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November 10, 2010

Paul Johnson

THE MODERATOR: We now welcome Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson. We'll bring on coach, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.
COACH JOHNSON: Good morning. I tell you, we're excited to be back home this week. I think we're coming off two very tough road games where the results didn't turn out the way we would have liked. It's not going to get any easier this week. We're playing what might be the most talented team in the league, for sure.
It will be a big challenge for us to try to get this thing turned around and get the ship sailing in the right direction. Anytime you lose a game, you're always looking forward to the next one so you have another chance to play.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Johnson.

Q. Coach Shannon talked about going back and looking at high school tape of Washington to prepare for this weekend's game. Did y'all do the same with Morris?

Q. Do you have any comment on Shannon talking about y'all using chop blocks?
COACH JOHNSON: No. I think that's illegal, isn't it?

Q. Yes.
COACH JOHNSON: We've been called for one this year, so we must not be using them a lot. Some people don't know the difference between cutting and chopping, I guess.

Q. How complex offenses and defenses are these days, how do you avoid chasing ghosts, things you're not going to see when you prepare for opponents?
COACH JOHNSON: I think what you do is you have a system and you try to work off what you do. The same thing on both sides of the ball. You have to prepare. But it doesn't matter what you know, it's what the guys playing know. You can have every tendency. I've worked with guys that can sit in the press box and can call the plays before they're run, two seconds before the ball is snapped. It doesn't do you any good unless the 11 guys on the field know that.
So you just prepare for what you can do, what they do best, get a game plan and go play.

Q. Who is the guy, the Nostradamus guy you were in the press box with?
COACH JOHNSON: Rich Ellerson, when I was defensive coordinator in Hawaii, was good at that. He couldn't tell you when they were in the huddle, when they broke the huddle. I'm saying, once you saw the formation, the set, this, that and the other, he knew.
Trying to get all that information to somebody else was overload. Just like we have guys on our football team, there's some guys that learn by a million reps, there's other guys who are a little more worldly. I've had guys that played right guard that couldn't tell you what anybody else did on the team but the right guard. I've had other guys who could tell you what other 10 guys did on plays.
It's just different people.

Q. Against the Hokies, where Tevin made a touchdown, did that show you this guy has what it takes to be productive in the offense, working that series shows how you can win with this guy? What did that kind of drive tell you, if anything?
COACH JOHNSON: I thought Tevin did an admirable job to be put in a tough situation. We were disappointed we didn't finish the game. I think we had a lot of chances to win that game and we didn't get it done.
We didn't do anything different in the last drive than we did in the others. We missed some reads in the other drives. Virginia Tech made some plays. But it wasn't anything totally different than what we'd done the whole game.

Q. Did that give you any encouragement that this guy can get the job done?
COACH JOHNSON: I have confidence in Tevin and David Sims, the other quarterback. Tevin was our quarterback all spring because Josh was set out. We got a chance to watch him play a lot. He ran with the ones. If everybody around him will do his job, I'm sure Tevin will do his.

Q. Can you talk about the differences Washington presents than Nesbitt? Nesbitt was one of the great quarterbacks in ACC history. What does Washington do?
COACH JOHNSON: I don't know that he does anything better. We haven't seen him play. If he did a lot of things better, he probably would not have been the backup.
I think until he gets a chance to play a little bit, we'll find out. He's not exactly a freshman. He's been in the program for a couple years. He's had a million reps doing what we're doing. He's not any faster than Joshua. He's probably not got a strong arm. He might have a better touch on the ball when he throws it.
He hasn't really played enough for us to know what he can do, but in actual live games. I've seen him against ourself in the spring, whatever, and he can be adequate. He's a slippery runner. He can make people miss. He can run through some tackles, as well.

Q. Obviously with Joshua Nesbitt's career at Georgia Tech ending, he just managed to get the ACC all-time rushing record. Can you sum up what he's meant to the program over his career.
COACH JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, he's been the only quarterback we've had since we've been here. I mean, he's been the starting quarterback since we've been here. I think he brought a lot of leadership, a lot of toughness to the program. He's helped us win a lot of games, no question about it, with just his competitiveness and his toughness and his desire to win games.
He'll be a tough guy to replace.

Q. Coach, a few false start penalties last week. To what extent are they governed by or created by the sound of a new voice calling signals with a new cadence?
COACH JOHNSON: I don't think it was a new voice. I think it was noise. We weren't very disciplined. The defense for Virginia Tech was yelling calls, it was defensive calls. They were yelling their defensive calls out. The stadium was so loud. A couple of times, we just couldn't set in there, couldn't hold our water, so to speak.
It really hurt us. We had seven of them. They killed the drives. They did as much killing the drives as anything else. It was disappointed. We need to do a better job coaching it.
But it was pretty loud. Thursday night in Lane Stadium can get pretty loud.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks for being with us. Good luck this weekend. We'll talk to you next week.
COACH JOHNSON: Okay, thanks.

End of FastScripts

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