GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s optimism regarding the 2012 season didn’t cause any jaws to drop, given the hopeful talk that every coach at ACC Media Days offered Monday. Regardless, with fall camp opening Aug. 3, Johnson sounded like a coach who likes the work his team has done over the summer.
“I love the attitude of our team right now,” Johnson said in a 47-minute interview with a gaggle of reporters.
Johnson was pleased with the reports he has received about new strength and conditioning coach John Sisk, hired in May to replace Neal Peduzzi. He also expressed his optimism about new special-teams coordinator David Walkosky, Johnson’s first special-teams only coach.
Regarding special teams, Johnson said he sees a difference in attitude among starters.
In the past, “it’s kind of like they’ve done it because I think they knew I kind of wanted them to and it was expected,” he said. “Now they’re more excited to do it than they have been in the past.”
Johnson said he’s gotten glowing reviews from players about Sisk, who has made the summer workouts more fun for them.
“I think they’ve really bought into what he’s asking them to do,” he said.
Other items of interest from Johnson:
- B-back David Sims had surgery four weeks ago to repair a stress fracture but is “full go.”
- Of quarterback Synjyn Days and a possible move to A-back, Johnson said, “If he doesn’t beat Tevin (Washington) out in the first two weeks of fall camp, I don’t want him standing over there (on the sideline) in a baseball cap.” Johnson affirmed Days’ playmaking ability and his desire to get him on the field but noted also his habit of fumbling.
Johnson said Days needs to not play “like a wild pony.”
- A-back Orwin Smith will “probably be highlighted a little more than we have in the past,” Johnson said, while the other starter will be more of a role player. Deon Hill and Robert Godhigh are among possibilities, though Johnson will continue to use a rotation.
“The guy that blocks the best will be the one that plays,” Johnson said.