ATLANTA (AP) — Geoff Collins played down the false slogans in his blueprint for a proud new brand at Georgia Tech.
He seemed to realize that there was only one thing that really mattered.
After three seasons with just three wins each, Collins may need to show significant improvement heading into his fourth year to keep his job.
In Georgia Tech’s modern era, there is only another coach so deep in his tenure, with a record worse than Collins’ 9-25. That’s Bill Curry, who is 8-24-1 in three years but at least seeing signs of hope coming out of a 6-5 campaign.
That’s not the case with this Georgia Tech team, which has a 100-0 win over Notre Dame and eventual national champion Georgia in the final two games of 2021.
“We’re all tired of failing,” Collins said Saturday, less than 24 hours after the Yellow Jackets opened their preseason training camp. “We want to play a really good brand of football. We want to make everyone who supports Georgia Tech proud.”
Everyone knows the road will be a bit bumpy after Collins takes over in 2019, especially from the run-oriented offense favored by his predecessor Paul Johnson to the dissonance of pro-style offense transition.
However, no one expected the Yellow Jackets to start anew in the depths of the Collins era.
At the Atlantic Coast Conference’s preseason media event, Georgia Tech was selected sixth in the Coastal Division, just ahead of Duke University.
With a brutal schedule that includes three 10-win teams in its first five games — starting with Clemson’s Labor Day at nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium — it’s hard to imagine a road that would allow the Yellow Jackets Scored 9 points better than last year’s 3 games.
Collins is as hot as any coach in this country (well, maybe excluding Auburn’s Brian Hassing), and he knows he has to come up with tangible evidence that his program is moving in the right direction.
This means actual victory, not just words.
His players know it too.
“We knew it wasn’t the best few seasons,” senior wide receiver Malachi Carter said. “But if we keep thinking that way, it’s not a good season either.”
During the nearly half-hour meeting with the media at Georgia Tech’s indoor practice facility, Collins never mentioned “404 culture,” his love of waffle houses, or what he’d been hoping to hear for the first three years. Any other Atlanta-centric reference makes his plans to attract potential recruits in the big city.
The constant sales pitch has prompted some critics to deride him as a “coaching slogan.”
Now, he has to prove he can coach some football.
As is often the case with those under fire, Collins made some major changes to his coaching staff.
Offensively, he hired Chip Long as coordinator and 2000 Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke to work with the quarterback.
The two were hired primarily to get more output from quarterback Jeff Sims, who has big arms and a strong running ability but was too good in the first two seasons. unstable.
“Of course,” Collins admitted. “It’s the focal point of the entire conversation, the entire (recruiting) process.”
Long and Weinke will primarily have Sims and their own offense, giving Collins the opportunity to devote more time to the other end of the line.
The Yellow Jackets rank near the bottom of the ACC in most defensive categories, giving up 455.3 yards and 33.5 points per game. Struggling from front to secondary, they have only 20 sacks (Virginia is the only team with fewer) and rank last in the ACC with just 3 interceptions.
Collins, known in his days as the offensive unit’s defensive assistant, caused a ton of damage, and he had to find a way to bring that style out with the jacket.
“Obviously, a lot of the decisions (with the coaching staff) were made to allow me to spend more time on defense,” Collins said. “All the new, fresh ideas, and people I can rely on, have been very beneficial to this project.”
It all sounds good. Now, it has to be on the scoreboard.
If not, Georgia Tech may be looking for new coaches.
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963
More AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Sign up for the AP College Football Newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25