Aug. 31, 2010
Paul Johnson Press Conference
Coach Johnson’s Opening Statement
I am excited to be in game week and looking forward to watching our team play. I think we have a good group of guys returning and a lot of new guys and it is going to be interesting to see how they react on Saturday when we go out there. We are playing a very good and very well coached football team in South Carolina State and the more tape that I watch the more impressed that I am with them. I think they have a good plan, some really good individual players and they play well together as a team. I am sure they are coming in here with the mindset that they are going to come in and get a win in Atlanta and hopefully our guys will be excited to play and it will be a heck of a game.
Have you ever played a team that has had four offensive linemen on a preseason All-Conference team?
I don’t know I don’t ever pay any attention to that stuff. I can watch South Carolina State on tape and see that they have a good team and they have dominated their conference for the last little bit. We know they have good players I don’t pay attention to the preseason All-Conference, I don’t think it matters a whole lot.
When you show your tape to your players, what do you tell them to look for?
I think most guys when they watch tape they look at guys that they will be playing against. To start out they look at the scheme but mostly they watch who they are playing against and they try to figure that out. Certainly they have some very good individual players. Their quarterback is their Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, they have a guy on defense that is the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, they have a lot of guys that have played so when you watch the tape I am sure that they have our guys’ attention. Certainly they have some guys that could play at Georgia Tech, I don’t think there is any doubt about that.
With a lot of competition and depth on the team, how challenging will that be for the players that aren’t playing to keep their morale up?
They will play. I think the guys that are competing and where there is a good competition, they will play. It is the start of the season and everyone wants to start and everyone wants to be the first guy to run out there but that is going to change. It would be unbelievable if the 22 that started the first game started every game all year. Everybody will have a chance to play and the guys that end up being the best will be the starters next week. I would much rather have competition and depth than not have any. It is a positive. You have to put your team first.
There are a number of true freshmen on the depth chart, but how has Shawn Green come up so quickly in the defensive end spot?
I am not sure that Shawn Green is going to play. We are getting Shawn ready in case but we wont make that decision until we see where everybody is at. Right now, the two-deep on the defensive line; the starters will be Logan Walls, Jason Peters and Izaan Cross. Euclid Cummings and Ben Anderson will probably back up the ends. T.J. Barnes will back up Logan. When we go deeper than that we will see. We have a couple of guys, [Emmanuel] Dieke is hurt, J.C. Lanier would be the next guy, it will just depend. We think that Shawn is going to be a really good player, whether he plays this year or not is still up in the air but we are getting him ready to play. He may also be in in the second quarter, you don’t know what is going to happen in the game.
What spurred the move from Ben Anderson to tackle?
He is going to play both. In certain situations he may be the next nose tackle in there. That is why I say we as coaches can’t put down every scenario on the depth chart, that is why I hesitate to release them. It could change on Thursday. You have been hearing all these stories about this or that kid who is going to start; well he may not even start when the game goes. Most of those guys up there are interchangeable.
Have you seen the Nesbitt4Heisman.com website?
Somebody sent it to me yesterday and I thought it was interesting. It is catchy and good and he is certainly deserving. Hopefully he will have his best year.
What does he have to do to win the Heisman?
Get more votes than the other guys.
How will he get more votes than the other players?
I think if your team wins it helps if you look at history. You just play. You can’t go out and try to win the Heisman, you just play and if things fall into place, your team does well, you win games and perform, you are still being mentioned later in the year and happen to win the big game, or you play really well in marquee things, I guess that would be how you win. I don’t know I have never won the Heisman and never had anybody that won it. We had guys at Georgia Southern that won the equivalent and they just played well every week. They didn’t go out and say I am going to win the Walter Peyton award. It just kind of happens.