Paul Johnson Conference Quotes

Nov. 15, 2011

ATLANTA

Opening Statement
Good morning. It’s good to be back practicing after a disappointing game last Thursday night. I thought that we had our chances; we just didn’t get it done. We came back in the second half and actually took the lead for a brief time there in the third quarter, but just couldn’t seem to get over the hump. But we have to put it behind us and move forward. We have to go up to Duke, which is a pretty tough place to go play. I think Duke’s an improved team. They don’t have the wins to show for it, but I think they have a better football team than they were a year ago. Experienced receivers, tight end, a quarterback and defensively they’ve changed schemes and are playing pretty good. They’ve changed to an eight-man front and have been in most every game with the exception of probably Stanford and Miami. I guess Florida State got on them pretty good early there too, but a lot of games they’ve been in they’ve had a chance to win late but they haven’t pulled it off. So we’ll see how we bounce back and see if we can go play one of our better games and take care of business.

On the start time and crowd at Duke
Everybody has to have their own way of getting ready to play and to me, if you’re a real competitor, it doesn’t matter. You’re going up there to compete and play and you need to get yourself ready. If you have to have a crowd to get you ready, you might be doing the wrong thing.

On practicing in the John and Mary Brock Indoor Practice Facility
The indoor facility has been great. I don’t know that there have been any unintended benefits, but there’s a lot of benefits. We go in there about everyday. In inclement weather, it gives you a place to go. Even when the weather is good we go and rotate in and out because we have to because of space. It’s been invaluable. It’s been a big asset for us.

On Duke quarterback Sean Renfree
Well, I just think he’s probably more experienced. His receivers are more experienced. Statistically I don’t know if he’s a whole lot different than he has been. Clearly he’s played more and he’s more comfortable in what they’re doing.

On kicker Justin Moore
I thought he kicked better. He made a couple of nice field goals Thursday night. He’s kicked well in practice for the most part. He took it over to the field from practice on Thursday and that was a positive.

On what you tell the team when they are not able to attain the goal of winning the ACC Championship anymore
It’s (winning 10 games in a season) happened exactly three times in 50 years. That’s one of the things that I talked to them about. There’s a lot to play for. Every team that played probably had a goal to get to the ACC Championship game and out of 12 there’s only two that are going to get there. When that goal goes off the board you don’t quit. You compete and you try to do the best you can do. Certainly this team could accomplish a lot if they can win 10 games, like I said it’d be the fourth time in 50 years I think.

With the injury to Orwin Smith, does Tony Zenon receive more work in practice?
He’s been getting more work, I mean those guys all get reps. If Orwin doesn’t play, then certainly Tony will play. Probably Deon Hill will get to play some, maybe Robbie Godhigh, we’ll just be situational. Embry [Peeples} will probably move up and be the starter and those guys will roll in. I don’t know that Orwin is not going to play. I don’t think that it’s a serious injury but if we had to play today he probably couldn’t play.

Did the penalty on Jeremiah Attaochu have an emotional effect on the team?
It might have and sometimes I think it can be misleading. After that drive, the first play we came out and we had third and one or two and that’s when we didn’t make it on fourth down. The very next drive I think we were down eight and we had to start throwing the ball and we got sacked a couple of times. After the first drive on fourth down, we kind of got away from what we had to do. We were down eight points, we thought we could hit a pass on first down. Play-action we didn’t hit it. We kind of got behind the curve a little bit and I think on third down we slipped and fell and got sacked. The last series was just one minute, it was just trying to throw the ball. I think we ran 60 plays in the game. A good part of those plays, I think about six of them were passes in the first half with about 44 seconds left. The other seven or eight were in the last minute of the two minute drill, so you’re talking about 44 plays. So not a lot of plays, which is what happens when you run the ball and the other team runs the ball successfully. Not a ton of possessions.

On the potential of winning ten games
I want to make clear what I was talking about. We talked about trying to win eight games. That’s what we need to do. We need to beat Duke. That’s (winning 10 games) out there in front of them, but that’s not the focus. The focus needs to be beat Duke because otherwise it won’t be pretty…We talked about the position for a bowl game, and we need to beat Duke. That’s the next game. If you want to keep yourself in position for a higher pegged bowl game, then you need to win. It’s important that way.

Who might start for Jeremiah Attaochu?
It depends on the package and what we’re doing. More than likely Brandon Watts. Or it could be Malcolm Munroe. Those two guys played for him when we has hurt.

On the B-backs
It hasn’t been the production that we would have liked, but I don’t think it’s necessarily all the b-backs. That’s a function of a lot of things. It’s a little bit of a misnomer to me. It’s the first time in a long, long time in a couple of schools that we haven’t had more production out of that. I think when it’s all said and done we’ll look and evaluate and see if we can come to some conclusions. I haven’t seen any real gaping holes that they’ve failed to run through. We haven’t had a lot of big plays out of that position. I think that when the season is over we’ll go back and look and see. Just off the top of my head, I don’t think we’ve run as many plays as we normally have this year either.

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