How Georgia Tech football spends its virtual meeting time

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins speaks to players after last year's spring game. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

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Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins speaks to players after last year's spring game. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech made it through six of 15 spring-practice workouts before the spread of the coronavirus brought it – along with the rest of the sports world – to a halt.

But, on laptops and other digital devices in the homes of Yellow Jackets football players, the offseason has continued in a different format. In the time that coaches have been permitted to virtually meet with players in activities such as video review and team meetings, part of the time has been dedicated to the introduction of schemes and plays that were to be installed over the remainder of spring practice. Players and coaches connect via video conference.

After sports activities were suspended in March, teams were allowed four hours weekly for required virtual meetings by NCAA rule for purposes such as video review, team meetings or instructional conversations. As of Monday, the limit was increased to eight hours, although Tech can’t conduct any such meetings this week as students are in their final-examination period. They can move up to eight after the exam period ends April 30.

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Coach Geoff Collins said players are being shown “cut-ups from the spring, cut-ups from last season, doing install tapes because we got six practices in. But it’s also expanding to those last nine installs, being able to go through that.”

The players meet by position group. The cornerbacks have two meetings per week, cornerback Tre Swilling said.

“We go watch some NFL tape, we watch tape that we can correct,” Swilling said. “That’s just how we move forward.”

It’s obviously not the same as being on the field and learning the defense through repetition, but at least it’s something.

“That way, we can get ahead and get ready to go to fall camp and get ready to start our season,” Swilling said.

Collins said that he has stressed to his position coaches that they spend a lot of time on skill development.

“So they’ll show them drills, critique techniques, all of those kind of things,” he said, “and then we build in time just to make sure we’re connecting with them and just making sure our relationships – which are something we prioritize a great deal – make sure those are very, very strong.”