Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has repeatedly alluded to players needing to play with greater urgency, and he has that they have to “care enough” to know their assignments.
On his radio show Wednesday night, he said he could tell in the pre-game warm-ups that the Jackets were ready to play before winning 30-24 at North Carolina Sept. 18.
But before the N.C. State game, “it was so quiet you could hear two rabbits peeing on a bale of cotton.”
Defensive coordinator Al Groh agrees that energy levels need to pick up, and said that Tech needs to approach practices like games – every day.
“Sometimes, it can be traced back to preparation,” Groh said. “Usually, the more challenged a team or player feels, the more intense the focus of preparation is. What all coaches are usually trying to do is develop a culture in their team that you’re challenged to prove yourself every day, not just on Saturday.
“If today was good, you’d better prove it again tomorrow. If we’re good tomorrow, we’d better prove it again on Saturday. That’s what competition is all about; you have to prove it all over again.”
Quarterback and co-captain Joshua Nesbitt believes more in leading by example, that a bunch of hot air is just that. So there have not been any “players-only” meetings or anything like that.
“No, because we feel like if you talk too much people don’t really know trust you or believe in you,” he said. “If you’re going out and doing your job, you can talk a little bit but don’t talk too much, just go do your job and people will follow you.”
– Matt Winkeljohn, for the AJC