HAVOC, EXPLOSIVE and CONSISTENT: Kirby Smart focusses each unit on 2019 goals

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HAVOC, EXPLOSIVE and CONSISTENT: Kirby Smart focusses each unit on 2019 goals

Andrew Thomas (71) blocks for D'Andre Swift (7) - G-Day 2019
Andrew Thomas (71) blocks for D’Andre Swift (7) – G-Day 2019

Every Georgia fan has heard the words “Attack the Day.” One of the first things every head coach does upon arrival to their new college town is rebrand the football program. Every program has a mantra, a mission. Mark Richt preached “Finish the Drill.”
Kirby Smart’s “Attack the Day” still stands but for the 2019 season he has assigned additional position specific goals … Havoc, Explosive, Consistent.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Havoc: n. wide and general destruction, great confusion and disorder; v. to lay waste

The Georgia defense defines havoc as the percentage of plays in which they create tackles for loss, pass break ups, forced fumbles or interceptions.

“We are emphasizing that havoc of getting the ball, getting nasty, being violent,” said linebacker Nate McBride.

Every day during spring practice meetings a different player was asked to stand up and give the definition. Smart explained the routine as a way to ingrain the idea in the minds of the athlete.

The ultimate goal is to have 20 percent of plays cause havoc.

“I do think we have created more negative plays,” said Smart. “We have been really aggressive this spring at trying to do that. Coach Lanning and Coach Schumann have made that a point of emphasis.”

Stetson Bennett commented after G-Day on what it is like to repeatedly face off against the Bulldog defense.

“I am tired of playing against them honestly. I wish we would play against someone else because they are pretty good. They work as hard as anybody I have seen,” said Bennett. “I have the utmost respect for them and that is why I have so much respect for the O-line because I know what they have to go up against.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Explosive: adj. Resulting from or as if from an explosion; likely to erupt in or produce hostile reaction or violence.

When it comes to football, how explosive a team is can actually be measured. The specifics of an explosive play or big play statistic can vary but the general definition is any passing play that results in a gain of at least 20 yards or any rushing play of at least 10 yards.

These are what the Bulldog offense is aiming for.

“It has always been explosive ever since I have been here,” said Jeremiah Holloman. “The plays that we have and the plays that we are bringing in are just going to keep adding to the explosiveness.”

This movement is spearheaded by new offensive coordinator James Coley. During all three of his years at Miami as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, the Hurricane offense led the nation in explosive plays.

“He is a great coach who brings the energy to practice,” said running back D’Andre Swift. “He is the kind of guy you want to play for.”

Coley has introduced new and different schemes to the offensive team. He has even reportedly been introducing the running backs to the pass game. According to Baker, he even has gotten the running backs involved in the passing game.

“Right now we are doing a lot of explosive things, making explosive plays and we have explosive people on our offense,” said starting quarterback Jake Fromm. “Explosive is a good word and feeling for us.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Consistent: adj. marked by harmony, regularity, or steady continuity; free from variation or contradiction.

Star kicker Rodrigo Blankenship said that for the team that means that coach Smart is looking for athletes that are continuously invested in special teams and want to make their way onto the field.

“He [Smart] is so incredibly invested in special teams. He hangs his hat on it. He wants us to be the absolute best in the conference and group in the country every season,” he said. “He wants to see enthusiasm, energy and guys that are just begging to get on special teams to put their talents to work for the team.”

Wide receivers play a big part in achieving this consistency and Georgia lost a “tremendous” amount of special teams snaps out of the wide receiver room.

This season the team is getting a fresh batch of receivers with freshmen Georgie Pickens, Makiya Tongue and Dominick Blaylock set to enroll in June. Smart has also brought on seasoned graduate transfer Lawrence Cager from Miami.
“Consistency. That is what we need,” said Smart. “We have to find some returners and catching the ball was the objective.”

Georgia ended the 2018 season ranked 6th in the SEC and 50th overall in special teams efficiency ratings. This is not where Smart wants his team to be at the end of this season. He is preaching consistency in hopes of improving the unit’s all around performance.

Each team is still planning to “Attack the Day” just in different ways. Each goal was specifically created and assigned to improve all aspects of each position group. They are also meant to prepare the team for any situation that they may encounter between the hedges and beyond.

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Hayden Chambless is a sophomore at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication majoring in Journalism with a certificate in Sports Media. She started her journey as a sports fan when she attended a Georgia football game at just a month old and has followed the sport ever since then. Hayden hopes to work as a sports broadcaster when she graduates.