In his press conference on Tuesday evening, Kirby Smart talked about growing pains of young, inexperienced players in the SEC. Major Burns and Chris Smith are going through those right now, and there are receivers on the horizon that fighting to be on the precipice of getting their opportunity to experience this growing pains.
When asked specially about Major Burn’s and Chris Smith‘s response to the feedback they got after the Florida game and how proud he was of those two, Smart responded, “I think they handled it well. It’s very technical. I talked about it on Monday. Nobody wants to play good more than those kids. So, it’s really important to them. If it’s not important to them, I don’t want them on my team. Those two kids, they meet extra, they come in, they want to get it right! They do. But there is something about, and I’ve always said in our league, until you’ve played 4 or 5 games, as a starter, you’re going to have silly mistakes. Mistakes I can’t explain. I’ve never seen a player not have them. I called them growing pains… Major had some growing pains. Chris, didn’t really have any growing pains, but he’s already gone through his some last year and earlier this year.”
Also, I asked Smart how close players like Justin Robinson and Makiya Tongue were to contributing with the injury situation at receiver. Smart explained, “Hopefully! Justin works everyday, he’s continuing to get better. He’s getting smarter. He’s trying to contribute on special teams. Makiya has been out with a hamstring. He’s in the injury department with the other 100 guys we have out. So, he hasn’t been able to practice. But, Justin, he’s been in there learning, he’s competing and getting better. It’s been like a cycle out there. Guy in, guy out. Guy in, guy out. That kind of pakcaged with new terminology and new words, it’s been a struggle getting enough guys to play at what I call an above the line level. We are hopeful to get some more of those guys back to be able to help us at receiver.” Georgia has lacked continuity at the receiver position in 2020 throughout the year, as Kirby mentioned. The volatility at that position has compounded the problems in the passing game of inaccuracy by the quarterbacks.
That prolonged issue is different than the sudden rash of injuries they’ve had in the secondary. Richard LeCounte and Lewis Cine getting hurt at the same time was something that Georgia could I’ll afford. Also, DJ Daniel has been banged up throughout the year and he would’ve added flexibility to the secondary as a whole. If Georgia is able to to play against Missouri this weekend, the secondary will be tested as Missouri freshman quarterback Conner Bazelak is gaining confidence as the season goes on and has a 406 yard game under his belt at home versus LSU earlier this year.