Johnson faces Lee-Washington decision

More and more is becoming clear about Georgia Tech. Less and less of it offers hope.

The next (and perhaps last) attempt at salvaging the season could be the elevation of backup quarterback Vad Lee to the starting spot. Coach Paul Johnson has been insistent in his defense of Tevin Washington, saying that he isn’t the problem, but removed him from Saturday’s 41-17 loss to BYU late in the third quarter after a costly interception.

“I intended to let (Lee) play some and I kept thinking that we would try to get some rhythm or whatever, and it just became apparent that it wasn’t working the other way, so we needed to put him in and let him play,” Johnson said.

It ran against Johnson’s past philosophy regarding Lee. In other losses when Tech has been behind or caught in a shootout, Johnson has stayed with Washington, feeling that he gave the Yellow Jackets the best chance to win. He has deflected calls for Lee to play more by noting that the most popular player on the team is often the backup quarterback and that Lee hadn’t been practicing well enough to merit playing time.

However, asked about a possible change for Saturday’s game at Maryland, Johnson said “we’ll see.” Tech is now 3-5, the first time it has been under .500 after eight games since 1994, the final year of coach Bill Lewis’ failed tenure.

“I’ve just been trying to go out in practice every day, just playing my game, just staying focused on the task at hand, just staying inside my role,” Lee said. “I try to lift everyone up in practice and the game.”

Lee did seem to give the Jackets a jolt of energy Saturday, leading the Tech offense to its only score of the game, a 70-yard drive that was aided by 37 yards of BYU penalties and ended with a field goal.

Center Jay Finch said that Lee “preaches good energy.”

After the field goal, Lee led two final drives with the game out of reach. Tech went 3-and-out and then punted after gaining one first down. Saturday, Tech’s problems clearly stretched far beyond Washington.

“I’ve got to get a lot better as well,” Lee said. “Nothing’s going to be handed to me, as we already know. I’m just working and, now after that tough loss, I’ve got to work times two.”

Washington has started every game at quarterback since replacing the injured Joshua Nesbitt midway through the Virginia Tech game in Nov. 2010,, a streak of 25 games. A fifth-year senior and a team captain, he has largely played effectively this season – Tech entered the game third in the country in rushing offense and 15th in total offense – but has made errors at critical junctures of games.

Asked last week how he could improve, Johnson said that Washington “hasn’t had a ton of errors, they’ve just come at inopportune times, and we really need to cut down on that for a guy that’s played as much as he has.”

Tech’s next opponent doesn’t look particularly receptive for either quarterback or an offense that failed to make a first down on 10 third downs Saturday, the first time the Jackets went without a third-down conversion in a game since a 33-0 loss to North Carolina in 1980.

Maryland may be down to its fourth-string quarterback and lost Saturday to the same Boston College team that the Jackets trounced Oct. 20, but the Terrapins play defense as stingily as the Cougars.

Under first-year defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, Maryland is ranked No. 4 in rushing defense, No. 7 in total defense and No. 28 in scoring defense. The defense’s centerpiece is defensive end Joe Vellano, who recorded 20 tackles in Tech’s 21-16 win in 2011 and this season is averaging 1.8 tackles for loss per game, tied for ninth in the country.

155 comments Add your comment

Ice eater 1969

October 28th, 2012
6:03 pm

No decesion for me. vadI decision it’s vad and 7 man line and press man to man coverage. We have done the opposite for the whole year. Not doing this would demonstrate insanity and void the coaches contract

DoakBoyGT

October 28th, 2012
6:05 pm

Here’s to winning out! Go Jackets! To HELL With Georgia!

usjacket

October 28th, 2012
6:15 pm

Yo coach, did ya happen to notice that our UNIFORMS SUCK TOO!

George Stein

October 28th, 2012
6:20 pm

I think the fools who booed Tevin yesterday should be ashamed of themselves. He has been scapegoated as the reason for the failures of this team. He played poorly yesterday but isn’t the reason for five losses this season.

Unfortunately, I think the time has come to play Vad and see whether his potential can turn into performance.

As for Johnson, I think he’ll get next season, but he’ll begin it under immense pressure. Failure again next season probably means he and Radakovich will be looking for new jobs.

Paul in Nh

October 28th, 2012
6:25 pm

Start whoever gives GT the best chance to win.
CPJ has the rest of this season and next to turn it around otherwise he is gone.

Gordon

October 28th, 2012
6:30 pm

You people talking about CPJ being gone have no idea what you are talking about. He gets 8 figures at the end of NEXT year. Tech can’t come close to paying that.

Old Gold Britches

October 28th, 2012
6:51 pm

Washington is a great young man giving his best. You don’t boo him. I agree Lee needed a chance yesterday and should be given a chance next week.

Greg

October 28th, 2012
6:52 pm

3-5 on the way to 3-9. Paul Johnson is a genius. He beat Georgia once upon a time so he must be.

If do right, no can defense

October 28th, 2012
6:55 pm

What about Synjyn Days? I know he’s taking reps at A-back in practice, but he is a decent runner, and in my opinion, runs the triple option better than Vad Lee. If you consider technical acuity, Washington is the best with the option… but being a QB is more than that. Being a starting QB means making solid decisions overall, showing great leadership, making clutch plays, and giving your team a chance at a comeback.

For the rest of the season I want to see Synjyn and Vad Lee both get reps… and people here on the blogs are seriously underestimating him. Last year he had some fumbles yes, but I believe he’s sorted them out, and if Lee gets some playing time, Days should too.

AtWork

October 28th, 2012
6:57 pm

@ George Stein

TW got booed because he couldn’t throw the football 5 yards. I don’t have a problem booing very poor throws. I was more ashamed at the Vad Lee chants. The boos are going to come if you can’t throw a 5 yard pass and then a short out that gets intercepted. The Boos were deserved.

Boos should go all aroud for this team.

This team better get better quickly or the season’s end can’t get here fast enough. They need to take the boos and use it for fire to get better. Because losing isn’t firing these guys up…maybe the boos will.

Go Jackets!

Reformed Toady

October 28th, 2012
6:59 pm

Hey Ken, you got a very ugly “personality” on the UPDATE story. You’ve banned people before for language nowhere near as bad.

BravesFan77

October 28th, 2012
7:02 pm

Might as well give Vad 4 extra games to prep for next season. What can it hurt now? We’re going to lose to Georgia anyway because the players don’t have the marbles to do so. That’s right, I said it boys. You don’t have the guts or the spine to play hard for 60 minutes. How ya like that, Jack?!?!?!

George Stein

October 28th, 2012
7:08 pm

You and I probably have a fundamental disagreement over booing then, AtWork. Under no circumstances do I think a group of unpaid college players should be booed.

Ironically enough, I bet the folks who do boo the players are the same ones who don’t show up consistently and then turn around and gripe about the recruiting.

MORGANTECH

October 28th, 2012
7:11 pm

So many problems with this team, if CPJ thinks the fan base is pissed off now , wait until the blowout in Athens.

Al Groh

October 28th, 2012
7:12 pm

yeller bug

October 28th, 2012
7:14 pm

Vad’s not going to do any better if CPJ wants to continue to run his TO. We keep hearing about bad reads—OK start calling plays that don’t require so many reads. Sheeeesh.

It’s not play one QB or the other—it’s play both to both their strengths. We’re behind 3 scores and Vad is under center. Why? The pistol is a better formation from which to pass. Do we only have 25 plays in our playbook? The BYU coach was saying all week he was looking forward to playing the TO and we gave it to him. Why didn’t we put in some wrinkles for him to consider?

If CPJ cannot evaluate his personnel and then develop a game plan that plays to their strengths, then we have no chance of having a good team this year or any year.

As for the D—we couldn’t even stop the run, much less the pass. If we can’t get to the passer, then they’re going to be out on the field a long long time. Have to get two road wins at least. The 15 year bowl streak is in serious jeopardy now.

Delbert D.

October 28th, 2012
7:18 pm

Dan Radakovich has a chance to fix this: force Paul Johnson to hire an offensive coordinator, and it cannot one of his former pupils. Look at Matt Wells of Utah State. His option has many more options than Tech’s.

1 4 GT

October 28th, 2012
7:25 pm

Delbert, CPJ ain’t going to be forced to do anything. Ego too big.

Coach

October 28th, 2012
7:25 pm

Amen, don’t boo kids. Only one exception, and that is if a kid commits a deliberate personal foul.

CPJ will get it done for us. It makes NO sense to continually start over, hoping that in four or five years when the new coach gets “his” players and system in place,” everything will be ok. Hasn’t helped in the past at GT, and won’t in the future. Let the man do his job, and we’ll get back. This is a young team.

Coach

October 28th, 2012
7:27 pm

Or put another way, what am I doing as a fan to make a kid want to come to GT and play for the Jackets?

1 4 GT

October 28th, 2012
7:30 pm

Coach…..sounds like you have had some experience around the game. Well put.

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
7:45 pm

Don’t boo the kids? Wtf. Are we sissies or what?

Tevin was embarrassing… Besides I think the crowd was booing CPJ for playing Tevin. Its cpj’s fault Tevin was in the position to get booed

AtWork

October 28th, 2012
7:45 pm

If you can cheer for players then you can boo the players. You can’t have it one way. I know these are Student-Athletes and they are laying it on the line for Georgia Tech and we all cheer when they do something great…why can’t we boo for something that everyone in the stadium knows is bad.

I don’t complain about who we recruit. I try and go to games as often as i can. I support these guys 100% but like my coworkers…you got to call them out when they are doing something wrong. Booing is the only way at the game to do that.

Go Jackets!

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
7:46 pm

Let the Age of Vad begin…

GssiT

October 28th, 2012
7:46 pm

i’LL ASK ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE COMMENTED HERE: WHAT DID TEVIN DO IN THE FIRST HALF THAT WARRANTED HIM TO START THE SECOND HALF?

Ice eater 1969

October 28th, 2012
7:52 pm

Coach , do u think a read react 3 man rush zone defense or a blitz happy defense makes kids want tp play at tech

1 4 GT

October 28th, 2012
8:07 pm

AtWork…..you are a darn idiot.

I agree with G Stein and others...

October 28th, 2012
8:08 pm

…re: booing college kids – booing is for paid professionals, not college kids who really are trying their best.

As far as the TW v Vad aspect, l it may be time for Vad yet I did not see anything about him or his play yesterday that would suggest he is any better than TW – ion fact, he sucked just as bad as TW, and he had terrible throws, too. However, that is a coaching decision and is based upon with whom CPJ thinks he can win.

And, believe it or not, Tech is NOT out of the race to be the division champ – nobody in that division seems any better than anyone else, and though Dook has the better record right now, they are probably going to lose their last three games, leaving whoever wins with a very bad record but a birth in the championship game – and stranger things have happened with a bad team actually winning the title, which will only give the ACC bashers another thing to bash if a 7-6 team gets to play in the Orange Bowl…

I agree with G Stein and others...

October 28th, 2012
8:10 pm

Enter your comments here

And, actually...

October 28th, 2012
8:13 pm

….that “costly interception”, though costly, was a pretty good play by their corner, at least from where I was sitting it looked like he made a reaching pick of the ball – but I have been wrong before…

And it was all my fault Tech lost – I am the one who said that Tech would score at least 37 points and that since BYU supposedly had a lousy offense that the game would not be close and an easy win for Tech – who woulda thunk that the offense would come up totally empty? My bad…

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
8:13 pm

I agree…: welcome to the blogs, haven’t seen you around.

Vad had bad throws? Are you serious? What game were you watching? Just admit that Tevin is awful and you’ve been wrong all along about our qb situation

dcp

October 28th, 2012
8:13 pm

14 GT – every major college program has ups and downs,,,,and there were boos at the UGA/FL game, boos at the OU/ND game. Get over it – it happens. Washington is an average QB at best. He has heart – yay for that..Lee is the future, the team is going nowhere, and Washington had 25 games to prove himself. He has not played well, and yes most of the team, including all of the defenase have been bad.

Sav FAN

October 28th, 2012
8:14 pm

CPJ was a goner when he lost to VT

1 4 GT

October 28th, 2012
8:17 pm

dcp…..boo the coaches. Recruits see this stuff idiot.

Bananajacket

October 28th, 2012
8:18 pm

One may have the “right” to boo, but I personally think it is classless. It is a game and they ARE trying. Don’t think most of you would like to hear YOUR kid booed. I know, I know—-it’s win at all costs. Is this what defines your life? Just my opinion.

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
8:18 pm

Actually: welcome to the blogs, haven’t seen you around.

tevins interception was as boneheaded as any of his other mistakes… Looked at his receiver the entire time and then threw it when the defender clearly was in position to intercept. dumbest throw OT AT VT

And, actually...

October 28th, 2012
8:18 pm

…Vad tripped over his own feet on one occasion – not something TW has done…not saying Vad should not play, just that I saw NOTHING that would encourage me to think he is any better than the current QB…

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
8:20 pm

If my kid made that many game killing mistakes, I’d boo him AND the coach that put him out there to embarrass himself weekly.

dcp

October 28th, 2012
8:22 pm

BYU has a stout defence – It would not have made that much difference yesterday who played QB, but I am sorry people think we are better with Washington. What do we gain by keeping him in there. He has no ability to pass the ball whatsoever. You cannot always run the ball.

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
8:24 pm

Actually: you clearly should watch the games on TV rather than going to the games; vad tripped on his o lineman s foot.happens all the time at all levels. Just remember, vad has never had a turnover…that is a step up from Tevin.

And if you couldn’t see that vad throws the ball infinitely better, I can’t help you.

ToeMeetsLeather

October 28th, 2012
8:24 pm

I am at a loss for understanding what CPJ is doing this year, so who knows what he will do at the QB position. We have numerous playmakers on the field at different times, like Bostic, Zennon, Days, Autry(until the injury), and all we can do with a fifth year senior are QB keepers and the B-back into the teeth of the defense. It is painfully obvious that Lee needs to take every snap from this point forward and the offense needs to be adjusted to fit his strengths, but who knows what we see in Maryland.

dcp

October 28th, 2012
8:25 pm

14 GT – thanks for the great comeback – idiot is your best response? Is that what you have for anyone that disagrees with you? Folks were booing the coach – if you were there you would have known that. People are tired of every time we have 3rd and more than 5 we cannot pass worth anything.

dcp

October 28th, 2012
8:26 pm

GT Joe – good call.

Paul in Nh

October 28th, 2012
8:27 pm

“If you can cheer for the players then you can boo the players”
AtWork must be fun to be around at little league games.

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
8:28 pm

Maybe we shouldn’t boo the opposingteam either. They have feelings too… Lol

Techster

October 28th, 2012
8:30 pm

Tech has no problems that the addition of a couple of Top-10 recruiting classes couldn’t fix. Heck, I would be happy, if we could compete with Vanderbilt for recruits. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever say that…

Jacket time

October 28th, 2012
8:31 pm

Not a fan of the booing but if you’re older than 22 and not a student anymore… GROW UP!

I supported TW till now. Jumping ship lets see what Vad can do as a starter.

GT Joe

October 28th, 2012
8:32 pm

By the way, these kids are 18+. We have kids that age getting killed in war. And we are complaining about booing?

And these kids DO get paid. About 30 to 40k per year (tuition, room and board). Hell, I’ll go so far as to say they work for us, our taxes pay their scholarships right? We have the right to boo.

Stinger 1

October 28th, 2012
8:32 pm

@8:08: Do you really believe Duke will lose to GT. The have arguablly
the best passing QB in the ACC. Do you think the GT defense can stop him? Also, did you see how many points NC put on NC State yesterday? Sorry, I see GT beating only MD and that is with a big maybe. Be realistic, this is not a good team and has no chance of winning the Costal division..

Jacket time

October 28th, 2012
8:35 pm

Its pretty immature and poor class to boo. I give exception to the students and I can’t say I would ever boo a veteran.