Note: This is a fanshot written by our very own GTNate. Enjoy!
I don't know if any of you thought it, but from what I got out of CPJ this spring sucked. Hard. But then I got to thinking: what if he was trying to motivate the team? So, like any good Tech man, I tried to get scientific about it.So I decided to comb the archives of the internets and see what I could find in regards to spring practice interviews from CPJ's days at Navy. I decided that there where 3 variables that needed to be isolated in order to maximize the accuracy and precision (1310 prelab 1, anyone?) of this comparison:
- Coming off a losing season.
- Around the 3rd year of CPJ's tenure, so it was mostly his guys on the field the previous season.
- The interviews should take place at the middle or end of spring practice, so both teams have had a fair chance to be evaluated.
Alas, error reared her ugly head and choked my grand experiment to the ground on from the first requirement: the only losing season CPJ experienced at Navy was going 2-10 in '02, his first year in the program and by far his worst. From then on, the worst they did was 8-5 (or 8-4, depending on how you stack it) so I had to give some ground on that one. The good news, however, is that the other two requirements were met!
This interview took place after what I assume was Navy's first scrimmage in the spring of 2006. Navy went 8-4 in '05, and lost a bunch of guys on defense. Coach Johnson sounds like the normal, factual, call-em-like-ya-see-em guy that we're all used to. He doesn't sound overly concerned about the program or the player's attitudes in general, but he's not singing they're praises.
This one took place after our 10th spring practice this year and what I think was the wednesday before our first public scrimmage. Here are the opening lines:
Perhaps it would be more noteworthy if Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson were satisfied with the offensive line’s play in spring practice and not displeased. Regardless, the play of the line in Wednesday’s practice left Johnson in an unsparing mood.
Oh, good! In this one, PJ (and the team in general) are speaking tersely, if not with veiled pessimism. I scares me to consider what he's really thinking.
The point of all this: what IS pj really thinking? Is he speaking extra poorly of the line to try and motivate them? Is this a scare tactic to lower fan expectations? OR is this just him going by his call em like you see em attitude? The more I think about it, the more I lean toward the last option. Reason being: after reading these interviews (and many more that I deemed unfit for this experiment) I saw that Paul Johnson rarely lies. What he says correlates to results on the field. What do you think?
Of course, one must consider that CPJ rarely has a losing season (and I mean rarely, according to wikipedia he's had TWO losing seasons since 1997, and and the closest he's come to it is 8 wins. The guy never loses!), and he could just be bitter about it and showing us.
Paul Johnson's Win Records as a HC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Johnson_(American_football_coach)#Head_coaching_record
Navy Records: http://www.totalfootballstats.com/NavyMidshipmen.asp