After ‘train wreck,’ Johnson working more with Tech offense

After arguably the weakest performance by his offense in his tenure at Georgia Tech, coach Paul Johnson said that he’ll spend more time working hands on with the offense this week as the Yellow Jackets prepare for No. 14 Miami.

Johnson typically spends most of his time working with the offense anyway, but vowed to devote even more attention to that unit to help fix the problems that plagued it during the 26-7 loss to No. 5 Clemson last Thursday. Tech’s biggest problem was missed assignments, as players assigned to block frequently did not carry out their assignments, often trying to block the wrong player.

“Clearly, we’ve got to play better,” he said. “This last little bit is uncharacteristic for what we’ve been doing since 1985. We’ve got to do it better. We’ve got to play better and we’ve got to coach better. It’s like I told our assistant coaches – you’re accountable for the way they’re playing, just like I’m accountable for the results.”

Johnson said he typically tries to give assistants space during practice as they coach their respective position groups. He observes the option and passing drills.

“But the team aspect of it, from start to finish, I’ll have my hands on it,” he said.

He made a change from the routine on Monday, leading the pre-practice video review of the Clemson game with the entire offense. Typically, offensive players watch the most recent game together in their position groups, with the meetings led by assistants.

Johnson deemed the changes necessary after the Jackets averaged 2.4 yards per carry, the lowest rate in a game in Johnson’s 110-game tenure. Tech gained 22 yards on 21 first-half plays.

“I thought we were making strides offensively,” he said. “We struggled in the first game against Boston College. Next game against Mercer, we played O.K. The competition was different. Then I thought against Vanderbilt, we started to put it together and played pretty good. And then last week was a train wreck.”

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