A day after he was dissatisfied with what he saw on the practice field, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson did not see Thursday’s preseason workout much differently.
“I think some guys are (focused),” Johnson said. “Some guys need to turn it up a notch. But that’s our job as coaches, to let them know what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable, and you go from there.”
On Wednesday, Johnson said that the team was sloppy in a practice typified by missed tackles, poor ball security and missed reads on the option. Thursday’s practice, the seventh overall and the third in full pads, “was about like (Wednesday’s),” Johnson said.
He used the offensive line as a jumping-off point, calling its play spotty.
"It’s been like everything,” he said. “They have their moments, and right now, nobody’s consistent. (Wednesday), the defense had a good day. (Thursday), if you look at the tape, the offense had a good day. So it’s like nothing’s consistent.”
Johnson recognized the difficulty to maintain focus and energy at this point, when the season opener against Tennessee is almost four weeks away and players have been through three consecutive practices in full pads.
“Now’s the time where you’ve really got to push through,” he said. “You get close to game week, it’s easy. Everybody gets excited when they can see the game coming or whatever, but we’ve got to get there.”
Linebacker Brant Mitchell, a player recognized for his diligence, has seen the same problems.
“It’s been a little bit up and down,” he said. “We’re lacking consistency, and some areas on defense, we have to bring the same energy every day. We’ve got to be on the rise every single day to get better. It is camp, and it’s tough, but you’ve got to have the mentality that you’ve just got to push through.”
Tech will take a day off from full pads Friday with a “shells” (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) practice before its first scrimmage Saturday morning. The Jackets open the season Sept. 4 against Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“I don’t know if you ever see what you want to,” Johnson said. “I’m going to hold them up to a standard that’s here. (Johnson raised his hand head high.) I’m not going to lower my standards and come in here (to the interview room) and hold hands and sing kumbaya every day. ... We’ve got to get better. That’s the challenge to those guys.”