ATHENS – Georgia’s first scrimmage of the 2017 preseason is in the books. It was closed to the media, and no stats were given out, so we’re relying on head coach Kirby Smart, who did meet with the media afterwards.
In his opening remarks, Smart called it a “balanced” scrimmage, as far as offense-defense, and run-pass. But he wasn’t happy with the team’s conditioning, feeling the heat affected too many players.
A run-down on some specific areas that Smart addressed:
- Offensive line: It sounded like it wasn’t a bad day for the line, with Smart saying “it wasn’t like we had a ton of sacks or anything.” But he also didn’t name anybody that stood out in particular.
- Asked specifically about freshman Isaiah Wilson, who has been working at right tackle with the second team, Smart made clear he still has a ways to go. Wilson didn’t show as much quickness as he did three days ago, when practice was held indoors. “I thought he was another guy with the heat, he kind of wilted a little bit,” Smart said of Wilson.”
- Good for offense: It did well in a designated third-down period. In fact Smart said it “dominated” that period.
- Smart on QB Jacob Eason’s performance: “Yeah, I thought he did some good things. Some periods he was better than other periods. He made some really good throws. Made a couple that I thought could have been better decisions. He led the offense well, competed hard but still got to get better.”
- Good for defense: The tackling is ahead of where it normally would be at this point in the preseason, indicated Smart: “We’ve got big backs that are hard to tackle. I’ll be honest with you, I thought there were going to be more missed tackles than there actually were.”
- Bad for defense: Stamina. Smart said he was disappointed the defense “didn’t show up for a couple periods, where it was just like the heat had gotten to them. And we can’t have that.”
- Also bad for defense: Young defensive backs. Smart isn’t seeing much separation there right now: “We’ve got seven true freshmen back there that none of them are sticking out, which is not always a good thing.”
- Red zone, on both sides of the ball, has been a huge emphasis this camp. Especially for the defense, which was 121st nationally in that category last year. In the first scrimmage there was a designated red zone drill, the offense getting the ball inside the 20. And the defense won, holding the offense to a field goal.