Jackets ready to “spring” forward, make foes fall back

Last spring, when Paul Johnson was installing his triple-option offense and no-nonsense principles into Georgia Tech’s football psyche, the Yellow Jackets were listening to their new coach, but they weren’t comprehending.

Instead, they were rumbling, stumbling, bumbling. Courtesy of youth and inexperience everywhere, they had a frequently ghastly spring of botched handoffs, fumbled pitches and more than a few players running left when they should have been running right.

It didn’t matter. The Jackets still won nine of 13 games. They also whipped their Great Satan from Athens, and they did so between the hedges. I mean, if you’re the rest of the ACC or into barking, this is pretty scary when you think about it.

Camp Johnson II opens Monday with a slew of returning starters and several others who actually understand their coach’s wishes this time around.

“The main thing we discovered after last spring is that all [Johnson] wants from us is effort and consistency,” said Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer. “If you need a break, just get [off the field], but he wants you to go hard on every play. It was a learning experience for us last spring on how to play as one unit and how to know who your leaders are. We also learned how to feed off of everybody on the team.”

Like Dwyer, for instance, who eventually sprinted his way to ACC Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. In fact, with the combination of his legs and Johnson’s rarely used offense at the Division I-A level, the Jackets became a rushing nightmare for opponents last season. Even so, they didn’t use most of their bogeyman plays.

“To be honest with you, we probably ran the same play 20 to 30 times about half the time we were out there,” said Dwyer, suggesting that, with a productive spring this time, the dust will fly from the pages deep inside Tech’s playbook. “The amount of plays that we actually can run is unlimited. It’s really unknown. That’s because it’s whatever comes into [Johnson's] mind, and he comes up with stuff just on the spot during games.

“Having the offseason to analyze the kind of players he has, we’re excited to see what he has coming into the spring. We want to see the passing plays he has designed, and the different formations.”

After that, the Jackets may see something else this season: a trip to the conference title game. Actually, Dwyer is thinking bigger than that. “We have a lot of guys returning, and everybody is really excited and anxious with the opportunity we have this year, because we want to beat Georgia, and be an ACC champion, and be a national-championship contender,” Dwyer said, before adding in a hurry, “But we have to start by getting through the spring, and then by getting better, and then by improving during the season.”

Sounds like the player hears and comprehends the coach. If Dwyer isn’t alone here among Jackets, that barking could become crying, for instance.

159 comments Add your comment


April 13th, 2009
4:25 pm

Lsu Lsu Lsu. ha ha ha


April 13th, 2009
3:58 pm

gailey won 9 games as well, tech is so jealous of the big boys, go dawgs.


April 13th, 2009
3:56 pm

I promise you this offense will be man handled this year, why do you think it took paul johnson so long to get a div-1 job, no programs wants an offense as such,


April 8th, 2009
7:43 am

Lets see, I have read all of the mutt droppings on here and I am quite sure they are worried about the future of their program. A team that everyone said may win two or three games, well you know. The leg-humpers just can’t seem to understand why their team never gets past AVERAGE.


April 1st, 2009
4:33 am

Reality Check, Tech MIGHT not hang 69 on your little mutts, but they’ll be tea-baggin’ the puppy chow out of the little leg humpers! Otto, how ‘classy’ was CMR’s permission for the ENTIRE team to celebrate in the end zone when the flea bags scored their first touch down against Fla.? Huh? Still runnin’ with the question mark….makes sense! savannah dawg, the rings REALLY look good….thanks for asking! Ole-whatever your name was, the triple option creates havoc on defenses because there’s no way to tell where it’s going. Prepare all you want…you STILL don’t know where it’s going and when run properly; the moment you think you have it figured out they throw in ‘wrinkles’. I give LSU their props, but contend that the month off threw the timing and reads off as much as anything. As our offensive line gets the hang of it and we run it correctly; there will ALWAYS be a one man advantage for Tech. THAT’S what’s makes the triple option so tough to defend. As Tech gets their act together on passing….well, that’ll keep those defenses honest and those running lanes will be HUGE! Heeldawg, you write a compelling novel! Well spoken and I look forward to seeing what happens this next season. Should be a great season! GO TECH!!!


March 30th, 2009
4:55 am

Reggie Ball just called me and wanted to know where was his ring. C’mon guys he played his heart out for the Wreck, sure he wrecked it against UGA but think of those great games like VT in Blacksburg. Give the guy a ring, he swears he can count to four now.


March 30th, 2009
3:13 am

Les Miles, we would ask uga for a copy of their football 101, but it was already colored in! Reality Check, how’s that sanitation engineering degree working out for ya? You guys forgot to pick up this past week….the can was full of snot filled tissues from all this uga whining!!!!! TECH WON!!!! Between these two schools, TECH won the last matchup!!!! GO TECH!!!!!!

Dave In Tampa

March 26th, 2009
12:48 pm

I think a good raze on each others team is good fun. Nothing wrong with that because this is a rivaly. However, Ramblinwreck, it’s not the 1st time you have said something referring to CMR religious beliefs. You sir are a Loser for doing so! That’s so uncalled for and I would say the same if a Georgia Fan said something about CPJ’s religious beliefs.

I think that both teams will be outstanding this coming year and it will be a heck of a game come Novemeber.


March 25th, 2009
11:08 pm

How do those hedges look? I hope they’ve grown back by now.