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Kirby Smart Addresses Slow Starting UGA Offense in Tuesday’s Press Conference

Will Morrison

It was a shorter press conference from Kirby Smart today, but he did address the slow starts that have been occurring on offense. Kirby's quotes are itailized 

On Practice This Week So Far: It's been great. Thank you for asking. 

On Javon Bullard's Injury Following Game Versus Auburn: Unscathed. Sore. He had a long game. He had not had that much running, physicality, and use in two weeks. You get sore when you don't do anything for that long, then go do that much. It's just typically what your body does. He's been good. He recovered on Sunday & Monday. Had a lighter day Monday, then got after it today. He seemed good today. 

On How to Prepare For Kentucky's Run Game: They go against our offense, which runs some of the same they do. It's a very prostyle-based in terms of what they do run game wise. They do a tremendous job. They put window dressing around all their runs. They have really good people blocking. They have very experienced tight ends on the edges. They have kids that have been there for 2 or 3 years blocking, and they have a great back. They have a great run system that has all the ingredients to be excellent. Physical offensive line. A head coach and an offensive coordinator that are committed to running it. They have several great backs, and then they have talented players outside. They are a very talented group. Got a lot of guys that have played a lot of ball in the SEC. 

On Jalon Walker's Progression: He's growing at two positions. It's exactly what we said when we recruited him and some of these other inside backers. A lot of these kids don't play high school inside backer. Their coach puts them on the edge so they can defend the grass. Or put them at the edge so they can run and set edges. They don't get to play inside backer because there's probably another kid on their team that can play that. His skill has set has grown cause he's very natural on the edge as a rusher and get off. He has some of the best pass-rush moves in our group. He needs to be able to play all downs, so he continues to work at inside backer. The beauty of Jalon is he goes down and takes reps against our offense, reads keys, and gets better at that position. While at the same time being a dominant special teams player and a great third-down player for us. 

On the Similarities Between Him and Stoops: I only know by the way it looks because I've never talked to him about it. I don't know philosophically if they have a certain number of like this position and that position. I don't know enough about how he builds his team to answer that fairly. I would think they're close, but I don't know that. I know that they play physical. Our kids always feel like it's the most physical game of the year. The game really shrinks when you play them. We had a drive in 21 that was the longest drive I've ever seen. I would think we build in similar ways, but I don't know how he builds his. 

On Slow Starts: I would start with absolutely we need to improve it, but we look at everything. I think we went third and out one time on offense, and every other time we moved the ball. Obviously, you want to score, but you want to move the ball so you can create a field position. On defense, we've gone third and out maybe once or twice. It's not the first possession, but it is the first quarter. Some of that has been circumstances, like missing a field goal. Some of that has been circumstances of we differ. If we win the toss, we never get that extra possession in the first quarter because they get it. Those are all just excuses...we got to play better. There's a lot of reasons why it happens. I've had a lot of years where you score every first possession, and you stop them, and for a while you couldn't get it started in the third quarter. We could never get any momentum in the third quarter. One of the years we won the National Championship. It's something you try to address and think about how you start the game. Don't overthink it though, because you're planning for the whole game. 

On the Rest of the SEC: I personally think every SEC team should be ranked. I guarantee you there are some teams that are ranked that don't want to play them. Every team we play in the SEC is good enough to beat us. Whether they're ranked or not, I could care less.

On Kendall Milton and Ladd McConkey Injury Recoveries: They've been great. We didn't do a whole lot on Monday. We scaled back our typical Mondays and got after it today. They were great. 

On Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins Recovery: Same deal. We're on nonweight barring. We are waiting for some pictures to come back. We had a 4-week shutdown and after five weeks, we will take another picture and see where he's at and decide when to ramp up. 

Photo courtesy of Charles Jordan. 

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