May 3, 2009

Jones excited about 2009 season

After two years of spring practice and a one full regular season year under head coach Paul Johnson and his run-oriented offense, sophomore A-back Roddy Jones is feeling pretty confident about the state of Georgia Tech's offense heading into the 2009 season.

The first spring under Johnson was a learning experience for everyone on the team and Jones and the other offensive players feel much better prepared for the demands of the upcoming season in year two.

"Last spring we were just putting in the offense and guys kind of had an idea of what they were supposed to do," Jones said. "After running the offense last year and all spring, the defense threw different looks at us. Last year we buckled under the pressure. This year we went back to something we did in the fall and took everything in stride. We can keep our composure a lot more and keep our heads."

Looking back at the 2008 spring practice and subsequent season, Jones wonders how the Yellow Jackets were able to put up enough points to win some of those nine games.

"Looking back at last spring it is amazing we won any games last year," he said. "At the beginning of the year we had some guys make some great plays. When a play would breakdown Josh Nesbitt, Jonathan Dwyer or Demaryius Thomas would go out and make some plays. We were able to win some close games and towards the end of the year when we got used to the offense, things started to click and you saw production coming everyone. I think that when we needed it, guys were able to make plays on defense and offense. Throughout the year, the defense carried us a lot and did a great job of keeping us in the game."

With the bar set higher for 2009, Jones said people will see a much more varied offensive attack that still focuses on the option, but has a greater complexity to the plays.

"I think we have put in a lot of new plays since last season," Jones said. "We were able to work on tweaking plays to counter some of the stuff other defenses do. We were able to throw more curveballs at the defense this spring. We were blocking things a little differently because the guys have a general idea of what we are trying to do. It makes our offense a lot more focused."

Jones also hinted that there will be a greater emphasis on the passing game once the 2009 season gets under way.

"I feel like we are coming along in the passing game," he said. "In the spring game we were able to complete some play-action passes and the run and shoot stuff is coming along real well, so you will see a lot more of that in the fall than you have been seeing."

The Yellow Jackets open the 2009 season with Jacksonville State on Sept. 9 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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