Sam Pittman admits there might be some similarities in the Arkansas program he’s rebuilding to what people see on the field at Georgia, especially up front.
“I think it’s a big man’s league,” Pittman said on Birmingham’s WJOX radio last week. “I think you build your football team with offensive and defensive linemen, and we want to build them big.”
But Pittman made it clear the Razorbacks aren’t exactly going back to 3 yards and a cloud of dust.
“We hired Kendall Briles, and he has a different style than what we used at Georgia and what we used at Arkansas before with Brett Bielema,” said the 58-year-old Pittman, who coached with Bielema at Arkansas from 2013-2015.
“But we are going to be an aggressive, tough football team. We’re not gonna be a fineness football team. We’re going to try to come after you and be aggressive doing it.”
Arkansas rolls onto the Georgia schedule in 2021. The programs are scheduled to meet in 2021 in Athens.
Here are 3 noteworthy comments from Pittman’s interview:
Tight with Kirby
Pittman left on good terms with Kirby Smart, having helped the fifth-year Georgia head coach rapidly establish the Bulldogs as an annual national championship contender.
In fact, Smart is the only SEC coach Pittman indicated he is relatively tight with.
“Obviously Kirby and I are close, that’s really the only coach in the league,” Pittman said. “(Former Missouri head coach) Barry Odom and I were really tight, of course he’s now on our staff here. But I don’t know a lot of the coaches.
“I know Lane (Kiffin), and I know other guys, but I wouldn’t consider us tight,” he said. “Of course Kirby, he was a great mentor, and he helped me get ready for this position.”
Season start time
Pittman said he believes players could be ready for the season on time of they are back on campus by Aug. 1, and he provided very sound reasoning.
“I’m a little bit old school, because I’m a little bit older, and I was a high school head coach and junior college head coach,” Pittman said. “And when I was at Oklahoma in ’97 and ’98, the kids that stayed for summer school were either the kids that were way out of shape and you encouraged them to stay, or guys that needed the summer school hours. Everybody else basically went home and you got them back the first of August and you started football.
“I still think we can do that, and I think if you talk to out strength coach, he would think four to six weeks before the season started would be prime time. I believe if we get started by July 1, that would be wonderful time.
“If we have to wait until Aug 1, I’m a little older than the other coaches, I’ve gone through that, I think we could have the season start on time if we came in the first of August, as well.”
Pittman might be the most likable head coach in the profession, and he was certainly among the most popular coaches on the Georgia staff.
Pittman explained there’s really no secret to it.
“I think honesty and being yourself relates to everybody,” Pittman said. “I know I’m not gonna get on the cover of GQ magazine, so if I know it, everybody knows it, so I might as well have some fun with it.”
Pittman’s famous “Yes sir” Twitter videos became famous, a signal of major player commitments coming to his school.
“The kids like the ‘Yes sir!’ videos, so as long as they like them, I’ was gonna do them,” Pittman said. “hey give me ideas of what to do, and this that and there other. I’d think ‘this is gonna be stupid,’ well they want me to do it, and they said they were gonna commit, then by golly we did it.
“I don’t have a problem with putting myself out there, because it’s just me, and if people don’t like it, they don’t like it, that’s fine.”