Posted: 11:18 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

7 notes from Johnson’s presser 

By Ken Sugiura

Some highlights from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s Tuesday news conference.

1. Johnson and Wofford coach Mike Ayers have known each other several years, going back to when Ayers was a defensive coordinator at East Tennessee State and Johnson was just getting started in the mid-80’s at Georgia Southern. Wofford also runs an offense that uses a lot of triple option.

They faced each other annually when Johnson was at Georgia Southern and both were in the Southern Conference. (This is Southern’s first year out of the SoCon).

2. What Johnson is looking for on Saturday:

“I think anytime you have guys who haven’t played a lot, that’s always an unknown individually, how they’re going to react, what they’re going to do, and we certainly have a bunch of that,” Johnson said.

In the two-deep released Tuesday, there are nine players who have never played a single college snap.

Also, “How well are you going to hold up defensively? Offensively, are you going to take care of the ball? Are we going to be able to get the ball to our wide receivers? I feel like we’ve got a couple pretty good players at that position. The special teams. All of it.”

I should say I’ve heard good things about the receivers through camp, but have not devoted a great deal of space to it. It sounds like DeAndre Smelter has taken another step forward, and both Darren Waller and Micheal Summers have had good camps, also.

 3. Johnson compared quarterback Justin Thomas to Lamar Owens, the A-backs coach and one of his quarterbacks at Navy, and Greg Hill, who played at Southern. Hill led the Eagles to back-to-back title-game appearances, winning in 1999. Owens broke four school records for total offense, passing yards per attempt and completions.

“Greg was really quick. Lamar was more quick than fast,” he said. “Greg was really fast, too. I think Justin’s a little bit of both.”

He also made the comparison again between No. 2 quarterback Tim Byerly and Joshua Nesbitt.

“Very tough, hard-nosed, not afraid to put his head down and get a yard when you need it,” Johnson said.

4. Johnson said that safety Isaiah Johnson’s return from an ACL tear suffered in Dec. 2012 “just gives a lot of stability; he’s played a lot of football. He’s probably going to be rusty a little bit early in the year, because he missed a year playing, but you can’t substitute all the things he’s seen and all the experience he has back there.”

5. Nose tackle Shawn Green and A-back Charles Perkins “both could have great seasons if they stay healthy,” Johnson said. He added of Perkins, “I think he’s back to his old self a little bit.” I think a critical element of Perkins’ play this camp has been his dropping down to 205 pounds from about 220 last season as he made the switch from B-back and came back from shoulder surgery.

6. Johnson on the option work the team has done this preseason: “I feel good about where we are. We’ll see when we start to play other teams. But I think we’re way better at it than we were a year ago.”

(I’m working on a story on this topic for later in the week. It could be a critical element of the team’s success.)

7. Johnson on freshman defensive end KeShun Freeman: “Is he going to come out and be Derrick Morgan year one as a freshman? I don’t think you can expect him to do that. He’s going to make some mistakes, but I think he’ll also make some plays. And the thing I’m saying, when he makes a mistake, he takes it to heart. It bothers him. He wants to be right. And usually those guys that are accountable like that end up being pretty good.”

Johnson also said that Freeman is ahead of where Jeremiah Attaochu was at the same stage, although Freeman is older (he’ll turn 19 in November; Attaochu turned 18 in January after his freshman season. That is pretty remarkable when you think about it. He had teammates and opponents who were four and five years older than him when he was a freshman in 2010.) and also was an early enrollee.

“I think the sky’s the limit for him,” Johnson said.

60 comments
drydirtroad
drydirtroad

There should not be a reason why Tech cannot become a passing offense as well as the rushing offense they always are. I believe to accomplish that, pass snaps must be received from the shotgun, not from the LOS.

LEE3333
LEE3333

How can the man be so stubborn as to not change  some of what he does offensively.  He can run the option, but evolve the principles and make it better. CPJ is simply collecting a check until it is time to go fishing;.

pi
pi

saw  this posted on a blog and thought it was interesting  if nothing else.

should we change our name to the cicadia's? since its not a 17 year cycle maybe the 'ciraldo's' would be more appropriate?

this is our record every 24 years...... jeepers creepers!

1918   6 - 1 - 0
1942   9 - 1 - 0
1966   9 - 1 - 0
1990  11 - 0 - 1
2014  TBD


with all the bad luck we have had lately we are due.

OkieDawg
OkieDawg

Hey Super, is that a personal attack? I'm devastated...really.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

The NCAA extended Tech's probation by 2 years for "failure to monitor" activities by the staff.  And yet Tech discovered the improprieties and fired the guilty coach.  How is that a "failure to monitor"?  The NCAA is as stupid as OkieDwag is, and that's pretty damn stupid.

OkieDawg
OkieDawg

I'm kind of surprised he didn't mention the probation extension imposed by the NCAA. I'm not sure anymore, but how long will GT be on continuous probation? Oh never mind, I'll google it. There seems to be a lot of hits when one types in "GT on NCAA probation".

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

If a coach like PJ is upbeat at this time of year, opponents may want to worry a bit more about GT.

JacketMan
JacketMan

For all you Johnson critics talking about how bad last season was; all I have to say is that the team was just a few plays away from having a 10-win season (VA Tech, UGA, Ole Miss), and that was with all of their injuries, a starting QB who didn't want to be here, and a new defensive coordinator.

GTJoe
GTJoe

For the folks excited about CPJ's tone:


He sounded like this last year.  "Georgia Tech may be better than people think".  Direct quote.  Was touting the attitude of the team, said it was unlike any he had at Tech before.


He had me super excited last year.  So, I've learned my lesson.  I'm not a CPJ hater, mind you, I like him and hope he does well.  BUT Show me the money! 

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

Tis wise to be vanilla.  Last year CPJ said he had the best OL since he was at Tech and yes, they had injuries, but their performance was well below expectations.  Say enough good stuff to get fans hopeful, but be vague. 

With 9 players in the 2-deep who have never played a down of college football---that 20%---a fairly high number so it may be that we just don't know what this year will be like.  Since we've scaled back on the playbook to do a few things well vice a lot of things so-so, this year will be a significant barometer as to how well our "high school" offense can compete at the D-1 college level.

Hayseed_Dixie
Hayseed_Dixie

"It sounds like DeAndre Smelter has taken another step forward"


If that's the case he'll be playing on Sunday.  Wide Receiver Institute for the win. 

JM64
JM64

I am looking forward to a good season.

I like what's being said about the team this year.  Control the bll on offense, limit the turnovers and get better on defense (avg one less TD per game) and this team will go far.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@drydirtroad 

Well, call Bobinski.  Maybe he will hire an expert like you to take over from a man who has been a successful coach for what? 25 years?  I'm sure your total lack of experience will be a major selling point for you.  NOT!!!

nevrenuftime
nevrenuftime

@pi 

None of those years had PJ as coach nor a gimmick offense that falls against the top 1/3 of the schedule

This year will see 5-7 or 6-6


pi
pi

@OkieDawg werent you the guy that was caught with your 'mouth' open by one of your own on another blog?  ouch that had to hurt!

GTLee
GTLee

" There seems to be a lot of hits when one types in "GT on NCAA probation"."

You get even more hits when you Google "Okradwag is a dork"

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

Just did it myself and there weren't many at all. Troll on

gt-40
gt-40

@jacketman

Did I tell you I almost landed the biggest deal in my business last year.

I told all my bankers and investors, alas they were not that impressed.

Some people get all hung up on the birth pangs, as for me just show me the baby......

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@GTJoe I recall the shotgun clinic at BD that Russell and NC State put on right before CPJ's eyes, with State receiving snaps from the LOS only in the red zone.

9Awesomeb
9Awesomeb

@GTJoe You have to understand that we were 3 plays away from having a 10 win season. If those 3 games had come out just a little differently, CPJ would be a living legend right now. So, his enthusiasm was warranted. How could he possibly predict we would lose 3 games by the thinnest of margins?

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@GTJoe 

I don't think he was quite as relaxed in his tone last year.  Somehow, at least to me, he seems much more even-keeled about things this year, and this in spite of all the off-season crap that has gone on.

GTLee
GTLee

"This year will see 5-7 or 6-6"

Put your money where your big mouth is. The Vegas over/under is 6.5. Otherwise you are just another blowhard.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@nevrenuftime 

You are such a bore and a dufus.  Why did this so-called "gimmick offense" produce top 6 rushing offense in the country every year Johnson has been here, except last year, when his diversified offense ALSO produced a top 6 rushing defense.  How about showing a little support for the program rather than being a WnE clone?

GTJoe
GTJoe

@9Awesomeb @GTJoe  3 plays away?  which 3 plays were those?


I'm not trashing CPJ.  Once again, I like him.  But last year, he also had glowing remarks for the team, he was praising all of the self-directed drills by the players in the off-season, like Vad's  work with the receivers, the general work ethic of the team, etc.


So, we've been here before.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@drydirtroad @SupersizeThatOrder-mutt 

And what has Richt got to show for his brand of offense other than beating Tech?  NOTHING !!!

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @nevrenuftime true about the rushing.......got passing? if we get a rushing attack like a Nez/Dwyer attack we don't need passing; but we gotta admit that most teams are a balanced attack out of shotguns, with rushing and passing; many teams also use tight ends who do get open downfield; Tech quit using them; it's risky to depend on only a rushing attack

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@drydirtroad @SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @nevrenuftime 

Why are you so hung up on passing.  We pass when we need to.  If the triple option is clicking, and we are building up the yardage on the ground, eating up the clock, and scoring points, then why pass?  We did fine in 2008 and 2009 with less passes than we throw now.  The main reason we have not done as good since then is the lack of a good defense, not the lack of passing.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@drydirtroad @SupersizeThatOrder-mutt 

Actually, yardage-wise, yes we have generated that much since then, just not at the hands of ONE running back (i.e., Dwyer).  We still gain the same number of yards (sometimes more), and score the same number of points (again, sometimes more).  We had a defense in 2008 and 2009, which we have not had since then.  Hopefully what we saw of Roof last year means we are getting that kind of defense back.  But the offense ain't broke; so don't try to "fix it"

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @drydirtroad If it ain't broke, how do you explain the shotgun clinic we attended at BD when Russell was NC State's QB, and State only received snaps at the LOS in the red zone, lining up in shotguns further down field......in order to get downfield?

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@drydirtroad @SupersizeThatOrder-mutt 

And just how did our OFFENSE fail because NC State's offense succeeded?  Our OFFENSE wasn't out there trying to stop their's.  Our defense was, and we didn't stop them.  Our offense scored 4 TD's on them, and if our defense could have stopped them, our offense would have scored even more.  Your analytical skills are pathetic.