Kirby, I don’t even know you anymore.

My goodness.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d suspect someone kidnapped Kirby Smart and replaced him with a body double.  I mean, does this sound like the guy who hired Jim Chaney?

“When we first got here, the first couple of years, you didn’t feel like you had to outscore people,” Smart said. “We felt like we could win with a good defense and a solid offense, and, to be honest, Alabama wasn’t that much different than us the year they beat us. Most of the [Crimson Tide] wideouts that just went in the first round [of the NFL draft] were freshmen that year. To me, nobody really had that model until LSU did it [with quarterback Joe Burrow in 2019].”

With Daniels and a talented receiver corps returning this season, Smart believed he had the “perfect storm” to open things up on offense. But then star receiver George Pickens tore the ACL in his right knee in spring practice. It’s unknown whether he’ll play this season. LSU transfer Arik Gilbert, who was supposed to play receiver at Georgia, hasn’t been with the team for weeks because of personal reasons. Tight end Darnell Washington broke his foot last month and probably won’t play against Clemson.

With so many playmakers out, Georgia figures to rely on its running game and defense, at least early in the season.

“Everybody makes it about my philosophy, but I’ve wanted to score ever since I’ve been here,” Smart said. “All I asked was that you have a tight end and you have running backs because that attracts the best quarterbacks. The best quarterback wants to play in an NFL-style system.”

Smart admits that his offensive philosophy has evolved over the past couple of years.

“The NFL has changed in the last five years, too,” he said. “Now it’s five [wideouts], pass-happy and running backs like [Christian] McCaffrey and [Alvin] Kamara who are great receivers. When I got the job at Georgia, that wasn’t the way the NFL was. It all changed when LSU started throwing it around and breaking all the SEC records on offense, and then Alabama broke all their records the next year. That’s the model now. It’s not the model built around having a great defense; it’s the model having really elite wideouts and a quarterback that can make really good decisions.”

I keed, I keed, of course, but that quote reinforces my belief that the 2019 SECCG was Smart’s come to Jesus moment.  Evolve seems an almost too gentle way of describing things; it feels far more abrupt than that.  After all, we’re only one season removed from the days of Coley and Fromm (Fromm’s second half, more accurately).  I don’t think Smart had a choice, but that’s not the same as saying he made the choice.  I’m just glad Brady and Burrow made it easy for him.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

12 responses to “Kirby, I don’t even know you anymore.

  1. moe pritchett

    Why did you remind me of that vs LSU SECCG ? I was going to drink today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Recruiter…check. Defense….check. Organized…check. Offense…uhhh, please hire the best and let them do their thing, whatever that needs to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bulldawg Bill

    Hell, I’ve wanted to score since I was 13! That’s why I still play the game!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. D as in Dawg

    Tonight, Clemson is here for a funeral. A clown funeral since they’ll be in circus orange, but a funeral nonetheless. Today is our day. This is our year. No more runner-up. No more almost, this close, or what could have been. Drop it like it’s hot, I have spoken, get in where you fit in. You gotta win to be loved, everybody knows that. Skol!! And for the love of all that is good and decent…

    G
    A
    T
    A
    !!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Down Island Way

      Trust me, my attire is shorts, flip flops and a t- shirt, after seeing some klempzen fanage all dressed up and no where to go last night did bring the clown dress code into focus….😎

      Like

  5. Ozam

    It’s all talk at this point…. I’ll believe it when I see it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. classiccitycanine

    Kirby, the offensive revolution has been in the works since way before 2019. You got to witness it at Bama with Kiffin. It was your choice to not pro-actively evolve until LSU made it unavoidably obvious. He talks like he’s seen the light. We’ll see.

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  7. “With so many playmakers out, Georgia figures to rely on its running game and defense, at least early in the season.”

    This contradicts what Kirby just said and, imo, is the major reason this program wasn’t as good as it could have been under the last OC. It’s an excuse to do what you’re comfortable with. We still have talented pass catchers, unless there are more guys who aren’t ready.

    I love man ball but have always believed mixing it up is how you dictate the game. The last couple champions have shown how devastating it is, even more than when a good running game and play action pass were in the I.

    Like