VandyMania Interview: Bobby Johnson

VandyMania spoke recently with Vanderbilt Head Coach Bobby Johnson. Johnson offered his views on the Commodores' recently completed spring practice, and looked ahead to the fall.

VM: Tell me the one thing that you're most excited about coming out of spring practice.

Coach Bobby Johnson: I'm most excited about the attitude of the guys. They've worked extremely hard. They had a better sense of urgency, and took a lot of pride in their football team. You've got to have that-- to get them to work and instill in them to do all the things they have to do to be successful in the fall. It's got to start in January and go on through the whole year. You can't just crank it up in August and expect to be good. You've got to do it back in the spring when it's tough.

VM: Tell me your biggest concern going into the fall in terms of units.

Johnson: Well, depth at every unit, to tell you the truth, is our biggest concern. Right now we're thin at offensive line, we're thin at defensive line... linebackers... really every place is thin. Hopefully some of our freshman signees will come in and provide depth at those positions. But if I had to pick any one thing, it would be depth.

VM: You're going to have a lot of new faces in the secondary. Talk about some of them, and how the secondary has progressed during the spring.

Johnson: We do have a lot of new faces. I think Dominique Morris can be one of the best corners we've had in a long, long time here-- he's just got to get a little bit more consistent. Cheron Thompson tries to do everything you tell him to do. Andrew Pace is the same way. Ben Koger and those guys have been coming along at safety. So we've got a lot of young guys, but they work hard, and they're getting better at it. The great thing is, they've improved since they've been out here this spring. If we can continue to do that, we'll be all right there.

VM: Jay Cutler is obviously your number one quarterback, but do you have a number two at this point?

Johnson: Well, I think Benji Walker is number two. Benji can do a lot of good things. But Steven Bright, you can see when he's out there practicing, is a very talented quarterback. He doesn't have the experience Benji does. Benji's been in the battle before. So we feel very fortunate we have the three quarterbacks that we do have.

VM: Erik Davis seems to be developing into an impact player for you.

Johnson: Erik Davis had a good spring, and I think is taking on a little bit more responsibility, saying heck, I'm going to get out here and take over this position [wide receiver], and make sure we're strong at that position. I've been really proud of his attitude. I think he's been our most consistent big-play maker out there. He's got a knack for making a big play.

VM: Your team chose three captains for next fall, Jovan Haye, Jay Cutler and Justin Geisinger, and none of the three are seniors.  Isn't that a little unusual?

Johnson: I don't know of any team in the country that has two sophomore and one junior captains.  That's extremely unusual, but it tells you a lot about those three guys.  It says, we know you work hard for this team, and we know you're a leader. Top Stories