Paul Johnson Q&A, part 3

Q: (Continuing questions about improving pass rush) Is this a matter of getting the right fits for the 3-4?

A: Maybe as guys get older. The thing I said last year, we don’t have very many seniors. We’ve got nine this year. … We’ll be into our own guys. This senior class will be the transition class. The junior class has 23 in it. Then we’ll kind of be back on norm. Now, you’ll lose a few of them. (But) the more seniors you’ve got, the better.

This class would have had a few more seniors, but we’re going to have a couple that graduate, but not guys who were playing. If Julian (Burnett) doesn’t play, that’s another one of the seniors. Stephen Hill would have been another senior. But it’s the transition. And what happens when you get so young is you get classes where you can only sign 15, 16, 17 and then if you have any attrition, you’re not going to have any seniors. So we’re still working our way into that.

Q: To what degree did youth impact the season?

A: You go back and you look at the last four years, we’ve probably won more games than anybody since Coach (Bobby) Dodd, so they’ve actually performed well. (Ed. note: Tech won 43 games from 2008 to 2011, third most since Dodd’s retirement for a four-year span since 1966. Tech won 46 between 2006 and 2009.) Fans are like everybody else. They just want to win once a week. And sometimes they have selective memories about how it used to be. We’d like to win every game, too. That’s the goal. If you go back and look, Georgia Tech has not won the conference championship every year.

Q: Or most years.

A: Twice, and they took one away, in 30 years. And the other one they won was a tie. They actually would have lost in today’s standards because they would have went to the tiebreaker. We haven’t finished a season as strong as you’d like and I think that leads into people’s minds.

It’s like last year. We only won eight games. Nobody thought we could win six. And then when you win eight, (so) you should have won 10. … How many times have we won 10 games here? Maybe four in the last 50 years. So there you go.

Q: What did you think of the schedule?

A: We’re going to know where we stand in our division pretty early. We’ve got three games in 13 days again. We’re playing some teams that beat us a year ago, all of them right on the front end. We’ll have to get ready to go. And all division games.

Q: What are the pros and cons of playing the Virginia Tech game so early?

A: I think you’ll get exposure excitement for the kids trying to get ready for the big game early. That’s been one of the biggest games in our division and that’s over with the first game. It certainly puts one team dead behind the 8-ball. We’d prefer to have maybe your bigger games later in the year. Same for both teams.

Q: What was your reaction when you first heard about moving the game to Labor Day?

A: I really didn’t have a reaction because I don’t have any say in it. It’s the conference. They set the conference schedule.

Q: Don’t they need your permission to move the game?

A: They don’t need your permission.

Q: But you had a non-conference game already contracted for that week.

A: It doesn’t matter. The conference schedule trumps. You just have to move around.

Q: One thing that jumps out is that you play six of the first eight at home and then three of the last four on the road.

A: I hadn’t really thought that much about that, honestly. My focus will be on the first game and then we’ll go from there.

Q: About playing the three division games early, I guess you’ll only know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing after those games are over.

A: I think you’ll have a good idea where you stand whether you control your destiny or whether you’re going to have to have a lot of help. I haven’t looked at the overall ACC schedule. I don’t know who they play. I think Virginia Tech plays Florida State on Thursday night, Miami and Florida State or somebody like that. (Virginia Tech plays Miami and Florida State on back-to-back Thursdays)

I think they play Clemson again. (Correct)They’ve got a pretty rough row to hoe, too. It’s not like that (season-opening) game is going to decide who wins, but certainly, if you can win a division game, it’s like winning two because then you’ve got the tiebreaker.

Q: I’ve heard (Chick-fil-A Bowl president) Gary Stokan say that coaches playing in the kickoff game have said that it has made players practice harder in the spring and over the summer because they know they’ve got such a big game in the opener.

A: Maybe. You hope that guys are going to work hard to get ready no matter what. Certainly there’s a sense of excitement. There’ll be a lot of hype around the game and you’re going to get a lot of exposure because we’re going to be the only game on that night, so we’ll get some exposure that way.

Thanks for reading. Another post Tuesday morning.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

247 comments Add your comment

danny

March 5th, 2012
8:37 am

First. Boo yah

danny

March 5th, 2012
8:43 am

I hope Julian is able to get healthy and make a comeback.

Birmingham Jacket

March 5th, 2012
8:51 am

I was a fan of the hire, but have totally lost faith since.

The guy can coach, but simply can’t recruit.

We will never get the “next level” of the FSU’s, UGA’s, LSU’s, etc. with this guy.

Time to move on.

Jacket fan in Wisconsin

March 5th, 2012
8:56 am

Love the interviews, Ken. One thing jumps out at me. Coach sounds really upset about moving the VT game. Why do I say that ? When you asked what his reaction was he said: “I really didn’t have a reaction because I didn’t have any say in it “….What ??? Just because you didn’t have any input doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion about it . The fans didn’t have any input and we have an opinion about it. He should have used his other non-answer…..”It is what it is “. Nice job , Ken.

FL Jacket

March 5th, 2012
8:58 am

Thanks Ken. I assume you meant we won 34 games and 36 from 2006-2009.

Comment

March 5th, 2012
9:02 am

Birmingham, I’m a Tech alum but a realistic one. Tech never has and never will be able to out recruit the likes of FSU, UGA, and LSU.

That said, I am contempt with mediocrity no matter what recruits we get. Winning 9 games and a bowl victory is acceptable. Tech can compete, just not with the likes of the SEC recruits.

Stop hating and support CPJ.

Comment

March 5th, 2012
9:02 am

‘NOT contempt’

UGA = Yawn

March 5th, 2012
9:03 am

Jacket fan in Wisc – I agree. He obvioulsy had (and has) reactions. He is just an a#s!

Comment

March 5th, 2012
9:04 am

‘content’ … Ugh Monday morning.

Jacket fan in Wisconsin

March 5th, 2012
9:04 am

Comment , you mean…..CONTENT…

GTJason

March 5th, 2012
9:06 am

I bet you think Gregory is an awful basketball coach too after having a rebuilding year birmingham… we all thought this past year was going to be a rebuilding year and we had some excitement. Had a few games actually sell out for a 6-0 team… that was rebuilding. I think after this coming year we can judge him on his players and coaching. He has the talent and team in place to where if he’s going to make any kind of push again in the ACC it’ll happen this year.

Jacket fan in Wisconsin

March 5th, 2012
9:06 am

Sorry Comment………Yeah it’s monday, alright

FL Jacket

March 5th, 2012
9:08 am

Birmingham…

I would love for CPJ to get a piece of a $30+MM athletic budget, have ridiculously slack academic standards, and perform attrition on kids with no impunity.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t coach in the SEC…and as an alum I’d rather keep our high standards…

Tom

March 5th, 2012
9:11 am

it’s “row to hoe”….not “road to hoe”…just sayin’

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
9:14 am

“Fans are like everybody else. They just want to win once a week. And sometimes they have selective memories about how it used to be.”
———————————–
That’s me!
———————————-
“I think they play Clemson again. (Correct)They’ve got a pretty rough road to hoe, too. ”
———————————-
The saying is “row to hoe” not “road to hoe”.

Ken Sugiura

March 5th, 2012
9:19 am

thanks, tom. you are correct.
fl jacket – i’m guessing when the appeal comes back, it’ll become 34. i’m not sure how we’ll treat it.
jacket fan in wisconsin – i believeyou’re right. he did say how you’d prefer to play those games later.

George Stein

March 5th, 2012
9:19 am

He’s trying to correct the special teams, and that’s a good thing. But he must get the defense to provide some measure of resistance. His offense is terrific, but to the extent that people are at all disappointed, it’s probably because they think we have been so close to winning so many more games.

FL Jacket

March 5th, 2012
9:21 am

Ken…am I missing something? Winning 43 games from 2008-2011 implies we won an average of 10.75 games per year during that span. NCAA issues aside, we won 9, 11, 6, and 8 during those years.

FL Jacket

March 5th, 2012
9:27 am

George…

I get tired of hearing about “he can’t beat uGA, VT, Miami, or a bowl game”. That’s dang near ALL his losses…he’s won the rest of them. And the ones he hasn’t won have all be prett closely contested…we don’t get blown out all that often.

George Stein

March 5th, 2012
9:30 am

Agreed, FLJ. Thing is, of those three, only Miami has really pushed us around. I want the results to change, but I’m not gonna run him off over those games.

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
9:34 am

Having VPISU early this year may be an advantage. The Hokies seem to have a tendency to start weak and finish strong. Look at recent early season losses for examples.

FL Jacket

March 5th, 2012
9:36 am

George…

Miami has the team speed on defense that, if not blocked well on the interior, can suffocate the option. You beat a team like Miami by running the BB dive up the middle, and taking your shots to the outside when they present themselves.

Miami 2009 was our only conference loss. Miami 2010 was a bunch of guys moping around without the Warrior and no shot of winning the ACC Coastal. Miami 2011 exposed our youth and special teams deficiencies…but might have been one of our best defensive games.

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
9:40 am

Not sure what the issue is with Miami. Their record hasn’t been exceptional, but they always play the Jackets tough. The only thing I have noticed is better quickness and speed, especially on the outside on defense. I don’t know this for sure, but Miami seemed to have a better pass completion percentage than the Jackets.

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
9:41 am

What FL Jacket said.

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
9:48 am

An improved passing game would help against both Virginia Tech and Miami. It would keep their corners and safeties honest. Then, they could be burned on the outside when the defensive end is crashing down to stop the B-Back dive and the quarterback dive or sweep.

dawgfan

March 5th, 2012
9:49 am

I get tired of hearing about “he can’t beat uGA, VT, Miami, or a bowl game”.

LOL. That’s the only teams you play that are worth a crap. Congrats on beating up on a bunch of nobodies. Nobody cares. I find Paul Johnson’s comments simply hilarious. Even the coach buys in to your laughably low standards. 8 wins is great!!! From a UGA fan, please keep up the excellent work coach!!

Hilarious. What a total joke Tech is.

the real Old Gold

March 5th, 2012
9:51 am

B-Ham Jacket… oh ye of little faith.

George Stein

March 5th, 2012
9:53 am

Troll hard, dawgfan.

FL Jacket

March 5th, 2012
9:53 am

dwagfan…

You must think a 4-1 against Clemson, 2-0 against FSU, 3-1 against UNC isn’t meaningful? He has a winning record against the SEC.

The only joke is you and your school who sings Happy Birthday to 16 year-olds because your institution (sic) has nothing special going for it and has to get desperate to get their attention…

5150 UOAD

March 5th, 2012
9:55 am

And we have a MUTT laughing?……Hey dWagfan YouGeeA can’t beat beat the ONLY TEAMS WORTH A CRAP on your schedule either. Go sniff some girls and find who is hiding Hash Browns in her drawers.

GT70

March 5th, 2012
10:03 am

Enter your comments here

student athlete

March 5th, 2012
10:05 am

Coach seems “Proud” of those 8 wins; 5 against teams that went a combined 10 – 49, held on by the skin of his teeth versus Maryland and NCSt, then “farted” hard at the Sun Bowl and left “taco” diarrhea all over the field.
Good thing for coach the final record has “NO” remarks column!

Old Fashioned

March 5th, 2012
10:05 am

It’s not completely valid to use”number of victories” in a year when comparing performance over last 50 years. Now we have 12-games each year and many more bowl games. A 6-6 record means it is relatively easy to qualify for a 13th game. It would be better to use “winning percentage” and treat bowl games separately. And did Coach actually say,”—they would have WENT for the tiebreaker?”

GT70

March 5th, 2012
10:07 am

Whoops itchy trigger finger. Don’t follow the math here. Checking the stats I get 34 wins in 4 years not 43. I like PJ but he has averaged only one win a year more than Gailey and has the benifit of a twelth game. So the difference is the Jax State type game added to the schedule.

ahsoisee

March 5th, 2012
10:08 am

I get tired of listening to all the false information (skewed information) that is used to compare coaches records of today with those of the coaches of yesteryears. The common amount of games played each year in the past was nine or ten games.

Most every team plays 12 games a year and with the huge display of bowl games, most teams play 13 games each year. If they play for their conference championship, they then play 14 games each year. Most teams play 33% more games in the year than those in the past.

Bobby Dodd had records of 7-3 for the years of 1948, 1949, 1963, and 1964, and did not get to go to a bowl game because the bowls were limited and only those with the best records in the nation went to the bowl games. Now, most all teams with a 6-6 record and above appear in some bowl game expanding their quantity of games in a season.

Also, Pepper Rodgers had records of 6-5 (1974), 7-4 (1975), and 6-5 (1977) and did not go to a bowl game in those three years. Bill Curry had records of 6-5 (1982), and 6-4-1 (1984) and did not go to a bowl game in those two years. Bobby Ross had a 7-4 record in 1989 and did not receive a bowl game. George O’Leary had a 6-5 record in 1995 and did not go to a bowl game.

It should become obvious to the most weak-minded of individuals that the number of wins in a season and the number of bowl games attended is of little significance when comparing coaches of today and coaches of the yesteryears.

Also, any coach of today can build up his resume of total games won much quicker than those of years past, but it does not give them the right to compare their totals with the coaches of the past. The only significant stat would be the percentage of the number of wins in a season, percentage of cumumlative wins, and the percentage of the number of wins in bowl games.

Rodney Kent

Delbert D.

March 5th, 2012
10:08 am

Good morning, everybody. Hashbrowns all around for our visiting posters.

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
10:11 am

The Red and Black reported this week that the athletic board, school officials and student representatives have been discussing the increasing problem of empty seats in the student section at Sanford Stadium during even big games.

The student section never reached capacity last season, the R&B report noted, with more than half the 18,000 student seats going unused at one game. But while it shouldn’t be that surprising to have 10,000 students deciding to ditch the Coastal Carolina game, it’s shocking to read that there were 3,000 empty student seats for Auburn.

Wells Ellenberg, the student representative on the athletic board, put it bluntly: “Students, for whatever reason, don’t feel the need to go to the football game. We lack the appropriate culture here for an SEC football school.”

Hilarious. What a total joke UGA is.

George Stein

March 5th, 2012
10:11 am

Hung on versus NCSU? Ha. We were winning 42-14 in the 4th quarter.

dawgfan

March 5th, 2012
10:15 am

“You must think a 4-1 against Clemson, 2-0 against FSU, 3-1 against UNC isn’t meaningful?”

That is exactly what I think. Clemson just had its best team in years and got utterly demasculated in its bowl game by a Big East team to the tune of a 70-33 score. They are a joke. FSU hasn’t done anything of any relevance since Clinton was President. And no, winning the ACC does not make you relevant. UNC? LMAO. Is that supposed to be a joke Techie? Good one.

“He has a winning record against the SEC.”

If you’re going to protest when people call Georgia Tech a joke it would probably help to get your facts straight. He is 4-4 against the SEC and 3 of his wins came against Mississippi State and Vandy. You can brag about beating Miss. State and Vandy if you like but you will only get laughed at. I’m just giving you the facts pal.

Paul Johnson is the Jim Donnan of Georgia Tech. Sure, he’s an improvement over his predecessor but loses all of his big games and the only games that really matter. Just the facts folks. Ignore them if you like. That’s what you always do.

Thanks.

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
10:16 am

You can’t reason with a dwag, George. They think beating Georgia Tech by a touchdown or less is a “beatdown”, while losing 42-10 to LSU showed how tough Grantham’s defense was in the first half.

student athlete

March 5th, 2012
10:17 am

Lets not forget that “Paul Johnson wins” games and “players lose ‘em.” That makes coach 1000%, best coach in history!!!

George Stein

March 5th, 2012
10:18 am

Why wouldn’t we brag about beating Miss St or Vandy? UGA sure does.

Brad

March 5th, 2012
10:19 am

Funny bham jacket cause I feel the opposite. That he makes highly questionable coaching decisions and recuriting has been better than gt’s average. His coaching in the last bowl game in the 4th qtr was atrocious.

George Stein

March 5th, 2012
10:19 am

Agreed, HighTech.

I have no idea where that thinking comes from, student athlete.

George Stein

March 5th, 2012
10:20 am

Examples, Brad?

dawgfan

March 5th, 2012
10:22 am

Now you’ve got me confused HighTech. I thought UGA people only cared about football and academics were an afterthought. That’s been the typical stereotype perpetuated by sore loser Tech fans for years. Now you’re criticizing us for NOT going to football games. We just can’t win with you people. Its almost as if you’re grasping at straws trying to take shots at UGA any way you can because you have little else to go on. Yeah, its a lot like that.

Georgia Tech=JOKE.

HighTech

March 5th, 2012
10:25 am

Confusing you may be easy, but it’s not me criticizing, dawgfan. That quote came from one of your own blogs, which you should be on, by the way, instead of here.

http://blogs.ajc.com/junkyard-blawg/2012/03/03/fan-talk-empty-student-seats-battle-hymn-soloists-backup-qbs-and-more/?cxntfid=blogs_junkyard_blawg

dawgfan=troll

old dog

March 5th, 2012
10:27 am

Hey; y’all get a QB and we’ll try to get an o-line. Both of us will be better then!

student athlete

March 5th, 2012
10:27 am

@George Stein, straight from coach’s mouth; I’m proud for him.

Supersize that order, mutt

March 5th, 2012
10:35 am

dawgfan, it’s you and your fellow mutt trolls who are always on the Tech blogs criticizing attendance at Tech games and claiming that Sanford & Son Stadium is always sold out and full. When the fact that empty seats have been clearly visible on every televised game from there, you say those were all unclaimed visitor seats. Now here we have a something actually appearing on a UGA blog confirming that the students in Athens don’t even bother to go the games, and you try to brush that off. You just can’t win with you trolls. You’re total hypocrites.