Paul Johnson’s offense is ‘inept,’ says Paul Johnson

Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas is tackled by Clemson’s B.J. Goodson, left, Carlos Watkins, right, and T.J. Burrell during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas is tackled by Clemson's B.J. Goodson, left, Carlos Watkins, right, and T.J. Burrell during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Justin Thomas, going nowhere. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Clemson, S.C. — These short takes are presented in conjunction with the Georgia Tech-Clemson game column, which can be found here. Tech lost 43-24. The score flatters the Yellow Jackets.

1. Paul Johnson’s famous offense is broken. That’s not to say it can’t be tweaked, but an outright fix might be too much to ask from this team this season. The Jackets rushed for 71 yards Saturday, marking the nadir — over seven seasons plus five games — for Tech under Johnson. “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my coaching career,” Johnson said, “to be this inept on offense.” Clemson had 11 tackles for losses. The Jackets were 1-for-12 on third-down conversions, mostly because they were forever facing third-and-long. Defensive coordinators insist that the way to halt Tech is to keep it “behind the chains,” meaning out of third-and-short. Clemson’s Brent Venables did it. Notre Dame’s Brian VanGorder did it. Heck, Duke’s Jim Knowles did it. That’s three times in four weeks. That’s not a slump. That’s a clean fracture.

2. Justin Thomas isn’t the same player he was last season. Much of that has to do with the lack of talent around him, but Thomas hasn’t been very good, either. Tech’s third snap of the game was a Thomas interception that was thrown into a cluster of six players. (Three for each team. No way any pass pattern calls for three Jackets to be that close to one another.) He rushed 14 times for three yards. He completed six of 14 passes for 159 yards. As happened at Notre Dame, all Thomas’ spinning and darting availed him naught. That’s what happens when you’re playing good teams 1-on-11. You lose.

3. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney doesn’t like the term “Clemsoning.” Earlier this decade, the term was coined to describe a team that succeeds only to turn around and fall flat. (Like Clemson, er, used to do.) When a reporter used the invented word in a postgame question, Swinney threw a snit. “That’s bullcrap,” he said, and that’s not a paraphrase. He mentioned that his Tigers hadn’t lost to an unranked team since 2011 — “and here we are in 2015 being asked about ‘Clemsoning.’ ” He went on and on, and Swinney can really run on. For once, this didn’t seem the usual Dabo hyperventilating. The man had a valid point. The description is indeed outdated. It hasn’t lost to anybody terrible in a very long time. Clemson has become a superb program. If any ACC team looks bound for the College Football Playoff, it’s this.

Reader Comments 0

175 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

When a team lacks confidence in their coach, and his coaching philosophy,  that team will not execute. I'm not saying that's what is wrong with Tech, but the players sure seem to get down quickly.


I'm not a native Georgian so I don't have to hate Tech or Georgia. I have no confidence in PJ as a big time college coach. Tech doesn't play Navy's, Army's, Ga. Southern's schedule. They play a big time college schedule and a good year every 5th year is not acceptable.


PJ should go back to his roots and coach a Div. II school.

GTBee
GTBee

2010 through this year;  6 wins, 8 wins, 7 wins, 7 wins, 11 wins, 6 or 7 wins?  Someone out there is a fan of our coach?

SansWorld
SansWorld

@GTBee  For context, CPJ won 39 from 2010-14, O'Leary was the only other Tech coach to exceed that total in five years since Bobby Dodd. Since 2008 CPJ won 59 in 7 years.  Bobby Dodd is the only Tech coach to exceed that mark.

GTBee
GTBee

Justin wasn't all that good last year also.  He throws like my left ---.  Last year we had Days and Laskey.  Huge, massive, strong, smart runners.  I think the 3rd string QB, who i saw vs Tulane I think - looks to have the most potential.  

GTBob
GTBob

@GTBee The third string QB against Tulane was Brady Swilling. A walk-on who will never see the field in any real game situation. You would rather have him than JT huh?

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

Are players committed to doing their best? Are they working as hard as they can or are they going through the motions?

Coaches did not forget how to coach this season. I haven't seen a missed block or tackle by a coach all season. It is time for these kids to own their season and get better.

SansWorld
SansWorld

@FreddieBlassie  

Coach Johnson seems to think they are playing hard “I don’t know that we have an issue with kids playing hard.  It would have been really easy to come out and lay down in the second half now. They came out and played as hard or harder than they did in the first half.”


I have lost count, but there are likely half a dozen players logging significant minutes playing different that they trained for in camp.  They are making sacrifices and picking up and learning a new position in less than ideal circumstances.


I am sure they are all frustrated, it seems pointless, and it would be easy to thrown in the towel. I hope they can pull together and rattle of some wins, and gain experience for future years.

LongBeachJacket
LongBeachJacket

We are 2-4 now.  We will do no worse than 4-2 over the last 6.  Finish 6-6 (at least) and go to a bowl.  Then look ahead to 2016.

Guyon
Guyon

Willie Fritz took over at Georgia Southern, and they had been a triple option team. They are doing great in their second year as a Division 1 team. He will be a great replacement for Johnson when the time comes. That time may be sooner rather than later.  

TOJacket
TOJacket

Hey Everybody!!!...............been out of town and touch for a while, just didn't want any of you yahoos think I was hiding......We might well go 2-10? WTF.........and UGA is still UGA........I absolutely hate Chubb getting the injury, and I hope he comes back stronger than ever!!!!

Wreck13
Wreck13

The AJC is SUCKING MORE AND MORE EVERY WEEK.

No Live UGa GAME Blog?

No Live Falcon GAME Blog?

At least Ken S. is doing the Live TECH Game Blog!

I guess the AJC spent all their money on the MUTTCOUNTY Blog to actually now have LIVE GAME DAY BLOGS.


DawgNole
DawgNole

@Wreck13

Co-sign!

DOL's "5 things to know" story is serving as the Falcons' live blog (fyi).


Wreck13
Wreck13

@DawgNole it is SAD the FANS have to turn a Blog into the LIVE GAME BLOG. How soon until the AJC stops posting allowed after the Article has been up for 24 hours?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Wreck13 @DawgNole

I'm with you on this, bud.

Been reading the AJC for decades.

A precipitous fall from grace for a once proud newspaper that used to be the South's very best.

MikeS777
MikeS777

Well its great to see the same people defending the option just like the last 7 years, and yes we are in year 8 hearing the same old excuses.

Still, I have to wonder if part of the reason they were so quick to extend Johnson is that it might actually be a better alternative to getting rid of him in the short term.  Whoever takes over for Johnson is going to have to retrain option recruits for his system, and rebuild an ice cold recruiting trail that has been void of anyone who wants to play in a pro-style or more conventional CFB passing attack.  That's not going to be easy, and it may cost the next guy his job after a few really rough rebuilding years.  

That was always the long term risk of bringing Johnson in.

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeS777 Its also great to see all of the posters who are no where to be found when we are winning, crawling out of their holes to gloat when we start losing.

R Tooty
R Tooty

This year is pretty much shot.  I hope the young guys are learning the system.  However, its next year that is of concern to me.  If this carries over to next tear, MB may be correct.  Lets hope not.  CPJ is a good coach, good track record.  Your not going to win 10-11 games per year.  Enjoy the really good years.

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

3rd and 5, at the end of the game, down by more than 20 and PJ calls a fb dive.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@tomkat1111

What a crass, SOB!  Whatcha think, tomkat, should PJ be fired for that??

MyMourningJacket
MyMourningJacket

change fight song to   ".. if I had a daughter sir, I tell you what she'd do, she would stay at home and study cause the team would make her blue"

Wreck13
Wreck13

JORDAN should've played much of the 4th Qtr IMO. We knew there was not shot at winning and Jordan should have played to get so game speed time in. We can't get Justin killed in a terrible game. 

Most reasonable and rational TECH fans knew this was going to be a tough year with the schedule and the loss of so many top offensive players. The injuries have really made it much worse to this point.  

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@Wreck13

The injuries are crazy.  Wow.  What's the o/u for GT injuries the rest of the season?  

Wreck13
Wreck13

@D-Sheets as long as one of those injuries isn't to Justin i think I can live with most others. The PLUS is a lot of very young guys are getting playing time to learn. What we are experiencing at TECH this year happens to most teams. There is a drop off when you lose so many talented experienced players. Most teams don't recruit enough great players every year to just expect nothing to change even if the schedule gets more difficult. 

Those calling for ROOF's head need to understand much of his D is now playing a bunch of kids the D-staff have only been teaching for only 6 to 18 months.

WoofyOne
WoofyOne

Watching CPJ get his newspaper his demeanor was the same. He is looking at the next game. If you learn as you play sooner or later it clcks

Coloradojacket
Coloradojacket

I read these comments and know for sure all the so called Tech fans are really Georgia fans.  Paul Johnson has the best win percentage at Tech of any coach in modern history.  Folks, we lost 10 starters off the offense from last year.  And before you go huh, we played 2 B backs as co-starters, 6 A backs, and 2 wideouts.  Also losing Shag Mason has hurt.  Because of injury and attrition we have Freshman and R-Freshman now starting in all those positions.

Schedule, look Duke and UNC aren't bad teams and we should have beaten UNC.  On the road at ND and at Clemson is a tough row to hoe.

What CPJ needs to do is stay with his offense but go back to running it like he did in 2008.  Simplify it and rely on MM at B-back.  We should beat Pitt, UVA, and Va-Tech.  Steal one more and we go bowling.  Very important to keep that streak alive and get more practice time.


It is obvious none of you nay sayers watched the first two years of Bobby Ross, or the first 4 of Curry, or the entire Bill Lewis era.  That inept offense destroyed many teams over the years.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

Pitt & VT have D in their favor, and UVA has Charlottesville in their favor. At this point I don't see GT beating Pitt or VT. Hope I am wrong though.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Coloradojacket: "I read these comments and know for sure all the so called Tech fans are really Georgia fans."

______________________

So you know for sure GTBob's a Dawg fan?

Maybe you're onto something there; he does, after all, pick UGA to beat GT most every year.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole I picked Clemson to win this past weekend also. Who I pick and who I root for are two completely different things.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole 2-2 on the ones I made here. I need to quit betting on UGA.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob @DawgNole

They hurt me yesterday--spiritually. Dropped a TD pass at the goal line that would've tied the game and broken Tenn's momentum.

"Officially" out of the playoff picture now.

I don't believe Richt's the answer. Fifteen years is a long time to keep losing big ones--considering the resources, facilities, $$$, and talent.

Results of the upcoming fla game--not to mention that highly meaningful reg-season finale in ATL--may determine his future at UGA.

BooBooBear
BooBooBear

Let Bradley cover Georgia State and leave Tech to be covered by whoever covers Atlanta area girls high school soccer.  Tech simply shows what happens when a bunch of school kids go out and try to play a football game against paid steroid beasts.  Ever stop to think that Thomas was so bad, but there was no body who could have been put in that was better?  That's what happens when a team of 40 plays a team dressing 100 on scholarship.  Farming is the leading major at Clemson.  The good news that should be reported is no players for Tech had his neck broken and no one will miss calculus class or the chemistry exposition for introducing modern medical cures.  Tech needs to pull a Univ. Ala. - Birmingham and call it quits as far as a football program goes.

GTBigJim
GTBigJim

Finally he admits his silly offense is inept. I have been saying that since Gardner Webb.


Lets get rid of this ineptness once and for all! 



GTBob
GTBob

@GTBigJim I think he is just talking about this season. It was probably the best offense in the country last year.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Whiny Ex-Coach Mack Brown keeps calling Tech's offense the wishbone.

Peachs
Peachs

May have been the hardest opening schedule in the country before it is said and done, and we didn't have the guns.  We really missed a hard nose smart receive who can caught balls in comeback traffic, and a go to B back.. 

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

@Peachs  Duke, North Carolina, Alcorn State and Tulane....those were 4 of your first 6 games. You played 2.5 quality teams in the first 6 weeks. When it's said and done, your schedule will look as mediocre as your team.

Wreck13
Wreck13

@jarvis1975 the WHOLE Schedule you maroon. By opening schedule he means based on preseason rankings of the WHOLE Tech schedule. ND, Clemson, FSU, UGa were all highly ranked to start the season. 

MoreySims
MoreySims

paul needs to junk that high school option offense and put in a spread like other teams use.

GTBob
GTBob

@SurfConcept Did you tell him that after he won the Orange Bowl last year?

HermT
HermT

yeah the dawgs are in the hunt for the prestigious poulan weed eater bowl.....get real


FlatTire
FlatTire

At least UGA is still in the hunt