Johnson presser on Tuesday

I know it has a headline on ajc.com, but I’d be surprised if Roddy Jones plays on Saturday. I wrote as much last week, based upon what Paul Johnson said then.

He repeated that today.

That’s really the only development that occurred today.

Here’s a transcript of Paul Johnson’s quotes from today’s press conference, courtesy of the fine people in Tech’s Sports Information Department. 

Opening Statement
“It’s hard to believe game week is finally here. This has been the
longest camp that I can remember. We have had five weeks from the day we
started until we play the first game. I think we have gotten a lot of
good work in. We hit a little bit of the doldrums in the middle as guys
did not have much to look forward too. The intensity and pace has really
picked up. We will have another work day today and try to polish on
Wednesday and Thursday, take Friday off and come back and play on
Saturday. The main focus right now is to get everyone to the gate
healthy. We have some guys bumped and nicked a little bit but I think
overall, considering the amount of time we had in camp, we are coming
out fairly healthy.”

“The one position we are a little short at is wide receiver. With
Tyler Melton going down and Zack Fisher is status uncertain for the
game. We have Demaryius Thomas and Kevin Cone to start and Stephen Hill
will play some but after that I am not sure how deep we will get at
receiver. Some of the guys we were counting on for depth may not play
Saturday. Other than that, I think we are healthy and we have everyone
that we can possibly have ready to go. Roddy Jones is available if we
want to play him. He started practicing full contact yesterday, but that
may be a game-time decision on what we are going to do with Roddy.
Physically, he can go if we need to have him.”

On the progression of the defensive line
“The big thing is we did not lose a lot of people on defense, we just
lost a lot of people at one position. We basically have eight starters
back on defense that played at the end of last season. We did lose three
of the four defensive linemen so that becomes a big question mark. I am
as anxious as anyone to see how our guys are going to play. I think that
Jason Peters has had a good camp. Derrick Morgan is a good football
player with a great motor. He may have been our most productive player
last season. Ben Anderson and Robert Hall are guys that play hard. T.J.
Barnes, who hasn’t played and Logan Walls, a big guy, has not played
much. Anthony Egbuniwe, then the freshman Izaan Cross are all going to
play and after a game or two we will have a better idea how we are going
to fare there. I do think they have the ability there to be O.K.”

On playing three games in 12 days
“The hardest game will be the second one [against Clemson] because
you have the five-day turnaround. The third game you do have seven days,
just with a different schedule. I would be more upset with the second
game if we only have five days to prepare and the other team had seven
but they are in the same boat that we are. The team that has a little
bit of an advantage is Miami because they play on Monday and will pick
up some extra days on us, who has to play on a Thursday night. Overall,
it generally works itself out. We have been planning for it so we just
have to be ready. Getting ready for Clemson is going to be a chore but
right now our focus is on Jacksonville State. It is the first game we
play and the first game we have to win.”

On practicing for Clemson while working on Jacksonville State
“We did not do it. Have not done it all and will not. I think it
sends the wrong message. I want to beat Jacksonville State. We are going
to make sure we get ready for Jacksonville State. It could happen. Every
year one of the FCS teams comes in and beats someone. They will have
some good players and we are not going to overlook them.”

On adjusting camp due to length of time
“We had to adjust camp some because it was so long. Normally, you
have four weeks. In a regular camp, you will play two weeks against
yourself, then you will have a week of scouts and then the final week
you will focus on the game. We had to adjust a little bit. We actually
had three weeks of playing against ourselves. When you do this, you have
to guard against guys getting hurt. It doesn’t do any good playing
pity pat, it isn’t any good just punching the clock. We played, got a
lot of live reps in and had a lot of guys play. The biggest adjustment
is going to come after Saturday. We will be back practicing on Sunday.
People wondered about the start time for this Saturday’s game but 1:00
p.m. is a great start time for us because that is five to seven hours
for these guys to rest before having to come back out on Sunday. When
you play again on Thursday night, our Sunday practice becomes the normal
Monday practice. Monday and Tuesday become our Tuesday and Wednesday
practices. We have to move everything back. There will be a lot of
football played before our first two games but after that we can go back
to a normal schedule.”

On the amount of the offensive playbook installed this season
“We ran a lot of the offense last season. There are a couple of
things we did not have last year. We couldn’t run all the wrinkles and
the adjustments, but to the common eye it will look the same. Hopefully
it will just look faster.”

On the high expectations for the team going into the season
“I went into a lot of seasons with high expectations. I was at one
school where we were preseason No. 1. I do not worry about all of that.
We are just trying to get better. We are trying to win all our games.
Nobody has mentioned anything but the team goals. I may have mentioned
to the team after practice one day that with expectations come
responsibility but you want to have expectations. Every team has
expectations right now. The media and fans may not, but if you polled
every team in our league they would think they are going to win the
league because they have not lost a game. I guarantee everyone on
Jacksonville State’s team thinks they are going to come in here and
win the game. Our player’s hopefully believe they are going to win the
game. That is why you play. Once you get seven, eight games into the
season, maybe you look at it a little differently. I do not think the
expectations are any different than what I had a year ago.”

On the biggest surprise in camp
“I hesitate to single anyone out. There were a couple of the freshmen
that caught my eye in camp. Julian Burnett caught my eye in camp as
being a guy that will play some. As far as returning guys, I think a lot
of them have gotten better. Preston Lyons is a guy that has gotten
better every week and should help us. There are a lot of guys in that
category. I do not think there is any one guy that was overly
surprising.”

“I do not know, that is why you play the games. We have a lot of
guys back in the secondary. We have a lot of depth at A-Back and we have
some depth at B-Back. Josh Nesbit may surprise some people. He is a lot
more comfortable doing what he is doing. I think he will be a lot better
than he was a year ago. That is just my belief but until you see it
happen you just do not know.”

On special teams
“[Scott Blair] has kicked the ball better the last few weeks. You
just have to see it in a game. I do not know if he will have any more
pressure than he had last season. When you trot out there by yourself to
kick, I can imagine that is pretty pressure packed when you have
anywhere from 50 – 80,000 people watching you kick the ball. There is
a lot of pressure on him already. I think he is very capable to have a
very good year. He has kicked the ball well for the last part of camp.
We will see how he does. We think our return game is going to be better.
You probably will not know the answer to these questions for two to
three games. I think it is going to be a process of a few games to see
where we are out. We can go out and return two kicks and then the rest
of the year not do anything. Your average may be better but unit may not
be better. I am looking for the consistency.”

On opening up with the same team two years in a row
“I have not thought much about it. Being in a conference, you are
going to play the same teams year in and year out. Even though they are
not in our league, I have not thought much about it. They will have
semblance of what we do, we will have some semblance of what they do but
we would have run into that no matter who we play.”

On the depth at the quarterback position
“I want to win the game so I will do whatever it takes to win. If we
have a chance to play them, yeah they will play. Just like everyone else
on the bench, I will love to get everyone in the game. I am under no
illusion that it will happen. We just have to see how the game unfolds.
Everybody has made such a deal about the quarterback situation. We are
probably better off than we were a year ago. Last season, we were going
in with Josh [Nesbitt], who was still feeling his way around, and you
had Jaybo [Shaw], a true freshman who was coming straight out of high
school. This year, we have an experienced quarterback (Nesbitt). We have
Tevin [Washington], who is a redshirt with two camps and a spring
practice under his belt. We also have Quentin [Sims] who has been here
the same amount of time and even though he has not been playing
quarterback, he did in high school and looks good out there. If need be,
we have freshmen quarterbacks that were recruited to this system. Jaybo
[Shaw] should be back after three to four games. I think we are better
off than we were a year ago. Now if two guys go down, will it hurt you,
sure it will. If two guys go down anywhere it will hurt. There is not a
team in the country that would not be hurt by losing its top two
quarterbacks. We have more depth there than we did a year ago.”

On the lack of seniors on the roster
“We did not have many seniors on the roster last year. We have 18
starters back so that means only four seniors were starting last season.
We will probably have three seniors out of our 22 starters. I do not
think you need to be a senior to be a leader. We had some great guys
last year. Darryl Richard was a great leader but we have some guys who
have filled that position. Morgan Burnett is a great leader on the
field, I think Jonathan Dwyer leads because of the way he plays. Josh
[Nesbitt] has become a leader, Demaryius Thomas, Brad Jefferson, Derrick
Morgan. There are a lot of guys that are not seniors who are leaders on
the team. I think we are O.K. there.”

On looking past the next game
“There is a history when you look ahead and it is not pretty. I am
hoping they are looking at the last game we played against LSU. That is
what I am thinking about. We need to get that one behind us. I want to
get the next one so we can move on. We have had to live with that game
since we played it. Hopefully, we learned a lesson. We will find out
Saturday night if we did or not. Like I tell the team, you only get one
chance at making a first impression. Right or wrong, after our game
Saturday night, we are going to be labeled in whatever category they
want to put us in.”

On going to the Alabama vs. Virginia Tech game Saturday night
“It is illegal, can’t do it. The NCAA will no let you go see any
team you will play in person. To answer your question, I would not have
gone anyway.”

On coaches coming to Tech or the Tech staff going to another program to
learn
“I think through the years there have been a lot of teams that have
done it. We have tried to be open to all the high schools in Georgia. We
have a ton of them visit in the spring. If someone wants to swap ideas
we are here. We try to help them all we can. They can not do anything
but help us when they are doing it.”

“In the past we have done it. When we were at Navy, we went up to
visit the New England Patriots. I have known Bill Belichick for a while
and we are pretty good friends. We also went up to West Virginia. You
swap ideas. We have had several college staffs come in here. We just
decided not to go anywhere this spring. Mostly, we had offensive staffs
come in but sometimes you have others as well. It just varies. Coaching
is a small profession and everyone knows each other. Sometimes, I am
just going to take my staff to see how a team practices. It is not
always how a coach schemes or it might be how a team sets up the week,
grade film or how they run study hall. It is a lot of things.”

“You are not going to let anyone you are going to play come in. I had
an unwritten rule while I was at Navy that I would not let anyone that
was going to play Georgia Southern come in. I would not let anyone
playing Navy come in. I would think Navy would do the same thing. There
is somewhere you draw the line. I am not sure how it would help.”

On the biggest surprise coming from Navy to Tech
“Probably the biggest surprise was we might catch a break schedule
wise and academically coming from an academy. It might have been easier
at times at Navy. There are not a lot of classes offered here in the
morning; most of the classes are in the afternoon. Trying to schedule
around the labs is the biggest surprise to me. When I was at other state
schools it was pretty easy to have everyone finish classes by one
o’clock. Here it is tough. We miss guys in meetings everyday due to
academics.”

On Johnson’s play calling patterns
“I just try to look out on the field, see what the defense is doing
and call the plays accordingly. It depends on the type of system you
have. It just never made any sense to me to write down all the plays I
would run on first and 10 from what I see on film and then we get into
the game the defenses is lined up differently. Now I have my nine plays
and I have to use them. To me, I just find the play that is working and
then I might run it over and over until they stop it.  You just try to
stay one step ahead of the other guy. I always try to put myself in
their shoes. If I am on defense and this hurt me what would I do to stop
it. Sometimes you guess right and sometimes you guess wrong. The beauty
of doing something over and over again you hope to get better at it.
Hopefully, no one is going to run something we have not seen. I would
like to think we know how to attack something, whatever it is. We might
not get it done and you might be a couple of steps ahead of us but I do
not think it is because we do not know what we want to do.”

On Jacksonville State
“Jacksonville State returns 16 or 17 starters. They are ranked in the
preseason in their division. They list three transfers from FBS schools
that I know of because one of those guys (Greg Smith) transferred from
here. They have two defensive tackles; one played in the national title
game with Florida and the other played some with Southern Miss. They
will have some good players. It will be a question of us going out and
playing the way Georgia Tech can play as opposed to finding the
match-ups with Jacksonville State. That is how we do it no matter who we
play. We are going about this like we would play anyone on our
schedule.”

On going into the game preparing to pull starters
“I look at how the game is going. If I was way ahead or behind I may
pull someone. I am going in with the philosophy to try and win the game.
I do not have a crystal ball; I do not know how it is going to turn out.
If I was going into the game against Gardner-Webb, I would have been in
trouble. You do not ever know until you play the game. The philosophy is
not any different if I was playing Ohio State, I would pull them. Until
you play and see what happens you do not know what will happen.”

On familiarity of coaching staff
“I think our staff has been together for a long time. On offense,
Brian [Bohannon] and Jeff [Monken] have been with me 13 years, longer
than that really. Mike [Sewak] and I have coached together 14 years.
Buzz [Preston] and I have been together for eight years. Todd [Spencer]
and I have been together for seven. We have been together for a while.
We know how each other is going to react. On the defensive side, Giff
[Smith] had worked for me at Georgia Southern. I have known Dave
[Wommack] forever. I have not known Charles [Kelly] and Brian
[Jean-Mary] that well but I do not talk about technique at corner or
whatever during the game. The staff has more familiarity with the
players. I think we are better aware of what the players can do in
situations. That might be a difference. Starting about Thursday I will
be in knots on the inside but I do not show it on the outside because I
want to give the players an air of confidence. On the inside I will be
churning and if not you should get out of the business. I think we will
be better but I do not know. We will see. That is why we play the games.
We could be better and not show it in the game, that is why I am not
going to make any snap judgments based on one or two series. I want to
see the thing it play out a little bit.”

On defense hurt by facing option offense
“The only time our defense saw our offense yesterday was in the one
minute drill and they were not too worried about the option. We were
throwing the ball and no huddle just like they will see on Saturday. If
you look at the statistics, it will be pretty easy to prove it is not
true, we ran the option last season, I do not think the defensive stats
fell off at all. It might be where it was the season before when they
were a year ago when they were running the pro set and had the
perception that they were killing everyone defensively. When I was
Georgia Southern, our defensive was in the top five a number of years.
Once you get into the season, you are not playing against the offense;
you are playing against scout teams. Football is football. If we do not
play assignment football, any offense is going to get you.”

42 comments Add your comment

GT1990

September 1st, 2009
10:48 pm

Good stuff. Thanks for that.

rob

September 1st, 2009
11:51 pm

does anybody know who is redshirting this year?

BS Patrol

September 1st, 2009
11:52 pm

At last! A new Tech blog! I am speechless!

Savannah Jacket

September 2nd, 2009
12:02 am

Doug…. Best Article of the Year!!!! Keep it coming. This is Great. 3 days!

GT GRAD

September 2nd, 2009
12:02 am

WE have an excellent coach.

I am proud to be a GT Graduate and GT Football Fan!

Ed-Covington

September 2nd, 2009
12:58 am

Great post, Doug! Agree with comments above. GO TECH!!

NRE@gt

September 2nd, 2009
3:06 am

so everybody that thinks this is awesome reporting… doug took this directly from the GT athletics page. http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090109aaa.html straight up copy and paste. truly the easiest article he’s ever “written”

LET THE BIG DAWG EAT!

September 2nd, 2009
5:52 am

Jim Rockford

September 2nd, 2009
6:39 am

Where can I get a live audio feed for saturday’s opener?

Don

September 2nd, 2009
6:48 am

Looks like Coach Johnson had a long press conference yesterday, they don’t usually last this many questions. Can’t wait until the Jacksonville State exhibition game is over so Tech can get on to the regular season games starting with Clemson! More info on Tech football at: http://www.bbuzzoff.com

Alabama Jack

September 2nd, 2009
7:40 am

Saturday’s opener will be on ESPN360 – free if you have AT&T broadband. You can sign up for audio at ramblinwreck.com – don’t know the cost. http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/geot-m-footbl-body.html

Hey Dogtards

September 2nd, 2009
7:52 am

Pretty damn awesome he’s friends with Billy up in New England. Richt is a nice enough guy but I’d imagine he’s a little too much of a conservative nut job to have good friends in high places like Belichik.

Baba O'Riley

September 2nd, 2009
8:20 am

Not sure if you guys have heard, but…..John Richt threw 2 TD passes against the Barbizon School of Modeling.

Doug Roberson

September 2nd, 2009
8:24 am

I credited Tech’s SID for the quotes. I just thought yall would like to read them.

Not sure about the new blog comment. There’s been a new blog 6 out of 7 days for the past month.

Richt threw two TD passes? Has Favre signed with anyone yet? Is Vick out of prison?

Buzzfan®

September 2nd, 2009
8:28 am

Doug, great write-up on WR Kevin Cone, but no mention of his dad (Ronny) playing RB at Tech (’79-’84) and for the NY Jets, or of lil’ bro Zach being a starter on the baseball team at UGA?

reebok

September 2nd, 2009
8:29 am

good article…can’t wait for saturday!

BobinBuford

September 2nd, 2009
8:44 am

Baba:

Can you verify the fact that Mars Hill has scheduled Faber College for their Homecoming???

rainman

September 2nd, 2009
8:51 am

Once Tech gets the lead by 10-14 points, I hope they work on the passing game with Nesbitt for a while, and then let Tevin get some experience in the forth quarter.

BobinBuford

September 2nd, 2009
9:21 am

This just in – the AJC has actually started a “Know Your Jackets” feature!!!

Now all that needs to happen is have Barnhart write a column about something besides UGA and the SEC.

Louisiana Jacket

September 2nd, 2009
9:32 am

bobin…agreed, but the know your Jacket column was actually pretty good I was impressed with the AJC for once for doing that. Also Doug it was a good column with Kevin forgot to mention that, I wanted to ask though and see if you knew who the number one punt returner was going to be? Is it Tarrant, Hill, or someone else?

Also has the opening day roster been sent out yet ( I haven’t heard )

Tech82

September 2nd, 2009
9:44 am

I’m glad to read the staff is taking the prep for Jax State seriously. They have enough talent to pose some problems. Overlooking them (or any opponent) could be a recipe for derailing the season early.

I can’t wait for Saturday.

GO JACKETS! THWG!

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 2nd, 2009
10:05 am

good reading, thanks doug

Tallcarl

September 2nd, 2009
10:23 am

Good post Greg, I use the AJC online as I live in Madrid Spain and personaly do not have time to search all the other web sites for info. I am a GA. alumni and Dawg fan. However, I pull for all the instate teams when they play anyone else except I am a SEC man in the Bowls for obvious reasons. I come from Warner Robins and have followed CPJ since his Ga. Southern days and think he is a class act that is well spoken and represents the his school and team well. He also happens to be an exceptionaly good football coach that has few pears when it comes to live game ajustments. I wiss GT well this year and know the Nov. showdown will be a nail biter. Woof Woof, Sic em´Dogs

Tuck Fech

September 2nd, 2009
10:30 am

“THWG” <—– this is why you fools play in fornt of a half empty stadium every home game. It’s been a long summer guys, and thank god for you, UGA starts Saturday. Cheer for YOUR team idiots.

Tuck Fech

September 2nd, 2009
11:13 am

You guys are the most pathetic “fans” in football!

macrotech

September 2nd, 2009
11:22 am

Tuck Fech, STILL loving your effort in Robin Hood!!! Quite the little Friar!!! I’m thinking your tights were a little too tight and I hope things warm up for you soon!!!

Tuck Fech

September 2nd, 2009
11:30 am

I like guys!

Louisiana Jacket

September 2nd, 2009
11:33 am

Tuck Fech–> I am confused exactly because I am pretty sure I have not read a single comment in here talking about Georgia other than one guy who was praising PJ and who went to UGA? So you coming on here mentioning how UGA football starts Saturday is just random at best, especially when you mean that UGA is going to LOSE Saturday because Joe Cox is going to be DESCENT at best for ya’ll this year which isn’t going to win you games.
To all Tech fans on here though I agree that just reading PJ’s comments to the press and after game comments is just inspiring and it makes you think that this is a man who will always expect the best out of everyone he meets. He says what is going to say no matter what the situation is, there is no fiddling around the bushes it is THIS is how we will play THIS is how we will prepare and THIS is how we will win!!

Still can’t wait to see T.J and the defensive line this Saturday (hoping for big things but expecting the worst to begin with)
THWG
and Tuch Feck–> Roddy is still running down the sideline

Guck Feorgia

September 2nd, 2009
11:53 am

Tuck Feck, don’t you have anything better to do than go around onto Tech blogs starting stuff? Tallcarl left a nice comment for us, you leave trash.

Best of luck to the Dawgs in 09, and I’m sincere about that. No fun facing a down team in November, and good luck in Jacksonville, too. Can’t say I’ll be rooting for you, but good luck nonetheless!

OK ST=Brokeback Mountain Cowboys

September 2nd, 2009
12:43 pm

DawginLex

September 2nd, 2009
1:11 pm

Good luck Saturday in your scrimmage. We will have our hands full a little to the west but I still believe we will win.

I’ve got a clempson buddy who swears that their new QB is gonna throw for 350 on ya’ll. He is not quite as delusional as trade school junkie but he is pretty close.

GT 49
JS 7

UGA 36
Okie St 35

Doug Roberson

September 2nd, 2009
1:14 pm

Punt returner will Jerrard Tarrant.
I just plum forgot to include Cone’s dad played. I meant to, and just let it fall. My bad on that one.

Tuck Fech

September 2nd, 2009
1:15 pm

I am rooting for the muggers omn Northside Drive!!!!!

blazer

September 2nd, 2009
1:22 pm

can those other people spell??

Tuck Fech

September 2nd, 2009
1:38 pm

FREE Tech football ticket with immediate ties to a Bin Laden!!!

Baba O'Riley

September 2nd, 2009
2:45 pm

DawginLex- We’ve won recently when a QB has thrown for 350 on us. Can’t remember which game that was…

DawginLex

September 2nd, 2009
2:50 pm

I understand Baba. I’m just telling you what I was told. FWIW. Clempson could give you a test but it is not likely. Their coach just scares me a bit and not in an intimidating way. Kinda like Gundy who is backpedaling big time over his running off at the mouth.

Just remember, SC residents. No plowing in SC at all next week. It is a road game so the tractors have to leave early. Usually on Monday for Saturday game but with it being on Thursday, they will be coming down on Sunday.

Paul's Johnson

September 2nd, 2009
5:00 pm

What’s the hardest thing about being a Georgia Tech fan?

Having to tell your parents that your gay!

Marks Mouth

September 2nd, 2009
5:23 pm

What is the hardest thing about being a Bulldog fan? Having to tell your wife and children that you are Gay!

Tokyo jacket

September 2nd, 2009
7:25 pm

I really do love the way CPJ talks. He just has a winning aura. I hate coach speak and he won’t give you any of it. I think he’s going to be an asset at Tech for a long time. Can’t wait for TML!

Tokyo jacket

September 2nd, 2009
7:27 pm

I think one of the best things about CPJ is that because he doesn’t deflect questions, people talk about him as much as the players. I don’t think it’s because he’s an egomaniac. But, I do think that it deflects a lot of the pressure from the players when the media spends more time talking about the coach.

Reggie had to endure a lot because his coach wouldn’t answer questions and when he did the common response from all of us was “how the he!! could he just say that.” I really wish Reggie could have played under CPJ.

macrotech

September 3rd, 2009
12:07 pm

“Paul’s Johnson”, the hardest thing about georgia fan…. intellect!