What did your head coach do during the offseason?
Tag Archives: Kirby Smart
Jeez, I hope your butt never hurts as much as Roll Bama Roll’s Josh Chatham’s does.
You can also forgive the rest of the country for perpetually laughing at Georgia fans, Brandon. Besides the items listed, Kirby took Alabama’s recruiting board with him to use against Alabama when he left, took Glenn Schumann and Mel Tucker to run Saban’s defense, implemented the Fourth Quarter program, started a public spat over Maurice Smith, and has done his level best to recreate Alabama’s fan experience in Athens. He also stole Jake Fromm and then Carson Beck, and for both we are thankful.
His first mistake was assuming that a guy working at a site called Dawgnation was actually speaking for Georgia fans as a collective group.
Man, that “Kirby took Alabama’s recruiting board” still gets a work out, doesn’t it? I guess they think he’s too dumb to remember what he worked on continuously for like three years without a written reminder.
Here’s a point/counterpoint for your morning:
Aside from Jim Harbaugh, Kirby Smart gets the most scrutiny from the media.
Farrell’s take: FACT. Between the infamous fake punt against Alabama in the 2018 SEC title game, losing to the Crimson Tide earlier that year in the national title game where many felt he was outcoached, his handling of Justin Fields and the regression of Jake Fromm, Smart has been the subject of near constant media criticism. He has been recruiting off the hook, but his coaching ability is routinely questioned and that puts him second to Jim Harbaugh on my list.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. Smart has actually gotten a pass from the media on some bad decisions – many of them mentioned above – including when Georgia inexplicably lost to South Carolina at home last season. It’s almost universally accepted that Smart is recruiting so well and he has such a good staff that a national championship at some point is inevitable. I don’t think he gets much scrutiny at all. It’s a different story for Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and USC’s Clay Helton, so I’d say those three trail Harbaugh in this category.
Not sure I buy either take, to be honest. I don’t think Smart’s gotten a pass from the media, but I don’t see him being the subject of ongoing media criticism, either.
Just like most coaches, he’s made his mistakes. But almost every media ranking of coaches I’ve seen has him at least in the top ten, and usually the top five, nationally.
What’s your feeling?
Maybe it takes a former player to say something like this.
In any event, well said, sir.
UPDATE: Weiszer has more here.
Team physician Fred Reifsteck, director of sports medicine Ron Courson and Smart have provided answers to players and theif families about returning to football workouts during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“There won’t be pressure to work out, to go do this extra,” Smart said during a Zoom video session with reporters. “Kids got to voluntarily do it. If a guy doesn’t feel comfortable or if a guy has a fever or a guy feels sick, we don’t want him to come in. We don’t want him to put himself in jeopardy and we’ve got to convey that.”
… If a player tests positive, he will have the option of returning home or can be quarantined in Athens for an unspecified period of time.
“We’ve also got the ability if it happens during the workout period, then we’ll have contact tracing,” Smart said. “Guys that have worked out together, those groups will stay the same, and we’ll be aware of those guys. So Ron and his guys have a lot of things in place.”
“I know from a Georgia perspective, every decision we’re making on the return to sport is the safety and health and well-being. There won’t be pressure to work out, to go do this extra. Kids got to voluntarily do it. If a guy doesn’t feel comfortable or if a guy has a fever or a guy feels sick, we don’t want him to come in. We don’t want him to put himself in jeopardy and we’ve got to convey that.”
Smart said some of his players — many who will go on to play in the NFL and were rated among the top rated recruits out of high school— “feel like they’re not vulnerable because of what they’ve heard, because they think they have superpowers.”
If you’ve got some time to kill today, you could do a lot worse than to spend an hour listening to Kirby Smart talk about the way his defensive philosophy has evolved over time, with Alabama’s shocking loss to Ohio State in the 2014 title game being the real catalyst. Interestingly enough, while the common wisdom is that it was sitting down with Tom Herman in the offseason that made Saban and Smart rethink their approach, Kirby chalks it up to Todd Orlando, who used to be Herman’s DC at Houston and Texas.
The conversations and off-season studies resulted in Smart modifying his 3-4 philosophy with lighter (faster) players and shifting to a 3-man front Georgia still runs and calls “Mint.”
It’s not news that uptempo offenses present problems for defenses, which often struggle to get lined up properly before the ball can be snapped.
“I don’t believe in backing down from what you do because a team goes fast, I believe in getting lined up and doing it faster,” Smart said.
The challenge for Smart and his staff was coming up with a defense that could remain multiple and handle spread offenses playing uptempo while in the 3-man front.
“We came up with things that were automatic, but would give them trouble,” Smart said. “The beauty of Mint … is you have more depth in your defense. Todd Orlando taught us that. We’ve got more people standing up that can fire (blitz) from different places.
“When you got three guys down, you now have the multiple of eight that can come from anywhere and anyplace, and we felt like that defensively made us better and gave us more multiples.”
If that kind of stuff piques your interest, here’s Smart’s whole talk (along with something from Glenn Schumann).
This ($$), I think, fully qualifies as an existential choice for Georgia’s head coach.
Coley’s connections in the area, and his recruiting prowess in general, was partly why Smart was so reluctant to let him get away. But the ability to bring in Todd Monken to rejuvenate the offense ultimately took priority.
Not that he sought my approval, but that was the right call.
Part of the Process:
I would say that Smart’s learned something about that between last year’s Sugar Bowl and this year’s.
Today’s question comes from Seth Emerson’s mailbag ($$):
In your opinion is Kirby Smart able/willing to truly evaluate every part of the program, himself included and make necessary changes? If not I fear we’re stuck here.
This was the tone of several questions this week, and a general sentiment among a growing segment of the fan base: Is Smart too stubborn and set in his ways to fix the offense? (Tim, I know you say “every part of the program,” but let’s be honest, you mean the offense.) Another reader, George C., went so far as to term Smart’s post-SEC championship presser as “tone deaf,” which was when Smart said this: “People can say, well, Coach Smart wants to play man ball. Coach Smart wants to win, and we threw the ball 42 times.”
For the record, the very fact Smart cited the term “man ball” means he knows the criticism is out there. He is self-aware. That’s a good thing. Whether he acts on it is, of course, a whole different matter.
Seth gives Kirby the benefit of the doubt there. How about you? Sounds like a reader poll topic to me.
UPDATE: Kirby and Georgia’s offense appear to be a popular Mailbag topic. Here’s the leadoff item from Andy Staples‘ ($$):
You asked the question about Kirby Smart: Will he adapt like Saban and Orgeron and fulfill the promise he’s created at Georgia, or will he stubbornly refuse like Les Miles and throw away all he’s built in Athens? So what’s the answer? What do you honestly think he’ll do, knowing what you know about Kirby?
I think Smart will try to change the offense. The question is how far he’ll be willing to go.
He tried to hire former Georgia coordinator Mike Bobo — who was fired last week at Colorado State — but South Carolina coach Will Muschamp won the tug-of-war between former Georgia teammates to hire their former teammate Bobo. Bobo would have opened up the offense…
Kirby Smart hears the noise. He just doesn’t care about the noise.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart appeared on the Paul Finebaum Show Friday, as the show broadcasted live from the Georgia campus in Athens. Finebaum asked Smart about his team’s offensive struggles during the season.
“First off, I don’t think you have to defend your offense in this conference when you’re playing the level of football that we’re capable of playing,” Smart said. “There’s good defenses, I mean, the SEC is a very defensive league. When you look across the board, and I turn on tape and I get to watch it every week, there’s some good defenses out there. There’s some really good defensive backs, and they tend to get their hands all over you. And they let them play in our league, and that’s what you look across the board and see.
“So we’ve had moments (on offense) where we’ve really shined in third down. We’ve had moments we’ve really shined in the red area. We’ve had moments that we’ve been able to run it better than others. We haven’t put that combination together. And that’s what we’re always looking to do, so we’re trying to improve.
“We’ve got two receivers that have been out of action, in action, out of action. We’ve had an offensive line that’s been in and out and a little beat up. But we’re trying to put a complete game together.”
And Jules was trying to be the shepherd, Ringo. Trying real hard.