Georgia Tech makes transition from option: Yeah, that should be easy

Georgia TechGeorgia Tech football had success under Paul Johnson, winning an ACC title in 2009 and making two appearances in the Orange Bowl.

But it was going to come to an end eventually, and when it did, the transition from Johnson’s triple-option offense was going to be painful for whoever replaced him.

Well, here we are.

Geoff Collins is the new head coach, and he’s overseeing the first year of the post-Johnson era, and, yeah, it’s going to be tough.

The way Collins tried to sell it to reporters at last week’s ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., was interesting.

“One of the big things is we’re not an organization that’s built on scheme. We’re an organization that’s built on players,” said Collins, who was 15-10 in two seasons at Temple, his only head-coaching job prior to returning to Georgia Tech, where he had served as a grad assistant under George O’Leary in 1999-2000.

It’s nice to say that you’re not built on scheme, but even Collins had to acknowledge that he inherited a roster that featured 13 running backs on scholarship, and zero tight ends.

He also has an offensive line lighter than what you’d see at a program recruiting to protect quarterbacks in the pocket, and a receiver corps that drew the interest of Johnson and his staff more because of their ability to block than their ability to run pass routes.

Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude has a reputation of melding his game plans and play-calling to the available personnel.

Expect to see Patenaude flesh out those 13 running backs into different positions – slot receiver being a glaring need, since Johnson’s offense also doesn’t use slot receivers.

Collins is up for the challenge.

“Those young men are in our organization, and they have hopes and dreams and want to play at a high level. (The key is) how can we put them in a position so they can have success individually and we can have success collectively as a team,” Collins said.

Story by Chris Graham

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