ATHENS – A day earlier, Jim Chaney had sat in the same spot and accepted all the blame for Georgia’s offensive struggles this year. Kirby Smart, who saw what Chaney said, appreciated it, but said his offensive coordinator didn’t have to put it all on himself.
“I’m to blame for that, too. I’m the head coach. I’m responsible for our performance,” Smart said Thursday. “I respect coach Chaney a lot, the way he’s handled things with you guys yesterday but also with our players more importantly. He owns up to them with them.”
Georgia is in danger of its worst offensive season in 16 years, depending on how it fares on Friday in the Liberty Bowl against TCU. The disappointing offensive product has brought criticism on Chaney, the team’s third offensive coordinator in three years, who was hired away from Pittsburgh.
During his Thursday press conference, his first since the season began, Chaney went out of his way to not make excuses or point the finger at anybody but himself. He also said that he had been “reflecting” on how to do better in 2017, and would be discussing that with Smart after the bowl.
Smart, asked about the comments, said it was also up to the coaches – including himself – to demand more of the players, because “if each person executes to their ability, I think we will have more success.”
“We all can look at numbers and we all can look at statistics and they spell out that we weren’t as successful as we want to be or expect to be at the University of Georgia,” Smart said. “There’s no hiding around that. (Chaney) knows that. He and I have had conversations about that. … As far as any conversations between he and I, all that would occur after the season when we can look back on it in its entirety.”