Kirby Smart is Not Concerned with Complacency
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Reigning National Champion head coach Kirby Smart took the stage on Wednesday at SEC Media Days, and spoke candidly about his team's goals for the upcoming season.
Smart opened by talking about the players in attendance with him. First the coach praised his returning quarterback, Stetson Bennet, saying, "We all know his story. If you guys ever wanted to do a documentary, this guy has been through it," Smart continued, "He's going to graduate this fall in economics (...) This group is really special to me."
Smart was joined by Bennett, linebacker Nolan Smith and center Sedrick Van Pran.
Smart said, in reference to Smith, "He's one of those players that pushes our team (...) When Nolan screams at you, you wake up quick. He demands a lot of respect in our program."
Finally, the coach praised his offensive line's leader, Van Pran. Smart said, "He was a tremendous guy to recruit. He does everything the right way. He's one of the guys we think is a leader on our team and a part of an offensive line unit that's got a lot of guys returning."
Next, Smart addressed what 2022 will hold for the Bulldogs. Coming off the program's first National Championship win since 1980, the coach made sure to mention that complacency has no place on his team.
"[Complacency] does not concern me in the least," Smart said, "To be complacent, you have to have done something or achieved something. The men on this team for this season have not done that."
"We've done a lot of lessons on how the mighty have fallen. We have skull sessions, 15-minute meetings, 20-minute meetings and breakout groups. We talk about how the mighty have fallen (...) You learn from the mistakes of others."
It's clear that a championship hangover is something Smart and his staff want to avoid this season. Whether or not that can be controlled will simply have to be seen.
The Bulldogs kick their season off against Oregon on September 3 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Smart faces off against his team's former defensive coordinator, Dan Lanning, and will be looking to make a statement in Week 1.