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.”