Here are some paraphrased quotes from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s first weekly press conference.
On the start:
I think we’ve got a good nucleus returning but we also have a lot of new guys. Be interesting to see how they react when we go out there.
On S.C. State:
They’ve got some really good individual players. They play well together as a team. I’m sure they are coming in with a mindset of coming in to get a win in Atlanta.
They’ve kind of dominated their conference for the last little bit.
On what the players look for when they watch film:
Most guys when they watch tape, they look at guys they play against. They try to figure that out. They’ve got some very good individual players.
Their quarterback is preseason player of the year. A guy on defense is the defensive preseason player of the year. They’ve got a lot of guys that have played.
They certainly have some guys who could play at Georgia Tech. There’s no doubt about that.
On the depth chart:
It’s the start of a season. Everybody wants to start. Everybody wants to be the first guy to run out there.
It would be unbelievable if the 22 that started the first game started every game all year.
I’d much rather have competition and depth than not have any. It’s a positive, you have to put the team first.
On Shawn Green:
Not sure he’s going to play. I wouldn’t put too much stock into those depth charts. We’re getting Shawn ready in case. We won’t make that decision until we see where everybody’s at.
Right now, the two-deep on the defensive line is probably…starters will be Logan Walls, Jason Peters, and Izaan Cross. Euclid Cummings and Ben Anderson will back up the ends. T.J. Barnes will back up Logan. Will we go deeper than that? We’ll see.
J.C. Lanier may be the next guy in.
We think that Shawn is going to be a really good player. We’re getting him ready to play. He may be in in the second quarter. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the game. That’s still kind of up in the air.
Anderson will play both [end and tackle]. We as coaches, you’re not going to put down every scenario on the depth chart and you can’t.
Most of those guys are interchangeable.
On playing two offensive lines and trying to get some guys some game experience:
We’re going to do whatever it takes to win a game. If we put in an entire second line out there, would that be as good as playing the top eight or eight guys? Probably not. It depends on how hot it is, how many plays.
Would we like to get Tevin [Washington] in the game? Sure. You’d love to have a game where you can put them all in. but we’ll see what happens.
On the experience of this year’s team:
We should know where to go. We’ve got enough guys who’ve played who know where to go and what it’s about.
They’re starting to get their legs back. Had the weekend off. Hopefully we’ll get them to a fevered pitch by Saturday.
On the differences between this season-opener and his first at Tech two years ago:
[S.C. State] is a step up. We are a lot better football team. A lot. I had no idea on that Thursday night two years ago what we were going to see. I have a good idea what we’ll see Saturday.
On the improvement the defense has made in camp:
I think the defense in camp and at times has had their moments. We won’t know about out defense until we play two-three games.
Can they not have a bunch of mental mistakes? Will they continue to play hard? What we’ve tried to establish is we will play hard and be tough.
Last year, sometimes, when you don’t play well, everyone wants to point fingers. Well, sometimes you’re not real good. We need to play better.
They’ve got to be accountable. If you’ve got a guy to cover you’ve got to cover him. If you’ve got a deep zone you’d better be in it.
Sometimes the frustration level set in on them last year. They would get frustrated at times. Hopefully that’s not the case.
You’ll find out how they’ll react when a team drives for a few first downs. Does the head go down or do they fight back?