October 7, 2009

Jackets enjoy great practice, but have some bad news

The Georgia Tech football team had their best practice of the 2009 season on Wednesday after as they prepare for their showdown in Tallahassee with the Florida State Seminoles. Head Coach Paul Johnson was pleased with the practice, but had some bad news about a starter who could be out for the game on Saturday.

"We had a good practice and it might have been one of the best practices we had all year. The intensity was good and the energy was good. I was a good practice," Johnson said.

Johnson cited several reasons for the improved practice today and all week.

"It being a little cooler might have something to do with it and we are knee deep in it, so there is a purpose unlike camp," Johnson said. "I think we are getting into a routine which is good."

Defensive end Anthony Egbuniwe is sick with an undisclosed illness and he may not make the trip to Tallahassee this week according to Coach Johnson. If Egbuniwe is not available for the Florida State game, true freshman Izaan Cross would move into the starting lineup.

"Egbuniwe is very questionable because he is sick and not injured," Johnson said.

On Wednesday, free safety Cooper Taylor finally opened up the injury that has sidelined him since the Miami game. Taylor blacked out during the Miami game due to a heart condition. That condition was later diagnosed as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. The condition involves an extra electrical pathway in the heart that causes misfires and irregular heartbeats.

"I feel better. I had a minor heart problem that the doctors went in and fixed. I should be good to go in a couple of weeks and if not, we will see how it goes," Taylor said. "It happened during the game and I saw the great doctors at Piedmont on Sunday and the next week they fixed me. My heart started to race and I will leave it at that. They went in, found out I had this minor heart defect and they fixed it."

"In the first quarter it happened. I got dizzy and blacked out," Taylor said. "I got off the field and told the doctors. It was something that happened before, but I thought it was from being out of shape. The doctors said it is something that gets progressively worse the more it happens. In the Miami game it happened bad enough, that they had to fix it and I could no longer play with it, so I got it fixed."

Levi and Logan Walls both suffer from that condition as well. Levi had surgery during the spring of 2008 for the condition.

"I talked to Logan before and after and mine was different because mine was more complicated," Taylor said. "They went in through my leg in my groin and that is what is killing me. I cannot really run yet, so that is keeping me back. It has been tough last week was the first time I did not get to travel. It is a weird feeling not being there on Saturdays."

"I am planning on it," Taylor said of returning this year. "I am not sure when, just not yet."

Kick Coverage

The Jackets have been working on kick coverage because Georgia Tech is currently 108th in the nation in kick coverage and the Seminoles have a great returner, Greg Reid.

"We did it today. It was as satisfactory as it can because we were getting them with some live bullets. They all look good against scouts."

Scott Blair is expected to handle kickoffs this week, but the Jackets will have different personnel on coverage than they did in previous games this season. The Jackets will have a faster unit of players on kick coverage this week.

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