ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart was still in teach mode when he went before the media on Wednesday night.
Smart avoided cliches and explained the philosophy that has the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs competing at a national championship level in just his third year leading the program.
For as much attention as skill position players get for what they do with the football in their hands, Smart explained that what they do when the ball is not in their hands might ultimately dictate how much they are on the field.
“There’s only one ball and there’s 11 guys out there, so the guy without the ball better have a lot more value than just the guy with the ball,” Smart said. “We’re trying to get the guys who can play without the ball on the field.
“I think that’s what our offensive staff does a good job of and those guys kind of buying into the team concept of, if I do well, then the backs will do well. If the backs do well, the receivers will do well and they work off each other.”
In summation: Georgia has a lot of talent, so the so-called little things will make all the difference in deciding which ones get on the field most.
Smart also revealed that the offensive identity, while sure to feature some traits, is still a work in progress as position battles play out in fall camp.
“We’ve got a set of plays, our core belief that we always have which is balance, being powerful, being able to run the ball at our will, not somebody else breaking our will — that’s always going to be the identity we have,” Smart said. “As far as having it formed by any shape or form, I don’t think we’ll have that until the two-deep is set on the offensive line and how the top 10 shake out and the alignment that we’re going to be able to work with this season.”
The upcoming Saturday scrimmage will go a long way toward putting the finishing touches on the season-opening plan.
That said, Smart said there will be room for movement leading up to the Sept. 1 game with FCS Austin Peay.
“Scrimmage two is kind of a defining moment, but it’s not over, just because it’s scrimmage two,” Smart said. “We still have eight or nine practices left before the first game.”
Smart has yet to announce a starting quarterback, but most believe sophomore Jake Fromm will hold the job while talented Justin Fields will get playing time.
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart