August 12, 2009

Burnett pleased with the defense

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team avoided bad weather on Wednesday evening in the second two-a-day practice of fall camp. Head coach Paul Johnson said the practice was uneven and the team still has a long way to go before facing Jacksonville State in 23 days.

"I don't think it was real sharp, but it is like anything some periods are better than others," Johnson said. "It is safe to say we are not game ready yet."

One of the bright spots in the afternoon practice was safety Jemea Thomas who has had a knack for making plays working behind starter Morgan Burnett.

"Jemea is doing well out there and he is picking up the defense pretty fast," Burnett said.
"I can tell he is going to be a good athlete and he is making big plays. He likes to hit."

Overall, Burnett has been pleased with the defense and their progression in camp.

"I think the guys understand the defense better and we understand where we are supposed to be in different alignments," he said. "We understand our assignments better and guys are just flying around and giving great effort out there."

So far, Burnett's favorite moment of camp came last Saturday during the scrimmage in Bobby Dodd Stadium.

"People have been waiting a while to put on the football pads and when you get that first hit you know football season is here," he said of the scrimmage. "A lot of guys are excited about that."

Burnett says the defense is extremely close and the team is very close overall.

"With our defense we have a close brotherhood between one another as does the offense," he said. "The whole team is bonded between each other and we are around each other a lot, so we pretty much know what we have to do and the things we need to do to be successful."

Injuries

Several players were held out of practice on Wednesday evening including both starting defensive tackles Jason Peters and Ben Anderson. Peters has been struggling with his weight and the medical staff held him out of action for the last few days to make sure everything was okay with him.

"Both should be back out here tomorrow," Johnson said. "Ben had to get a boil lanced and with Jason they are checking his work because he lost too much weight, so we have been holding him out."

Among the players held out of practice in red jerseys were Nick Claytor, Dominique Reese, Jaybo Shaw, Jordan Luallen, Jason Hill and Daniel McKayhan.

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