Jump to content

Kirby Smart Gives Promising Injury Updates on Key Bulldogs During Monday Press Conference

Will Morrison

Opening Remarks: We're on to Georgia Tech and excited for the prep. I love rivalry week across the country. What makes college football really special to me is all the rivalries you get to watch this week. Very unique week...timing wise. A lot of distractions with Thanksgiving going on. Those are good distractions, but they're different. How you manage that and how you deal with that is important. A lot of respect for Brent Key and his staff. I've known Brent a long time; he played at Tech when I played here. His staff does a great job. Obviously, there are several guys on his staff that we have worked with before...A lot of overlap. I think we're both very thankful for a state of high school football in Georgia that provides both of us with a lot of really good football players. He's done a tremendous job this year. Buster's done a tremendous job for them this year, and Kevin taking over the defense...He's done a really good job. And with that, we'll turn it to Georgia Tech. 

On What Makes Georgia Tech: Well, geographically, they're close. They're in our state. You're playing for something every time you play them because you're playing for a state championship. I think that's always important and they do a good job. It's the next opponent. I don't rank them any higher than anyone else; I look at all the games as rivalries. I let everybody else debate what's the highest; I don't get into those comparisons. But a lot of respect for Brent and the job they do. 

On Georgia Tech's Improvement: They've won games because they're playing good football. Number 1, they've done a good job upgrading talent. He understands what it takes to win at Tech. I think as he gets his recruiting classes in there, he's not going to do anything but get better. But when you got an offensive line coach as the head coach, you're going to have a physical, tough team. Haynes King is like that. He's fast, and he's athletic. We've got several coaches that came from the Texas area that talked about his athleticism in high school, and you see it on tape. Buster's done an unbelievable job with him, and he utilizes his entire skill set. These guys know how to run the football now. They are really good at running the football. They find the best runs available. Scheme runs. Quarterback runs. Unbalanced runs. Good backs and a really tough OLine. It's a day's work when you got to play these guys with the way they play in terms of toughness. That's what allowed them to win; they have an identity. 

On Ladd McConkey's Ankle Injury: He's got a tweaked ankle that he tweaked in the game against here at home. He was able to go a little bit at the end of the week but didn't practice much. It bothered him a little bit Saturday, but nothing anymore severe than that. We've done MRIs since the game and even more testing. But feel good that he's going to be able to return. Somebody said before I came in here that there are questions about tightrope surgery...That's not the case at all. I don't know where that's coming from. 

On If There's Issues With Tech Having Former UGA Coaches: No issues. 

On How To Keep The Team Healthy But Still Playing Physical: There's mental and physical exhaustion that are two different things. You got to balance those two things and weigh them. You can have both or have one or the other. You're trying to have neither. As a coach, you're always trying to balance those two pendulums the best you can. I don't think you ever know for sure. I think you sense things, and you talk to your players, and if they're honest and tell you how they feel, you listen to them. 

On Rara Thomas: Rara has a foot sprain. We don't know the severity of it. It's probably better listed as a bone bruise on his foot. I think he's going to be okay, but we don't know that. That I think we'll see during the week if he's able to go. 

On Warren Brinson: Warren had a calf strain. We wanted him to be able to get rehab, stay here, and get well. Hopefully, he's able to go today. 

On Georgia Tech's Offensive Effectiveness: I talked a little about it earlier. They have a quarterback that can run the ball, which gets you an extra hat in it. He's really fast and really athletic, and he happens to throw the ball really well, too. He has speed on the perimeter. They've gone out and got some really good fast receivers. Some through the portal and some through the high school ranks that are playing at a high level. They know what they're doing in the run game. They know how to attack you and where to attack you. They have good backs. It's the same questions you have against our offense. When you have people who know what they're doing, and they have good players doing it, they become really hard to stop. They are really good offensively. 

On UGA's Punt Team Not Allowing a Single Yard: I don't know if I've ever seen it. I've actually seen negative yards more than zero. It's really a credit to the punt coaching staff, the punt players, and the punter who has to match distance with hang. You have to have elite coverage and gunners. I don't think people give enough credit to Arian and Dom. They've been our gunners, I think, on every single rep of every single game. They've done an incredible job. I mean, it comes back to your punters and your gunners. It's pretty remarkable what they've been able to do, but we've also had fewer punts than what most teams have had. 

On What Allows Carson Beck to be Consistent: Protection, scheme, and hard work on his part. Watching tape, and really good skill player play. 

On Dominic Blaylock at Georgia and Now at GT: Selflessness and toughness. He's such a great competitor. Dom's one of those that just never says anything. He doesn't complain, and he doesn't moan. He goes to work every day. He made some really, really big critical plays for us over the years. He's very dependable, and you've seen the same thing there. They've got him returning punts and doing things offensively. You can see his value as a football player. 

On Micah Morris Stepping in After the Injury to Tate: Micah's been playing. Micah's been playing a good bit. I thought he did a good job. He continues to work hard, get better, and condition himself. 

On Tate Ratledge's Injury: Tate's good. He has a bone bruise. He banged knees like we thought. He was sore yesterday and is sore today, limping around. No structural damage, which is good, and will be just a timetable of how long it takes to turn around. 

On What Tech Did in Last Season's Game to Start So Well: They had a good plan. They did a good job, and they had good players. We didn't play exceptionally well early for whatever reason. But they did a good job. I mean, I think when you have good coaches and good players, that's what you have to defend. You have to go out and play well. They certainly did a great job starting it off last year. 

On Julian Humphrey and Juman Dumas-Johnson: Both of those guys are fighting to get back. They're week to week and trying to get back as soon as they can. 

On Brock Bowers: Brock feels good. I think he's a little sore. What's happening is he's on his ankle more during the game and getting live tackled, and the catches, he's got more soreness after the game than during the week. So, the recovery takes a little longer with that process. You know, we go lighter on him early in the week because if you don't, he'll overwork himself. So, that's been the plan each week. 

Photo Courtesy of Charles Jordan

Edited by Will Morrison

  • Like 2


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

  • Create New...