Kirby Smart is more level-headed than most Georgia fans.

Which is a good thing.

Smart was Richt’s running backs coach in 2005, and he speaks with reverence when discussing his predecessor. At the same time, Smart has heard plenty from fans about what they want to see out of the new regime.

“What Mark did was remarkable,” Smart said. “Averaging almost 10 wins over 15 years in the SEC is really amazing. But in the last five or six years, the East has been down, and you also have to be competitive with the West. So we know exactly why we’re here and what the expectations are, and I can assure you we have those same expectations.

“If you win the SEC, you’re going to be in the [College Football Playoff]. That’s the aiming point: going and winning the SEC and getting in that four and then going and playing teams that maybe aren’t as good as the ones you played during the year.”

One of the things Smart has heard most from fans, other than their frustration with the championship drought, is that the program has become stale.

“They want passion and energy in the players,” Smart said. “They want passion and energy out of the coaches. They want humility too. A lot of the fans have been like, ‘We’re tired of our players feeling like they’re entitled when they really haven’t done anything.’ Their complaint is, ‘We won 10 games, but who did we beat?’ And it might be 12 wins one season and then eight or 10 wins another season and then eight and then six.

“They want consistency and performance, and that’s what we’re grinding every day to bring them.”

Better win big, son.  And soon.

51 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

51 responses to “Kirby Smart is more level-headed than most Georgia fans.

  1. “A lot of the fans have been like, ‘We’re tired of our players feeling like they’re entitled when they really haven’t done anything.'”

    If that’s a true quote, can those fans please accept an invite to join the Alabama bandwagon? I’ve never heard or seen our players act like that.

    • Mad Mike

      I think it’s probably all in reference to when players, in the past, have said they have not taken opponents seriously. I remember that happening.

      • I recall 2 years ago members of the team saying they didn’t get ready for Florida like they should have. That’s different from being “entitled.” That word just rubbed me the wrong way.

    • 81Dog

      Never mind the players acting all entitled. Maybe some of our “best fans” should take their own advice and quit acting like it’s their birthright to see UGA win the SEC at least 2 out of every 3 years, etc etc etc. Kirby has his work cut out for him pleasing THAT segment.

      • 81, you’re absolutely right. Those “fans” that made the comment about our players acting like they’re entitled are exactly the ones that can go change their G tag to an A tag.

      • Debby Balcer

        Amen. Those fans make going to a game not fun. They boo our players and coaches and act like petulant children when we don’t win big or win in the way they want. No coach is ever going to be good enough for them because we won’t ever be Bama.

        • Debby, I want to win a championship as bad as anyone. I agree with Kirby if you win the SEC, you’re likely in the playoff with a good shot at winning the thing. I also believe we can do it the right way and be proud of it. The people you’re talking about are the “championship or bust” crowd that are insufferable.

          • Debby Balcer

            Yes they are. They seem to come out of the woodwork when Richt won the first SEC east title. I am all for winning and doing it right but my status does not change once we win a championship. I support the team through bad times and good.

      • Mark

        Truer words were never spoken. I have gotten a belly full of the “if you ain’t champs, you suck” crowd.

        It is absolutely unfair how short Kirby’s leash is. But thatit is shprt is a fact.

        Greg McGarity’s, in fairness, ought to be about t

        • Mark

          Sure wish we had an edit function.

          As I was saying, ADGM’s leash ought to be two years shorter than Kirby’s.

    • Jared S.

      Overall, no, you are correct. Our players don’t act like that. However, when I first read the quote from Kirby the first thing that popped into my head was some of our players’ absolutely ridiculous silliness right before the Alabama game last year. I assume that might be what CKS had in mind when he said what he said…..

      • I wasn’t thinking about that either. I still say the Bama players started the whole thing by running to meet the other guys on our end of the field and they started jumping in front of our student section. That was a case of emotion before a big game getting the best of our guys. If the Alabama players had done the same thing on their end of the field in pregame, fine …

        I think of entitled, and I think of the crap that has gone in Waco, Tallahassee, Knoxville and Gainesville where athletes believe they are entitled to be treated as if they are royalty. I’ll admit I just didn’t like the use of the word.

  2. sniffer

    Kirby has been in the most pressure packed environment a coach could be in the last few years. Seems to have held up pretty good. I believe he will win big and do it sooner than later.

    • I’ve liked a lot of what Kirby has said since December, but recently, it seems his mouth is writing a lot of checks that people are going to be presenting for payment this fall especially the night of October 29, 2016. If we don’t beat Florida and we look bad in doing it, the honeymoon will be over, and he will find out what pressure really looks like.

      • McTyre

        Not sure what “checks” you’re talking about. Kirby spends more time poormouting our talent and depth than anything. Also, it’s a fool’s errand to parse the words – into a media microphone – of a coach like Kirby. Everything is calculated and not always to be confused with a factual assessment of the program or a window into his soul.

        • I hear words like “passion,” “energy,” “humility,” and “entitled” used in the context he used them, and the connotations are not good. If he doesn’t raise the level of play and the team lays an egg on the banks of St. John’s River, he is going to experience a level of pressure that even being Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator couldn’t prepare him for. No matter what you thought about his predecessor, the true beginning of the end happened in 2014 when we spit the bit in Jacksonville. Kirby needs to understand that the best thing for his long-term job security is either win a championship quickly or beat Florida early, often, and regularly.

          • McTyre

            Definitely with you on the tipping point for Richt and how Kirby in Year 1 can validate his approach. Good news is he doesn’t have to move heaven and earth to be better than the 2015 team – particularly with that schedule.

          • He better be sure to beat GT, Tenn, and Aubum regularly and consistently as well.

          • Dog in Fla

            I hear words like “passion,” “energy,” “humility,” and “entitled”

            We can’t handle a few good words like “honor,” ” code,” and “loyalty”

          • sniffer

            I’ll say it. He doesn’t have to beat UF, but his team absolutely has to play hard, focused and tough. If we lose 24-21 on a last second field goal, so be it. If we lose 24-7 and get steamrolled, well, ….

            • My thoughts exactly. If our guys play hard, focused and tough, I think there will be a big red & black party in Jacksonville on that Saturday night.

              Man, is there going to be some property destroyed tonight!

            • Tim In Sav

              Well said Sniffer.

            • 81Dog

              So, now we’re going to be satisfied with “quality losses”? What are we, Tech fans? I agree that it’s better to be in the game with a chance to win than to get blown out, but at the end of the day an L is an L in the standings. I don’t really care about style points. I care about winning more games than we’ve won in the past. I don’t think it’s fair to expect Kirby to go undefeated every year, but I think that’s how some of our quality demanding fans were selling him, and I think that’s what a lot of them are expecting, overtly or not.

              Me, I want to win, but I don’t want to win bad enough to turn us into Auburn or Ole Miss or Irvin Meyer’s clones. It will be interesting to see how Kirby handles all the expectations from the people who wanted him the most. But, if we come in second or third in the East with a weak schedule and losing a couple of close SEC games, who’s going to spin that as improvement? Not me.

            • Greg

              They all count the same, whether it’s by 1 or 30….a loss, is a loss, is a loss.

                • Greg

                  Okay,Tim…..then you do the math….: > )

                  • Tim In Sav

                    So Greg…you are telling me that a hard fought close loss doen’t feel better that going into Jacksonville and peeing all over yourself on Nat’l TV. yes I can count and they are both losses but the former I can live with much better.

                    • Greg

                      Good Lord Tim….the statement was more tongue in cheek than anything else – hence the smile at the end …: > ). Nobody likes losses – but honestly, a 1 point win and a 20 point loss does indeed count the same. If the team gives up, that is a different story. If you just get beat, again – a different story….it is how you get back up – just like life.

                      Examples (wins & losses), ’07 we finished 11 & 2 and lost to TN 35 -14. In 2012, we lost to SC 35 – 7…but finished 12 & 2. Not bad seasons in my opinion, it is all how you rebound from a loss from my seat. We rebounded and I thought those were 2 good seasons. It is almost the same with wins…a win, is a win, is a win for me – no difference. Example, the “steamroller” game in ’97 we beat Mississippi State 47 – 0 and go to Knoxville and get our fannies handed to us….13 – 38. We finish that season 10 & 2, not a bad season. There are a few more examples, but hopefully….you get the idea.

                      It is all how you finish Tim, not about just one game. Do not take what I said personal….it was not meant that way. We just have different views and there is nothing wrong with expressing them. Peace brother!

  3. Russ

    All the discussion before the season even starts is just made up and flagellant. I still like to read it, though.

    I still think Kirby will have us winning the SEC in the next three years.

  4. aladawg

    He better or he and McGoofy will be gone. Just win, baby…………

  5. DavetheDawg

    Yeah, he’s got pressure. But can you imagine what Nick Saban’s successor will have to endure? Frankly, I’m looking forward to that.

  6. PTC DAWG

    I like the way Kirby comes across.

  7. If he’s not more level-headed than most fans, then the program is certainly doomed.

  8. Greg

    Thinks he just set the bar for himself, I have no problem with it. I just expect more than 9.7 wins per year….and 2 SEC championships within his first 5 years. If not, McGarity did all of this for naught & he should be the one gone. I am pulling for the Dawgs & Kirby.

    • JCDAWG83

      If you want more, he only has to win one SEC championship in the next 10 years.

    • PTC DAWG

      It is the last 10 years that got CMR fired…

      • No, it was the last 2 performances in Jacksonville that got him fired. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • If Kirby is as Smart as everyone thinks he is, he will wake up every morning thinking about what he needs to do to whip Gator @$$.

          • Tim In Sav

            Why don’t we give Kirby just a min to show what he can do…..jeez

            • What did my comment have anything to do with not giving him time to show what he can do? My point is he doesn’t need to worry about beating Alabama or anyone in the West … His full focus needs to be on building a team that beats Florida consistently, and that’s driven off the premise that Richt got fired because of the last 2 embarrassing defeats in Jacksonville.

      • Greg

        5 is enough for Kirby. We made a change to get better, not go backwards. If it does not work…change the AD.

      • Greg

        No need in dragging it on, 5 years is enough to prove himself …..surely he can do better than Richt’s 1st 5.

  9. Jason

    I used to read this blog a good bit until I realized it was full of a bunch of people who couldn’t handle an opinion that was different than theirs. I come back once to revisit and it’s the same ol thing…either get on board with Coach Kirby Smart or you go find another team. Quit whining about Richt this Richt that. He’s gone. We should be competing at the highest level every season and there is absolutely no reason we cannot win like Alabama. We don’t have to be just like them in every facet but we sure as heck can win like them. Athens after all is way greater than Tuscaloosa. Go Dawgs!

    • Tim In Sav

      Jason you are so right. I am so tired of the “we can’t” crowd and the “Kirby doesn’t have any head coach experience” crowd. Kirby has just as much experience as Mark Richt did when he took the job. I’m sure Kirby knows much more about football than all the bloviators on here.

    • I haven’t seen anyone who isn’t supporting Kirby at this point. I want him to be crazy successful and take the program to the next level the right way. I just happen to think the best way to do that is not to focus on Alabama but to focus all of the resources of the program on beating Florida consistently. Everything else will take care of itself.

    • Greg

      Amen brother…..but there has to be a little discourse/disagreement for this place to make it interesting – but I agree for the most part. Thinks Kirby is going to be outstanding, he is working his tail off. The little things take care of the big things….
      GO DAWGS!