Making a connection

We’ve talked about how no spring practice in 2020 really set back Georgia’s offense, because it delayed Monken’s installation of a new scheme.  But if you listen to Kirby Smart, it sounds like COVID caused bigger problems for the team than just that.

… Smart already has been angling for a tighter group after the limitations last year that accompanied the coronavirus outbreak.

“When you’re on a Zoom with somebody, it’s hard to have a connection,” Smart said. “When you’re not allowed to sit within six feet of somebody, it’s hard to have a connection. We had some players that didn’t get to meet and know everybody on the team throughout the season because so much was done through Zoom and different methods of communication, so connection is one of the key ingredients for this team.

“We have been very intentional about it. We’ve given up football time. We’ve given up workout time to spend more time with each other, and that’s beginning to pay off as we see it here in the summer with guys getting in front of the group and leading skill sessions and being very active.”

Kirby discusses other COVID-related management issues in this clip:

He does sound confident about addressing this, doesn’t he?


Filed under Georgia Football

12 responses to “Making a connection

  1. munsonlarryfkajim

    Hold on – I thought the narrative around here last summer was “no spring practice something something”?!?! Mocking the pundits that correctly pointed out that no spring practice, a new qb and a new oc weren’t a formula for success?


    • Ran A

      Yep, and you can put me at the top of that list. I discounted the impact of not having spring practice; especially with a new system with a new O.C. and a new QB (turned out to be 4 of them). And I discounted the advantage it gave UF with Trask entrenched into the system and I under-estimated just how good Trask was/is. (But I also admitted all this last fall and I think most others did as well).

      Liked by 1 person

    • If the guy who was supposed to start at QB had stuck around (I’m still not sold that he was going to lose the job to Mathis, so he opted out), I’m betting that we would have been in a better place at the beginning of the year.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. W Cobb Dawg

    Due to Covid, every team had limitations on what they could accomplish in the run-up to the season. So I’m less inclined to think Monken had substantially more problems than other OCs. But if you want to say Newman pulling the rug out from under us caused a major setback at a strategic position, I’ll agree 100%.

    Having said that, I believe Monken is the real deal. Give him some freedom to run an O as he sees fit and a capable QB, and he’ll work wonders.

    Liked by 2 people

    • UGA was installing a new offensive scheme with a new QB. Not every team was handicapped like that.

      Liked by 3 people

      • With a new QB that ended up never putting on a helmet in a game … we wasted 7+ months of preparation with “Hello, Newman” to cram 7 months of prep into 2+ weeks with Mathis just to see him melt under the pressure in less than a half (the kid was coming off a potential life-saving brain surgery after all).

        We’ll still never really know why Jake made the call he did, but I would have liked to have known what would have happened if 11 knew what Kirby was up to at OC.


        • silvercreekdawg

          May I point out, ee, that whatever Kirby was doing at OC, Jake was going to look at it as “This is my 3rd OC in 4 years; how much more change am I willing to endure?”

          Don’t underestimate this factor; to me, it played a far bigger role than advertised or discussed.


        • munsonlarryfkajim

          Mathis may have been great but when Bumper Poole from Arkansas lit him up early in that game it clearly had a lasting impact and all hope was lost at that point.


      • Spell Dawg

        Exactly, I don’t know how that’s minimized. Reps are crucial in football, it’s a tight dance; they must practice plays over and over until every individual’s mind and muscles are moving at full speed and IN TANDEM with the rest of his teammates. It was a NEW playbook, they had zero reps coming into the fall; it’s a testament to our level of talent that we did as well as we did, especially after losing Newman (and Pickens for several games). Most teams would have been ecstatic to suffer the same fate and finish 7-6.


  3. Ran A

    At the end of the day, I think we would have won the East if Newnan had stayed, but not sure if we could have gotten by that Bama team in the SEC Championship. Inclined to think not. So maybe it worked out for the best. There were rumors that Daniels was out of here after the season. That all changed after the UF game. So maybe last year’s humbling to coming in 2nd in the East will be rewarded this year? That appears to be the case, but we still have to play.


    • biggusrickus

      They led Alabama 24-20 at halftime on the road with an inconsistent walk-on playing. If Newman was good, which isn’t a given, they could have hung with and maybe beaten Bama.