Georgia head coach Kirby Smart took the podium at Tuesday’s practice, and he seemed happy about what he saw that day. In his opening statement he said just that, and also talked about how he was impressed by the previous days (Monday) practice.
He was first asked about the importance of this first game, and what he thought on establishing an identity would do for the team.
“It’s the first one, so it kind of is what it is. You always want to establish who you are and create that identity. You do it through camp, really. You do it through scrimmages and practices and meetings. They’ve begun to do that. They’ve begun to take on a personality as a unit on both sides of the ball and special teams. Nobody in the country knows what they have until they go out there and play.”
Smart also mentioned that there are a lot of players on the team (mainly freshman and redshirts) who might have never been in an atmosphere like this. An SEC division game, especially on the road, can be an eye opener. He was very excited to see how these guys react.
The transition from camp mode to game prep seem to have gone smoothly, because Kirby talked about how ready his team was for game week. Generally players might get burnt out, but Smart noticed that his guys seemed to be really dialed in.
“Although it’s Tuesday we’re at a Wednesday/Thursday stage and we still have two more practices to try to go back and change some things, tweak some things, and try to figure out what’s going to work best.”
Smart then talked about offensive coordinator James Coley, and how he will be coaching from the sidelines rather than the box. Smart also said that there are some plays or packages that Georgia never used under Jim Chaney, and now that Coley is the head play caller that some things might look a tad bit different.
“We want to be explosive. We want to score points. I think in college football nowadays you have to be able to score points. When. You look at the best teams in the country, they can do that, so we have to be able to score points. Whatever it takes to do that, whether it’s wearing people down or throwing the ball, we have to be flexible enough to do that.”
That being said, he also talked about some things that the defense needs to do better. Smart said that the defense needs to create more negative plays, and that they need to create more turnovers. Throughout fall camp Smart has been preaching about creating more havoc. But not just the defense, but the offense and special teams alike need to create more havoc at a high rate.
Smart preached about how special teams are in the forefront, and that more critical errors are made when that unit is on the field. He added that when special teams are on the field that puts more pressure on the other team.
It seems like everything this week has been going as usual for a first game week. Kirby then talked about the final preparations and how every last detail was being attended to.
“Lastly we’re just making sure that we feel good about our ability to manage the clock, our ability to get the signals in, our ability to do the kicking game and do it in an efficient manner. It doesn’t stop, ever. And it doesn’t start anywhere because it’s just a continuum, but I certainly think the closer you get to a game the more you heighten your awareness to it. Especially as a head coach because you’re always trying to see everything and sometimes you try to see too much. You have to be careful.”
Georgia kicks off this Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 against Vanderbilt at 7:30pm.
Here is the link to Tuesday’s presser: