Kirby Smart met with the media on Friday, the first day of fall camp. He discussed the importance of the team's summer condition program, finding an identity and some injury updates.
Strength and conditioning
The Bulldogs may not be wearing pads yet, but Friday's practice represented the beginning of one season and the end of another.
“Talking season’s over," Smart said to open his press conference on Georgia media day. "Time to do more.”
He punctuated his opening remarks by praising director of strength and conditioning Scott Sinclair.
“They do tireless work during the summer,” Smart said. “Our strength staff’s by far the best in the country at what they do.”
'Creating an identity'
As Friday marked the start of fall camp for the Bulldogs, Smart discussed the goals of this year’s camp, the rigor of the week and how it will compare to last year.
“When you think about training camp or pre-season camp, for us, it’s about creating an identity,” Smart said. “We’re trying to get effort, toughness, all those intangibles. You can’t get all those in one day. We can’t go out there today and create a lot of toughness by the way we hit people because we don’t have pads on.”
It didn't reach 90 degrees during Georgia's first practice, but it figures that the heat of these early days of August will pose a challenge for the players.
“I think training camp’s a grind,” Smart said. “I think it’s important that it is that way. You create adversity in camp. We practice almost every day… It’s a grind, and you go to the point of getting exhausted… We create adversity through how we practice. The heat creates adversity. Our team will be defined (by) how they respond to all these situations.”
Smart shared updates on several injured players, who are almost all back to full health.
“D’Wan (Mathis) is not fully cleared, but D’Wan is able to do passing drills, individual drills — things where we know that he can be safe and not take a hit and not risk injury. Still don’t know when he’s going to be fully cleared, but I’m excited to see him come out and work today.”
Mathis is recovering from emergency brain surgery that he underwent in May to remove a cyst.
“Everybody’s cleared on the D-line. Julian (Rochester) is going to be cleared today, but we’re not in pads. Were we in pads and tackling, he’s still got some room to improve there to do full contact, but all those guys are back — Michail Carter, Julian, all the young guys will be out there. Zamir (White) … he’s doing well. He’s ready to go out and compete. (I'm) excited to have him out there, and he’s excited to be back. He’s a lot further post-op, obviously.”
White, a running back, sat out last year due to a torn ACL.