15 points from Johnson news conference

Greetings-

A pretty lengthy media session for Paul Johnson, a bit larger than we had for, say, the Middle Tennessee State game. After that, Dan Radakovich stopped by to make a plea for fans to attend Saturday’s game and also to field questions about Pitt and Syracuse (you heard it here first – Radakovich grew up a Pitt Panthers fan). I’ll attempt a synopsis.

1. Johnson mentioned that some fundamentals on offense could be better, namely blocking on the perimeter – details like angles and proper footwork. Before I forget, he mentioned that Orwin Smith can be a better blocking, not that he’s unwilling, but just has to get the technique down. It reminded me that I a carry, I think by Roddy Jones, in which Smith was out in front and attempted to cut down a Kansas player and was unable to, which curtailed the play.

2. Johnson doesn’t pay attention to the polls, especially this early in the season.

3. On the three-game streak of scores on the first play from scrimmage, Johnson said Tech has been fortunate to hit some big plays and that “I think we all know that’s probably coming to an end.”

4. He isn’t worried about the offense being overconfident, given the size, strength and athletic ability of North Carolina’s defense. Johnson: “If we don’t play well, we’ll get embarrassed. We don’t have anything to be overly confident about, that’s for sure.”

5. He hasn’t given much thought to Pitt and Syracuse joining the conference. “I think we’re fortunate that our presidents and Commissioner (John) Swofford have kind of been on top of that.”

6. He hasn’t decided who will take kickoffs, Chandler Anderson or Justin Moore. It will be determined in practice. Along that line, the two starting offensive tackles will be determined in practice, he said. Phil Smith, Tyler Kidney and Ray Beno had roughly the same amount of snaps at tackle against Kansas, and Beno had another 20 snaps at guard.

7. The punt return team has to do a better job of holding players up to give Zach Laskey a chance to return punts.

8. On his playcalling process: “You just look out there and call what you think will work.”

9. On if he has had a playcalling game like Saturday’s where everything was working: “I’ve had a bunch of games like that at different places.” There have been games where he said he felt like “if you didn’t screw it up, you were going to score.”

10. Of guard J.C. Lanier, “We’ll see what he can do in practice this week. We’re glad to have him back.” Lanier has yet to play this season due to a stress fracture. Johnson said it’s “moot” to think about the possibility of redshirting A-back B.J. Bostic because he’s still injured.

11. Johnson said he’d like to get more pass rush from the defensive linemen, particularly when they’re blocked one on one. However, he noted that those three aren’t always expected to be creating pressure, that their responsibility might be holding a point and allowing the linebackers to get to the quarterback.

12. Johnson was asked, if he were a defensive coordinator, how he’d try to stop Tech’s offense. His response: “If I told you, I think I’d probably have to kill you, wouldn’t I?”

He went on to say “I think you’ve just got to play your defense,” and play your techniques and assignments.

13. Johnson said Kansas played the front that Tech had been expecting or prepared for no more than a half or third of the time. What Tech practices is more getting the offense ready than preparing for the opposing defense, and understanding how to change up blocks according to what players see. “The longer kids have been in the system, the easier it is to do that.” He said he watched the UNC game from 2008, Johnson’s first year, and “God, were we bad.” He said he saw things that then he wanted to do but he couldn’t “because we didn’t understand.”

He said Tech goes into a game with six or seven base plays, but with options to block them three or four different ways.

14. With recruiting A-backs, he said he looks for high school tailbacks that are about 190 pounds that want to run and catch the ball on the perimeter and are willing to block.

15. I asked him about the Ramblin’ Reck for a story I’m working on for this week. He noted that “there’s probably not very many programs or schools in the country that have a symbol that more people recognize, so it’s a neat deal.”

He said he’s ridden in it once but, “quite honestly, about my only dealings with the Ramblin’ Reck is to tell ‘em to get out of the way” when the team is ready to come out of the tunnel.

A lot to do today, but I’ll have the post-practice notes up 9-ish.

Thanks for reading. Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

149 comments Add your comment

wardo

September 20th, 2011
1:18 pm

cluett peabody

September 20th, 2011
1:19 pm

looking forward to the wreck article. and thanks again for all you do.

Born2Buzz

September 20th, 2011
1:21 pm

Ken, great job as usual.
But I think we spell it Wreck.

Burdell

September 20th, 2011
1:21 pm

I think #4 is especially important…having not beaten us in Atlanta since ‘97…UNC wants this one badly.

GO JACKETS!!

Chan Gailey

September 20th, 2011
1:22 pm

what up homies

GT Anchorage

September 20th, 2011
1:23 pm

I saw a video on youtube, I think, where Johnson was yelling at the Wreck driver to get the heck out of the way. I think he may have used slightly harsher language though.

GT Anchorage

September 20th, 2011
1:23 pm

Hows it going Chan, nice game last weekend.

joey

September 20th, 2011
1:23 pm

Rduck

September 20th, 2011
1:24 pm

great start to the season. keep the hard work up boys and this could be a great season for all us Tech fans. proud of the effort, work and attitude of this team. really seems to be focused. Go Jackets!!

joey

September 20th, 2011
1:25 pm

if techs executes the offense well and gets a few defensive stops we win big 38-17 against unc

Tom

September 20th, 2011
1:25 pm

not quite first

Ramblnwrek

September 20th, 2011
1:25 pm

First. Go Jackets!

Rduck

September 20th, 2011
1:26 pm

thanks Ken for all your hard work also. loving your relentless coverage of our Jackets. you da man!

Ramblnwrek

September 20th, 2011
1:26 pm

GT Nuke

September 20th, 2011
1:28 pm

Love PJ! Go JACKETS! See you at BDS Saturday at noon!

Wreck dude...WRECK

September 20th, 2011
1:28 pm

Yea, make sure you get that right before you write and entire article about it. It’s W R E C K as in ramblinwreck.com :)

Wreck dude...W.R.E.C.K

September 20th, 2011
1:29 pm

as in ramblinwreck.com

baby blue

September 20th, 2011
1:34 pm

Beat North Carolina and get them out of the way.

Barbie

September 20th, 2011
1:39 pm

hope everyone comes to the game and supports the Jackets…the team is doing their job and now it’s time for the fans to do theirs

GT -- The Institute

September 20th, 2011
1:41 pm

`
______ — RAMBLINWRECK.COM — ______

The Official Home Of Georgia Tech Athletics

Ol'JacketFan

September 20th, 2011
1:41 pm

I love CPJ’s response at #12, as if he would give anyone any insight into stopping this offense LOL!!!

Ken please tell us who asked that question :-)

GT Rich

September 20th, 2011
1:45 pm

UNC’s defensive line will blow up a few plays at the line more than anyone before them. The question is whether Tevin makes the right reads. Hopefully we can establish the passing threat early enough to keep the safeties out of the box. One long, sustained drive should get them winded. I also hope that our 3-4 scheme confuses Bryn Renner enough to force an INT or two.

Tom

September 20th, 2011
1:48 pm

“Ken please tell us who asked that question”

Nobody got his name, but he turned and made a *choke* sign on his way out of the room.

Ol'JacketFan

September 20th, 2011
1:50 pm

@GT Rich, good point, I supect we’ll see some passed to the A backs to keep thier defense honest. So far they’ve shown good hands and the ability to get free from coverage. This is one thing I’ve been so pleased to see this year out of the offense. It’s always been there it’s just now we have a qb that can execute it! Renner has a good arm but he does tend to lock onto a reciever like most young qb’s tend to do, If the offense can stay ahead of the chains (down and distance) they should be fine.

Ol'JacketFan

September 20th, 2011
1:51 pm

“passes” my typos keep cropping up :-(

Ol'JacketFan

September 20th, 2011
1:52 pm

@Tom did he choke over the idiocy of the question? LOL!

GTBSBA12

September 20th, 2011
1:57 pm

The official spelling as deemed by the Ramblin’ Reck Club (the group that maintains the Reck and makes sure its at sporting events, school functions, weddings, etc.) is “Reck.” As a matter of fact, the real Reck was first referred to as “Reck” back in ‘61.

DScottCE91

September 20th, 2011
2:01 pm

Ken,

Another great post. Thanks for all your hard work.

Go Jackets!

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

Hey kids, when referring to Georgia Tech teams or students, you spell it Ramblin’ Wreck – BUT- when referring to the spirit/traditions club and the automobile mascot it is spelled Ramblin’ Reck. No ‘W’ for the car or the club, but include the ‘W’ for the song, students or teams of Georgia Tech.

While we’re at it, students not majoring in engineering should still sing the lyric about being an heckuva Engineer, because that term is used in reference to the team (as in “I’m a fan of the Eningineers”) and not the profession or major.

Aurelius

September 20th, 2011
2:03 pm

The offense needs to keep their focus.

The defense needs to get focused.

Can the OL block UNC’s DL?

Can the DL stand up to the UNC OL?

Pass rush, pass rush, where art thou o’ passrush?

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 20th, 2011
2:12 pm

If UNC’s D-line gets penetration on our O-line Saturday, we’ll see Tevin scrambling a lot. Do I think we can still drive down the field that way? Yes, but only after he successfully gashes them with passing a few good times. This defense probably will break down at some point in trying to be heroic and selling out to the run, but our O-line is going to have to fight hard for pass-pro so we can make them pay for that.

macrotech

September 20th, 2011
2:12 pm

DawginLex

September 20th, 2011
2:13 pm

UNC will score with short passing game. Unless Tech changes the soft coverage, especially over the middle, could be a long day. Renner is mobile too. That makes for 1 more person to worry about running the ball.

They do have more athletes but if they don’t have the ball, and are playing catch up, it will take them out of what they do. Same could be said for Tech.

I think both teams score a lot and Tech scores late to put it away

38-30

humm

September 20th, 2011
2:14 pm

ACC Champs not over confident, go figure

fan of shorter passes & longer runs

September 20th, 2011
2:17 pm

I just wonder what Johnson has planned for his first “O” play. UNC is probably doing the same thing…wondering. Hopefully they will be wandering around and then getting ready for a PAT after that first play.

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 20th, 2011
2:17 pm

DawginLex, this was the story we were hearing about MTSU and Kansas. This time, of course, UNC has a bigger, faster defense to boot. But if our D can’t pressure Renner it’s going to be a shootout that we might win off turnovers and time of possession. Renner has been throwing a few INT’s despite all his accuracy, and turnovers oughta be capitalized on with Tech’s newfound efficiency.

Ramblin Man

September 20th, 2011
2:18 pm

Tom nice reference lol. Really looking forward to this game. Keep them hungry and focused CPJ.

T3

September 20th, 2011
2:22 pm

Lawyer friend in Virginia just texted me with a BLOCK-BUSTER thought:

What if…the ACC “somehow” managed to add……the University of Florida????

His sentiment: It would be a MONSTER ACHIEVEMENT for the ACC,
and an EPIC DISASTER for the SEC.

reebok

September 20th, 2011
2:24 pm

show up for the game, tech fans. 3-0, conference game, nationally ranked. there shouldn’t be an empty seat at bobby dodd.

AMG

September 20th, 2011
2:26 pm

This is the real deal of a test. If Tech is able to put UNC away, then this team has a shot at a very special year, if not , we will see. I think Tech wins 35-24. But I am just hoping that is true. I am worried about the series of downs when Tevin got sacked in the Kansas game, next pass he rushed and looked horrible, if UNC puts up that kind of pressure ( and they will ) then this will be a tough game. Hopefully the O line has another good game.

NOLA GT Fan

September 20th, 2011
2:27 pm

Way to show up for the game on Saturday; frekin embarrassing! Hopefully there’s a better turn out for the UNC game.

AMG

September 20th, 2011
2:28 pm

T3 why would Florida take less money in the ACC? and why would the ACC take Florida with their academics?

duronimo

September 20th, 2011
2:32 pm

I’m a long time UGA fan but Tech is certainly an interesting team to watch. If they play pretty much mistake free football, they are very difficult to beat. It seems recent UGA-Tech games have been less about Georgia containing them, and more about whether Tech will slow themselves down.

Maryland Jacket

September 20th, 2011
2:43 pm

AMG, Florida is in the AAU. Their academics are fine.

Ol'JacketFan

September 20th, 2011
2:45 pm

DawginLex, it’s a pleasure to see you on here, You’re comments are usually insightful and on point. It’s a whole lot more fun to have interaction with someone that knows and appreciates good football than to see some of the more childish persons that seem to lurk on all blogs!

One thing I will mentioned is that the team has faced athletes like those at UNC before and haven’t shrank from the challenge. As long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot I feel good about their chances in this game.

DawginLex

September 20th, 2011
2:51 pm

I just think Tech will win in the end. Also coaching comes into play in games like this and there is a reason UNC’s coach has never been a head coach before.

Ol'JacketFan

September 20th, 2011
2:53 pm

@fan of, I’m sure the NC def coor is wondering the same thing :-)

crackbaby

September 20th, 2011
2:57 pm

No Turnovers – Tech Win

T3

September 20th, 2011
3:00 pm

Remember, AAU membership includes:
GT
Maryland
North Carolina
PennState
Pittsburgh
Virginia
Vanderbilt
Florida (yes, the U of Florida).

The ACC’s current TV contracts allow for a complete renegotiation if new teams are added.

Now that the ACC has a foothold in the very lucrative Northeast/NY TV markets,
the ACC can renegotitate their TV contracts for much hgher payouts.

I would add that, if the ACC added any 2-team combination of Florida, PennState,
and Notre Dame, the ACC could renegotiate its TV contracts for amounts
far higher than what the SEC gets now.

My guess: any 2-team combo of those 3, plus Pitt and SYR would
mean a minimum of $25+ Million annually to each ACC team.
Thats higher than the current SEC or BIG10 payouts.

Friend also offeres this:a Florida/Vandy switch to the ACC as well.

I wold have to agree with the original idea:
Florida joining the ACC would be nothing short of a catastrophe for the SEC.

BigTimeTechFan

September 20th, 2011
3:03 pm

Coach Paul Johnson is the man. In top 5 of all coaches in football.
I’m so glad UGA did not hire Erk Russell because CPJ would have been their OC and eventual head coach.

His system still holding strong at Navy, they played USCe at SC and played them better then UGA did at home. Navy is better then UGA right now.