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September 15, 2010

Paul Johnson

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson. We'll bring on coach, ask for a brief opening statement and go to questions.
COACH JOHNSON: Good morning.
Well, we're disappointed in the way we played last week. I think that you have to give Kansas some credit. Their kids played incredibly hard. They had a good plan. We didn't get it done.
But having said that, we open up the conference schedule this week on the road against a very good North Carolina team. It's a chance to make somewhat of a statement moving forward as opposed to looking backwards.
Our guys are working hard in practice. We know we got a big challenge in front of us. But we've got to play better or we're not going to lack for (indiscernible), that's for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Johnson.

Q. Coach, I hate to bring up an old question, but it's the old question about your offense and the difficulty teams have preparing for it. Do you feel there's any big advantage when an opponent like North Carolina has two weeks as opposed to one week to try to work out things?
COACH JOHNSON: I don't know. I mean, I think there's an advantage when you have two weeks to prepare for anything. Wouldn't matter what kind of offense it is. Certainly conventional wisdom would say if you had two weeks to get ready for whatever you're playing, it would be better than one week.
But I don't think it's the end all, be all, no.

Q. Coach, wondering if you had an update on the health of Roddy Jones.
COACH JOHNSON: He was at practice yesterday. He wasn't full speed. He should be full speed today.

Q. What did that Kansas game show you in terms how the passing game has to improve?
COACH JOHNSON: Well, it shows us we got to catch the ball better. We had five drops, one in the end zone. We didn't throw it well a couple of times either. We just got to get better.
It's not just the passing game. If we had been better in any of the other phases, we would have been okay, too. We have to be better in special teams, be better in defense and block people better on the perimeter. We didn't play well in a lot of aspects, so we got to get better on all of them.

Q. How do you get better on defense, given how Kansas was able to be somewhat productive against you?
COACH JOHNSON: We just have to play better. You have to tackle better, get off blocks, those things that you have to do. We gave up 28 points. That's unacceptable for what we want to do.

Q. Paul, could you talk about when you kind of really became enamored with the triple-option offense? Who are the people that influenced you as you developed your style?
COACH JOHNSON: We started this offense in 1985. Really what had happened, as I've said before, Georgia Southern had been a run-and-shoot team. We kind of meshed the two together and evolved into what we do now. We had a lot of success with it. We won a lot of games everywhere we coached. We saw no reason to change.
I think there are a lot of fallacies or misinformation out there about it. It seems like it's been 25 years we've been doing it, and no matter what, as soon as you lose a game, it always comes back to, Well, people figured it out, something has happened, whatever, or you can't recruit because guys won't go to the NFL.
We've had two offensive linemen since we've been here play in the NFL. We've had a receiver who was the number one receiver taken go to the NFL. So it doesn't matter what happens, people still say the same thing.
But we started it back in 1985.

Q. You kicked off at 11 a.m. local time last week. If you could be king, determine the start time of all your games, when would you play?
COACH JOHNSON: I like the early games. I like 12 noon, 12:00 or 1:00 I think is good. I think sometimes that's not as convenient for the fans and that kind of thing. But you have such a long week for the players and the coaches, it's about the only downtime you get is after the game on Saturday because you're right back on Sunday morning going over and getting ready for next week.
It's great, especially if you play at home. I think you get an afternoon game at home. You get finished, you get some downtime with the family. The kids get some time off to go eat with family. That would be my favorite time to start.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks for being with us. Good luck this weekend. We look forward to talking to you next Wednesday.

End of FastScripts

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