Johnson responds to critics

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson made for pretty entertaining radio Wednesday night on his weekly show on 790 the Zone. Johnson took calls from listeners who challenged him on all matters regarding the team and its disappointing 3-5 record. Johnson even proactively addressed issues that have been raised by fans and media about the team before they were brought up, namely quarterback Tevin Washington.

I’m not sure how these read, but I wouldn’t call his tone defensive. Even-keeled and firm, certainly. Perhaps defiant. You can listen here through the Tech iTunes page.

On the season:

“We’ve lost two games in overtime. It isn’t making excuses, it’s just facts. We’ve lost two games in overtime. We lost the one at Clemson after being ahead in the fourth quarter. Is Sammy Watkins a really good player? Yes. Is DeAndre Hopkins at Clemson a really good player? Yes, but all in all we played with them to toe to toe until we fumbled the snap on 4th and 1 from the 7-yard line. If we don’t fumble the snap, maybe we go up two scores in the fourth quarter and it’s different.  It wasn’t like when we lined up, we couldn’t line up and they were knocking us off the ball.”

On the BYU loss:

“We were horrid on third down in that game but if you go back and look for the rest of the year, we were probably tops in the league or second in the league. Last year, we were second in the country. We’ve been pretty good on third down.”

On recruiting:

“If we want to be honest, recruiting’s about the same as it has been. We can rewrite history, but the facts are the facts. I think we have some good players. We’ve got to be better. If we don’t play better, your point will be proven. If we do, mine will be proven that we’ve got some pretty good players.”

On recruiting and talent level:

“We’re trying to compete in the conference that we’re in, and if you look at it, we’ve played five times, we’ve been ahead five (times in the fourth quarter). If the talent level is that bad, then we must be doing a hell of a job coaching to stay in there and I don’t think that’s the case. So I think that the talent level is not as bad as you think. We’ve got to finish the games. Now, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. I got you – we need to win the games. I just don’t see the gloom and doom that everybody wants to buy into.”

On the team’s intensity:

“I think intensity has not been a strong suit of this team, I would agree. That’s something that we’ve got to find and I’ve got to do a  better job of as a coach.”

On his record and quarterback Tevin Washington:

“There’s an overall body of work. When the time comes, if it’s not good enough, do what you’ve got to do but you don’t have to re-set your standards and you shouldn’t be judged on every series or every play or every game. And the quarterback shouldn’t be judged on every play, of every series, of every game.

He has an overall body of work. He can do what he can do. He can’t control punts getting blocked, he can’t control whatever, and the only thing I can tell you is the kid is busting his tail doing everything he can do for Georgia Tech. And I promise you, I go to practice every day, and if I thought the other guy would help us win, he would be playing.

And I’m not ready to throw away the season – and I’m not saying if we put the other guy in, we’ll throw away the season – he may very well play this week.  But it’s not going to be because somebody tells me to do it. It’s going to be because I think he gives our football team the best chance.  Because my job is to try to give us the best chance to win the game. I see those guys every day we practice. I know there’s a lot of people out there that can do my job better than I can. I gotcha. I understand that. But pardon me if I’m not going to listen to everybody who tells me who I should be playing, what I should be doing.

I’ve managed to survive for 34 years doing what I’m doing without getting fired and we’ve won a lot of games. If I’m going to go down, I’m going to go down doing what I do and knowing what I know. So that’s it in a nutshell.”

On play-calling:

“You try to call the plays that people can run. You can have 100 plays and if you can’t run ’em, it doesn’t do any good to call ’em. I don’t mean this in a  bad way or whatever, but it’s not like PlayStation, where you just pick a play. You have guys out there who can do certain things. And if guys struggle pulling, you don’t run the pulling plays. If guys aren’t as good at throwing one way, you try to throw the other way. That’s all the things that you know from being with those guys every day in practice and going into the game plan.”

“People say, ‘Well, when Vad goes in the game, you call a different game.’ Well, I try to do what Vad (Lee) can do better as opposed to forcing something else. Now there’s a point that it doesn’t matter just what Vad can do, you have to do whatever everybody playing with Vad can do. That’s part of coaching. We’ve got a lot of plays and people have probably made it – and I’m probably my own worst enemy by saying, ‘Hey, we run five or six plays and we do variations.’ –  it’s a little more complicated than that. But we try to run the plays that give us the best chance to win the game.”

In case you missed it…

Washington, Lee keep relationship smooth

Tech scrambling to prepare for Maryland QB

On Tech ending its kick-return drought

Johnson says it’s not time to panic

Heisman biography offers revealing history

Notes: B-backs struggling to produce

Notes: Johnson mum on starting quarterback

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

439 comments Add your comment

George Stein

November 1st, 2012
2:47 pm

Oh boy. This should generate some comments.

GT Fan

November 1st, 2012
2:49 pm

Great stuff. Thanks Ken.

GT Fan

November 1st, 2012
2:50 pm

Oh, and I love these comments by CPJ. The man knows what he’s doing and I’ve got all the faith in the world that he’s going to take us in the right direction.

www

November 1st, 2012
2:50 pm

i heard part of this in the car on my way home to get ready for halloween (favorite holiday of the year for me).

he sounded a LITTLE defensive. i imagine a losing season isn’t fun on any level.

KC in Smyrna

November 1st, 2012
2:53 pm

‘Hey, we run five or six plays and we do variations.’

www

November 1st, 2012
2:55 pm

@ gtfan

“Oh, and I love these comments by CPJ. The man knows what he’s doing and I’ve got all the faith in the world that he’s going to take us in the right direction.”

i mostly still have faith but i hope the man is smart enough to see the areas that need improvement.

also, as the face of our program, i definitely think part of his job is to motivate and inspire the players so i hope he (and the assistant coaches) are more positive with the team than they are with the public. CPJ sounded a little down. or maybe that’s just how it sounded to me over the radio.

either way, smile guys. it’s just life – no one gets out alive.

www

November 1st, 2012
2:59 pm

this is nice to hear:

“I try to do what Vad (Lee) can do better as opposed to forcing something else…But we try to run the plays that give us the best chance to win the game”

cattledawgs

November 1st, 2012
3:01 pm

This guy should be a politician

f-trey

November 1st, 2012
3:02 pm

If every team executed every play, no-one would lose. I don’t really care how close we have been. All that matters is “did we win the game”. In the last 14 games we have 3 wins. That body of work speaks loudly that something isn’t right. Everything rises and falls on leadership. So CPJ, it’s your fault–period.

Ken Sugiura

November 1st, 2012
3:08 pm

www – you might be right. i think i’ve grown accustomed to listening to him to the point that my scale is probably different than most. kind of like how my usual tone might register as “asleep” to some but “lively” to my friends.

collegeballfan

November 1st, 2012
3:10 pm

What I have found amusing over the years is the number of people who have coached zero games in college football who know more about it than a coach of 30 years.

Just like me, an old history major, knowing more about any engineering problem than any GT grad ever thought about knowing.

Oh, and did I mention how dumb Mike Smith is?

Ken Sugiura

November 1st, 2012
3:12 pm

f-trey – five wins in 15 games, but your point remains the same, i assume.

GT Fan 4Life

November 1st, 2012
3:12 pm

Finally, he speaks up and defends himself! (not that he should have to) All of the so-called “tech fans” have been drilling this guy for weeks because they think they are smarter than him… Like coach says, he’s been coaching for 34 years and hasn’t gotten fired… he’s not going to all of the sudden listen to a bunch of old, pissed off Alum’s. It’s time for the real tech fans to stand together and support this team! I’d rather have 35,000 dedicated tech fans who know how to win and lose with the team than to have a packed stadium every week (like UGA) who quit on the team as soon as they have a loss. These older TECH Alum’s (some of them) have nothing better to do than complain, whether it’s about the new jerseys, the AD leaving, or CPJ not playing Vad. Everybody please, just support this team! Let’s not forget how bad things were when Gailey was here, at least we now have a coach who will argue his case

TechApp fan

November 1st, 2012
3:17 pm

my opion, sounds like TW is the starter Sat.

Keep it Real Coach!

November 1st, 2012
3:18 pm

GT is destroyed by BYU on Homecoming. GT suffers one its worst defeats in the 100 year history of the school to Middle Tennesse State. I’ve never heard a coach on the college or pro level play the game of shoulda, coulda, woulda to this level. Paul Johnson’s record at Tech has continued to decline. Next year will be his last.

GTBluto

November 1st, 2012
3:20 pm

Sounds like Obama to me. But the record speaks for itself in both cases.

Reggie's Balls

November 1st, 2012
3:25 pm

GT Fan 4 Life-

So when fans are outspoken and not pleased with whats going on and they voice those issues that is “GIVING UP” on your team???? When you want a coach and an Institution held accountable for the pile of crap that it is, that is “GIVING UP” on your team??? You need to wake up my friend, I have been supporting this Institution for 42 years and will continue to but there better be some changes because we are nothing more than a 1AA school in football and basketball and its sad……

Technically Correct

November 1st, 2012
3:25 pm

Xs and Os are only important when they follow Ls. Winning solves everything and no one cares how you do it.

CPJ is delusional

November 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

Tevin’s record is under .500.. The Kid does not give you the best chance to win.. Vad is far more talented and to win in D1 football you have to play TALENT.. CPJ needs to go back to a So. Con team where he belongs

GT Lover

November 1st, 2012
3:29 pm

How would you guys like it if your success depended on trying to get 85 18-22 year olds to do right on Saturday? Look at Florida last week. They had the big head from having a good season, and didn’t show up against UGA. If they played against UGA again, they kick their little doggie butts.
Quit booing the boys and support your team and your coach.
Stupid armchair quarterbacks!
If you can coach so well, why aren’t you out there?

Thomas

November 1st, 2012
3:30 pm

I’ve managed to survive for 34 years doing what I’m doing without getting fired and we’ve won a lot of games. If I’m going to go down, I’m going to go down doing what I do and knowing what I know. So that’s it in a nutshell

There is this wild theory called evolution. I can go into detail, the real fact is that against teams with better athletes we simply get shut down on a relative basis.

Coach Johnson is going from the top left to the bottom right as to winning and he should drop the ego of “coaching up 3 stars” and only running a handful of plays. Also anyone who doesn’t think he rolled the dice to fully hand the D to Groh so he could play around with his master offense.

Enjoyed the Pepper years with Shamburger, Ivery Enjoyed the Curry years with Gary Lee, enjoyed, of course Ross with a lot of great players, enjoyed O’Leary with a number of great players, enjoyed Johnson with Gailey players, DO NOT enjoy watching Johnson with Johnson players- rather watch and pay for high school football.

billyBobjacket

November 1st, 2012
3:33 pm

Georgia State has been ahead or tied in every game so far this year. Bill Curry’s and Bill Lewis’ worst Tech teams were ahead or tied at some point in every game. UGA was ahead of Florida in MANY of those games they lost in Jacksonville over the past 20 years. If not for a few bad plays here and there nobody would ever lose to crappy teams they should beat. There is a reason that championships are decided on the win-loss record, not on how many games you could have won if only…

One down, one to go

November 1st, 2012
3:34 pm

What a Tool! Someone remind moobs that a game is 4 quarters and not 3. This guy has got to go before tech can move forward. He has so many excuses.

G.P. Burdell

November 1st, 2012
3:35 pm

Well said GTF4L! All of the real fans need to stand together and support our team no matter what. Things are bleak right now, but better days are ahead.

One down, one to go

November 1st, 2012
3:37 pm

“Things are bleak right now, but better days are ahead.”
______________

Now you sound like UGA fans. It’s just a fact, Like our current administration as the years go by the worse off we are. It’s time to get someone new. Period!

CPJ is delusional

November 1st, 2012
3:39 pm

@collegeballfan

30 yrs of coaching experience, but only a handful at a real D1 program.. Tevin should have been pulled last year.. Instead we’re stuck w/ D3 talent @ QB cause CPJ is too stubborn to move away from the triple option

Reggie's Balls

November 1st, 2012
3:42 pm

Burdell-

You and GT4 Life need to quit using the term “Real Fans” Thats a load of BS……. I am as real of a GT fan as there is and I am not going to put up with the CRAP that is the GT football and basketball programs. I support this team as much as any GT fan alive but enough is enough…… Because you sit on your hands and cheer mediocrity that doesn’t make you a “Real Fan”

GT Fan 4Life

November 1st, 2012
3:42 pm

@ Reggie’s Balls
So when fans are outspoken and not pleased with whats going on and they voice those issues that is “GIVING UP” on your team????

When the outspoken fans are getting on the blogs and calling for CPJ’s head everyday, yes I believe they have given up on this team. A ‘team’ is made up of players and coaches, you cannot say you support the team when you are calling the coach an idiot and demanding that he gets fired (i’m not saying you do this, but a lot of fans have lately). I understand your point and i’m glad that you’ve been supporting this team for 42 years and I hope you continue to for the next 42, but this everyday negativity towards the coach is not helping anything. CPJ will get this turned around, and if he doesn’t by the end of next season then I’m sure he’ll be on the hott seat….

GT Lover

November 1st, 2012
3:43 pm

You guys hated Gailey when he was here. Johnson took his players and did what he couldn’t do with them! CPJ will turn it around. Al Groh killed this season
with his defense that will time to rebuild.
Get behind Coach Kelly and Coach Johnson!
If we had Nick Saban, he’d leave after one year.
Support you team!
Quit booing. Dumb jerks!!!

pw12

November 1st, 2012
3:43 pm

The man is a “richard” head..he needs to change his tone..folks dont want to hear excuses we want results..his record is fast approaching gaileya..what then..mf needs to think outside the box some

billyBobjacket

November 1st, 2012
3:45 pm

So CPJ wants to play the “if” game. If Stafford doesn’t throw that pick, if the guy didn’t miss the tackle on Roddy Jones, if FSU doesn’t fumble at the goal line, if Clemson doesn’t turn the ball over, if Wake doesn’t screw up overtime, etc….CPJ would not have a single “signature” win. That is why they play the games, and the goal is to win them. Over time, the more talented and better coached teams tend to win most of the close games.

GT Joe

November 1st, 2012
3:45 pm

Well folks, in a nutshell, CPJ is not going to take opinions from anyone else. He won’t be forced to start Vad. He’ll do it on his own accord. Stubborness at its worst.

So it’s clear that TW will start. And now I’ll go ahead and finally say it: CPJ MUST BE FIRED. I’m done with him. I’ve defended his offense, his coaching, except for one thing: QB choice. And his inflexibility on this means that he MUST GO for the good of GT Football.

I’m tired of this “I see them in practice every day” garbage. WE SEE THEM IN GAMES every SATURDAY. Tuesday doesn’t matter, it’s SATURDAY.

I might just go to the Duke game to BOO…not dearest Tevin, but CPJ.

The Truth

November 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

If CPJ doesn’t get off his ego trip and develop a passing game, GT is in for a miserable two years until CPJ is fired. If we end up 3-9, he should be fired this year, but GT can’t afford it. Come on CPJ, don’t be an arrogant imbecile, switch to the Oregon offense.

Booze Hound

November 1st, 2012
3:46 pm

Blah, blah, blah. Bring O’Leary back (NO Ted Roof, though) and send Johnson packing. He can make excuses somewhere else for 2.6MM.

Ol'JacketFan

November 1st, 2012
3:47 pm

Just popped in to see what was being thrown around and it’s exactly as I would have thought. All the experts continuing to slam CPJ. Well CPJ’s a big boy and I think he can handle criticism from all the experts here as he continues to do what he’s done for over 30 years, WIN. No doubt I will be slammed as well as a CPJ lackey, but that too, is okay. I trust his abilities over 99.9% of the folks that post on a internet forum. Y’all have a great day and GO Jackets!!!!!!!

Fear the Veer

November 1st, 2012
3:48 pm

Meh…..Sounds like facts to facillitate excuses to me.

Booze Hound

November 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

billyBobjacket and GT Joe,

Well said…

Stinger 1

November 1st, 2012
3:50 pm

Some of what CPJ said may be excuses. But a lot of what he said are facts and is true.
I don`t particularly like the TO offense he runs but I am a GT fan since 1952 and I will always be one no matter who is the coach. CPJ is not going anywhere soon. So if you are a real GT fan, leave him be and let him do his job. Just be fans. If you want to criticize and you think you know more than he does about coaching, say what you want to say. Just remember, what you say will not matter nor will it affect what happens on the football field.

GT Lover

November 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

Go Jackets!
We have a new four game season!
We can go undefeated in this four game season.
Beat UGA and win a bowl game!
YOU GOTTA BEE-LIEVE!!!!!

Tech Troll 13

November 1st, 2012
3:52 pm

CPJ absolutely right about the keybord coaches. He’s at practice every day and no one wants to win more than him. I still think CPJ gives us our best chance to win and I’m not ready to bail on him.

Paul's Johnson

November 1st, 2012
3:52 pm

I know what I’m doing, @#$%!mit!!!! If anybody says I don’t, I want you to punch them in the $#%@!face!

Now……leave me alone, because I have bigger fish to fry.

GT Joe

November 1st, 2012
3:53 pm

Stinger and all other CPJ defenders:

Coaches CAN BE WRONG. They aren’t right ALL the time. If they were, they’d never lose and never get fired.

CPJ will learn the hard way that stubborness is the bain of all men.

GTBob

November 1st, 2012
3:54 pm

It’s time to get someone new. Period!

So the most logical decision is to fire CPJ. Pay him 10 million not to coach. Bring in someone new who will need at least 3-4 years to turn the team around even if he is a good coach? All because of a bad year? GT fans really need to remember who we are. We aren’t Alabama. We are going to have bad seasons every once in a while. You would think the fact that CPJ has beaten UGA, won an ACC championship, and has a better winning percentage then O’Leary and Ross would earn him a little time to turn things around. I guess not.

Ol'JacketFan

November 1st, 2012
3:54 pm

I’ve never said CPJ can’t be wrong, I simply said I trust him over 99.9% of the keyboard cowboys.

Booze Hound

November 1st, 2012
3:55 pm

GT Lover,

Thanks for the chuckle.

GT Joe

November 1st, 2012
3:55 pm

Tech Troll: yeah he sees them at every PRACTICE, but the fans see them at every GAME (you know, the days that actually matter?).

Reggie's Balls

November 1st, 2012
3:56 pm

Ol Jacket fan-

You’re right he can “Win” he’s done it 3 times this year…………..Keep sitting on your hand supporting garbage thats been this programs problem for years………

Fear the Veer

November 1st, 2012
3:56 pm

So…..basically he’s telling the arm-chair fans out there that he’s been doing this long enough that we really don’t have any business second-guessing him…….He’s just doing it in a nice way.

Yep…..he’s politician material.

These kids coming out of school, they don’t want to run any triple option offense where they are likely to get killed, and even less likely to go pro.

5150 UOAD

November 1st, 2012
3:56 pm

I don’t see a REAL TECH FAN using reggie’s balls as a handle. Why would you slam one of your own players?
=====================

Orwin Smith posted of FaceBook
Nobody is perfect. We don’t make the right choices but never let your mistakes dictate where you wanna go far as occupation, relationships or just life. Never give up on your plans/goals no matter if 95% of the world is against you. Long as you have that 5% believing in you then you’ll be fine!
==========================

be a good fan and back these players. they are still working hard and deserve good fans to support their efforts.

no fan

November 1st, 2012
3:56 pm

Huh? Doesn’t every play of every game make up the “body of work”? This guy is a moron.