Johnson addresses Tech defense

Notes from coach Paul Johnson’s news conference Tuesday morning. He answered questions about the defense, Vad Lee and depth chart changes.

1. Johnson called playing Clemson at Death Valley “a huge challenge.” Also, he praised receivers Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins and quarterback Tajh Boyd and said running back Andre Ellington could be the best running back in the league.

2. Wide receiver Anthony Autry is at the top of the depth chart with Jeff Greene. Autry started the year as the No. 4 or 5 receiver on the depth chart, behind Greene, Jeremy Moore, Darren Waller and Chris Jackson, although Jackson was out four games because of an NCAA suspension regarding credit hours. Johnson said Autry earned the promotion through his effort and will start so long as he has a good week of practice.

“The most impressive thing to me about Anthony is, when he’s gone in there, he’s flown around, he’s played really hard,” Johnson said. “I don’t think he’s afraid of the moment.”

The rotation will be three or four players.

2. Johnson was asked about a comparison with last season, when Tech had lost two games before playing Clemson.

Johnson: “I think the parallel is they’re ranked again. They’ve got a good team. We had ’em at home last year, night game, our crowd was great, everybody was into it. They helped us. They turned the ball over some early, we kind of got some momentum going and just kind of hung on and built on that. Certainly, we’ll have to play better than we’ve played this year on Saturday if we’re going to have a chance to beat them.”

3. Johnson said he checks in more on the defense when it has played as it has. He said he mainly looks to see if the defense is being asked to do more than it’s capable of doing.

Johnson: “The last couple games, we haven’t done it very well but I don’t think we’ve asked them to do anything out of the ordinary. There have been some communication issues, but even having said that, the bottom line is we’ve got to tackle better. We’ve go got quit giving up the big plays. We’ve got to take better angles over there. You’ve got to do some of that stuff. Every time the ball breaks the line of scrimmage, it doesn’t have to be a touchdown.”

Johnson said there is a line to walk in having a hand in the defense and also letting coaches do their jobs, that he doesn’t want the coaches to feel as though they’re being handcuffed.

“My position has always been, give people the leeway to do what they need to do and I’ll evaluate it when it comes time to evaluate it,” Johnson said.

4. Johnson on if defensive coordinator Al Groh has made the in-game and between-game fixes that he expected when he was hired.

Johnson: “Well, at times. But I think like anything, I’m not going to sit here and try to defend how we’ve played the last couple weeks. It’d be stupid because we’ve played terrible, but I don’t think the man forgot everything he knew in the last two weeks. But ultimately, we’re responsible. We’ve got to get it on the field. It doesn’t matter what you know, it’s what happens. So we’ve got to do a better job of getting it on the field.”

5. Johnson said he talks with the team about leadership and accountability “all the time.” The first priority is doing your job, he said.

“You can be a rah-rah guy all you want,” he said. “If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, probably not a lot of people are listening.”

In talking about accountability, he brought up players watching the game from the sidelines, including scout-team players and redshirts.

Johnson: “There’s got to be some energy on that sideline. Just because you’re not playing doesn’t mean you stand over there like a corpse. It’s from everybody involved. Coaches, everybody. You’ve got be upbeat right now. We’re the only ones upbeat so you’ve got to be upbeat until you can do something to get everybody else back upbeat. We created the problem, so we’ve got to fix it.”

6. Johnson acknowledged that Synjyn Days is working full-time at A-back, but said he’s still the No. 3 quarterback. He said that he is trying to get more time for quarterback Vad Lee and that coaches are trying to bring him along “as fast as he can come.”

Saturday, Johnson said he stuck with Tevin Washington against Middle Tennessee State because it became apparent to him that the offense was going to have to maximize its scoring opportunities.

“I just felt like the way the game was going, Tevin gave us the best chance to try to win the game,” Johnson said. “So that’s why [Lee] didn’t play more. Most games, we’ll try to have a plan to get him in. As it warrants and as it progresses, he’ll play more and more.”

I’ll post more later, as well as practice notes. A request – let’s try and be a little better than posting under someone else’s handle. Come on.

In case you missed it…

Johnson: ‘You want fans that care’

Johnson to team: Stop pouting

Fitting MTSU loss into Tech history

After debacle, Tech braces for Clemson

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

127 comments Add your comment

Paul in NH

October 2nd, 2012
5:30 pm

Johnson said there is a line to walk in having a hand in the defense and also letting coaches do their jobs, that he doesn’t want the coaches to feel as though they’re being handcuffed.

“My position has always been, give people the leeway to do what they need to do and I’ll evaluate it when it comes time to evaluate it,” Johnson said
———
Translation: If GT doesn’t improve on D, there will be a retirement announcement from the DC before Christmas.

Old Blind Dawg

October 2nd, 2012
5:31 pm

I see GT keeping the Clemson game close unless Clemson hits some big plays quick and sucks the life out of the GT defense.

I suspect this is a very fragile group of young men and getting burned early and quick could derail all the positives the coaches put into play this week.

If they can avoid the “here we go again” mindset they should be fine.

Anybody know what the over / under is? Neither team seems to have a very stout defense so it could be huge I’d guess over 70 possibly 80

Paul in NH

October 2nd, 2012
5:37 pm

The line is Clemson -10.5 with an o/u of 74
gives an expectation of 42-32

Rooty Tooty

October 2nd, 2012
5:39 pm

Based on what I saw Saturday, our receivers were waiting for the ball to come to them rather than going and getting the ball. Can’t blame it all on TW.

Rooty Tooty

October 2nd, 2012
5:40 pm

The interception late in game, that was the receivers fault. He didn’t catch the ball.

fuzzybee78

October 2nd, 2012
5:47 pm

BC scored 31 on Clemson last week. They hired Vanables?? from OU to fix the D but despite that I think the loss of Coples and others in talent has been at best a wash, they may be statistically worse.
Coaching only goes so far. I would say success on the field is about 3 parts talent and 1 part coaching.

Bleacher Creature

October 2nd, 2012
5:49 pm

I really wanted to see this group be successful. I had all the confidence in Paul Johnson’s offense. However as my Great Uncle told me years ago, if a coach is an offensive minded coach who involves himself in the offense( ie playcalling) then the defense will suffer as he will take all the great athletes and put them on offense leaving the defense a step behind. The same can be said for defensive coaches, except that usually defenses win championships.

Me, and My family donate, buy tickets in bulk, buy extra tickets when requested, but in the last 3 weeks I really have a hard time staying for the games after pre-game alumni gatherings and luncheons which are absolutely wonderful. I find myself not interested and I that is the first time in a long time I can say that “when toe meets leather” my hold my breath and close my eyes.

BLT

October 2nd, 2012
5:52 pm

Wrexie, just curious…how would know how much a young man weighs “soaking wet”? Go away weirdo!

Oh yeah, I agree with you on one thing. The line diffenently starts “behind” you, BUT not for the reasons you think.

I was suprised...

October 2nd, 2012
5:55 pm

…by the size of the crowd at the UM game – all those gold seats in the lower level of the east stands were actually disguised as people that day; it was back to normal last week with most of the people disguised as gold seats…

I know the published attendance was 39K, but, as someone said yesterday, the “actual attendance figure” might have approached 25K…there are a lot of GT people who, do, and feel, the same as Bleacher Creature…

Wow, to GT Joe's last post...

October 2nd, 2012
5:56 pm

…just, WOW…

MC

October 2nd, 2012
6:11 pm

If Vad Lee gave this team the best chance to win do you think PJ wouldn’t play him at this point? PJ knows the seat beneath him is about to get red hot. Give the man that much credit. If Vad Lee had the capability to drive the train he’d be driving it.

TechApp fan

October 2nd, 2012
6:18 pm

If Tech ever does get far enough ahead again to allowTW to rest, will Lee be required to just run the option or will PJ call some predetermined dives/pitches/keepers, pistol/shotgun (or what ever you call that)?

Will we even know?

superDawg

October 2nd, 2012
6:20 pm

ss tell us your predictions for tek again.I would love to see them..

GT Lee

October 2nd, 2012
6:23 pm

stupordwag your tean just gave up 44 to Tenn; shouldn’t you be on the dawgblawg whining about Grantham and how the O bailed him and his 11 1st round draft oicks out?

GT Lee

October 2nd, 2012
6:24 pm

team and picks; must have run a drillbit thru my finger today

Ken Sugiura

October 2nd, 2012
6:32 pm

tone down the name calling, please.

MORGANTECH

October 2nd, 2012
6:33 pm

@sdawg Whats the reason you guys get the BEST players ,and only ONE N.C. 32 years ago.tell me again i forgot.

GT1990

October 2nd, 2012
6:48 pm

Why is CPJ still the head coach?????? The whole athletic department needs to be fired! CPJ is a freaking joke! I don’t see GT making it to a bowl game this year. GT FIRE THIS AWFUL COACHING STAFF PLEASE!!!!

Same Old

October 2nd, 2012
7:00 pm

I hope I’m wrong, but I’m thinking we gonna be crying again next week.
If we had only…

GT Lee

October 2nd, 2012
7:08 pm

“You are obviously a schmuck that has never played any sport and wouldn’t understand normal locker-room vernacular”

So what is the locker-room vernacular for someone who stalked a kid on Twitter?

5150 UOAD

October 2nd, 2012
7:12 pm

WnE
Stand Up
Show Up
or
Shut Up

Calling people names but not coming out to the Tailgates is being Chicken.

5150 UOAD

October 2nd, 2012
7:14 pm

I am thinking we do need to see much more Vad Lee & at Clemson would be nice. He will have to face Clemson & Clemson 1 more time after this weekend if he wins the starting job.

5150 UOAD

October 2nd, 2012
7:17 pm

Music City Jacket

October 2nd, 2012
7:18 pm

Glad to hear CPJ is ‘checking in more ofter’ with the Defense. Doesn’t he understand that as the HEAD COACH, it is HIS Defense just as much as it is his Offense. The lack of ability to recruit defensive players (and you don’t have the excuse that our Offense has with WRs, TE, and even some O-lineman) will be the ultimate factor in determining if Johnson era is a success or not. His Offense gives us a chance to win but his lack of attention and accountability (from recruiting to coaching) Defense is keeping the program from being successful.

GT Lee

October 2nd, 2012
7:25 pm

Some good-looking girls must have come into the shoe store this week; Al Bundy’s starting to get positive again!

BLT

October 2nd, 2012
7:51 pm

If I’m a PoS then YOU, Wrexie are the whole friggin bowel movement. I bet you are also runny with pieces of corn. I’ve played football but not college football. I enjoyed it. I never got to the point of obsessing over it. I’m positive I will never obsess over it. Georgia Tech is my team. I pull for them good or bad. I have interest outside of football like normal people. I believe your “vernacular” is very “Sanduskyesque”. Good for you! Now go to the dog blog or return to your bridge. I’m not a keyboard commando but I’ll be glad to have a discussion with you about your posts and my posts in person. BDS is fine, outside the gates, preferrably a few blocks away. Just you and me! What say you tough dude or whatever you are?

joel

October 2nd, 2012
8:01 pm

Clemson OL and DL are too big and fast for our boys. Hope I am wrong but I see a 41- 17 type game.

BLT

October 2nd, 2012
8:31 pm

Sorry Ken, you can delete my last two posts and hopefully WnE’s post directed towards me. You can also ban me. I really don’t care. Too much negativity. There’s other message boards and as I’ve said I don’t obsess over it. Again, I apologize for my posts. It’s hard to be a Tech fan at the moment and someone that has an agenda against Tech is hard to stomach or sit by and passively allow it. In closing:

Go Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets! Beat Clemson!

reality check

October 2nd, 2012
8:34 pm

Tech is slipping from mediocre to terrible because we cant recruit great players. D is pathetic. period. no athletes…has nothing to do with scheme or Al Groh. Bill Belicheck cant coach bad players into a winning team. On Offense, Tevin is a good kid, but he wouldn’t start for any other Div 1 school in the BCS conferences. no WRs. no RBs worth a crap, except maybe Orwin, but again, he’s not a premier back. Ask yourself why one of the top rushing team in the country cant recruit a 5 star running back? I think it’s because the ball is spread around too much. 5 backs split the carries, and the WRs block, and option QBs dont go to the NFL. And what does it say that one of the best rushing teams in the country cant do better than 7-8 wins?

sorry, Tech fans — CPJ won with Gailey’s boys, and it’s starting to be apparent. CPJ should go, and we should start over…somehow, if that’s even possible in the current climate of college football. I love the game, I love Tech, I just cant keep watching them struggle in a weak conference, blow the bowl games to pathetic unranked teams, and get dominated by UGA year in and year out. It’s broken — not sure how to fix it, but doubling down on this coach with his scheme is not the answer.

I had high hopes for CPJ. They disappeared last Sat. Let’s move on.

ole yeller

October 2nd, 2012
8:37 pm

WnE, everyone here is sick of your sanctimonious attitude. Who are to you criticize and try to demeanor other people who have an opinion? Just go away no one cares or wishes to hear your ravings any longer. We get it! You have a dislike for the Tech program and certainly it’s coaches. Let it rest, like I said no one gives a crap what you think anymore.

BravesFan77

October 2nd, 2012
8:48 pm

Question for Tech Fans: Would you rather promote Vad and possibly suffer through additional losses in exchange for a game ready QB next season? or suck it up for 3 maybe 4 additional wins?

Ckb

October 2nd, 2012
9:12 pm

I don’t get all the Vad Lee love. He was in for a series, three and out looked terrible. Complete waste of a possession.

JustinSyder

October 2nd, 2012
9:19 pm

Wow! That was very mature of you WNE. I don’t often see people actually lose their temper on the internet.

GTfan2012

October 2nd, 2012
9:19 pm

KEN,
BAN WNE!!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU ARE SO LENIENT TOWARD HIM. HE CLAIMS TO BE A GT FAN, BUT ALL HE DOES IS INSULT GT COACHES, PLAYERS, AND FANS!!!! YOUR BLOG IS OUT OF CONTROL!!!!!

BIrmingham Jacket

October 2nd, 2012
9:25 pm

My challenged thoughts on this board:

1) The Clemson game will be closer than Vegas +10 GT spread. Dabo is a dummy.

2) Get Vad Lee in, the whole game. Season is over, prepare for the future.

3) Groh is gone. And if he’s not, we’re in real trouble.

4) Getting Giff Smith back would be huge, as recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach.

5) For all you crazy fans that think Tunuta is coming back, you’re dreaming. He interviewed for HC against PJ. That’s bad Mo-Jo.

6) They’re a plenty of good DCs out there, that could turn this ship around.

7) Stop sulking!!! It’s GT football. You wanna be happy? Join the 30,000 bandwaggoners in the state that have bolted “BAMA” plates to their cars.

1 4 GT

October 2nd, 2012
9:37 pm

It is great to see sanity returning to the GT blogs. We were all mad, disappointed & stunned after the MTSU game. Pretty normal reaction, I’d say. I had been thinking about a post to try & rouse folks out of their doldrums, but I am glad to see it’s not needed. I will say this. For those saying they won’t go the remaining games=SHAME! Let’s get our John Brown hind parts down to BDS @ HGF & don’t do like I did in the 2nd half. Get up & cheer, yell & make yourself hoarse. And if you have made plans to go to Clemons this weekend….GO….WEAR YOUR GT COLORS….WITH PRIDE….win, lose or draw….show Clemons GT does not “QUIT”!!!!!!!!!! GOOOOO JACKETS THWGeorgie

1 4 GT

October 2nd, 2012
9:38 pm

All Georgie leg humping, butt sniffing, stone licking trolls can smack on my John Brown hind parts.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

Good points Birmingham. The only one I might disagree with is the first one. No one is going to be surprised if it’s not close…or we could compete. A lot of that hinges on Vad playing in my opinion. I did not have the luxury of watching the debacle last week, if you want to call it a luxury. But the fact that CPJ hardly played Lee tells me what I have known for some time now. His head is not breathing clean air (if you know what I mean). I really don’t see him breaking the trend at Clemson and giving him a real shot. Maybe he’ll try something if we fall behind by 3 scores. Of course it will be too late then. It’s been too late now for a long time. Losing 3 OT games in basically the same fashion tells it all. I was really disturbed by the Utah game last year. It now seems like Ground Hog day, deja vu all over again.

1 4 GT

October 2nd, 2012
9:46 pm

IMNTBHO…..all any fan has the “right” to expect from their team. To be competitive! To put itself in a position to win at the end the game! To compete for the conference championship! To actually be the champion every now & again! To be competitive against their #1 rival & beat said rival every now & again! Maybe be “lucky” enough to even be in the mix for the MNC every now & again & maybe actually upsey the applecart & win it! If the fan’s team can just be competitive, all of the rest will fall in place. Like any business, it was not created to give us a job. No college/institution was created to give us a sports team to cheer for….that is supposed to secondary. Do we want/expect more? Do we want/expect to win like Alabama? Many fans answer those questions yes. Will they get their wish? Not likely. Enjoy your team’s successes & hurt for their losses. And live with both. And always have pride in your”s & their achievements. Wear your colors proudly. Selah.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 2nd, 2012
9:50 pm

What I really don’t understand is how a coach can be so stupid (sorry can’t think of a better work) to not realize that changing your play calling when you’re ahead is not a good idea. The kicker is that this team, as it has been since this guy took over, is strictly built on outscoring the opponent. We can’t and never will be able to rely on the defense to win games under this coach. For once I agree with Bradley. Johnson is the problem. Getting rid of Groh is a good scapegoat that might only buy Johnson some more time. The problem is, he tried that once already…it did not change a thing. Wake up DRAD, go to the root cause.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 2nd, 2012
9:56 pm

All those that really think TW can shake this thing of mediocrity that he’s been stuck in now for what, 2 years, say aye. Come on, stand up and proudly state AYE, Tevin can be the man, he can be a hero, our leader and inspire us to victory!. I CAN’T HEAR YOU! Oh wait, there’s one guy in the back there. Whatya know, it’s coach. Well, I guess the aye has it.

BeatClempsonGetaRing

October 2nd, 2012
10:01 pm

So will our boys get a championship ring for playing Clems-son close?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:11 pm

@ Gr8 2B……..It may come as a big a surprise to you as it did to me, but I was told by someone on the sideline at the Miami game who knows a helluva lot more about football than I ever will that Johnson did NOT change the plays against Miami in the 4th quarter. It looked like he did to me, and it apparently did to you as well. But, according to my “source,” that was not the case, He called the same mix of plays that he had done during that 36 point barrage. The problem was that Tevin quit executing the way he had done during that time. He relaxed, he totally lost his timing, he screwed up. I noticed from the stands that Tevin seemed to be telegraphing what he was doing again at that time, just as he had in the first quarter. Well, that telegraphing means that he wasn’t making snap decisions, which the QB HAS to do in Johnson’s offense. And if I (and others) could see that from the stands, you can be sure the Miami defense could too. And that’s when the collapse began. All he had to do was make one or two first downs late in the game, and it would have been all over. But it wasn’t Johnson’s play calling that prevented it; it was Tevin’s execution. And the 4th down play in OT was NOT what Johnson called at all; Tevin changed it at the snap, and he lost yardage. Like I said, that comes from someone who was on the sideline and saw it all unfold up close and personal. And Johnson was NOT a happy man when Tevin came off the field after that bungled OT play.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 2nd, 2012
10:12 pm

maybe a cracker jack ring!

@ 1 4 what’s that acronym stand for, I can’t crack the code.

www

October 2nd, 2012
10:12 pm

my mom says tech wins this week.

so let’s hope moms is right.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 2nd, 2012
10:13 pm

oh wait I think I got. In my nothing but humble opinion. Boy I’m smart.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:15 pm

@ Gr8 2B…..Thanks. I had not figured it out, but I didn’t want to ask. LOL

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 2nd, 2012
10:22 pm

@ Super – ok, I’m no football genius but you have stop covering for coach a little bit here and put some of the blame on him because the Utah game unfolded basically the same way. VT was a heartbreaker and I’ll cut coach some slack there and put that one more on the defensive coach (I’m having trouble even using their names at this point…that’s how much respect I have lost for them).

The thing of it is, if Tevin’s not getting it done in crunch time then the COACH has to put someone else in that might. One time, yeah I understand, you gotta give someone a chance for redemption. But his chances are up… they are way past due. But COACH can’t see that and he hardly plays Lee against a scrub team and instead let’s his guy LOSE the game for us.

This is not rocket science. The COACH is screwing up.

Bobby

October 2nd, 2012
10:25 pm

All I can say is if GT plays with the same lack of intensity and enthusiasm as the last two games, instead of simply needing a new DC, we will also need a new HC for not willing to make necessary changes to improve the team.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

October 2nd, 2012
10:30 pm

A thing or two more Super. You say he didn’t change the calls late, but did he pass at all during that stretch? I don’t recall it. Look, this is something I have noticed from the first year or two. The end of the game has a much different feel to it than does the previous 3.5 quarters. The coach gets antsy. His clock management gets questionable, he calls time out at the wrong time. Against VT, he almost punted it away with 3 minutes left when he’s on their end of the field. How does that make sense when he makes so many other 4th down go for it calls that are unbelievably questionable. That’s my point exactly. He folds under pressure and does not make the proper decisions or calls. He’s at his best when he’s got a 3 TD lead (as long as there’s less than a few minutes to play).