In the past, Johnson has allowed his quarterbacks be tackled to get used to the hitting they’ll encounter in games. Keeping quarterbacks in non-contact jerseys, a widespread practice, is meant to reduce the likelihood of injury.
While spared the pounding, Marshall wants to engage on equal terms with the Tech defense – the competition between offense and defense is good-spirited but serious – and also to sharpen up for the season. Defensive players play the option differently knowing that they only have to tag him for a play to be blown dead, Marshall said.
“It’s kind of tough being in the yellow, trying to go full speed, get the actual look, because the guys on defense, they know I’m in the yellow, too, so they know nine times out of 10 – hey, he’s not really going to run it here too hard, he’s going to pitch it,” Marshall said. “So they kind of can finesse it. But we’re going to get through it.”
Nevertheless, Marshall and others were eager to begin full-pads practice Tuesday afternoon, the fifth practice of preseason.
“Definitely a lot of talking between offense and defense,” A-back Clinton Lynch said. “We’re going to see who’s really about that talk.”
Coaches get a better read on what the freshmen can do once the pads come on. The speed of play picks up, as players are allowed to fully engage in blocking in tackling.
“A lot of guys are real good shorts players and they’re not so good when the pads go on,” he said. “And some guys don’t look very good in shorts, but when the pads go on and they actually get to play football, they do pretty good. You’ve just got to get them some reps and let ’em play and evaluate them.”
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