Since coaches have been prepping for opponents, scout teams have been around. But like many things at Georgia Tech, Geoff Collins and his staff are approaching it differently.
It starts with what they call it. It's not a "scout team," for Collins and his program.
“Everything we do is about development,” he shared with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We are a developmental program, so we don’t call them scout teams. We call them developmental teams.”
Instead of a graduate assistant running a scout team by showing cards and having players run that play each time, Collins and his staff are doing something different, with the focus on developing their players and their schemes.
Collins believes that it is so important, he even runs the defensive developmental team himself.
How do you do that running the opponents playbook? Well, Collins believes in running stuff from their own playbook that is similar to what the opponent does. Regardless of whether it's Cover 2 on defense or running inside zone or a shallow cross concept on offense, they'll use the Georgia Tech verbiage and techniques to execute it.
Now, instead of players having to get through a scout team session running someone else's plays they see on a card, their perception of the period is more positive because they're working on stuff that can directly make them better and catch attention of their coaches.
Georgia Tech does see an option team on their schedule in The Citadel, so they'll likely have to use cards for that one, but otherwise they're running the closest stuff they have in their playbook to what their opponents run.
Using that approach, the AJC article points out that coaches are able to evaluate players much better, and more efficiently. Collins and his staff then split guys up to "above the line" guys - the type of guys that could see the field, and then those that fall below the line that need to develop further.
Cool idea and a different way of thinking about it that makes a ton of sense. It will be interesting to see how this works, especially as Georgia Tech preps for a unique offense like The Citadel, having to go to cards for that week.
Head here to read more. Some really interesting stuff from Geoff Collins and his staff.