Johnson plays ‘What if?’ with Nesbitt’s injury

I don’t know if you’re in the habit of reading the Dalton Daily Citizen, but if not, you probably missed a comment from Paul Johnson about the 2010 season. Johnson was up in Rocky Face near Chattanooga Tuesday night with AD Dan Radakovich, softball coach Sharon Perkins and play-by-play man Wes Durham for the north Georgia segment of the Tech spring caravan. This is part of Chris Whitfield’s report.

“If you want to be realistic, we were very disappointed,” Johnson said. “Truth be told, though, we were 5-3 on the road on a Thursday night in Blacksburg and what happens?”
Starting quarterback Joshua Nesbitt breaks his arm is what happens, and the Yellow Jackets won just one of their last five games, including losses to Georgia in the regular-season finale and a 14-7 loss to Air Force in the Independence Bowl.
“You never know,” Johnson said. “Do you win eight or nine games if your veteran quarterback is in there? We were in every ballgame and had 600 yards of offense against Georgia.”

While I somehow see the discussion headed for comments like, “Tech would have crushed Georgia if Nesbitt were healthy” and “Paul Johnson is an excuse-making crybaby,” I hope we can veer the discussion in a different direction.

Let’s go with Johnson’s implying that Tech could have gone 8-5 or 9-4. My question is, how much does Tech going 6-7 color your feelings about 2011? I get the sense that a lot of you all are a little leery about the season. Would you be more optimistic if Tech had done better with Nesbitt healthy, or would you feel the same way?

If you would feel more optimistic, the sort of ironic thing is that Tech in a way is better off for 2011 because of Nesbitt’s injury because of the experience Tevin Washington got.

Anyway, what do you think?

145 comments Add your comment

I'm VERY concerned

April 20th, 2011
12:24 pm

We’ll see what happens this weekend. Ken, if your presumption is true, then Washington should show signs of much improvement this weekend. We’ll see…

Tech Fan

April 20th, 2011
12:34 pm

I think if we would have had Santa Clause in at nose tackle we would have been better defensivley. :) ;)

JM

April 20th, 2011
12:35 pm

I’ll be in the stands cheering for the Jackets. Just like last season.

jlo

April 20th, 2011
12:36 pm

I am cautiously optimistic….glad he does “what if” from time to time. He thinks like we do, cause you have to wonder, especially in the VT game, what if Nesbitt stayed healthy…..glad to hear the Def is improving. That killed us at times last year

Buzz

April 20th, 2011
12:38 pm

We WILL struggle at QB position…. Tevin Washington is ok but not an acc starting QB. So I hope we have someone better then him but it doesn’t look that way until Vad Lee can get some experience. Our defense can only get better so I would say another 6-6 or maybe 75 record. High end would be 8-4. To HELL WITH GEORGIA!!!!!!

D A DoubleU G

April 20th, 2011
12:38 pm

Couldn’t help but chime in on this one……

You Techies ride UGA fans a LOT for playing the “what if” game. So before you go declaring yourselves the “what if” National Champions, let me send out a quick reminder of what happened when Nesbitt was in his prime, and the Dawgs came a calling in Atlanta…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al8yCWnt8J0&feature=related

Hope you Techies have a GREAT day! It really is just your football team I hate. You guys are alright.

JM

April 20th, 2011
12:38 pm

This offense will get the yards. The players just need to limit turnovers. Turnovers lead to 21 points for uga last year. It’s hard to overcome turnovers.

George Stein

April 20th, 2011
12:38 pm

That we had 600 yards of offense against UGA suggests the result would have likely been similar with Nesbitt. I don’t think any of the turnovers would have changed. The defense and turnovers cost us that game.

The fact is the defense didn’t support an eight or nine win season last year and we didn’t have the threat of the deep ball to keep defenses honest. That didn’t stop us from running all over teams but it kept us from having the quick strike drives we’d grown accustomed to in 2008 and 2009.

Tech Fan

April 20th, 2011
12:41 pm

“Couldn’t help but chime in on this one……” Yeah, thats what you sound like….

mountain_jim

April 20th, 2011
12:42 pm

Considering coach chooses to run an offense that gets his quarterback beat up on nearly every play, he can not and should not assume his starter will be available for the entire season.

If his offense did not get his quarterback so beat up around the arms and shoulders each play, he might not have so badly underthrown the pass that got intercepted that caused the tackle that caused the broken arm.

He needs at least 2 caliber option quarterbacks with this offense, and he really needs a third who can come in and pass effectively when far behind.

But he is too stubborn to believe any of that, and in my opionion, will never have as good a season with GT as he did with Chan’s players until he adds a passing offense, with shotgun, to go with his option offense.

mountain_jim

April 20th, 2011
12:43 pm

that’s at least 2 starter caliber option QBs

collegeballfan

April 20th, 2011
12:43 pm

Concerned about the offensive line – that is where the offense really runs or sputters.

GIVE ME A BREAK

April 20th, 2011
12:43 pm

Looking forward to a good season with lots of improvement. I think Tevin’s experience,from last year, will show up in a possitive way.

ramblingbuzz

April 20th, 2011
12:44 pm

Is the glass half full or half empty? While I am disappointed in last season’s record, I think Washington getting some game expereince is a good thing. However it won’t matter if the defense can’t stop anyone this coming season. And I still can’t get over that loss to Kansas last year; Nesbitt played in that game.

Tech Fan

April 20th, 2011
12:46 pm

Just the tought of having Washington as our best option at quarterback makes me crindge.

Tech Fan

April 20th, 2011
12:47 pm

R&B

April 20th, 2011
12:47 pm

“we had 600 yards of offense against Georgia”

And 8 less points than they had.

mountain_jim

April 20th, 2011
12:47 pm

and until he add’s that passing offense he will not be able to recruit players good enough to make it work – chicken or egg, at this point, unfortunately.

If you were a great WR or passing QB would you be recruited to play for this offense? No. The more time teams have to prepare, and the better than Dline is, the less succesful this offense is in the big games.

GT Alum

April 20th, 2011
12:47 pm

It’s not like Tech had looked terribly impressive with Nesbitt in there. We lost to Kansas, NC State and got embarrassed by Clemson with Nesbitt in there. And Nesbitt got hurt because he had just turned the ball over to VT. We were still plagued by turnovers, poor blocking and an inability to complete many passes when Nesbitt was at QB. And I don’t think whether or not Nesbitt was in the game really impacted all the special teams gaffes last season.

Before the season, everyone was saying the hard part of Tech’s season was the 2nd half. Given how we played in the first half, I don’t know that we would’ve done much better with Nesbitt. Maybe we would’ve beaten VT and/or UGA. Hell, as close as the UGA game was, and as many mistakes as we made, I think if we played that game 10 times, even with Washington at QB, we’d win at least 5 times. That game could’ve gone either way, but it went to UGA.

PAUL R.

April 20th, 2011
12:50 pm

I think that PJ’s comments are on point. We were about to take Va Tech – and Washington has a problem any time he gets near a goal line. His drives, never really look like drives. I hope QB 2 stands tall and wins the starting job,

Washington has got a long way to go to prove he is a leader – and a winner.

JasonGT

April 20th, 2011
12:50 pm

Last year our problem was in the red zone, not with getting down the field. A lot of quarterbacks could run our offense and get the ball down the field. It takes something special to run the spread in tight spaces w/o a passing game. I’m more than a little disappointed that Days isn’t performing any better in spring practices. As for Vad Lee, I think I would take talent over experience with our offense. Speed and playmaking ability are what made Nesbitt so great. Those making something out of nothing yards got us into paydirt more than a few times, and Days and Washington just don’t show that ability.

Tech Grad

April 20th, 2011
12:52 pm

Nesbitt has had ZERO success against UGA.

It was all Roddy Jones in 2008, Nesbitt only rushing for 40.

In 2009 Nesbitt only rushed for 41 yards.

To say he would have had any impact on the 2010 UGA game is not logical. The fact that he was out, may have contributed to more people getting carries in 2010, which resulted in better offensive output.

Dallas Jacket

April 20th, 2011
12:58 pm

I will never be overly concerned with the offense. The defense was the problem last year. If what the AJC is saying is true, Groh has done a very good job getting the players to buy into the 3-4 this spring.

GT Class of 1995

April 20th, 2011
12:58 pm

JasonGT. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ll take Vad Lee any day before playing Washington and Days this season. Washington and Days simply are not passing QB’s. Honestly, Nesbit wasn’t that accurate last year. Vad Lee can put the ball on the target! I’m not saying Vad would start the first game, but surely he’d get playing time by game 3 and finally work him into being the starting QB by the time we hit some true ACC competition.

GT fan

April 20th, 2011
12:59 pm

I am pretty sure we would have had a couple more wins with Joshua. Think about it we were beating VT like a red headed step child before he got hurt and would have won going away. Even if we still turned the ball over against UGA ( which we wouldn’t have) we still would have had a senior QB leading us down the field instead of a high school QB at the end of the game. I am pretty sure we are at least 8-5 if Nesbitt doesn’t get hurt.

GT fan

April 20th, 2011
1:02 pm

Tech Grad, in 08 we would have gotten spanked with out Nesbitt he ran the offense to perfection that game, an option QB can not have good stats and still have a great game like UGA 08.

George Stein

April 20th, 2011
1:03 pm

As to your question, Ken, I think we will be pretty good next year. I think the defense will be improved and the issues with the offense were not related to skill. In general, interceptions are a product of skill (or lack thereof) while fumbles are a function of luck. I expect that will correct itself this year, particularly the crippling ones in the redzone.

GT Alum

April 20th, 2011
1:09 pm

George Stein -

Fumbles are not a matter of luck when you’re making pitches behind people and not carrying the ball securely, which was a big part of our troubles last year.

George Stein

April 20th, 2011
1:14 pm

You’re wrong, GT Alum.

DawginLex

April 20th, 2011
1:15 pm

Ask the same question to us about UGA.

What if Matthew Stafford had stayed for his senior year?

answer:

He didn’t play defense.

Neither did Nesbitt.

Wouldn’t have mattered for either team.

GT Class of 1995

April 20th, 2011
1:16 pm

George Stein: The ‘luck factor’ on fumbles is which direction the ball bounces to enable easy recovery.

D A DoubleD UG DUMBa@@

April 20th, 2011
1:16 pm

you didn’t mention Nesbitt other start against the crime pups? Why not……….?

GT Class of 1995

April 20th, 2011
1:18 pm

Has any one else heard rumors of additional formations in our playbook this year? With Vad on board, running a few option plays out of the pistol would be right up his alley…

PJ and the truth 2 different things

April 20th, 2011
1:18 pm

PJ it was 512 not 600 . Sticking with his M.O. its the players fault.

George Stein

April 20th, 2011
1:19 pm

Partially correct, 1995. Whether the ball was even fumbled in the first place is also a product of luck.

GT Class of 1995

April 20th, 2011
1:21 pm

George Stein: OK, there were a few plays where a fumble was created while carrying the ball by an A-back or B-back and being hit right on the ball, forcing the fumble. This I would say is bad luck.

Dodd Squad

April 20th, 2011
1:22 pm

We will hit 9-4 at minimum. Anyone who doesn’t believe this hasn’t been to the scrimmages/practices. Obviously, there are the cynics….but until CPJ’s offense fails in the season, I have no reason to doubt our scoring ability. The thing that has hurt us the most has been fumbles and defense. CPJ can only do so much with fumbles….I think the players will take that up upon themselves. The defense has improved drastically. There is very good reason to be optimistic.

Tech Forever

April 20th, 2011
1:25 pm

I think none of it matters one iota. Tech will finish somewhere between 9 and 6 wins and go to a lower tier bowl and lose to Georgia. I have over 40 years of history to support this prediction. Now in 2012 we SHOULD see the writing on the wall of a potential special season….but not this year.

Kahle

April 20th, 2011
1:34 pm

I just pray the defense has improved under Coach Groh, that our recievers actually help us rather than cripple our team, and that we win our bowl game.
CPJ make the tech fans proud….GO Jackets!

Kahle

April 20th, 2011
1:35 pm

Jacket Backer

April 20th, 2011
1:35 pm

I’m not very confident in Washington at this point. He did not show me much last year. Yes, I do think we win a few more ballgames last year if Nesbitt had played the entire season. However, injuries are a part of football. Others needed to step up last year and they did not.

I’m anxious to see the spring game and observe the mindset of the team. This will be an important season for CPJ. He needs an 8-9 win season or the naysayers are going to be out in full force.

As always…..Go Jackets!!

Dawglasville

April 20th, 2011
1:43 pm

George Stein Bear Bryant said @, “A lot of people say Alabama is lucky. I say, ‘That’s funny because the harder we work the luckier we get.’” I love that quote.

Nesbitt would have made a difference. I think that if I was a Tech man, and I know this chaps some, but I’ll ask it anyway – At what point do the bowl losses start to bother me? I know we are talking about Nesbitt. He is a warrior and could have very well brought you to 8 or 9 wins. If you get the 8 or 9 wins and lose the bowl game does that bug you? I think that CPJ’s bowl record at Tech and Navy is 2-6 or 3-7. I didn’t look up Southern when I did it. Richt has his own problems. Outside of beating Tech we haven’t done anything in the last two years, so believe me, I’m not crowing. Dooley had a losing bowl record and fans harped on that back in the day. I believe that Tech would benefit more than any team in the nation if they went to a playoff. What do you think?

Coach Grohbo

April 20th, 2011
1:50 pm

I hate it for Josh, and we can speculate all we want about beating VPI, Air Force, and Georgia with him.

But I like our schedule this year. All the big games (except Miami) are at home and I have confidence Tevin will do well.

That said, I still have very little confidence in whether we will be able to stop anybody who has a passing game or whether our scout team can give our defense enough of a full-speed look to fix our problems on that side of the ball.

Hey Double DA (man that's so correct

April 20th, 2011
1:51 pm

I read 8-5 or 9-4 not National Champions, there a point when you exaggerate something to the point that it’s a lie.
I make fun of Georgia fans like the one that told me before the 2008 season me knowshon was better than Herschel and Stafford was a better COLLEGE qb than Tebow or the Georgia fan at the 2009 game in Atlanta that my Industrial Engineering degree was easy, her major…….Communication. Easy compared to Electrical Engineering or Mechanical, but not compared to Communication……….How smart do you have to be, not to go to how hard the degrees are?

2HLLWGA

April 20th, 2011
1:51 pm

I do think we are in a better spot. Experience helps a lot with this offense. Washington could not get his head above water when he had to come in. We were always just short in every game afterwards. UGA was just short, VT was just short, AF was just short and Miami was an aberration…

I remember there were many similar complaints about George Godsey when he came in and he was very good for two years.

T3

April 20th, 2011
1:52 pm

So many comments from so-called Tech fans are just plain stupid.

I am VERY confident in the 2011 GT team.

In 2008, a rough Spring practice left the media and all the other so-called exxperts preaching
Doom & Gloom. But that was 3+ years ago, when GT was putting in the TO for the very first time.

In 2008, GT went 9-3.

Remember how the SI & ESPN experts picked GT to win only 3-4 games in 2008.

Remember the “former” AJC reporter who flatly wrote the GT’s 2008 season
was going to be a disaater.

IMHO, the only 2011 games with question marks are:

1. Clemson
2. Miami
3. NCState

It will be tough to beat Miami. If GT can beat Clemson or NCState or both,
then it will come down to GT & Miami for the Coastal Division.

In 2010 both VT & UGA both had an extra week to prep for GT.

While GT lost both games (both resulting from losing Nesbitt),
CPJ flat-out made Bud Foster and Todd Grantham look stupid.

For 2011, GT is going to be as good or better than the 2008 GT team that went 9-3.

And yes, GT will beat UGA.

GTBob

April 20th, 2011
1:58 pm

At what point do the bowl losses start to bother me?

Bowl losses are pretty much the same as any other loss just less important. So they bother me for a few days, then I get over it and watch pro football.

T time

April 20th, 2011
2:04 pm

attitudes
injuries
tunovers
inexperience

there are the big reasons tech struggled last year

tech wont have these same problems this year

10 wins is very possible

We_Run_This_Country

April 20th, 2011
2:12 pm

anything less than 8 wins will be a disappointment….realistically, you can expect 9 wins…TW will start the year with SD finishing it up.

Hal

April 20th, 2011
2:16 pm

Washington will have to improve a lot for us to beat the competition. I don’t see great things from him based on what I’ve seen so far. The big problem are 1. Eliminate fumbles and turnovers
2.The play of the Offensive line is inconsistent.
3.Get a defense any defense.

Get those problems solved and the rest will take care of itself.