Yellow Jackets > Improved Defense a Priority for Tech

| March 27, 2015

Tech Defense

ATLANTA — The spring-practice to-do list for the Georgia Tech defense should not come as a great surprise to anyone who watched the team play in 2014.

“We’ve got to get better with the four-man pass rush, we’ve got to get better with our run defense,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said Wednesday. “We were better at (run defense) towards the end of the year than we were at the beginning of the year. And, obviously, third down. We’ve got to get off the field on third downs.”

The Yellow Jackets completed their second of 15 spring-practice workouts Wednesday, again in shorts and helmets. Roof is not wasting time to improve a unit that was 105th in the country in yards-per-rush (5.07 yards) and 114th in the country (46.1 percent) in third-down conversion percentage. Roof said the defense spent time in its first two practices getting practice repetitions against various passing routes and run-blocking schemes that gave the Jackets trouble in 2014.

“Things that we know we’re going to see,” Roof said.

The Tech defense did force turnovers exceptionally well – the Jackets recorded 29 takeaways for the season, including 19 in the final seven games – but struggled elsewhere.

“We just need to get better overall,” coach Paul Johnson said. “Yards-per-play (6.32) was not very good. You take any metrics you want, there’s some room for improvement.”

Roof is hopeful about the unit, which returns eight starters. He said that because he is able to teach with so many players having experience, knowing the terminology and understanding the concepts, the defense was ahead of where it was at this point last spring.

He acknowledged that it was only after two practices, “but that’s what we have to go on right now.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution

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