At the end of his ninth preseason camp at Georgia Tech, the 38th overall in his coaching career, coach Paul Johnson deemed the Yellow Jackets’ efforts worthy.
“I think we had a good camp overall,” said Johnson, who turned 59 on Saturday and was serenaded by his team after the scrimmage. “We got after it pretty good this camp. We’ve had a lot of contact, a lot of scrimmaging.”
Johnson’s praise is hardly hollow. In 2015, as the Jackets rode the crest of their 11-win season in 2014, Johnson was often irritated with how his team was practicing in camp, at one point chiding media that they had “anointed this team as national champs. You ought to watch them practice.”
For a variety of reasons, Tech stumbled through a 3-9 season, its worst since 1994. His comments on the day Tech broke camp last year draw a contrast with his evaluation from Saturday.
“I can be a Pollyanna and (say) ‘We’re going to be great’ and ‘We’re going to win every game,’ but that’s not me,” he said. “I’m going to call it like I see it. I’m not saying we’re going to lose every game, either, but we can play better than we’re playing.”
Johnson has largely been complimentary of the way his team, picked to finish sixth in the ACC Coastal Division in a preseason media poll, has practiced thus far.
The semester will begin Monday, when the team will begin preparations for Boston College in the season opener Sept. 3 in Dublin, Ireland.
“My big concern now moving forward, next week, is to focus in on Boston College and get the guys fresh for the first game,” he said. “That’s my big thing about all the first games, I want them to have their legs and be ready to go.”
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