In Attendance: Bill Wagner (Annapolis Capital), Gary Lambrecht (Baltimore Sun), Christian Swezey (Washington Post), Corey Masisak (Washington Times)
Johnson: What do you want to ask me about, the election results?
Lambrecht: No, but you might want to talk about them anyway.
Johnson: We've already had a conversation about it today.
Lambrecht: Actually I was really impressed with Evan Beard's (former player, current TAD) command of political science.
Johnson: He's pretty sharp.
Lambrecht: Is he going to be your running mate when you run for office?
Johnson: Yeah, he will be my Vice-President.
Wagner: I was curious, who are some of the guys on this team that have impressed you that might not necessarily be starters or first line reserves but guys that you think might be able to help you next year?
Johnson: I don't know. I try not to ever single anybody out. I don't think it's fair to them. I think you put undue pressure on them when you single them out like that and every time you do that you e+nd up leaving somebody out so I've always made it a policy to not to do that. Certainly there are some guys that have caught my eye, but honestly right now I'm worried about the four games we have left on this year's schedule. I'm still worried about this year. I think there are some guys that have improved as the year has gone along and I'm excited about some of the younger guys, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Right now it's all about this year and Eastern Michigan.
Swezey: What's your take on their wide receiver, #19?
Johnson: He's a really good player. He's an outstanding player and they do a good job of trying to get him the ball. I'm really impressed with there two inside defensive tackles the more I watch them on film. #83 and #91. The middle linebacker is a good player too.
Lambrecht: How have they been able to keep a lot of their games low scoring affairs?
Johnson: They play pretty good defense.
Lambrecht: They have given up a lot of yards on the ground though. Are they creating turnovers?
Johnson: They play pretty good red zone defense. If you watch the tape they just play pretty good defense. A lot of that on the ground came in two or three games when the score wasn't close so it kind of skewed the stats a little. Sometimes with stats, if you look at a teams rushing defense or whatever, like Duke. Duke had a really good rushing defense statistically, but do they play people that run the ball? After our game their rushing defense is going to look like crap, but against conventional stuff they were pretty good. Take Notre Dame for instance. In a three-week span they are going to play Navy and Air Force so their pass defense stats are going to look really good, but their rushing defensive stats aren't going to look so good. Stats can be misleading defensively because a lot of it is based on who you've played.
Wagner: I always kick myself for not asking you this, but who were the players of the game for the Duke game?
Johnson: Zach Gallion on offense, Jeremy McGown on defense and Zerb Singleton on special teams and then I've always made it a point in my coaching career to give a game ball to anybody that blocks a kick so Andrew Tattersall got one as well.
Wagner: Why were you somewhat critical of the offensive line? I talked to a couple of them and they were miffed about that.
Johnson: Good. They need to block somebody and then they won't be miffed.
Wagner: They had to have blocked somebody. You had over 400 yards rushing.
Johnson: Anytime they would like to come and sit down and watch the film with me I would be happy to sit down and point out why I was miffed. For any one of them my door is always open.
Wagner: Gallion must have blocked well.
Johnson: They did some good things. I didn't say they didn't do some good things. But we missed a lot of blocks. If they have any questions about my assessment of them they are more than welcome to come and show me on the tape. I have it. It's on the computer.
Lambrecht: I guess that goes to one of the beautiful things about your offense. You can gain a lot of yards without blocking anybody.
Johnson: I'm not trying to single those guys out. I'm just saying we could have done better. There were times when we got some nice blocks when we ran the counter option. There were a lot of other times we didn't. I wasn't trying to single the offensive line out. The slots missed blocks, the fullback missed blocks. It was far from the perfect game and I'm not going to be happy just because we rushed for 400 yards. They are going to come to my level of expectation. I'm not going to go to theirs.
Wagner: Is Eddie Martin going to suit up this year?
Johnson: I don't think so.
Wagner: How is he doing?
Johnson: He's doing well. I talked to him yesterday.
Wagner: But any thought of him possibly being able to suit up just isn't possible?
Johnson: No, I don't think so.
Lambrecht: How debilitating is the injury to Tidwell as far as how is it hurting him day-to-day?
Johnson: I don't think it's a big deal. He's played a lot of games so he's beat up a little bit, but I don't think it's a big deal.
Lambrecht: Those harnesses can work magic. Peter Boulware went to the Pro Bowl one year playing with one arm.
Johnson: He's a tough kid (Tidwell) anyway.
Lambrecht: What did you think about what Wisconsin did with their creative exploitation of the clock rules?
Johnson: I didn't think much about it. It's within the rules.
Lambrecht: Just talk about that from a strategy standpoint.
Johnson: It's a crazy rule. You also have to make sure you tackle them even though you are way offside and everybody is running down there. If you are going to kick it off you better make sure you get them, because if you are going to do that they can do a bunch of things as well like throwing it around and double laterals and all that stuff so it could backfire. I think Penn State probably wasn't ready for it nor would anybody else maybe, but I think you will see the rule changed.
Wagner: He isn't coming back is he?
Johnson: It doesn't look like it. We thought we were going to have him back by now. He's come out and tried it, he just can't go.
Wagner: Your Sports Information Director said that Shun White might break the single-season record for yards per carry.
Strasemeier: I never said that. Corey said that, but Shun isn't going to qualify. He doesn't have enough attempts.
Johnson: Maybe, maybe not.
Strasemeier: Then he's going to have to get the ball a lot the last four games. You have to have 95 attempts.
Johnson: How many does he have?
Johnson: He's not going to make it.
Wagner: Speaking of which, how come every time you guys are close to having three guys over 100 yards rushing you stop giving the guy that needs the yardage the ball?
Johnson: We have to keep something to shoot for. I have no idea how many yards anybody has got during the game.
Wagner: Last week we tried to get Stras to call down and tell you that Shun needed 15 more yards.
Johnson: Our SID knows better than to call down and tell me that. It will happen eventually if our offensive line will get miffed enough.