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Kirby Smart Previews Vanderbilt in Tuesday Press Conference

Will Morrison

Kirby Smart met with the media this afternoon for his weekly Tuesday press conference. His quotes are in italics. 

Opening Remarks: For us, on to Vandy. We got a start on these guys in terms of watching games. I've got a lot of respect for Clark. He's been a good friend for a while, but really become closer friends since being in our league. He's a very intellectual guy. He ran our meetings for the SEC meetings, and I thought he did a tremendous job of leading the discussion. He's gotten more energy and had some big wins since arriving there. I know he's an alumnus, which takes a lot of pride in being from the school, as I know myself. We're preparing to go up there and play those guys. It's an early kick in Nashville. We have to prepare our guys the right way, and we'll start today. 

On the Transition From Bennet & Monken to Beck & Bobo: I made a quick decision there because I was really confident. We had the luxury of having a quarterback coming back that wasn't your typical first time starter. When you have a guy that's been in the system as long as he has, I felt comfortable that he knew the system, and I wanted to keep the system the same. Those guys have transitioned well together. 

On Carson Beck: Great mental processing. He's a great processor. Carson's very intelligent. Say what you want about the quarterback position, but you have to process information rapidly. The more information you can handle, the more flexibility your offense has. The flexibility of an offense is usually tied to how much a quarterback can handle. His intuition, along with his ability, has helped him. He still has growth he can do, get better understanding things, and decision making. He's averaged about two plays a game where he puts us at risk. Just get out of a bad play... throw it away, take a sack, or take off running, and don't throw it into danger. He has to continue to grow at that. The guy has had a lot of practices. He's not your typical sophomore starter. 

On UGA Run Defense: Most of the runs we give up by design are on the edge. We're not going to let you run north to south. If you go north and south on us, we got bigger problems. If you can get it to go sideways, we tend to think our speed runs it down. That hasn't always been the case this year. We have not done an awesome job running things down that we make go inside out. Some of that's been by scheme, and some of that's been about protecting the corners. We've had different runs get out for different reasons, but I'm not sitting here concerned about the edges. We can definitely do a better job run fitting things. 

On Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins Injury Status: He's dealing with a foot injury. It's a significant injury. He's had a 4 week shutdown. He's going to be able to do more next week. More being jogging and weight barring, not necessarily practice. We have a plan and stages that he's hit all the markers. We're hopeful to get him back this year... when that'll be, I don't know. 

On How to Prepare in Practice For Cold and Rainy Weather: We spray the ball down. We practice in whatever elements we have and can create. We haven't practiced in much cold, I can promise you that. We can create some things for indoor and can create weather conditions with water and things like that. We have wet ball practices. If we get a chance to go out in it, we do it. That's all you can really do. 

On Sedrick Van Pran: Sed's great. Came back in and finished the game, and seems to be fine. 

On Amarius Mims Rehab: Amarius is right where we think he should be. He's got the same protocol that Lawson, Cash, and James Cook had. We've had a lot of the tightrope surgery. He's right on schedule. There's no timetable for Amarius. We ordered a special shoe and plan to use it. 

On Vanderbilt Passing Game: It stands out. They have speed at receiver. They have really good wideouts. I didn't realize until I watched their games how fast they were at wideout. Their quarterback's done a great job getting them the ball. They've had some injuries up front, but he buys more time. He's mobile and able to highlight the players they have. He buys time to make throws... off platform throws, and scramble throws. He's got a really good arm, and he's a good athlete. When he extends a play, it brings their strength of their team is up. It gives them more time to make plays.  

On What He Would Tell Families About NIL: I don't know what I would tell them, it's all over the place. What does your son play, and what you see your son's net worth at might not be what Delta or Coke sees their net worth at. You have to be careful there in what you believe and what you hear. I don't know what the impact will be. You have to go to those local communities and ask what they were willing to do with NIL when dollars are tight. They might not want to spend money on a high school kid. Certainly, that's going to happen at some positions, no different in college football and some positions. The overall impact... we'll have to wait and see what it is. 

On if the Vandy Loss From His First Year Crosses His Mind: So far back now, not really. You remember the losses more than the wins, but that one doesn't stick out to me as much as others do. There was a lot of games that year that were really close. We won a lot of close games and lost some close games.

Photo Courtesy of Charles Jordan. 

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