Johnson’s areas of improvement for Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said, off the top of his head, there are several areas of improvement he wants to see from this team this season:

1. Passing efficiency. Joshua Nesbitt completed 38.5 percent of his passes in 2008, and improved to 43.9 percent last season. Completion percentage isn’t the same as efficiency, but it’s one of the contributing stats. Last year, Johnson and quarterbacks coach Brian Bohannon said they hope to see Nesbitt complete more than 50 percent of his passes. As they’ve said, when they pass they want to hurt teams. The teams’ passing efficiency stat was actually second in the ACC last season (149.6).

2. Play better defense. Specifically, Johnson wants to see the unit create more turnovers and force more punts. Tech was seventh in the ACC in total defense (360.3 ypg) last season, but when you factor in that Tech’s offense led in time of possession (33:49) that yards number allowed is very high. New defensive coordinator Al Groh has been charged with improving those stats. Johnson said that he and Groh, whose last job was at head coach at Virginia, are getting along swimmingly.

Tech forced 26 turnovers last season, the fourth most in the ACC.

3. Kickoff returns. This was one of the areas of improvement for last season, and the team did well. Tech was seventh in the ACC at 21.8 yards per return. However, Tech was ninth in kickoff coverage, allowing a whopping 39 yards per return.

4. Run better. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite leading the ACC at 295.4 yards per game, 87 yards more than the next best team, Johnson said the team left a lot of yards on the field because the blocking by the A-backs and wide receivers needs improvement.

84 comments Add your comment

George

June 9th, 2010
10:37 am

Delbert D.

June 9th, 2010
10:46 am

Got to have better kickoff coverage. Scott Blair made too many saving tackles.

Tim Tebow's Tears

June 9th, 2010
10:48 am

An area of improvement would be beating UGAy by 50+ points until they cry and give up on football forever…

ed

June 9th, 2010
10:55 am

yeah, that passing game is going to really improve now since you lost a 1st round WR to the NFL.
Hey Paul, turkey neck Johnson, hope you read this since you hate blogs, internet sites etc.

Ted M

June 9th, 2010
10:55 am

Tech will lead the nation in time of possession.

john

June 9th, 2010
11:02 am

“Getting along swimingly”? That is a good thing ….right?

SILLY UGA FANS

June 9th, 2010
11:11 am

Ed,
Obviously losing Thomas hurts, but last year a freshman (Hill) was the only other WR threat and he should have a break out year as well as several other receiving threats ie Jackson, Allen, Bostic, Cone (if he stays healthy), and Earls. The true test will be if the new O-line can give Nesbitt a second or two more to set up the passes. Time will tell. Keep hating THWG!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's #5 on your list...

June 9th, 2010
11:14 am

Start recruiting some dad gum athletes! UGA got Lemay and it started a snowball effect. I’ve seen Marshall play and this kid is an athlete among athletes in football and basketball. You just have no idea how good this kids gonna be!! If UGA inks Dantzler and Xavier and all of the other top linemen in the state, to go along with all of this phenomenal skill talent..which they probably will…we’re finished. Not trying to be Mr. Doom-and-Gloom here, I know PJ does great things with lesser talent, but UGA has a history of just “out talenting” us. If Grantham is for real and they finally get some coaches to coach all of that talent, we’re not gonna beat them again for a long, long time. CPJ needs to find some way to get some of this superstar talent to come to Atlanta or the new is gonna be wearing off real quick….JMHO.

MICHAEL

June 9th, 2010
11:19 am

I see that recruiting is the same no matter the coach or the wins, vanilla. If we can get speed, the coaches should be able to do the rest. I’m worried about this 2010 season.

Nesbitt for Heisman?

June 9th, 2010
11:21 am

He’s just as likely to win the Biletnikoff.

CPJ said about AL Groh

June 9th, 2010
11:24 am

CPJ told us that “AL would recruit because of his fabled NFL ties”. Well, um like, ah, um, where are the commits??? Did AL tell today’s 5 stars that he once spoke with both Paul Hornung AND Johnny Unitas on the field in a pre game interview back in 64 or was it 65 ???

These are things that today’s 5 star recruits want to hear. You know ……….. Coach ……………utilize Al’s DEEP NFL ties. The fact that AL once saw John Madden drive away from the stadium in his bus is worth at least two 5 star committs ………….isn’t it???? Isn’t it???

I mean like our ONLY decent kid is DUMPING US for the MLB. ARGGHGGHAAAAAAAAARRRG!!

AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHA

Paddy

June 9th, 2010
11:33 am

CPJ wants to improve the running game. Thats what all Tech fans should want to hear. And old axium is to always build on your strengths. It worked for Woody Hayes, Chuck Fairbanks, Bo Shembeckler, John McKay and many others. Smart idea! Its worked in baseball also for many years. Got great pitching, get some more. Loaded with good hitters add a couple more. Balance is nice but it does not win championships. If a football team has an awsome defense make it a terrifying defense and then pick up the trophy at the end of the season.

Atlantan

June 9th, 2010
11:40 am

Definitely need to improve on kickoff coverage too. CPJ is & will be successful at GT. Ugag has recruited well since Herschel and really what has that gotten them in the recent history (past 10 years). Mark my words GT will beat ugag this year.

Jacket Backer

June 9th, 2010
11:42 am

don’t get too worked up over recruiting….some of them pan out, some don’t……CPJ will get good players and coach them up…..all of these star rankings only help these recruiting services sell subscriptions…..wait and see what actually happens on the field……

Go Jackets!!

JB

June 9th, 2010
11:54 am

Dawg fan here…….On a serious note…if i were Johnson, I would hire 3-4 coach’s from other parts of the country to recruit Nationally. I know Tech does that some, but there are a ton of “smart” kids who want what Tech to offer academically in other parts of the country, who are good football players. It it hard for Tech to get these “hot list’ kids because of the allure, bright lights and 24/7 exposure of the SEC. We will give you your due academically, but come on, Reggie Ball, Eddie Lee Ivery and others. We know ( wink) that provisions are made to accommodate certain recruits. great ball players are out there. Tech needs to look further. You will lose MOST in state battles for the elite. We know, we lose a ton ourselves. Hope ya’ll have a good season……. except one game.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

June 9th, 2010
11:55 am

I love my school and will always be a fanatic about the sports programs, especially football, BUT with that said,

guys, you know the limitations of recruiting to GT (if you attended), and those limitations are not about to change. The HILL is still in charge. I won’t mention those limitations, but I promise you that every opposing coach does!! It will always be hard to recruit to Tech.

Here's #5 on your list...

June 9th, 2010
12:01 pm

“Atlantan”…it has gotten them 8 wins to our 1. Again, I don’t think recruiting is the “be all to end all”, but like I said….UGA has, in some games, simply used their superior talent to beat us, even though we were the better coached teamed. Last season for instance, their OLmen, particular their center Ben Jones, Boling and that guard Glenn, man they just overpowered our DL. Anyone who saw that game can admit that. Those guys looked like the Kraken on “Clash of the Titans”. Their RBs may not be the best coached (no offense to Bozo), but they were just strong and fast. They were just running all over us. I’m saying, if UGA gets the right coaches (and yeah, that’s a big IF) to be able to coach that talent….they are gonna be hard to beat. CPJ needs to start getting some of this in-state talent to come aboard if we are stay competitive. Again…..JMO.

That itty bitty Mobile runninng back

June 9th, 2010
12:08 pm

Is that itt, bitty Mobile,Al running back, all 5′5″ of him, the second coming of Jeremey Mays?

I mean from what I heard, he is small but he is slow.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHA

Paul in RDU

June 9th, 2010
12:15 pm

#5 for CPJ – improve the OL and DL. GT was completely manhandled by Iowa

11-0-1 1990 National Champs

June 9th, 2010
12:16 pm

Woohoo – can’t wait for this season! CPJ third season is gonning to be amazing.

Paul in RDU

June 9th, 2010
12:20 pm

JB – Good comments on GT getting coaches from other parts of the country to help recruit. CPJ has done that recently with Groh (VA) and a coach from NC. It will take a little while for these 2 guys to develop relationships in GA and GT seems to be making some inroads in NC but the rap on Groh the last few years was that the coaches in the Tidewater area had very poor relations with him.

GTpak

June 9th, 2010
12:26 pm

I agree with Paul in RDU, it all starts in the trenches. If you can’t block for your offense against strong teams, it isn’t going anywhere. If your defensive line can put pressure on the QB, you will have him thinking about how to avoid getting sacked instead of making the right read.

UGA, Iowa, and LSU the previous year have shown they can manhandle our lines. We need some big strong fellows on both lines. Where is our new Pat Swilling and John Davis for this team? Let’s get them in the fold.

saban

June 9th, 2010
12:32 pm

The cesspool in Athens will never change.

Tech and Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Auburn, will be Georgia`s daddy for many years.

Richt does recruit good harirdressers though.

worried on the flats

June 9th, 2010
12:35 pm

PJ has to develop a passing game, we have a throwing attack, need players on defense, our recruiting is very sub par. Afraid we will be the Navy of the south soon.

Too Easy

June 9th, 2010
12:35 pm

Should get plenty of opportunities to improve the kickoff return stats.

worried on the flats

June 9th, 2010
12:38 pm

The manhandling started with LSU, then Miami, UGA, Iowa, trash talking to a team that has dominated us for decades makes us look foolish.

Jackets!

June 9th, 2010
12:39 pm

Perimeter blocking was the main problem in our losses last year….especially against Miami. We will have to run better to make up for the losing Thomas. As others have stated, we really need more size in the trenches also.

worried on the flats

June 9th, 2010
12:43 pm

Alabamaramblinwreck truth is we are missing on Kids that could succeed at Tech.

Paul in RDU

June 9th, 2010
12:44 pm

Too easy – I’m glad you think that GT will get plenty of chances to improve their kick off coverage

Jackets!

June 9th, 2010
12:45 pm

Too easy—so you mean they will score a lot? Im confused…I thought you were a dog troll….but then again there are too many to keep track of.

AlabamaBuzz

June 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

Yes, worried, they could, if they really wanted to work that hard. But that is not all that makes it hard to recruit to Tech. I am not going to mention the other facts that are important to these teenage guys, but you should know if you attended Tech.

gtfanfrom1951

June 9th, 2010
1:00 pm

Just beat UGA…the only good dawg is a dead dawg………..

HugoStiglitz

June 9th, 2010
1:03 pm

Iowa is really the only team that manhandled our OL. Just about everybody manhandled our DL. I agree though that some more strength and size up front would make our option attack even more effective.

Flea bitten currs

June 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

Sad little puppies, while the SEC has been developing as the premier college football conference in the last 10+ years, the pups are getting left behind. If you are a middle of the road team in a football conference and a non existent basketball team in a non existent basketball conference, what does that make you? University of Vanderbilt Bulldogs? Great recruiting class in the spring, watching another SEC team play for the NC in January. A rich UGA tradition coming to a stadium near you in the Fall of 2010.

Stephen

June 9th, 2010
1:09 pm

Yeah? And I want to win the lottery. Good luck with that PJ.

To the Tech fans with the dead dog comments, shame on you. Athens cesspool? I dare you to come up with something a UGA fan has done that is more classless than the Tech dillweed I saw after last year’s UGA-Tech game who had a sign that read “Your dog’s still dead and we’re still ACC champs.”

Although, at least he wasn’t a coward on a message board. See you in the fall, weeds.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 9th, 2010
1:11 pm

Many of those passes were dropped my our players last year. We will win at least 10 games.

Nick Saban

June 9th, 2010
1:12 pm

When they name the stadium after me…I will leave for Michigan! All these hillbillies in Alabama get on my nerves…maybe I can get a vacation like Urban Meyer!

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 9th, 2010
1:16 pm

“Your dog’s still dead and we’re still ACC champs.” GT wasn’t ACC Champs till after the UGAg game.

Stephen, you’re an idiot and a liar. If we are such cowards, way didn’t you just go and take that cowards sign, tough guy?

But, props to the sign.

H15

June 9th, 2010
1:18 pm

Go Jackets!

Piss on the dogs and the dog bloggers who can’t stay off the Tech Blog.

kb

June 9th, 2010
1:24 pm

Lets not hide behind the academic myth.
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech tied with Texas for the lowest graduation rate of any top 10 football team, according to the NCAA’s latest report on the academic success of student athletes.

Texas, which is third in the BCS standings, and Georgia Tech, which is seventh, each graduated 49 percent of their football players who started classes from 1999-2002, meaning they earned their diplomas within six years. Georgia Tech’s rate improved slightly from 48 percent in last year’s report.

Stephen the brave

June 9th, 2010
1:29 pm

Stephen. Your courage is inspiring to all of us cowards who post here. We wish we had the courage to troll another teams blog incognito and fabricate lies about their fans. You should have taken that sign from that fan and given him a sound thrashing. Go sniff a hydrant you moron, excuse me, you courageous moron.

fan

June 9th, 2010
1:38 pm

there’s been three ga fans(including myself) that has posted on this blog and then you go on a UGA blog and there’s like 50 tech fans on there. yall are truly obsessed with UGA. isn’t this blog about areas of improvement? where does it say anything about UGA? and why are some of you tech fans saying uga hasn’t done anything in the past ten years(98 wins,2 sec titles, 3 east titles,8-2 vs tech, 3 bcs bowl games) i say thats more than tech. not on here to talk trash, just trying to prove a point, that tech fans are obsessed with UGA. that most tech fans would rather watch uga get beat than gt win. lets here your thoughts and please try to make a relevant comment and not bash me for liking uga or being on a tech blog cause I m not obsessed with your school.

Dawglasville

June 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

The biggest hurdle I see for Tech, if anyone cares, is how do you get quality practice time in for your defense when your offense is geared for such a unique philosophy? Who is giving your defense competition in practice? Oklahoma and Nebraska did it, but back then they had no competition until their bowl games. Groh maybe the answer. It will be fun to see.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

I think Stephen is a courageous tough guy moron.

wiley

June 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

Someone please explain to kb the difference between GT entrance requirements for offering high school players and just simply graduating players already in our program….not that it hasn’t been explained multiple times on GT and UGA blogs this year…. GT has a very low graduation rate despite the academic requirements that “the hill” has put on our athletic programs. Football and Basketball are both the same way…but still to even get an offer from GT you must be cleared by the hill. The hill does us no good in recruiting and many prospects have been ready to commit to GT…only to find out that they were not cleared…it happens and it has been happening at Tech for years. Just imagine how low the graduation rate would be if Tech chose to only follow the minimum NCAA standards when offering scholarships to prospective athletes. GT is a very hard place to graduate from…even 1500+ SAT scores and 4.0 GPA high school kids have a very hard time here. Its just the way it is….you have to attend Tech to understand how demanding it is…even the “easy” majors. MGMT is not that easy people…that’s why the degree is still worth so much when compared to other business degrees from traditional liberal arts schools.

wiley

June 9th, 2010
1:44 pm

Dawglasville…the GT scout team emulates the opponents offense…not ours. Our offense has no bearing on how our defense plays because the first team defense doesn’t play against it all the time. Have you ever been to a football practice? Every college team uses a similar method…dog fans only can see the GT glass as half empty…I guess this should be expected.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 9th, 2010
1:47 pm

fan, no most GT fans would rather win. UGAg losing is always a plus.

That’s just your typical UGAg obnoxious ignorant arrogance coming out in you. That’s why we hate the fleabag nation.

You think your Women Gymnastics team is you’re football team. You usually come in 2nd or 3rd in the SEC, but you act like you’ve won that N.C. or something.

Stephen the brave

June 9th, 2010
1:47 pm

kb,

The academic myth is not the graduation rates, it’s the degree that you obtain upon graduation and the overall difficulty of getting that degree. Tech simply does not have alot of the cupcake academic paths that other schools have to offer athletes. A degree earned from any school is an accomplishment to be proud of, but not all schools or the degrees they bestow are the same. Comparing graduation rates is being overly simplistic and ignoring a huge part of the academic equation.

Dawglasville

June 9th, 2010
1:50 pm

Wiley- so is the scout team at Tech only made up of walk-ons who will never play? I only played high school football and I have a feeble B.A. from UGA. Would you please explain it to me?

[...] a pony. Jump to Comments All Paul Johnson wants is something 115 D-1 programs were able to accomplish in 2009. Last year, Johnson and quarterbacks [...]