Kirby Smart Tuesday Post-Practice Press Conference, Sept. 24, 2019

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Kirby Smart Tuesday Post-Practice Press Conference, Sept. 24, 2019

Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs Tuesday afternoon practice, Sept. 24, 2019
Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs Tuesday afternoon practice, Sept. 24, 2019

Kirby Smart gave an update on the Georgia football team after Tuesday’s practice and talks about Zamir White‘s playing time, teams faking injuries, and more during the bye week press conference, September 24, 2019.

Opening Comments

“We had good energy, good juice. The guys competed really hard. We got some more reps with our ones, twos, and threes together. Some of our twos got a little extra work today. We are trying to develop some more depth to get some good-on-good. We picked out some things we need to work on, some areas of concern, and some areas we need to improve and tried to work on those with specific situation football. Then we did a lot of fundamental work.  We will go back tomorrow and Thursday with a little more physical work.”

On taking this bye week to introduce some things they’ll see down the road with other teams…

“Yeah, we did that today. We had three periods of what we call ‘teach work’. We did three or four periods against each other and then we did three or four periods separate. It’s where we pick out something that not one team does, we don’t go work on team X, we just go work on things that teams do that we don’t do so that we get exposure to it.  We just pick out things we’re going to see in the future and work on them.”

On what the team has to work on the most right now…

“Blocking, tackling, the ability to not give up explosive plays, affect the quarterback.  There are a lot of things, but that is what practice is for. We are trying to help our guys. There are a lot of things that we need to work on and you can’t do them all every day. We try to target a few things that we need to improve on.”

On being quicker in the passing game against Notre Dame…

“I don’t think we ran any screens. The only screen we ran was a tackle for a two-yard loss, so that was not a good deal. There were a couple of run-pass options (RPOs) early on that were nice and effective. There were a couple of things they showed us that spooked us away from those later and a couple of those were really tight throws. The RPO game is something that we’ve had. Jake (Fromm) does a good job with it. You always have it. It’s nice, but it’s not always there.  When the RPOs get taken away with leverage and press- it’s not really who we are. We can do it, but it’s not who we are.  The ability to do that helps us and it helped us in those early plays in the game, but they can do things coverage-wise that spook you.”

On the injury update of Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, Solomon Kindley, and David Marshall…

“Eric was not able to go today. It’s looking like he’s going to be fine, but he was a little sore. He jogged yesterday and ran today. Tyson is working out, training, but not able to practice. Solomon didn’t practice today and he’ll be day-to-day.  He’ll be fine but he wasn’t able to practice today. David’s foot injury has been bothering him all year. He’s strong, he’s playing.  He played in a lot of snaps against Notre Dame. It continuously bothers him so we’re trying to help him out with that.”

On the playing time of Tyrique Stevenson and Tyrique McGhee…

“McGhee practiced all week and did a really good job. McGhee has played corner is several games. He understands our overall system, probably a little better right now. Stevenson is extremely talented and he’s a really big, physical match up guy. As he develops and works and learns the defense he’s going to be a really good player. He’s close. He’s one of the guys that’s competing for the job.”

On previous comments of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” and what they’re looking to fix now…

“We have to affect the passer more. Our HAVOC rate is right on the line of where we want to be. We’re really close- one game we’re under, the other two or three we were over. We spent the last days studying teams that are leading- what are they doing? What in the SEC is working? Who has the highest HAVOC rate in the SEC defense? Offensively, what can we do to get the ball to our playmakers in space? How can we do it better? How can we find plays to get guys on the perimeter to loosen some teams up and throw the ball downfield? It’s limitless, what we’re trying to do.”

On his thoughts of the overall blocking from the receiver group this season…

“It’s been good. If you’re talking about perimeter blocking I’m going to include tight ends and wideouts. We probably tied the other night because we didn’t win that battle. They ripped us in some spots, where we had won the other three. Give them (Notre Dame) a lot of credit- when it came to perimeter blocking I thought their No. 6 (Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah) did an awesome job. He’s a good football player. We didn’t kick their butt. George (Pickens) did have some good blocks, I’ll agree with you there. But as a whole on the perimeter, it wasn’t a total dominate like we’ve been and like we take pride in.”

On Zamir White not playing against Notre Dame…

“With the flow of the game, we didn’t get many opportunities (to get him in). If No. 7 is running the ball like he’s running the ball it’s hard to get the ball to anybody else. The guy was making people miss, running possessed.  Brian Herrien was running hard. We want to get Zamir involved and we need to do that. He’s growing and he’s getting better. He had two of the best blitz pickups I’ve seen out there today. He stoned them. He’s getting better and he’s getting more confidence. I want to be able to show confidence in him and get him out there to play. It wasn’t just Zamir, it was other guys.  There are a lot of guys I would have loved to play in that game but the opportunity never presented itself and we still played a lot of people.”

On having specific things for each player to improve on during the bye week…

“We give every player on the team three or four notes of what they have to get better at. Every coach is assigned their players to say ‘here are your target areas, you have to improve on’. It might be special teams for one guy. It might be routes, it might be blocking, but it’s very specific. We want them to have a purpose in practice this week. If you’re not careful they’ll just tread water. We don’t want to do that. We want to get better and we want to have target areas to get better. Offense had three goals, defense had three goals, and special teams had three goals today. We have to improve.”

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