Bobby Johnson Weekly Press Conference
October 14, 2002
This year, we are never going to be good enough to play
badly, hurt ourselves and win football games. I think you
saw a great example on Saturday night. Even though Middle
Tennessee played well and deserved to win the game, we just
felt like we didnt play our best. We feel bad about
that right now, and we are working on getting better, making
sure we dont kill ourselves with mistakes, and see if
we can improve in the second half of the season.
Q: How did your discussion about the excessive penalties
go with the team?
A: We will find out. I think our guys understand the
situation, but we should have understood the situation during
the game. We should have figured it out that the officials
were calling it close. That (officiating) is something you
just have to figure out just like you have to figure out the
offense and defense of the other team. I think we have a handle
Q: What is the status of quarterback Jay Cutler entering
this weeks game against Georgia?
A: Jay Cutler is back on the team, Grant Brigham is
back on the team and Brandon Walthour is back on the team.
That is behind us, and we have put it behind us.
Q: Do you expect Jay (Cutler) to be the starter?
A: Right now Benji Walker is on crutches. He has a badly
sprained ankle. I think he is going to be fine by the end
of the week, but his practice time will be greatly hindered
because of the ankle.
Q: Do you have any reasons for the large number of penalties?
A: I think the officials, and rightfully so, feel like
they need to take control of a game and make sure it didnt
get out of hand. I dont think it was close to getting
out of hand, but that is their prerogative.
Q: Can you assess Benji Walkers performance at quarterback?
A: For starting his first game since high school, I
thought he did a really good job. I thought the offensive
coaches did a good job in the first drive of mixing some things
up. He was able to hit some short passes, able to run some
options, spread it out a little bit and keep them off balance.
For his first time starting, I was very pleased with the way
he came out and competed.
Q: Can you assess tailback Kwane Dosters performance?
A: I think Kwane played a good game. He is going to
get better and better for us. Its a big difference between
being the backup tailback and being the starting tailback.
He is going to get better and better each week. He showed
some flashes of brilliance. I thought his touchdown run was
Q: With the team having lost so many close games, do you
sense the season slipping away at all?
A: I really dont. We had a good practice Sunday.
We got together as a team and talked about how we lost this
football game. I know they were disappointed. That was an
important football game for our players. We went out yesterday
and had a good and spirited practice for the circumstances.
We are probably going to have to find the answer to that question
this week. I think our guys will respond and play hard. I
have not been disappointed in their effort all year, and I
dont think I will be this week either.
Q: Do you sense Georgia could have a letdown after having
two big wins (Alabama and Tennessee)?
A: I think Georgia has got a situation where they realize
they have a special season going, and I dont think they
are going to let their guard down for anything. I could possibly
see how they could overlook us.
Q: Do you expect linebacker Moses (Osemwegie) and Dominique
(Morris) back for this weekends game?
A: Moses practiced a little bit yesterday and did not
become real sore overnight, so we are very pleased with that.
I dont think Dominique will be able to play this week.
He is still having pain in his toe, and he has not been able
to run. Were still looking at another week or so with
him. We will find out more about Moses Tuesday. He worked
out this morning on the treadmill, and so far there are no
Q: Would you prefer to put Georgia in a situation where they
have to pass the ball, or would you rather see them run the
A: Everybody talks about quarterback David Greene and
he does a great job, but they run the football really well.
Im sure they will be satisfied with running against
us. Hopefully we can get them in some long yardage situations
and use some nickel and dime and have them in that situation.
If we can do that, it will be a plus.
A: We were watching film this morning. Of 450 plays
on film, only 18 have been gains of more than 10 yards on
the ground. They close up big holes awful fast. Its
Q: Could this Georgia team be the best team will be play
A: Sure, but they are playing with such confidence.
They know what they are trying to achieve offensively and
defensively. They are dialed in right now. They have beaten
two real good teams the last two weeks so their confidence
level is really high. They have the weapons to back that up.
Q: With all the injuries this year, do you find yourself wondering
how things would be if everyone was playing?
A: We are not going to make excuses. We could have won
that game last Saturday. We still could have won it with all
those guys out. Thats the disappointing thing. But we
are going to have to go with what we have there is
no other choice. Our players realize that and will continue
to work hard. We are not afraid to finish the season.
Q: What about Chris Bookers injury?
A. Chris has a ACL tear. The leg will be immobilized
for a few weeks before surgery, but he is out. That makes
us really thin at defensive end. Robert Dinwiddie played well
Saturday, but he can play only a limited number of plays.
We may consider bringing (freshman) Antoine Morgan up and
start dressing him just in case. Thats another redshirt
situation wed love to continue, but we are running out
Q: Would you like to see your kicker, Greg Johnson, get more
publicity for what he is doing, such as SEC Special Teams
Player of the Week?
A. Greg Johnson was really impressive. He is quite a
player. Some of his punts were just killed. I mean, a few
were just launched. He also kicked two field goals and a long
extra point. On the field goals, we let one of their guys
through the middle and he got it up so quickly, the ball was
over his hand before the player could react. Greg is quite
a talent and will get better and better before he is done.
I understand that award, though. Georgia won their game and
their kicker did his job. Greg will get his due.
Q: Do are your impressions of Georgias defender, Boss
A: He is a playmaker, they have a lot of them. Pollack
puts a great deal of pressure on the quarterback, and Bailey
goes a little of everything for them. He is a great player.
They have a lot of quality players on that defense that play
hard. They also have a lot of depth, so that makes it extra
Q: What youre the depth chart at quarterback for the
A: Same as last week. (Freshman) Steven Bright will
get some reps this week and be ready to play Saturday. We
really like what we see in him and think he will be a good
player, but hopefully we will not have to use him.
Q; When did Benji get hurt in the game?
A: I think in the third quarter, but he is tough. He
played right through it and took some licks later in the game.