This week, the Georgia Bulldogs launch fall camp and with 25 days remaining before their first game against Austin Peay, Head Coach Kirby Smart has once again circled the wagons regarding the high expectations many have for the 2018 season.
“We’re not preparing for Austin Peay, we’re not preparing for South Carolina, we’re not preparing for Auburn or anybody else on our schedule, we’re preparing for us right now,” Smart explained August 3rd. “We’ve got to do a great job this camp of understanding the areas we’ve got to improve on, and being very demanding and making sure everybody understands the standard that was set last year with the practice habits and the effort and the energy. I really think our players are buying into that.”
Smart also said sophomore Quarterback Jake Fromm is recovering nicely from a broken hand suffered in a boating accident at Lake Burton last month. He wore a protective splint on his non-throwing hand. Fromm was able to participate in practice over the weekend without incident.
Also this weekend, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney spoke to reporters before practice. Per rule, coordinators only speak once before the season, and Chaney used the opportunity to talk up freshman quarterback Justin Fields without giving away his plans (if any) for the dual-threat 6’2″, 205 pound star recruit from Harrison High School.
“Justin’s ability to run the ball is exceptional,” Chaney said. “We don’t have a vast amount of depth at that position right now, so when you start running quarterbacks, you’re putting him in harms way a little bit more, so you’ve got to be real conscious of that. I don’t know if you walk out and say, because Justin Fields can run, he is a running quarterback. I think Justin Fields is a fantastic quarterback. He happens to be able to run. So that’s a good thing. Designing a playbook directly because he can run, I think that would be disoriented of who we want to be as a football team. But it does give us some different things we can open in the playbook. It does open some pages to it. As far as strategy goes, it’s another skill set available to us to use at any time we want to.”
One thing is for sure and two things are certain: Georgia will only go as far as their quarterback play will take them and Kirby Smart demands new leaders to step to the forefront.