Paul Johnson Conference Quotes

Aug. 31, 2012

Opening Statement
“It’s exciting to be here and to finally be this close to getting the chance to play football. Anytime you go through the off season and the drudgery of camp for the players and the involved, you’re actually looking forward to games and having the chance to come out and see what progress you’ve made. Clearly, the challenge will be huge this Monday. We’ve got a heck of an opponent in Virginia Tech – a top 20 team and a division game on the road. It’s going to be a tremendous challenge, but it’s also a good opportunity to play a national TV game against a quality opponent to see where we stand.”

On what’s going on with the B-Back position …
“All three of those guys [the players on the two deep] have all missed practice time – David [Sims], Charles [Perkins] and Zach [Laskey] have missed practice time. We tried to base it off what the last week has been. I know Charles and Zach are both going to play. There’s probably a really good chance that David is going to play, too. He’s starting to get better. I don’t know that he is 100 percent, but he does have the experience. We’ll have to see. I would imagine it would sort itself out pretty quickly in the game, but based of this week’s performance and practice, Charles probably deserves to be the starter.”

On VT’s Defense Coordinator’s Bud Foster’s defense…
“Bud does a great job and they always have good defensive players. They are going to play within their system, I would think. They haven’t varied from it a great deal. We are going to be within our system, they are going to be within theirs and we’ll play. They’ll be some tweaks I’m sure and different things, you have to adjust to during the game, but I don’t suspect we’ll see a lot of changes in what they’ve done in the last four times we’ve played them.

On the competition at the B-Back position as an example of the team’s depth…
“I think so. I think that position is fluid. It’s really four or even five guys that have had good camps. I could throw Matt Connors in there, too. He’s had a really good camp. They all bring something different to the table and this weekend’s practice. Charles has probably been best of all of them. One of them might be the home run hitter, one’s the better runner, one’s the better blocker, but overall he’s had the best week. Like I said, we’re planning on going into the game and seeing how it goes. We may even rotate series with him and Zach to start with.”

On the team’s preparation to handle the crowd aspect in Blacksburg…
“We work on crowd noise in practice. We’re fortunate that we’ve got the (Brock Family) indoor facility so we can pipe music and noise in there for the offense. You prepare for it. It’s different when you get out there. We’ve done some things and we know we’re going to have a hard time hearing.”

On Charles Perkins performance this week…
“He’s done better than the other guys and that’s why he’s starting. I think he’s won the position. He’s a guy with good athletic ability, he’s shown some toughness and he’s fought through some things. I said two weeks ago the depth chart is fluid and it still is. He just happens to be the starter right now. He won the job in practice.

On Jamal Golden starting at safety…
“The thing about the defense is no different than offense. You want to identify your best players and put them on the field. If you have your five best defensive backs and three of them are corners and two are safeties and one goes down, you want to be able to transition and get that fifth-best guy on the field. It’s no different than having three offensive tackles. Just because a guy is a left offensive tackle doesn’t mean he’s going to be the first back up for the right offensive tackle if he’s better than the other guys. That’s the same thing in the secondary. Jamal has been cross training and playing the star nickel position, he’s played corner, he’s played safety and so have the other guys. You want to try to put the best combination of guys together.”

On VT’s quarterback Logan Thomas…
“He’s a big arsenal and really good athlete. When you practice you’re really practicing against schemes more so than individuals, and what the plays are and what they do. Hopefully, we’ll be able to tackle him a little bit. We don’t play him any different than any other quarterback. The guy who has simulated him this week is (5-11 freshman) Justin Thomas.”

On Tevin Washington’s improvements from last season…
“I think that he is a little more mature and comfortable. We’ll see, I mean we haven’t played a game. It’s hard for me to say where he’s improved until we play. We’ll know fairly quickly where he has improved and hasn’t. This first game we’re coming out the gate on the road against a defense that is I think finished in the top 10 last year and what they think is their best ever, and they’ve had some really good ones. We’ll have a better take on it after Monday night.”

On DJ White…
“I think D.J. is a really good athlete. He’s a competitor and he wants to be good. He’s plays hard. We’re missing a couple guys in the secondary and guys move up. Will he get in the game? I don’t know, possibly. Again, when you look at the depth chart, the other corners we can roll around. Coray Carlson is probably the next guy in at defensive back, but it depends on the situations. We’re preparing D.J. to play and we’ll see where we are. If he can help us win, we’ll play him.”

On Orwin Smith’s progress at A-Back…
“He’s practiced at A-Back. I’m comfortable he know where to go and what to do. We’ll have to see. He’s a good athlete and how much he gets in depends on the way the game is going. We may use him in some different spots. I think he’ll be in the game. Where? I don’t have a set plan. I’d be really surprised if he doesn’t play.”

On some of the players’ suspensions…
Daniel Drummond is suspended, Louis Young is suspended and Chris Jackson has an academic ineligibility at the moment. That’s ongoing. It doesn’t have anything to do with his particular grades, it’s an hours-type deal. He got caught in a little bit of a bind when he transferred and the number of hours the school will accept. He might have to miss a couple of games. We’ll know more as we get closer, but we’re not counting on him in this game.”

On the probability of not playing perfect the first game…
“I think we make mistakes in every game. As a coach you worry about the first game. Nobody is going to play perfect. We’re not and they probably won’t either. You hope to minimize the mistakes and hope that they don’t create big plays for the other team. You move on. Surely you think the guys that play more would make fewer mistakes, but that’s not always the case. That’s why you play the game. You never know what is going to happen.”

On how long it takes to settle down in the game…
“Probably the first time you get snot-bubbled. It’s probably less time for the guys who play a lot then for the guys out there for the first time. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. It’s a great place to play there and their fans do a good job. That’s why guys come to school at a place like Georgia Tech so you can play in those kinds of games. It’s fun.”

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