‘Spoon-feeding’ time is over for Georgia Tech’s Jeff Sims

Georgia Tech quarterbacks (from left) Trad Beatty (15), Jeff Sims (10), Chayden Peery (16) and Jordan Yates (13) run on the field during a practice at Rose Bowl Field at Georgia Tech on Friday, August 6, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Caption
Georgia Tech quarterbacks (from left) Trad Beatty (15), Jeff Sims (10), Chayden Peery (16) and Jordan Yates (13) run on the field during a practice at Rose Bowl Field at Georgia Tech on Friday, August 6, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

A year ago, Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude was preparing to start a freshman quarterback in the Yellow Jackets’ season opener at Florida State.

“I didn’t sleep very well that night,” Patenaude said Tuesday.

He is sleeping better now. Among his seven returning starters is that quarterback, Jeff Sims, now with 10 starts to his credit. It has created a different dynamic in the preseason as Tech prepares for its season opener against Northern Illinois at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sept. 4.

“This time last year, we were just trying to figure out what that skill set was, and his growth has been exponential, so you can do a lot more things now,” Patenaude said. “I think that’s one of the biggest keys, is that you’re not just spoon-feeding him just little pieces at a time. He really understands a lot more now, and you can kind of game plan around that.”

Patenaude said that Sims continues to be a work in progress and sometimes makes some head-scratching decisions, but the difference with Sims now compared with last season is that he knows the mistake that he made without having to be told.

“It’s just little coaching points now of, ‘Reset your feet.’ ‘Move (the defense) with your eyes.’ Things like that, instead of having to go through the whole play or the whole read,” Patenaude said.

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