Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he’s not a list-maker, but he rattled off several areas he hopes his football team improves during spring practice, which started on Monday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
“There are lots of areas we can improve in,” he said.
But Johnson was upbeat and excited to get to work during a pre-practice media session. He said the team seems to have a positive attitude about the work needed to improve.
“Coming off last season certainly was a disappointment, not only to fans and people around the program but to us as well,” Johnson said. “But I’m encouraged by the way guys approached everything in the offseason.”
To help the players better understand what is expected of them and to increase accountability, Johnson said he’s been holding weekly leadership meetings on Tuesdays. He said they’ve held them in the past, but during this offseason he decided to hold them more frequently.
“I want our guys to understand exactly what I expect out of them,” he said. “It’s not debatable. It’s what I think is good. Everybody has a different set of expectations and what’s acceptable. I want everybody to be on the same page with what is acceptable.”
To that end, Johnson said he will be more involved in the special teams, whether it’s sitting in on more of the meetings or helping design the schemes. Special teams, particularly the return games, were a problem throughout the season. For example, two muffed punts enabled Air Force to defeat the Yellow Jackets in the Independence Bowl, 14-7.
Johnson announced a few position changes as well as some clarifications:
J.C. Lanier, formerly on the defensive line, will work out at center and guard on the offensive line. If he turns out to be one of the five best offensive linemen, he will be put somewhere, Johnson said.
Daniel Drummond will work out at inside linebacker. He was a B-back.
Brandon Watts is moving from inside linebacker to outside linebacker.
David Sims will work out some at quarterback but will spend the first two weeks at B-back. Johnson said Sims was recruited as a running back by many colleges.
Ray Beno will work out at tackle. He played guard and center last season.
Wide receiver Jeremy Moore will return to practice after missing last season with a knee injury. Defensive linemen Ben Keith (undisclosed) and Denzel McCoy (undisclosed) will sit out the spring. McCoy is scheduled to be re-examined in June.
Offensive lineman Morgan Bailey has a sprained ankle that has made his status “day to day.” Otherwise, Johnson said the team is healthy.
The team will work at Bobby Dodd Stadium while construction on the indoor practice facility continues. Johnson said the team will work out in shorts the first couple of practices.
The tentative practice schedule is Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
– Doug Roberson, AJC