“It’s going to take some time.”

Um… not sure I know where this is going.

Leaders will once again decide how Georgia plays football, but Smart said the Bulldogs are “not even close” to finding new sources of leadership. Jonathan Ledbetter, one of the people who Smart said is trying to step up as a leader, believes adversity will be the only way for this year’s team to find itself.

“You can try to recreate things and do a bunch of different things to create chemistry, but the only way to create a real team is to go through adversity,” said Ledbetter, a senior defensive end.

No, he doesn’t mean adversity in the sense of going to Columbia and losing to an inferior South Carolina team — been there, done that — but in the sense that this is a team that hasn’t pushed itself enough mentally and emotionally this spring.

That adversity will first come in the form of practice and training while the Bulldogs incorporate the rest of a recruiting class ranked No. 1 in the country into the fabric of the team over the summer. The adversity will increase as the players pant and push the limits of their bodies during preseason practice. In those spaces, the Bulldogs will try to re-establish the speed and physicality that defined last year’s team.

“It will only happen if you make it happen and you earn it,” Smart said. “Right now, we’re not where we need to be. The good news is we don’t have to be. We just got to be making progress.”

I like how Ledbetter puts things in terms of creating a mindset.  If you’re that overly conscious of searching for an identity, it almost smacks of fake juice.  Anything that comes of it is bound to be artificial at best and unlikely to lead to sustained excellence.

Fortunately, I do believe Smart knows the best way to bring adversity in the sense of forging a real team mentality that will serve to carry through to another great season, and that’s competition.  There’s going to be a real temptation for some of this team to rest on the laurels of a remarkable 2017-8 season, or to reach for some unnatural re-creation of the mindset that took them to a national title game.  Kirby’s challenge is to get them all beyond that.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

11 responses to ““It’s going to take some time.”

  1. Bright Idea

    It’s all on Kirby to develop this team and its leadership. That’s why he just got a huge raise. We believe he can do it so why worry?

    Like

  2. Bulldog Joe

    Adversity will come in the form of competition for your starting job.

    Some of our guys are in for a rude awakening before September kickoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lrgk9

    Like my dad the WWII vet used to say,
    Don’t care how tough boot camp is; it doesn’t hold a candle to live fire..,

    Like

  4. Uglydawg

    We’ll find out early if this team has been eating the rat poison.
    It’s not a just a funny cliche that we’ll get Team Cocks’ best shot.
    That’s going to be one long, hot game in WB Stadium.
    It’s going to be crazy,
    That awful screeching will be off the charts obnoxious.
    I don’t know which is worse. That capon’s crowing or the hillbillies in Knoxville gleefully bolting out “Rocky Top”. (It would be beautiful if visiting crowds would sing “Rocky Stop” every time TN failed at anything in a game.)
    Anyway, concerning almost every game on the schedule, Georgia can’t possibly get out-talented but can get out played.
    The Capons are going to have a good team. Good enough to give us a taste of adversity.
    It’s going to require our best, un-rat poisoned shot to prevail.

    Like

    • Russ

      All I know is we’re going to bust a capon their ass. Dawgs win by 2 TDs.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        Agree, it is always possible we could lay an egg, but unlikely to me. I would put SC as my 4th concern on the schedule. Actually, the more they run their mouths, and the media buys into some of what they are selling, it will raise our team’s interest and talent/coaching should prevail.

        Like

  5. AusDawg85

    sniff…sniff Is that a whiff of throw away season I smell?

    Like