A summary of Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s weekly Tuesday news conference.
1. Johnson was asked about the team’s identity after five games. If you’ve been following the team, the answer shouldn’t surprise you.
“I’d say they’re resilient,” he said. “Nothing much seems to affect them. We get behind and nothing changes. No panic, they just kind of keep playing. That’s a good trait to have. We’d like to get to the point we don’t get behind. So, like I said before, I think the chemistry’s good. I think they like each other. I think they like what we do, they enjoy doing it. They’re having fun with it. And when you do that, you can get better at it, and I think they’re getting better each week.”
2. Johnson had more praise for quarterback Justin Thomas, saying he (Johnson) was getting more and more comfortable with Thomas running the option, noting the fourth-and-2 call for the triple option in the fourth quarter. He said that Thomas, too, is growing in confidence in what he’s doing and seeing pre-snap. Johnson said that, during a break in play, Thomas shared an observation about how Miami had previously reacted to a certain formation, leaving it vulnerable. Johnson exhorted him to check the play to the right direction based on what he saw.
“That’s the kind of thing he’s getting better at,” Johnson said.
3. Johnson’s scouting report on Duke: “I think that you have to play ’em. I know that Duke doesn’t beat themselves. They’ve got a lot of veteran guys. It’ll be a tough, hard-fought game. Unless you can totally out-athlete them, they usually don’t beat themselves. It’s a dogfight. I think if we play well, we’ll be O.K. If we don’t play well, we’ll lose. Simple as that.”
4. Johnson said Tech ran the triple-option play about 75 percent of the time on the offense’s run plays Saturday. The Jackets also ran it often against Virginia Tech. You may remember that Johnson didn’t call a single triple-option play against Tulane.
“He’s getting better at it,” Johnson said of Thomas. “He’s doing good. Does he get every read right? No, but you’re not going to get every read right. The big thing is, you minimize when you make a mistake.”
5. Johnson on the play of punter Ryan Rodwell: “He’s been really consistent. I think that he’s probably exceeded our own expectations.”