Georgia Tech linebackers honing blitz techniques

While a frequently used piece in Georgia Tech’s blitzing game, linebacker P.J. Davis finished the 2015 season with two sacks. And while sack totals are only one indicator of effective pass pressure, Davis’ total still helped paints the picture of Tech’s ineffective pass rush in 2015.

Davis and his fellow linebackers have endeavored to do their part this spring to ramp up the Yellow Jackets’ pass pressure.

“It’s always good as a linebacker to be an effective blitzer, so we’ve been working that a lot as far as timing and just coming downhill and being physical and using moves to get off the guards and tackles and get to the quarterback,” Davis said Saturday following the team’s 12th spring-practice workout.

Davis said also that the defense sometimes didn't disguise its blitzes well enough, enabling opponents to blunt their effectiveness. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof sent extra defenders at the quarterback often last season, but Tech finished with 14 sacks, tied for 120th in FBS. Opponents completed 59.9 percent of their passes, which tied for 85th. Johnson said earlier in the spring that teams frequently countered the Jackets' blitz pressure by releasing passes quickly, exploiting the tactic.

Davis will lead a talented but young group at linebacker that includes Victor Alexander and Brant Mitchell, who played last season as freshmen. Emanuel Bridges is an early-enrollee freshman.

Said Davis of Bridges, “He’s doing OK. He’s a good kid at taking coaching, just listening to everything Coach Roof sees in us. He’s just trying to get better.”