Notes from Paul Johnson’s news conference. Sorry it’s late. This’ll be quick.
1. The Jackets got out of the Virginia Tech game clean from an injury standpoint. B-back David Sims may sit out the Presbyterian game to give him more time to recover from his stress fracture. A-back Orwin Smith should be able to go. Safety Fred Holton is still out and cornerback Louis Young (arm/hand injury) and inside linebacker Daniel Drummond (ankle sprain) are both probably out. Drummond was going to have to sit the first half anyway because of a suspension. Offensive tackle Morgan Bailey has been cleared, but Tyler Kidney will start.
2. With little practice time, Johnson won’t go overboard on game plan. The team will do error correction today (Wednesday) and introduce Presbyterian, then do a light practice Thursday to put in game plan.
“Hopefully, the neat thing about what you do is you’ve got a package and you don’t have to change it,” Johnson said. “If you’re going to try to game plan every defensive look and every play they run, you’re going to be in trouble. There’s no way you’re going to get it done.”
3. Johnson doesn’t sound like someone about to shift the offense to the shotgun.
“I think it can add another dimension,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the total answer to all our problems.”
The pistol limits the options in the running game. He provided an example of how it can also hamper the passing game (particularly for Tech’s run-heavy offense). On the fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Tevin Washington to Deon Hill, run out of the pistol, Hill was open but Hokies defenders were chasing him.
Johnson called the same play in overtime on the play when Washington was intercepted, this time with Washington under center.
“The guy’s wide open,” Johnson said, referring to one of the A-backs running a crossing route. “Nobody took him. Out of the gun, they took him. They were chasing, but they took him. Out of the other one, because there’s a threat of run or pass, nobody took him.”
4. Speaking of which, Johnson allowed that Washington’s pass was ill-advised, but did not fault him for trying to make a play. He was more bothered that Washington got out of the pocket when he did.
“A guy was wide open, but we couldn’t see him because we bolted out of the pocket,” he said.
Typically, he had his own take on the interception.
“Was it ill-advised?” Johnson asked. “Probably, but at the same time, if he’d thrown it up like that and one of our guys had caught it, everybody would be screaming about what a great play it was.”
5. Johnson said special teams was better for the most part, but said Tech was lucky that two punts weren’t blocked “because we turned two guys scot-free.”
6. Johnson said inside linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days “acquitted himself O.K.” in his first start, particularly given the magnitude of the game.
As for the wide receivers, he said they were “not great, but they were no worse than a lot of the guys. Our guys who were the most experienced weren’t great, either.”
7. Johnson said he is “not crazy” about playing such a big game in the opener but isn’t opposed to it. Perhaps more germane, he acknowledged that “the schedule is pretty much dictated. It’s not much about what we want, anyway. They kind of tell you what you want.”
8. Johnson said that the uniforms were received well from recruits.
“You know my take on uniforms,” he said. “To me, it’s a lot about what the kids like and what the recruits like and those kinds of things.”
He said that “I think we’ll probably see ’em again sometime. Who knows? This week, we may have some different ones.”
Thanks for reading. I’ll have a story and notes posted, 8 or 9, I think.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog