season went exactly as follows. The 2nd half has been a surprise, but that's because our predictions of UVA and Clemson were opposite. Now granted, our season-to-date success is not just because of how we have picked up the new system. Our first half of the season was considerably easier than the 2nd half. It let our team adjust and get used to the demands of the Triple Option. For the 2nd half, we predicted 3-3. But one should not be surprised if we go 4-2 or 2-4. The Legacy crew likes to be bold and make statements. Within 3 years we are an ACC and BCS Champion.

 

Fun Questions


1) Don't you love being yelled at by the women who work at the Varsity?

Sunday afternoons after church are when they are in their true form. All other days, its a disappointment. We don't hit it up too much because if we did, we'd be out of toilet paper every other day.

 

2) My wife and I are traveling from Chicago to see the game, any good places to eat close to the stadium?

As mentioned above, The Varsity is a good place to go before the game. It's 1 block east of Bobby Dodd Stadium at the corner of North Avenue and Spring Street. But remember that this is the definition of greasy hamburger joint. The onion rings are kickass and the burgers are good. Your body may disagree with you later but your stomach will love you at the beginning.

If you want a college bar atmosphere with good food, check out Rocky Mountain Pizza. Just across the street from West Campus, they have good beer, good pizza, and great wings. It's located at the corner of 10th street and Hemphill Avenue.

Finally if you are looking for a nice restaurant close to campus for after the game I would strongly suggest The Original Chow Baby. It's real American Stir Fry and is voted one of the best restaurants in Atlanta. It's all you can eat and make your own dish where they cook it on a 500 degree hot plate. Chow Baby is located near the corner of 10th Street and Howell Mill Road.

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