It’s the glass half-empty/half-full syndrome, of course. Is the offense having its way because it’s improved, or is it because the defense isn’t getting the job done?
You can guess what’s in Kirby Smart’s glass.
The play of the Bulldogs’ experienced defense continues to leave a lot to be desired.
“We didn’t tackle well as a defense,” Smart said. “Does that mean we’ve got really good skill guys and they’re hard to tackle? Probably something to do with it, but we’ve got to improve our tackling.”
Particularly stopping the offense from getting yards after tackle.
Smart said the team was missing “knock-back tackles, what I call when you hit a guy and you splatter him and you knock him back where he doesn’t get yards after contact.”
You can probably guess why, too.
As for the rest of the defense, Smart said: “I expect the tackling to improve greatly by the next scrimmage.”
I think I know what’s on the menu for this week’s practices.
That being said, Smart did offer a few specific shortcomings on that side of the ball.
Smart mentioned that the effort appears to be there but that, for whatever reason, there have been some lapses that need to be corrected.
On one instance, Smart mentioned that a defender got caught looking into the backfield and leaving a fullback wide open in the flat. On another, a defender didn’t play his assignment correctly and allowed an offensive lineman to win the leverage battle and spring a running back for a touchdown.
“Those are things that disturb me defensively,” Smart said. “It’s either you’re asleep at the wheel, you’re comfortable, you’re not hungry – there’s something there. We’ve got to figure out what that is. We’ve got to help them. We’ve got to challenge them and give them an opportunity to get better. You take Trenton and Roquan out, and they are too really good players, right? Still, we got a lot of guys who have played a lot of snaps and that’s the disappointing thing.”
Keep in mind, that’s over the course of approximately 130 plays run on the day, so it’s hard to say if Smart’s disturbed over something prevalent, or it’s just that he’s a perfectionist. Either way, it’s reasonable to expect they’ll keep on pushing. It’ll be interesting to see how much of this shows on G-Day.