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April 18, 2007

If Chan Gailey owned a Ferrari


(Image: GoldenTornado.net)

In honor of the upcoming NFL Draft, I thought it was important to take a step back and reflect on the amazing gifts of Calvin Johnson. Johnson, the consensus top player entering the Draft, has measureables off the charts at 6'5", 235 lbs and a 4.39 40 yard dash. Here's a guy bigger than many NFL linebackers, faster than almost every NFL cornerback and with ridiculous body control.

Yet, at Georgia Tech he only broke 1,000 yards receiving once -- during a 14 game season that saw him compile 25% of his stats in the final two games. Football historians will judge Chan Gailey's lack of use of Johnson and continued use of Reggie Ball with harsh tones.

If Chan Gailey owned a Ferrari, he'd have the engine removed and replaced with a sewing machine. If he built a state of the art wine cellar, he'd fill it with Thunderbird and Night Train. If he bought a mansion in Jackson Hole, he's sleep in a FEMA trailer. If Heidi Klum threw herself at him, he'd jump out of her way.

It boggles the mind that they could've had such a great weapon, and use him so sparingly.

PWD

(BTW -- That's not to take away from what Paul Oliver and Demario Minter did to Calvin in those last two UGA vs. GT games. They played some fierce defense *and* Gailey/Ball didn't/couldn't get him the ball.)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

If not for Reggie Ball we would not be able to brag about 6 years in a row either.

Jeff said...

As much as I hate the message of this post, it's entirely true.

And any post referencing Thunderbird--or any bum wine really--is quality. Although I'm a Mad Dog man m'self.

Dawg 05 said...

If I'm getting drunk on cheap wine then I'm drinking Boones Farm. I'll always wonder how good CJ would have been if he would have had Greene or Shockley throwing to him instead of a half retarded midget.

Nathan said...

Calvin won a lot of games for GT (@AU, @Miami, @VT, @Clemson in particular, he was basically the entire offense in those games) - while he may have been under used to an extent (and he was), he still had enormous production. His junior season statistics alone nearly equal Andre Johnson's entire career at Miami, for example.

Maybe what's remarkable is that Calvin still got 2,927 yards and 28 touchdowns in only 38 games despite Reggie's struggles. He would be second in both categories by narrow margins in UGA's history (and second in yardage in SEC history, I believe) after only three seasons. If he had played 4 years at GT, he would be 1,000 yards ahead of anyone who ever played at Georgia DESPITE Reggie and Chan and Nix, etc ...

So yes, while he was under used and didn't show his full potential ... I hate the perception that his career somehow was slightly disappointing in school. The guy still racked up some unreal statistics. I guess it says a lot about his talent that even more was expected.

GDawg said...

...but he never beat Georgia. And really, which of his 'breakout' performances would qualify as a "big game" victory or big time win??

A Tech fan will probably answer said question differently from other BCS conference fans...

Don't get me wrong, it was almost a win in and of itself that he went to Tech to start with. And I'm sure you love the guy and all... but to say his collegiate career wasn't at least somewhat disappointing is a biased lie. Smurf Turf. Emerald Bowl. ACC CG loss to Wake Forest in front of about 25 people. I'm sure he'll always remember such grand moments and never once second guess himself for playing for the mighty Jackets!

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Cisco? That was like crack in a bottle. I woke up one morning in my room with red Cisco spilled all over the floor and I felt like I was the victim of Chinese organ thieves for a minute. Nope, just a night drinking Cisco.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked at GT's continued lack of creativity to get him the ball. Running the fade route 12 times a game is not really trying to get him the ball.

Of course, had he played for UGa last year Stafford/Cox/JTIII/Barnes/Logan Gray/whoever wouldn't have gotten him the ball, either. The QBing was clearly the biggest problem.

all school said...

Nathan:

this is something I dont really get about GTU fans. You defend CJ's career by pointing out he had pretty good stats, and a few select games where his stats led to wins.

Good players pile up stats. Great players win games.

I know you're probably tired of the Herschel Paradigm, but Herschel came in as a freshman to a team that was 6-5 the previous year, and led them to a national championship. He led them to contention for the championship the next two years. The precise reason he's the greatest college running back of all time (with, in my humble opinion, only Tony Dorsett worthy of making a decent pitch for the title) isnt because he racked up yards or touchdowns. It because he racked up stats AND WON BALLGAMES.

Now, I know CJ couldnt throw the ball to himself, and I dont suggest he wasnt a superlative player. It's just kind of weird to see a Tech fan defend him by saying, in effect, "Well, we didnt win crap while he was here, but his stats were better than you might think."

I'm not sure how good your point is about comparing his stats to UGA wide receivers. In case you havent noticed while the Dogs have been dusting you for the last 40 something years, we havent exactly been running the Ultimate Air Attack over in Athens.

Face it. CJ was a great talent who, for whatever reason, didnt translate into meaningful wins at Tech (other than the occasional upset). You were a mediocre team before he arrived. You were mediocre all 3 years he was there. Sure, you were mediocre with a huge weapon on your side, but still.....mediocre.

You can blame Gailey. You can blame Nix. You can blame Reggie Ball. You can blame the rest of the offense for making it somewhat easy to zero in on CJ. The fact remains: Tony Taylor scored as many TDs against GTU as CJ did against UGA, and Tony doesnt run a 4.3 40 or even have a 42 inch vertical.

Nathan said...

CJ's brilliant games against top 5 Miami and VT teams on the road were certainly huge performances in huge games. Actually, outside of UGa he was a monster against nearly every top 25 team he faced in his career and GT won most of those games. He didn't have great games against UGa in large part because Richt was willing to take PI calls instead of letting him beat coverage deep and because UGa's d-line absolutely punked our o-line in a way that still makes me wince thinking about it. I didn't help that Nix called like 3 pass plays and the UGa DB's could just jump those same routes every single time.

Calvin Johnson was not a better college player than Herschel Walker, I don't think any GT fans will say that (hell, we had a MB thread on that and like 90% said HW). Part of that is the difference between being a RB and a WR (you could have a one legged blind QB and still get HW the ball), but not all of it. I do think CJ will be a better pro because he wasn't beat to death in college and should stay healthier (and hopefully some team won't trade their entire roster for him and doom themselves to suckage).

As for comparing to UGa WR's ... don't sell Edwards short. He is still the all time leader in SEC history for receiving yards and scored 30 TD's. That's one hell of a career. He was a tremendous college receiver, one of the very best in SEC history.

Finally, if you think GT isn't a better football program now than when CJ started and that he didn't have a HUGE impact on GT football, I don't know what to say. We just had our first top 15 recruiting class in ages thanks to kids who want to be CJ. We competed for our first ACC title in a decade and played on New Year's Day. While there's still a ways to go, no way we would even be on the path without CJ's 3 years.

Anonymous said...

he's not a Ferrari... he's a pot head!

 
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