Kirby Smart talked most about performances at Saturday’s first spring scrimmage. The good thing is Kirby didn’t say anything negative about the team, “I really liked the effort.”
Coach Smart was proud that it wasn’t sloppy, “It was not a ‘ho-hum’ type day.”Usually, jumping into this kind of intensity, given only having spring practices and walkthroughs, you get “loafs,” but Kirby says, “I was really pleased with the effort. If you don’t have effort, you don’t have a chance.”
Kirby Smart did critique the team’s tackling, referring it to as “sloppy,” but it was excused in part to the fact that they were minimizing live-tackling in practice to decrease chances of injury. But Smart went on to say, “There were some big collisions. There were two or three really good physical hits…They were into it. They were energized.”
Coach Smart addressed several other topics last night:
Kirby cleared the air after what was seen by some as calling out Stetson Bennet a week ago, “You know, y’all made a big deal out of that… It’s like everything is blown out of proportion.” That “calling out” was apparently just routine chewing out. That speaks to Smart’s hatred of complacency as Bennett returns for his sixth season as the expected starting quarterback.
On the quarterbacks behind him, Kirby had this to say, “It’s just amazing how far they’ve come from this time last year to right now. It’s like Oh my god… Brock [has] probably [come] even further. You know he was a little bit younger.” He addressed junior Carson Beck saying with COVID’s presence in 2020, this is essentially Carson’s second spring. Both quarterbacks have had the opportunity to show off their strengths in practice, and look like quality depth at the position.
Surprisingly, early enrollee Brett Thorson wound up being a hot topic in the press room. The twenty-two-year-old from Australia has garnered a bit of attention over the course of spring practice, but today it was all about Brett. Kicker Jack Podlesny praised his leg. He’s a hard worker and excited to learn about American football and American culture. Apparently, he refers to Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches as “burgers,” so it seems like he has a way to go. The team loves his presence and is respectfully amused by his accent. When asked about his living situation with him being a twenty-two-year-old early enrollee, it was confirmed that Brett Thorson will be living in the freshman dorms, “Yeah, he’s getting an experience to say the least,” (Jack Podlesny).
In what might have been his first post-practice presser, junior defensive lineman Jalen Carter fared well. A lot of questions were thrown at him regarding succeeding the likes of Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, and Travon Walker. Carter seemed collected through it all. He emphasized that he was his own person and was motivated by their legacy. We saw some smiles from Carter when he was asked about playing on the other side of the ball lining up at fullback to which he replied, “I love it. It’s very fun. I really wish I could play a little more.”
Not expecting to have had the season he did last year, McConkey enters this offseason with an elevated level of confidence, “He’s much more confident.” And that was basically it.
After completing their 10th spring practice session, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this team. Look for questions to be answered soon enough with G-day around the corner.