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Paul Johnson Press Conference

Nov. 23, 2010

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Opening Statement
“We are working hard to try and get ready for the game on Saturday. I am sure that both of the teams would have liked to have a better record going into this but it is what it is and doesn’t change that it is still a huge game. It is for the state championship and bragging rights and I know that if you picked one game on our schedule for our alumni, fans and everybody involved, this is the game that they would pick. I am sure that you will have two teams excited to play on Saturday night and we will see what happens. Georgia is a very talented football team and they have a lot of great individual players on their roster.”

On how he approaches the game
“I think you have to try and approach it the way that you approach the other games in preparation. That is the only way that I know how to do it. You can’t get yourself so revved up on Tuesday when the game is on Saturday. You have to build it into the process and if you can’t get motivated to play in this game, then I don’t know which game you will be motivated to play in, for both sides I am sure.”

On the illegal procedure calls this season on the offensive line
” We sent in some plays where no one was jumping and moving. It is just holding your water I guess. I am sure that the cadence is a little bit different, but not that much different. It is just getting it done. We have clearly done a poor job coaching that because it has been a constant problem all year.”

On Anthony Allen
“I think he has played really well in the last half of the year here. I think he has gotten comfortable. Saturday, I thought he ran hard. He ended up with a lot of yards and almost all of them were inside the tackles. I think he is playing his best football in this last stretch for sure. I brought him in the last drive and then took him out for a couple of plays and he told me that he wanted to go back in. I think he accepted the role and likes getting the ball.”

On blocking out distractions
“You have to approach it like every other game. You have to prepare yourself all week to get ready to play and then try to put yourself in the zone to play. You can’t worry about who is playing or the other team or how many people are there. Just block it out and concentrate on what you have to concentrate on. Some guys are better at that than others. That is what you have to do. Sometimes there are guys that can seize the moment and play better in certain instances and high pressure stuff than other guys, but for the most part, how you are going to play will be determined this week in how you are going to prepare. If you go in prepared and you feel good about it and you know what you have to do and have confidence in yourself, you can go into the game and slow it down. If your adrenaline is running at the top and you can’t slow it down it is going to be tough for you because you are going to have a hard time staying focused.”

On A.J. Green
“He is the best player that we have played against. He is a great athlete that can adjust to the ball, has great speed, he has all of the tools. He is just a great football player. Those guys don’t come along all of the time. We were fortunate that we had Demaryius Thomas play for us. A.J. Green is of the same mold, or more so. You are not going to play against guys like him every year. He is a gifted football player with a lot of ability.”

On Georgia’s offense
“Last year, Aaron Murray was out of the game. I am sure that they would still like to run the ball if they could. Our challenge is to stop the run and make them punt this year. That would be a good place to start.”

On Tech’s offensive tackles
“Like everybody else, they have been hot and cold. They have had their moments both ways. Certainly they are not the only issue or only answer. There has been good and bad just like everyone else. They are fairly experienced. Austin Barrick, Nick Claytor and Phil Smith have all played a lot so they probably have more experience than the guys inside.”

On the rivalry game compared to others he has been a part of
“It is all where you live I guess. They are all important. If you live in Ohio, the Michigan-Ohio State game is more important, if you live in Alabama, Alabama-Auburn is more important, in Georgia this one is more important. I think they are all unique and different in that aspect, depends on who you ask. If you are in Atlanta, this one is very important. Each rivalry has its own tradition. It is a little different than Army-Navy. I don’t think you can measure, it is just different. I don’t see that you are going to see Georgia and Georgia Tech holding each other’s hands and singing their alma maters at the end. The President of the United States isn’t going to be in the locker room before the game, it is just different.”

On coaching this season
“You are always trying different things and trying to improve on what you haven’t done well. If there is one thing that I look back on, probably the most frustrating thing as a coach has been not being able to find the “hot” button for our team. That is frustrating to me because ultimately I am the one responsible for trying to find it and I have not been able to, consistently. There have been times, but (not) consistently. People can cry about the schemes and play calling and whatever, but the chemistry and playing together is just as important.”

On Allen reaching the 1,000 yard milestone
“I think it is important if you are scoring points and winning games. I am happy for Anthony. When we talked about moving him to that position I told him that I thought that position would gain him 1,000 yards, historically it does. But he has earned them. He has run the ball hard the last four or five weeks and given everything he has got. We don’t talk about milestones though. We are trying to win games. When the season is over you can look at everything and see what happened. Until I saw it written I didn’t even know.”

On Joshua Nesbitt returning for a bowl game
“I don’t have an idea of when he will be back. That is out of my realm. Certainly if the doctors clear him we would welcome him back. But that won’t be our call. That will be the call of the trainers and doctors. As soon as they say he is good to go we will welcome him back.”


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