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Paul Johnson's Attitude Just the Medicine for Georgia Tech

Zachary OstermanCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets walks on the field during the Chick-fil-A Bowl against the LSU Tigers on December 31, 2008 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Paul Johnson is a hard man to please.

He watched his team walk through a 37-17 opening weekend win over Jacksonville State on Saturday, and according to AJC columnist Mark Bradley, that wasn't nearly good enough.

From the above link:

“I want to see some intensity and some fire and some fight,” Paul Johnson said Saturday. “We’re just not nasty enough. We’re too nice.”

Then:

"(Georgia Tech) lost three fumbles, all three by quarterbacks. Said PJ: 'Maybe we should have knocked the crap out of them in fall camp and they’d have hung on to the ball.'"

My personal favorite:

On why Tech ran only 11 third-quarter plays: “Because we weren’t worth a crap. We missed every read on the option.”

Perhaps the Yellow Jackets don't fully realize the chance presented them this year, but Paul Johnson does. Perhaps they don't understand what it takes to be a championship contender, but Paul Johnson does. Maybe the Jackets don't have the capacity for balancing great expectations and immediate responsibilities in equal measure.

But Paul Johnson does.

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Chan Gailey was, by all accounts, a nice guy and a good man to have in charge of your college program.

But there was, when he was in charge in Atlanta, a feeling that Georgia Tech, as a program, was willing to settle for the average. The Jackets never won more than nine or less than seven games during Gailey's six-year tenure, and they never beat Georgia.

And when it mattered most, Tech almost always came up just short.

Georgia Tech has a real chance to replace that stigma this year with some serious hardware. But lackadaisical play won't do it, three fumbles won't do it, uninspired play won't do it.

Paul Johnson knows that, and it's his job to make sure he lets his players know that, too. My gut tells me he won't have a problem doing that.

Look out tomorrow for a wrap of Georgia Tech's week one.