Archive for October, 2011

Paul Johnson on accountability, defense


Hopefully you read the Paul Johnson Q&A that ran last week. There were a few other questions that I would have included in the story had I had more space, so I’ll offer them up to you here. The first question stemmed from something he said after the Maryland game, that he evidently hadn’t done a good job of coaching that week, and I asked for a further explanation.

Johnson: “I’m just saying I don’t think you don’t blame everything when you don’t play well (on the players). It can’t be all their fault. You’ve to shoulder some of the responsibility because ultimately it falls on me. Because we didn’t play very well, so when you don’t play well, maybe we didn’t have ‘em ready to play well. now, I think that there’s enough (culpability in a loss). There’s enough for everybody. You can’t point to one guy or one group and say, ‘Hey, you lost the game.’ It’s like, everybody could do better.

When I say that, what I’m talking about is, I’m not just going to throw them under …

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Attaochu, Drummond practice for Georgia Tech


Practice notes, along with some stuff you’ve seen if you read the news conference notes. To answer your question, Jeremiah Attaochu and Daniel Drummond both practiced. Read on…

1. Students at Georgia Tech concluded their two-day fall break Tuesday. The Yellow Jackets have a slight reprieve of their own this week as they prepare for Miami on Saturday.

Coach Paul Johnson is easing up on players this week with concerns about tired legs after playing seven consecutive games on top of four weeks of preseason camp.

“I think that might explain a little bit where we’ve been the last couple weeks,” Johnson said, referring to the team’s lackluster play in a win over Maryland and a loss to Virginia.

Tuesday, when they normally practice in full pads for full-speed contact work, the Jackets practiced in shoulder pads and shorts and also had practice time shortened to 18 periods, about five fewer than normal.

Center Jay Finch, nursing an injury sustained in last Saturday’s game, …

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Paul Johnson on energy level, special teams, defense


Sorry this took so long. I took a call right after the news conference ended and then I’m not sure what happened after that, and then the conference itself was longer than normal, so more stuff to get to. I can tell you that I haven’t had lunch and am hungry, though. That much I can assure you. Some pretty good tidbits of information to offer, though. Onward…

1. Paul Johnson said the team’s energy level was discussed in a staff meeting Tuesday morning. (I like to picture Johnson with a little gavel and then maybe Mike Sewak reading the minutes from the last meeting.) Johnson noted that, on top of the seven consecutive games, the team had four weeks of preseason on top of that.

He said a challenge for the week is “to try to make sure we get our guys to the gate fresh.” He said it is a challenge to walk the line of rest vs. training because the team is pretty young and there’s still a lot of teaching to do, but then the other thing is that one reason players might be …

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Groh on Georgia Tech defense, Miami


I have a few leftover notes from Monday, some parts of the Q&A with Paul Johnson from last week that didn’t make the story and some links.

1. Al Groh said he doesn’t expect any of the true freshman linebackers to get meaningful playing time with the defense soon. Nick Menocal got some snaps in a sub package against Maryland. He offered an insight into why it would be easier to put a true freshman into the dime package defense than other packages.

“The dime is a very clearly defined job,” he said. “There’s not much after-snap decisions to make.”

2. Groh said that Miami quarterback Jacory Harris is “playing the best that I’ve seen him play in the years that we’ve played against him, and we’ve played him every year.” For Groh, that goes back to 2008, when he was coach at Virginia. He said Harris, who through last season had a 50-39 touchdown-interception ratio but has a 12-3 ratio this season, has played with poise and patience that he didn’t have previously.

Groh also …

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Johnson hopeful Attaochu can return for Miami


Paul Johnson seemed to be in a better mood Monday than he sometimes does on Mondays after wins. I would surmise he just wants to delete memory of the Virginia game as quickly as possible and get focused in on Miami. The notes that will run in Tuesday’s paper below. Thanks for reading.

1. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson doesn’t want his players to celebrate a win or despair over a loss longer than necessary, and Monday he modeled his instructions.

Agitated with the team’s play immediately following Tech’s 24-21 loss to Virginia Saturday, Johnson was in a fairly good mood after Monday’s practice.

“Water under the bridge, just like when you win the game,” he said. “You flush it.”

Johnson gave credit to Virginia – “We’ve got no excuses. We got beat,” he said – and said that coaches and players shared in the responsibility for the loss.

“It’s disappointing, because I think it’s a game we could have won, but we didn’t, so you move on,” he said.

2. Johnson was hopeful that …

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Georgia Tech-Clemson gets prime-time spot

ESPN has given Georgia Tech’s Oct. 29 game with Clemson an 8 p.m. time slot, giving the Jackets national primetime exposure for the first time this year. The game will be broadcast either on ESPN or ESPN2.

The Jackets will have back-to-back national prime-time exposures, as their next game will be Nov. 10 against Virginia Tech, a Thursday night game at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The network will decide whether to carry the Clemson game on ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2 after this weekend’s games. Presumably, the decision will be affected by both teams’ results this Saturday. Tech plays at Miami and Clemson will play North Carolina.

Clemson is 7-0 and ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press writers poll and No. 8 in the USA Today coaches poll. Tech is 6-1 after dropping its first game of the season Saturday and ranked 20th in the coaches poll and 22nd in the writers poll.

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Georgia Tech: Going up or down?


Not much in the way of news, but I thought I’d share a few pro-and-con thoughts and let you all have your say.

1. The defense has been getting gashed. N.C. State, Maryland and Virginia had success stretching the defense out and opening creases for their running backs. Prior to that, Kansas and North Carolina were able to move the ball on the ground also. Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech are all fully capable of running the ball.

A big problem, at least Saturday, was that Tech defenders weren’t “setting the edge” – linebackers or safeties coming up in run support on the perimeter to keep running backs from bouncing plays to the outside or at least forcing them further laterally. That part, at least, would seem like a pretty correctable problem.

Also, Virginia scored on four of six first-half possessions (a fifth possession ended in a blocked field goal), but then punted on its first three possessions of the second half, which would indicate an improvement in Tech’s …

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Tech-Miami gets time slot; poll update

Update, 6:00 p.m.: After losing its first game of the season, Georgia Tech fell from No. 12 in both polls to No. 19 in the USA Today coaches poll and No. 20 in the Associated Press coaches poll. In the AP poll, Georgia re-appeared at No. 24 after winning its fifth consecutive game to reach 5-2.

ESPN will give its 3:30 p.m. time slot to Georgia Tech’s game at Miami this Saturday. The network had taken a six-day option in that game and several others to wait to declare the kickoff on Sunday.

It will be Tech’s third time on ESPN’s main network this season. It took the noon time slot for its Sept. 24 game against North Carolina and then had the ABC/ESPN 3:30 p.m. slot for its Oct. 1 game against N.C. State.

The other games, with kickoff times and television assignments:

North Carolina @ Clemson, noon on ESPN
Wake Forest @ Duke, 12:30pm on ACC Network
Boston College at Virginia Tech, 3 p.m. on RSN
Maryland @ Florida State, 3:30pm on ABC/ESPN2
Georgia Tech @ Miami, 3:30pm …

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Georgia Tech quote board


On the team’s readiness:

For the most part, I felt like going into the game, I don think we were as sharp as we needed to be going out in pregame, but we were ready to go out and play and go out and get a win.

On the offense not scoring in the fourth quarter:

As an offense, I take full responsibility because we had a chance to come out and win the game on those last two drives and we sputtered. We didn’t complete the drives and get the firs downs that we needed. We needed to put ourselves in position to win the game and we didn’t do it.

On the misplayed toss in the fourth quarter:

I checked the play. I checked to toss and David (Sims), he didn’t hear the play. He thought I checked to something else. I tossed it and it kind of nudged him on the side. That’s on me. I’ve got to do a better job of being loud where everybody can hear the play and make sure everybody gets the same call.

On cutting back on option runs:

They were overplaying on the backside. The …

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Video: Georgia Tech-Virginia review

Brian Clark of CineSport and I wrap up Georgia Tech’s 24-21 loss to Virginia.

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