Georgia Football: Spring Practice Storylines That Matter

    Georgia football spring practice is here. Here are the storylines that matter for new head coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs.

    March 8, 2016


    Georgia football spring practice is here. Here are the storylines that matter for new head coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs.


    You don’t get rid of Mark Richt unless you’re thinking SEC title or bust …

    Fine, so Mark Richt left – he wasn’t technically fired – but Georgia needed a Point B to Point C guy, and that means Kirby Smart has to win the SEC East title.

    Now.

    The East isn’t all that scary outside of Tennessee and Florida, should the latter find an offense again. Georgia is operating with the idea that Smart will provide that one tweak, that one change, that one different perspective that will carry the Dawgs from a perennial good team to a playoff-worthy club.

    So how much has to happen this spring to get there – besides the head man simply getting to know all his players and figuring out what he has before fall camp?

    The quarterback situation isn’t going to be settled for a long, long while; he’s not going to have his No. 1 main man, running back Nick Chubb; and the offensive line certainly needs work. However, Smart wasn’t brought in to rebuild this thing. He was hired to refine it.

    Smart is doing a terrific job recruiting, but so did Richt.

    Smart is going to get his defense to attack and try to create big plays, but Richt’s defenses did that, too.

    Smart is supposedly going to try to instill a greatest sense of discipline, will try to get the best players on the field no matter what, and will demand nothing less than an SEC title right away.

    Just like Richt always tried to do at this time of year.

    While Smart is a good coaching prospect, he’s still a new head coach nonetheless. More than that, he’s still a new head coach in the SEC. Nothing will get resolved for Georgia during spring football, but Smart’s job will be to set the tone.

    Is this going to be Alabama In Athens? Georgia fans are hoping so, and hoping it happens right away.

    No one is worried about …

    The secondary. Smart worked with killer front sevens over the last few years at Alabama, and now he has one of the better secondaries he’s had in a long, long while with four starters returning to the nation’s No. 1 pass defense. The Bulldogs allowed a scant 157 yards per game through the air and were seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense last season.

    Fine, so that’s just a wee bit skewed considering the Bulldogs played Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern – two option teams – and plenty of other passing-challenged offenses, including ULM, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Missouri and Florida, but this is still a talented secondary that should be the strength early on.

    Extra attention must be given to …

    The quarterback situation. There may be bigger issues to care about, but this is going to be the first defining call of the Smart era.

    Greyson Lambert will get the first look, mainly because he has the experience. He also has ability to help guide a rebuilding offense that’s going to need a steady hand, but everyone wants to see super-recruit Jacob Eason. The 5-star recruit kept his commitment to Georgia, and while he’ll still have to beat out Lambert and Brice Ramsey, it’s going to be hard to sell the future franchise on redshirting when he’s the most talented – albeit young – option to go with. It’s time for him to prove that he’s ready to step up under the pressure.

    Spring practice’s biggest storyline will be …

    MORE: Five Keys To 2016 Georgia Football Schedule

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