4 takeaways from Georgia’s second scrimmage: Where Kirby Smart’s pushing
ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said he’s “never where I want to be” in terms of the Bulldogs’ offseason training.
The fourth-year head coach is constantly raising the bar on his program with an eye on winning what would be UGA’s first football national championship since 1980.
The 2019 season sets up well for Georgia from the standpoint of the number of returning players and key positions they play, as well as a schedule with timely breaks.
But first things first, Smart wants Georgia to finish the spring period strong, with three remaining sessions culminating with the G-Day scrimmage at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Here are four takeaways from the Bulldogs’ second spring scrimmage last Saturday:
Run game rolling
Smart made it clear the offensive line remains a work in progress, with assistant Sam Pittman shuffling players around to increase versatility while building depth.
The results Saturday impressed even Smart, however, as most everyone knows the priority the Georgia head coach puts on the run game.
D’Andre Swift, in particular, impressed with both his play and attitude.
“He’s gone out there and really competed the last two scrimmages,” Smart said, “and I think he provides a spark to the other offensive players by his demeanor and body language.”
Smart oversees the entire team but his expertise is in the secondary, where he maintains an extremely high standard.
Smart said this group of defensive backs could prove special this fall, as he’s pushing them hard in spring drills to polish the depth and enable competition.
“I think we have the potential to have a very fast secondary,” Smart said Saturday. “I don’t know how instinctive we are yet. I don’t know how great we are at playing the ball, but we do have some speed back there.
“It’s very unique that we have depth and we’re able to move people around and try to figure out the best parts.”
Havoc in progress
Georgia’s defense is expected to be more aggressive next season as it looks to produce more sacks, turnovers and game-changing plays.
A talented group of young linebackers will be vital to that, and Smart made it clear there’s still much work to be done in the so-called “havoc” area of defensive playmaking.
“We’re not where we need to be, we didn’t cause a lot of havoc today, let’s put it that way,” Smart said, adding that the outside linebackers group has been “up and down” this spring.
“We’ve had flashes,” Smart said. “ It hasn’t been consistent and we’re not dominant out there like people (think), ‘the greatest outside linebackers to ever play.’ We’re not getting by our tackles every down. I know that.”
Kirby’s working ahead
Smart and his staff squeeze every last drop out of the remaining spring practices and the G-Day scrimmage.
That said, it’s clear Smart’s mind is already working ahead as he looks to get Georgia football dialed in for the 2019 season.
“Where I want to be, is I want to have all the freshman that are coming in the fall here,” Smart said. “I want to be able to coach them, and develop them, and get them better and see where our roster is, and see what our strengths are.”
DawgNation spring football
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- Herbstreit has thoughts on James Coley
- Freshman QB D’Wan Mathis being led by Jake Fromm
- All business, Andrew Thomas leads the way
- Nate McBride is doing just fine at linebacker
- Azeez Ojulari having strong spring at OLB