Video/Transcript: Kirby Smart’s Tuesday Presser – November 08, 2022
On practice this week…
“They’ve been really good. I thought they were very focused yesterday and excited for the opportunity to go play at a really tough place, a really tough environment. I don’t think we have anybody on our team that has been there to play a team before, so they were really great yesterday. Good today. Work day. Probably not as much energy and juice as I would like, but they practiced physical, and they practiced hard. We’ve got a tough defense to prepare for, very unique in some of the things they do – not normal for a lot of the SEC teams. The SEC teams have started to copy what their defense does from watching them. And obviously, the offense is very unique, but our guys have been focused.
On recruiting Javon Bullard…
“His film showed the toughness. He tackled well. You can tell that people who run through tackles don’t fear contact. He was a fearless player, and then he did a lot of work out during COVID. He kept working out more and more, which was indicative of ‘I want to be there’ and ‘It’s important to me.’ His parents have a military background, and he’s a tough kid. We thought he was a good fit for our program and good football player, and he has been that.”
On Mississippi State’s Will Rogers’ release…
“I don’t know. It probably depends on the rush. He has not held it long a lot of games, but a lot of that is contingent on how many people you rush. We thought we had a good plan for the last time we played him. It was his first start at quarterback, I guess. He held it some that game. He’s held it some this year, but I don’t know the average. If you rush three or four or five determines how long he holds it.”
On Robert Beal, Amarius Mims, AD Mitchell, and Xavier Truss in practice…
“They’ve all been great. They’ve all been super. I’m hopeful that all of those guys will help us and be able to play. I think AD is probably the furthest behind those guys. He hasn’t taken reps, but he’s been out there running, doing exercises. The rest of the guys have been repping.”
On Kenny McIntosh…
“Kenny’s been limited some. He’s got another deep thigh contusion, really the same one he had twice over. He’s had it two games, I forget the two games coming out of. He’s been limited. The rest of the guys have been going.”
On Justin Robinson for Mississippi State…
“He’s played one of their outside receiver spots. He’s made some plays for them. They’ve gone to him quite a bit in terms of screens and vertical passing game and underneath stuff.”
On the maturity level of this team…
“I feel like we’ve had a target on our back all year. I really don’t feel like that changes, right? When you won the national championship the year before, there’s a target on your back from day one. It doesn’t change regardless of your record or the venue that you play in. We talk about toughness and DNA, and DNA travels. If you have good DNA, it travels with you. We don’t do all the exercises that you do to build composure to not use it. We anticipate it’s an opportunity to flex our composure muscle, our resiliency muscle, our connection muscle, and our toughness muscle. We don’t do all that lifting and preparing to not use it. I expect our guys to use it, and when or if we need it, you have got to be prepared for that. It’s a really tough place to play, and they’ve got a really good team.”
On opportunities to get to Will Rogers…
“Yeah, I think you always do, but it’s not just the passing with them. You have to stop the run, and they’re usually right meaning if you do not have enough in the box, they’re going to run it. If you have to many in the box, they’re throwing. That’s a favorable box for them. And the passes aren’t like he drops back and holds the ball for a long time. He gets the ball out really quick which makes it tough to get to him.”
On MSU’s Dillon Johnson and Jo’quavious Marks’ threat to the defense…
“What’s threatening is the holes they create. They space you out, then gash you with their runs that are downhill, hard-nose, tough, physical runs. They look for a reason to hit. They’re not like traditional runs. They’re not like the runs you see every day. Usually when they’re running them, there is space because they’ve opened up sets and they’ve got people out covered. They get some good run boxes.”
On Kamari Lassiter…
“He’s a tough kid. Really physical, really prideful. A kid from Tuscaloosa. He’s from right over there near Starkville, and he’s a really hard worker. I’ve known him since he was a ninth or tenth grader, and he loves football. I think he’s improved a lot.”
On Austin Blaske…
“Elite toughness. He’s a tough kid, and he plays hard. He’s one of those guys that Coach Searels gives him something to do, and he does it right. He does everything you ask him to do. He’s a core player in our program and embodies the toughness part.”
On the growth of the offensive line…
“I think they’re playing with more confidence. They’re focused. There is a lot of depth there. They’ve played well, and I think they’ve played well through the year. I think the best is still ahead of them, and I think we can still get better with our communication and how we go about things. The physicality they play with has been good.”
On his defending Lideatrick Griffin on kickoff…
“He’s good. He’s really good, and they have a good scheme around him. He sticks it up in there, and a lot of your kickoff return success comes from a fearless returning, but they have a frontline and backend group that are really coordinated. They do a good job on their kick return unit. We’ve worked overtime on that and hopefully we can be successful.”
On the success of the program with in-house players…
“I don’t know if it has been more enjoyable [success with no players taken in the transfer portal this year], but I have loved the guys that we have taken. I love Tykee, and I loved when Maurice Smith was here, and I don’t know who else that we’ve had come. I’ve loved that. I think that there is a lot of thought that that is the way to success, and it certainly can help you. But it can hurt you. It’s one way or the other. We’ve certainly tried to get kids out of there. We’ve tried to get a couple out of there, and we didn’t, but it’s getting the right ones. It’s not how many or any, it’s ‘Does the guy fit your culture?’. I proud of the kids that stayed here, competed, and wanted to improve and get better because we had quite a few leave, too.”
On where the increased confidence from the offensive line is coming from…
“I don’t know what the questions are directed at, because I feel like the Oregon game was one of their best games, the last game was one of the best games. They’ve played really consistent to me. Missouri might be the one outlier, but we had some runs in Missouri that spit out and coughed up the ball and lost a little momentum, but outside of that, I think they played really well, so I think they continue to improve.”
On Coach Jim Donnan bringing a steamroller to practice 25 years ago today…
“Everybody always talks about that. Bubba always brings it up when we have get-togethers, but I swear I don’t remember that. Everybody talks about it, so I know that it happened. I’m not refuting that it did happen. I just don’t remember it. He was that way. He liked to have the moments. The catchy moments, something to remember the game by, something to motivate you and to change it up. He was an inspiration in terms of doing stuff like that. He said, ‘We’re going to steamroll them.’ Then he came out on the steamroller. I think he came on the practice field with it.”
On if he’s contemplated bringing a contraption like that to practice to motivate the team…
“No. I don’t have any gadgets like that.”
On what the staff has done to help players participate in Election Day…
“Probably not enough of the conversation as I would like for it to be. I know in the past, we’ve really pushed hard and gotten a lot of free time to go over and vote and do things, but several of our guys reached out to Coach [Bryan] Gantt and asked where they could vote, a lot of them early voted, in regards to that. I think it’s really important that they understand the importance of it. Whether it’s a presidential election or a state elections, things like that. It’s really important to do it and educate them on it, and a lot of our guys have done it.”
Video/Transcript: Kamari Lassiter and Smael Mondon Interviews – November 08, 2022
On the preparation heading into the Tennessee game…
“We prepared very hard for that game, as hard as we do for any other game I’d say. We locked in on the plan and I think we executed well.”
On how he has grown as a player this season…
“On the year as a whole, I think that I’ve tried to progress every game. I make mistakes every game, obviously. I’m just trying to hone in on those mistakes during the week and try to make sure I don’t make that same mistake during the next game. I think that I’ve been trying to work on my leadership skills, trying to be more of a vocal guy in our room, on the team in general and on the defense, which I think is one of the places that I’ve stepped up the most.”
On his excitement level to defend against the Mississippi State passing attack…
“If you don’t get excited for every game, then there’s something wrong. It’s a great challenge that we have in front of us, and I think myself, the defense and the defensive backs as a whole we’re working very hard to prepare for that challenge.”
On how his tackling can affect big plays…
“Being in the SEC, it’s imperative that you are physical at every position, from the front line and all the way to the back end. That’s something that we work on in practice daily, just being physical in the perimeter, because the perimeter is just as important as the line of scrimmage because, with our front, a lot of teams are going to want to take us outside, so being physical out there is really important.”
On preparing for the Mississippi State offense…
“Of course, they throw the ball well. They have a lot of good receivers. They have an experienced quarterback. A part that a lot of people look over is them running the ball. They have a pretty solid run game, and they have been trying to improve over the last couple of years. It is a balance between both of those.”
On developing physical and mental toughness…
“The coaches put us in a lot of uncomfortable positions where we have to be tough and adapt to it. The coaching staff puts us in positions where they help develop that in the players.”
On the progression of the defense this season…
“From game one, I think we have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. Even the best games we play, there can still be a lot of improvement. Week in and week out, if you keep improving, the sky is the limit.”
ICYMI: Jalen Carter Named Bednarik Award Player Of The Week
Georgia junior defensive lineman Jalen Carter has been named the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week following Georgia’s 27-13 win over No. 1 Tennessee, according to an announcement from the Maxwell Football Club Tuesday.
On Monday, Carter was named the Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Week for the second time in his career. Carter’s former teammate Jordan Davis won the 2021 Bednarik Award during the Bulldogs’ run to the national title for being the best defensive player in college football.
Carter, a native of Apopka, Fla., returned to the starting lineup for the first time since week two following an injury and had four stops, including two tackles for loss and a sack, and forced two fumbles. He highlighted his day with a sack and a forced fumble in the opening period at the Tennessee 1 yard line that eventually led to Georgia’s second touchdown of the game.
Dawgs in the NFL – Week 9
How the Bulldogs in the NFL fared in Week 9:
BUCCANEERS 16, RAMS 13
Jake Camarda, P: Punted six times for a Tampa Bay-record 59.5-yard average, including a franchise-best 74-yarder; kicked off five times; held on four field goals (three successful) and an extra point; and made two special teams tackles. Stands third among NFL rookies with a punting average of 48.5 yards and ninth overall in the league with a net average of 43.0 yards.
Leonard Floyd, OLB: Recorded three tackles and a quarterback hurry for the Rams.
Derion Kendrick, DB: Made four tackles and defended a pass for Los Angeles.
Matthew Stafford, QB: Went 13-of-27 for 165 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown, for the Rams.
CHIEFS 20, TITANS 17 (OT)
Mecole Hardman, WR: Caught six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown and returned four punts for 42 yards for Kansas City.
Malik Herring, DL: Appeared on eight defensive plays with a tackle and three special teams plays for the Chiefs.
Chris Conley, WR: Logged nine offensive plays with one target but no stats for the Titans.
Ben Jones, OL: Played all 51 offensive snaps and helped Tennessee accumulate 229 total yards.
Monty Rice, ILB: Appeared on five special teams plays with a tackle for the Titans.
RAVENS 27, SAINTS 13
Ben Cleveland, OL: Was on Baltimore’s inactive list as a healthy scratch.
Justin Houston, OLB: Intercepted a pass and had three tackles, including 2.5 sacks, for the Ravens. Stands second in the NFL with 8.5 sacks.
Nick Moore, LS: Snapped on four punts, three extra points, and two field goals for Baltimore.
Roquan Smith, ILB: Posted five tackles in his debut with the Ravens. Ranks second in the NFL with 88 tackles.
LIONS 15, PACKERS 9
D’Andre Swift, RB: Caught three passes for 40 yards and rushed twice for 10 yards for the Lions.
Eric Stokes, DB: Had one tackle for Green Bay.
Quay Walker, ILB: Recorded five tackles, including one for loss, for the Packers. Ranks second among NFL rookies with 62 tackles.
Devonte Wyatt, DL: Posted two tackles and defended a pass for Green Bay.
JAGUARS 27, RAIDERS 20
Tyson Campbell, DB: Had two tackles and defended a pass for the Jaguars. Stands ninth in the NFL with eight defended passes.
Travon Walker, OLB: Recorded two tackles for Jacksonville. Ranks fourth among NFL rookies with 2.5 sacks.
Zamir White, RB: Appeared on five special teams plays and one offensive play, losing a yard on his lone carry for the Raiders.
EAGLES 29, TEXANS 17
Nakobe Dean, ILB: Appeared on 17 special teams plays and one defensive play with no stats for Philadelphia, which remained the league’s only undefeated team at 8-0.
CHARGERS 20, FALCONS 17
Tre’ McKitty, TE: Started and appeared on 24 offensive plays with no stats for Los Angeles.
Sony Michel, RB: Picked up 12 yards on one carry and was targeted once for the Chargers.
Jamaree Salyer, OL: Appeared on all 69 offensive plays, plus four more on special teams, as Los Angeles rolled up 336 total yards.
Lorenzo Carter, OLB: Made three tackles for Atlanta.
DOLPHINS 35, BEARS 32
John Jenkins, DL: Appeared on 14 defensive plays with one tackle and four special teams plays for Miami.
Channing Tindall, OLB: Logged 13 special teams plays and five defensive plays with no stats for the Dolphins.
BENGALS 42, PANTHERS 21
Trey Hill, OL: Appeared on seven offensive plays and seven special teams plays for the Bengals.
PATRIOTS 26, COLTS 3
David Andrews, OL: Was on the Patriots’ inactive list due to a concussion.
Isaiah Wynn, OL: Logged 48 snaps at tackle, plus six more on special teams, as New England rolled up 203 total yards.
JETS 20, BILLS 17
James Cook, RB: Caught two passes for 18 yards and rushed four times for 15 yards for Buffalo.
Isaiah McKenzie, WR: Hauled in two passes for 12 yards and had a 9-yard rush for the Bills.
SEAHAWKS 31, CARDINALS 21
A.J. Green, WR: Appeared on one offensive play with no stats for Arizona.
Jonathan Ledbetter, DL: Recorded one tackle for the Cardinals.
On A Bye
Browns: Nick Chubb, RB
Giants: Tae Crowder, ILB; Andrew Thomas, OL
Steelers: George Pickens, WR
49ers: Charlie Woerner, TE
Cardinals: Javon Wims, WR
Chargers: Mark Webb, DB
Commanders: Jake Fromm, QB
Dolphins: Lamont Gaillard, OL
Falcons: Justin Shaffer, OL
Giants: Lawrence Cager, TE: Solomon Kindley, OL
Reserve Lists (IR, PUP, NFI, COVID)
Bengals: Elijah Holyfield, RB
Commanders: Eli Wolf, TE
Eagles: Jordan Davis, DE
Falcons: John FitzPatrick, TE
Giants: Azeez Ojulari, OLB
Raiders: Jordan Jenkins, OLB
Vikings: Lewis Cine, DB
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