Quotes from Paul Johnson

Because there’s not much else going on at Georgia Tech today (sarcasm people), here is a transcript from Paul Johnson’s pre-spring press conference today, courtesy of Georgia Tech’s sports information department:

Opening Statement

“We are excited about getting started today in spring practice. Last

season was certainly a disappointment to the fans, the people around the

program and us as well. I have been encouraged this offseason by the

work ethic and the way that the guys have approached everything. We have

a lot of young guys and that is always an opportunity to get them out

there and see what happens and I am looking forward to getting started.

I wish the weather was a little better, but it is what it is. The first

couple of days we will be in shorts and helmets so hopefully we can go

out and lay the foundation we will build on this spring and get the

program back to where we want it to be. “

On working harder in the offseason

“I think that the whole attitude is better. A lot of the little

things, from breakfast checks to class checks, extra lifting, extra

workouts that they are putting in on their own. I can see out my window

and there are always people out there working.”

On players missing the spring due to injury.

“Ben Keith and Denzel McCoy are both out for the spring. Hopefully we

will get a final update on Denzel in June and we can turn him loose

then. Morgan Bailey is going to miss today, but it is because he is

day-to-day after spraining an ankle. Everyone else is ready and

available. “

On what he is looking for in the spring

“I am keeping an eye on all the positions. I think that there is

going to be competition at most every position. We have some young guys

that we have redshirted the last couple of years that this is their

opportunity to step in and show people what they can do. The marquee

position, no matter what you do is quarterback and that is what

everybody wants to watch. We have Tevin [Washington] coming back and

Synjyn [Days] and there will be some competition there. David Sims will

play a little bit but mostly he will be at other positions.”

On the B-Back position

“We will see what goes on with that position. I am comfortable with

it. We have more guys there than anywhere else. We have some good

players — Preston Lyons is very capable, Richard Watson is there. We

are going to give David Sims a look there, we have Charles Perkins, who

has a chance to be special. I am not worried about that position at


On the offensive line

“We will play them in two to three spots each and get the best

starting five out there. Jay Finch will most likely be the starting

center, to start with. J.C. [Lanier] is working on snapping, but if he

is one of the five best offensive lineman we will get him in there. Some

of those guys were kind of stuck and weren’t very high up on the depth

chart and I believe that there are certain positions that fit them

better and give them a better chance to get out on the field.”

On switching positions

“There will be guys that will slide but it won’t be big. Brandon

Watts is moving from inside to outside linebacker. We might have a

corner play safety and a safety play corner. We may throw David (Sims)

out there at wide receiver, things like that. But nothing etched in


On his expectations between the quarterback and the offensive line

“The expectations are the same that they always have been, keep the

ball off the ground. Tevin and Jay (Finch) have been working together

for a year. Jay was the backup center last year, so he and Tevin have

spent a lot of time together and in bowl preparation Synjyn worked with

that group too. I expect that group to be pretty good. If you have J.C.

in there, it probably won’t be as smooth as those other guys but that

will work itself out. I am excited about those positions. I think we

will be fine up the middle if what I think what is going to happen,


On special teams

“We are going to work on the return game in spring practice. We are

going to look at different schemes and do some things an

d I am going to

get more involved in special teams.”

On the defensive line

“Most of those guys have played now. There is a lot of experience

there and hopefully they will be more comfortable in what they are asked

to do. Hopefully we will see some improvement defensively, certainly we

need to, just like everywhere else.”

On getting started this spring

“I don’t know if we are getting a late start, it is about the same

time that we started practice every year. I don’t like to break it up

with spring break so once we’ve started we go pretty good. This is

about normal for us. “

On goals for the season

“I am not a big guy to write stuff down. I know what I want to get

done, but I don’t keep a list in my desk drawer or anything. You want

to get better every day you go out there, and there are some areas that

we have to clean up — ball security on offense is certainly is one.

Return game and special teams is one and we have to tackle better and

get better on defense. Since I got here I said we need to throw the ball

more efficiently. There is a lot we can improve on.”

On the wide receiver corps

“You still have the guys that started the season at wide receiver.

Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton were the starters at the start of the

season. They are back. We are finally going to get a chance to take a

look at Jeremy Moore. He is a guy that we recruited and redshirted and

then had a knee injury and missed all of last season. He will be back

out there. Most of those guys are back. We will see how that unfolds. I

would like to see a couple of guys step up and distance themselves from

the others. We also recruited a couple of guys who can start when they

come in the fall. We have some people in there, someone just needs to

step up and be the guy.”

On Tevin Washington

“He is the starter coming in, and I think that he has earned that. It

is very similar to a lot of the positions, the depth chart is always

fluid. He has been taking snaps. This is why I try not to get too hyped

up on the freshmen. We are excited about a group of them, but until they

do it on the field consistently, I don’t know that you hype them all

that much. Synjyn (Days) has a lot of ability, but he has to beat Tevin

out. It’s Tevins’ job.”

On the importance of spring practice

“Spring practice is important. I don’t think that our program ever

lost that winning feeling. We were disappointed in the outcome,

especially the half of the year. But I think we had a chance to win

every game that we played in last year, but we just self destructed. If

we didn’t turn the ball over we would have won three or four more

games. I think we have to understand the urgency of taking care of the

ball and getting some turnovers on the flip side and cleaning up what we

can clean up. I have been encouraged so far in the off season about the

work ethic and the way they have approached it.”

On the schedule

“I like playing the non-conference games first and getting them out

of the way and then when you start into the league, you just focus on

that. I don’t know who is going to be the preseason pick (in the ACC)

this year, especially on our side, a lot of teams lost good players. We

have got North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia Tech at home, three of the

top teams. We have to go on the road to NC State, Miami, Virginia and

Duke. It balances out.”

On the progress of the defense

“I would hope that we would be more efficient and play better. If you

look at the stats from two years ago to last year, there really wasn’t

a lot of difference. We probably had a few less turnovers last year and

gave up a few less big plays. But the total yardage, points per game,

all that was pretty much right in line with where we had been. You hope

that in the second year (of the 3-4) there is a little more familiarity.

The bottom line is winning and losing the game is determined on how many

points you give up. That is the bottom line.”

25 comments Add your comment


March 28th, 2011
7:56 pm

We must have a 3-4 (7 in the box) that won’t get pushed around so much at times. They have to be able to reach QB’s with a lot more success this season.


March 28th, 2011
8:14 pm

Enter your comments here


March 28th, 2011
8:15 pm

I just watched the interview on Ramblin Wreck.com and I can’t help but get excited


March 28th, 2011
8:44 pm

What about Vad?


March 28th, 2011
9:17 pm

What about him?


March 28th, 2011
9:38 pm

Bottom line…bad defense will equal bad record. Better shape up the defense and then everything else

George Stein

March 28th, 2011
9:48 pm

Eh, defense was horrible in 2009, Steve. Cut the turnovers and have a competent defense and we’ll be tough to beat.

Just hope the kids get their work in, keep their grades up (I’m looking at you, Stephen Hill), and stay healthy.


March 28th, 2011
10:18 pm

How about an update on practice. CPJ seems excited about this year


March 29th, 2011
2:21 am

I’m looking forward to this year! Go Jackets!!
Can’t wait for the late summer!!


March 29th, 2011
9:11 am

Vad is not in spring! S. Days will make tough for Vad to be #2 much less #1! T. Washington came out of bama with about the same record as Vad. so don’t hand Vad the job just yet he has to win it. What about the kid out of Fla. that the Ducks shafted how do we stand on him?


March 29th, 2011
9:17 am

I don’t know about you guys but I need a football fix really bad. Hope your spring practice goes well.

Who cares

March 29th, 2011
9:18 am

Can’t wait for the season to start. I want to see what Days can do. Washington was ok, but I don’t think he is a game changer that is needed in the position for this offense.

Not Disappointed

March 29th, 2011
11:51 am

Thank you Damngooddawg! I’m ready for some College Football! Ramblin Wreck!

The Bees Nees

March 29th, 2011
3:28 pm

Doug are you able to attend the practices? If so can you give us updates and highlites from day to day?

Doug Roberson

March 29th, 2011
3:39 pm

I can not attend practices.


March 29th, 2011
4:22 pm

Hey Doug is that because Coach Kung Fu Panda has closed the Practices & made them invitation only or because you have a conflict and cannot attend?


March 29th, 2011
4:29 pm

GT has poor, sub-standard athletes up & down the Roster which his why GT will have serious problems in 2011 & 2012.

The LBs are very slow, with tight hips and don’t change directions very well which kills them in the open field when covering RBs & TEs, the DLs are smallish and WEAK, and not explosive enough to offset any size issues, and the Secondary is the worst unit of all, we’ll have FOUR guys back there that were such poor athletes that they couldn’t unseat the four mediocre guys we had back there last yr.

Thanks to CPJ’s poor recruiting our GT FB Roster is seriously lacking Elite Talent!

Agree with WnE

March 29th, 2011
4:56 pm

“Thanks to CPJ’s poor recruiting our GT FB Roster is seriously lacking Elite Talent!”

“GT has poor, sub-standard athletes up & down the Roster which his why GT will have serious problems in 2011 & 2012.”

I’m a ‘96 IE grad, and long supportor of GT football. No kidding, not a UGA imposter pretending to be.

Don’t know about 2012 (could get things going by then). But I see another 5-6 win season this year.

1) We have no QB who has proven to be an efficient passer. And it’s very clear by now that PJs 1 dimensional offenses can be stopped.

2) I have serious doubts that half (or more) of the undersized, unathletic players on our defense could even make rosters at medicore programs like Miami, Clemson or Boston College.

And I have even more doubt that 1 single starter could make second string at stronger programs.

Go Jackets! But I’m nervous about 2011.


March 29th, 2011
6:45 pm

Coaching ability (and teaching skills of all assistants) will be at a premium for 2011 season success. This may not be THE most talented group of GT football players, but with proper guidance and technique, we can have a very good season.

George Stein

March 29th, 2011
9:42 pm

Thank God WnE is here to explain everything to us!

Seriously dude, you said that if anyone could prove something you said was wrong, you’d never post on an AJC blog again. I did. Now leave, loser.

Original ole yeller

March 29th, 2011
10:13 pm

Doug, have you been banned from practices. If you are not invited it seems to me that either you are not trusted or you just do not care to report on spring drills at Tech. Either way the Journal needs to step up to the plate and give Tech fans a reporter who can report.

Original ole yeller

March 29th, 2011
10:23 pm

Hey agree with WnE, when did teams start stopping the “one dimensional offense” at G.T. ? Most certainly it was not last year. They ran up and down the field on the Bulldogs and most of the teams they played. Even after the devastating loss of Josh Nesbitt. They still produced yardage. So don’t go there. Defense steps up and watch out. As with UGA it’s better to be lucky than good. Things do even out.

Doug Roberson

March 29th, 2011
10:29 pm

Yeller, media aren’t allowed. And they didn’t practice Tuesday.

Original ole yeller

March 29th, 2011
11:28 pm

Thanks for the update. Did not know that.


March 30th, 2011
5:46 am

@Original ole yeller

You can delude yourself into thinking that GT didn’t get stopped last yr. based on “yardage stats”, but that only proves that you didn’t watch the games.

The “most physical teams” on our schedule shut us down cold:

NC State

We had Nesbitt vs. Klimpson & NC State, so that excuse goes out the window for excuse-makers like you.

In fact crappy Teams like Kansas shut us down in the 2nd Half, Dook had us shut down in 1st half before their back-up QB threw a pick 6, and a crappy Wake Team shut GT down for the first 50-mins of that game.

When you add in the FACT that our 2010 Schedule was the 70th toughest in the Country in comparison to 2009’s schedule which was the 30-something toughest in the Country, you’ll quickly see that simple yardage stats PLUS one game vs. ug@ in a Rivalry Game doesn’t give a true indication of how crappy GT FB was last season.