PINEHURST, N.C. – Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas isn’t one to talk excessively, so the ACC Kickoff probably wasn’t his ideal way to spend a Monday. That said, Thomas did offer a few insights into Tech’s summer workouts and his thoughts on the season ahead. A few below, and more will be dispersed in coming days.
1. It sounds like he’s developing a connection with wide receiver Micheal Summers. Thomas said he’s been working with him a lot this summer and trying to break some of Summers’ bad habits.
“We’ve been connecting on some good passes, especially when we compete against our defense,” he said.
He is hopeful about Tech’s two other scholarship returnees at wide receiver, Ricky Jeune and Antonio Messick.
“Ricky’s come a long way,” Thomas said. “He’s a big body. And Antonio, he’s come a long way, too. He’s probably a name you haven’t heard that much, but he’s probably one of the taller guys we have. I think he can be a big part of the offense as long as he goes in there and plays like he’s supposed to.”
2. He is O.K. with not throwing the ball much. He was asked a couple times about if he would like to throw more, or if it’s in the plans. Most quarterbacks would say yes, they would, or give lip-service answers about wanting to do what’s best for the team. Thomas, though, defended the team’s run-heavy style and did so with a little bit of spark.
“If it’s working, it’s working,” Thomas said. “I’m not going to change anything. We were rolling last year with what we were doing. There wasn’t reason to change. It’s not like we didn’t throw the ball. If we weren’t throwing the ball, we wouldn’t have gotten two guys that got drafted in the NFL (Darren Waller and DeAndre Smelter). We throw the ball when we need to, when we have to.”
I laughed when he made the comment about the draft, in that it was exactly the sort of thing Thomas’ coach would say.
3. He hasn’t worked extensively with new B-back Patrick Skov, but isn’t worried about his fit into the Tech offense. Thomas said Skov had a “smooth transition” into the team and has been accepted well. He also noted his strength, experience and smarts.
“Coming in, it’s not like he’s a true freshman, fresh off the block,” Thomas said. “He kind of knows how the game works and how it is so, it was kind of easy for him to adjust and learn the system.”
Thomas did say he and Skov (and starter Marcus Allen) have worked on the mesh, but he also said that there’s only so much value in it, as he can’t watch their footwork, so he can’t help them learn the proper steps into the mesh.
“Even when I do see them, it’s not on the same level that coaches do,” Thomas said.
What Thomas can do is familiarize players with the plays and the direction they’re supposed to go.
“The footwork, that’ll come later,” he said.