At Wednesday’s press conference when asked if he was satisfied with his team’s fall camp progress, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart didn’t give a surprising answer.
“I’m never satisfied with where we are. I get that question a lot and I never know how to answer it,” said Coach smart. “I really don’t. Are we where we need to be? I don’t know that. Because I think we could’ve done better the practice before that and the practice before that, hell I want every practice to be good. So if they’re not good I get frustrated with it.”
He then expressed that he wasn’t disappointed with the way the team practiced, but there is still a lot of work to be done, and that they still have time to do it. Smart’s mind didn’t seem to be focused on Vanderbilt yet, but more on finishing up this weeks practices heading into game week.
“We’re not working on Vandy yet. We as coaches are, but as a team and players, we’re trying to sharpen iron,” said Kirby Smart. “Iron sharpens iron, and we’re trying to to get competitively better.”
At Wednesday’s practice, running back D’Andre Swift was in a non-contact black jersey, which is odd because it’s usually only worn by quarterbacks. He seemed fine, taking handoffs, running and practicing with the rest of the team, but when asked about him Smart smiled and said:
“Yeah that was just so y’all would focus in on that and not see the other stuff out there. It obviously worked. So y’all missed, or at least I haven’t seen it written yet, what I didn’t want y’all to see. You got that good. So I’m glad you all got that.”
Smart then was asked about the battle at cornerback, and if Eric Stokes was the clear frontrunner for the starting job. First, he praised Stokes for coming in last year as a backup and really earning his playing time. But then he mentioned that there are three other guys who are battling for those two starting spots and that it is a competition.
The progress of Jermaine Johnson was brought up and Smart expressed that he doesn’t think that he has been practicing at full speed. Apparently early in camp Johnson had sprained his ankle a few times.
“I don’t think he was 100 percent. But I thought in the scrimmage the other day there were some places where he showed burst, acceleration, kicking situations and some edge situations that he did a really nice job,” said Kirby Smart. “So we were really pleased with his jump from scrimmage one to scrimmage two.“
Smart added that the team would spend the day preparing fully for Vanderbilt this Saturday. He mentioned in his press conference last Saturday that the team would transition from Fall Camp mode and begin game preparation on Wednesday and Thursday. You could also sense that he was a little eager for the season to get underway, even though he claimed he wasn’t.
“I’m not eager. I do agree that at some point you have to go play somebody to get better. We need practice, we need to improve, but we need to play somebody else to be able to do that because you get to the point where you see the same guys, do the same thing,” said Coach Smart. “You only have a certain amount of defenses or so many offenses sets or plays, and it’s like, you can’t get bored with the basics so you want to go play somebody.”
With all the hype surrounding Smart’s team, it’s only nine days until kickoff. The Georgia Bulldogs open their season against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, August 31. at 7:30 p.m.
Here the video from Kirby Smart’s press conference from Wednesday afternoon.