August 22, 2009

Coaching the corners

Georgia Tech Cornerbacks Coach Charles Kelly has a lot of talented players to sort through as he comes up with a rotation and depth chart for the 2009 season. With a trio of corners battling for two starting spots and a true freshman making great plays in the secondary, Kelly will have to make some tough decision on who plays and who sits on the bench this year. Jacketsonline caught up with Kelly to see where the corners stand heading into game preparations for Jacksonville State.

You have three strong corners in Mario Butler, Rashaad Reid and Jerrard Tarrant. Tell me a little about each of those guys. What are the things they need to work on?

"We have had a couple of weeks of good work and all three of them have done some good things and all three of them have done some not so good things. I know for example, Rashaad is very instinctive player and he made some plays, but he needs to understand situations a little better, sometimes I forget that he is still a young guy. Mario understands what we are doing and he probably understands the defense as well as any of the corners we have, but he needs to make more plays. He in position and I will give that to him that in the last couple of days he has made some more plays. Jerrard is a guy that has a lot of ability and a lot of instinct. He plays the ball well, but he still has to get a better grasp of what we are doing defensively especially in certain situations. That is something that comes with time."

Do you know who will start yet?

"Right now I do not know. I am going to see who will be the best and who will be the most productive and we will put the two best out there that we feel like can help us win."

Is the fourth corner, Rod Sweeting?

"Right now it is a competition between all of them. I have worked six guys pretty well. The three we just talked about and Roderick Sweeting have worked the most. Sweeting has done very well for freshman, but has a lot to learn, but he makes plays. Michael Peterson is a very smart player who has some experience and played well for us last year when he came in. Martin Frierson is a guy that moved to corner last year. He is a bigger guy and he has done some good things in man-to-man coverage matching up with bigger guys. I think you have to go in with all of them and see where they can help us and then put them there."

Have you been surprised by how quickly Sweeting got into the rotation and into a position to play this year?

"In a way, I guess I would say yes because you never know with freshmen. I try not to prejudge any freshmen when they come in. You never know how they are going to react to college life or being with a new team. The things you see him do athletically are what you look for. He has been very smart and he learns things very well. Sometimes you have to get into the full speed of things and he has reacted well in a lot of spots. He has made mistakes, but it is our job to coach them and get them ready."

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