Natrez Patrick (6) and Kirby Smart run through a drill.

Natrez Patrick (6) and Kirby Smart run through a drill.

The media often asks head coach Kirby Smart what his message to the team is each week. Smart’s doesn’t change his approach with opponents like most think. 

“It’s not anything about who we play nor any disrespect for Middle Tennessee. It’s totally about us and competing within practice,” Smart states. “We’ve got some really good competitions going on where guys are battling for playing time, guys battling for spots. And the best way to measure that is not against the scout team player, but a good-on-good situation, which every day, including today, we’ll do good-on-good situations and try and find out where guys are and continue to earn playing time.”

He states that the way the team works in practice is how they’ll perform in the game. According to some players, Smart makes practice harder than the actual games. However, that is all apart of the process and buying into it.

“I think the only way you develop your team towards the end goal, which is to be as good as you can possibly be by the end of the season is to improve during the season,” Smart said. “And that’s where I think we can separate ourselves because we can improve during the season. We have enough depth to go against each other and continue to improve, and that’s the end goal for us.”

Savannah Richardson