Smart Takes Part in SEC Teleconference

May 4, 2016

May 4, 2016

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart took part in the annual Southeastern Conference spring teleconference Wednesday morning, fielding questions on summer workouts, the quarterbacks, and satellite camps. He offered the following comments:

Opening Statement…
“I’m really excited. We’ve had a lot of energy from our staff, a lot of buy-in from our players during our offseason program. We’re currently finishing up finals right now. We had three or four weeks that we tried to build some strength in the program, get stronger and a little bit bigger. We had our spring ball, spring practice. Everybody got to see the passion from our fan base with the turnout from our spring game. It’s really important to me, being a University of Georgia alumni, for our fan base to be united and pulling in the same direction. Same thing for our players – united and pulling in the same direction. We challenged them to finish up finals well and come back with a good attitude and start working in the summer.”

On the benefits of more access during summer workouts…
“The biggest difference is the freshmen. It helps them more than anybody, especially the guys who just arrived in the summer or maybe midyears who can really benefit from some more time with the coaches. I don’t know if it plays a major role on the current roster because you can burn those guys out. You spend all spring with them and you have to be careful, there’s a fine line. You go out there with them in the summer and you’re around them, then you get ready for a long season, it can be tough. I think it’s really important for the freshmen to get some reassurances and to realize this is not going to be easy. But support them during what is probably the toughest transition time for a signee, which is the first impact of summer workouts and finding out that everybody out here is pretty good.”

On the quarterbacks in the summer and the QB battle…
“It’s hard to evaluate them in the summer towards fall because we’re obviously not out there with those guys getting to throw and do things. That’s the tough part. I challenged each one of them in the exit interviews to be a leader, to organize, to structure things. It’s not about who’s doing it, it’s not about who’s getting the credit for doing it, it’s not about who’s calling the wide receivers, it’s really not about that. It’s not about the egos. It’s about getting all of us better. Those other guys need just as much work as those three do, so they’ve got to challenge their teammates to be there every day. If they want to throw, if they want to do extra sessions, they need to coordinate that with all of them together. It’s not an independent contract where Greyson (Lambert) is doing this, Brice (Ramsey) is doing this, Jacob (Eason) is doing this. We’re doing all of this together. It’s important that they organize it that way and they structure it that way. We challenged each one of them to get better, and each one of them has some areas that they can improve in in different spots. I am happy and excited to see that they’re hungry to do that, and they’re all three looking forward to getting back toward the end of May and starting up with the team.”

On the NCAA’s ruling on satellite camps…
 “It is what it is. It’s not a situation where we had a major voice as individuals in the decision making process. We were all aware that it was a possibility and we all had to prepare going in two ways – with them and without them. That’s what you do as coaches, is prepare ahead of time and try and figure out your plan. We’ll have a plan. I think that everybody is asking these questions. It’s hard to say where you’re going and what you’re doing because it just changed. There are camps popping up left and right, here and there. This is kind of what we had anticipated happening. Everybody is going to have one and everyone wants you to be at theirs, where you only have a small window to go to them. You have to be selective in where you go, you have to be smart about where you go and you have to be smart if you go, because the day that you go, you may have a guy on your campus. I get a text every five minutes about another one and it’s tough. You have to decide if you’re going outside your footprint of recruiting or am I staying inside to defend my ground. I think that is the dilemma we have now is how to make these decisions that we are not really used to. We will be a part of them, but where and when exactly we don’t know. We have a couple that are out there already, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to make sure that these things are done proper and under NCAA rules, before you can put your name on them. So it’s a little slower process.”

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