The doc is back: What Tech must do to rise above mediocrity

Just sayin': Special teams matter, too. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Just sayin': Special teams matter, too. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Step 1: Get players AND playmakers. Paul Johnson has proved he could win an ACC title with Chan Gailey’s recruits but hasn’t proved he can recruit as well as Gailey did. That will become an ever bigger issue next fall, when there’s no Joshua Nesbitt. Tech needs pretty much everything — speed, size, depth — and the loss of recruiting coordinator Giff Smith, who was hired away by Gailey last winter to coach linebackers in Buffalo, was a major blow.

Tech doesn’t so much need to light up the recruiting scoreboard — if rankings meant all that much, Georgia wouldn’t be where it is — as to find players capable of changing a game. The difference between 10-3 and 6-6 wasn’t the failing of Johnson’s stylized offense or Al Groh’s 3-4 defense but the absence of a Demaryius Thomas and a Derrick Morgan. (And neither, it must be noted, was a five-star recruit.)

Step 2: Get holistic. There’s more to football than offense, even a stylized one. Sometimes Johnson, who came to Georgia Southern as a defensive line coach, acts as if the other stuff doesn’t matter. But it matters when the head coach decides to go for it on fourth-and-2 near midfield with a minute left in the first half, as Johnson did against Duke, and leaves his defensive coordinator facing a short field in a hurry-up setting. It matters when you lose to Virginia Tech on a kickoff return inside the final three minutes.

Rather than simply rage at his latest punter for his latest shank, Johnson needs to do the simple thing: Hire a special teams coordinator.

Step 3: Get humble. There’s a tendency when you’re the smartest guy in the room — even if the room is an open-air stadium seating 90,000 — to trust yourself to think of something. Nobody disputes that Johnson is one of the best play-callers in the business, but there are times when he gives the impression that his, as they say in Hollywood, is the name above the title. (Maybe he doesn’t mean to come off that way, but he does.)

Clever as he is, Johnson cannot outsmart everybody all the time at this level of football. Nobody can. (Urban Meyer just went 7-5. Mack Brown just went 5-7.) Johnson needs to work as hard to sign players as he does on the sideline during games. Directing inferior talent is how this superior coach wound up losing as many games as he won. Surely the superior coach recognizes as much.

To view Dr. B’s Rx for Georgia, take two aspirin and click here.

397 comments Add your comment

[...] Have a seat in the waiting room. Dr. Bradley’s Rx for Georgia Tech can be found here. [...]

jarvis

November 29th, 2010
2:42 pm

If the Queen had balls, she’d be the King. They can’t accomplish any of this.

Jesse Stone

November 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

Good analysis, Mark. I think next year, GT will surprise some.

Oscar

November 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

Paul oughta go get a mirror, look into it, and finally punch himself in the face.

MagnaCarterGT

November 29th, 2010
2:45 pm

Point number 2. Just…. point number 2. We badly need to improve on special teams. Hiring a coordinator would go a long way toward that.

Rich

November 29th, 2010
2:46 pm

And develop a modest passing game at the least…starting by teaching the quarterbacks the proper method to drop back to pass. Ever notice how the Tech QB’s, Nesbitt and Washington, who are both right handed, drop back to pass as if they are left handed and then have to do a 180 degree turn to pass….what’s up with that??

Jesse Stone

November 29th, 2010
2:47 pm

If I had a name like “jarvis” or “Oscar”, I’d be pi$$ed off too.

Not Disappointed!

November 29th, 2010
2:49 pm

Great Read! The truth hurts, but I do need to 2 aspirin. Not a bad game for the 2nd string quarterback.

42-34 - Dawgs STILL Run This State

November 29th, 2010
2:50 pm

But Mark – I thought Coach Paul Johnson coached a PERFECT game and walked away with another MORAL VICTORY as the Dawgs make it NINE OUT OF 10?

Jesse Stone

November 29th, 2010
2:50 pm

I have no problem with the offense since Washington has been in there. The offense is NOT the problem

OldSchoolFunk

November 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

The next two years will be the measure of Johnson’s ability to recruit and coach. He took a lesser talented team to six wins but this team gave up a lot of yards and points. He does need a special teams coach. But Johnson can accoplish those points made.

BTW jarvis, it is apparent you do not possess any. You give Queens a bad name.

Jesse Stone

November 29th, 2010
2:53 pm

42-34. I see your question mark, but not a question. UGA had the better athletes Saturday, we had the better coach. If CPJ can recruit kids that APPROACH the level of athleticism that Richt gets, the tide will turn in this rivalry.

jarvis

November 29th, 2010
2:54 pm

Leaving week 7 at 5-2 and ending the year at 6-6 might lead one to believe that his team faded.

BammerTime

November 29th, 2010
2:54 pm

Alabama runs this state. Before old mule head perdue signs out, he needs to give 3/4 of the state to the Tide and the other 1/4 to the Gators.

Jesse Stone

November 29th, 2010
2:54 pm

wasn’t jarvis the mascot of Cookie Crisp cereal? Cookie Jarvis?

dobearsbare

November 29th, 2010
2:55 pm

Nesbitt’s a great runner and one of the NATS’ all-time great competitors, but I think Tevin Washington will end up being a better quarterback. I came away really impressed with this kid, who made basically one mistake in 92 snaps Saturday night and passed pretty well. The big problem Tech has is getting receivers to come to school there.

Jesse Stone

November 29th, 2010
2:55 pm

check the sched, jarvis. We played better teams toward the end.

fan of shorter passes

November 29th, 2010
2:57 pm

None of us is as smart as all of us! Hopefully Johnson will someday come to the conclusion that his offence can’t get a first down every time. Sooo, punt already or kick a field goal! Three early Saturday would have been great.

Perhaps Johnson should take a course in statistics/probability.

Smartest Guy in the Room

November 29th, 2010
2:58 pm

Most times the “Smartest Guy” in the room is the only one who thinks he’s the Smartest Guy in the room.

PJ is the quintessential “Smartest Guy in the Room”.

The Bees Nees

November 29th, 2010
2:58 pm

I agree for the most part

jarvis

November 29th, 2010
2:59 pm

Jesse…he can’t.

He is an uncharismatic man with a small urban campus toting average facilities, no relatively easy majors, and a .500 ball club.

I’ll give you that some of those things are good from a higher perspective, but none of them help you recruit talent.

GT84

November 29th, 2010
3:00 pm

the problem is we do not have a defense our offense if they execute cant be stopped, we need more talent on defense when we get that we will be a 10 win team every year

Billyboy

November 29th, 2010
3:01 pm

Mark, you are really bright, now no one could figure out your solution. Let’s review: 1) Get better players – I bet you no one at Tech has thought about that . . . you get 3 stars for a bright idea!; 2) Hire special teams coordinator – now with the worst special team in college football, another bright idea . . . you get 2 stars; 3) Get humble, now that is aggressive . . . great call only 1 star. Maybe we ought to hire Mark Bradley as coach with his plan, Tech could win 1 or 2 games. Come on Mark, you got to be able to do better than this . . . or does the AJC need a plan to replace you!

St. Simons

November 29th, 2010
3:02 pm

Oh no. we suck again! 42-34 boo hoo boo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YellowFuzz

November 29th, 2010
3:02 pm

I told y’all on Friday that we would beat the Dawgs and in my mind we did. Even Bradley says we were the better team. There’s only one place that differs and that is the scoreboard but I don’t give a rats arse about that. In my mind we won the game and that is what will stick with me through this off-season. CPJ is the better coach and is the new sheriff in Athens.

I dread going to Shreveport but I will not turn my back on this team or this coach, we were cheated out of that game Saturday night by the refs and I will always consider it as a victory.

fan of shorter passes

November 29th, 2010
3:04 pm

84, the O was stopped first thing Sat PM.

YellowFuzz

November 29th, 2010
3:04 pm

I told y’all on Friday that we would beat the Dawgs and in my mind we did. Even Bradley says we were the better team. There’s only one place that differs and that is the scoreboard but I don’t give a rats arse about that. In my mind we won the game and that is what will stick with me through this off-season. CPJ is the better coach and is the new sheriff in Athens.

I dread going to Shreveport but I will not turn my back on this team or this coach, we were cheated out of that game Saturday night by the refs and I will always consider it as a victory.

Richt was outcoached by CPJ.

jarvis

November 29th, 2010
3:05 pm

And back to cheap shots MB, you think a Special Teams coach would have changed the outcome of that PAT? Way to crap on a kid.

NERDS!!! 42-34!!!

November 29th, 2010
3:06 pm

NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!! NERDS!!! 42-34!!!

jarvis

November 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

Congrats on finding the Ctrl and V keys. I’m impressed. Really.

GT84

November 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

mark, you obviously dont know much about football, coach pj has done everything he can to get the best recruits, he regulary offers 4-5 star recruits but often only gets 2-3 star recruits, gt coach maximizes his talent where many other coach like ga let so much talent go to waste

The Blair Miss Project

November 29th, 2010
3:08 pm

<———– WIDE LEFT <—————

You Techie Nerds who think PaulJohnson is such an offensive "genius", really need to teach him that it takes MORE POINTS THAN THE OPPONENT to win a game!!!!

(((((42-34))))) hahahahahahhaha!!
9-1
61-39-5
We STILL Run This State!!!!!!

GT84

November 29th, 2010
3:09 pm

i said if we execute the o cant be stopped read what i said firts

devils advocate

November 29th, 2010
3:10 pm

What talent did ga let “go to waste” recently?

Dr Lou

November 29th, 2010
3:11 pm

Some people say that my Dr Lou spots on ESPN make me look like a clown. Now I see why.

jarvis

November 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

Any thoughts on UGA starting an Engineering Program in Fall 2012? Man did Tech’s President get his panties in a twist about that one.

The Blair Miss Project

November 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

<———– WIDE LEFT <————-

I am glad you Nerds have given yourself the "Moral Victory" Trophy for this past Saturday night. I hope you put it next to your tin-foil fake 1990 NC trophy.

We will enjoy hosting the Governor's Cup….. AGAIN!!!

(((((42-34)))))

schmeckdawg

November 29th, 2010
3:13 pm

Hey Dr. Bradley, you earlier wrote that the Tech fan base was “giddy” over Johnson’s teams Saturday night performance. With this in mind, two things. 1. How can you be giddy after a loss to your most bitter rival? And I don’t care if you lose by 1 point or by 50 points? If you are giddy after a loss, then to me, you are a loser. 2. If in fact the Tech fan base was so “giddy,” why are you on here making suggestions on how they can rise above mediocrity. Hell, if they are so “giddy,” why are you on here trying to bring them dowm; just let things remain status quo. Let them continue to go 6-6 and lose to UGA every year and we’ll see just how “giddy” they remain. To me personally, I am never “giddy,” when my team loses…but that’s just me.

advocate's advocate

November 29th, 2010
3:13 pm

Marlon Brown had his name called for the first time in two years by recovering a fumble on Special Teams.

pws

November 29th, 2010
3:14 pm

I agree with the special teams needs, and we need to actually go recruit a kicker! PJ hasn’t seen the need to do that, he leaves that position to a walk on. Go ahead and give a great kicker a scholarship!
However,after being at the game, I would say that PJ made the best adjustments at half time, it seems that his players are still listening to him, unlike the UGA players who are not listening to MR anymore….

jarvis

November 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

So pws was the Tech fan in Athens on Saturday. I was wondering who you were.

CTG Defender

November 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

At least the Tech fans are not trashing Al Groh and understand he is in his 1st season a DC. Tech allowed 425 yards of offense to a team that only ran 44 plays and only had the ball 35% of the game. UGA fans are beside themselves for allowing 512 yards to a team that ran 92 plays. Each DC is in his first season and one has the help of a team that rely’s on the ground game and eating up the T.O.P with long drives. The other rely’s on a team that at times has no offensive identity. I wonder why UGA fans don’t get mocked more!

GT84

November 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

fan of shorter passes

November 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

I read that giant qualifier. So evidently Tech did dot execute the first three plays so what would make Johnson think they would “execute” on the fourth. If Johnson had played the percentage that most any other coach would have played, doubtful he would have attempted a fourth down play.
Do you think Johnson made the correct call by attempting a fourth down play?
I sure do not.

BeatTech

November 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

Yesterday, he was the smartest coach ever. Today, there’s a few things he must do. Mark Bradley…dude, you’re amazing. PJ is too arrogant to change any of this stuff.

GT fan

November 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

Agree Mark and Jesse Stone…..Hope CPJ will also improve the passing…….Go GT! Now fire Paul Hewitt.

2012 FEAR THE END

November 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

Tech should move to the WAC

Mark Ali

November 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

I can fix anything, anytime, anywhere…………(any sport)

GT man

November 29th, 2010
3:17 pm

PJ needs some players that want to play and win!!!!

Diablo69

November 29th, 2010
3:17 pm

All I want to know is where does UGA keep the voodoo doll? Last year the best receiver in the country (according to the NFL) drops a sure 1st down on 4th and 10, and now our Senior place kicker who has made 77 PATs in a row shanks the game tying try.

Does it hurt to have that horseshoe crammed so far up your backside?