August 11, 2009

Bedford and Voss battle for center spot

One of the biggest position battles this fall will be at the center position where Sean Bedford and Dan Voss are battling for the starting center position for the Georgia Tech football team. Head coach Paul Johnson talked about the competition between Bedford and Voss that has been going strong in camp.

"I think Sean has had a good camp and he has things he can improve on," Johnson said. "He has made a lot of strides from spring till now."

Bedford feels like things have been pretty even between the two and they have been sharing reps with the first team offense.

"I think it is going really well and the thing you have to consider when you look at this is that Dan and I understand that whoever beats the other out is improving the team," Bedford said. "We are pushing each other to get there because we both think we should be starting, but if the other person beats us out they must be that much better and that makes the team that much better."

Johnson says he expects Voss and Bedford to take turns running the first unit for the next few weeks as they battle for the top spot.

"We have over three weeks before the first game and it might go back and forth four or five times," Johnson said. "We still have two or three scrimmages and a lot of practices."

Bedford for his part has a clear picture of what he needs to work on to get the starting nod.

"I think my footwork is my biggest thing," he said. "Coming over from defensive line that is something I can definitely improve on and I can also improve in the pass protection area because that is something I have not done a lot and I think I am making strides there. Footwork is definitely where I need to improve the most."

As a former walk-on defensive player, Bedford never dreamed of getting a chance to start anywhere on the team and he says all the credit should go to the coaching staff for plugging him into a spot where he could excel.

"I never would have guess I'd get a shot to be a starting center here, but that speaks volumes about how willing the coaching staff is to give you opportunities to succeed if you work hard," Bedford said.

Overall, Bedford says the offensive line should be a major improvement over the group from 2008.

"I think we are improved, but there is definitely room for improvement which you saw today," Bedford said. "We are still a long ways away from where we want to be by the first game. I don't think it is any big secret we did not do as well as we could have last season and we really want to make up for that and step up and be strength for this team rather than a weakness."


Linebacker Anthony Barnes was wearing a protective boot on his right foot and in a red jersey when practice began on Tuesday. Johnson did not elaborate on his condition.

"I don't know how he injured his foot and I do not think it was anything serious," Johnson said about Barnes' injury.

Backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw and offensive lineman Brad Sellers were held out of practice Tuesday while they recover from concussions suffered during the scrimmage Saturday.

"When you get hit in the head you usually get a concussion," Johnson said of Shaw's injury.

Running back Jonathan Dwyer only went through half of the practice on Tuesday before leaving after aggravating his hip flexor injury. Preston Lyons took over as the first team B-back in Dwyer's absence ahead of Richard Watson.

"Preston Lyons is second team right now," Johnson said after practice.

The offensive tackle position has been hit particularly hard by injuries recently with Sellers, Austin Barrick (knee) and Nick Claytor (hip flexor) sidelined.

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