On Georgia’s sideline, the art of pulling back Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart-Scott Sinclair
Scott Sinclair has to literally hold back Kirby Smart at times.

ATHENS — Six days a week, Scott Sinclair is in charge of Georgia’s strength and conditioning program. On game days, Sinclair is in charge of grabbing Kirby Smart’s backside.

That’s not much of an exaggeration: When the energetic Smart strays too close to the field, in danger of incurring a penalty on his team, Sinclair is usually there to pull him back, whether it’s by the shirt or the back of his pants.

But there’s only so much Sinclair can do. Georgia was called for a sideline penalty in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s game at Kentucky – giving the Wildcats a first down – after drawing a sideline warning earlier in the game. It wasn’t clear whether Smart was the reason for the warning or the penalty – the officials didn’t announce a culprit – but Smart indicated the warning was on him, though perhaps not the penalty.

“I’ll take the blame for the warning. But it was actually a warning and then a penalty,” Smart said. “It doesn’t really matter, we had it, at the end of the day it’s on all of us.”

Smart was asked about the dynamic of having Sinclair (who earns $220,000 annually) being his personal get-back man on Saturdays.

“It’s just action and energy an trying to help the kids play well,” Smart said. “Maybe they can’t hear me or maybe they can, but there are certainly things we’re trying to help them with to play good and execute.”

“He’s like that in practice too,” Georgia defensive lineman John Atkins said. “So seeing him in the game, it’s like, That’s just coach Smart. He’s just like that.”

PERRY McINTYRE Jr. (UGA)

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