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Curtis Compton / AJC
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart is staying intense in fall drills.

Kirby Smart explains Georgia football concerns, and how ‘Casualness cause casualties’

ATHENS — Kirby Smart wants better practices and more intensity from his Georgia football team with the season-opening game at Arkansas fast closing in.

“I am a big believer in intensity, focus, concentration,” Smart said. “We have a motto around here, ‘Casualness cause casualties.’

“I think the minute you stop having intensity and a purpose, you are not coaching. Every coach has their own style, and mine is to be intense and demanding—the players respect that.”

The Bulldogs are 17 practices into fall camp, and Smart has noted that Saturday’s work represented the equivalent of the 16 spring practices typically allotted by the NCAA.

COVID-19, of course, led Georgia and many other schools to cancel those spring football drills and alter the course of the entire offseason.

Smart is concerned the revised workout and practice schedule has slowed his team down from a conditioning standpoint.

“We have to do a better job having good practices,” Smart said. “I would say our conditioning level across the board is a concern for me …  I wonder, without the same summer training that we’ve had [in years past], if that doesn’t hinder sometimes our ability to sustain effort in practice.

“That’s probably the thing that concerns me the most when it comes to freshmen ….  Having a body of work from spring in a typical Georgia summer—not a Zoom summer – allows those guys to get more conditioned.

Smart said there are several team issues yet to be resolved, but he preferred not to discuss them so as not to give Arkansas any insight.

“I’ve got all kinds of concerns, but I’m not going to put them on a platter for Coach (Sam) Pittman to worry about,” Smart said. “Every coach has concerns. If you watched the games last weekend, there’s punt return touchdowns, kickoff return touchdowns, field goals blocked all over the place.

“Those are learning lessons, and if you use them the right way you can try to prevent them from happening to your team.”

Indeed, new UGA assistant Scott Cochran spoke earlier this fall about coaches practicing players until they couldn’t get things wrong.

But with no spring football drills behind his team, Smart indicated there are more areas to worry about than normal.

“We’re going to have a lot of young men who didn’t get that spring game under their belt with 50, 60, 70, 93,000 [fans] in the spring game—that’s like an extra game for our guys to get used to it,” Smart said. “We basically just finished spring practice Saturday, in my mind, and that’s—we’re a week from the game and just finishing spring practice.

“We’re behind, but we’re even with everybody else. We have to do a good job with what we have.”

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Receiver Jermaine Burton stands out in Scrimmage 3

Ben Cleveland: QB competitions creates good ‘vibe’ on team

CBS has one Georgia player projected as first-round pick in 2021

Scott Cochran, Georgia’s ‘rock star’ hire, ready for launch


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