ATHENS — Kirby Smart has a game plan for everything, including how and when he deals with media.
The SEC Media Days have been on the calendar for months.
That has given the fourth-year Georgia football coach plenty of time to formulate a plan to “attack the day” when it’s his turn at the podium on Tuesday in Hoover, Ala.
Here are five questions Smart will likely be asked — and how he will likely answer:
1. When did you know J.J. Holloman was involved in an escalated domestic incident in April of 2018?
(Smart has not talked with media since news broke on June 21 that Holloman was dismissed from the program).
Smart’s likely answer: Not until after Holloman spoke with the UGA police last month and, in a police report, admitted to striking his former girlfriend. The alleged incident took place on April 22, 2018, but the victim did not file a report until June 2, 2019. Smart and his staff likely did their own investigation into the matter before dismissing Holloman, even as the case remains inactive with the victim not wanting to press charges.
2. What will it take to beat Alabama?
(Smart has been asked this question repeatedly this offseason, so Georgia fans and players may feel their blood boiling)
The likely answer: Smart’s stance is that he doesn’t look at any season with topping the Tide or any other specific opponent as the mission statement. There’s much work to be done within his own team before another such a meeting could take place in the SEC Championship Game. Smart may choose to make light of the losses, being the stage is in metro Birmingham and he knows his audience, or he may play it down entirely with a very brief response.
3. How does Zamir White look?
(It’s an over-asked question about the No. 1-ranked back in the 2018 signing class, but White has sparked interest by releasing several workout videos)
The likely answer: He’s on schedule. Georgia will know more once they put the pads on, but White is expected to be cleared for contact from the onset of fall drills. The good news for the Bulldogs is that D’Andre Swift may be the best tailback in the nation, and Brian Herrien and James Cook provide enough quality depth that White’s return from the two ACL injuries need not be rushed.
4. How is the team leadership?
(Another common question, but appropriate considering UGA’s bumpy offseason).
The likely answer: Jake Fromm has stepped up (Smart has said this before,) and he’s glad safety J.R. Reed elected to return for his senior season. The team has, in fact, had a very hard-working offseason in the weight room and during voluntary workouts according to those close to the program. Smart has typically praised his players in the leadership department, saving the criticism for himself and his staff.
5. What changes can we expect with new coordinators?
(James Coley and Dan Lanning were promoted from within, and each brings their own personality, to the offensive and defensive meeting room).
The likely answer: The offense will stay balanced, and the defense will work to create more havoc. Smart’s concept of balance, however, merely means Georgia can run and pass equally well. Smart will stress that UGA can and will remain capable of dictating the run on offense. Smart will commit very little to defensive strategy beyond referencing the word “havoc”.