Johnson ready to see his team play with urgency

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson uttered the “p” word on Tuesday: panic.

But he didn’t use it as a sign of defeat. He quickly clarified what he meant, saying he wants his team to play with some urgency, like “their hair’s on fire” in Saturday’s game at Wake Forest.

Johnson seemed somewhat frustrated with his team at his weekly press conference, saying that he’s never coached a group that has played like this one: a decent win against S.C. State, followed by a surprisingly flat loss at Kansas, followed by an inspired win at North Carolina, followed by another surprisingly flat loss to N.C. State.

“If they haven’t figured out they can lose they aren’t very smart,” Johnson said.

He said he’s watched the tape of the 45-28 loss to N.C. State several times, starting at 4 a.m. Sunday morning.

He counted 43 mistakes made by one unit, and 42 by the other, though he couldn’t remember whether the offense or defense won that battle of the brains. When the team plays well, he said the average number of mistakes made by either unit numbers in the teens. From releasing men that are supposed to be covered, to blocking the wrong man, to not blocking at all, Johnson said he’s at a loss to explain some of the errors that were made against the Wolfpack.

“They can’t explain it either,” he said, referring to the players.

It’s especially disconcerting on defense because of the experience. Though there are a few players starting who didn’t start many games in previous seasons, they have played a lot of snaps.

Johnson pointed out two plays, one in which a receiver was supposed to be double-covered down the sideline. Instead, the cornerback let him go and the safety was looking at the man and not the ball. The result: a catch and first down.

On the second play, a touchdown at the end of the first half, Tech was supposed to be in a four-deep zone. The receiver was wide open under the goalposts.

“It makes you talk to yourself,” he said.

On offense, he pointed out a play at N.C. State’s 1-yard line in which the middle linebacker walked up to the line and stood right in front of a lineman. Instead of being blocked, the lineman let him run through. Johnson asked rhetorically, “if you don’t block him, who is going to?”

He said the team even busted the first offensive play of the game.

“I’m as disappointed in the way we are playing on offense as on defense,” he said.

He said he sees the effort in practice, and his captains are leading by example. He’s at a loss to explain why the switch isn’t being turned on for game days. Physically, the team is fine. If they were getting pushed around and losing that aspect of the game, he said he would be really worried.

But here’s the positive: as badly as they played against the Jayhawks and the Wolfpack, they had chances to capitalize on momentum and take control. Johnson wants to see that happen against Wake Forest.

“This team could still be pretty good if they want to play with some urgency, but they have to decide,” Johnson said. “Either you want to be good or you want to be mediocre. They’ve been told that from Day 1.”

145 comments Add your comment

joeygt

September 28th, 2010
1:54 pm

joeygt

September 28th, 2010
1:54 pm

man i love coach pj how hes so cut throat,,, but he right any system will look bad if it doesnt execute

old gold engineer

September 28th, 2010
2:03 pm

Let’s hope a credible passing game shows up next time we need it.

AMG

September 28th, 2010
2:05 pm

CPJ will get this team going the right direction and we have the depth this year to get the bad ones off the field. GO JACKETS!

AMG

September 28th, 2010
2:05 pm

Oh yeah , Third!

AMG

September 28th, 2010
2:08 pm

One thing I saw, keep Steven Hill off the field, he dosn’t block, dosn’t catch and doesn’t run well. No point in him being out there. I would say he is our most talented receiver, but by far our worst receiver right now.

HOUDAWG

September 28th, 2010
2:13 pm

Let’s see …… good or mediocre ……. that would be MEDIOCRE !

GTHT …..

joeygt

September 28th, 2010
2:13 pm

amg i agree with you hes got all the talent but seems to be lacking something that bey bey and calvin johnson had

Systemic

September 28th, 2010
2:19 pm

That something he lacks is experience. We’ll see how it goes, but before we write him off let’s pause and remember he is a true soph.

Dawgtards ruin this state

September 28th, 2010
2:22 pm

atleast we aren’t thUGA!

old gold engineer

September 28th, 2010
2:24 pm

“If they haven’t figured out they can lose they aren’t very smart,” Johnson said.

Best quote in the column. We desperately need a passing game as well.

GT

September 28th, 2010
2:30 pm

I am sick of poor defensive play…That’s really the issue here! They have not played a lick of defense since the middel of 2008!! Who is to blame? The Offense is doing fine….But I think due to the “wieredness” of this tripple option offense, the defense suffers from haveing a good scout team look durin the week!!

Cobb Jacket

September 28th, 2010
2:34 pm

Houdawg, how are things going in Athens? Everything must be just peachy for you to be on here talking crap about the Tech program.

reebok

September 28th, 2010
2:37 pm

the next 3 games will set the tone for the season…tech needs to take care of business and beat wake, virgina and MTSU and get to 5-2 w/ one loss in-conference. lose any ONE of those 3 and i’m not sure we will even get bowl eligible.

but i do think we’re better than UGA right now.

Ray Ray Goff

September 28th, 2010
2:37 pm

You guys are pitiful. A 1-3 UGA team would ( and will ) clean
your sissies clocks.

The entire ACC is = to the Southern Conference. Hell you pu—-s
could not win that conference title.

Student Athlete

September 28th, 2010
2:40 pm

Sounds coach has given up on the players, whats up with that??????

snapshot

September 28th, 2010
2:47 pm

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. U leg-humpers should know this for sure.

buffaloe springfield

September 28th, 2010
2:48 pm

Is cpj going Mike Leach on his players?

Chuck Allison

September 28th, 2010
2:51 pm

JoeyGT, how about some grammar, punctualization, and capitalization? You make even Tech look bad when you try to communicate like that.
We appreciate your message; just deliver it with dignity, please.

Burdell

September 28th, 2010
2:58 pm

“Is cpj going Mike Leach on his players?”

Who knows…but thank goodness he’s not going all Mark Richt on them either.

juvenal

September 28th, 2010
3:04 pm

chuck, we’re Techies, got no inglish major there, sqeezin this in at wurk-pay folks to type job-stuf…Doug,Glavine made 14K$/pitch, when he an off day he was yanked-why are football coaches so reluctant to try some else a series, unlike baseball you can bring the starter back, r these QB’s ego that fragile?

joeygt

September 28th, 2010
3:09 pm

chuck.
we are on a blog not in grammar school.

fire Paul Hewitt

September 28th, 2010
3:09 pm

Giv’em hell Coach…U will get it right.

GT Sambo

September 28th, 2010
3:10 pm

With 20-year olds the answer is yes, their egos are fragile.

Jefferson

September 28th, 2010
3:19 pm

Defense has to stop somebody, sometime, someday.

HOW BOUT THE DAWGS

September 28th, 2010
3:20 pm

THATS RIGHT RAY RAY GOFF BRING UP THE SEC LIKE ALL YOU LOSER DAWG
FANS DO EVERY YEAR. WE SUCK BUT HEY SEC SEC GIVE ME A BREAK. TECH
IS GOING TO DRILL YOU IN ATHENS THIS YEAR.

GTJeff

September 28th, 2010
3:22 pm

Wow, that was what you folks consider inspiring. Blaming it on the players. Unbelievable. Just how far up CPJ’s rectum are you numbskulls? This season is over. Period. We cannot compete with Miami or sadly VT at this time. Clemson is going to put up a half century on this D.

He needs to play Tevon Washington, put Nesbitt at B-back, move Allen back to A back & fire Groh. We are not going to be able to recruit the caliber of players needed for that 3-4 & Groh is NOT the man to run it if we did. If we lose, fine, at least we will get Washington some needed experience next year.

Old Gold

September 28th, 2010
3:35 pm

I vote mediocre….like the coach.

Doug Roberson

September 28th, 2010
3:36 pm

Taking Nesbitt out for a series is a suggestion that Johnson laughed at during the press conference. He said if you take him out and nothing happens, you risk falling further behind.

Brent

September 28th, 2010
3:36 pm

GTJeff, for god’s sake get a grip man

ThatStingHurts

September 28th, 2010
3:37 pm

If we don’t clean it up this week against Wake, then I’ll agree with you naysayers. Meantime, welcome to all you Dawgtards. You just don’t know how utterly stupid you look. You are 1 and 3, and still trying to be somebody. Hoot hoot !

GD Burdell

September 28th, 2010
3:40 pm

How can you seriously blame the players???

It’s the coaching!! Think it through (I know you’re techies but try anyway) PJ can’t say his option offense and groh’s 3-4 are the issue now can he? NOPE because that smacks of integrity and accountability (snap) and why go through that mess when you can blame somebody else and imply that you’re really really ’smart’.

Wake Forest smells blood in the proverbial water so don’t think they’re going to just let teck have this one! Remember 2006 anyone? I think this is another L for teck and it will be all PJ’s fault. Can WF win if the DL cedes 500+ yards? I think they can….

NateUGA

September 28th, 2010
3:40 pm

Tech fans have always been over-confident in what their team could accomplish. Fact is this is a 5 win team. They will squeak out a couple wins and get drilled by the Clemsons, Miamis, VTechs, etc.

The UGA game should be espeically funny. UGA will win in blowout fashion if this Tech team can’t get their heads screwed on right. 45-17 sounds about right.

Clay

September 28th, 2010
3:40 pm

CPJ loves to blame his players…didn’t he do it last year, as well? If a line backer walks right up to the line and a lineman doesn’t block him, it isn’t that the lineman decided to let someone else block him, it’s that he wasn’t prepared. That’s called coaching.

GD Burdell

September 28th, 2010
3:44 pm

ThatStingHurts hold on, are you guys 2-2 or not?

GT Sambo

September 28th, 2010
3:47 pm

GTJeff,
Give me a break. Your solutions are laughable at best. Tevin Washington has shown NOTHING! David Sims looks to be a better option at this point. Fire Groh?!?! We just hired him. So far this defense isn’t any worse than last year, and that is after losing two high round NFL draft picks. We have plenty of A-backs, and AA does not need to be there. Nesbitt is not a running back, he is our QB and he is a warrior.
I would rather our coach call it like it is than sugar coat it. If the execution is poor (which it clearly is) then I want our coach to say it. He didn’t call out any individual players, he just said the team’s execution was poor. If we could just hit 50% of our passes (and eliminating the dropped passes would almost get us there), this offense would be unstoppable.

And tech signed who?

September 28th, 2010
3:48 pm

Just wait till PJ gets his recruits in !

Tuckerman

September 28th, 2010
3:49 pm

How about some vocal leadership from Joshua?! His “lead by example” approach is great for hard work all week, but somebody needs to light a fire. It would be so unusual for him to start getting in guy’s faces that it would probably be effective. Just a Sunday morning QB thought from up here in the cheap seats.

John

September 28th, 2010
3:51 pm

Now we are starting to understand why PJ never made it higher than Navy before coming here. This train wreck is about to implode.

CDAWG

September 28th, 2010
3:52 pm

CPJ, maybe you should retract your idiotic statement that you made on TV that it is not your jobs to get your players motivated to play…..DUH, YES IT IS!!!! I cannot believe that I just lowered my self to post on a story involving the nerds.

Tuckerman

September 28th, 2010
3:52 pm

CPJ blaming players? You need to read the post-games then. He consistently says everyone shares the blame, everyone, coaches included. Here he has just listed mistakes. When asked, he will always say that the coaches are just as much to blame for those mistakes.

Yellow Jacket since 1951

September 28th, 2010
3:52 pm

Doug: From your above comment: Sounds as if PJ has little or no confidence
in Washington. He will never know if he does not try something different.
The suggestion above to move Nesbitt to B Back and Allen back to A back
for a few plays when the offense is stalled might give Washington a chance to show his supposedly superior passing skills. It would also give him gme experience and confidence for next year.

GT Sambo

September 28th, 2010
3:53 pm

Clay,
What you’ve said doesn’t make any sense! Coaches teach scheme and technique, they can’t teach decision making. So if his blocking technique was poor, I would agree with you. Or if the scheme called for that guy to pull, then obviously the criticism would be wrong. But the coaches are clearly saying that the technique appears to be sound, and the scheme seems to be right, it is just guys making poor decisions in the game. I think that is all a coach can do, coach a guy on what to do and how to do it. But at some point it is up to the player to execute it!

Jefferson

September 28th, 2010
3:56 pm

The players play the game. Win or lose, in the end it is up to them. This is assuming you belive in the system and coaches, which I do.

GD Burdell

September 28th, 2010
3:59 pm

I think PJ doesn’t have a playbook on the sideline and called a play that didn’t exist. Nice of him to blame the players when he is the headcoach though. The coach is there for leadership and now is when he should show it! You guys should Nesbitt alone, he wasn’t supposed to even be a qb and now he is a senior running PJ insane scheme.

GT Sambo

September 28th, 2010
3:59 pm

By the way, I am speaking generally, in that I believe MOST of our mistakes are execution in nature. I am not super happy with some of the play calling at the end of our losses. I know that we were behind in both games, but I felt that we abandoned our base offense in favor of an unproven passing game. And I also feel like we aren’t getting sustained pressure on the QB, which is something we should be able to do more effectively with this 3-4. So there are definitely things for our coaching staff to work on.

Jekyl and heckel

September 28th, 2010
4:19 pm

GTJeff, GO AWAY! You not only are not a real Tech fan, but you also obviously know NOTHING about football! MORON! Come back at the end of the season for a truckload helping of fried CROW! I’ll be here to help feed it to you.

wesleywhatwhat

September 28th, 2010
4:20 pm

are any of the losers on this GEORGIA TECH blog talking tough about how bad our coaches and players are and how this team will lose to uga and will only win a few more games and the acc sucks willing to put your money where your mouth is?

be a man, step out from behind your computer screen and make a bet.

“gd burdell”, “cdawg”, “john”, “clay”, “rarraygoff”, “houdadog”, “gt jeff”, “buffaloe springfield”, “nateuga”, “old gold”: i’m talking to all of you, just in case you aren’t the same pathetic p.o.s.

Jupiter

September 28th, 2010
4:20 pm

How can any of you say that CPJ is strictly blaming players? and honestly think he doesn’t share any of that? Everyone of you are retards!!!!!! I’ve had the luxury to be within the coaching ring and NO ONE feels more responsible than he does. Groh is equally responsible and openly admits it. I wish all of you would please open your @$$ cheeks and remove head. A football team is as only good as the preparation and instruction the coaches give them (see UGA & Tech). The 3-4 defense has taken longer than expected for the guys to operate (see UGA & Tech) so don’t expect more. Stay faithful guys…. it will come around.

wesleywhatwhat

September 28th, 2010
4:21 pm

“gd burdell” wins the d*uche of the day prize, for sure.