Paul Johnson Q&A (mostly A)

Following Wednesday’s morning practice, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson spoke at longer length than the standard post-practice media session, mixing news and opinion. A recap:

1. Scout-team work for Virginia Tech could start Thursday.

2. Punter Sean Poole and kicker David Scully continue to lead at their respective positions. (I first phrased the question, “Are the punters and kickers still the same?” to which Johnson replied, “Yeah. They’re still kickers and punters.”)

3. He had no update on offensive tackle Morgan Bailey’s condition. Bailey suffered a concussion late last week. “It’s strictly medical,” Johnson said. “He’ll come back when the medical staff tells us he’s ready.”

One development from Bailey and tackle Ray Beno being out is that players like Bryan Chamberlain are receiving extra repetitions at tackle. Nick McRae, Chase Roberts and Trey Braun have also been out there, offensive line coach Mike Sewak said in a previous post.

Said Johnson of Chamberlain, “I think he’s going to be good.”

4. Johnson didn’t have a preference for freshman punter Ryan Rodwell to redshirt this season, which would create another year’s separation between he and Poole, who is a junior.

“If he’s better, he’ll punt,” he said. “If he’s not, he won’t.”

5. A question about defensive end Francis Kallon touched a favorite topic of Johnson’s – the interest of fans (and media) in how soon freshmen will play.

“He’s got a great attitude. He works hard. This is his second year of football. Everybody wants to see these guys play right away. I get a kick out of it. It’s like somebody asking me about Vad Lee. Vad Lee’s a freshman, so let’s give up on him and move onto the next guy because he isn’t playing. Does anybody remember a guy named Joe Hamilton? I do, because I came down here in ’96 (as a second-year offensive coordinator at Navy) when Joe Hamilton was a sophomore (actually, a freshman) and we beat their pants off at Navy (a 36-26 win). He threw an interception for touchdowns and he went on to become a pretty good quarterback when he was a junior and senior, didn’t he? Maybe the best one ever here?”

(Hamilton was 11-for-23 for 211 yards and threw two fourth-quarter interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.)

6. More on Kallon:

“He’s green. He’s learning how to play the game, but he’s every bit as ahteltic as we thought. He’s big, can run but he’s also playing against bigger, stronger, faster guys than in high school, so you can’t get by on just being able to be big and run.”

7. Synjyn Days played the whole Wednesday morning practice at A-back. At this point, gaining comfort at that position is more important than getting reps at quarterback, he said, since Days already knows that position. But Days’ performance at A-back has left him encouraged.

“It’s just knowing steps and angles, and stuff like that, you only gain by playing,” Johnson said.

8. Backup nose tackle Shawn Green has “had a really good camp. I’ve been really pleased with Shawn. He’s done some good things.”

9. After another question about Days, Johnson was asked if B-back Charles Perkins, who was dropped behind Zach Laskey to No. 3 on the depth chart this week, was a consideration to move to A-back:

“We’ve talked about it at times but there again, (he’s) a sophomore and he’s hurt right now. He’s not out there. It’s like I said: When you do the depth (chart), just because you set it, doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. He may come out and have a better week than the other guy and move back in front of him. So I know everybody’s anxious to play and ready to get started and ready to get news, but every little thing’s not end-all, be-all. A lot’s going to happen between now and the time we play on Monday night.”

10. Johnson said it doesn’t matter to him if, among the receivers, the heavy majority of passes go to one player (like Stephen Hill or Demaryius Thomas) or if it’s a more even split. Story about receivers here.

“If you have a guy that’s a big-play guy, you’re going to try to get them the ball more,” he said. “It could be more (even) distribution. The A-backs could be more involved. It just depends.”

11. On nose tackle T.J. Barnes: “I think he’s done O.K. His stamina seems to be better. Again, we’ll see once we start playing. You’ve got to play yourself into shape. That’s what camp’s about. You can bust your tail in the summer, and you have to, but it’s a different kind of shape when you start playing.”

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

382 comments Add your comment

George Stein

August 16th, 2012
11:18 am

This made me laugh. Kelly Quinlan said on Twitter that Johnson was feeling a bit more chatty yesterday.

The only thing he said that I might take issue with is on the receivers. There is definite value in having a true #1 guy because he can dictate coverage and make it more predictable. If they have to double someone, then that means you almost always will see man to man on the other guys or a pretty easy zone. If everyone is equal (and you don’t have three Calvin Johnsons) it means the defense can mix up the coverage a little easier without feeling like they are taking a huge risk.

Jack It

August 16th, 2012
11:22 am

Hope to see Snoddy at B back. He has the wheels to roll downfield, provided holes open up with proper blocking!…

Golden White

August 16th, 2012
11:24 am

Nice write up. Another day closer.
Go Tech!

UOAD

GTKurt80

August 16th, 2012
11:29 am

Ken, what about Jabari Hunt Days, he will play against VT, maybe start. How is he progressing? I’m excited about his potential.

old tech grad

August 16th, 2012
11:30 am

Enter your comments here

old tech grad

August 16th, 2012
11:30 am

Agin a good report Ken. Thanks.

ignition

August 16th, 2012
11:32 am

I would hope to hear something a little more positive about TJ ….

1 4 GT

August 16th, 2012
11:39 am

The more I read on CPJ, the more I like him. Like me, he seems not to say much most of the time. But will open up on occasion. Dry sarcastic humor. “Yeah, they’re still kickers & punters”. Love it.

1 4 GT

August 16th, 2012
11:41 am

You have to read between the lines with most all coaches. They don’t brag too much about their players. Doesn;t want their heads to swell up.

HighTech

August 16th, 2012
11:59 am

Good news about Shawn Green if TJ needs to leave the field for any reason.

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
12:04 pm

the #1 reason i come here is to enjoy your outstanding work…

CPJ Q&A session just for srschirmster!

August 16th, 2012
12:13 pm

[...] Q&A session just for srschirmster! you said he avoids the media. here you go! Paul Johnson Q&A (mostly A) | Georgia Tech Reply With Quote [...]

Yeller Bug

August 16th, 2012
12:31 pm

Kallon needs to R-shirt—he’s got the raw talent, better to groom him a year and have him a rotation starter next year. It will be interesting to see if opposing D’s key on O. Smith if he’s going to be a feature back. They’ll assume the Option will call his number. It seems Days is going to get play time at A-back. Several people have stated he should move to safety which is a bad move. Yes, he can play there, but he wouldn’t start there. Besides, his greater contribution is on the O-side. A good ball carrier is a higher/more difficult skill set than a DB. Plus, Days is still the #2 QB. If TW went down in the first series against VPI, CPJ would put in Days over Vad just because of experience. Maybe later in the year when Vad gets some play time will he settle in the #2 slot.
Ken: Is there a cutoff date when you have to declare a person to Redshirt? Is it sometime in the last week of August? Once again, we are so glad to have you as our GT reporter. You do a great job!

Gorilla Biscuit

August 16th, 2012
12:46 pm

(I first phrased the question, “Are the punters and kickers still the same?” to which Johnson replied, “Yeah. They’re still kickers and punters.”)

Captain Obvious, Coach Fishfry. At least he didn’t ask you if you were that stupid or threaten to punch you. Guess you guys will be stuck with TW at QB again this year. :)

Hayseed Dixie

August 16th, 2012
12:50 pm

@George Stein

That’s a good point. From a game-plan perspective, yeah, the #1 guy can help make the defense at least a bit more predictable.

But, at some point isn’t Tevin just gonna have to make a good read of the D and cross-reference that with what he knows about receiver X?

Seems like many times he threw to Stephen not necessarily because of a good read, but because they were hoping for some Nesbitt/BayBay-style pitch and catch.

Hayseed Dixie

August 16th, 2012
12:55 pm

Oh, and a couple of other things about this article made me smile. Joe Hamilton, passes to A-backs.

To paraphrase Cal Naughton, Jr.: those are two pretty good things.

JM

August 16th, 2012
12:55 pm

good report. I am glad Coach Johnson spent extra time answering questions.

There’s a big number of players out on the field working hard to get playing time. I am glad he was able to talk about so many of them.

Enus Stokesberry

August 16th, 2012
12:57 pm

If i was CPJ i would be at every GISA football game i could get to. most run the exact same offense. it would be like a minor league system

Yeller Bug

August 16th, 2012
1:02 pm

Our WRs are unknown and it will be mano-a-mano with the corners. Opposing Ds will have the safeties in run support and make TW and the new WRs beat them thru the air. Considering we pass complete 55% in passes this year. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

Ken Sugiura

August 16th, 2012
1:05 pm

GTKurt80 – Al Groh described Jabari as a “work in progress.” I’ll get it up tomorrow, probably. I’m not sure quite what to read into that, but I think it means he’s playing like a redshirt freshman who’s never been in a game before. and i do think he’ll start next to Quayshawn Nealy.
Johnson’s comment of Barnes is not any sort of indictment. it is reading tea leaves a little bit, particularly if you’re reading it and not hearing it, but in general there’s been good reports on him.
Yeller Bug – you don’t have to declare a redshirt at any point. you could keep a guy on the bench all year and play him in the bowl game if you wanted.
Gorilla Biscuit – not sure if i’m not understanding you, but it wasn’t that he didn’t understand the question. it was a poorly phrased question, and he made light of it.
1 4GT – He has a pretty good sense of humor. it’s just not always on display.

Yeller Bug

August 16th, 2012
1:08 pm

That was weird—the above should have read: Considering we pass less than 50% that’s a good bet for the D. If the corners play 10 yds off the WR, then we throw the quick out until they tighten up and then we can go long. If the safeties commit to run support we streak an A back down the middle off play action. The plays are there, it’s all about the execution. Tech needs to complete greater than 55% of our passes…
I guess if you put in greater or less than signs, it deletes what you write in between.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 16th, 2012
1:09 pm

Ken: Is there a cutoff date when you have to declare a person to Redshirt?

If at the end of the season the player does not play or only plays a few minutes before getting injured he can be reshirted.
Coach may not play a player to save his red-shirt status but there is no official red-shirt till after the season and play meets the requirement to red-shirt.
He could say he’s redshirting a player, say J Thomas, but if TW,V Lee, S Days all get hurt Thomas could still play Thomas

Highly Respected Southern Troll

August 16th, 2012
1:17 pm

Talking about dull. All interviews or post-games with Paul Johnson are about the same. Well, um, I don’t know, it’s a little of both, it’s a good thing when guys compete, etc. ad nauseum. Still, a great coach when he was here.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 16th, 2012
1:17 pm

Oh and nice interview Ken.
My guess is Kallon and Gotsis end up getting red-shirt, Gamble gets some playing time

Would like to see this back field:
AB – O Smith / Snoddy and S Days with some time
AB – T Zenon / Bostic rotation
BB – Perkins (healthy) Sims if Perkins is not
QB V Lee as primary and S Days playing Tebow role like Fla used when he was Frosh

GTVegas

August 16th, 2012
1:20 pm

MonkeyBreag – Its called a sense of humor, either you like it or you don’t and I really don’t care whether you do or don’t. I personally find it funny.

I really enjoy most of the interviews with CPJ and like his sense of humor. Is it me or does he seem more optimistic this season or is he just getting more comfortable with his team and where it’s at? I would venture to say it’s a bit o both.

GTVegas

August 16th, 2012
1:21 pm

Should have said “MonkeyBread”. I had a drill bit snap and go through my left index fingr so my tying is bit suspect.

GT1990

August 16th, 2012
1:38 pm

BYE BYE CPJ! UGA is going to beat the hell out GT this year.

Yeller Bug

August 16th, 2012
1:43 pm

Ouch Vegas! I hope that wasn’t your primary slot machine hand.

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
1:57 pm

Lord, 6 months & that is the best he could do? Super, the main reason for the code of silence is not because they are irritating, but because they are BORING!

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
1:58 pm

use dewalts, myself…

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
2:09 pm

@ juvenal……yeah, boring, generally stupid, and definitely irritating

Only 17 days till the return of 5150 UOAD

GO JACKETS !!!
U O A D !!!

GTVegas

August 16th, 2012
2:13 pm

It was a DeWalt cordless drill and bit. Little droplets of blood all over the wall behind my workbench. The bit snapped and the jagged, spinning end still in the drill went straight into the end of my finger midway bewtween the end and the first joint.

juvenal

August 16th, 2012
2:17 pm

ouchie! not strong enuf to break one myself, i guess…maybe you have been exposed to tooo many gorilla cookies…Super, the skeeters at the ouet banks last month were more irritating than any blawger…

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
2:38 pm

Ken, if you’re reading this, why is my last post on the ice-cream truck blog awaiting moderation? I didn’t say anything improper in it

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
2:39 pm

@ juvenal……try the tse-tse flies in Zambia sometime. LOL

just the truth

August 16th, 2012
3:14 pm

BigTimeTechFan, you are exactly right about the redshirt but don’t get confussed with a medical redshirt for which there is a time frame.

DS CE '91

August 16th, 2012
3:14 pm

Given that the A-back often (but not always) receives pitches from the QB on runs, does anyone else have a concern about Days being in that position? while I think it might be a bit overblown at this point, there is no doubt that he has put the ball on the ground some.

Also have heard nothing about his pass-catching ability. I wonder if he is still playing catchup with the playbook at this point, does that mean that potential wrinkles like passes to the A-Back are not possible when he’s on the field?

I’ve got a few trepidations, but still looking forward to 9/3. GO JACKETS!!!

DS CE '91

August 16th, 2012
3:15 pm

Oh, and AWESOME job, Ken. Really enjoying the write-ups…..

GO JACKETS!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
3:15 pm

@ DS CE ‘91……I think Days’ problem is making the handoff from the QB position. Hopefully, he can take a pitch without fumbling it.

Ken Sugiura

August 16th, 2012
3:16 pm

supersize – i just approved it. it had two links in it, which will get a post marked as spam (because a lot of spam posts have multiple links in them)

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
3:19 pm

@ Ken……OK. I didn’t realize that. I won’t do that in the future. Thanks for resolving it and thanks too for letting me know.

DS CE '91

August 16th, 2012
3:23 pm

@SS…… Hope you are right. Also hope Days can catch, AND I hope that TW can get him (or whomever is playing the A-Back) the ball in the air. Lots of “hopes” right now, as it should be.

GO JACKETS!!!

Tech Guy

August 16th, 2012
3:23 pm

Tech needs to complete 65% of the passes to keep the defenses honest. If that can be accomplished, the option will be unstopable.

Ken Sugiura

August 16th, 2012
3:26 pm

DS CE ‘91 – i think that’s a legitimate concern and I don’t have an answer for you about his pass catching. i’m speculating, but i imagine if/when days gets in, they’d have to be pretty basic in what they do. he obviously knows the plays and the responsibilities, being a quarterback, but i’d think actually running them well is another matter.

GT1990

August 16th, 2012
3:42 pm

@Ken

Do you feel like CPJ has done enough at Georgia Tech to keep his job if he loses to UGA this year?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 16th, 2012
3:43 pm

@ GT1990……Ken is a reporter. He is not paid to make GUESSES.

Yeller Bug

August 16th, 2012
3:44 pm

I think we’ll see an A-back option pass this year. Days has worked on passing while running/moving this summer. It’s not really a one trick pony that you do once a year either—it’s a variant of the triple option–fake dive to freeze LBs, quick pitch to A-back (Days) and he can throw quick out to WR or maybe long to the other A-back who ran past the safety thinking run or throwback to TW or simply run with it. Where’s a napkin so I can draw this up for CPJ. : )

DS CE '91

August 16th, 2012
3:45 pm

Thanks for the reply, Ken. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see….. and HOPE (the “warm blanket on a cold night” for all college football fans at this time of year).

GO JACKETS!!!

DS CE '91

August 16th, 2012
3:48 pm

@ YB….. I agree that option pass does seem like a “no brainer” wrinkle when Days is in the game. The problem, of course, is the speed at which the play develops, and whether the OL can provide the time for Days to make the read and pass while on the move. I haven’t watched Days take many snaps at the QB position… is throwing on the run a skill set he has demonstrated?

just the truth

August 16th, 2012
3:49 pm

Yeller Bug, Tech used an Aback pass last year