Georgia Tech linebacker Victor Alexander speaks to members of the press during a Georgia Tech Football Media Day at the Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday, August 2, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Tech’s Victor Alexander describes impact of social-media criticism

Georgia Tech players are well aware of the shots that they and their coaches are taking on social media.

“I know one thing that we can’t do,” linebacker Victor Alexander said. “We can’t beat each other up, because, shoot, we’re leaving that to social media right now. It’s our fans and the rest of the world jumping on our backs right now, talking each and every kind of way bad about us right now.”

With the Yellow Jackets having lost three games in a row, the online chorus voicing its frustration with the team, and particularly coach Paul Johnson, has grown. Alexander said that it can be a source of humor for players.

“We usually laugh at a lot of the stuff, because it’s funny, but it’s not funny at the same time,” Alexander said. “You see stuff about coach this, coach that, player this, player that. We just get together and are like, ‘Did you see what this dude just said about you?’ ”

But, Alexander said, it can also affect players’ psyches. On his Sunday teleconference, Johnson said that quarterback TaQuon Marshall told him that he was catching grief on social media, so Johnson told him that he should stop using it.

“Jokingly or not, at some point somebody goes home and is like, ‘Dang, I’m not good enough for this. I can’t do this anymore’,” Alexander said. “But you’ve been doing it all your life. You let two, three games define how you are as a player, it’s never good.”

Alexander said that players have to stick together and not let the external criticism cause discouragement.

“That’ll break down the team,” Alexander said. “Our fans are really going to be (angry). They think they’re (angry) now. Wait till you have a team that doesn’t want to play with each other, doesn’t want to play well with each other. Then guys are going to go out there not caring. They’re not caring, then it’s not going to be three losses on the schedule, it’s the next eight, as well.”

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