August 20, 2009

Jones close to returning to full strength

Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson celebrated his 52nd birthday on the practice fields at the Rose Bowl Thursday afternoon. After practice, he announced that he was giving the team a little break after working them almost non-stop since the beginning of August.

"We are going to scrimmage a bit tomorrow and then give them the weekend off," Johnson said. "They are trying to push through and we got a little work, but we are pretty leg tired and we need a day off."

The Jackets have some good new regarding A-back Roddy Jones injured wrist. Jones will have the cast and the pins in his wrist removed Monday, which means he should be ready to go for the opening game against Jacksonville State in 16 days.

"Roddy is getting his cast taken off and his pins taken out on Monday," Johnson said.

Despite missing time, A-backs Coach Jeff Monken says Jones has been with the team every step of the way preparing mentally for the season. Jones could play in the Jacksonville State game if the coaches clear him in time.

"I have been pleased with the fact Roddy has been able to do a lot of it," Monken said. "We don't use him in the pass skeleton because he cannot catch with the cast on his hand, but all of the option and team stuff we do that is not against the defense he can do. He cannot do things in a controlled scrimmage type situation, but he does everything else. He does all the drills, all the team and all the option stuff."

The mental reps Jones gets should prepare him for the grind of the season.

"At least mentally, he is able to stay on top of it and he is such a smart and contentious kid that I do not think there will be any drop off when he comes back. I am not worried about him knowing where to go, knowing his assignments or the pass routes. He will just have to knock the rust off in terms of getting on the ground and scrambling after peoples legs and playing with contact which he is not permitted to do right now. I am hopeful that he will come back pretty quickly and we can get him back in the mix."


Several players were in red jerseys today including Demaryius Thomas (fingers), Austin Barrick (knee), Brandon Leslie, Daniel McKayhan and J.C. Lanier (shoulder). Kyle Jackson (lisfranc) and Jordan Luallen (ankle sprain) dressed out in red, but both players remain in protective boots for their respective injuries.

"Bay-Bay is sitting out because I want him to get better before next week," Johnson said. "He has been playing, but I want him to sit out so it gets better. We don't have anyone else out who would be doubtful for the first game except for Jaybo Shaw."

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