August 10, 2009

Jackets struggle during ninth practice in eight days

The second practice on Monday for the Georgia Tech football team featured some odd pairings as fatigue and minor injuries cut into the available players. Head coach Paul Johnson was not surprised by the uneven practice because it was the ninth practice in eight days for the Jackets.

"It kind of drug, but there were some positives even though we were in shells," Johnson said. "We need to work hard to get where we want to go. I am sure there is a fatigue factor, but they need to learn to work through it."

A variety of aliments crop up in camp and Jaybo Shaw, Brad Sellers and Zach Fraysier were not practicing on Monday evening. Shaw was out with a minor head injury that occurred during the scrimmage Saturday.

"Jaybo got hit the head," Johnson said. "If we could get a helmet that would stay on him that would probably help. There are no other major injuries that I know of, but in camp, you are going to have tweaks. We do not have anything that sticks out as a long-term injury except for Jordan Luallen. Jordan is the worst guy and he is probably out two weeks."

Starters, Jonathan Dwyer (hip flexor) and Dominique Reese (hamstring) were held out of the afternoon session and did training on the side with the medical staff along side Austin Barrick (knee), Daniel McKayhan, and Jason Hill.

Specialty linemen

On the defensive line, Coach Giff Smith has been tinkering with a couple of players and cross training them with the hopes of getting both Albert Rocker and Osahon Tongo some playing time this fall. Both players are working at both defensive end and defensive tackle positions even though they are undersized.

"Osahon and Albert both on the defensive line trying to find a way to get onto the field," Smith said. "The biggest thing I told them is that they need to make a name for themselves on special team. I told them I am going to work you at all four positions and you can be a float guy for me in a situation. I have been extremely pleased at how they have gone about their work and doing whatever is asked about them. We will see how it unfolds and hopefully they will be on those special teams and they can be in the last part of the rotation."

Smith also said that Rocker and Tongo could be used as situational pass rushers from either the defensive tackle or end positions.

"I think they can be in there in spots because they both have a knack for rushing the passer," Smith said. "You have to spot them in certain situations because of the size of them out there, but they are both tough kids and they both are extremely strong. They have done better than I thought they would when they first moved so I am encouraged about it."

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