ATHENS — Kirby Smart doesn’t figure to take his foot off the gas — or gassed — when Georgia takes the field for Scrimmage Two on Saturday.
Indeed, the eighth-year head coach made it clear he wasn’t pleased — collectively — with the Bulldogs in Scrimmage One last Saturday.
“We’ve got an extremely long way to go as a football team,” Smart concluded. “…. we’ve got to get the right guys in the right spots, find the guys that can really tough it out and compete.”
Some areas were more lacking and concerning than others, though it’s a safe bet Smart will be looking for (demanding) improvement across the board.
Here are three areas where Smart’s feedback will be eagerly anticipated when he holds is Saturday afternoon press conference following the closed scrimmage on Saturday:
1. Quarterback play
Both Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff missed open receivers at times, and neither was consistent enough to meet the standard. Both figure to play in the opening game.
Gunner Stockton was impressive enough with the Twos to wonder if he might enter into the mix with the Ones, a decision that will likely be determined by his progress throughout this week.
2. Receiver play
If you’re sensing a trend here, it’s because the UGA pass game was not where it needed to be beyond Ladd McConkey and Oscar Delp’s strong performances last week.
Dropped passes by veterans Arian Smith and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint left the coaches disappointed, as these will be key players with Adonai Mitchell having moved on to Texas.
It will be interesting to hear what degree explosive slot Dominic Lovett gets involved in this scrimmage and how Rara Thomas and walk-on Mekhi Mews fare.
3. Sense of urgency
The Georgia players, collectively, need a fast start on Saturday and need to maintain the tempo.
If there was one thing that stood out in Smart’s breakdown of Scrimmage One, it was his general dissatisfaction.
As many times as Smart has said this offseason that he likes this team and the relationships they have with one another, it didn’t sound like they responded as well as he expected to the smothering heat last Saturday.
“Can’t say I was impressed with anyones readiness today,” Smart said. “The readiness came about third down period after about 66% of the practice was over. I thought that it wrapped up and the competitiveness went up, but it wasn’t like that earlier.
“So I don’t know if they just decided to push right through this and get through it, but I didn’t see a group that I was like ‘oh man, they’re dominant. They came out here today to really make the opponent not want to play em’ I didn’t see that.”