August 14, 2009
Fall camp winds down at Georgia Tech
Head coach Paul Johnson was satisfied with the final practice of fall camp on Friday afternoon. The team scrimmages on Saturday and then starting Monday the rest of the players report and the team switches from an instructional camp to game prep mode for Jacksonville State.
"It went okay and it was the last practice of camp, then we scrimmage tomorrow and then school starts on Monday," Johnson said. "Hopefully we got some things accomplished and we can come out of here tomorrow healthy and see what happens."
Each of the scrimmages gives the coaching staff the best look at how players will perform in game like conditions. The coaching staff evaluates the scrimmages very carefully when they are deciding where guys fit into the rotation and the scrimmages usually have a major impact on which true freshmen end up getting on the field.
"I think you have to watch the individuals and we have several guys banged up, so we need to get guys back out there practicing," Johnson said. "The scrimmage is important, but it is not the sole thing. You don't get any more game like than that, so it is important."
The team will scrimmage in Bobby Dodd Stadium at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday and the scrimmage is open to the public.
"Anytime you get a chance to play in the stadium it ought to be special since it is your home field and you are getting to play football. It is not drills or all that. Hopefully it will be fun and they will be jazzed up."
One player who may not participate is backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw who is recovering from his second confirmed concussion since arriving at Georgia Tech.
"I really do not know if I will play tomorrow," he said. "I am trying to decide for myself because I do not want to be sitting out when we start game planning for Jacksonville State. I guess it is up to the coaches and I guess we will see tomorrow."
Outside of the concussion he received last week, Shaw is only aware of one prior concussion.
"I know I have had two concussions since I have been here," Shaw said. "At my high school I did not go to the doctor much, so I do not know if I had a concussion in high school, but I know I have had two since I have been here."
Shaw lost his helmet several times during the first scrimmage a week ago and the staff believes that a helmetless hit caused the concussion.
"I cannot remember if it happened on an exact play, but the doctors think I got hit without my helmet on," Shaw said. "I think someone came into the pile accidentally and hit me on the head.
Overall, Shaw is feeling a lot better than he did earlier in the week.
"I feel a lot better today and I feel even better than I did yesterday," Shaw said. "They did not tell me how bad it was or how severe it was, but I feel good now and I do not have any symptoms. I hope that it will stay that way. I had to knock some rust off yesterday, but it started coming back to me later in practice and today, I felt pretty good."
Shaw does not plan to change his approach to the game to avoid future hits to the head.
"I have told myself to be more careful and if I can get down, maybe I will get down, but really I am a tough player and that is how I am going to play," he said. "I don't think I can change myself until they tell me to stop. I am an option quarterback and that is what I love. I like taking the hit and getting back up and I take pride in that. I am just going to keep playing football."
Starting safety Dominique Reese has been held out of practice all week with a grade one-hamstring injury should return to full strength on Monday.
"He should be back Monday," Johnson said of Reese. "Dominique could probably go tomorrow if it was a game. Nobody is hurt bad and everyone is day-to-day."
Several key starters and reserves missed or were limited in practice on Friday including Cord Howard, Tyler Melton, Ben Anderson, Nick Claytor, J.C. Lanier, Anthony Barnes, Zach Fraysier and Jason Hill.
Backup quarterback Jordan Luallen is about a week away from returning to the practice fields as he recovers from an ankle sprain.
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