The Great Yellow Jacket Encounter

Prior to Georgia Tech's Fan Day, had a chance to talk to a few of the leaders on this year's team. Morgan Burnett, Josh Nesbitt, and Cord Howard give us their thoughts on the 2009 season, their teammates, and what their goals are for this season.


Can you talk about some of the new secondary players and do you think they can make some contributions?

"Jemea Thomas is starting to learn the defense, and he's picking it up pretty fast. Roderick Sweeting is a good athlete, and you can tell the two of them have a bright future ahead of them."

Can you talk about Jacksonville State?

"They're a very good football team. We can't take them lightly at all. Our main focus right now is Jacksonville State."

Last year, the focus was on the strong defensive line. With the focus on the secondary this year, is the pressure on the secondary?

"The defense as a whole has each other's back. We have a great leader in Derrick Morgan who will take over for the three defensive linemen that left. We have leaders in the entire defense to help each other out."

Who has surprise you on defense so far this year?

"The defense as a whole by the way the guys are flying around out there. We're feeding off of each other. As a whole the defense has shown a lot of improvement. I think the whole team will surprise."

How much has the offense improved this year after seeing them from the other side of the ball?

"Every day you go out there Nesbitt, Dwyer, Marcus, Anthony, BayBay seem to pick up the offense better. You have your head spinning around because you don't know who has the ball or where they're going."

How important is it to have Brad Jefferson and Sedric Griffin back healthy this year?

"It helps out a lot. Our defense really feeds off those two guys. They're the heart of our defense. They get the defense going as we feed off of them."


Are there any new players that stick out in your mind?

"I think Orwin Smith and Stephen Hill. I think they have a chance to play. The coaches still have to decide whether to redshirt them or not. We're pretty deep this year."

What have you seen so far playing against the new defensive linemen?

"We have a great defense and I think they're picking up the slack. They're doing a very good job so far."

How much more comfortable are you with the offense this year as opposed to last year?

"Last year, I really didn't know what I was doing. This year I'm able to take what I learn from the film room and take it out on the field and execute it."

Are you comfortable with the reads?

"Yeah, I'm comfortable with the reads. You have to be on your feet and adjust accordingly to what the defense is doing."

Is there any pressure now that the Yellow Jackets are considered one of the top teams?

"No pressure at all because we control our own fate."

Talk a little about the passing game.

"We can throw the ball. We have a lot of receivers and a-backs that can catch. It's still up to the coaches whether we want to throw the ball or not.

As a quarterback, is it frustrating to not throw the ball more?

"I don't care as long as we're winning. We can run, we can pass, as long as the "W" is up there at the end of the game, I'm happy."

What will Anthony Allen add to the offense?

"He's a great addition to the offense and a great addition to the team. He's a leader and having already played two years of college ball, he has experience. We take that to help us."

What about Anthony's passion?

"You need that on the team. He gets us fired up and ready to go."


How much difference does the second year mean in this offense?

"For the offensive line it means having a nastier attitude and being able to decipher things at the line. It helps the offensive line get things started easier because to be successful the offensive line has to do well. Last year we had a pretty good season but this year I think we can be better. A lot of guys are acclimated to the blocking schemes and we're making great strides this year."

Talk about having a nastier attitude.

"It was kind of a give and take. We all said that we wanted to be better. Last year there was a lack of aggression up front. This summer, with the workouts and last spring I think we got everything down."

Do you have goals or numbers in your head for the offense?

"Pretty much every lineman has up to ten knockdowns a game. We want over three hundred yards a game. Less hurries on the pass protection is something we worked on a lot in the offseason. We don't want to give up many sacks."

How has the increased depth helped the competition?

"The competition and depth has opened up a lot of guy's eyes. The competition brings out the best in all of us. A lot of the older guys are stepping up now that the younger guys are learning the schemes."

What are your thought going into your final season at Georgia Tech?

"Every year you want to improve. I want to see if I can put together all the things I've learned. I want to have a big last year. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was getting here. I have high expectations for this last season." Top Stories