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Collins must back up words with wins to keep job at Ga Tech

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ATLANTA – Jeff Collins toned down the slogans that were part of his plan to build a proud new brand at Georgia Tech.

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He seems to understand that there is only one thing that really matters.

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After three seasons with just three wins each, Collins moved up to the fourth grade, probably needing to show significant progress to keep his job.

Only one other coach in Georgia Tech’s modern era has come this far in his position with a worse record than Collins’s 9-25. It was Bill Curry who was 8-24-1 at the three-year mark but at least saw signs of hope coming from a 6-5 campaign.

But that’s not the case for this Georgia Tech team, which lost 100-0 to Notre Dame and eventual national champion Georgia in the last two games of 2021.

“We’re all tired of losing,” Collins said on Saturday, less than 24 hours after the Yellow Vests opened their preseason camp. “We want to play really good football. We want everyone who supports Georgia Tech to be proud.”

Everyone knew the road was going to be a bit bumpy after Collins took over in 2019, especially with the abrupt shift away from the run-oriented, optional offense favored by his predecessor. Paul Johnsonto a pro-style attack.

However, no one expected the Yellow Vests to look like they were starting over in the Collins era.

At a pre-season media event at the Atlantic Coast Conference, Georgia Tech finished sixth in the Coastal Division, ahead of only Duke.

With a tight schedule that includes three teams with 10 wins in their first five games, starting with Clemson on Labor Day at nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium, it’s hard to imagine a path that will take the Yellow Vests to a better record than last year. 9 mark.

Collins is under as much pressure as any other coach in the country (well, with the exception of Auburn, I guess). Brian Hars) and knows that he must show tangible proof that his program is moving in the right direction.

This means real victories, not just words.

His players know it too.

“We know it wasn’t the best couple of seasons.” – Senior wide receiver Malachi Carter said. “But if we stop there, it won’t be a good season either.”

During a nearly half-hour media meeting at Georgia Tech’s indoor training facility, Collins never once mentioned “404 culture,” his love of Waffle House, or any of the other Atlanta references he’d made over the first three years in hope. give your program the appeal of a big city for potential recruits.

The ongoing sales effort has led some critics to deride it as a “coaching slogan”.

Now he has to show that he can coach football.

As is often the case with those who come under fire, Collins has made major changes to his coaching staff.

In attack, he entered Chip Long as coordinator and winner of the 2000 Heisman Trophy Chris Weinke work with quarterbacks.

Both were hired primarily with the intention of getting more out of the quarterback. Jeff Simswho has a big arm and great running ability, but was too erratic in the first two seasons.

“Absolutely,” Collins agreed. “That was the focus of the whole conversation, the whole (hiring) process.”

Long and Weinke will mostly have Sims and offenses, which will give Collins a chance to devote more time to the other side of the line.

The Yellow Jackets finished last in the ACC in most defensive categories, trailing 455.3 yards and 33.5 points per game. In a sign of a struggle that ranged from front to back, they only had 20 sacks (Virginia was the only team with fewer) and finished last in the ACC with a measly three interceptions.

Collins, who was known in his time as a helper in protecting aggressive units that created a lot of chaos, must find a way to show this style with the help of “Jackets”.

“Obviously a lot of the decisions that were made (with the coaching staff) were made so that I could spend more time on defense,” Collins said. “All the new, fresh ideas, as well as the people I can rely on, have been very helpful to the program.”

All this sounds good. Now it should appear on the scoreboard.

If not, Georgia Tech may be looking for a new coach.


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