Paul Johnson’s Tech practice report: ‘The offense was awful’

Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson was born Aug. 20, 1957, in Newland, North Carolina. Johnson was hired and introduced Dec. 7, 2007 as Tech's 12th football coach, beginning with John Heisman in 1904. Tech defeated Jacksonville State 41-14 on Aug. 28, 2008, in Johnson's debut as Yellow Jackets coach. Johnson's Georgia Southern teams won Division I-AA (now FCS) national championships in 1999 and 2000. Johnson coached six seasons at Navy and was 43-19 over the final five, after a 2-10 first season. Jo

Georgia Tech’s preseason practice Wednesday was not one for coach Paul Johnson to relish. In full pads on a day when the high in Atlanta was 91 degrees with humidity that made it feel even hotter, the offense was not up to Johnson’s liking.

“I think it was hot, and we had a big case of feeling sorry for ourselves,” Johnson said following the practice, Tech’s sixth of the season, its second day in full pads.

Johnson said that the defense played with more energy than the offense.

“The offense was awful,” he said.

To this point, Johnson has seemed satisfied with what he has seen on the practice field. He said Monday that “I think guys have pushed through.”

But not Wednesday, at least for the offense. Offensive lineman Jahaziel Lee said the offense was not focused.

“But I know (Thursday), we’ve got to pick it up because it’s less than a month before we play our first game,” he said. “We really have to bring intensity and start being more consistent, especially running the ball, because we can’t rely on big plays as far as passing.”

Johnson didn’t quite extol the defense, either.

“I mean, nobody’s going to mistake it for the Pittsburgh ‘Steel Curtain,’” he said. “But I’m just saying that they had more energy and they were better than the offense.”

Johnson deliberately practices the team in the afternoon to have players train in warm conditions to prepare for games such as the second game of the season, Sept. 8 against South Florida, a noon kickoff in Tampa, Fla. He acknowledged the difficulty.

“But that’s what they’re going to have to play in,” he said. “So you have to do it. It’s as much mental as it is physical.”