It doesn’t sound like there was much sugarcoating involved in Kirby Smart’s initial message to his new team.
The talk with the team “wasn’t extremely long,” according to quarterback Greyson Lambert. It was just Smart addressing the team, and one thing he said jumped out to a couple players who were available to the media on Monday.
“He told us it’s not a big difference between us and Alabama, except the margin of error,” sophomore linebacker Davin Bellamy said.
Smart held two fingers an inch apart, according to Blazevich, to signify how close that margin of error is. So the message was that there was basically as much talent in that room as there is at Alabama.
I’m already seeing an emerging theme here with the not extremely long stuff; today’s presser felt like more of the same. I welcome less happy talk in Athens.
The big question is whether these kids buy in and do so quickly.
“We know we could’ve played better. And we definitely have enough talent to be able to compete with anybody in the SEC,” Bellamy said. “It’s just those little things we need to fix. And I think he’s bringing that to our attention, it kinda got everybody locked in.”
Blazezvich compared it to what strength coaches usually tell players when they’re in the weightroom: Doing that one extra repetition isn’t going to get you stronger by itself, butt doing it enough times will set the right mindset.
“There’s very few people that go the extra mile, that go 110 percent,” Blazevich said. “A lot of people only go 80 percent and nobody can really notice the difference. But the difference is in the results. He’s saying we need to bump it up a lot more. That margin of error is very small and we need to get over that.”
Knowing there’s a problem is the first step towards fixing it. We shall see.