Onward and upward

I’ve blogged before about my faith in the upwards arc of the learning curve of a coach’s second year on the job.  Here’s something Smart said yesterday about what he noticed in his second spring:

“The intensity in practice was the biggest adjustment since my arrival, every day bringing attention to detail and enthusiasm,” Smart said on the SEC coaches teleconference. “There’s never a chance to relax.

“We talk about a sustainable focus. Can you sustain focus for an entire practice? Can you sustain that same intensity? The more you get used to it, the more it becomes culture. This spring, they were more adept at handling that than last spring. With more depth coming in, we’ll have practice with more intensity, and that’s the goal.”

Sure, maybe that’s little more than happy talk, but I’ll buy in to that “The more you get used to it” part.  Not to say the depth upgrade doesn’t hurt…

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49 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

49 responses to “Onward and upward

  1. AusDawg85

    This will probably be a post fail, but….

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  2. southernlawyer11

    All Georgia coaches and athletic administrators surely deserve a prison sentence for cruel and unusual punishment because the annual rate of increase in intensity of offseason workouts must have it flirting with the bounds of the law. And you thought LAST YEAR was tough . . .

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    • Jared S.

      Wait. Are you saying I shouldn’t get too excited when coach says this year the players….whoops, I mean Student Athletes….are more focused, harder-working, more intense, etc. etc. etc.????

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      • southernlawyer11

        Danny Ware told me that Spring 2004 was WAY WAY harder than Spring 2003. And I have it on good authority that it has, in fact, gotten 13Xs harder since 2004.

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        • Irwin R. Fletcher

          I get the snark…and think it is warranted…but there is a difference between the standard ‘workouts are the toughest they have ever been’ and ‘workouts are more efficient now that they know them and better because we have a two deep that doesn’t include Rudy and that big kid from Varsity Blues.

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  3. Culture is important, but I’m not sure it always changes that quickly. It did at Bama in 07-08, but that was largely due to maybe the best recruiting class of all time.

    Not sure we’re in the same situation.

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    • Mayor

      We had a pretty damn good recruiting class this last time so I am not so sure that won’t be our situation, too. When Nick Saban turned around Bama in one year virtually every player was different in 2008 from 2007 save John Parker Wilson and a couple of others.

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    • dawgtired

      Our previous classes were ranked 5th-2015, 8th-2016. Bama’s were 21st-2005 and 15th-2006.
      So Kirby had a little better foundation of talent going into the ‘up-grade’ than Saban/Bama back then…that is if you put any stock into recruiting rankings.
      It will be interesting to see how many position changes take place with the new kids coming in.

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      • I’m talking about Alabama’s 2008 class, which jumped over a lot of those kids he already had.

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        • dawgtired

          Yes, I understood that and feel you are correct. Your comment just got me thinking about the level of talent that was in-place prior to the ‘big’ recruiting classes. I was curious to see if there would be a need for a whole-sale change for us like there was for Bama. My comment was in support of yours I just didn’t explain where I was headed. Basically, Kirby may not have as big a need to wipe the slate clean. He will have a better opportunity to mix and match talent.

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    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      that was largely due to maybe the best recruiting class of all time.

      Careful…there are many in these parts who think Saban can go 13-0 with anyone’s retreads. Don’t disturb them with these crazy ideas that talent matters.

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    • So, we should be happy with another mediocre season in ’17 because we didn’t sign the best recruiting class of all time in February? When does the current staff get evaluated on their own merits rather than given a pass for “turning the battleship”? That wasn’t what the Bulldog Nation was sold in December 2015.

      Sorry, but a failure to get to Atlanta and be competitive in December is a total failure of the program from the President to the water boy. Saban, Meyer, and the previous guy all got to Atlanta in their 2nd year. 2 of those 3 won the SEC championship in year 2. Why not us?

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      • Yeah, except I totally didn’t say that. I think getting to Atlanta is a very reasonable expectation this year, and falling short of that will be a disappointment.

        My point was simply that Saban’s turnaround from 07 to 08 was driven largely by a phenomenal class that jumped over guys ahead of them or pushed them to be better.

        We’re going to know what we have with Kirby by the end of this season. Let’s let it play out, no?

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        • I agree, but it seems every time someone talks up expectations, you say something like “not sure we’re in the same situation.” If I misinterpreted you, I apologize. I just think a lot of people seem to be giving Kirby a pass for 2017 before we even see the product by blaming the players and the previous staff. Kirby wanted the job and maneuvered his way into the job without a real search conducted. Now it’s time to be accountable.

          You stated “[m]y point was simply that Saban’s turnaround from 07 to 08 was driven largely by a phenomenal class that jumped over guys ahead of them or pushed them to be better.” If the roster was so deficient in 2016 as everyone has stated, this class should do the same thing.

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  4. Erskine

    Sentator, like you I expect an ascent on the learning curve but also recognize there is a loooong way to go from ZERO heading coaching experience to proficency. Year two may only show marginal gain. I am not sure that will be a good long tern picture. Given what the talking heads have projected as a recognizable difference in the Georgia talent versus the contenders, it is possible we win in spite of coaching or lack thereof.

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  5. Red Cup

    Don’t forget that the players have all bought in.

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  6. I just thank heavens we don’t have the same special teams as Richt’s last few years.

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  7. JG Shellnutt

    I think I am starting to get the big picture:
    If the Senator posts something you think is negative, you are supposed to lambaste him for being too negative.
    If the Senator posts something you think is positive, you are supposed to lambaste him for being too positive.
    Fun game…Geez.

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  8. 3rdandGrantham

    As I’ve predicted a few times previously, this will be an 11 win team and will give Bama quite a handful in the SECC. My main concern is with Cheney — I hope he can call an adequate enough of a game to let our talent prevail and/or simply stay out of their way.

    This is a crucial season for Smart and Co., and IMO they will pass the test.

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    • Calidawg

      That kool-aid you’re drinking must be spiked with everclear.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Nah — just going by what little birdies are telling me…and my gut. Just FYI, I predicted 9 wins last year so I wasn’t all that far off; I even said that Smart’s honeymoon would definitely be over by seasons end with much to prove in ’17.

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        • Got Cowdog

          I have heard what you speak of, 3G. And those birdies said prior to 16 that Eason is the real deal, the O-line is in bad shape, the defense is young, and 7-9 wins was all to expect. These second/ third hand birdies also say that 17 should shut a lot of skeptics up. We will see this fall, I suppose.

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          • 3rdandGrantham

            Indeed, a fun year is ahead for us. I’ll be totally shocked — like ’00 SCU game with QC’s 4-5 Int’s shocked — if we don’t have a successful if not very successful year. With that said, I’m nervous about the ND game and we very well could lose that one (in fact I’m predicting as such currently).

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          • dawgman3000

            “These second/ third hand birdies also say that 17 should shut a lot of skeptics up.”

            I’m afraid it won’t Cowdog. See Erskine’s comment above.

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    • Uglydawg

      As I posted in an earlier thread..IF the D is stout enough to get us there, Eason will be a well seasoned and much better QB than we’ll see in September. The offense, barring the injury bug, should be humming by then.

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    • PTCDAWG

      I think our OL might be one year away….but that is really the only doubt I have about being the best team in the SecE..

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Agree; this is my #2 concern, along with establishing play makers at the WR spot being #3. The good news is at least 1 or more of our very large/talented freshman/Rfreshman will play right away. The bad news is at least 1 or more of our very large/talented freshman/Rfreshman will play right away.

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    • Hillbilly Dawg

      Cheney has been quite the enigma. I didn’t like the choice, and still question his abilities. But alas…he is the OC and my querying will not alter that.!

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  9. Shane#1

    I want more kool-aid! It’s the off season and the Dogs are undefeated. I can’t wait for fall camp, I want my kool-aid now!

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  10. Bulldog Joe

    The football team and coaches may be working harder (to get butter) in practice, but no one is working harder than Jimmy Williamson.

    http://onlineathens.com/dogbytes/sports/2017-05-16/uga-associate-head-tennis-coaches-suspensions-come-amid-police

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  11. Macallanlover

    Quality depth upgrade = competition. It is competition that will increase intensity, not culture. Top athletes respond to competition, they want to succeed/win/play. We should see the benefit of that, all coming from the players, not a process.

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