There is no doubt a lot about being the Head Coach at the University of Georgia that Kirby Smart hates. Media availabilities often seem to be a part of his contractual obligations that he is not the most thrilled about. Then again, that may have more to do with the sensationalized questions than the actual task of sharing about and promoting his program. Also, I don’t see Smart as someone who would really enjoy getting out and rubbing elbows with the big donors and boosters to raise funds for the Georgia program. No, Coach Smart is a grinder. Like his coaching mentor Nick Saban, he enjoys working with players, coaching technique, being fully invested in the incremental growth that Smart sees as never ceasing. Smart enjoys specifically coaching the play of his defensive backs. After all, Smart was an All-SEC defender in his own playing days at Georgia.
This season there seems to be a confluence of events that are lining up for Smart to have what on the surface would seem to be his most enjoyable year at the helm with the Dawgs. For one, it seems there should be no QB drama this year with JT Daniels solidly entrenched as ‘the guy’ for the Dawgs, barring any injury or unforeseen event, which Lord willing won’t occur. Also, Daniels is paired with a returning Offensive Coordinator in Todd Monken, returning position coaches, and every single major contributor on the offense from a year ago. Smart should, in theory, have a CEO or Head Coach of the offense, if you will, in Monken and a knowledgeable and experienced gunslinger in Daniels that allows him to do what he loves, and that’s very involved defensively. This dynamic is ideal and much welcomed, with a thin and somewhat inexperienced secondary taking the field this fall.
Should the offense produce in the manner that they’re expected to, not only will it allow Smart to more earnestly help Dan Lanning, Jahmile Addae, and Will Muschamp coach up the new faces of Georgia’s secondary, but it will also end never-ending questions from the media on offensive struggles and quarterback play. If anything, questions about defense will be asked. Smart will enjoy fielding those because he’s forgotten more about defensive football than most asking the questions have known or ever will know, and the answers should be quite entertaining.
Smart is all about progress; how can he motivate and prepare his players, coaches, and program as a whole to get better each day. The improvement from September 4th to Playoff Selection Sunday should be very noticeable. As a self-proclaimed ultimate competitor, Smart should enjoy the challenge of everyone nationwide questioning his secondary and assuming it will be the weak link that keeps Georgia from winning the National Championship. Again, if Monken, Daniels, and company on offense are proving dynamic and putting up points, that sense of accomplishment as a program, combined with a talented secondary in need of some seasoning, should provide for one of, if not the most enjoyable seasons that Smart has had as the Head Coach at the University of Georgia.