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Paul Johnson Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 6, 2009

A transcription of head coach Paul Johnson’s weekly press conference.

Opening Statement:

“Last week was a good win on the road against a quality opponent in Mississippi State, a team that has great athletes and played very well. Any time you go on the road and play a night game it’s always tough for our guys. I thought we responded well to everything. We didn’t do everything right, but we got out of there with a win. This week, we get back into conference play against one of the more talented teams in the league in Florida State. They might be a down a tad to what they’re accustomed to, but they’re still very talented and have a great tradition. It will be a huge challenge for us to go down to Tallahassee and come back with a win.”

On Florida State’s inconsistencies on the season:

“You have to get ready for the best they’ve got. If you’re smart and mature enough, you get ready to play the best that they can play because that is likely what you’re going to get. The one they would probably want back is the Boston College game. They made some mistakes in the red zone that cost them the game. But, the teams that have beaten them are good teams. They have good players, we have to get ready to play a good team. You can never underestimate Florida State. For all the talking going on down there, I saw a stat that it’s been since 1973 that they had a losing season and the last time I checked, Georgia Tech hasn’t won in Tallahassee. So, we have a big challenge ahead of us.”

On how controversies surrounding Florida State’s program could work in their favor:

“I certainly think they’ll be circling the wagons. They’ll come together and I fully expect them to have their best effort of the year. I think they’ll come out wired and ready to play.

On Josh Nesbitt’s game at Mississippi State:

“I think Josh has played well two weeks in a row and I wasn’t surprised. I think he’s capable of playing that way. He wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he is more comfortable out there now and has a better understanding of what we’re trying to do offensively. I was happy for him.”

On Bobby Bowden situation:

“I really don’t know what’s going on. I’m too busy getting my team ready to play to follow all that. I was asked if coaches get upset with the fans and I don’t think they do. People are human, certainly you are going to hear it and its part of the profession. What set off the firestorm there was when the member of the Board of Trustees came forward and made a statement like that. If it were fans, probably nobody pays that much attention. You have to understand this is a what have you done for me lately business; it’s the nature. But, that’s life. I don’t care if you’re selling cars or insurance, if your sales drop off, they’ll look to move you on down the road. It’s the nature of the profession, but the hard part with Bobby is that he is such a class guy and is one of the greatest all-time coaches. You would think he has done enough so that he can go out on his own terms. In my mind, he put Florida State on the map with what he did.”

On what last year’s 31-28 win over Florida State meant for the program:

“Well, I think it was crucial for us to get a win because we were at a crossroads. It was a big win for the program because Georgia Tech had never beaten Florida State under Bobby Bowden, but it was a big win because of many different reasons. I remember saying last year I was humbled to be looking across the field at that guy [Bowden] with his record and the things that he’s accomplished. I have the utmost respect for Coach Bowden and the job he has done at Florida State. He has been a monumental part of college football.”

On how defenses plan to attack Georgia Tech’s offense:

“You have to be a little more cautious, but they have keys they’re looking at and are trying to do and it comes down to a question of execution. You’re not going to play against an offense like ours without getting some help in the secondary against the run game. The key for a defense is that those guys come and play up on the run and not get beat on deep throws. It’s not impossible to do, we have the same problem on defense ourselves. I don’t think anyone is going to play us any differently than they have in the last two games.”

On Dominique Reese’s condition:

“We think he’s going to be ready to play. We’ll know more after practice tomorrow, but we think he’ll be ready to go.”

On problems defensively against Mississippi State:

“Most of the time your deficiencies stem from the fact that you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing. It was very frustrating for me because if there is one thing that we should be able to defend against, it’s the option. We just threw all the fundamentals out the window and we were not doing what we’re supposed to be doing. You have to give them some credit, but when they hit some big plays, we had as much to do with it as they did.”

On playing consecutive night games on the road:

“Night games on the road are brutal. We got back here Sunday morning at about 3:00 a.m. and I was back in the office around 8:30 a.m., so it shortens the amount of time you have to work. But, it is what it is. If they asked me, we would play every game at noon, but they don’t ask me. It’s controlled by TV, so it is what it is. I realized a long time ago that you can’t worry about things you have no control over.”

On how night games affect the players:

“I’m sure it bothers the kids too. I’m sure it’s a lot easier to fly back on the plane for me than it is for them, I didn’t play. It’s so much easier if you play a game early, go to dinner come back to your room, lay down and watch TV or whatever. But, we’re not the only team that has to do this.”

On success of Tech’s wide receivers on the season:

“People are usually playing zone against us, but this week will be different. It’s the nature of what we do on offense. People will say don’t play in that offense, but I think it’s a great offense to be in. Imagine what Calvin Johnson would have done if he only had one guy on him during play action. Let’s say you go deep, there’s no safety’s coming over the top and your 6-5, you can just go up and catch it. If you’re recruiting a receiver and that’s what they’re concerned about, then it shouldn’t be a problem.”

On if teams will defend Tech differently after success in the passing game the last two weeks:

“I don’t think they’ll defend us differently. They’ll be situations like on third and long when things will change, but the key to that is we have to stay out of third and long. It’s hard to do it, if you take the safeties out of the middle of the field, it’s harder to defend the option.”


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