"[Football players'] preparation happens during the week," said Johnson. "Those guys have got to be confident, and they've got to be anxious to play. A two-minute speech by the coach is not going to get them fired up.
"And I guarantee you they forget what you say about two minutes after you say it. They have to go run through a tunnel, and get excited, and they're going to forget what you say.
"All we try to do is remind them of a couple of things that we want to get accomplished. We just encourage them to be smart and play hard."
On the other hand, Johnson did admit to having occasionally given his players fiery speeches at halftime if things were not going as planned.
"In my whole career, as an assistant coach and a head coach, I don't think we've lost many games because we weren't trying hard," Johnson said. "It's usually technical things that are going on at halftime. We try to get them corrected, and make sure that we just execute better in the second half.
"But on occasion I have laid down the law on some things. It's usually when we've been ahead of some teams, and we should have been ahead more."
Johnson's Commodores (1-2, 0-2 SEC) are coming off a 45-7 Southeastern Conference whipping at the hands of Auburn last Saturday. Johnson said the Commodores are in the midst of a good week of practice in preparation for Saturday evening's road contest vs. the undefeated, 20th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs (6 p.m. CT, Comcast Sports Southeast TV, WSM-FM radio 95.5).
"We had a lot of problems executing our offense against Auburn's defense," Johnson said of the loss to the Tigers. "I think we're looking at a very similar defense down there at TCU talent-wise.
"It's going to be a tough job for us. We're a little banged up and don't have very much depth. But our guys are working hard, and trying to get better every day."
Quizzed about whether last week's reorganization of the Vanderbilt athletic department might have had an effect on the team's performance against Auburn, Johnson said it had had no effect whatsoever.
"We played very well in the first quarter, especially on defense," Johnson said. "It was scoreless. We were playing with a lot of enthusiasm. Then Auburn started to play very well. I don't think our guys were over on the sidelines discussing athletic reorganizations."
Johnson said the shuffling of Vanderbilt's athletic department into the school's central administration would have no effect at all on the types of players that the coaches would recruit.
"We're still trying to get the very best players in the country. We go all over the country to do it. Vanderbilt allows us to do that. They give us a good budget to do that. They have not reduced it."