2011 Football Media Day Quotes

Aug. 6, 2011

Head Coach Paul Johnson Quotes

Opening Statement
“We are here again and this is our fourth day of camp. I have been pleased with the way that the guys have approached practice so far. As you know, it is kind of warm out there and they have fought through it pretty well. I think we got some things done and we are really excited. Last season didn’t end the way we would have liked it to and we feel like we have a thing or two to prove this year and hopefully we come out swinging.”

On Tevin Washington
“He has had a good camp. I think that he is playing with a little more confidence and is healthy. We are excited about what he is going to do. He is still throwing the ball right handed. We have to be better and complete passes and certainly throwing the ball is part of it. I think the more that you do, the better you do. We work on passing a lot in practice, its not like we don’t ever throw the ball. If you have ever been to one of our practices we spend a good deal of time on the passing game.”

“It is natural that at that position he is going to have to be the leader. He is the guy that is going to have to gather everybody and find ways to work out. He stayed here and interned with a law firm, which is what he wants to do when he graduates. I think he had a good summer. He enjoyed working, but hes worked hard lifting and running and throwing. He’s poised to have a big year.”

On the quarterback situation
“It is hard to say when you don’t have the pads on. Certainly, Vad Lee is intriguing and has surprised us. Synjyn [Days] has done ok. It is hard to tell until you put the pads on and start playing.”

“The way that [Lee] carries himself is very confident. He wants to jump in and take a million reps. He actually light years ahead of where I thought he would be. In four days with footwork and understanding what we want to accomplish, he can do it. Now, is he ready to play tomorrow? No. But if I go back and think about when we first came here, trying to put this stuff in and what it looked like in four days, and what he looks like, it is really amazing. Does he do everything right? No. He still drops snaps, he still makes freshman mistakes. But you can see that there is a lot of potential there. I know that he studied our offense before he got here. He spends every spare minute watching tape and studying. He wants to play. We will do what gives our team the best chance to win though. That is the bottom line. If he is ready to play, he will play. If he’s not, he won’t.”

On the wide receiver corps
“I am pleased with the way they have started practicing. I think we have had a number of them, three true freshmen, that I have been impressed watching out there. Jeff Greene, Corey Dennis and Darren Waller are all going to be in the mix and are going to compete. Stephen Hill has had a good summer as has Tyler Melton. Jeremy Moore is back out there for the first time, he has battled injury. DJ McKayhan. There is a good group of guys out there. It will be interesting to see who ends up in the rotation.”

On the B-Back situation
“We have had all spring practice and it came out with Preston Lyons on top. It was somewhat close but Charles Perkins was second at the time. David Sims looks quicker and I think that he has had a good offseason. For that position to change, somebody is going to have to beat somebody out and step up. You have four weeks of camp and 12 games to do it. They will probably all get a chance at some point.”

On coaching the special teams
“We took a good hard look at a lot of the schemes and we didn’t chance a lot of who is actually coaching and in charge, but I got more involved in that aspect.”

On the kickers
Justin Moore has done fine. He is fighting a minor injury, but it hasn’t stopped him from kicking. Until you put the pads on, you aren’t kicking live so it is hard to say without a rush, but he has done well in camp. Chandler Anderson is working more on kickoffs. He isn’t a field goal kicker. But David Scully is the other kicker that is in camp.”

On the defense
“We will see what happens. Again they look good in shorts. We will start to put the pads on tomorrow and as we start to play hopefully they will be better. I have every reason to believe that they will be better than a year ago and if we are going to be successful, they will have to play better than last year.”

On the defensive line
“We have more bodies probably, but the three starters are the same guys. Emmanuel Dieke, Euclid Cummings, TJ Barnes, Anthony Williams, and Chris Crenshaw. You have guys that have played a little bit and it remains to be seen who gets in the rotation.”

On the offensive line
“So far they have made it through practice in shorts and shells. Well that isn’t true, because JC Lanier is going to be out at least four weeks, he went into fall camp with a stress fracture and we were going to see if he could go, but he can’t, so we are taking care of that. Other than that, they are working hard and we will find out when we put the pads on them how much they have grown. We are going to take a good at the options. Trey Braun came in during the spring and he played guard, Shaquille Mason is playing guard, Errin Joe is playing guard, certainly Nick McRae is playing there, he is the backup center but he could play there if he had to. You have Omoregie Uzzi and Will Jackson, so you are really just looking for a third guard. We have never really had the luxury of being too deep, just about three at each position. There will be some competition.”

On Julian Burnett
“Julian is a leader, that is just the way he is. He likes to play hard, he runs around and shorts is not really Julian’s game. He is not going to scare anybody when they look at him but he is a solid, hard hitter with a nose for the ball and when he starts playing the game, he is going to shine. He practices hard, he is just not physically imposing. When he walks in here he is going to be 5’10”, maybe, 220 pounds and is one of the strongest kids on the team but if you had all of the guys lines up and you were trying to pick out who is the toughest, baddest cat, you wouldn’t pick Julian. And you might be wrong, because he might be when you put the pads on.”

On the no pads practices
“We practice the same way. We are trying to teach the systems, going 7 on 7, at the end we have had some team time, but everybody is on their feet for looks and the speed of things. You are trying to get your timing down and learn your assignments so when we actually start playing you are good to go. Normally when you actually start hitting live it all goes out the window because everyone’s adrenaline is going and they forget all the fundamentals. You just try to drill that in. Working on fundamentals, assignments, conditioning, all of the things that you can do before getting into pads.”

On Roddy Jones
“Roddy is just the type of individual that people migrate to. He is naturally a leader by example. He excels in everything that he does. He’s a great student, a pretty good football player, a great person off of the field. He is the kind of guy that if you draw up a picture perfect student-athlete you would look at Roddy Jones. Most everything he does, he does with passion. To be a real, true leader, the other people have to see that you walk the walk, you don’t just talk the talk. Roddy doesn’t talk much. He just goes about his business. If something needs to be said he says it, but he isn’t a big talker.”

“A great example is when we came back from the ACC Meetings and every session that I went into, all the media wanted to talk about was Roddy Jones, how great of a kid he was, how well spoken, and how he handled himself. Logan too, but mostly Roddy Jones. And that just exemplifies the kind of person he is.”

2011 Georgia Tech Football Media Day Player Player Quotes

RS-Senior A-back Roddy Jones

On how practice has been and how the team has been looking so far:

“Things are going well. I think guys are flying around and doing a good job of coming out with enthusiasm and a little sense of urgency. We’re aiming to make this season a lot better than last season and in order to do that you have to practice hard. Guys have looked good and the system is not going to be much different so we just have to come out and execute.”

On how much you can tell guys have come along, especially the freshmen, without being in pads:

“This is the best time because things are at a little bit of a slower pace. We’re not doing full contact yet and there is a little more learning. We get a couple more walk-throughs. When we go full pads on Monday we will come out and do a regular practice and it’s going to be a little faster. You have to kind of learn on the run from there on out.”

On what kind of a leader he is trying to be this season:

“I’m comfortable doing whatever the team needs me to do. I try and pick guys up when they’re down and help the team go in a positive direction every day. I am trying to be a good example for everybody in terms of how to practice and get business done on a day to day basis. I kind of do whatever needs to be done.”

On whether it’s easier now being in fourth year of running the offense:

“It is easier. The offense hasn’t changed too much in the four years. You have tweaks here and there but the ability to have seen a lot of different things and be able to tell the younger guys what to expect is definitely big, especially in our offense.”

RS Junior Quarterback Tevin Washington

On coming in as the No. 1 quarterback:

“I’m just trying to do my job and make sure I’m doing everything possible to make sure I maintain the starting job.”

On how he feels after the first couple of practices:

“I feel pretty good. I’m just trying to make sure I do everything right and meet the coaches expectations.”

On how he has enjoyed the indoor facility:

“It’s really nice. There is a cooling system in there so it’s nice to get inside sometimes. We get an extra couple of reps being able to go in there.”

On the benefits for this year after being able to play the end of 2010:

“It helped a lot. Being in a game situation is very different from practice. It prepares you to know what to expect from the defense and the pace and speed of the game.”

On minimizing the turnovers:

“We are working every day to minimize the mistakes and take better care of the ball. This year, we need to just stay focused and finish the game.”

On the passing game:

“We’ve been working on everything all-around; the passing game, reading the option and making sure I’m at my best when we start Sept. 1.”

Junior Linebacker Julian Burnett
On what the freshmen are going through now adjusting to the 3-4 defense:

“A lot of confusion. I just try to help them as much as I can coming off the field and going back on. They know they have to push and I’m going to be there for them.”

On the play of B.J. Machen:

“He’s up there on the depth chart. He has continued to improve and doing what he has to do to get better.”

On reducing the number of points allowed from a year ago and being better with a year of the new system under their belts:

“Of course; that’s one of our goals this year to not give up as many points and yards on defense. That’s what we need to do to win. All of the guys coming back that played in the scheme are stepping up and trying to be leaders on the defense. Guys are taking accountability to get better and we are holding each other responsible.”

On what he is trying to do:

“I am just trying to stay on top of my game and execute and make sure that I am setting a good example for the guys coming in and also the guys behind me.”

RS Junior Guard Omoregie Uzzi

On the preseason recognition he has received:

“I appreciate it and am just trying to live up to it. I’ve never been a guy that harps on awards and stuff like that. I just go out there and do what I can do.”

Junior Defensive End Izaan Cross
On being singled out by the coaches for being in great shape and what he did:

“I’ve had a lot of dates with [director of player development] Neal Peduzzi. I’ve been trying to do as much endurance work as I can. That’s one thing I wanted to improve from last year. Coach McCollum said last year I looked good for three plays and then disappear. I took that to heart and have been trying to get better.”

On goal of trying to get more sacks from the two defensive ends:

“We had a meeting as a defensive line earlier this summer and that’s one of our main objectives. We didn’t even have as many sacks all of last season combined as Derrick Morgan had two years ago himself (13). Between the three of us, I thought we should be able to get at least that. It’s a little bit harder to get sacks in the 3-4 defense because I can’t just line up and speed rush, but that is definitely one of my main objectives.”

On clearing the way for the outside linebackers in the scheme:

“We’re definitely clearing the way for the outside linebackers but we need to have a better knowledge on out blitzes and with a year under our belts it should be easier to get to the quarterback this season.”

On the entire team staying in a hotel this year and not the dorms:

“It’s a lot better for team chemistry. It helps us be a lot more focused. Last year, if we had a break we could go back to the room and veer off from the camp aspect. This year, we are all here all day until we are done. It’s making everything a lot better.”

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