“Yeah, I never feel that way,” Bulldogs sixth-year coach Kirby Smart said. “I certainly don’t coming off some of the years that we’ve had recently. There were some years there with (Jake) Fromm, Andrew (Thomas), D’Andre Swift and all that crowd where you could say, ‘Well, we feel like we’re ahead. We’ve got a lot of guys who know what to do,’ but we weren’t defensively. We had to go kind of at the defense’s pace.
“I would have said this year if we were perfectly healthy that we would have been ahead offensively than we were defensively, but with some of the injuries, it’s forced some guys up.”
In six preseasons under Smart, I have never sensed that the offense was ahead of the defense. (Hoping isn’t the same as believing.) So much for my instincts.
There’s one other interesting quote in that piece.
“I liken what (freshman receiver) Adonai Mitchell has had to do this fall camp and spring to what Jermaine Burton was going through last year,” Smart said. “I thought that (offensive coordinator Todd) Monken made a good decision to throw Jermaine out there and make him go play early — even in the Arkansas game. It was tough, and we went through some growing pains, because he missed some things. He didn’t get some signals and jumped offsides, but it paid off in the end because he got a lot more confidence.
Burton finished the season with 27 catches, three for touchdowns, and averaged almost 15 yards per catch. If they’re seeing that kind of potential in Mitchell, I can definitely live with it.