• The Rise and Fall of Paul Johnson

    I don't revise history, I wanted Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and it started so well. There was magic in 2008 and 2009. Win over UGA, breaking the long losing streak against FSU, ACC title, first Orange Bowl appearance in 43 years.

    I don't think Johnson was a bad hire . Look at the alternatives: Neuheisel (Already fired), Tenuta (Fizzled post GT), Edsall (Losing record at MD), Hatcher (Yikes!) and Muschamp (Seat will be hot if he loses to UGA again).

    Now, the countdown has begun. We may go 7-5 this year, but the wheels come off next year when we lose our two best defensive players and a number of players on both the offensive and defensive lines. I think Bobinski burns a year off his contract by keeping him through 2014. Then it is over.

    What went wrong? Like anything else, there are a number of reasons.

    DC Hires - I don't know if you can totally blame PJ for this one. There are rumors PJ wanted to bring in Ellis Johnson, but Rad said he was too expensive. When you hire at a discount, you get Dave Wommack. I was never sure what Wommack wanted to do defensively. His pregame plans were not good. He seemed shocked that UGA in 2009 without AJ Green. would try to run the ball. I liked the Groh hire, but he was clueless against the spread offense. That showed in 2012 when he got schooled by a Sun Belt coach who had won two games the previous years. The jury is out on Roof. It's really not fair to judge him based on six games with players recruited for a 3-4 set.

    Sewak - I don't if he's the worst offensive line coach in the country, but he's on the short list. He knows only one thing and that is stay low. Nothing about pass blocking or blitz pick up. I've never seen Tech's line get blown up in games the way it has under Sewak. The bad part is this has been one of the better areas of recruiting.

    Loss of Giff - I get amused when people talk about "Gailey's Recruits". Look at the 2005 and 2006 classes and tell me how good they were. Recruiting improved in 2007 when Giff took over. We actually did pretty good in 2008 considering the coaching change. Once Giff left, recruiting suffered. McCollum is a good coach, but he seems to have a diamond in the rough mentality like when he was at MTSU. Giff wasn't afraid to go head to head against Garner and UGA.

    NFL Mentality - My first ut-oh moment on recruiting came when a QB committed to NC State over Georgia Tech. He was a 47% passer in high school but said he was going to NC State because it gave him a chance to play on Sundays. This guy couldn't complete half his passes against DC's that were full time teachers on part time coaches but thought he could go against NFL DC's. Of course the whole notion is a crock. Do you think Dwyer goes in the 6th round if he runs a 4.4 40 instead of a 4.6? Also, a number of Oklahoma wishbone players were drafted in the first round. While the notion isn't true, recruits do believe it and it has hurt recruiting at Tech.

    Dontae Aycock - Not because PJ pulled his offer. He was going de-commit anyways. Aycock was going to be PJ's Tracy Ham at Tech. Aycock looked like he was throwing a basketball but he was as smooth as silk on the option. The bad part is that his heart was at Tech but his brother talked him into going to Auburn saying that was the fast track to the NFL. He was gone from Auburn in less than a year and neither him or PJ have been the same since.

    Tevin Washington - When PJ was at Navy, he was asked why Navy had lost so many in a row to Notre Dame. PJ said he didn't have a single player on his team that had a letter of interest from Notre Dame, much less an offer. So why did PJ think he could win the ACC with a Navy QB? Tevin is a good guy who did the right things off the field. On the field, he had too many deer in the headlight moments and was over-matched against better talent. He put up big numbers against weaker teams, but in 3 OT games he led us to a total of 3 points. I heard PJ defend Tevin in his radio show. It was about how good of a guy he was and not a defense of his QB skills. The bad part is we could have found out more about what Vad could and could not do in 2012.

    Lack of QB coaching - Nesbitt wasn't pinpoint accurate, but he did throw it pretty well in 2009. His passing was responsible for the Mississippi State win and he hit big passes in other games. In 2010, he regressed even before his injury. Early in 2012, I saw Vad show great pocket presence and make good throws. Toward the end of 2012, he was under-throwing receivers. In 2013, he is throwing off his back foot and can't seem to make a hot read. Our QB's always seem to go backwards in the passing game.

    PJ has lost something off his fastball - I don't see the great game day coach of 2008 and 2009. PJ seemed to find ways to get the big points when needed. You felt confident that if the defense could get stops the offense would take command in the second half. Now, there seem to be no game adjustments. It is try the same thing over and over again. Against Miami and BYU, Tech scored 30 first half points. If you take out two meaningless drives against second-teamers, Tech scored a total of 6 second half points. Against BYU, Tech ran a reverse that got a first down and it may have been a TD if a receiver doesn't miss a block. Why did it take 3 games to do that against 3 blitz happy pursuit-oriented teams?
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      Quote Originally Posted by mack View Post
      Will express this again........hard to throw with a defender in your face and very hard to throw deep ball the majority of the time.I say throw the quick outs where he has time to set his feet and use his arm strength.Vad has had little time in last few games to throw anything at times.Yes his confidence may be shaken after being swamped by def ends etc due to our lack of pass blocking .He will be fine with a decent protecting line..If not.......well its throw off the back foot and hope.
      Agree, Mack. The OL and coaches have to help him out. OL has to block better, and the coaches need to tweak the passing a little to give Vad a quicker read. I wrote in a Spring write up last season that the coaches called a quick slant with Vad under center...and he was so fluid and accurate on the throw and the ball got out quick. It only went for about 5-6 yards, but it sends a message to the D. Let it be something Vad can check to if the corners are playing 10-15 yards off because that's what they're pretty much doing all the time anyhow. 5-6 yards is a nice gain and I'll take that all day if the defense is giving to us.
    1. dressedcheeseside's Avatar
      dressedcheeseside -
      Quote Originally Posted by CobbTech View Post
      I don't get the idea that we would've been any different with Vad at QB last year. We blew out everyone that we beat last year with Tevin. So we would have lost to Presbyterian, UVA, Maryland (with their 10th string QB), BC, or Duke with Vad? Give me a break.
      Uh yeah, we lose some of those games with Vad playing the whole game. Sad to think about isn't it. You can't takes Vad's UNC performance and project that over the entire season. People did that over the offseason and that's why the hype was in the stratosphere.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Quote Originally Posted by dressedcheeseside View Post
      Uh yeah, we lose some of those games with Vad playing the whole game. Sad to think about isn't it. You can't takes Vad's UNC performance and project that over the entire season. People did that over the offseason and that's why the hype was in the stratosphere.
      Which game is that? Our closest margin of victory was 14 points with Vad scoring 7 himself. TW is not two TDs better.

      This whole argument is futile. What if what if what if???
    1. dressedcheeseside's Avatar
      dressedcheeseside -
      Quote Originally Posted by HelluvaMGTmjr View Post
      Which game is that? Our closest margin of victory was 14 points with Vad scoring 7 himself. TW is not two TDs better.

      This whole argument is futile. What if what if what if???
      With the way Vad is playing right now as a measure, half of 'em.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Quote Originally Posted by dressedcheeseside View Post
      With the way Vad is playing right now as a measure, half of 'em.
      Considering we only won half our games, that's not very many.
    1. Animal's Avatar
      Animal -
      Quote Originally Posted by HelluvaMGTmjr View Post
      That is BS. Total BS. Our D gave up 17 to VT in 4 qtrs last year and 17 this year. Against Miami last year the D played about a half of decent football and about the same this year...609 yds vs 551 is hardly worth celebrating nor is 36 offensive points (4 qtrs) in 2012 vs 38 this year!

      And where is this mysterious third victory? Clemson? Ha! You have way too much confidence in this D if you think 31 points is going to beat Clemson this year.
      It is not just the points total...the D doesn't fold like a cheap suit against VT and then Miami, we would have gone into the MTSU game undefeated.......this year's D is actually playing......not just showing up for the game sometime around half time like they did last year against MTSU
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      I guess we are watching different games. The D I have seen play this year usually doesn't show up until 3rd qtr. The D played pretty bad against Miami but was lucky to get some turnovers literally falling in their lap. 550 yards! And in easily imagine this D giving up a big play at the end of a game. I don't think Miami even had a 2nd down until their 4th possession (kidding)
    1. luvalciraldo's Avatar
      luvalciraldo -
      I guess the thing that stands out to me is, we dont have a strong physical back and we are getting man-handled. We are like a B team playing the Varsity.
    1. dressedcheeseside's Avatar
      dressedcheeseside -
      What stands out to me is that we are not proficient at all aspects of the offense so it limits our ability to adjust to the defense. Even last year when we still couldn't throw, we could adjust better.
    1. Animal's Avatar
      Animal -
      Quote Originally Posted by HelluvaMGTmjr View Post
      I guess we are watching different games. The D I have seen play this year usually doesn't show up until 3rd qtr. The D played pretty bad against Miami but was lucky to get some turnovers literally falling in their lap. 550 yards! And in easily imagine this D giving up a big play at the end of a game. I don't think Miami even had a 2nd down until their 4th possession.
      I am not saying that this year's D is terrific......it is just not horrid like last year.
    1. Ga Tech Navy Nuke's Avatar
      Ga Tech Navy Nuke -
      Go look at TW's and Vad's yearly stats in first post of Regressing in the Passing Game This Year

      Just fricking depressing. Vad had a great UNC game and this year has really dropped in QB rating in the last three games - for reasons discussed in the other post.

      I still much prefer Vad to TW since TW proved many times that he couldn't get it done in the fourth. Unfortunately, Vad is showing signs of tiring and may be the same. So maybe it is an achilles heel of this type spread running heavy offense.
    1. alagold's Avatar
      alagold -
      Techie,
      Welcome back.
      We have been saying PJ used the great players and has been declining ever since.Never been more true than now.

      Recruiting has been his real down-fall.His players just aren't good enough.Some is obvious like WR but others are not--like A back-- having 8 but none really good except a WALK-ON is pathetic.
      Of course the DL is the same as WR-just flat lack of talent.If you can't stop the run-slow death.If can't rush passer-fast death---we've had both.
      Now PJ can't even have his calling card,the run game work.
      STs-see defense
      Goodbye ,Paul is been" interesting"
    1. alagold's Avatar
      alagold -
      Techie,
      Welcome back.
      We have been saying PJ used the great players and has been declining ever since.Never been more true than now.

      Recruiting has been his real down-fall.His players just aren't good enough.Some is obvious like WR but others are not--like A back-- having 8 but none really good except a WALK-ON is pathetic.
      Of course the DL is the same as WR-just flat lack of talent.If you can't stop the run-slow death.If can't rush passer-fast death---we've had both.
      Now PJ can't even have his calling card,the run game work.
      STs-see defense
      Goodbye ,Paul is been" interesting"
    1. mack's Avatar
      mack -
      Well to me no excitement on the field is a problem...we act at times like we wish we were somewhere other than Grant Field.