Johnson: ‘You want fans that care’

Some of the more interesting answers from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson at his Monday post-practice interview:

On Tech converting most of its takeaways into points:

“It’s possessions, because what happens is every time that you turn the ball over, you lose a chance to score. It’ a possession. We had done a pretty good job of that for most of the year and then Saturday, we turn it over on two plays on a hitch pass, we turn it over on the first play or the second play on an option, you turn it over on the first play of a drive with 8 minutes (left) with a deflection for an interception, and that’s all chances that you don’t have to score. It takes away your chances. So on the flipside, when you get one on defense it gives you another possession, another chance to score. That’s why they were so big in the game. And then we killed our possession in the second half with a penalties to start the second half. End up 2nd and 25.”

On if he had put his finger on an explanation for Tech’s lack of energy Saturday:

“No. If I knew… It’s disappointing and it’s unacceptable and I think our guys know it’s unacceptable. You move forward. Like I said, you’re not going to get anywhere looking backwards. Quit moping, quit pouting, and let’s go play.”

On special-teams play being improved:

“Except fumbling the kick, except getting a penalty, except both times they punted, we take over on the 4 and the 12, but other than that, it was great. But it was the lesser of the evils.”

On the success MTSU had throwing quick outs by blocking cornerbacks:

“We had some guys who were supposed to be buzzing the flats who weren’t buzzing the flats. I think they played good. Should we have lost the game? No, but we did.”

On if he’d received any encouraging e-mails or phone calls from colleagues or friends:

“Not really. Last time I looked, we were 2-3, not 0-97. I would think most people wouldn’t even be thinking about it. But, clearly, you guys are. I get e-mails every week whether we win or lose, and most of them are telling me what I need to do, whether we win or lose.”

On everybody having an opinion:

“But that’s part of it. You want fans that care. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t be very good fans. We’re disappointed, too. I promise you. Nobody’s more disappointed than I am. But I certainly haven’t given up. It’s not like oh, shoot, the season’s lost. We’ve still got a lot to play.”

On Morgan Bailey’s play in the second half:

“He moved some people around. He’s got great ability. Hopefully, he can stay out and have a good week of practice and we can play him. I’ve said from the jump, the kid’s got great ability. If he can just stay healthy, he’ll really help us.”

In case you missed it…

Johnson to team: Stop pouting

Fitting MTSU loss into Tech history

After debacle, Tech braces for Clemson

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

254 comments Add your comment

CT_Jacket

October 2nd, 2012
9:50 am

Let’s turn this thing around. Fly to the ball on defense with bad intentions and let’s knock some butts on the ground on offense.

ramblingbuzz

October 2nd, 2012
9:52 am

On the success MTSU had throwing quick outs by blocking cornerbacks:

“We had some guys who were supposed to be buzzing the flats who weren’t buzzing the flats

GT had a lot of players who were supposed to be doing things differently based on the game’s outcome. Are these guys uncoachable, do they not listen, have the coaches tried to coach differently? For gosh’s sake coach, the same approach is not working. What CEO, if his company is making defective widgets that people are not buying, would say “Well that’s OK, I have confidence in my widgets, I’m just going to keep mking them the same way”?

www

October 2nd, 2012
10:03 am

time for the defense to step up.

Grinch

October 2nd, 2012
10:08 am

This is what p-sses me off with CPJ…. Johnson’s quote: “Not really. Last time I looked, we were 2-3, not 0-97. I would think most people wouldn’t even be thinking about it. But, clearly, you guys are.”

NO CPJ…there are a ton of folks who think about it. Folks who pay hard earned $$ to go watch the games…Folks who dedicate 3 hours of their Saturday to watch or listen to the game….Folks who care about the program and take pride in the program! So you need to get off your high horse and realize that many many folks do think about it and they think about it just enough to voice their opinion. It’s your responsibility as a head coach to care.

Sincerely,

Someone who is thinking about it

North Ave Killer Beez

October 2nd, 2012
10:08 am

I knew a man who once said, “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.”

-Maximus

If were going down, don’t go quietly, go down swinging, fight to the death…. GO JACKETS!!

brad

October 2nd, 2012
10:09 am

Just get it through your head that this type of Div iX high school offense/coaching does not work with Div 1 players. You need a new coach. Bobby petrino comes to mind!

Technically Correct

October 2nd, 2012
10:10 am

It will tell a lot about this team – players and coaches – to see whether they can right themselves, win the games they were expected to win from this point forward and pull an upset somewhere along the line. Breaking the string of bowl appearances by failing to qualify will be the biggest benchmark on the status and direction of the program.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:12 am

@ ramblingbuzz…. since you post, then obviously you care, which is what Johnson was saying he likes and we need. Most REAL Tech fans DO care. However, you aren’t on the sidelines, you haven’t attended any practices or meetings, you don’t know what approach or approaches Johnson takes, or has taken, or will take in addressing problems. Surely you don’t think that he doesn’t care or that he doesn’t recognize problems or that he doesn’t do any damn thing he can to address and correct those problems. Every coach has to face the same kinds of problems he does, and I imagine every coach approaches and addresses them differently, and probably differently each time they occur. Johnson has not been a successful coach for 30+ years (or however long it’s been) without having learned a little something about how best to deal with such problems. That doesn’t mean he always succeeds in dealing with them, but no coach in the country successfully deals with his team’s problems 100% of the time. I am sure it is as frustrating and maddening for him as it is for any Tech fan. But it’s also not unique to him at Tech. For some reason Tech has always had a problem with players who don’t seem motivated all the time. Remember UGA in 2001, UVA almost every time we have gone up there since 2000, UNC in 2000, etc, etc. Ross had the problem; O’Leary had the problem; Gailey had the problem; now Johnson has the problem. And to narrow it down even more, Tenuta had the problem with his defense probably 30% of the time; a couple of weeks they looked like the best defense on earth, only to be followed by a game in which they totally stunk. Who knows what the solution is, but I can assure you that Johnson is doing his best, and as good as any other coach, to get it fixed.

10per

October 2nd, 2012
10:13 am

The defense, especially the secondary, looked confused the whole game. I don’t know if the scheme was too complicated or MTSU was giving us looks we didn’t know what to do with but either way the coaching staff needs to address it. Clempson is not going to be any easier to defend, especially if we are out of position.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:14 am

@ brad……do you really want a scumbag like Petrino as a coach at Tech? No SANE Tech fan would ever consider having the likes of him on the Flats. That is something that will NEVER happen

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:17 am

I received these comments from a friend who was on the sideline Saturday and at the post-game press conference. This is only part of what he had to say to me, but appropriate for right now on this blog ——

Tech played poorly, had no excitement or energy, and acted like they didn’t care. It really hurt Coach Johnson. He had to stop and contain himself in the post-game press conference – I think he got choked up and almost started to cry – it hurt that much. He could not get his team to do anything like he wanted it and he couldn’t get them to wake up out of their fog and play football. It was very much like the first Rocky movie when Apollo Creed’s trainer told him to “finish this kid off, you think its a show, he thinks its a fight and he’s out to win it” (paraphrased, of course). Like Coach Johnson said, they whipped Tech in all phases of the game. They came to play and to win – Tech didn’t show up. He couldn’t understand why and what to do about it. He could not understand how a group of guys could care less about one of only 12 games on the regular season schedule. Now they will be hard-pressed to win six and qualify for a bowl bid – unless they come alive this weekend at Death Valley – which is quite possible. As I see it, it was not Coach Johnson’s fault – though he assumed all responsibility. The only thing I fault him with is keeping Orwin Smith in the game after the “hot-head” got two personal foul penalties at critical points in the first half. He needed to be disciplined, but then it doesn’t seem to bother any of the talented players – they would just as soon sit out and not risk getting hurt to prepare for their potential NFL careers. I say let a hungry kid at it and see what happens if Smith wants to hurt his team that way.

crackbaby

October 2nd, 2012
10:17 am

Please explain why Clemson is only a 10 point favorite when the Jackets were favored by 14.5 over Miami?

No better opportunity to get back on track than to go to Death Valley and rout the Tigers. Two of the best things in the world are packed QUIET stadiums at Clemson and Athens…

UGA = Yawn

October 2nd, 2012
10:17 am

Deliver a product worth caring for !!!!!

crackbaby

October 2nd, 2012
10:19 am

@Supersize – brad is troll. Do not feed the trolls.

Frank

October 2nd, 2012
10:20 am

I was never a fan of the triple option (TO), and I am still underwhelmed by Al Groh’s defense. The TO is an old school offense meant to counter-act superior, talented opposition. That is why Tech and the military academies are the only ones still running it. The hidden message to recruits is; if you want to win and if you want pro scouts to even look at you then play somewhere else (unless you are a 6+ foot receiver with 4 second 40s). Tech may never have the talent to compete against powerhouses in the SEC and BIG10, but the longer we keep CPJ the more unlikely it will be that we will win another bowl game or beat our rival UGA in the foreseeable future.
Rado, make the hard choice and fire CPJ (and Groh with him). The season is already a bust. Start the search for a replacement, and stop settling for coaches nobody wants. We’ve had success before (Ross, O’Leary, and Friedgen) with pro-style offenses, and we can do it again. Go Jackets!

GT Joe

October 2nd, 2012
10:22 am

Time for Vad? Or too early to “throw him in the fire”? With so much at stake… LOL.

Tech Guy

October 2nd, 2012
10:24 am

Beat Clemson and all is well.

Delbert D.

October 2nd, 2012
10:25 am

I care. I’m taking my grandson to his first football game to see Tech vs. BC.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:27 am

@ Frank, I might remind you that Ross had ONE good year, two terrible years, and two mediocre years. O’Leary had one bad year, 4 mediocre years, and two good years. How is it that much different with Johnson? And Friedgen was never head coach, which is at least what you implied.

GT Joe

October 2nd, 2012
10:28 am

No fire or intensity? partly coaches problems, MOSTLY lack of leadership by PLAYERS. And I’ll pin this on Tevin Washington. In addition to game-killing mistakes, terrible passes, and no running skills to speak of, he has NO leadership skills whatsoever.

2008 and 2009 teams were a direct reflection of Nesbitt. Tough as nails, fearless. And the past 23 games are a direct reflection of Tevin. Inept. 11-12 record as starter.

When Vad gets in the game, he immediately brings energy and swagger, and teammates feel it. You can see it against UVA, Presby, and his two drives against MTSU. and yes, even the DEFENSE will feel it the energy.

CPJ: you are already a year late starting Vad; go ahead and pull the trigger. Please don’t burn a 2nd season on Tevin.

GT Fan

October 2nd, 2012
10:29 am

I am fan who cares. I have been a tech fan for 22 years now and this one of the hardest loses I have ever had to swallow as tech fan. That being said I will always back this team no matter what. I am a firm beleiver in PJ and will support him. I will continue to be in my seat at BDS every game and cheer my hardest for my yellow jackets.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:34 am

@ Joe……the friend I have who has a long time working relationship with Johnson and sent me his personal observations on the game and the team and the season, had this to say about TW and Vad —-

I honestly believe they will rise to the competition and play better this week at Clemson – I have been known to over-estimate what is possible – but, I can’t see Coach Johnson standing for them to sit down and lose three in a row without a lot of fight. All those who want to get rid of him, they better think back and be grateful and do all they can to keep him. As for Groh, I think he’s gone either before the end of the season or at the end of the season and I think the 3-4 will go out with him. I don’t think Coach Johnson will change to Vad Lee at quarterback, though Tevin is not doing what he needs to do to lead and inspire his team. I think Lee will be “in training” and expected to compete for the main job in the spring. Of course, Coach Johnson is sooooo much like Coach Spurrier and when he’s had enough, he’s had enough, and Tevin will hit the bench for Lee until Lee totally screws things up and Tevin gets another chance – it may be good for him – and playing Lee against Clemson may be just the surprise offense Tech needs to shock The Tigers again!

You may not like it, per se, but I think you will find it somewhat interesting. I particularly appreciated the analogy of Spurrier and Garcia. Of course he didn’t mention Garcia, but it’s clear that’s what he was referring to.

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 2nd, 2012
10:41 am

If you are a GT fan and had tickets to the MTSU game but didn’t go then you are part of the problem. These are young men that had just lost a heart breaker to Miami and they come into the stadium to play MTSU and they only see a few thousand people in the seats. How much of the game is mental? How much is physical? I told my wife at 11:30 when there were only a few fans seated that this was going to be disappointing to the players. How would you have responded?

Techman1958

October 2nd, 2012
10:42 am

Been Tech fan since I was !5. Will always be a Tech fan. I hurt when we lose and feel great when we win. This year has been tough, but will keep supporting team. I tell people ‘ if you want to learn humility, become a Tech fan’.

I try to have reasonable expectations – not like my ‘dawg’ friends who expect to win a championship every year’. Hope we can turn it around. I like the offense, think it’s good for us, but the ‘3-4′ defense needs to go along with DC.

GT Joe

October 2nd, 2012
10:46 am

Super: I can see the similarity with Garcia. For some reason, coaches get married to players. Garcia was just as frustrating as Tevin, but the coaches stick with them for some reason.

It’s easy to say “well, the coaches see the backup in practice and he obviously must not be ready”. But folks forget that coaches are human; they make mistakes; not just play calls, but personnel decisions. I’ve never seen CPJ treat one guy with such kid gloves. He defends TW to no end. I can’t recall the last time CPJ ripped TW (he rips a lot of folks on the sidelines, but not TW). After the INT at VT, CPJ says “he was trying to make a play”. WTF. How about “he made a bad decision” and leave it at that?

Baffling to me.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:47 am

@ Give Me…….you are 100% correct. If those players come out on that field, and there are 60,000 fans in the seats screaming their heads off, how could they not get fired up. But to come out there and see almost as many empty seats as occupied ones, they have to think, “well, the fans don’t care; why should we?”

Tommy

October 2nd, 2012
10:47 am

Fred Holton has been a bust. It’s time for him to put up or move on.

Tommy

October 2nd, 2012
10:49 am

Win games and fans will be there. They will be there if you do not win and give a great effort. It’s up to the coaches and players to put a good product on the field. That is not happening at the present time.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:50 am

@ Joe…..I should go back and find what my friend sent me regarding TW’s play in OT of the Miami game. He was on the sideline, and he said that Johnson tore into Tevin on the sideline after that botched play……I mean he REALLY let him have it. You see what you think is a kid-glove kind of treatment, but that’s probably only because you are not close enough to see everything that is going on.

GT Joe

October 2nd, 2012
10:50 am

Blaming fans for a loss is weak. I’ve been to peewee games with 20 people in the crowd. More players than fans. They have no problem trying to win a game.

We call them “kids”. They are 18-22. Adults. If they have motivation problems, then that’s their fault. Coaches can only do so much.

That said, how hyped would YOU be if Tevin was your QB, instead of, say, Nesbitt? Nesbitt lead by example, an absolute beast. Didn’t run the TO perfectly, but did run OVER people.

Team is a reflection of the leadership. If Tevin is the leader, how much can you really expect from the team?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:52 am

@ Tommy, even in 2008 and 2009, when we were winning big, there were entire empty sections in the stadium for some of the games. And Vandy somehow manages to fill up their stadium, even though they don’t win much. Tech fans are notoriously fickle and lazy

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:54 am

@ Joe…..Tevin doesn’t run over people, but I don’t think Vad will either. HOWEVER, I DO think that Vad has the ability to run through or past people, and Tevin does not have that ability.

ty webb

October 2nd, 2012
10:54 am

“You want fans that care.”

are there enough free hot dogs?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:55 am

@ ty……where are those fries I ordered. Get of the blog and back to work

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:55 am

get OFF, that is, not get OF

Frank

October 2nd, 2012
11:01 am

@ Sorrysize, Ross had one GREAT season that included a share of the national championship. Rarely does a new coach come in and win right away. Rebuilding is the downside of any coaching changes. Also, any successful coach can easily be lured away to greener pastures. That’s just the price you pay for success, and a program must be able to replace those coaching losses with new up and coming coaches; and not settle for niche coaches at lessor divisions.

The reference to Ralph Friedgen was to illustrate the advantages of a pro-style offense and how it can work even in a non-powerhouse team/conference. Of course, Ralph was never a head coach at Tech, but he was the offensive mastermind for both Ross and O’Leary, and a big part of those successes. I’ll take one in four good years anytime, over an Oh-fer in bowl games and against UGA. GO JACKETS!

ty webb

October 2nd, 2012
11:01 am

supersize,
MTSU? I hate to see y’all going though this…really, I do…though I can relate after what happened thanksgiving weekend 2008.

GT Joe

October 2nd, 2012
11:02 am

Super: okay, he maybe he tore into Tevin after the UM game. Did he tear into him after the VT INT? And if so, apparently there are no consequences to these plays (ie, getting benched), so who cares if he DID rip into Tevin? He certainly didn’t place ANY blame on Tevin publicly.

I think any other player who makes as many mistakes as Tevin would have been benched by CPJ. Can you imagine if an OL made a game-costing mistake? Like a false start on 4th and goal at the 1 in OT? That poor lineman would have been berated all the way to the locker room, and called out in the post-game, and demoted to the practice squad.

Not so with Tevin.

ahsoisee

October 2nd, 2012
11:03 am

Fans will care if we start winning. The fan base at Tech is much smaller than the average because students come from afar off to attend Tech and the return to their own countries or States. The “ONLY” way to build a fan base at Tech is with sidewalk fans, and this cannot be done with mediocre teams. If Tech wins big like we did in the Bobby Dodd era, us old timers who did not attend Tech will return in force. However, Tech will never have a large fan base unless they win consistently and draw in the sidewalk fans.

www

October 2nd, 2012
11:10 am

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
11:10 am

@ Joe……do you really want him to blame Tevin PUBLICLY??? I sure as hell do not. I remember all to well how O’Leary publicly embarrassed Joe Burns after a boner play he pulled in the 2001 loss to Maryland at BDS. I lost all respect for O’Leary after that and was glad to see him go.

Again, I think the comparison of CPJ and TW to Spurrier and Garcia seems very appropriate. Spurrier kept going with Garcia in spite of Garcia’s off-field behavior as well as his on-field inconsistencies. At least TW doesn’t have any problems with off-field behavior. Who knows just why either coach did or does that, but they do/did.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
11:13 am

@ ty…..ok, I will give you a bye……this time. But I still want my fries. LOL

www

October 2nd, 2012
11:13 am

GT Joe, you want the head coach to call out the starting qb after he makes a mistake that loses the game?

GTFO.

seriously. get out of here. you’re a moron.

Sammy Dawg

October 2nd, 2012
11:14 am

Tek should apply to the SoCon

Sammy Dawg

October 2nd, 2012
11:15 am

My guess is that they could give The Citadel a running for 3rd place in that conference.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
11:16 am

@ ahsoisee……there is obviously (AND UNFORTUNATELY) truth in what you say. However, how is it that other schools that don’t win consistently still fill their stadiums? Hell, so what if Tech is only 7-4 or 8-3 almost every year; those are still winning records, and the games are almost always at the very least entertaining. I have been buying season tickets since 1968, and I have suffered through some MISERABLE seasons (far worse than this one), but I never fail to attend the games, even with a 5 hour round trip.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
11:17 am

@ Sammy…….while ty is getting me my fries, how about you refilling my drink. I’m thirsty

FS

October 2nd, 2012
11:18 am

I am tired of all the dialogue. You are paid to win–period. Win or leave.

Sammy Dawg

October 2nd, 2012
11:19 am

Hey tekkies, bet you”mansion” on this upcoming game Clemson wins by 30.

Real Georgia Institute of Technology Alum and Fan

October 2nd, 2012
11:19 am

1. Petrino
2. Tuberville
3. Cutcliff
4. Kiffen
5. Fulmer