Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.”
He never coached football. But you sort of get the feeling that if he did and he had a two-year record of 6-16, there wouldn’t be much rehashing of turnovers, pre-snap penalties, general chaos, that time Clemson hung 52 points by halftime, downshifted and settled for 73 or a loss to 1-10 Syracuse.
Because “Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” And that’s sort of where Georgia Tech is right now. Geoff Collins undertook a monumental task two years ago to overhaul every aspect of the football program when he replaced Paul Johnson, and we know it was monumental because Collins keeps telling us.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Johnson, a tremendous amount of respect for the players who have played here for the last 11 years, a tremendous amount of respect for the triple-option, I truly do,” Collins said. “But everybody in the football world understands the task we were assigned with.”
A few minutes later: “The way we practice is different, the way we come to the building is different, the way we go to the weight room is different. It was a complete culture shock for everybody. There was a heavy lift even in the first six months to get them excited about making plays and the leadership component and the demeanor you need to have to play at an elite level.”
Collins was given a seven-year contract by the administration. But Season 3 will be telling. The benefit of the doubt will swing one way or the other. As much as Collins has accomplished in the areas of marketing, branding and to some degree recruiting, he needs to start winning more games.
The Yellow Jackets’ best hope in accomplishing that in 2021 hinges on the offense. They have one of the top running backs in the nation, more size, depth and experience on the offensive line and a talented young quarterback who often seemed overwhelmed as a freshman. Collins and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude want an offense with changing cadences and tempos and an attack that confuses defenses, but last season they confused themselves.