Notes: Johnson’s concerns about BYU

Notes from coach Paul Johnson’s news conference Tuesday

1. Johnson expressed concern for defending BYU quarterback Riley Nelson, noting his experience and mobility.

“He’s got a strong arm, but he’s really hurt people when they get out of their rush lanes and he pulls the thing down on boots and run. The quarterback is a good player,” he said.

More broadly, Johnson anticipates a team that will test the Yellow Jackets with its size and strength.

“They’ll pass the look test, I promise you,” he said. “When we played them every year when I was at the University of Hawai’i, you won’t play too many teams that look any better getting off the bus than BYU.”

2. Johnson liked the way the rotation with the defensive line worked, with backups Adam Gotsis, Shawn Green, Anthony Williams and Euclid Cummings getting considerable time.

“I don’t know that anybody stands out and is that much better than anybody coming in,” he said. “So everybody gets some snaps.”

3. Nothing different with the kicking situation from Monday’s notes, although punter Sean Poole will be back holding.

4. Daniel Drummond is splitting snaps with Jabari Hunt-Days at the inside linebacker position opposite Quayshawn Nealy.

5. Johnson said something needs to be done to improve the pass rush, whether it’s blitzing, running stunts with the linemen or simply the linemen winning one-on-one against offensive linemen. Johnson said that the game video shows that players are actually getting closer to the quarterback than it seems during games, but, it is “clearly an issue.”

Another solution is dropping more players into pass coverage to flood passing lanes.

“You can’t just be one-dimensional,” he said. “You have to be able to do both.”

Regarding Nelson, Johnson acknowledged that forcing a faster player like him out of the pocket isn’t necessarily the answer.

“There are certain guys that you play that you want to keep in the pocket and you’d maybe rather see them throw it than you would pull it down and run with it,” Johnson said. “He’s pretty good at both but he can kill you if you don’t contain him because he’s got good speed, he’s a good athlete and he really hurts people when he gets out of the pocket.”

6. Johnson credited the success on third down (Boston College was 1-for-9) to better run defense. Tech gave up just 32 yards on 16 attempts. It yielded third-and-long situations, which the Eagles couldn’t convert.

In those situations, “You can play at the sticks and come up and tackle them and they had to punt the ball,” he said.

(It bears mentioning that Tech was having equal trouble with third-and-long and third-and-short earlier this season.)

7. There is no specific plan to play quarterback Vad Lee as of Tuesday. Johnson said he will see how practices goes this week before deciding.

“Clearly, he’s a good athlete and capable of making big plays,” Johnson said. “He also had the ball out a couple of times, we’ve got to do better on some read parts of the thing but he’s an exciting player and he kind of gives you a boost when he gets out there. No question about it.”

8. Defensively, Johnson said that the Cougars are “big and physical up front” and capable of stopping the run without secondary support. BYU also shows a lot of different looks on third-and-long, blitzes and fire-zone blitzes. He noted end Ezekiel Anseh, calling him a probable first-round draft pick.

9. A-back Synjyn Days’ playing time was limited Saturday because “he and I weren’t on the same page,” Johnson said. Johnson didn’t provide detail but suggested it was an off-field matter. Overall, Days is practicing better and will play against BYU with a good week of practice.

10. Offensive tackle Will Jackson’s shoulder injury muddles the offensive line depth. If he can’t play, Morgan Bailey will start at right tackle and either Bryan Chamberlain or Tyler Kidney would be the first off the bench. At guard, the first sub would be either Trey Braun or Errin Joe. If he does play, Johnson said that Jackson, who didn’t practice Monday and won’t again Tuesday afternoon, would be the first to rotate in at guard and tackle.

11. Offensive tackle Ray Beno (ankle) and B-back Zach Laskey (shoulder), both of whom left the game with injuries, practiced Monday.

12. Johnson, who voiced his displeasure Saturday (for the second time this year, that I can recall) with the lack of support offered by reserve players from the sideline, offered further explanation. He called it a matter of immaturity and observed that it has increased over the years.

“You’re part of the team and you should be there cheering on your teammates and be excited to watch what’s going on and not in la-la land,” he said.

Johnson particularly directed his frustration with players “who understand they’re probably not going to play, but that still doesn’t change,” he said. “It should still be a privilege to be able to dress out and have your name on the back of your uniform and be on the sidelines at Georgia Tech. It’s not something that you should just kind of show up.”

13. The players of the game for the Boston College win were A-back B.J. Bostic, safety Isaiah Johnson and long snapper Tyler Morgan. Bostic had five carries for 28 yards and two catches for 66 yards. Both receptions were enormous. The first was a phenomenal 39-yard catch on a 3rd-and-8 on the opening drive that prevented Tech from having to punt from its own 8-yard line. The second was a 27-yarder in the second quarter that converted a 3rd-and-26 and kept alive a possession that ended in a touchdown for a 14-0 lead.

Johnson made four solo tackles, tied for most total tackles on the team and had a forced fumble on the first play of the second half that the Jackets converted into a field goal. Morgan had a mistake-free afternoon on 11 snaps.

In case you missed it…

Notes: Field-goal unit needing repair

Tech-Maryland at 12:30 p.m.

Tech vs. highly ranked run defenses

With BYU next, no-huddle issues loom for Tech

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

More notes this evening, 9:30-ish. Thanks for reading.

189 comments Add your comment

juvenal

October 23rd, 2012
3:19 pm

juvenal

October 23rd, 2012
3:22 pm

maybe not, Ken-good nuts & bolts details, thanks……

juvenal

October 23rd, 2012
3:39 pm

if you are near the V, Saturday, Ken, come by the corner of West Peachtree & the street that comes out of their parking deck-the chef is great!

If you have kids, read this

October 23rd, 2012
3:42 pm

When the AJC and Cox Media Group-Atlanta upgraded the look and feel of the AJC.com website, they decided to postpone the really crucial part: changing the blogging interface so that real log-ins would be required. That was not done because of “priorities” and “reallocation of funds.” Oh, the ad revenue will probably increase because of the pretty new look, but you, the end user are apparently less important than the window dressing.

By deferring the upgrade to the blogging environment they made the choice that certain features are going to continue as before. This means that somebody with Cox Media Group-Atlanta will have to manually remove offending posts when requested by users.

That means that

- racist
- misogonistic
- obscene
- homophobic
- threatening
- name calling

posts, as well as trolling creeps posing as other users, particularly on the sports blogs,
will be allowed to continue.

This is business-as-usual for Cox Media Group-Atlanta
and the AJC.com, I guess. That promise of enhanced customer experience falls real short for end users, doesn’t it?

In order to protect your children from this trash content, I suggest that you set up individual user accounts in your operating system. For example, in Windows you keep the Admin account for yourself only, with a secret login name and password. Then, set up login accounts for the kids. As Admin, you can then enable PARENTAL CONTROLS to block offensive sites on the web. For your kids, I think that http://www.ajc.com web site should be blocked, because the content is certainly offensive. You don’t want your children to be engaged in posting with these creeps, do you?

If you are concerned about the Cox Media Group-Atlanta’s wrong-headed priorities, let them know via e-mail or phone call. You are the customer, and their senior management claim to want to be sensitive to your customer experience.

George Stein

October 23rd, 2012
3:44 pm

Lotta notes today, Ken. Thanks!

I wonder if BYU looks better coming off the bus because many are older. As for the lack of pass rush, why not give up rushing the QB on passing downs and play nine DBs in coverage and use two LBs to keep the QB in the pocket? I have long thought that would be an effective strategy, especially in the red zone.

Jacket Detective

October 23rd, 2012
3:57 pm

We don’t need to worry about BYU.
I checked with the football experts on their blogs in Utah and every high school in Utah has a QB with a better arm than Riley Nelson.
Ken provided the link so we could observe a similar QB debate.
With that kind of sure thing inside info, I’m going to bet the farm on GT.

AtWork

October 23rd, 2012
4:01 pm

Ken,
1) What were some of the problems on the sideline?
2) Could you ask Coach Kelly about changing from the field to the press box? And how “the group” of coaches are going to keep the kids motivated for 4 qtrs? or was the defense more of a prevent defense in the 4th qtr last Sat.

To me it seems that if i had let 3 teams score 40 or more on me in consecutive weeks i would be focused to make sure i didn’t allow any scores if i could help it.

Why change Jamea to safety from Corner? Was Golden just not getting the job done?

Thanks!

Go Jackets!

Awesomeb

October 23rd, 2012
4:04 pm

Hmmm. I have read this blog alot and don’t recall much, if any, of what you speak of. And I am a guy who doesn’t let my 14 year old watch rated R movies that most people seem to be doing when their kids are 2!!

GT Joe

October 23rd, 2012
4:08 pm

Well, there you have it: Days hasn’t played much because he and CPJ “aren’t on the same page”. In other words, CPJ is trying to break a player (kinda like breaking a horse), teach him a lesson. It’s his way, or the bench, regardless of whether you are the better player. Vad hasn’t played much for the same reason, although Vad is recently showing signs of breaking apparently (based on playing time vs. BC).

Maybe CPJ is more concerned about absolute control than winning. Or maybe he thinks that absolute control leads to winning? This is old-school mentality.

I’m pretty sure he’s not a “player’s coach”.

Wow, Ken, did CPJ...

October 23rd, 2012
4:09 pm

…say that stuff with a straight face? He must be channeling his inner Vince Dooley and Bear Bryant –

Did he by any chance say that BYU has the best long snapper in the country? Maybe the “getting off the bus” comment was comparable to the snapper quote from Dooley…

Jacket Detective

October 23rd, 2012
4:10 pm

@AtWork.
Jamea is good at playing center field and making picks.
Maybe they think he’ll get more chances at safety.
If he plays corner, they can just throw to the other side or slot receiver.
He also is a good tackler.
Some fans are critical of our secondary but with the time we give opposing QBs, who couldn’t get open?

ramblingbuzz

October 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm

Hey, is that getting off the bus comment from CPJ going become bulletin board material for BYU?

Ken Sugiura

October 23rd, 2012
4:28 pm

AtWork (funny handle) – i gather that some of the walk-ons weren’t paying attention/encouraging their teammates. As Johnson put it, “If you want to giggle it up and laugh and cut up and have fun and dance to the video board, then go get in the stands.”
the problem defensively, it seemed to me, was when Boston College went to the no-huddle. I’m not sure if it was causative or just a matter of the score, but they were moving it pretty effectively from there on out. I will try to delver into it further.
thomas is a better safety than golden, who is a corner who was subbing at safety. jacket detective also has a point, that i think coaches wanted to get him more playmaking chances.
i don’t know if i’m overexplaining, but Johnson’s “getting off the bus” comment was basically meant to say that they’re a big, physically imposing team. it’s a football-ism, kind of like dick vitale’s all-airport team. and, george stein, i believe you are absolutely correct.
GT Joe – i think you’re misreading it. it was a one-game situation.

TechApp fan

October 23rd, 2012
4:31 pm

As I already noted, sometimes it’s hard to determine if the QB “reads” correctly or if Johnson called a special play.

Now one guy suggesting Tech give up the pass rush and another is stating that not rushing/giving the QB too much time to pick out & throw is a major problem. No wonder I get confused!

AtWork

October 23rd, 2012
4:43 pm

@Jacket Detective

I thought that might be it. I would want Jamea on the field at all times…he is our best tackler in the open field. Sweeting has been lacking on some plays. Don’t know why but kinda like a gambling CB either TD or Pick.

@Ken

Thanks! BC was moving the ball well but it seemed like the defense knew it was a victory and was ok with garbage yardage and scores. I wish our defense had the fire that the BC QB had. He wanted that last play and wanted to score. GT needs to play with some fire even though the win was locked up.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
4:44 pm

I am stunned but pleased that Isaiah Johnson was one of the players of the game. I hope he keeps it up.

GT Joe

October 23rd, 2012
4:45 pm

Ken: Days hasn’t carried the ball in the last 4 games. I guess they’ve been on the wrong page for 4 games, or maybe Days hasn’t learned the position well enough, or did I miss an injury?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
4:45 pm

@ AtWork……I agree. The whole team needs to develop a killer instinct

GT Fan

October 23rd, 2012
4:49 pm

I live in Utah, so I’m getting plenty of intel on BYU and Riley Nelson.
Good athlete? Yes
Mistake prone? Abs-so-frigin-lute-ly!
Best QB on BYU? NO … Riley, the SR, was incumbent starter. Got hurt, and in came, FR, Taysom Hill … bigger, faster, better arm than Nelson. And not mistake prone. Hill suffered a season-ending injury on an inexcusable play at the end of the BYU-Utah St game (6-3 Cougar W). Instead of kneeling on ball, BYU coach called a QB run play, and QB got injured.
Nelson, IMO, tries to do TOO much, and it leads to lots of mistakes/TOs. He LOVES running the ball on passing plays. And gets yards too, but mistakes are there if he’s defended well. Maybe GT should use Jemea & Chris Milton to “spy” Nelson the entire game?

BYU, b/c of their D, is 4-4. If not, they’d be 3-5 at best. Only wins would be Wash St, Weber St, Hawaii, with Ls to Boise (7-6), Utah (24-21) ND (17-13) being much worse (even though NONE of those 3 has a good O). And their 6-3 win over USU would be a loss.

IOW, their D is good. However, I’m more optimistic that GT can move the ball, effectively, on the ground after seeing BYU’s rush D the past 2 games 118-OrgSt, 270-ND.

MaconGTFan

October 23rd, 2012
4:52 pm

@Supersize I’ve been doing some thinking about Isiah Johnson. What if he’s actually not misplaying a receiver, but rather someone else is and he’s the guy that has to tackle em. I noticed against BC over the weekend that on a zone defense play, Drummond was covering a guy in his zone a just released him. The QB hit the receiver in stride and Johnson had to come up and make the play. Now why Drummond released the guy with no team mate around to pick him up, i have no idea. Johnson did make the tackle, but after a first down. With that said, who’s to say that hasn’t been happening all year?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
4:56 pm

@ Macon…..who knows? Interesting idea though.

Jacket Detective

October 23rd, 2012
4:56 pm

@Supersize.
Isaiah heard I was taking up for him at the tailgate party and stepped up his game.
Kidding.

GT Fan

October 23rd, 2012
5:02 pm

A-back Synjyn Days’ playing time was limited Saturday because “he and I weren’t on the same page,” Johnson said. Johnson didn’t provide detail but suggested it was an off-field matter.
——————————-
I don’t think ANY athlete, much less 18-22 yr-old kids, likes to be praised by his coach as being “too good to be standing on the sideline” then rarely see the field and have his abilities put to use.

Maybe PJ should stop giving so much praise of these kids if he’s not going to give them a chance to prove his [PJ's] praise.

spider

October 23rd, 2012
5:02 pm

should i take a brief case with me to fill up with all the literature from the other teams fans i will be receiving while walking down north ave from the marta station?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
5:05 pm

@ JD…..been meaning to email you. It was good to see you Saturday, but you got there so late. Hope you will join us again this Saturday and get there a little earlier.

GT Fan

October 23rd, 2012
5:07 pm

JD & Supersize …

The 12yd TD pass to the TE is on IJ … watch it on ESPN “video 22″ tab of the GT-BC highlights.

IDK what IJ was thinking/doing on that play. The WR was coverd by the DB to his right, and the TE goes in motion then right up the middle, past the LBs, and IJ barely moves…until it’s too late. Better instincts just might be a IJ int?

GT Fan

October 23rd, 2012
5:11 pm

Ken,

Can you have PJ tell Tevin that the “soft toss” is to be used only at the beginning of his warm-ups, NOT during the game. Thanks so much!

Best Regards,
GT Fan

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm

@ GT Fan……That’s what I thought, but I did think what Macon said was at least a possibility

MaconGTFan

October 23rd, 2012
5:27 pm

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying every play like the one I mentioned. I know IJ is gonna make mistakes. Was just pointing out one play that I saw that was a mistake by Drummond. And who’s to say that one of the backers weren’t supposed to pick up the tight end? You could be right GT Fan, but it could have been a blown coverage by one of the backers that IJ had to step up again and try to make the play. If that was the case, then it would explain why he looked so confused.

GT

October 23rd, 2012
5:36 pm

GT Joe- You’ve hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly how he coaches. If you’re on board you play, if not, you don’t play no matter what your talent level is. This is well known by past and current players. You see it in the attitude of players and it’s starting to turn ugly.

GT

October 23rd, 2012
5:39 pm

GT Fan- Haha I laughed pretty hard at that one. Same situation as I mentioned above. There are players with better talent on the team. They don’t fit his scheme, and, therefore, can’t play. If he’d tailor the offense (say like Fridge did for lil’ Joe) we’d see more of these players on the field.

AtWork

October 23rd, 2012
5:41 pm

@Supersize
I don’t think you can really teach killer instinct. I do think you can uncover it…bring it out. I would like to see recruits coming in have it. I think Autry has it. I think Lee has it. Just want to see everyone have it.

Here’s to hoping that some tough practices help bring it out.

Go Jackets!

GT

October 23rd, 2012
5:42 pm

Simple solution really, recruit your type of players for your system (he obviously can’t). He then moves to the lower tier recruits not picked up by other southern schools. These players don’t exactly fit his system and refuse to adapt. Therefore, we see a dropoff in talent through his scheme on the field. All comes down to recruiting.

MaconGTFan

October 23rd, 2012
5:43 pm

@GT Why in the hell would you want a player on the field, no matter how talented he is, that isn’t on board? This isn’t a run of the mill offense that just anyone can jump in and play. Show you understand on the practice field and that you’re a team player and you play. Bottom line. Vad hasn’t played as much cause he doesn’t understand the playbook as well as Tevin. And per PJ he’s still missing his reads. When Vad understands the read aspect of this offense, then he will be the starter. There is no breaking people like Joe said. It about understanding the offense. And as for Days not playing, that is beyond me. He’s shown he can and will block, but my guess is that PJ is worried about his fumblitis that he showed last year.

GT

October 23rd, 2012
5:51 pm

Macon- I totally agree. If you want to play learn the plays. Most players don’t want to learn the offense and can’t play (even though their talent level is high and they feel like they deserve to play- hence breaking them). I was just simply explaining why we’re in our current situation with this team. It’s a brilliant system. Just get the correct players on the team.

MaconGTFan

October 23rd, 2012
5:58 pm

I personally don’t think it’s that bad of a situation, minus the receivers. Autry not counting. Even though they can block so that’s a plus. Look at Orwin Smith, 2* coming out of high school, but plays as if he’s a 5*. On the other hand there’s Perkins. I think he was a 4*, but hasn’t seen the field and was beat out by a sophomore and converted QB. PJ has called him out in the past over his supposed entitlement to play. The talent isn’t as bad either on the o-line and on the defensive side of the ball. If Tech had a defense, they’re sitting at 6-1 if not 7-0. I personally think the Klempsum game could have gone either way.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
6:00 pm

@ GT…..I don’t disagree with you completely, but I think the recruits and prospective recruits know what kind of coach Johnson is when they sign. If they don’t want to try after they get here, then there is really no solution. EVERYBODY knows that CPJ is a hard-nosed coach, so why sign on if you aren’t willing to accept that to begin with?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
6:01 pm

I would imagine that every school in America has similar players. They think they DESERVE to play just by virtue of the fact that they are on scholarship. Humility and second effort can’t be taught any more than the killer instinct can; they are all qualities that have to be nurtured and developed pretty much on your own.

MaconGTFan

October 23rd, 2012
6:02 pm

Perfectly said Super.

G.P. Burdell

October 23rd, 2012
6:13 pm

I’ve never done this on any blog before, but I’ve heard enough from people that have no idea and are making comments solely on speculation.
GT Joe, PJ believes heavily in good ole fashioned discipline. I for one, love that about him…look 90 miles to the East and you’ll see many fans crying for their coach to instill discipline. None of us know what the disagreement between Days and PJ were, but I can guarantee you that the discipline was warranted, probably something boneheaded like not showing up for class or the weightroom or late to meetings, etc. PJ nips it in the bud before it becomes a bigger problem and infests the team and I like that.
Secondly, I personally know several guys that I played ball with that played for PJ at Southern. And I can tell you right now that the players love his desire and determination to win and demanding excellence from his players. In fact, when he was hired, I asked one of my friends that played for him what he thought and his comment was, “It’s a great thing, the players will run through a brick wall for Coach Johnson.” Players don’t say those sorts of things about many coaches.
Lastly, the issue with the younger players horsing around on the sidelines speaks exactly to discipline. By saying it’s gotten worse over the years, PJ is insinuating that the players are coming in more immature these days. And why? Because it starts at home. PJ can’t do anything during the middle of the game, but I bet you he has some grad assist. watching and reporting back and if those little boys want to act like, then they will never see the field.
Ok, I’m off my soap box now and will try to stay off. :)

GT4Life (the original)

October 23rd, 2012
6:13 pm

@GT Joe – I agree. I’m sick of the mind games that CPJ is playing. He has quickly turned my strong support into a tepid acceptance. This type of controlling behavior doesn’t just effect the targeted player but takes a toll on the team as a whole. If CPJ gets fired, it’ll be interesting to hear if the players comments mirror those about Groh’s departure.

Nativebird

October 23rd, 2012
6:35 pm

Paul Johnson is a joke.

AtWork

October 23rd, 2012
7:06 pm

If CPJ was mistreating or being biased in any way to his players we would know. With Social Media…we would see. CPJ is teaching for actions there are reactions. Some kids get it faster than others. Sometimes you have to make an example out of someone…Al Groh sound familiar?

I would rather have a hard nosed approach and the kids benefit from life lessons versus my coach calling a recruit to sing happy birthday to him and once that recruit signs he is missing games for drug possesion or weapon charges or something like that.

BigTimeTECHFans

October 23rd, 2012
7:08 pm

GT will roll over BYU this Saturday.

tech fan

October 23rd, 2012
7:09 pm

If tech wins out and beats uga and win bowl game, then the season will not be so bad!
Since Vad Lee will prob be starter next yr, I wonder if cpj will use the spread option less and the pistol more to utilize Vads strengths?

uafuneman

October 23rd, 2012
7:09 pm

CPJ needs to worry about why Ga. Tech returned 2000 tickets back to UGA for the game. CPJ is going down,down,down.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
7:13 pm

@ AtWork……you’re damn right. And these posters who don’t like that kind of approach by Johnson probably are every bit as immature as those players who get disciplined.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 23rd, 2012
7:16 pm

@ uafuneman…..I quit going to Athens years before Johnson came to Tech. I don’t go to Athens because of the lousy, r—-neck fans (most of whom never even darkened the door of any college) who throw things at opposing fans and spit on them (THAT happened to me). Why put up with such imbeciles when we can watch the game in the SAFE comfort of my home. And don’t say that goes on everywhere either, because I have never seen behavior like that at Clemson or Auburn or Notre Dame……ONLY IN ATHENS !!!!

TN GT

October 23rd, 2012
7:17 pm

I love have of you read a report about them not beng on the same page as CPJ having control. Maybe he shipped class or was late to practice/team meeting. You have know idea what the problem is. All I know is that I enjoy not reading about who is getting arrested from GT every month. Maybe that is why GT Joe loves to mention AI as his examples. He doesn’t mind half the team being in trouble. If CPJ was a control freak where the kids didn’t like him; don’t you think the kids who leave would make comments about him.

GT Joe and GT4Life..I can tell you know nothing about college football and prob have never played a high school sport more less college. You name me 1 college coach in America that isnt a control freak. They all are. If they weren’t, they would all have a DC and OC that called every paly.

TN GT

October 23rd, 2012
7:20 pm

Tech Fan..you can have a throwing QB out of the TO..you don’t have to be in the pistol..look at his days at GSU when they had Tracy Ham in the early 90s