“We will not be hunted”

“We will not be hunted”

ATLANTA – Georgia’s head coach Kirby Smart wanted to get out in front of the incoming tangle of questions. He knew he would be asked how Georgia is going out and trying to recreate the success of the 2021 season in 2022.

He is well aware of the fact that he will do so without the 15 draft picks he had last season. The first five rounds, all played on the defensive side of the ball. Add that Georgia is the defending national champion, and it’s easy to see that Georgia has the big dog at the conference. The Alabama, Texas A&M and all the others will try to strike down in their own pursuit of the national championship.

Dawgs are of course able to hunt on their own. And Smart made it clear that this is what the 2022 team intends to do.

“People ask the question: How does it feel to be hunted? We will not be hunted down at the University of Georgia, Smart said. ‘I can promise you that. The pursuit we make will be from going the other way. We will not sit back and be passive. “

Despite all Georgia lost, it is still one of the more talented teams in the country. Back are quarterback Stetson Bennett, star tight end Brock Bowers, ace winger Nolan Smith, defensive tackle Jalen Carter and national championship hero Kelee Ringo.

Sprinkle over five consecutive top four recruiting classes, and you have many skilled bodies waiting to step into the roles left by last season’s stars.

“I do not think any of our boys would rest on their laurels because we do not really have many boys who have laurels to rest on,” Smart said. “I think the biggest thing is that everyone keeps recording, you know, ‘You won a national championship. Are you worried about complacency? Well, the guys who won it, they’re mostly in NFL camps. So that’s it. are many hungry boys on our team. “

The Georgia head coach added that the turnover turnover actually helps the Bulldogs because it prevents compliance. There are so many new faces who want to come in and prove themselves. Not to be the next Nakobe Dean, but to be the first Jamon Dumas-Johnson.

Smart made another bold statement about his coaching staff, calling it “the best staff I’ve ever had since I’ve been there in terms of continuity.”

If Georgia is to find continued success, players like Bennett and Smith must take on bigger roles this season. Bennett, annoyed by the question of whether he is good enough after beating Michigan and Alabama in the College Football Playoffs, is eager to take the Georgia attack to new heights.

This is his sixth season in Georgia and his third with offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Just like Bennett’s own journey, Georgia will not experience immediate success that changes the world. It is a process, one that comes together one day at a time.

“I think with the way this program is going now, we expect it,” Bennett said. – We expect to win every game we play. We try to look at each opponent as nameless and faceless. We will leave this, train, throw and try to be 100 percent. That is what we are going to do today. And then we have to take another step. “

Defensively, Smith’s thriving voice is one of the few left from last season. He was a key leader last season and will be even more important this season. There is young talent on the defensive side of the ball, but Smith will do his best to ensure that the standard built in Georgia remains.

The biggest concern with said defense is not talent or depth. It’s inexperience, something Smart and Smith both harped on Tuesday. Kamari Lassier or Zion Logue do not know what they do not know. As they learn the ups and downs that come with a season, the expectation is that they will continue to maintain Georgia Georgia’s good reputation.

“You can see the guys being more vocal,” Smith said. “That’s what you love to see. A standard is built and that it is kept. It is not just built one year and then we have to let it go. I like that the standard is standard.

“It’s not about statistics or trying to break records. There are only 11 hats flying around and playing for each other. We just played and had fun. “

Smart was in Alabama for the first four championships under Nick Saban. He was the defensive coordinator for the last team to repeat as champions, returning in 2012. He was also on the Alabama team for 2010, with Julio Jones, Mark Ingram and others. However, that team lost three times after Alabama went undefeated the season before.

The Georgia head coach has warned of being a one-hit wonder. He specifically mentioned for his team the matches LSU has undergone since winning in 2019. Smart doe

Georgia does not want to be the team that only wins one championship and gets fat from it. Bulldogs will not be Gotye.

The 2022 season will give this team the chance to show that it can still come after that and be the best team in college football.

“We did not build this program on the hope of a one-year miracle or the hope of an opportunity. We built the program to be sustained,” Smart said. “You maintain it by what you do every single day. This program was built to be here for a long time.”

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