• 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. dressedcheeseside's Avatar
      dressedcheeseside -
      Quote Originally Posted by gtce79 View Post
      Anyone who thinks PJ didn't put in the QB who gave us the best chance to win (TW) last year, hasn't seen the same VL I see this year. We run the dang offense at 3/4 speed it seems like. We are not fast or efficient at it. We seem to be tight and tentative in virtually every aspect of the offensive game. So VL either wasn't ready last year or he has regressed terribly. I know he's only one guy on a team with more than one issue, but still....
      Helluva 3.... 2.... 1.....

      "Vad would have won just as many games as Tevin and he'd be better prepared for this year.... blah.... blah.... blah...."

      Yeah, right.
    1. Jim Hart's Avatar
      Jim Hart -
      If only Jaybo still had eligibility left...

      Btw, how many points did Jaybo lead FBS Georgia Southern to against national champion Alabama at Tuscaloosa?
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Quote Originally Posted by dressedcheeseside View Post
      Helluva 3.... 2.... 1.....

      "Vad would have won just as many games as Tevin and he'd be better prepared for this year.... blah.... blah.... blah...."

      Yeah, right.
      I have no idea. Nobody is more disappointed than me. I don't think Vad is THE problem, he just doesn't have much help. I don't know if having TW would be any better though. There's not a lot there to work with. I don't think Vad is an under center kind of QB though. He needs to be in the pistol with some room to operate, especially with how poorly the OL is doing. If we are going to be a compact option team, JT may be better for where we are as a team now; however, he's got bad decision/ big turnover potential more than Vad as he is bold where Vad is cautious.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hart View Post
      If only Jaybo still had eligibility left...

      Btw, how many points did Jaybo lead FBS Georgia Southern to against national champion Alabama at Tuscaloosa?
      Please...39 yards and 20% passing and 26 rushing. He did a great job handing off to a Swope though. We don't need a Jaybo at all, what we need is a BB capable of putting up 153 yards against a D like Bama...or hell, anybody!!
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Quote Originally Posted by dressedcheeseside View Post
      Helluva 3.... 2.... 1.....

      "Vad would have won just as many games as Tevin and he'd be better prepared for this year.... blah.... blah.... blah...."

      Yeah, right.
      NM
    1. CobbTech's Avatar
      CobbTech -
      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.
    1. Animal's Avatar
      Animal -
      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.
      Last year the defense lost games, this year the offense has not put up enough points to win games. TW had the smarts to run the offense, but was a step down skilll wise from Vad.....especially passing. The last second pitches, finding the hole etc. were almost instinctive.
      Vad has not looked comfortable running the option, he appears to hesitate, but can obviously chuck the ball downfield.......too bad we don't have WRs that can catch.
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      Quote Originally Posted by Animal View Post
      Last year the defense lost games, this year the offense has not put up enough points to win games. TW had the smarts to run the offense, but was a step down skilll wise from Vad.....especially passing. The last second pitches, finding the hole etc. were almost instinctive.
      Vad has not looked comfortable running the option, he appears to hesitate, but can obviously chuck the ball downfield.......too bad we don't have WRs that can catch.
      I'm not so sure that's accurate. Tevin obviously doesn't have Vad's arm strength, but Tevin was a more accurate passer, and he understood our passing concepts, where to look for the open guy, as opposed to Vad who's still having trouble recognizing where he should be looking in the play design...something CPJ has publicly stated several times...the INT against Miami being the big example. Passing is so much more than arm strength, and right now that's the only Vad in 2013 has over Tevin in 2012. Even on the throws Tevin shorted receivers he made the right read...he just didn't have the muscle to get it there.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      I'm not sure about accuracy...not yet anyway.

      What pisses me off is that Vad doesn't use his arm strength like he should. Touch is great But sometimes he needs to step into his throw and get some zip on the ball. JT throws bullets with a very quick but odd release
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      Quote Originally Posted by HelluvaMGTmjr View Post
      I'm not sure about accuracy...not yet anyway.

      What pisses me off is that Vad doesn't use his arm strength like he should. Touch is great But sometimes he needs to step into his throw and get some zip on the ball. JT throws bullets with a very quick but odd release
      Touch is important...it's not always good to throw fastballs. Against Duke, the TD throw to Smelter (which looked like a skinny post) was a strike...and the TD throw to Laskey exhibited great touch and anticipation. Vad looked really good passing in that game...and now it's like his confidence is shaken and he's thinking too much before releasing the ball.
    1. Animal's Avatar
      Animal -
      Quote Originally Posted by AllGT View Post
      I'm not so sure that's accurate. Tevin obviously doesn't have Vad's arm strength, but Tevin was a more accurate passer, and he understood our passing concepts, where to look for the open guy, as opposed to Vad who's still having trouble recognizing where he should be looking in the play design...something CPJ has publicly stated several times...the INT against Miami being the big example. Passing is so much more than arm strength, and right now that's the only Vad in 2013 has over Tevin in 2012. Even on the throws Tevin shorted receivers he made the right read...he just didn't have the muscle to get it there.
      I would consider making the right reads part of the "smarts" Tevin never looked comfortable throwing the ball to me, even when he did connect.
      I agree the passing game is more than arm strength.......but that is all I was thinking in that context.
    1. bobbydoddsghost's Avatar
      bobbydoddsghost -
      Your comment about Johnson having to take Wommack due to financial reasons, and not get his preferred pick, made me wonder. We all know Johnson is well paid, but how does all the assistant coaches' pay compare with other schools in the ACC? Tech may be having to go "cheap" with some, if not all, of these guys to afford Johnson's salary. Tech has limited funds, so I would love to know if this may be part of the problem...the inability to afford better assistant coaches.
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      Quote Originally Posted by Animal View Post
      I would consider making the right reads part of the "smarts" Tevin never looked comfortable throwing the ball to me, even when he did connect.
      I agree the passing game is more than arm strength.......but that is all I was thinking in that context.
      Haha...true. I missed that.

      Tevin had some bad throws (those 4th qtr INTs being the most obvious), but he also had some big time throws to keep the chain moving and lead us down field. His throw to Bostic against VT was a great throw. Against Clemson and Miami he had bunch of nice throws to keep us moving. If we had this year's defense last year, we would be looking at Tevin differently. Looking back, I think Tevin played way above his weight class.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      VL had three big passes to keep the chains moving that were dropped. But it does seem that TW was better at findig the wide open WRs. But Vad is young.
    1. Animal's Avatar
      Animal -
      Quote Originally Posted by AllGT View Post
      Haha...true. I missed that.

      Tevin had some bad throws (those 4th qtr INTs being the most obvious), but he also had some big time throws to keep the chain moving and lead us down field. His throw to Bostic against VT was a great throw. Against Clemson and Miami he had bunch of nice throws to keep us moving. If we had this year's defense last year, we would be looking at Tevin differently. Looking back, I think Tevin played way above his weight class.
      I think he played way above is natural talent level as well. always thought he was a good QB, not a great one, With this defense last year we would have won three more games at least
    1. mack's Avatar
      mack -
      Quote Originally Posted by AllGT View Post
      Touch is important...it's not always good to throw fastballs. Against Duke, the TD throw to Smelter (which looked like a skinny post) was a strike...and the TD throw to Laskey exhibited great touch and anticipation. Vad looked really good passing in that game...and now it's like his confidence is shaken and he's thinking too much before releasing the ball.
      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.
    1. mack's Avatar
      mack -
      Quote Originally Posted by Animal View Post
      I think he played way above is natural talent level as well. always thought he was a good QB, not a great one, With this defense last year we would have won three more games at least
      First TW was and is a class act and did try to lead the team.He had ave to little arm strenth and the deep out was not his forte.I think he was a great option qb who could read with the best of them but when defense puts you behind and its crunch time he couldnt air mail it to get us out of trouble.He was a good qb and fine person.
    1. Animal's Avatar
      Animal -
      Quote Originally Posted by mack View Post
      First TW was and is a class act and did try to lead the team.He had ave to little arm strenth and the deep out was not his forte.I think he was a great option qb who could read with the best of them but when defense puts you behind and its crunch time he couldnt air mail it to get us out of trouble.He was a good qb and fine person.
      I agree...and still don't understand the derision from the "fans" toward him.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Animal View Post
      With this defense last year we would have won three more games at least
      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.
    1. HelluvaMGTmjr's Avatar
      HelluvaMGTmjr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Animal View Post
      I agree...and still don't understand the derision from the "fans" toward him.
      Good guy, great representative of GT, bad QB, painfully bad. I'm not even sure if he could start for some 6A high schools.