Paul Johnson on Chick-fil-A, o-line

Greetings-

Hope you are well. The good folks at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame held their Pigskin Preview Tuesday, inviting coaches and players from every college football team in the state to meet with reporters. I went and compiled these sound bites, including two from the typically straight-shooting Paul Johnson, who took a poke at the expected (at least by some) return of Florida State. Our intern Meghan Rose filed this story about their reaction to Terrelle Pryor getting nabbed for selling memorabilia, including an opinion from linebacker Steven Sylvester.

Anyway, I was able to speak with Johnson for a little bit about the team. I’ll share the first part and then share some more stuff later.

I first asked about the 2013 Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, which both Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan and athletic director Dan Radakovich (now on Twitter!) acknowledged was a possibility. Johnson did not strike a terribly optimistic tone.

“I don’t know about 2013,” he said. “We’ve talked to them about playing in the game for some time, but it’s got to be the right deal for us to give away one of our home games.”

In 2013, Tech has six home games scheduled – Clemson, FSU, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Elon and Georgia. (The one non-conference road game is BYU.) Most years, Tech has seven home games. The home-game thing, as you might expect, is a sticking point with Johnson, although Tech would have had to give up a home game with Western Carolina to play USC this year, a game Johnson, Radakovich and USC coach Lane Kiffin had agreed to before talks broke down when Pat Haden replaced Mike Garrett at USC AD.

To Johnson, the “right deal” is “if you have the right opponent and maybe it’s not giving away one of our home games,” he said.

Johnson said USC would have been a “fun game.” I won’t try to divine who else would constitute a “fun game,” but that will evidently be Stokan’s charge if Tech is to play in the game in 2013.

On a different topic, Johnson sounded far more optimistic about the offensive line than he has previously. After one spring practice, he questioned their motivation, saying, “If you don’t want to play, it won’t matter” that the incoming freshmen will push for playing time. The same day, he was asked about the B-backs competition, and Johnson replied that they “don’t’ really have much of a chance, if you want to know the truth,” implying the offensive line wasn’t opening up holes for them.

Tuesday, however, Johnson said “everyone else” is more concerned about the line than he is. He said the improved defense, injuries and coaching kept the line from performing better.

“They’ve taken a lot of the brunt (of the criticism) and everybody wants to say that, but I think when they get out there, they’ll be fine,” he said. “Offensive line’s not where we’ve problems. We’ve had problems stopping people. That’s where we need to be better.”

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100 comments Add your comment

GTGreg

June 15th, 2011
11:22 am

Thanks, Ken!

Jacket Backer

June 15th, 2011
11:23 am

Thanks Ken…..Can’t wait until September!

Go jackets!!

Can't Wait!

June 15th, 2011
11:25 am

For those interested…

New Vad Lee high school team highlight video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkPC_C7JP5Y

Can’t wait until September!!!!!!~

Ken Sugiura

June 15th, 2011
11:31 am

Thanks, all. Thanks for the reminder, Can’t Wait. Lee and the other freshmen enroll next week.

Nerds Nerds Nerds!!!!

June 15th, 2011
11:34 am

Does Johnson not realize that nobody goes to Tek’s home games?? And he is worried about giving one up for Tek to have a Nationally broadcasted game?? ESPN3.com ring a bell you little RATs??

And Can’t Wait….. i bet you make fun of UGA fans for obsessing over recruits…..

9-1

Jd

June 15th, 2011
11:37 am

Eliminating/reducing turnovers will affect Tech’s record the most. If they can’t do that, then the defense will have to increase takeaways to counter. That also goes for Georgia.

juvenal

June 15th, 2011
11:37 am

we have more at our home games than Boise State…..Ken, any chance we see some shot-gun?

gt4ever

June 15th, 2011
11:42 am

Coach,

We had problems Scoring against Air Force…. I think that’s right…. Our defense has yet to prove anything, and to say that our defense is better simply because it stopped your offense in the spring game is laughable! Again, We scored how many points against Air Force… Coach, I would say YOU need to get your head out of your ARSE!

Ken Sugiura

June 15th, 2011
11:45 am

To the interloping Georgia fan – I don’t think Johnson is so much worried about filling the seats as he is playing a home game as opposed to a likely neutral-site game.
juvenal – not sure about the shotgun. my hunch would be no.

dawg day afternoon

June 15th, 2011
11:50 am

In news more important to teck nerds than how many dozens of chicken sandwiches Paul “Turkey Neck” Johnson can devour in one sitting, teck nerds are stumbing over themselves (even more than usual) to buy tickets to something called DragonCon.

Apparently, one lucky hotel is going to look and smell like the gigantic nerd sleepover that is teck. Maybe the teck AD will make an appearance to sell (give away) football tickets for the mighty honey bees.

Free hotdogs, Cokes, and anime porn didn’t bring more than 40 students to the games over the last century, but maybe disguising that hideous stadium as a comic convention would do the trick. Dress the honey bees up as Star Trek characters, and the place will be standing room only and full of smelly, costumed mouth-breathers.

dadgumitpaw

June 15th, 2011
11:54 am

Ken, just ignore the interloping mutt fan….the fact he has nothing better to do than troll an opposing team’s blog proves he is pathetic and sad. Poor guy.

juvenal

June 15th, 2011
11:57 am

more students now that they close the library sat aft…..(errr…..@11:50PM post, have you actually SEEN that movie?)

GoalieLax

June 15th, 2011
12:03 pm

In news more important to the arp arpers than how many dozens of years Richt can lost to Florida before finally getting fired, U(sic)GA grads are stumbing over themselves (even more than usual) to fill the state legislature seats and run the state further into the ground.

Apparently, one lucky chamber is going to look and smell like the gigantic redneck trashpile that is U(sic)GA’s campus after all the trash leave their trash on the ground at gametime. Maybe the U(sic)GA will make an appearance to sell (give away) trailer home cinder blocks for the mighty inbred (literally) doggies.

Free hotdogs, Cokes, and 1st cousin porn didn’t bring more than 40 students to the classroom over the last century, but maybe disguising that hideous campus as a psuedo-engineering school would do the trick. Dress the puppies bees up as Hee Haw characters, and the place will be standing room only and full of smelly, camouflaged mouth-breathers.

football_365

June 15th, 2011
12:05 pm

The right deal my eye, cpj is scared to put his triple floption offense on the field against bama! Big bad paul is afraid of nick saban! Cut the excuses and play ball!!

GTBob

June 15th, 2011
12:11 pm

dawg day afternoon, I will give you credit. That post was so over the top that it’s hard to not laugh at it.

Saban

June 15th, 2011
12:16 pm

Actually it was me who did not want to play Georgia Tech. I had rather play Georgia and their cute black jersies. Maybe Richt could wear something in pink and choakdawg can bite the head off of a chicken.

Let`s see the last time I was in Athens wasn`t Georgia ranked no 1. and we had the hawg dawgs down 31-0.

dawg day afternoon

June 15th, 2011
12:16 pm

I’m impressed with the responses. You nerds are alright with me!

GT Trumpet

June 15th, 2011
12:16 pm

We get it ugag fans, we are nerds. Although it’s amazing what perks being one gets you. I get to work in the aerospace combustion lab, get paid by Tech to do it, and eventually graduate with one of the hardest degrees in the entire nation. Then I get paid big money to keep doing what I love ($80,000 starting out of undergrad) while at the same time being with my amazing girlfriend who is a masters student in actuarial science at State.

So yes, I will wear that “nerd” title proudly because life is just better this way.

Red&Black

June 15th, 2011
12:19 pm

Unfortunately for Tech folks…they don’t command the college football landscape like they did in the 50’s when they played few away games. Today UGA rules the state and thus generally has 8 home games per year. That generally equates into easier OOC games and another win or two per season for us. Contrast that to Tech’s 6 or 7 home games and more quality OOC competition.

DawginLex

June 15th, 2011
12:21 pm

Funny stuff.

I guess I should get busy:

Need to make love with my sister and try not to squash her cigs
Adjust the blocks on the trailer since their is weather coming
Get back to McDonalds and make sure the fries are not burning
Tune my banjo
Make sure the porch don’t cave in so my 9 dogs won’t die

dawgmatic

June 15th, 2011
12:21 pm

Enjoy that “nerd” title along with your ”girlfriend.”

GT Trumpet

June 15th, 2011
12:31 pm

@Red&Black

That is true, we obviously do not have the same prestige we did back in the 50’s. Just as Notre Dame doesn’t have the prestige they did back in the 40’s and 70’s. However, all programs go through ups and downs, and that’s why I’m fine with going 9-1 against you last decade. It was a very down decade for Tech (CHAN GAILEY!!!!) and a very up decade for you. But I believe things will at least even out this decade.

Our OCC schedule has been pretty weak recently, same as ugags. But we are picking that up playing BYU in a couple years as well as Alabama and Auburn. As are you playing Ohio State and Clemson.

GT Trumpet

June 15th, 2011
12:32 pm

@dawgmatic

Oh, I will.

Glory Glory

June 15th, 2011
12:37 pm

Oh lord, looks like gt truffle doesn’t realize he just got insulted. Guess they don’t teach common sense in the lab. Sad.

get the picture

June 15th, 2011
12:39 pm

GT Trumphet, You obviously need a history lesson, Tech has had 5 going on 6 down decades against Georgia.
15 wins since 1957.

GT Trumpet

June 15th, 2011
12:40 pm

Or maybe I knew that he was being insulting and didn’t care what he thought.

Glory Glory

June 15th, 2011
12:45 pm

Uh oh didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Don’t tattle on me to your “girlfriend” ok?

GT Alum

June 15th, 2011
12:46 pm

If we’re playing anyone other than Georgia State, we’ll be closer to our home stadium playing in the kickoff game than the opponent will be. It’s still being held in our home city. I wonder if what CPJ is really worried about is that if we play a SEC team, the SEC supporters could make up a large majority of the crowd.

That might explain why he liked USC. Maybe he figured that if we played someone from the other side of the country, not many would travel that far, and the crowd would’ve been at least neutral, if not pro-Tech.

GIVE ME A BREAK

June 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

Hope GT, UGA, Ga. State and Ga. Southern have a great season. The state of Georgia could use it. ” GO JACKETS “

dawgmatic

June 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

Hey, no need to get sassy, gt jerk-it. I’m sure you really have a girlfriend. It’s cool, we believe you.

DOUG R. SUCKS

June 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

Ken,

I enjoy reading your blog 10x more than the other jackwagon who used to be on here. Keep up the good work. Go jackets!

GT Trumpet

June 15th, 2011
12:51 pm

Trolling is so much fun. Oh and going 9-1 in a decade is the worst we’ve ever gone. That’s what I was referring to.

collegeballfan

June 15th, 2011
12:53 pm

Unless the rules have changed football is still a game of blocking and tackling.

Both the OL and the DL are critical every season.

Lunch Money NOW, Nerds!

June 15th, 2011
12:58 pm

Hey, gt suk it, don’t forget to deflate your girlfriend when you’re done with her.

Luke

June 15th, 2011
1:04 pm

It’s good to know that CPJ actually thinks that the defense has just been making it harder on the O-Line and not necessarily that the O-Line sucks. Means that we are stepping it up and making the O-Line work harder (see Iowa in the Orange Bowl two years ago).

Sam

June 15th, 2011
1:16 pm

Someone help me out here on why Johnson would pass on the Kickoff Game:
1) It would like give Tech some national exposure. ESPN promotes the heck out of that game so Tech gets free promotion for recruiting.
2) GA Dome seats 71K for football; Grant seats 55K. Even if the split is 50/50 (I know it is not exactly). Tech still gets about 35K tickets. Maybe at a higher price. Then money from Chick-Fil-A. I bet that is a wash if not an improvement. (If they were to lose money on the deal, they would need to weigh the exposure to see if it is worth it.)

Now they would give up a cupcake game to play a good team so maybe he is worried about playing a powerful team and getting embarrassed. That I can understand, and I can understand that he cannot say that either. That kind of exposure might not be good.

Go Dawgs.

bitter nat's bogger bottom

June 15th, 2011
1:21 pm

nats scratch fever————–nerds———–dawg poo—————–tree killers—-pay for play

———————————love collage ball——————–vote for chip towers return to collage reporter

——————————-call AJC————-yaaaaw

between the lines

June 15th, 2011
1:30 pm

LSU, Iowa, Air Force, post season embarrassment is enough.

PTC DAWG

June 15th, 2011
1:34 pm

I’m guessing all the HUGE paying jobs that GT grads get is what has your AD in such a $$$ hole. But I digress.

I would like to see UGA/GT in this game. Not sure what good that would do for local hotels though…

kerryb

June 15th, 2011
1:36 pm

I think ESPN and ABC would worry about the ratings for a game between USC and Tech. Who would want to tune in and see Tech get murdered by USC?

GTBob

June 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

I wonder how many people will watch the Chick Fil A game this year when Oregon and LSU are on at the same time on another channel.

WnE

June 15th, 2011
1:50 pm

Why in the heck is Coach Kung Fu Panda such a friggin’ coward?

If you’re playing the Game in YOUR HOME CITY, less than 2 MILES from where your Stadium is located, then WHY is Coach Fish Fry worried about “playing the right opponent”?

Coach I’m-an-Offensive-Genius sure does sound like a darn COWARD in this interview.

If you’re really an Offensive Genius and nobody has stopped your Offense after seeing it on film for 28 years, AND you’re playing the Game 2 miles from your campus, then you shouldn’t give a d@mn who you play.

Yet CPJ is worried about lining up the “right opponent” (his words), basically this is an open admission as to the COWARD SCHEDULING that CPJ has insisited on since he took the GT job.

I hated Gailey, but he played ND & Auburn OOC early in the Season, under CPJ we delay Auburn & Bama back to the friggin’ 2020s before we play them.

Kinda hard for the CPJ boot-licking-toadies to DEFEND those statements above.

WnE

June 15th, 2011
1:51 pm

should be COWARDLY SCHEDULING

ManUp...

June 15th, 2011
1:58 pm

Ok, what did I do to get blocked? I’m seeing none of my posts? Am I not a Tech man too? If you cut me, Ken, do I not bleed white and gold? C’mon, man…

Tokyo jacket

June 15th, 2011
2:06 pm

GT Alum, I think you’re probably right. An ACC/SEC game, which is the format at the Dome, doesn’t really work for Tech for exactly the reason you wrote. Everyone except for Arkansas in the SEC is within a 6-hour drive to Atlanta. And, short of Vanderbilt, they’re all three times as big at GT.

Now, it would be intriguing to reignite some old rivalries w/ ND or USC. Or maybe start some new ones with West Virginia (over under of 75 points), Penn St, Oregon, etc. All are interesting matchups. All are good for home/neutral crwods. All are quality competition. But, they probably don’t want the game for the same reasons we would want it. Maybe a 3-year deal w/ Notre Dame or USC? Home and home plus “neutral-site”?

Jerry

June 15th, 2011
2:18 pm

WnE,

I found this just for you buddy :) Your hatred of all things GT has become comical.

http://coachesbythenumbers.com/the-paul-johnson-recruiting-myth/

GTBob

June 15th, 2011
2:21 pm

WnE, did you see that DRad has a has a twitter account now? You should tweet him and let him know how much you hate GT and CPJ. He probably has a thicker skin then Vad so he may even respond. Still pretend that you are a fan though, it makes it funnier.

WnE

June 15th, 2011
2:29 pm

Re:
Jerry & GTBob,

both of you guys still REFUSE to comment about what Coach Fish Fry said about GT needing to find the right opponent for a Game that is played 2 Miles from their campus to start the Season where they have months to prepare.

Instead of attacking the messenger, use that energy to explain CPJ’s obvious cowardice when it comes to GT scheduling tougher opponents.

Curious George

June 15th, 2011
2:32 pm

Judging by his gut and chubby, little cheeks, should Coach Paul Johnson be spending a little less time obsessing about Chick-fil-a?

Who will win FEWER championships, LeBron James or Coach Mark Richt?

spider

June 15th, 2011
2:39 pm

well if tech ends up playing at BYU, please remember these guys cheated on the field of play last year and changed the outcome of a game and the ncaa did nothing to them, only thing that happened was mountain west changed their policy and since BYU is no longer in the mountain west GT better be prepared to be cheated on by the rich MORMONS.