This article about how Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins and his staff determine playing time was updated Wednesday after being originally posted Tuesday afternoon. The story was changed after an exchange of electronic messages with Collins made clear that his remarks at his Tuesday news conference had been misinterpreted.
In determining playing time for each upcoming game, Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins places weight on practice performance while also considering how players have performed in previous games.
“Previous game performance is always included in our thought process for playing time,” Collins wrote Wednesday. “We are constantly building a database internally for a full picture to determine (”Above the line”) playing time.”
Collins’ remarks on Tuesday were initially interpreted to mean that practice performance alone determines playing time. That was not the case.
Collins additionally wrote that players can improve from week to week in practice. That can happen with those players not playing much, or perhaps not even at all, in games. But development made in practice will be reflected in playing time in future games, he wrote.
Collins’ remarks followed his decision to play Brenton King and not Wesley Wells as the placekicker and kickoff specialist against the Bulls. While the two split the job against Clemson in the first week, King had both jobs Saturday, taking all three kickoffs, both point-after tries and a field-goal attempt from 50 yards that was wide.
On social media, some fans questioned why Wells did not play, given that he is 9-for-9 in his career on field-goal attempts and 41-for-41 on extra-point tries. King was 6-for-10 on field-goal attempts and 25-for-27 on extra-point tries before going 2-for-2 on extra points and his missed field goal.
After the game, Collins said that it was a decision based on competition in practice.
“If (past play) is all that matters, then we’re saying that you can have a poor practice on Tuesday, really not be into it, really not be dialed in Wednesday and you come out and have a lackluster performance, you don’t give great effort, but because you’re played well in a game before, then you’re saying it’s OK to not practice at a high level,” Collins said Tuesday. “You lower the standards in your organization, you lower the standards for that individual, and that’s not the kind of thing that we reward around here.”