Quotes from The ACC Kickoff (Day One) held today at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.(Courtesy of the fine folks in Georgia Tech’s sports information department)
Does the 3-4 defense require bigger, stronger players on the line?
“The 3-4 requires linemen to be strong. At this point, we can only get so much bigger and stronger, but what we can control is how hard we work. I think the work we did in the spring, in the offseason, will really help us.”
And what is your weight?
“My target weight is 280-285 and I’m close to that now.”
What about the depth on the defensive line?
“I think we will surprise a lot of people with our depth on the line. Now that we are in a 3-4 I think you’ll see us rotate guys quite often.”
How close are you to fully understanding the 3-4?
“I think it will take a lot more work by all of us to really get the 3-4. Guys want to win. Guys want to compete. And that’s a big factor in how quickly we want to grasp the 3-4. The first thing we did when Coach Groh arrived was working on technique.”
Who on defense will be a surprise this fall?
“I think Logan Walls and T.J. Barnes will surprise people. I think Anthony Barnes and Anthony Egbuniwe – their skills will really be demonstrated in the new defense. I really think our defense has a chance to step up and be really good.”
How much will you miss the four juniors who went to the NFL early?
“I am very confident in our players even though we lost some unbelievable players who could do some unbelievable things.”
Have Georgia Tech officials talked to you about dealing with agents?
“It’s one thing that is preached to us all the time – dealing with agents, dealing with social media, etc. I think that is one of the benefits of being at Georgia Tech. They do a great job of educating us and a great job of keeping us busy so we can’t get in trouble. As Coach Johnson says, ‘If you have to question it, then probably you shouldn’t be doing it. “
What would you like to see from the defense this season?
“For us on the defense, we have a lot to prove. We want to establish ourselves as a defense that no one wants to play against. We need to be more physical with teams. We are going to play some teams that are bigger, some that are faster, some that are stronger, but what we can control is to be more physical – to be more violent.”
People have always questioned whether or not the offense can continue to be successful, what do you think entering year No. 3 in the offense?
“Coach Johnson was successful at Georgia Southern and at Navy and there is no reason the offense can’t continue to be successful for years to come.”
What can we expect to see from the offense this season?
“I think you’ll see more of the same. I think you’ll see some fireworks. We’re going to continue to come out and run the football first.”
And you, individually?
“I am just trying to go out and do the best I can. When I don’t, I try to make it the best for everyone else on the team, whether it’s by making a block or running as a decoy.”
On Joshua Nesbitt:
“It’s not so much him inmrpoving his throwing, its him getting more accurate. And a lot of it is us (his teammates). There were times when we didn’t give him the best blocking and we have been working hard in the offseason to provide that for him.”
And do you call him Joshua?
“I call him Nesbitt. Stephen Hill calls him ‘The Man’. He can be called whatever he wants. It hasn’t been a big deal to us. He still responds to ‘Josh’.”
Who will replace Demaryius Thomas at wide receiver?
“It’s going to be more receiver-by-committee. Stephen is a heck of a talent. I think Tyler will have a good year. And I think the A-backs co uld be more involved in the passing game.”
What is the best defense you’ll face in the ACC?
“North Carolina has a great defense. Virginia Tech always has a great defense. But I think our defense is going to be good, too. I think they are kind of tired about hearing how the offense is the strength of our team.”